So… It seems officials at The Latin Grammys have taken issue with my First Amendment rights.

You may remember that several weeks ago I emailed you about a client of mine, named Vayo. He is a hard working artist who is not using any major PR machinery to help bolster votes in the Grammy Awards theater. I asked you, as one of my readers, that you consider him for several categories. Many of you emailed back that his music was phenomenal. He thanks you.

But, instead of embracing this artist’s rights activist’s desire to help a solid professional talent with some good old-fashioned, 100% American, grass roots word of mouth hyping, LARAS’ president, Gabriel Abaroa, chose instead to threaten me for tainting the “organic” voting process.

“Solicitation of votes is not condoned by us,” said Abaroa in his angry email to me. Adding, “you have gone too far.”

Really!?! I’ve gone too far?!?! Imagine that. Ironic considering that LARAS is an organization claiming to be all about helping artists express themselves. Why is the idea of an artist that does not make headlines getting on the ballot a threat to NARAS’ little brother?

Do they actually want me (and the rest of you) to swallow the propaganda that NO ONE solicits votes for the Grammys?

So… no one EVER, emails people to suggest that they consider a nominee? Ever? Managers never try to raise awareness for their clients? Really? What kind of managers are they? Producers don’t ask peers to vote for nominated artists they worked with? Really?

If LARAS is serious about this policy then perhaps they should start by automatically eliminating ANYONE who whispers about a nominee. And NARAS, their big brother, should do the same.

Think that will happen? No. Because they’d have to eliminate almost EVERYONE. Plus, it would destroy the cottage industry of publicists who think of the awards show season in the same way that a Hampton’s antique store thinks of Summer.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, tries to influence awards shows. Asserting otherwise is naive.

So why come down on me?

Well, it seems that my joke about getting gifts from certain large Latin families to influence the voting process triggered some long standing resentment. Abaroa received over a dozen emails about me filled with ire and inquiries. LARAS is trying to distance themselves from NARAS, in this regard and clean up the bias of the past. Gabriel Abaroa is definitely the man for the job.

Truth be told, even though he was out of line with me, I really dig this guy. He’d never been a reader of Moses Supposes so he was not familiar with my style of wit.

And while I do have experiences that would justify my comments about Estefan influencing situations, it’s also true that this information pre-dates Abaroa’s five-year reign of the Latin Grammys. My sources now tell me that in the Abaroa administration both the Estefan andIglesias family juice is not what it used to be.

For half a decade, Abaroa has been doing what he can to rid the organization of special interests and undue influences. I think he’s doing a good but difficult job.

We talked via phone after an exchange of spirited emails. He apologized for his overreaction. I conceded that had I known that my comments would have offended anybody, I probably would have phrased them differently. (maybe <<smiles>>>)

Abaroa is now part of my mailing list, an avid Avalon reader and we are now buds.

I wrote back to him, “If you would like me to address, in a closed session [to the board] exactly how the process is influenced, I will be happy to. I stand ready to provide any data to help purge any corruptions that may exist under your radar.”

He has accepted. So, now that I’m on the case, watch out all you people out there trying to influence the LARAS process. If caught, you’re going down before the board of inquiry by the LARAS police and their vigilant sheriff, Abaroa.

Oh… and check out Vayo again. He’s very cool.



Jerry Wexler, a record producer of such greats as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, died August 15 in Sarasota, Florida. He was 91. The cause of death was congenital heart disease.

Although Jerry is no longer available for consultation, his work will live forever in the tapestry that has become the life aesthetic of American music. Rest in peace Jerry and we thank you.

2 responses to “GRAMMYS, GODS & MONSTERS”

  1. carlos Reyes says:

    It seems according to your publication that Abaroa is noy into the Estefan and Iglesias, and that he is trying to get rid of these influences. Well it seems that this asumption is correct. He is trying to get rid of them to position himself. He wants to have control and has come to the point where artists participating in latin grammy have to do deals with his personal company wireless latin entertainment. These news are all over facebook and the internet

  2. Fred says:

    This is what people are starting to realize all over the world. The “organizations” that are running the show and controlling everything are the one preaching to everyone else about freedom of expression and then attempting to stop that expression when it isn’t for their own interest.

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