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Author Topic: Production or 'Spec' Deals?  (Read 7933 times)

NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #45 on: August 23, 2005, 01:02:45 pm »

J.J. Blair wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 09:53

rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 08:30


Maybe JJ can find the next Missing Persons and you guys can have them fight to death in a cage match-- I'm hoping for a tie.


Dude, Missing Persons kicks Bon Jovi's ass any day of the week.  As  Triumph the Insult Comic Dog says: "If you have never heard Bon Jovi, try to imagine Brude Springsteen coming out of my ass."

BTW, do you want to know why nobody walks in LA?  Because you can park everywhere ... unlike San Francisco!  LOL.  (I've lived there, too.)


Hey man, walking brings people together!

In the spirit of honesty, I should admit that I'm temporarily hanging my hat in Larkspur-- where parking abounds. Gotta love that ferry ride though.

Anyway, I didn't mean to pick on the Bozzio family-- just needed something that vibed LA. I'll take new wave over crotch rock any day of the week.

By the way, why hasn't Verizon licensed "Words?"

It'd right up there (annoying) alley.
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NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #46 on: August 23, 2005, 01:27:34 pm »

Quote:

Yes I would, and I'll tell you exactly why:

Because it is much more lucrative to own 50% of a song that becomes a hit, than to own 100% of a song that will never be heard by anyone.

And that last bit, my dear humble friend, really sums up the crux of this whole issue.



Which is where the snake oil starts to enter the picture. If you're playing open mics in Philly you don't need a producer, you need a booking agent.

But what if you're in a steady gigging band doing national and/or international tours?

Look at the Strokes, hate em or love em, they would have made a serious career mistake getting in bed with Jules. Happily for them, they held out and retain all publishing in addition to owning their own masters.

Furthermore, I would submit that their record making process has been more about the band getting what they want out of Gordon Raphael, than it is about GR shaping their sound. Again, like it or not, it works for them-- if you consider gold records a success.

Personally, at 20,000 units, Linoleum doesn't look too bad.
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j.hall

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #47 on: August 23, 2005, 01:40:55 pm »

Curve Dominant wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 12:02

J.J. Blair wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 16:05

Eric, before you lecture me about getting out of LA, you should know that I'm not from here.  And back when you only knew how to record with your VHS machine, I was going further out on limbs than you have ever gone.


A VHS machine? You know, that's probably the ONLY thing I didn't learn how to record on. Gotta try that some time.



easy guys, we aren't playing this game on my forum.

i'm all for a little fun and games, but let's not start playing that stupid, "you were still in diapers when i was pushing record" game.  

that's easily the lamest attempt to gain respect ever.  it's only one micro step above picking on another poster for a grammar or spelling error.

if you want to start a flame war, at least make it interesting and sophisticated before i shut that down......keep the playground crap for the children.

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Fibes

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2005, 02:29:08 pm »

I'd still like to know a bit more of the differences between Euro and American publishing. There is a difference and it'd be damn enlightening to know the details. Does anyone know?

Part of it deals with publishing companies acting as promoters of the material.

Are you seeing the bridge i'm trying to build here?

I wish someone who actually knew the finer details could help since i'd end up missing by a foot.

BTW-

I learned to record on a VHS machine. No, not a freaking ADAT, a very expensive two track version of one. I was working at a local NPR station as a DJ and they hired me to record the local symphony for GPR broadcast. i used this VHS machine that had a proprietary digital in that came out of this archaic/giant DBX A-D converter that would get so freekin hot I still have scars.

I got paid minimum wage for these sessions and although they are used from time to time locally and nationally i will never see a dime from this other than what i was paid.

What kind of deal did the old British dude get for writing "Music" by Madonna?

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Fibes
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2005, 02:34:49 pm »

Sorry, J. Hall.  My point was simply that it is ludicrous of Eric to suggest that being from LA means we don't take chances on a band or have an indie scene, or that I lack credibility in those areas.  I should have phrased my response without questioning his experience, which is a bad habit I have sometimes that I need to learn to curb.

BTW, Eric, you never recorded TV shows on your VHS?  I didn't mean music, even though we originally used VHS machines for digital before DAT came along.

Also, I'm not disagreeing that I'd rather have 50% of a hit.  I posted twice in this thread about it, if you care to take another look.  But I thought I mentioned that you better be able to guarantee me a hit, like Madonna does.  She can have her 25% any day of the week.  I think when producers start looking for people who don't have any money and try to entice them into signing over publishing that it is predatorial, and I would not do it either as the artist of the producer.  But those are simply my own principles.  You don't have to agree.

