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New Copyright Paper

Read some top stories about Copyright at my new “paper” here:

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,100 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 7 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 126 posts. There were 29 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was September 11th with 104 views. The most popular post that day was The Lady’s not Gaga anymore!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wikipedia.org, search.aol.com, and stumbleupon.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for boston music group, movie reel, rob fusari, randy goodman, and boston group.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


The Lady’s not Gaga anymore! April 2010
1 comment


“More than a Feeling” – Momma, look what they’ve done to my song! March 2008


Music Publishing 101, Part 4: Show me the money! November 2007
1 comment


Country Music Association nominates Randy Goodman to serve as President of the Board October 2007


Trademark Issues October 2007

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A little history:

February 22, 1990: Pop sensations Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus, a/k/a Milli Vanilli, who achieved international acclaim as a result of their Arista release, Girl You Know It’s True,  win the Grammy for “Best New Artist.”    Soon, the rumors began to swirl that Morvan and Pilatus were not actually singing on the records as had imagebeen reported in the press.  So intense were these rumors that on November 12 of that same year, Frank Farian, creator and producer of the Milli Vanilli project, confessed that Morvan and Pilatus did not actually sing on the records.  Four days later, Milli Vanilli’s Grammy was “withdrawn,” and Arista dropped them.  After the details emerged, the controversy spurned over 26 different lawsuits across the country under various consumer protection laws.

Early 1992: New Kids on the Block’s song If You Go Away peaks at #16 on Billboard as an associate producer on one of their earlier albums allege that the band lip-syncs to performances by Maurice Star, and that Star actually sang many of the parts on their albums.   As the story develops, the band cuts short their tour to appear on The Arsenio Hall Show to perform a medley of their hits.  During the subsequent interview, the band admits to using Star’s vocals as a backup track during their live performances, and admit that Star sang harmonies on some of their background vocals.   The band never recovered from the backlash, and their record sales steadily declined from that moment.

November 6, 2009: Hundreds of angry fans in Perth, Australia, walk out of Brittany Spears’ Circus concert when it becomes apparent that she is lip-syncing to her songs.  Consumer affairs groups in Australia are seeking legislation to require disclosures when a performer intends to employ lip-syncing in a live concert.  “Fans deserve to know what they were paying for,” says Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson of the Victorian Legislative Assembly.

Fast forward to:

January 31, 2010: Taylor Swift wins four Grammys: Album of the Year and Best Country Album for Fearless, Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song for White Horse.  Swift, who is by all accounts an extremely talented songwriter, gave a stunningly weak vocal performance during her duet with Steve Nick’s that drew starkly negative reviews from professionals and amateur press and bloggers alike.  For example, Bob Lefsetz described her image performance as “dreadful” and opined that she may have single-handedly imperiled her career with this one performance.  The general consensus is that her Grammy performance is not an isolated incident.  Truth is, many professionals in Music City are aware of Swift’s inferior vocal talents – almost every conversation about Swift in this city includes one or more references to “auto-tune” technology.

The primary issue can be stated as follows: is there a significant difference between a digitally-created rendition of a vocal performance and using a superior vocal performance from an singer who is not marketable to front a more attractive and marketable duo, a/k/a Milli Vanilli or to using a backup track (even of your own vocal as in Spears’ case) to enhance your live performance.  Isn’t the former example simply a modern, technological replacement for the latter?  If so, then the question becomes why is today’s society not as outraged at Taylor Swift as past society was at Milli Vanilli, New Kids and Spears?

In his response to criticism of the Grammy performance, Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Swift’s record label Big Machine Records, offers this explanation for this discrepancy:

Maybe she’s not the best technical singer, but she is the best emotional singer. Everybody gets up there and is technically perfect people don’t seem to want more of it. There’s not an artist in any other format that people want more of than they want of Taylor. I think (the critics) are missing the whole voice of a generation that is happening right in front of them. Maybe they are jealous or can’t understand that. . . .   No one is perfect on any given day. Maybe in that moment we didn’t have the best night, but in the same breath, maybe we did.

