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May 14, 2009

Comments

A trombone repairman? Oh my god! Who would ever make such an accusation. Come on, can't we play fair here?

I understand this is highly contentious subject matter, producing all kinds of reactions. It is the nature of the situation and resolution will no doubt take time and a lot more dispute.

I don't think I wanted to get into this any more than anyone else -- it just happened this way.

Having said that, my credentials as either an AFM member or real musician have been questioned. Ok, whatever. But since my current AFM membership seems to be important I would like to know -- and this question is just put out there generally, not to Antony specifically -- what about the Guild?

What percentage approximately of RMA-LA members are supportive of the Guild idea? And what does RMA leadership think about it, if anyone knows?

Obviously support for a Guild might call into question AFM loyalty. So who's loyalty aside from mine should be in question?

As for the vicious personal attacks you're being targeted with by the RMA supporters, it's all they've got left when you present them with indefensible facts like the continued existence of the PMG, attacks on the AFM, etc.

Rick Blanc has been accused of being a trombone repairman, someone who's not an AFM member, and someone who's not a recording musician. These do not seem to be "vicious personal attacks."

I find it telling that keys88 regards them as such. Perhaps keys88 is projecting a very thin skin onto others.

Rick - this is so over. I don't know what you want me to say, but apparently my words mean nothing to you. If you cannot accept what I tell you about my intent not to 'slap' you with the 'ex' term, then what else is there to say? I've told you what I meant.

As for the Guild, I don't know what the RMA general membership thinks about it. Why do you ask me? Ask Phil Ayling, or another RMA officer.

If you say your interest is the demise of the RMA, that doesn't sit well with me. I cannot make you like the RMA, but don't be surprised when you get heated responses, not only from me, from those who feel it has been a vital part of their professional lives. And I would still think that relevant discussions would be more likely amongst those with an active and continued vested interest in AFM recording.

Now, let's get this beyond the personal. My feelings are not hurt; yours need not be either.
Regards.

Antony, I'm not sure you are being honest with yourself. You've done some pretty serious dissing so don't act the victim.

For ex.: "As for the remark: "and an ex-recording musician at best" - it was not meant as a slap, but simply that you are not NOW a recording musician."

Of course it is a slap. First, relevance? Second, if you mean to say that I am not now a recording musician -- which by the way you don't know one way or the other -- then you say 'you are not now a recording musician.' But you said "ex-recording musician at best." So what does that mean?

Now the Guild: I didn't say you personally had anything to do with it but it comes up in the context of these discussions and the issue of my current membership comes up as if it were something important so I simply ask: if AFM loyalty is such an issue, at least in the case of me, what does it say about the RMA that this Guild is lurking as an alternative to AFM membership? I would really like to know. Is it an idea generally supported by RMA members, including its leadership?

"I have no mission; only to defend the business I know from needless destruction."

That is a mission. Nobody is trying to destroy the business. My interest is in the demise of the RMA, not the business. Obviously there are differences about how the business should be managed, where it is going, union etc.

"Your arguments (or you) can only be discredited on the basis of not being in the business anymore!!"

Maybe that makes sense to you but not to me. I've spent my whole life "in the business." If I haven't done a session in say, 6 months, does that mean my voice is discredited. It's a silly assertion.

Rick,

You'll be waiting a long time to hear anyone explain the PMG - the "organization that shall not be mentioned". As for the vicious personal attacks you're being targeted with by the RMA supporters, it's all they've got left when you present them with indefensible facts like the continued existence of the PMG, attacks on the AFM, etc. When all else fails, it becomes a witch hunt with these people, and you've seen once again how nasty and vicious they can be when the truth gets too uncomfortable for them.

Rick - before you fly off the handle again, just a few things: I never called you an idiot, a moron, shameless, arrogant, a jerk, needing meds, irrational, buffoon, hyperventilating etc., nor do I have any desire to smear you. Now, let's go through your points.

The Guild - what makes you think I have or had anything to do with it? How can I demonstrate loyalty one way or the other?

As for the remark: "and an ex-recording musician at best" - it was not meant as a slap, but simply that you are not NOW a recording musician. That's how most people would interpret my words, and nothing else was intended or implied. Sorry if you took offense.

I have no mission; only to defend the business I know from needless destruction. I didn't start any of this, nor did I ever mean to be on this blog for so many months!

And how can you say that you don't have an ax to grind? All you do is berate and attack my colleagues and friends, and many of your own too, I would assume. I mean you no harm; why do you wish us harm? Your arguments (or you) can only be discredited on the basis of not being in the business anymore!!

