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Robert says "Works for me. It's certainly a fairer system than having Canadian delegates (who represent no one who makes any significant money from either fund) vote on taxing musicians in LA to make up for the deficits run by the Canadian office. I would be curious about the re-payment schedule for the six figures the AFM "loaned" Montreal for their voting block to be seated at the convention. . I'm sure" midbeat Downkeys " knows the facts on this since he , she or it knows everything else.
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2009 on The other lawsuit at The AFM Observer
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I would think that a true leader would want to unite his people instead of continuing on a political purge , that by my count, has been going on for six years. At some point they will hit a wall.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2009 on The handmaiden’s lament at The AFM Observer
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"As far as my anonymity goes, I do it out of concern for my fellow musician. It goes something like this. Tino finds out who I am, He confronts me face to face, and Tino gets his ass kicked. Tino goes to the hospital, and I go to jail. I don't want to go to jail, so I preserve my anonymity out of concern for my fellow musician. Yeah that's it, concern for my fellow musician..." Wow, is this the newly emboldened Downbeat, or a more courageous Keys 88 or is it just another creation of the Karmen group. "why don't you forget about New York, a city with a relatively high level of unionized musicians, and turn your attention to Branson. A city within the jurisdiction of the Nashville local operating almost totally non-union. Please, there is nothing for you to accomplish here. Try to spend your time more constructively if you really want to do something that benefits working musicians. Is it not amazing that Mr Midtown knows so much about Branson. Hey Midtown , why don't you start organizing the hip hop and indy recording that exists on a major scale in NYC. Nah, nah , nah.. I think it's hard for Midtown 88, or whatever moniker he or she or it has chosen to accept the fact that working musicians are getting much more proactive. Hey, if you really cared about musicians you would understand that we are in this together. Check it out.......Midtown speaks " " I guess you didn't get the answers you were looking for in your meetings with the various officers of this union concerning the survey handed out at the Legacy meeting last July!" What's that about Midtown ? Another "Talking Point" A sequacious ramble perhaps. No one was talking about Legacy studios.You fool no one. People are talking about the music centers of the world ,finally coming together , and taking back their business. Professional musicians are tired of their destiny being controlled by Union leaders that only care about their political careers. Sorry midbeat. i ain't buying you!
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2009 on Something afoot in 802 at The AFM Observer
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It sounds similar to what happened in Nashville. In our case the membership realized that Bradley and Linneman cared more about the Federation and their political standing, than they cared about their own members concerns.In fact, one time Linneman tried to abort a bylaw resolution submitted to the convention, by his own executive board ,only to be tripped up by his own carelessness. I see what's happening in this perspective........ For years life was good . There's was lot's of work , everyone was getting paid. and the pension multiples were up. No one paid much attention to AFofM politics because it seemed like everyone was being taken care of. Nowaday's the picture ain't so rosy. Musicians are getting concerned about what's happening. As they begin asking questions they realize that many of their leaders are not paying attention to the right things , at least as far as a working musician see's it. In many cases they see their leadership making decisions, without input from musicians that do the work that's affected by the decision. Instead our union leaders are taking the advice of contracters (aka employers ) or composers (aka employers ) and then drawing up promulgated agreements , setting precedents that will impact future CBA's. In addition the membership sees leadership trying to divide different locals by villianizing certain groups.A good example has been the subtle and not so subtle attacks on LA recording musicians. Having a national leader publicaly calling them "rich pricks' is just one example. The amount of energy this Federation has spent trying to divide La, NYC and Nashville is beyond belief. One could only imagine the braintrust that would be created if working musicians in these major music mecca's could come together and be involved in establishing inteligent Federation policy. I would guess that this utopia wouldn't bode well for certain people
Toggle Commented Jun 15, 2009 on Something afoot in 802 at The AFM Observer
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"The RMA is a corrupt organization, something its cheerleaders and sycophants fail to grasp." Now ricky, that's insulting. What do you know? How many RMA members do you know personally. It's easy for you to hang out in the anonymity of your computer room and spout off your diatribe, but Tina is right. You are not an AFM member , you quit , but the RMA members stayed in. As you said.... I'm not currently a member. Call it an act of "desperation." That's what happens to me when I'm in a local controlled by RMA; I have an irresistible urge to not support the local. Are you now talking about Nashville ? RMA controlled????? Pomeroy won by a landslide. He has accomplished more in sixth months than the previous administration did in as many years. He reached out to you , inviting you to gigs and meetings and you never had the courtesy to show up. You Mr. Blanc are an angry and bitter man. You do nothing but insult people that don't agree with you. You are not an AFM member. You are not part of the solution. why are you still here?
