To Finalize Our Month of “BEING,” in which EntreMusicians can take advantage of a few of the Wonderful Opportunities which await those with Initiative, we’ll end September in a space that I cherish the most .
I have been passionate about Music Publishing since the eighth grade. I was the kid who read all of the liner notes on the album. I learned the Record Label Names, Executives, A&R Personnel, Where the Album was Recorded, Mixed, Mastered – Who the Engineers were, Producers, Arrangers, Session Players – Who the Songwriters were and then… Publishing? ASCAP, BMI, SESAC? What does this all mean?
I started reading. I went to the library and borrowed “Making It With Music” by Kenny Rogers and Len Epand. I didn’t return it. For the first time I heard and realized that the Song is the Most Important Instrument in Music and the Person(s) who Owned/Controlled the Song’s Publishing will be the Most Important Instrumentalist(s) overtime.
Upon further investigation, I found that the Term (Lifespan) of the Copyright lasts 70 years after the Death of the Composer(s) – or up to 120 years in certain situations.
Further along, I heard the incredible Horror Stories of the Thousands or more Songwriters who were completely skewered out of their Publishing Ownership, Royalties or Both, ignorantly traded for the Price of Fame, a Shiny Cadillac or even a House, while the Publisher went on to earn Millions. To add greater injury, I learned that although Tin Pan Alley may have started as a true collaboration between Songwriters & Publishers, many of the Corporate Conglomerates who Took Over Music and Earn The Most, by far, are Attorneys – some who can’t even whistle in key or snap their fingers on beat. Remember Paul McCartney of All People only recently began owning the rights to his music, having to BUY It Back!
I determined early on that more important than practicing my drums (which I do regret to some extent) that I would become a Student of Publishing, Start My Own Companies and Keep All that I could. I would Never, Ever sign away ALL of it, no matter how much moola I was offered, unless it was purchased outright. Overtime I saw how Technology alters the Art & Nuance of Publishing and that I Need to Pay Attention Often. It’s like being married!
Before I recommend that You BE Your Own Publisher (and I strongly suggest you do), I must admit that there are some very reputable publishers out there. All of them are Not Snakes, but You Need to Do Your Homework and Triple Check It Before Signing. Publishing is Extremely Difficult Work and since Your Territory IS The World, having a Strong Sub-Publisher Looking Out for Your International Affairs is Vital. Since Publishing can easily become a full time job, provided You’ve Got a few Songs shaking on Radio, TV and/or Film, You should Employ a Loyal, Committed Team who can Advise and Monitor the Very Best Deals for Your Career.
Remember, Your Number One Goal is to Help Your Song Continue Earning Money for You, Even Years After You Write/Release It. You Want Your Songs to Reap Royalties for Your Family and Your Estate when You Can No Longer Pick Up Your Drum Sticks. Publishing is a Space where “Exploitation” of Your Work is a Very Good Thing – So Having Multiple Artists in Multiple Genres Record Your Songs is a the Lifeblood of Your Team. Think Prince, Stevie and for crying out loud, Think Diane Warren!
I’m blessed to be entrusted with publishing songs for several songwriters in my area. It’s a Trust that I Hold Sacred and Dear. I Preach Publishing and Make Sure They Know As Much as I Do about this Business and the Activity of their Music. Our Terms and Conditions are Beyond Fair, meant to Lease and Not Own, so that All Ownership and Control is safely reverted back to them. I haven’t made nearly as much in publishing as I’d like to – YET! But there’s always that Next Project, TV Commercial, Indie Film or Up & Coming Artist that keeps us Alert and Hustling!
Go and Do Likewise!
By The Way, If You Happen to be reading this Today, Thursday 9/28, Join Me with Trish Hennessey on Hybrid Jazz, where we will be discussing our Entire September “BE” Series and Celebrating the Humanitarian efforts of EntreMusicians in light of the recent Hurricanes! You can also Listen to the Archives!
I’ve been in an intense Azymuth mode lately. I’m listening to their “Outubro” on vinyl as I post this.