Borcetta gets no argument from almost anyone I know in the industry that perhaps Swift is not the best technical singer.  But I’m not sure the explanation that Swift is the “voice of a generation” does much to address the underlying issue: The Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance went to a singer who, even her label head admits, is not a great singer!  In her defense, Borchetta goes on to say “If you haven’t seen her live performance, you’re welcome to come out as my guest to a Taylor Swift show and experience the whole thing, because it’s amazing.”  But if the show’s audio is auto-tuned, how does this amazing experience differ from a Brittany Spears’ lip-synced performance, if at all?  How is different from New Kids on the Block using additional harmony tracks to enhance their live performance?  

Someone else once phrased it this way:

“It’s not about being authentic anymore, it’s about being entertaining.” 

Interestingly, this was a quote from Morvan of Milli Vanilli in a USA Today article in 2010.   Morvan goes on to say

“Twenty years later, what we were crucified for what you now see everywhere.”

He right, is he not?  Let’s be honest.  In America, at least, pop music has sporatically produced a certain amount of, shall we call it, “manufactured product” – performers who were either assembled, created or otherwise enhanced in order to manufacture entertainment value.  My first disillusionment with this came in the form of The Monkees when I discovered that they were a band “assembled” by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider as an American “Beatles” alternative, i.e., as a means of capitalizing on the success of the Beatles.  In the past, however, it seemed that society had a greater tendency to reject these disingenuous creations.

As technologies become more and more sophisticated, this trend toward entertainment value over authenticity is easier to achieve without consumer awareness.  It used to be a little more difficult to go back and “overdub” a particular performance which was out of tune or offbeat, because the engineer had to physically rewind the tape, record the alternative part on a separate recording track, and then sync the new part into the old one.  A bit more time consuming.  Now, we have software which can independently correct not just the pitch, but an isolated note out of a chord which may be out of tune for one reason or another.  It’s a matter of moving the mouse over the note, highlighting it, and correcting it.  The proprietary technology allegedly used by Swift, Antares Audio Technologies’ “Auto Tune,” allows singers to perform perfectly tuned vocal tracks without the need of singing in tune.  Wow!   It reminds me of the digital amalgams created for Madden 2010 by EA Sports by placing diodes all over football players and digitally recording their movements:  while these digital characters bear a striking similarity to their analog counterparts, they are not real.  Neither are the digitally created vocal performances.

To resolve the issue, we need to answer the question, “what do we want from our performing artists, whether it be a live performance or a recorded one? “ For me, I think I prefer simple honesty.  Or, as Milli Vanilli ironically put it, “authenticity.”  I like to hear performers with technically superior skills performing the music they created.  I really don’t want to listen to a digitally enhanced vocal performance. So, I do agree with Borchetta that everyone is not perfect, and that many people prefer a live performance that has the feel of being non-technical.  After all, who can forget that off key guitar note at the end of the Allman Brother’s recording of Statesboro Blues (a note which they DO NOT replicate in a live performance), or some of John Bonham’s almost syncopated rhythms on Black Dog?   Those performances, though not perfect, were authentic performances by persons with superior, technical skills.  And this is precisely where I differ from Borchetta:  I personally think most people, while they don’t expect perfection,  do expect their celebrities to be technically superior, at least with regard to their advertised talents. 

Judging from prior examples such as Milli Vanilli and Brittany Spears, and the audiences’ reaction to those performers, people have an expectation that an artist will be able to actually perform the music that was marketed to them through the media.  In other words, most people expect their performers to be authentic.  