And for a confession: I was approached to work with a band that was AWFUL.  I mean REALLY bad.  I would have had to have somebody come and replay the drums, because the drummer was unbelieveably terrible.  Even worse than me.  However, they had two things going for them, the songs were kinda catchy (with some restructuring that I did) and the singer was dating Alicia Silverstone, who was still a big deal at the time and had a new production company.  I didn't see any chance of these guys ever getting a deal, but I recognized the chance that Alicia might use them in a soundtrack, so I offered them a production deal for publishing.  Even though I would have had to put lipstick on this pig and stand the thing up on my own better than any turd I'd ever polished, I still felt slimy about it.  The band never got it together to follow up, and I think the singer broke up with Alicia, so it never amounted to anything, but I never quite felt OK about offering that deal down inside in my conscience.

I'm from Chicago, home of Chess Records.  I am aware of how those artists got screwed out of ALL of their publishing, in turn making a couple of white guys very wealthy.  This is just my opinion, that taking publishing without giving the artist a good sum of money or contributing as a song writer, is just unethical, unless it only covers the recoupment of your services.  

And BTW, as for the comment about my humility, which I take (rightly or wrongly) as a backhanded compliment, as I always say, my opinions are based on  experience.  If you don't like them or think they are grandiose, then fine.  Feel free to disagree all you want.  But always understand that they are substantiated by real life experiences, and not plucked out of the ether.  If I say something that is obviously not my dry sarcasm, I am always being earnest have a reason for that view.  I stand by my opinions, and freely admit when I'm proven wrong.  
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Jules

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #50 on: August 23, 2005, 02:38:12 pm »

rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 18:27


Look at the Strokes, hate em or love em, they would have made a serious career mistake getting in bed with Jules.


How? please explain that..

They would have been minus 20% publishing on 3 tunes. That's a share like they give non writing drummers of bands...

Please explain the "career mistake"?

Thanks

Jules

NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #51 on: August 23, 2005, 03:03:50 pm »

Jules wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 11:38

rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 18:27


Look at the Strokes, hate em or love em, they would have made a serious career mistake getting in bed with Jules.


How? please explain that..

They would have been minus 20% publishing on 3 tunes. That's a share like they give non writing drummers of bands...

Please explain the "career mistake"?

Thanks

Jules



You're right, it's an overstatement. Mistake is enough to cover it.

What I mean is that they didn't need to sacrifice 20% of publishing on three tunes to someone not in the band, they did fine without doing that. Therefore it would have been a mistake.

I realize hindsight is 20/20, so this will never be a fair argument.

It's just an interesting example because those first songs did very well despite their often cited poor sonic quality.

I do think people actually "in the band" rate differently than outside producers or engineers. I know there are exceptions, JJ is writing choruses for an act... that's clearly intellectual property... but that's a different world than mine.

So they'd retain the masters working with you?
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rankus

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #52 on: August 23, 2005, 04:55:34 pm »

Curve Dominant wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 10:02


Because it is much more lucrative to own 50% of a song that becomes a hit, than to own 100% of a song that will never be heard by anyone.





Reminds of the old saying "It's better to have a slice of grapefruit than an entire grape".....


 Regarding what it is worth to work on spec:  If you only recoup on say, one in five projects, (and that would be optimistic)  then it stands to reason that fronting the time is worth more than just recouping your regular rate for studio time... In fact in running a business it would be very reasonable to charge regular rate x 5... Plus interest...

It's all very fine to argue the "artistic" philanthropic end, but we are in business to make money... (at the very least enough to make the bills and buy more gear)

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Jules

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2005, 05:13:56 pm »

rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 20:03

So they'd retain the masters working with you?


yes.. I made this clear in my instructions to my lawyer when working with her in designing the contracts.

NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #54 on: August 23, 2005, 05:36:14 pm »

rankus wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 13:55

Curve Dominant wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 10:02


Because it is much more lucrative to own 50% of a song that becomes a hit, than to own 100% of a song that will never be heard by anyone.





Reminds of the old saying "It's better to have a slice of grapefruit than an entire grape".....


 Regarding what it is worth to work on spec:  If you only recoup on say, one in five projects, (and that would be optimistic)  then it stands to reason that fronting the time is worth more than just recouping your regular rate for studio time... In fact in running a business it would be very reasonable to charge regular rate x 5... Plus interest...

It's all very fine to argue the "artistic" philanthropic end, but we are in business to make money... (at the very least enough to make the bills and buy more gear)




I don't think anyone is suggesting that you give it away as a habit. I'm not.

