To Dan Navarro,

It’s great if self-contained "bands", or should I say "brands", that write and produce their own work want to give away their music as "worthless" promotional pieces for their profitable touring and merchandise businesses. Hey that’s nothing new…. think of the zillions of "for promotional use only" copies that the record companies would never pay us on out there. However, the help, independent producers and songwriters like me, don’t have
t-shirts to sell. Honestly, what should WE do for a living if you keep encouraging people to "steal the music", dude?

Desmond Child

PS I also salute Wendy Waldman!


I wish I’d kept all that merch to e-bay it now.

Cream had NONE, trust me. I met them at JFK on their first trip here, and was their press agent for a week, morning till night, even in the recording studio (where there were arguments about whether a particular song should be called "Brain Soup" or "Strange Brew".) We couldn’t get them arrested (that’s another story), and we certainly could not give away t-shirts, even if there were any.

Danny Fields


Marc Reiter:

The hard rock snubbery continues. Metallica are eligible this year, and they got boned…er, I mean, they were not recognized by the Hall this year.


I’m sure you will get many responses to your comments on the rock and roll hall. I took my 13 year old son and a friend of his to cleveland last year and we visited the hall. Needless to say we all enjoyed the visit but it also resulted in questions from these kids that I could not answer except by saying the people who pick the inductees must really be out of touch with rock and roll. I felt weird saying that because I respect Wenner and some of the other names I know are on the selection committee and I do realize how much time and $ they have probably spent on this wonderful shrine._

My son, with no prompting from me I promise, rolled off names of artists and bands that even he is aware of that he could not believe were not n the hall. He started with KISS, Alice Cooper, Grand Funk, Def Leppard, Marshall Tucker, Rush, Moody Blues, Steppenwolf(born to be wild enough should get them in), Journey, Styx, Jethro Tull, and others I can’t remember. He plays guitar and loves rock music (as do my 12 and 8 year old) and couldn’t believe my answer. My answer was that I have no idea how non rock acts (I’m not going to name artists as I respect all of them) even get on the nominating list much less make it into the hall._

The kids of today and no doubt tomorrow will be influenced by the above named acts probably much more than many artists who are in the hall and especially some of the disco era acts nominated this year._

Maybe we should let the teenagers of today help pick the artists that are influenciing them. These artists are the ones that should really be in the hall because of their influence on future generations and not because it’s the "cool" pick or they have become friends with the committee._

There ya go!
Rock on!_
Van Fletcher_


Hi Bob,

What is also interesting about Feist is that she has been signed through Polydor France, and NOT the US. So far as i know, Interscope picked her up as part of the worlwide UNI deal. Album is produced by Renaud Letang, a famous French producer.



Khalid Nurredin:


I just wanted to let you in on something that is really disturbing to me as an indie artist and record label owner. I was just told by SNOCAP that if I wanted to continue doing business with them that I gave to procure "ISRC" codes for every song I sell online. These codes are not handed out by the U.N. or even the Library of Congress. They are controlled by the RIAA! In order to get the codes you have to apply for permission to join the RIAA on corporate letterhead by mail only! Then they decide whether or not you can join! I have to pay a percentage of my label’s gross receipts every year to the RIAA, the very pigs we indies are trying to fight! Now the RIAA claims this is so they can track downloads and make sure no one is selling (or downloading) music they own, but now they can track your sales, who you sold them to, when and where! It’s none of the RIAA’s Goddamned business who I do business with! I’ve got a corporation and corporate letterhead, but what about the independent artists and labels who don’t, and in the meantime I can’t sell until I receive their acceptance. Who knows how long that will take with snail mail and the RIAA’s bureaucracy? Can’t they get into the 21st century and do business by email or at least a fax? What if they refuse indie labels membership? They don’t accept membership from artists or bands who don’t have a corporate structure(a label). I think this is restraint of trade and a backdoor way to keep indie product off the marketplace. I have to pay dues to an organization I loathe and don’t want any part of.