And you have said a lot of unflattering things to me, which also reveal perhaps you know less about me than I do about you. Does that entitle you to launch into such a tirade?

C'mon, Rick! Let's not let this degenerate into the gutter. Robert's new rules of posting were supposed to preempt this from happening!!

And one more thing Idiot. What about the Guild? Is that how you demonstrate your AFM loyalty?

"and an ex-recording musician at best"

And pray tell Antony, what does this mean? Ex-recording musician at best? What would be at worst? What the hell do you know about me or anything YOU IDIOT. And what about "ex." You are a moron. And let me point out you are shameless. You consistently get things wrong but that's ok because you're on your mission. That is the definition of arrogance. And shamelessness is one of the worst moral failings of all. Congratulations again Antony you jerk. What an idiot! Amazing.

"He's got quite an ax to grind which speaks louder than anything he has to say, so nothing he says also can be taken at face value."

How ridiculous. Antony you come up with some of the most idiotic stuff. You don't make any sense half the time. If you had half a brain you would at least think about what you write. Your desire to discredit me and smear me is so strong you must be frothing at the mouth. Time for your meds!

Just so everyone knows the real history of Seattle and the threat of fines - I already detailed this story months ago on this blog. In fact, it wasn't Tom Lee at all behind the $50K fine. It was put together by attorneys, under former President Fuentealba. This was many, many years before the present situation came to pass, let alone the formation of PMG! Tom Lee had no intention of taking the fines a single step further, which he admitted to his board. There would seem to be no conceivable way that 'Keys' doesn't know this; he has the facts available to him, but chooses to lie and foster a giant myth on this blog. Nothing he says can be taken at face value.

On the other front, Blanc is now admittedly a non-AFM member, and an ex-recording musician at best. He's got quite an ax to grind which speaks louder than anything he has to say, so nothing he says also can be taken at face value.


Maybe I wasn't very clear. It seems much ado has been made of whether or not I currently belong to the AFM. But the RMA, with all their grandstanding, doesn't seem to demonstrate any loyalty at all to the AFM when they start talking Guild. What's that all about? At least I'm defending the AFM and trying to preserve it. And yes, I believe it can be improved, like any institution.

"Lee threatening Seattle"

I was against threatening musicians with draconian fines and I'm still against it. I believe people should have the right to work without harassment -- from anyone.

You're a hoot, Rick. The only problem with Lee threatening Seattle musicians is that this is all he did!

"during the same period that the recording musicians were busy creating a new guild to compete with the AFM (the infamous Professional Musicians Guild - PMG). Hmm... Lee takes decisive action to protect the livelihoods of recording musicians with regard to Seattle, while a group of radical recording musicians creates an anti-AFM, competing guild."

Quite. But remember, even though Antony denies it he is really very emotional and thus semi-rational most of the time.

"And he's entitled to post on a blog regarding something he literally has nothing to do with!"

100% wrong Antony. Congratulations.

"I heard he's a good trombone repairman; maybe one of the best. He's not a recording musician, and apparently not even an AFM member."

Antony you're right I repair trombones -- and other brass. But I have also done a very large amount of recording, so you are wrong on part II. You name it -- I've recorded it. So you must be careful about the assumptions you make.

And so you and Dave can relax: right now I am not an AFM member. When and if I find myself in a jurisdiction not controlled by the RMA (which leaves out the two locals I quit -- LA and Nashville) I will happily join up again.

Time to bring out the knives, eh Antony? Your anger is showing again...

"In the end, the AFM, but not its members - any of them, will get what it deserves for standing by idly while one man on a personal grudge mission gets his way."

What affects the AFM inevitably affects its ability to provide services to its members, so despite the nonsensical disclaimer, Antony's threat effectively targets all AFM members. I guess we can expect more well-funded legal attacks from the recording musicians if Antony's threat is to be taken seriously.

And speaking of threats, let's not forget that Tom Lee was the guy who publicly threatened AFM members with $50,000 fines for participating in Seattle-recorded films. That sure doesn't sound like a guy working against the interests of recording musicians... This, during the same period that the recording musicians were busy creating a new guild to compete with the AFM (the infamous Professional Musicians Guild - PMG). Hmm... Lee takes decisive action to protect the livelihoods of recording musicians with regard to Seattle, while a group of radical recording musicians creates an anti-AFM, competing guild.

He stuck his neck WAY OUT on that one, and has taken more than a little flack for those threats. And what thanks does he get from those whose livelihoods he was trying to protect? Merciless personal attacks.

