Jimmy Barnes’s keyboard player Lachy Doley on how to make a living from the cut-throat music industry | 485

Jimmy Barnes’s keyboard player Lachy Doley on how to make a living from the cut-throat music industry | 485

Accomplished musician and small business owner Lachy Doley is a world-leading expert on the Hammond Organ. He’s also Jimmy Barnes’s keyboard player and he played for Powderfinger back in the day. He’s no slouch! In this very honest and open interview he shares how he makes a living from one of the world’s toughest industries.


A little bit more about Lachy Doley …

Righto, so a few years ago, this fellow by the name of Lachy Doley sent me an email (out of the blue) saying he listened to my show when touring, and that he loved it so much that he’d gone ahead and wrote, sang and recorded a new intro and music bed for me. I took a listen, loved it, and have been using it ever since. 

I then rang to thank him and offer to get him some work. He politely replied that he was busy enough as he was Jimmy Barnes’s keyboard player. For oversea’s listeners, I’ll explain who Jimmy Barnes is during the interview, suffice to say he’s no slouch … and neither is Lachy. In fact, he’s one of the world’s leading Hammond Organ aficionados.



So why am I interviewing a well-established musician on this show? And why are they even listening to a show like this?

Because Lachy is a small business owner just like you … and whilst he’s played with some of Australia’s biggest bands including Barnsey and Powderfinger … he also has his own band and he constantly has to hustle for live gigs, to sell more CDs, merch … put simply, he too has to make a living.


Now this is a very honest chat in which we cover:

  • How he built his profile
  • How he manages to bring his A-game to every gig
  • Why he sent a heart-felt email to his listeners and what impact it had
  • Plus he talks about the multitude of revenue streams he’s created in order to make a living 


As a wannabe rockstar myself, I started off by asking Lachy to indulge me by explaining what it’s like to walk out on stage to tens of thousands of screaming fans …



Here’s what caught my attention from my chat with Lachy Doley:

  1. I loved Lachy’s honesty and transparency. When was the last time you let your guard down in front of a customer, employee or supplier? Would you even dare?
  2. I love the fact that Lachy has multiple revenue streams including an e-Course, (print on-demand merch). I’ve linked to both in the show notes.
  3. And I love the fact that he’s segmenting his email list when people sign up.   What was your main take-away from this chat?



Here’s that email Lachy sent back in 2017


I’m not gonna lie. I’m still doing it tough at the moment with all the shit that went down last year regarding the cancelled 6 week Europe tour with Glenn. So more than just letting you guys know that the preorders are open for the new album, I wanted to ask you all a few questions and tell you bit about what’s going on here.

Firstly I gotta thank all you guys once again for being such a great support to me, my music and ultimately my family. I started recording and performing as the Lachy Doley Group in 2010 and apart from Jimmy Barnes I haven’t really done any work as a session player with anyone else since.

Playing with Jimmy Barnes has pretty much gotten me through these years. The Lachy Doley Group has only cost me money. like lots of money! And that’s not even mentioning the time I spend working on it. I mean I’ve been working my fucking ass off, every spare second I’ve had for the last 6 years to get it to where it’s at and it’s talking it’s toll on my family, myself and my mental health. I mean I:

Write the music (time)

Perform the music (time)

Record the music (time and heaps of money)

Mix the music (time)

Master the music (time)

Then I market the album (stupid amounts of time and money)

I also pay a publicist to market the album (I can’t say exactly the amount, but it’s thousands)

I send the albums off to radio, blogs and magazines around the world (stupid amounts of time and money, especially overseas radio stations, everyone wants a physical copy and postage is nuts)

This album makes 4 Studios albums and 2 Live albums plus a DVD since 2010 (WTF?)

I book all the shows , except overseas (so much time)

I promote the shows (stupid amounts of time and money)

I video a lot of the shows (so much money and setup)

I edit the videos of the shows (so much time)

I promote them on Facebook (So much time and money)

I built and update my website (Lots of time, some money for hosting)

I design all the artwork and posters (time)

I tour manager everything. Which I’m absolutely hopeless at. (time)

Public Liability Insurance (money)

My Europe tour of 2015 ended up costing me $6000 dollars. Having said that. My Europe 2016 tour broke even. So that was good 🙂

I ENGAGE WITH ALMOST EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME on fb, email, twitter and alike. But now I’ve got over 28,000 Facebook likes, this adds up to ten’s of hours a week just replying to people but unfortunately doesn’t do anything for my hopeless financial situation. I give out so much advice to musicians via comments and private messages it’s bordering on crazy. But I have to say I really do love this part of everything. It’s just so many hours.

On top of this I haul around a stupidly OVERSIZED HAMMOND ORGAN and WHAMMY CLAV all the around the world and then put in every single bit of energy and conviction into every performance, I feel like I’m gonna faint sometimes.

Not to mention the cost of maintenance and petrol on my van when it’s running over 15,0000 kms a year

SO…. when you find yourself home after driving 12 hours straight from an incredible week away playing 5 awesome shows to standing ovations at Woodford Folk Festival but you simply can’t pay your mortgage and feed the family that week. It’s time to really think hard about WHETHER THIS IS ALL WORTH IT.

Sadly, There’s no work with Jim at the moment as he’s doing his book tour and the small amount he has coming up is directly when I’ve booked my new Album tour. BAD TIMING

Don’t get me wrong I know I’ve achieved so much and I know I’m a great product. Infant everyday someone comments to me about how well I’m doing or how I’m just killing it at the moment. This makes me feel good for second but because I know that it’s totally not the case it really brings me down further. I’m still flat broke, actually broker than ever. I’m seriously this close to just giving up and finding a real job. But I’ve got to see this new album and it’s tour through. 

So i wanted to ask a few things:

  1. If you do enjoy my music, watch my videos, learn from my videos or get something good from what I do, would you consider helping me to keep them coming by becoming a member of my VIP membership group. It’s a bit like CROWDFUNDING by a more spread out and sustainable version. All the info is here at www.lachydoley.com/vip please watch the video and see if it’s something you’d like to be apart of 🙂
  2. Otherwise if you’re planning to buy a copy or preorder of the new album at some point. Would you mind doing it now as I’ll get the funds almost immediately AND it’ll help my chances of charting on the week it’s released. You can do that here www.lachydoley.com/bandcamp
  3. If you’re in Australia, Please come to one or more of my shows and book early so the venues don’t freak about whether anyones coming. All the shows are listed here www.lachydoley.com/shows
  4. SHARE AND TAG THE HELL out of my videos and posts 🙂

Sorry for the depressing tone of this email but it’s just where I am right now.

Thanks so much everyone and happy new year.



Resources mentioned in episode 485 of The Small Business Big Marketing Show:

Interviews I’ve done with other celebrities:


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