These bastards have been cheating artists out of royalties for almost a hundred years and now we indies have to pay them to do business? How many units I move should only be between me and the IRS and no one else! With this info and a customer’s I.P. address, they can know who buys every download I sell, not to mention compiling lists of music buyers! This is corporate thuggery at it’s best and I smell a class action lawsuit!


Terry Malloy:

I have a question about EXPOSURE. Universal Music Group now has a policy to only allow :90 clips on Myspace and all other social-networking sites. There are some exceptions with developing artists, but it is the policy now. In the case of an artist like AFI, for their album cover in the Myspace player it says "Hear the full song at" I am sure this is all part of their ploy to sell digital music directly from the label on the artist web sites, but most people don’t want to take that extra step, they want their music on Myspace. If you go to the AFI web site, finding full versions of those songs on Myspace is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

My questions is… with the relevance of radio diminished, how can people hear full songs without buying them (or in most cases downloading them on P2P)? If I am a developing artist on Interscope with a :90 clip of music out there, why is someone going to care? Sure, if you’re a major artist, you probably don’t need to put out more than a clip to get people to buy the song on iTunes. You’re only as good as your last hit though, and if people can’t hear your new hit, why are they going to buy it?

How can you EXPOSE music if you don’t let people hear it?


Just to let you know recent information about the music labels and how an estate is being treated. Warner records on the passing of my father Brian Cole (Bassist of The Association) stopped making any payments of royalties to his three children. I being one of these children am trying to get Warner to pay us at least for future royalties and Warner will not even admit fault for failing to pay in the past. At present I have been seeking legal help to go after Warner Records, but as it’s such a large company, most lawyers will not even take this case without a huge retainer. Is there any way you can let people know in the field what’s being done to estates of former artist by the big record labels?

Chandler Cole


Re: Merch/Swag

It’s so funny you just sent this email out…
Right before I got it, I was busy opening up my box from which contained my $80 hoody. That’s a lot of corn for a hoody… but man, is it freakin’ cool. And I do sorta feel a connection with MJK now that I have it.. as cheesy as that sounds.

You see, I’ve (illegally?) downloaded my share of Tool recordings… but as a fan of the band… and as a fan of Maynard’s new Puscifer project, I have a lot of respect for the fact that he is doing this new project all on his own. (no label support) He’s made no secret about this in his blogs, etc… And knowing that – I’m more than willing to overspend a little to support his endeavours as an independent artist. Not to mention – I’m the only kid on my block with a Merkin on my hoody.



Dave Curtis:

One of the more interesting aspects of this Radiohead strategy is this: NO ONE’S HEARD THE MUSIC YET! There’s excitement, there’s real anticipation, it’s like the old "street dates" of old.

Nowadays most labels and artists seem to think that the best way to market a major star’s new release is to expose it any way possible (particularly if you can do a full "advance listen" on any number of corporate sites – Clear Channel, Vh1, MTV – take your pick). I don’t know about you, but once I went online and listened to the new Annie Lennox album on — the whole thing, streamed — the most important aspect of the music buying experience was shot. It was worse than watching one of those three minute "trailers" for a movie where you see every funny scene and know the plot of the movie.

I liked what I heard from Annie Lennox — maybe, at some point, I’ll buy the album. But a big part of the "reason to buy" for me is gone. I don’t know what Arista thought they would gain from officially "leaking" the album a week or two before release, but it certainly had a negative effect on me — and again, I really liked what I heard. I’m just not compelled to buy — hey, I’ve already "experienced" it on a very basic level.

The new Radiohead album may be a stinker or just mediocre — it may be amazingly great. Obviously there are hundreds of thousands of fans ready to put down money (even some serious cash for the old-fashioned "physical" goods) based on their reputation and extraordinary, life-changing music. But the fact that the music has been "protected" has just made it even that more interesting. I’m not a huge Radiohead fan, but even I’m curious even more than usual about what they’re up to musically (and not just fascinated about their marketing/sales strategy.)

But when music is already played (out) well before the actual release — as it is now with most major releases — there’s little wonder why most folks don’t give a shit about Tuesdays anymore.


Hi Bob!

Last Friday, may have been an ordinary day in the life of the Black Eyed Peas…but for thousands of people in El Salvador it was yet another demonstration that money talks and bullshit walks.

