A must read for any artist that performs live

July 18, 2007

Date: July 18, 2007 3:23:34 AM EDT
Subject: A must read for any artist that performs live

First of all, let me take this time to give a HUGE shout out to any artists that perform live (hopefully that’s every single one of you!)

And I don’t mean just artists that play gigs in the corner pub or club.  No, I mean an extra special big shout out to any artist who has ever toured in their car or a van and spent hours, days, weeks or months on the road.

Touring is a crucial part of becoming a successful artist/band and yet touring as an indie artist can be demanding.  A different city each night. Food on the road.  Gas prices soaring.  Cheap motels.  But you have to do it.  So my hats off to you, give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for a job well done, especially if you’re touring NOW in 2007.  It’s a lot of work but at the end of the day, isn’t the worst night up on stage in front of even 1 person better than the best day at your day job?  Yeah!

So, this email is incredibly important for you to read.

An artist recently sent me this email about performing rights societies ASCAP and BMI.

Now ASCAP and BMI are the folks that collect money for you when your songs are broadcast on TV or on the radio.

In my experience, I have had nothing but good experiences with the people that work at ASCAP and BMI.  So, do not call or email them to complain….er, yet.  This isn’t the fault of people you know but perhaps the executives in charge.  Let’s discuss this and email me your thoughts and if you have any additional information or facts before we decide if this is true or not and demands any action on our part.

Does this warrant concern or action among artists?

What are your thoughts?

Please keep in mind the opinions expressed below are not my own but solely of the artist writing them.  I am sending this email out to gather more information, not to in any way shed a poor light on ASCAP or BMI.

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA  90210

Hey Jennifer,
Before I get into my concerns I’d like to thank you for representing the “little guys” of the industry and trying to get us the “love” we, and the industry in general, so desperately need.
Okay, here it is:
First off, let me state that I’m a member of ASCAP. I joined because I thought they were truly interested in protecting artists…especially the ones who NEEDED their protection.
Two of the smaller venues that I used to play have since discontinued their live music.
Because people from ASCAP and BMI have been bleeding all of the small businesses dry in their attempt to “help artists.” Small coffeehouses and restaurants, especially those who feature original music (most of which is unregistered through ASCAP or BMI), are being “sweated” for the same blood money that bigger venues are expected to pay.
They are killing all of the small venues that actually treat artists fairly. Large clubs treat artists like cattle, slave labor. Many venues, especially in LA, are still using a “pay to play” system, dressed up in a “ticket sales” package.
ASCAP & BMI are systematically destroying the fertile proving grounds that create the great musicians, songwriters and recording artists of tomorrow. And since artist development is no longer a concern of labels, fewer and fewer artists have careers with any longevity. We have become “disposable.”
These venues are the ideal places where artists like myself can try out new material in an intimate setting. Without these venues, the quality of the art produced will definitely suffer.
The actions of ASCAP & BMI are as deplorable as those of the major labels that are destroying the very industry they own and exploit, and when CD sales, and downloads, plummet even further than they already have, you can rest assured that their $ will dry up as well.
Live music has been all but suffocated in the public’s eye already. You are helping to deal the death blow to an already struggling majority of artists. Don’t believe me when I say that the general public no longer goes to see live music? Just ask any gigging artist in the clubs. Their hardest challenge is getting people through the door- people other than their families and friends.
Something needs to be done. Someone needs to address the harm being done in the name of musicians. The only ones who benefit from this current course of action are the “big boys”- superstars and the wonderful watchdogs at ASCAP & BMI.
Their responsibility is to all of us, NOT just the “cash cows.” PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE encourage them release their stranglehold on the small, inconsequential venues that generally lose money just having us perform there because they treat us with the respect to actually pay for our art, instead of charging us.
The cycle needs to stop. They need to help fix the problem, instead of adding to it.
I’m sure this plea will fall on deaf ears, but at least I feel better knowing I passed on my concerns as a member. Cultivating the talent that will keep the labels, as well as ASCAP & BMI, alive in the future SHOULD be priority number one.
Thank you, in advance, for passing this on to others who might actually help to do some good.
Chris T.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: