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Re: (TV) Arista/Clive Davis (was Re: Kral comments)

    Patti stands behind Clive because he has always supported Patti. Don't
forget that Horses, Radio Ethiopia, and Wave weren't great sellers. Dream of
Life wasted more money not being in the studio than they did being in the
studio. So Arista is supposedly still recouping it's losses from Patti's
dismal sales. 

    On a smaller scale I can tell you what a nightmare my own bands
situation was. We made our Chrysalis record for under $60,000 and that was
including Lenny Kaye's production fees which were not cheap as he was just
coming off a hit with Suzanne Vega's "Luka". Anyway, we were told that after
the first 2 months record sales were at 30,000 which isn't bad for a first
time out major label record. Certainly enough for the company to recoup
their investment. WRONG! When you have to factor in costs for 2 different
promotional posters, a ridiculous contest to send someone on a skiing
expedition in Aspen Colorado(the "Winter" Hours connection) I'll never
forget their stupid slogan "What to put on to stay cool this summer" Winter
Hours that's what!!!(ugh). Anyway, then they gave radio stations ear-muffs
to give out, again charged to the band, phone calls for promotional purposes
charges to us. Flying the singer from Atlanta to Boulder, the band received
$30,000 in tour support, along with various other expenses so that when we
received our quarterly report we still owed the record company $90,000 with
no chance of getting it lowered any time soon since they had already
released 2 singles for radio and had considered the record over getting it
to the #4 position in the Rolling Stone Magazine college chart which was no
big feat since we had reached number 5 with our last indie LP. The idea was
to have Chrysalis get us to cross over which they did not. Thus starting my
campaign "Death to the majors" who I believe single handedly sabotoged about
20 different indie label groups careers by promising us the world and
instead giving us nothing but heartache. Now the majors are getting their
just desserts and I for one couldn't be any happier. M T C

> From: Joe Hartley <jh@brainiac.com>
> Reply-To: tv@obbard.com
> Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 16:08:35 -0400 (EDT)
> To: tv@obbard.com
> Subject: (TV) Arista/Clive Davis (was Re: Kral comments)
> "Michael Carlucci" <michael@recordsnyc.com> wrote:
>> Patti herself has never seen a dime from Arista, so how in the
>> heck is she suppose to give Ivan some.
> Hmmm, a week or so back there was speculation about what Patti would
> do now that Clive Davis has been pushed out of Arista (proving again
> that record labels are the leeches upon artistry), since she's been
> a vocal supporter of Clive's.
> So she's got this loyalty to Clive, though she's never seen a dime
> from his company?  Interesting.  While it may not be Davis's fault,
> this situation isn't right.  Wouldn't she see money from sales of
> records in the time where she wasn't recording?
> It's probable that it all got sucked back into the machine that
> screws both artists and consumers.  This is all going to be different
> soon.  It's easier than ever for a band to record decent stuff on
> a $1000 computer, making expensive studio time less important.  It's
> easier than ever to get that music out to the end user once they know
> it's there.  The hard part is still going to be getting the potential
> customer to hear about the band in the first place.  Labels are becoming
> even less relevant now than they used to be in that regard as well, since
> they do a piss-poor job of promoting bands that aren't already major
> acts.  Once every 5 years or so you get a fluke like Nirvana which gets
> huge despite the lack of effort by a label, which then turns around and
> pays attention BECAUSE they got huge.
> I want Patti to get my buck for buying Gung Ho or Easter or Horses;
> I want Tom and Richard and the boys to get my three bucks for buying all
> three of their albums, but it often goes against chargebacks to the band
> for insane things.
> Robert Fripp has the right idea, I think.  He's got his own label and
> distributing company that does not take the rights to the music away
> from the artist, and is trying new approaches to distributing music.
> Right now, that's priomarily mail order, but they've been experimenting
> with alternative methods.  They made available a net-only live show which
> was relatively easily burned to a CD, and the new King Crimson album is
> available as a pre-release in a mono, lo-fi format (56K RealAudio stream)
> so those folks who are that into it can get something without resorting to
> Napster distribution of promo copies.  (I also burned this to disk thanks
> to TotalRecorder, a $12 program that writes a WAV file on the fly of
> whatever the soundcard is playing.  It's great for capturing streaming
> audio!  http://www.highcriteria.com/ )
> So the hell with getting the shaft from Arista; forget catching Mercury
> Poisoning; no more getting screwed by a Virgin.  The rules are changing,
> and the labels are going to get caught short because they're trying to
> fight the tide with lawyers rather than learning how to adapt.
> It'll still be a crap shoot for a band to rise above the thousands of
> other bands competing for the listener's attention, but they won't owe
> a Porsche-driving, Perrier-swilling asshole hundreds of thousands of
> dollars if (when) they fail to be the next big thing.
> ======================================================================
> Joe Hartley - UNIX/network Consultant - jh@brainiac.com
> 12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI  02882 - vox 401.782.9042
> Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa
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