Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

A&R Unlimited not worth the money

Note: I have received a letter about this entry from A&R Unlimited’s lawyers. I have edited it and deleted or edited user comments where necessary in a spirit of cooperation. The entry below is my opinion only. Develop your own!

I was leaving the bike shop on Monday when my phone rang. The caller ID number read 13638. So, already I knew I was about to be pitched something silly.

I went ahead and picked it up, but I didn’t answer, I just listened. I heard an actual person moving around on the other end, so I said “hello?”

“Hello, is this Jim?”

I indicated that it was me. The person identified themselves as Paul from A&R Unlimited and said that he was interested in my songs.

Without pausing, he asked “Where are you with your career right now?”

I said “Paul, I’ve got to tell you, I’m skeptical.”

Paul was amazed and incredulous, presumably because, in his mind, I should already be mailing him my entire wallet by this point in the call.

I said “Paul, record companies don’t really work that way. There is no such thing as A&R like that”

He said “I assure you that there is, and they absolutely do!”

I decided that this was pointless to argue the point with Paul who was very polite, but ultimately selling something not worth my money. So I just happily yepped along with the remainder of his spiel and gave him my throwaway email account for him to send more info to.

So far, I haven’t gotten any emails from Paul.

I looked up their web site just to see if I I was right, and it is indeed some manner of “Pay us and we will get your music heard by key industry personnel” type site, like Sonicbids or whoever else.

Avoid these sites. If you want to be a successful artist, go out and earn a fan base one fan at a time with great material and a great show. There is no other way to do it. There are some great tools to use along the way like iTunes and YouTube and ReverbNation, but anyone asking for your money to promote you is selling you a shortcut, and there are none.

Let me repeat that. There are no shortcuts. None.

What I really want to know is how they got my number. They said they got it from Reverb Nation, but those guys are totally on the up and up with information privacy and that didn’t sound right to me.

I emailed Reverbnation anyway just to ask. I got a response from Neal Moody the next day. He pointed out that they didn’t even have my number, even if they wanted to share it.

Oh yeah! Good point, Neal!

I have no doubt that these people are talented, kind folks with the best of intentions, but that does not change the stark reality that paying someone to play your song for purportedly top industry personnel will never be any sort of replacement for going out and earning a fan base. This is particularly true in a climate when barely anyone gets signed any more.

I am still interested in how you and Paul got my cell phone number.

UPDATE: Credit where it’s due, Joann Gullo, chief proponent of A&R Unlimited, has shared her phone number and email address and offered to explain to anyone what they do and how they do business.

She also raises some pertinent questions about what a shame it is that I have enough time on my hands to actually help musicians instead of trying to get them to spend money frivolously.

She says:

I am offering anyone of you the opportunity to give me a call personally and go over what our company offers so you all truly understand what our mission is. 631 244 1624 or feel free to email me directly at arunlimited@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading Joann. I am still interested to know how you got my cell phone number to begin with. Personal information is not something to be thrown around lightly, in my opinion.

You very clearly agree, since I note that the above phone number and email address are the corporate contacts for your business, and not your personal info. Just sayin!

56 thoughts on “A&R Unlimited not worth the money”

  1. Brenda

    A&R Unlimited is not worth the money. They pressure you into this awesome deal with daily calls sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. Then after you pay them, you get a membership card and then you never hear from them again. (You do get occasional mass emails from them with the A&R Directory) They have an archaic system where instead of an EPK like most places want, they want you to send them a physical press kit. That makes no sense since a scanned picture is definitely not better than a Jpeg, AI Pic. And when you are ready to cancel they want you to send them a written letter via “Registered Mail” one month before the anniversary of your start date. Registered mail??? That is only for items that are worth money not a letter. And then you send it to their P.O. Box and the post office sends you back your letter because there is no one that can sign for it. HMMMMMMM. I would say A & R Unlimited borders the line of SCAM…. maybe not necessarily a scam but shady nonetheless. Get on Reverbnation, keep gigging and BELIEVE. This company is definitely NOT going to take you in the right direction. All the best on your musical journey!!

  2. Daisy


    You have to call the better business bureau. I am so tired of people scamming muscians. Taking advantage of an artist, whether they are independent or not. A&R UNLIMTED is nothing but a BIG FAT SCAM, taking advantage of the underdog. I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE. PEOPLE LET’S JOIN AND SHUTTING THIS COMPANY DOWN. I AM GOING TO START AN ONLINE CAMPAIGN AND THEY WILL NOT PREY ON THE WEAK ANYMORE. THIS WOMAN HAS SCAMMED SO MANY PEOPLE THROUGHOUT HER LIFE I AM SURPRISED SHE IS STILL ABLE TO DO IT. SURPRISED SOMEONE HASN”T KICKED HER UGLY ASS OFF THE INTERENET. I will be posting further info as I get it, the authorities are going to be called in and an investigation is going to happen here. To many people are losing their shirts.

  3. The Still Life

    A&R unlimited is a MASSIVE scam, or should I say was because they have recently disconnected their phones and the website is no longer up. Paul Michael, is also a musician himself (fronting the band Andrejack from LI) and is the mastermind behind this all. We paid $800 and all that we received was a member web page. No meetings, no compilation cd, nothing what we were promised. We filed a claim with te BBB but that’s obviously never going to matter because the business is obviously no longer doing business.

  4. Matt

    Yea, I got scammed out of $700 trying to push an artist that I book for beyond the regional success we’ve had here in Milwaukee a year he does. I’ll admit I learned a huge lesson/was very nieve at the time, and we have continued to thrive all things considered. Karma will get Paul and this company, that being said I’d be very happy to help get even with this guy. Very sick people out there…of I guess they are laughing all the way to the bank!

  5. Dean

    Yep, Paul Michael scammed me out of $700, too. We think we’re so hard nosed and yet, we fall for these silly promises, hoping against hope this one is for real. Time to put on some even thicker armor.

  6. DAISY

    JOANN GULLO is the mastermind behind A&R unlimted.Paul just worked for her. Joann is onto bigger fish now she is the owenr of Extreme Management Group. She shut down A&R Unlimeted when they scammed to many people and people started catching on. She shut down her magazine The Inside Connection for the same reason. She sold the magazine business to some guy that had no idea what he was getting himself into. She conned him and she was not upfront about finances and profits, etc. He trusted her. She scammed him too and he had to close down the business shortly after he purchased it. She then took the money and started A&R unlimited, which has since been shut down and now she claims to be this big Music Executive and CEO of Extreme Management Group. They manage Heavy Metal bands. She clamis in her BIO that she has worked with everybody famous including Madonna. These were the people the magazine did articles on, Hence she never really worked with them on a Musical basis. SHE IS NOTHING BUT A CON. I wish the authorities would just get her so she doesn’t con anyone else.