Now, maybe Borchetta is correct, that Swift is, in fact, an authentic person who can communicate well through her gift of songwriting – again that’s not the real issue.  The real issue is that Swift is portrayed as more than a songwriter, she is portrayed as the performer with the “Best Female Country Vocal Performance.”  This representation is the crux of the issue.  The fact is, Duane Allman, although he might hit an off key note once and awhile, was a technically superior guitarist.  John Bonham, even though that one performance might fade slightly off the beat for a brief moment, was a technically superior drummer.  And finally, Stevie Nicks is a technically superior vocalist.  Thus, when juxtaposed alongside Nicks – no matter how many tours she sells out and no matter how many millions of CDs she sells – it became apparent that Taylor Swift, while an amazingly-talented songwriter,  is not and will never be a technically superior vocalist.  

Not to worry, though, she will most certainly always be the slightly off-key voice of a younger generation of admirers.  Or will she.  Time will tell I suppose.  But lest we put too much stock in past success as an indicator of future fan support, don’t forget, Milli Vanilli’s record was also multi-platinum.

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It’s been a while since my last blog entry, and I apologize to regular readers of Law on the Row.  I’ve been in transition mode, getting settled in  to my nlyndseyew offices downtown at 2nd Avenue North.  I was also invited by my good friend Mark Volman to teach a course at the Mike Curb School of Music in the Entertainment Industry Studies division and have been diving into that task.  It’s been a great year so far and I’ve made a lot of new friends. One of those friends is a student in my class, Lyndsey Highlander.  She is an amazing talent.  Lyndsey will be performing her music at 12th & Porter Lounge tomorrow evening, September 9th.  Doors open at 630 and music starts at 7pm.   In addition to Lyndsey, the line up includes a variety of genres, including artists Kesley Noffsinger, Russ Dickerson, Ashlyne HUff, and Marie Hines.   If you like country, soul, or pop- head on down and support some local artists and songwriters=[;l,!  The more friends, the better!

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I really enjoyed being on The Music Row Show on 1510 WLAC last evening with Scott Southworth.  I love their motto, “two guys fumbling their way through the music business, so you don’t have to!” 

If you didn’t catch the show (you should be able to download the podcasts from their website in a few days), Scott and I had a very enjoyable discussion about the future of the music industry and the idea of the “do it yourself” generation of musicians, artists and songwriters which has become my focus and mantra of late.  I believe that with today’s technological advances – the ScottHeinoiPod/MP3 player, ProTools, Macbooks, the Internet etc. – entertainers have the ability to do it themselves in ways never before possible.  The days when you absolutely needed to record deal to reach the fans is absolutely behind us.  As I said on the show, I do not believe that major labels are a thing of the past.  They have provided us with great music for years and will continue to play a vital, although probably modified, role in the development of new talent.  My point is simply that the alternate pathways are becoming more and more fruitful and plentiful.

During the show I brought up some ideas along these lines that I had read and heard about which involved some not-so-famous musicians/artists who have done just that – found a way to connect with their fans in unique ways and give them a reason to shell out some money for their product.  This idea is not unique to me, it grew out of an analysis of the Nine Inch Nails experimentsby Michael Masnick, who is the editor of the Techdirt blog and gave the keynote address from the 2009 Digital Summit, which you view here.

After Masnick gave a shorter version of this talk at Midem, people complained that Trent Reznick was a product of the record industry and, therefore, the experiment would not necessarily work with independent artists.  So, for thie keynote in Nashville, Masnick added in two examples of independent artists who were sucessfully selling product without the add of the marketing machines:

The first was Josh Freese.  Mr. Freese had a rather significant following of fans and found a very creative and unique way to generate sells of his new album “Since 1972”  from that fan base.  For some laughs, click on the link above and look at the variety of offerings.  A few of my favorite offering is the $50 level which, among other things, buys you a “thank you” phone call from Freese.  The $2,500 level buys you not only an autographed copy of the CD, but a drum lesson from Mr. Freese, a trip to the Hollywood Wax Museum with a member of the Vandals or DEVO, a signed DW snare drum and three items from his closet!  He sold two of these packages!  The $10,000 package includes the autographed CD and Snare Drum, but also includes a day with Freese at Club 33 and Disneyland, after which you get to drive away in his late-model Volvo (you have to drop him back home first)!  No takers on that one yet.

