Wednesday, February 3, 2010
1981 demo...You Oughtta Be Ashamed
I was never quite sure, as I have said, why Dennis did not spend more time trying to get a label to release the songs or do an album, instead of talking to other lawyers about manipulating me into giving him all my copyrights.
He ended up blowing the whole deal and secured nothing. His thinking had been squeezed through that music industry shit by lawyers, and he had become a different person than the one I set out to work with months before.
By this time I was more protective of the newly recorded masters than I had ever been. I did not leave them in the care of anyone. I kept them in my care, and as a result I have all the 24 track masters in my possession today.
As our relationship ground downward toward it's ultimate demise, I started readying myself for the dismal reality of facing once again being homeless and broke.
The bet was that Dennis and George could afford to wait me out, and that I would succumb to their demands eventually, because of money.
What they did not know, was that I was determined to go down with the ship and retain ownership of my work. That was the primary dispute: the songs I had written that had been part of the RCA deal.
In legal reality I owned all the songs and masters from that deal and was determined to keep them, which I did.
At one point Dennis showed me a type written page with the titles of 52 songs which he claimed to own in part. I told him "You can't copyright a title, Dennis, so you own a piece of paper with songs titles on it, not the songs."
He disagreed with me emphatically, but I explained that he had done nothing about the copyrights except write down the titles.
"They are listed in a contract you had drawn up by some asshole, Dennis, but I will not sign that contract, because it is different than our original agreement. The songs were written and copyrighted by me, and unless I sign your contract, and give you a percentage, you have nothing."
"You can't do that," he said, "we have a deal."
"Yeah," I said, "a deal where you and George try to get more out of me than was part of our original coversation."
Dennis looked at me as if someone had cut his legs out from under him. "Well wait a second," he stammered, "we have a..." I cut him off!
"We had an agreement that you and George would get a percentage of the publishing and masters, if I put up the music and the talent, and you and George put up the money. I will honor that agreement, but you won't. You want more than that, and I will not give it to you."
"Well I have legal rights in this matter," he said, "and I will..."
"What sue me? Go ahead, Dennis. You and George can sue me for the rights to my songs. That is something I'd love to see. You put up the money and I wrote and recorded the songs. What are you going to sue me over? It is you and George that are violating the basis of our original agreement, not me."