It seems that almost everyone agrees:

A) Don't give it away for free. (There are exceptions to this surely, I have friends who I colaborate with, I'm not about to start charging them engineering fees.)

B) Taking a cut of publishing in perpetuity (ala Chess records) is greedy and obnoxious. Go work on Wall Street if this is your bag.

C) The middle ground is not black or white. It's gray. Lots of different approaches have been explained here. The Fibes method is an interesting example, as far as I can tell he;s just trying to get his basic compensation back after the fact-- the accounting of that really isn't my pet topic.

To expand on my Jules/Strokes example, what I'm saying is that they didn't need to give any of us publishing-- regardless of what any producer might have brought to the table, their star was rising. The record could have sounded better, but I don't think it would have done any better-- so why give away 20% of publishing to some guy with a room full of microphones and a big mortgage (I know, I know, I'm just being provocative.)

If someone is really interested in publishing revenue, they should WRITE SONGS. Then again, the songs will probably suck-- because they're doing it for the wrong reasons. The income may or may not suck.



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NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #55 on: August 23, 2005, 05:52:40 pm »

Jules wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 11:38

rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 18:27


Look at the Strokes, hate em or love em, they would have made a serious career mistake getting in bed with Jules.


How? please explain that..

They would have been minus 20% publishing on 3 tunes. That's a share like they give non writing drummers of bands...

Please explain the "career mistake"?

Thanks

Jules




Jules,

Honest questions here-- not trying to engender any animosity.

The Strokes are a 5 piece, even though JC writes all the tunes, I think it is a fair assumption that the other fellas get a piece of the publishing.

So an even split would be 20% per man (as in your example)-- which I think is kind of the ultimate "bro deal" here in the states, i.e. rare circumstances.

So in your example-- if you take 20% off the top-- and the band splits what's left 5 ways cause they love each other so much-- then JC is now getting 16%?

The songwriter would get less than the producer?
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Jules

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #56 on: August 23, 2005, 05:56:02 pm »

rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 22:36

If someone is really interested in publishing revenue, they should WRITE SONGS.


A noble thought and one I am sure that is rejected by a vast number of music publishers.




NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #57 on: August 23, 2005, 06:02:50 pm »

Jules wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 14:56

rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 22:36

If someone is really interested in publishing revenue, they should WRITE SONGS.


A noble thought and one I am sure that is rejected by a vast number of music publishers.




I think you're misunderstanding the intent of my post.

How about this--

Write a song OR start a music publishing business. I think one is a lot more interesting than the other, but it depends on your skill set/interest.

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Jules

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #58 on: August 23, 2005, 06:13:48 pm »


[quote title=rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 22:52]
Jules wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 11:38




Jules,

Honest questions here-- not trying to engender any animosity.

The Strokes are a 5 piece, even though JC writes all the tunes, I think it is a fair assumption that the other fellas get a piece of the publishing.

So an even split would be 20% per man (as in your example)-- which I think is kind of the ultimate "bro deal" here in the states, i.e. rare circumstances.

So in your example-- if you take 20% off the top-- and the band splits what's left 5 ways cause they love each other so much-- then JC is now getting 16%?

The songwriter would get less than the producer?


What makes you think that the songwriter - will 'bro' his non writing band mates an equal share?

The "everybody equal" notion - on songs written by ONE person, can soon get er...'old' for the lead (often sole) songwriter..

Deals like everyone else on 10% and the new drummer on 5% are frequent in 'band' situation publishing splits where the principle songwriter charitably "spreads the wealth" for dedication, vibe & ongoing co-operation.. Smaller fractions like 7.5% for each band member are also not unknown - you can reflect ANY "split amount" you want in a legal agreement..

NAT-UR-Al-LY - folks like DRUMMERS who's contribution is often non melodic - tend to scoot their chairs FORWARD when publishing gets mentioned - hoping that they will INDEED get 'bro'ed' a nice slice for what is traditionally understood to be chord structure & top line melody and NO percussion!!! OH YES! Publishing please you will hear them say..

Anyhow..

What's the big deal if it is on only a few songs..?

Will they never write another?

You gotta give a little to get a little!

Turn the vocals up on that 2nd album!

Vive La France!


NelsonL

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #59 on: August 23, 2005, 06:17:36 pm »

Rushing out the door--

"Bro deal" was meant to infer unlikely-- I was using your number for a non-writing drummer. Maybe I misread that.

Will read the rest at a later date.

Best,

Liam
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