The second is the artist whose name I could not for the life of me remember last night during the radio program, but is Jill Sobule.  When she wanted to record an independent album entitled “California Years” back in 2008, she established the website www.jillsnextrecord.com in order to raise the money necessary to produce the record.  On the website, she offered varying levels of support, from the “Pewter” $50 level, which buys you a “thank you” on the CD liner, all the way up to the $10,000 “Weapons-Grade Plutonium Level” which buys you the right to sing on the album and play cowbell (Good guess Scott!).  Other interesting ideas are the $2,500 Emerald level, which gives your “executive producer” credit on the album or the $5,000 Diamond level which bought you a “house concert” from Jill and the right to charge admission!  She actually sold 2 and 3 of these levels respectively.  Ms. Souble had originally budgeted $75,000 for production and distribution and eventually raised all of that and them some.  For a full tally of the more than $88,000 she raised through this effort, here is her “tote board.”

Masnik’s point in the keynote address, and the model he derived from Trent Resnick’s NIN experiment, is that you must “Connect with the Fans” (or CwF) and give them a “Reason to Buy” (or RtB).  Thus, the equation is CwF+RtB = $$$$$.  This is the point I made on the radio program last evening – artists need to determine who their fan base is and find a way to connect.  Through that effort, the goal is to create an e-mail database of those fans so that you have a way to communicate with them (whether it be by e-mail blast, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook or whatever).  Once you’ve connected, the second step is to find a creative incentive that gives them a reason to buy.   As readers of my blog will remember, I’ve been preaching this stuff for years.  Stay tuned for more ideas!

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Once upon a time, there was a shinny new device called the iPhone that tried to climb up the mammoth hill that is the sole domain of the business smartphone.  “I think I can, I think I can,” said the iPhone, and it tried and it tried, but alas, it could only make it up about half way, and then it sputtered and. . . .   The end of this story cannot be written.

Obviously, you probably figured out by now that I have fallen victim to the allure driven by the site of all of my business associates who were sporting shiny black and white, Zen-like devices with colorful icons.  Yes, I bought an iPhone.  And while this article may be a bit off topic for my music business oriented blog, anyone who knows me knows that I am a techie through and through and enjoy new gadgets and technologies more than most.  Many of my friends call me the guru for good reason.  So, here goes.

As a long time fan of Palm, you might wonder why I did not wait for the premier of the Palm Pre.  The simple reason is that Sprint service does not reach to my residential area.  That was also the reason that, in recent years, I migrated to Windows Mobile, which I grew to love almost as much as the Palm OS.  However, finally I was convinced to switch to the dark side and try it with Apple.

My relationship with my iPhone is what I describe as a “love hate” relationship.  Yes, there are many many things I really love about the iPhone.  I love the way it feels in your hand, almost like a smooth pebble plucked from a lake in the mountains of Japan.  As I said in the story above, very “Zen-like.”  After all, that is the Apple way isn’t it?

apple-iphone-keyboard At first I thought the soft keyboard would drive me crazy.  Surprisingly, I’m getting used to it and pretty efficient, although I still maintain that a hardware keyboard is much more efficient – something the Palm Pre does beautifully. 

For the most part, on the positive side, I really love the web browsing experience.  The websites that actually work (more on this later) come up beautifully and quickly.  And, as a tech person, I really like the fact that there are scores of programmers writting countless applications for the iPhone.  For the most part, the marketing is true, “there is an app for that.”  That’s sort of where the “hate” part of the relationship begins, in that shaded area between the “for the most part” and the remaining part of 100%!  That’s the part that keeps the iPhone from being a full-fledged business phone.

Recently, Apple has been pushing the idea that the iPhone is the ideal phone for business.  There are several flaws with the iPhone which, until remedied, will prevent its widespread infiltration into the lockhold that BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile have on that sector of the market. 