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Well said Rafeal. And there lies the root of the problem. Democracy is not happening in internal business of this Federation.More and more people are realizing that.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2009 on FarePlay's response at The AFM Observer
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Keys says---- Well, 802, I see you've joined the club that is accusing a respected composer (Lennie Moore) of lying. Not incorrect, not mistaken, "lying". Big difference. Being incorrect or mistaken can happen without intention. Lying absolutely has intention. This is ridiculous. This article was written three years ago. Who knows what the true context was. I do know that the IM is nothing more than a political pulpit for the Federation. They do not allow opposing viewpoints to their political agenda. All due respect for Mr Moore, but after visiting his website , I see that he has been successful and worked on some pretty cool projects but even Lennie doesn't seem to blow his horn as to being an"award winning" whatever. Personally I think it's total bullshit that Donkeys is dragging Lennie Moore into this and I too would appreciate his comments on the subject. I'm just wondering. Since i've won a good number of awards over the past thirty years and had songs cut by major artists , can I have a column in the IM to tell the membership our side of the story ? Is guess a better question .... Is hell going to freeze over anytime soon ?
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Wow this is getting creepy.
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The Downbeat/Keys/ PR Firm, whatever it is, was up early working on the propaganda machine. They did a good job. For the average Joe, that doesn't work in the business , one would think that the big bad PMG was alive and well in LA , stealing work from good , hard working , AFM members. So I decided to see for myself...... DownKeys says " * The PMG website is active, and reads like a manifesto for a direct competitor to the AFM. Let's have a look at what they're promising people as they market their new Guild: Consider me a stupid hick from Nashville but I searched the web and could not find this website. Perhaps it's a special website but if in fact it does not exist the proves once again that the integrity of the DownKeys spin machine needs to be questioned. As I remember the PMG came into existence sometime before the last convention after the first Lee/Schaffner/ Folio video game agreement.All the PMG succeeded in doing was create a large opportunity for AFM fear mongering. I don't think they ever wrote a contract and as far as I know, have not been heard of since before the last convention. Of course I have friends that feel like the WMD's are still in Iraq somewhere. Most Recording musicians I know would rather work within a functional AFM. It's important to note that while performing my Google search, I did see a number of Musicians Guilds listed in Canada.It was interesting to note that Montreal had an especially large guild, boasting a membership of over three thousand. I wonder how they're doing up there? Perhaps DownKeys could tell us something about the six figure " emergency bailout" that the Federation gave them. Better yet how bout shedding some light on the re-payment schedule.
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The sad truth about this agreement is that it didn't have to happen. The RMA put together a comprehensive video game agreement under the Leadership of Dave Pomeroy and Pete Anthony. It had roughly the same wage scale as the current agreement and there was NEVER a back-end or special payments provision. The one important component of the agreement was the new use provision. It provided an assumption agreement to the contract. In other words it stated that the music had to be used for Video Games and Trailers only and that it could not be sold or used as library music , movie scores etc. This agreement took three months to put together with lots of back and forth between NY, Miami, LA and Nashville. San Francisco ( read a certain contractor and Local officer) ) chose not to be involved in the initial process. They were probably still smarting from the recent exposure of the XRAY Dog recording session scandal. For those who may have forgotten , Lee and Folio, with the help of a certain NY officer gave San Francisco a promulgated agreement to produce "trailer" music in spite of warnings to the IEB that this was in fact a session for library and movie music on a large scale. To make matters worse, the agreement was crafted and executed a week before it was approved by the IEB. Lo and Behold, after the music was recorded in SF it appeared on Xray Dogs website, available as underscore for motion pictures , at the price of 25000 a track. When the RMA received the agreement it was realized that this hastily crafted AFM promulgated agreement was full of holes, holes that could have been plugged had they allowed qualified people to write the contract. Determined not to let this happen again the RMA crafted a two page video agreement. Nashville gave it to Harold Bradley and Billy Linneman to present to the IEB. Harold and Billy thought the agreement was great. It allowed the game companies to record at a very low rate and not have any back end options.It only provided protections for NEW USE so that AFM musicians would be protected from their music being exploited in other venues where there was already an agreement in place. The RMA felt like this was an important provision ,considering the fact that Video Game companies were going into the record and movie business. When the RMA agreement was presented to the IEB many on the board thought that adaptation of the agreement was a step in the right direction and would be worth its weight in gold in helping to heal the rift between the RMA and the Federation. The RMA was extremely optimistic until they were informed ,at a meeting by a certain IEB member that "we thought the agreement was great but somehow it disappeared into the abyss" So now we get the current agreement, put together by the same crew that brought us the fore-mentioned SAN FRANCISCO agreement, without any input from the player conference in NY, LA, or Nashville. The sad thing about this is that the VP of the largest video game company in the world was in Nashville a few weeks ago and and did in fact, say publicly that his company would have been willing to pay four times scale in order to not pay residuals. The truth of the matter is that the AFM has done very little in the way of negotiation with the companies. They are making the deals with composers and contractors , who in many cases are making big bucks, to allow exploitation of Afm product , created by AFM musicians at a rate less than Nashville Demo scale. The video game business is a multi billion dollar industry yet the AFM feels compelled to give away the store. Keys says 'Congratulations to Tom and the IEB for taking a brave step forward, and with no apparent "damage" to the film agreements! Duh the film negotiations are not over . (keys , I'm sure you know that) If the IEB and the Federation truly understood the entertainment business they would not allow this video agreement to happen. They would re- craft it, with input from the recording musicians that work under the agreements and most importantly would allow ratification by the eligible recording musicians. I don't expect that to happen though. As I have said before, the actions by the Federation are political in nature. If they truly wanted to help recording musicians they would allow due process. To be continued.......
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Well said Robert. And Mr. keys , i never said you couldn't play. i just questioned your credibility as a recording musician. i seem to recall that the reason you won't come out of the closet is that you are afraid of being blacklisted in the LA recording community. maybe I'm confused, what did you say you did for a living ?
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Rick says "Does it matter? Maybe it means something to you. I discuss issues. If you all want to speculate about this or that as it applies to me who cares? I will continue to discuss issues, and only issues. Occasionally, particularly as it applies to the guys in Nashville, I have to correct the record. " Yeah Dude , it does matter because we're talking about AFM members lives. Your coming off as being gravely concerned about the future of the AFM and the business of recording musicians yet you don't appear to be a member of the Federation. What's your agenda again chief ?
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i asked Rick awhile back if he was a member of a local . As i recall he joined 257 right before the election and quit right after Dave Pomeroy was elected. He regularly participates in stirring things up. He talks about LA a bunch but lives hear in Tennessee . I'm not sure what he actually does but he certainly spends a lot of time arguing with folks about a business that he doesn't seem to be involved with. To his credit he does have the courage to post under his own name unlike Downbeat, I'm sorry Keys, or PR person whatever it is. Keys doesn't like to answer questions about his business either. He claims to be recording musician. I'd love to hear about the studios he works in or the microphones and pre amps he uses on the acoustic piano. Or perhaps you could talk to us about the last session you did at Capital and what board they're using or maybe tell us what acoustic piano you use when you track at Sunset sound. Or perhaps you could tell us whether you prefer logic or nuendo to make your artistic statement. My prediction is that you'll make some calls and get back to us with some answers but I don't for a minute believe that you are a recording musician. Keys, like Rick ,don't really care about musicians making a living. They are hell bent on destroying the livelihoods of successful recording musicians to achieve a political agenda. Simple as that.
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ricky blanco writes.......Tell me Bruce, are you just stupid? Or paranoid and stupid? Whoa what do you mean by that! Huh what was your question again?
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on What’s it all about, Alfie? at The AFM Observer
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Downbeat writes With an oversupply of talented, experienced recording musicians, talent alone is nowhere near enough to get hired - political skills and connections, plus a lot of luck, is often the difference in getting hired or sitting at home. Duh, that's the way it is in recording world in any city. People want to work with other people that are easy to work with. here in Nashville one could question who is in fact the better guitar player or drummer etc but when it comes down to it talent is not always the deciding factor. Here we don't have contractors but there are production assistants and session leaders that have their lists and they are certainly weighted towards their favorites. Most session guys try to stay aware of their social skills. Nobody want's a bad vibe in a session. I'm sure it's basically the same in LA. Aspiring film musicians probably need to get in line just like aspiring guitar players here. Why shoul I expect a first call guitar player to turn down a portion of his work so that I can get a break. As I've pointed out time and again. We can't keep dumbing down contracts to capture more work. The same players will get the jobs based on their talent and people skills. That is the reality.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on What’s it all about, Alfie? at The AFM Observer
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Rick , That's cool. Perhaps you should find another local that's more to your liking. Tell me again. Why did you come here and join 257 a couple of weeks before the election, then proceed to post derogatory blogs about Craig Krampf and Dave Pomeroy and then quit 257 as soon as they were elected.If i didn't know better i'd think that you were a man on a mission. Refresh my memory. What is it exactly that you do?