The concert set to start at 8:00 p.m. started at 10:30 p.m., with the three male members of BEP playing their set, with songs that Fergie was supposed to perform. After about 45 minute the concert stops and FERGIE shows up…apologizing for not coming out, rambling that they would come back and play for free. She then starts singing "acapella", excerpts from her SOLO album "Boys Don’t Cry". This without the band as they simply left the stage and after that, the concert was OVER!!!!

See the link, and click on Fergie’s picture to view a collage of pictures and and explanations in Spanish.

Also, look at Forum part of the band´s official website.

Bob, on average kids, make about $200 a month, ticket prices cost up to $60.00, plus dinner, transportation, etc. More than half a salary. For these bands to come here, charge unrealistic sums of monies and to top it off, tax free, as they demand the promoters to pay for their taxes (I can’t say if BEP did this, but most of the international bands that come here do), is insane.

The promoter´s official version is that Fergie got food poisoning from eating Sea Food, although I was told in confident, that they were fed according to their rider.

Unofficially, I was told that she was drunk and the previous night the band hung out at a local club until late. How can they get away with this? Promoter DID NOT give a refund, nor will they reschedule the concert.

What is fair here!!!

Should she come back and play for free? Should she donate her time to a local worthy cause? Is this news worthy of further investigation?



Raul Gochez


Subject: My old ticket stubs

Public Image Ltd 1989- 18.00
Peter Murphy 1990- 16.50
Jane’s Addiction 1991- 17.00
The The 1993- 18.50
Pearl Jam 1993- 18.75
Billy Joel 1993- 28.50
Pearl Jam 1994- 19.00
Scorpions 1994- 20.00
Andrew Dice Clay 1994- 32.50
Rolling Stones 1994- 50.00
Bad Brains 1995- 8.00
Fishbone 1995- 10.00
Soul Asylun 1995- 12.00
Adam Ant 1995- 13.00
REM 1995- 27.50
Everclear 1996- 15.00
Soul Coughing 1996- 8.00
Korn 1996- 17.50
Bob Dylan 1997- 27.50
Rage Against the Machine 1998- 15.00
Motely Crue and Scorpions 1998- 35.00
Stone Temple Pilots 2000- 29.50
Lollapalooza 2001- 22.00
U2 2001- 131.50
Lollapalooza 2002- 30.00_

Brett Greenberg
Epic Records-Dallas


please don’t use my name for this one!

a band I manage was at an out of state gig recently. 635 college students to see them. merch guy sets cd price at $10. about 25 sell before the band goes on.

band singer, having read your email at my recommendation (we followed the Duluth case closely), goes on stage after warm up band, and 20 minutes before we play. He tells the crowd,

"No one here should ever feel they have to risk being sued. Starting tonite, we are selling our Cds for $5. Those of you who paid $10, come over to the merch booth and ask for a refund."


– about 25 kids came over, got $5 bucks back, and about half then bought a tee shirt

– a line more than 150 kids long immediately formed and bought the newly priced disc (remember, they hadn’t seen the band play a single note yet)

– the band was unable to leave the venue for 2 hours AFTER the show, as kids couldn’t believe how cool they were to think of pricing change, and announce it

– more than 350 kids signed their email list

– the promoter wants the band back as soon as possible

– as to the business model this represents, well even an idiot can draw the easy conclusion. the kids (our future) have spoken, they will pay something rather than go home and burn or illegally download. all they have to have enter the equation is the pricing of the plethora of entertainment options at their disposal, and where they rank music in that plethora. they made it clear: 10 songs for 5 bucks will get a line both before and after the show

– now that’s called capturing the moment, and this is a band with a career being made fan by fan.

thought you should hear about this, and accept a little credit for making one band’s night a spectacular one.


Jim Filiault:

I thought you’d appreciate this. Some guy here in town reads my email, which you printed below, Googles me, and calls me over the weekend AT MY HOUSE to discuss Alejandro Escovedo. I thought my number was unlisted; guess not. Sounded like a nice guy on my machine, but still a little weird.

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.