So, what I’d like to address in this article is not the scores of more obvious deficiencies that have already been pointed out in the blogs and articles – no native voice dial, lack of full support for Bluetooth, no memory expansion, no cut and paste, no MMS, intolerable battery life, etc. – but the less obvious and definitely serious deficiencies that relate more specifically to a business person’s daily use of a smartphone.

First and foremost, and this has certainly been recognized by others, is  the lack of support for Javascript and Flash plug-ins in the built-in Safari browser.  If your websites relies on either of these, as my www.musicattorney.biz does, then what the iPhone visitor will see is a blue Lego-style brick with a question mark in the middle  (see the illustration).  What the hell is javathat?  Unforgiveable, that’s what it is.  There’s no other word for it.  And all simply because Apple doesn’t like to play nice with its competitors, particularly Adobe.  Shame on you Jobs.

Secondly, and this has always been one of my major beefs with Apple, the proprietary, i.e. closed, operating system.  Apple’s SDK, as one developer put it, “has more restrictions than Guantanamo.”  Developers require a certain level of integration with the OS in order to develop business-class applications to work around the inherent deficiencies in the native iPhone software.  But no – Apple is too proprietary for that.  This needs to change and quickly.

One perfect example of this is the calendar.  For some unknown reason, there is NO WEEK VIEW in the calendar.  No week view?  I don’t know about most business people, but for me, the week view is the “go-to” view of choice.  Yes, I know, there is a “list” view on the iPhone, but it’s not nearly the same thing.  To witness the difference for yourself, download the iPhone version of an old Windows Mobile classic, Pocket Informant and look at the week view in that software.  Ah, problem solved you might be thinking.  Just use the App!  Not so quickly:  Pocket Informant ONLY syncs with a Google calendar account.  Why, you ask?  That’s right, because Apple will not allow the programmers to access the base-level calendar on the iPhone and therefore the information in the iPhone’s calendar CANNOT be displayed in beautiful week view of Pocket Informant.  Yes, the week view is sort of a sore spot for me.  But is iconic, if you’ll allow me the pun, of the fallacy of the proprietary restraints Apple places on programmers.  There is absolutely no excuse.

phone While we’re on the subject of little annoyances, what’s up with dialing the damn iPhone?  There is no quick way to get to the dial pad.  Duh!!!  It is, first and foremost, supposed to be A PHONE.  Give us a quick way to access the dial pad!  When you press the pretty green telephone icon, you land on whatever segment of the program you happened to be on when you last opened it, whether it be voicemail or recent contacts.  You MIGHT get lucky and land on the dial pad.  But there’s a one in four shot that you have to press yet another icon to get to the dial pad to, dare I say it, actually make a phone call.   IT’S A PHONE!!!!

Since we’re on the subject, looking up contacts is probably a breeze for some MP3 stealing teenager with 25-50 contacts in their address book.  When they swipe their pimple-popping finger down the list I’m sure it flows beautifully for them.  I, on the other hand, like many other business people, have close to 2000 contacts in my database: not the same  “weeeee” experience with the finger-scrolling thingy!  There is simply no good way, on the native applications, to search for a contact and quickly dial them.  Fortunately, in this instance, there are several app for that developed by people who recognized this deficiency.

Now, getting back to the primary focus of the article, the third annoyance that prevents the iPhone from being a major contender in the business market is the lack of multitasking.  That’s right, multitasking.  The Palm Pre recognizes and addresses this need beautifully, as does the Blackberry Storm.  Both have methods by which you can easily and quickly switch between open programs seamlessly.  Not the iPhone.  With the iPhone, you must always return to the home screen in order to open a program (if you’re lucky enough to find it on the home screen). 