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on What’s it all about, Alfie? at The AFM Observer
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Once again Ric, you talketh out of your ass. If you still live in Nashville why don't you call musicians and see if it matteres if your in the RMA or not, in regards to getting work. Truth is , if you are an amazing player and no one else can do what you do , you might work if you are an asshole. But if your like most of the guys in Nashville, there are ten others that are capable so you'd better be a nice guy and a hard worker. No one cares if you paid your RMA dues.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on What’s it all about, Alfie? at The AFM Observer
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The only reason the symphony players stay quiet is because they have control of their own destiny. The Federation can't negotiate their contracts. It's done on a local level with management and a commitee made up of members of the symphony.If the Federation tried to control that process there would be mass exodus. Contrast with the recording musicians..... They have Federation officers with little or no recording experience, making deals without approval of the player conference. Now that makes a lot of real world sense.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on Up-close and personal with Tom at The AFM Observer
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Fact. A fair and decent video game agreement was presented to the Federation that was supported by many members of the IEB. It was the result of months of back and forth between the recording centers. Apparently it was trashed. Hey Keys, I'm a musician, not a politician. You are obviously well rehearsed in the "spin ' game. Just curious. When was the last date you played?
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on Up-close and personal with Tom at The AFM Observer
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Recording musicians pay over fifty percent of the work dues to the Federation. Fact
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on Up-close and personal with Tom at The AFM Observer
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Bullshit again Keys. How dare you disparage a man that has the courage to use his own name and post an opinion. Who the fuck are you , mister I've got multiple identities ? Why is Ed a water carrier for the RMA. Perhaps he's just a smart guy that can actually see the forest through the trees. He's got no dog in this hunt except for a responsibility for the truth, That's the problem. Most of the Federation doesn't really see the truth. Of course there was some serious rumblings at the Western conference. I believe the term political parasite was used. Let's talk truth for a minute... A five dollar a year per capita was proposed to help with the financial stress of the Federation. Nope , it was to much of a burden on the membership. How bout more facts....Broadway musicians pay no work dues to the Federation....Do we want to talk about what Symphonic players pay ? And you know as well as I do because you've heard it said. Recording musicians would gladly pay much higher dues if they had any control of their business and were included in the decision making process. How bout that Video game agreement....
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on Up-close and personal with Tom at The AFM Observer
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Keys. you keep saying the same thing over and over and you keep talking about LA. I was being conservative when I said Nashville did twelve million last year.It was a bit more than that. Probably a couple million more. Most of the folks doing that work were RMA members. Last I counted we had 160 members. That's more than the core group that does the big sessions, which by the way are determined by who the big producers are at the time. it's also important to know that being an RMA member has nothing to do with whether you get called or not. People are RMA members because they care about their future. It's not the Mafia . They are plenty of guys that don't join because they are ADD or just cheap. Eventually they send in their dues. They have nothing to do with the lawsuits. They just like the fact that someone is looking after them while they play their instruments, raise their families and pay their mortgage. Very few are getting rich but they are making a living. It's a precarious perch that they are on. Every single day is an Audition. Struggle on an overdub , look at an artist the wrong way or intimidate a producer and they can lose the account forever. so Keys , please don't talk about playing by the rules. It's perfectly legal to work overseas without doing it on an AFM contract.To single out a successful LA conductor, who does 99 percent of his work on AFM contracts and facilitates work for hundreds of musicians, is nothing short of hypocracy. You keep harping about Seattle. Well, Simon James is a member in good standing with the AFM yet he advertises non union sessions on his website.Why isn't he brought up on charges? The AFM allowed Montreal to be seated at the convention, in order to win votes, yet I know contractors that work exclusively in Montreal because they get AFM musicians to work off the card. It's amazing that you attack RMA members as enemies of the Federation when they, in fact, do so much for this Federation. So , Keys / Downbeat , it's not just about LA. Duh , why do you think Linneman and Bradley are gone? i'm curious Keys. Tell us about your experiences in the recording world. How many hit records did you play on. What TV shows were you a part of . I don't think you have a clue what you are talking about when it comes to the recording world.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2009 on What’s it all about, Alfie? at The AFM Observer
