Pranks and niche

I’ve finally got around to reading Re/Search publications Pranks 2 and it’s hilarious. A lot of the San Francisco Bay Area’s hometown heroes are featured. The original Pranks! book that came out in 1987 had a big influence on a lot of people — definitely an inspiring book back in my high school and college days.

The first interview in Pranks 2 is with Gerald V. Casale, one of the original founders of Devo. His current project is called Jihad Jerry. The wide ranging interview covers everything from politics to rap music. One issue that hit close to home is about niche markets in music:

…if the Beatles were around today — if there were somebody like the Beatles for now, that the Beatles were to their time then, it’s possible that they would have, like, a little fan base, an Internet following, and that’s how it could stay. [laughs] And the people who ride Vespas would be into them, and they could sustain a nice life — they’re making enough money off their “merch” and their shows and their website, but that’s it.

This idea just cracked me up. And then I thought about night photography — talk about a niche market. Night photography can be just like Jerry’s idea of the modern Beatles when it comes to having a little fan base and an Internet following. I don’t know if people who ride Vespas like night photography, but I am pretty sure the making money part is extremely difficult.

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