The home screen is designed, once again, for the casual and, dare I say it, younger user.  Each program is represented by a cute, colorful icon with neatly rounded edges.  Did I say cute?  The icon concept works great if you have only a few applications, but if you start to actually utilize the “there’s an app for that” concept and download more than a few pages worth of applications, you soon find that it’s difficult to locate the app you’re look for in any given moment (As an aside, you’ll Icons also find that you are limited to the number of applications you install on the iPhone – nine screens of 16 +4, i.e., 148 applications!).  Apple has some smart programmers, why not throw in some “categories” or “tabs” or some intelligent organizational method to use in sorting and filing the icons in manageable clusters?!  But no, that’s a little to complex for an Apple, I suppose – there’s absolutely NO file or icon management whatsoever.   

While we’re on the subject of wish lists and multitasking, why not allow me to have a “back” button that returns me to my previous program.  But no, if I want to look up someone’s phone number or address to include in a calendar event, for example, I have to hit the home key, thereby exiting the calendar, go find the contacts icon, press it, scroll through scores of contacts until I find the right one, then select that contact, memorize the information, exit the contacts program, find the calendar icon, press the calendar icon – OH MY FREEEEEKING *#*#*#!!!!!!  Isn’t Apple supposed to be the king of simplicity?  Somebody surely missed the boat on this one didn’t they?  It IS a simple concept – multitasking.  Apple didn’t get it.  Multitasking is one of the things that all successful business people have in common.

So, you might be wondering, if I am doing all this complaining, why do I still have and use the iPhone.  Well, actually as I said, there are many apps that do service many of my needs – an many that work around some of these issues.  For example, I utilize Freshbooks for invoicing with its iPhone app, I use SugarSync for file backup and access it with its iPhone app, I use Jott for dictating quick notes to myself and clients and it has a neat iPhone app, I use eReader for my literary needs, Transactions to get myself paid, Pandora to listen to music, Upvise for my shopping list needs, ReQall for my localized to do list, MyCast for weather, and My Banking online, etc. etc. You get the picture.  There are still many programs that fill many of my business needs. 

Oh, don’t get me wrong:  I could do ALL of these things on my old Samsung Blackjack with Windows Mobile.  But certainly the iPhone is, after all, the most recent iconic symbol of high technology and that is, after all, why I ultimately ended up with the iPhone.  And it does perform beautifully.

   I just hope that Apple has their act together enough to realize that their market is expanding, and in order to expand fully into the business sector, it might have to let go of some of its old methods of doing things.  Let the programmers in.  Let them design fixes to these flaws.  Let them develop an app for that!  Until then, in my opinion, the Blackberry Storms and Samsung Jacks of the world will continue to have a foothold in that precious business market that every smartphone desires to dominate.  Until then, Apple, repeat after me:  “I think I can, I think I can . . . .”

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As a Beatles fan, I thought I’d share this interesting little film, which animates an interview which Jerry Levitan conducted with John Lennon in 1969 when Levitan was only 14. 

Just to give a little historical perspective, 1969 was the year that Abby Road was released, the Beatles performed together for the last time, and was the year that Lennon and Yono conducted their famous “Bed-In” in Montreal Quebec.  A lot happened in 1969:  it was a time wApollo11patchhen the space race was in full force, with Russia and the U.S. leap-frogging each other into the great frontier, culminating in the U.S. landing the first man on the moon, Apollo 11, with Neil Armstrong’s famous “one small step for mankind”  proclamation.  The Cold War with Russia was at a boiling point.  It was a tumultuous time:  Nixon was president, the Vietnam war was in full force, the draft lottery was held for the first time since WWII, and Nixon proclaim the “Nixon Doctrine” that he expected Asian allies to be responsible for their own military defense.  Antiwar demonstrations were at their peak, so much so that Nixon asks for the “silent majority” to join in solidarity in support of the troops.  Some events that changed our lives forever that year include: a little Arkansas corporation called Wal-mart is formed, the first GAP store opens in San Francisco, the AIDS virus first spread to the US, the first automatic teller machine was installed in the US in Rockville Centre, New York and the first ARPANET link, the ancestor of the Internet, was established.  Culturally, Monty Python’s Flying Circus debuts in the UK, Sesame Street premieres, Arpanet and the New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts in Superbowl III.  Notable births that year included Brett Favre, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Matthew McConaughey, and Jennifer Lopez.  Notable deaths include Dwight D. Eisenhower, King Saud (Saudi Arabia), Judy Garland, Boris Karloff and Rocky Marciano.