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Keys/Downbeat Says (Bruce writes, "I think that the majority of successful recording musicians are RMA members." Highly improbably, assuming you are looking outside the orchestral scoring orchestras of LA and a small number in Nashville... The numbers of musicians producing albums and online recordings of their music for sale alone demonstrate that. But, it also depends on how you define "successful" - Bruce, for the purposes of your claim here, how do you define "successful"?) I define succesful as a musician making a living wage working under AFM contracts. I'm sorry , but the"indy record" folks recording in their home studios hardly qualify as full time recording musicians. Of course if one looks at the small amount of earnings that it takes to be able to ratify the SRLA then some of these indy , home studio guys might qualify as a "full time" recording musicians providing they are filing a contract. From my experience most home recording is done on a cash basis with no accountability to the AFM. It's the full time recording musicians,the ones playing by the rules, the ones contributing over half the federation work dues , that are being shut out of the decision makingj process. These are succesful recording musicians and they will always be a minority in the AFM. There is only so much work. That has always been the case. If the Federation continues to mess with whats left of the legimate recording agreements they will eliminate the incentives for recording musicians to work under a union contract. At that point , as the work dues stream dries up, the Federation will have no choice but to get the money from the Symphony Players. I'm not sure they would be to happy to see their work dues go up. That being said it would make sense for the Federation to start working with the player conference and attempt to find mutually agreeable solutions instead of selectivly locking them out of the process.
Toggle Commented May 12, 2009 on What’s it all about, Alfie? at The AFM Observer
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You are writing as if ALL recording musicians are represented by RMA. Even worse, you conflate "RMA" with "RMA-LA". If you understood that "RMA-LA" represents the interests of a minority of recording musicians -- and that the SSGOM has engineered it exactly so that RMA represents their interests at the expense of the rest of the recording musicians, then maybe you'd begin to understand the other side of this story. I think that the majority of successful recording musicians are RMA members. I would wonder how many Federation musicians make a living wage recording. Probably not many . Maybe a thousand? There's not that much work. Dumbing down the contracts won't get more work , just less money.This is not an RMA issue, it's a Federation power grab.
Toggle Commented May 12, 2009 on What’s it all about, Alfie? at The AFM Observer
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The irony is that recording musicians have always been a minority. I know that in Nashville , music city, we did twelve million plus dollars worth of work but the last study showed that only 125 musicians made over 25k a year. if that money paid evenly to those 125 musicians it would have been a grand total of 96000, per player. Hardly a fortune. Of course there are a few players making 200000 a year. So, needless to say, there is a disparity. Most of the successful recording musicians are RMA members. None of this comes into play when booking a session.It is about talent, "hang factor" ,perceived marquis value , etc ,etc but whether or not you are an RMA member is never figured into the employment discussion. The reason people joined the RMA was to have representation. Think about it......Symphonies get to negotiate their own deal. They work on a local level. All that the Federation does is rubberstamp whatever agreement they come up with and collect their work dues. If there is any union involvement it's usually the Local that steps in. Conversely recording musicians have to negotiate with the Federation as the go between.Worse than that the Federation is now making agreements with contractors and employers without consulting with the musicians that do the work and understand the business. It's now coming back to bite us in the ass. The Federation is giving the video game companies the right to record , using federation musicians, , music for video games than can be exploited in any venue for perpetuity. It might not be so bad if the wages were decent but they are down there with Nashville demo scale. The irony in this is that the Federation did this without any attempt at collective bargaining. The truth be known, Nashville, New York , La and Miami came up with a video agreement that was acceptable but as one IEB member reported "it ended up in the abyss" Makes me wonder if the Federation really wants to work with us or punish us. I wonder what ICSOM would think if Harold Bradley decided that symphony players were too successful and need to lower their wages so more players could work. Probably wouldn't sit to well.
Toggle Commented May 12, 2009 on What’s it all about, Alfie? at The AFM Observer
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