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July 20, 2009


802disgrace: "As others have already done, I will no longer respond to his posts."

Who cares. At least we know who you are now.

From R. Blanc:

It's Michael Comins aka 802disgrace. When I'm maliciously attacked I slap back -- that's how it works.

Again, I'm honored to be referred to as a "disgrace" by this interloper who meticulously avoids the question of his bona fides and his presence here. That also seems to be "how it works." A count of the current "recent comments" shows Blanc-6, everyone else-4. He's undoubtedly sitting at his computer now, waiting to POUNCE.

As others have already done, I will no longer respond to his posts. Doing so is a colossal waste of time and energy.

Michael Comins
Local 802

It's Michael Comins aka 802disgrace. When I'm maliciously attacked I slap back -- that's how it works. You may have listed your credentials but your posts speak for themselves in reference to your character.

I've chosen to move this from the thread about friend Lenny Leibowitz because it fits better here.

From R. Blanc:

Michael Comins is one of the leaders and editorial writers of the largely discredited "Member's Party" in NYC, and apparently was or is a candidate for the 802 Executive Board. This guy who lies, smears, makes obscene references and malicious personal attacks, wants to be on 802's EB!

The "Member's Party" website begins by saying the Member's Party is "The Party of Rank and File Empowerment." Is this the same rank and file that Michael Comins consistently expresses contempt for?

Michael Comins wants to represent the "hobbyists" he despises? And wants to take his lack of integrity into the 802 Executive Board while writing flowery homilies about union solidarity? What an odious joke.

From what I hear others in NYC aren't buying his rabid radical crap either. Are the members of the Member's Party aware of what a dishonorable guy Michael Comins actually is? No wonder he's been anonymous on this blog.

Coming from a person whose apparent raison d'être is to post incessantly his name and thoughts on this blog - a blog about a union to which he does not belong - I consider it an honor to be called a "disgrace" and the MEMBERS Party to be "discredited" by him. I find it strange that he not only inserts himself into national AFM politics, but into Nashville and now NYC politics, as well. Since in his writings, he is for weakened unions, pro Chamber of Commerce, anti-RMA, pro Beck (has he taken his Beck rights?) etc., he seems nothing more than an agent provocateur for the National Ass'n of Manufacturers. He is who? and has done what??


1950 – Joined Local 20 to play in Central City Opera and later, Denver Symphony.

1958 – Took Chicago Lyric Opera general manager up on charges for her established practice of not paying season-contracted musicians for operas they weren’t scored for, winning the case and forcing her to put all withheld wages in escrow which was paid out at the end of the season. This forced the company to change its payroll procedures.

1960 – Joined 802 to play in the NY Phil summer season at Lewisohn Stadium.

1963 – Served on 802’s Theatre Committee. Became 2nd rank-&-filer to join 802’s new
Credit Union.

1964 – Became involved in 802 politics by joining insurgent group publishing the
“Musicians Voice” newsletter.

1965 – With three others, founded 802’s first free-lance concert committee.

1969 – Was active in formation of NY-RMA, the original RMA chapter now 40 years

1974 – Under new ERISA law, NY-RMA threatened lawsuit against AFM and Pension
Fund for poor investment practices causing radical change in investment strategies resulting in more robust modern AFM-EPF.

1975 – Began attending AFM national contract negotiations as NY-RMA representative.

1977 – Founding secretary, Co-ordinated Musicians Committee, a group of committee
members from all branches of the music business. I represented the NY-RMA.

1979 – With other CMC members, co-authored 802’s Special Projects & Services bylaw
establishing Special Projects Fund and representing the NY-RMA on the Advisory Committee
established by this bylaw.

1980 – Founding member of MEMBERS Party in preparation for December election.

1981 – Elected Vice-President of NY-RMA – began pushing for an International RMA.

1982 – Flew with the late Walt Levinsky to Chicago, Nashville, Toronto and LA, holding
meetings resulting in the 1983 formation of RMA International, now 26 years old.
MEMBERS Party swept Arons administration out of office in 802 election.

1983 – Elected as Secretary of new RMA International Board, taking part in April
Jingle negotiations featuring unified proposals from all five cities.
At September RMA Board meeting in Nashville, took part in discussing and formulating first low-budget phono scales.

1984 – First non-administration sidemusician ever to represent Local 802 at Film negotiations in LA – there as VP, NY-RMA and Sec’y of RMA International. Put on sub-committee to correct incomplete reporting to the FMSMF when scoring on a film done in more than one city, thereby assuring all musicians get credit.

1989 – Represented International RMA on AFM Blue Ribbon Committee.

2005 – Charter member of 802 Recording Committee. Voted unwittingly for Video
Games “Option 2” in 2006 on intentionally incomplete information, describing the flawed process in Allegro’s Musicians’ Voice column and AFM Observer.

2009 – Returned to LA Film negotiations.

I have played on approximately 25 major films, done many phono and jingle sessions, live TV and been concertmaster of four B’way shows.

I am written about in three different books – “Uncle Sam’s Orchestra – Memories of the 7th Army Symphony,” “For the Record” which lists me as one of its editors, and “Kenneth Schermerhorn – He Will Always Be The Music” the publishing of which I facilitated by arranging interviews for its author.


1. Bought and paid-up headquarters building in midtown Manhattan, something most considered an impossibility.

2. Tenure, pension and health benefits for NY’s free-lance orchestras.

3. Legal services fund to help defray expenses for a bargaining unit’s outside legal counsel.

4. Establishment of the right to take off 50% of weekly shows in addition to vacation weeks on B’way and still keep the chair.

5. Unionizing Off-B’way shows.

6. Direct involvement of rank-&-file committees in contract bargaining.

7. 802’s first viable strike fund.

8. 802’s payroll service called “Legit.”

9. 802’s first organizing dept.

Michael Comins
Local 802

I believe you are providing a valuable service to this Federation. You have never been afraid of the truth. I , like you am dismayed with the destructive policies of the AFM Leadership. A decade ago I was wide eyed and optimistic when I was asked to go to my first Sound Recording negotiation. Now I'm incredibly worried about this Federation and want to throw my hands ,up but I know too much of the truth to just walk away.
I've been very fortunate in my life. I have a wife and two great kids and I have had a varied career as both a successful musician ,and as a moderately successful songwriter and publisher. I perform live with some of the biggest Artists in the business and have managed to stay relatively healthy in my old age.
There are quite a few recording musicians with the same story. If you clumped all their life experiences together you would have thousands of years of collective wisdom. Wisdom that they would share for FREE !
Pray tell. Why has the Federation refused to take advantage of this intellectual gold mine and instead made deals without any input from the guys and girls that do the lions share of the work. Instead we are portrayed as some evil , greedy cartel that's only out for ourselves. Of course we pay a pretty big share of the work dues. Over half ,if my memory serves me well.
Shouldn't we have a voice in who get's hired to run our business, shouldn't we be able to vote on a politically motivated promulgated Video Agreement, wouldn't it has been nice to have some participation in the performing rights agreements? Nope ...unlike Symphony players that do get to control their own business we have to let Tom and the IEB run our show. The root of the problem? We have no input as a Player Conference. We have no oversight. Simple as that.
As if I needed the extra BS I have been asked to be the President of the Nashville RMA. As I said earlier, as long as there are two sides of the story floating around as to why this war continues, I will try to live up to the standard of Robert , and uphold the truth.
Bruce Bouton 257 Executive board, Nashville RMA President, Intl.RMA VP, human being

Good one Robert! Thank you.

Robert, I support your decision, and will post any further comments under my own name.

Thank you. A breath of fresh air!

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