Levitan produced the short, which was directed and animated by Josh Raskin for the Electric Company, a Toronto animation company in 2007.  It has won numerous awards, including the Best Animated Short awards from the American Film Institute, the Middle East International Film Festival, the Manhattan Short Film Festival, the Cleveland Film Festival, RiverRun International Film Festival and the Coup de Coeur award from the Regard-Saguenay International Sort Film Festival.  It was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) in 2008 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Thanks to my good friend Gray for turning me on to this film.

See these related links:

Film company website.

Read more about the film here.

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My friend and colleague James H. Harris III was recently certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.  Just over 300 Tennessee attorneys have completed the rigorous certification process established and required by the Tennessee Supreme  Court.

jamesh1 To be certified, Tennessee attorneys must met certain requirements, including a certain number of years of experience in their particular field of certification, demonstration of special education, passage of an examination, and recommendation from other judges and attorneys.

Tennessee attorneys are not required to be certified in a particular field in order to practice in that area, and in fact Tennessee does not have a certification process for every area of legal practice (entertainment law, for example, is excluded).  Currently, certification is only offered in the areas of Civil Trial, Criminal Trial, Bankruptcy, Malpractice, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Family Law and a few other areas. 

Another member of my association, Gail Bradford, is certified in the area of Estate Planning.

Congratulations Jim!

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Happy 2009!

Free photos from Fotolia

I’d like to take this time to wish all the readers of my blog, Law on the Row a very happy and prosperous new year.  I hope and trust that everyone had a safe and happy holiday season.  Thanks for paying attention to my musings over the past few years!

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After over 18 years of service to the organization, Harold Bradley is no longer president of Nashville’s Local 257 chapter of the American Federation of Musicians.  Dave Pomeroy was elected president last week by a vote of 675 to 449.  Out of it’s 2620 members, 1165 votes were cast in this election, which is more than double the number of votes cast in the 2005 election. 

This is most certainly the end of an era for Harold Bradley, for whom Harold I have a great deal of respect and admiration.  He began his long services as president of Local 257 on January 1, 1991 and later became the International Vice President serving the AFM’s International Executive Board, a position he will likely retain until 2010.  He received the AFM’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, the same year he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Bradley was also the first president of the Nashville chapter of NARAS and continues to serve as a member of the Grammy organization’s Board of Governors.

Harold and his brother, Owen, built Nashville’s earliest recording facility, Castle Recording Studio, in the early 40’s. As the architect of the Nashville Sound, Harold was part of Nashville’s original “Nashville Cats,” the A-Team, which included such notables as Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Buddy Harman and The Jordanaires. 

He is one of the most recorded guitarist in the world, and has been pickin’ on country albums for over 60 years, including work on such classics as Bobby Helms’ Jingle Bell Rock, Brenda Lee’s I’m Sorry, Roy Orbison’s Only the Lonely, Patsy Cline’s Crazy, Roger Miller’s King of the Road, Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man, Eddy Arnold’s Make the World Go Away, and Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, just to name a few.

Harold Bradley will always be considered a formidable force in Nashville’s music industry. 


Bradley’s replacement, Dave Pomeroy, is a well known and seasoned musician as well, having played electric and acoustic bass on more than 500 albums during his 34 years in the music industry.  Dave has played with artists including Emmylou Harris, Alan Jackson, Elton John, Peter Frampton and Chet Atkins, including work on 6 Grammy-winning projects.  Dave is also an independent producer and has produced numerous projects which can be found on website.