This, while the RMA doesn't dare speak a negative word to film companies who are now outlawing AFM recording in their composer agreements! Before the recording musicians complain too loudly, they should look at their own actions. Perhaps if they spent half the time and money they do attacking the AFM for things they think MIGHT hurt their livelihoods in the future on actually taking action against those who are hurting their livelihoods today by directly prohibiting AFM recording on their films, their arguments might be taken more seriously by more AFM members.

Welcome to 'keys'' world. If you question the origins and blatant agenda of anyone who attacks all that you stand for, it's a "witch hunt". But it's a one way street because this guy has an awfully thin skin. The people who openly campaign to decimate the livelihoods of so many should be called on what they are trying to do. Keys = downbeat = same exact words and phrases as Tom Lee, and never was a recording musician. By downbeat's own admission, he never received an SMF check. The SMF has 21,000 recipients annually! But not downbeat/keys! He's just another embittered individual who's not in the business, but yet is so passionate about completely dismantling other peoples' business.

Rick Blanc mentioned the word "entitlement". I heard he's a good trombone repairman; maybe one of the best. He's not a recording musician, and apparently not even an AFM member. And I suppose it's OK to use people from China to overtake his livelihood and cut his wages by 80%! They deserve the work, right? It is a Global economy, after all. And he's entitled to post on a blog regarding something he literally has nothing to do with!

And a bunch of people in other cities are "entitled" to take work by undercutting their own union brothers and sisters? So who's got the entitlement, the people who moved to LA, risked all, and did everything it took to break into the business at its core location, or those who live far away and decided they are left out"? Talk about entitlement.

Going back to 2003 Tom Lee has been heard at conferences saying he wants to get rid of the SMF because those musicians in LA make "too much money". That's what this is all about. Anyone with common sense knows that if he wanted anything else he's had a thousand chances to change course. Nobody with the backbone or moral fortitude to stand up and say: "this is all BS, you've all been set up for one person's personal agenda". If Tom Lee went away tomorrow, this would all stop cold. There is no-one else out there who would carry this destructive torch, and with such a relentless passion.

In the end, the AFM, but not its members - any of them, will get what it deserves for standing by idly while one man on a personal grudge mission gets his way. Half the IEB knows this to be true and the other half just a hungers for a few trips and 20K/yr.

"you disrespect the entire organization"

No. Wrong again. To be clear: I mean no disrespect to the organization (AFM) -- to the contrary. I mean every disrespect to the RMA. And I'll pontificate as I see fit -- thank you very much -- one of the privileges of freedom.

So, Rick, still looking for your Union card? I already know (and could care less) what you and "The Committee" think about me,
but by not even being a member while you endlessly pontificate about all things AFM (and Nashville)you disrespect the entire organization and deserve no further response from me or any other ACTUAL AFM member. I am going to work for the betterment of my Union and my Local today. What are you doing?

"So that's a "no" on my request for some quantitative data?"

Like an unimaginative bureaucrat no thought process begins without a 'supporting document.' Robert, you are what is known as a 'useful idiot.'

"There's nothing left to say."

Antony, you never had anything to say to begin with.

Quote Levine one more time:

"The venom displayed by keys88 towards those currently working in film scoring is, quite frankly, stunning. It is reminiscent of nothing so much as another marine character’s obsession with Moby (Phil) Dick. And it goes a long way towards explaining why he/she/they seem to be blind towards economic realities."

There's nothing left to say.

Antony Cooke leads the witch hunt with: "The key (no pun intended) question, of course, in all of this is: "I wonder what the DOL thinks about the use of union resources to maintain sockpuppets?" Seems time that someone in the know, or with the necessary know-how, took a look at this to see if there is anything to it. If so, I bet the 'recording wars' would shut down in a real hurry."

So I suppose I could say that I'm "convinced" that 802fiddler is a sockpuppet for Phil Ayling, and someone needs to "take a look at this"? Accusing people of secret affiliations that are impossible to deny or confirm - the heart of any good witch hunt.

Antony, your bitterness at what has happened in the recording industry is showing at every turn now. Faced with global competition, instead of looking at getting more competitive, you imagine conspiracies that need to be "looked into" and critics that need to be silenced ("what a deal... take it, Robert!"). You need to find a target for your frustration, but - unwilling to confront the real challenge - you find it easier to target some anonymous poster (me) on an Internet blog.

Whether I'm here or not will make no difference in the competitive forces facing recording musicians in the AFM. To think that "unmasking" me would somehow end the recording wars, while flattering, only illustrates your own desperate frustration to blame somebody for problems that are of your own group's making and challenges you are simply unwilling to face directly.

A gathering of wusses, meatheads and Marxists. Oh, and a hyperventilating buffoon.

So that's a "no" on my request for some quantitative data?

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