Pomeroy issued the following statement after winning the election:

"I am humbled to be elected to the office President by the members of Local 257. Thanks to everyone who voted and all those who volunteered to help my campaign.

On behalf of all members past and present, I thank Harold Bradley for his many years of dedication and service to this Local and the AFM. I am honored to be carrying on the historic tradition of leading Local 257 as we move into a rapidly changing future.

We have one of the most dynamic, versatile, and innovative music communities on earth, and I look forward to representing the best interests of all Nashville musicians, both here at home and around the world."

Pomeroy will begin his three-year term effective January 1, 2009.

In the same election, Craig Krampf defeated Billy Linneman for Secretary-Treasurer by a vote of 570 to 539.  Re-elected to the Executive Board were Bruce Bouton, Bobby Ogdin, Andy Reiss, Laura Ross, and Denis Solee, who were joined by new members Duncan Mullins and Jimmy Capps.


There is much controversy surrounding the election, which is viewed by some as “revolutionary.”  The scuttlebutt is that a riff has been developing since 2001 between the leadership of the AFM’s International Executive Board and AFM members who were also members of the Recording Musicians Association, the local chapter of which Pomeroy is president.   The RMA, a player conference sanctioned by the AFM, is a 1400-member organization of studio musicians with chapters in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville,  It is arguably one of the most active conferences in the AFM.

Bradley and Linneman, for better or worse, threw their support behind resolution put forth by Thomas F. Lee, the IEB President, and passed by the IEB in Las Vegas in June 2008, which threatened to “de-conference” the RMA at its September conference. 

Lee’s opposition to the RMA derived from stemmed from his promotion of a deal which eliminated so-called backend new usage “buyouts” of musical scores used in video games, something which the AFM was reluctant to do in the past.  Read more about his in this Variety article.

The lines of battle were thusly drawn, and the Local 257 uprising has been building ever since, with tempers flaring on both sides of the disagreement.  (A detailed, though somewhat biased, historical trail can found on the “Sounds” blog).  As a result of the June vote, Pomeroy and over 150 other local members of the AFM presented a resolution at the executive board meeting of Local 257 calling on the members to censor Bradley for his support of the anti-RMA resolution, which Bradley described as “ridiculous” and to which he responded:

This resolution, submitted by RMA President David Pomeroy, is intended to influence my vote! I will continue to vote my conscience (based on the facts before me), and I resent this attempt to force me to vote otherwise.

This statement appeared in an open letter to Local 257 in the July-September 2008 edition of the Nashville Musician, the Local’s newsletter.  This exchange ultimately led to the controversial election of last week.

The waves of discontent were also felt in Los Angeles, where RMA member Vince Trombetta was elected as Local 47’s president earlier this month, also in an apparent backlash against Tom Lee’s anti-RMA leanings.

The principals of democracy are certainly at work in the AFM, just as they were in the presidential elections this year!


I know Dave Pomeroy and I  believe he will be a caring and effective leader for the AFM.  I congratulate him and wish him the best in the new endeavor, knowing full well that he has some difficult struggles ahead in leading the opposition. 

I also know and respect Harold Bradley.  Harold is a Nashville icon who has been an effective leader of Local 257 for almost two decades.  I believe he wanted what he thought was best for the musicians and I know that he always had the musicians’ interests at heart.  I thank him for his service to the industry.

But no one is perfect.  While I do not intend to take either side in this debate, I will note that perhaps it was indeed time for a revolution.  There is no doubt now that new leadership is the order of the day. Nashville’s musicians are the backbone of our industry and they deserve adequate compensation and representation.  The majority of them now feel that Dave will do that and I commend their choice.  While no one really likes it when it comes, change is often a good thing.   I hope that at least in the Local 257, egos can deflate to normal and tempests can subside, and harmony can once again return to the organization that is at the heart of Music City.

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