Moses Avalon – Confessions of a Record…

Confessions of a Record Producer
A survivor's guide to the new music business
Table of Contents

Fast Forward and ReverseFast Forward and Reverse (click to read the introduction
Part 1: The Game
Part 2: Scams and Shams










Part 1:  The Game
The Players
The Pros vs. the Artists
The Pros
Conflicts of Interest
A&R at the Indie Level
Publicists, Booking Agents, Tour Managers, Image Consultants
The Creators
The Survivor
The Jobber
The Artist/Producer Conflict
Control Freaks
Counteracting The Effects Of The Control Freak
Companies, Companies, Companies
Record Companies
Production Companies
Publishing Companies
Performance Rights Organizations
Musicians’ Unions
Publicity Companies
Independent Promotion Companies
Distribution Companies
Rights Clearing Houses
Harry Fox Agency
The Deal
Understanding Distribution or  Why are there so many logos on the record?
The Big Six
What is a real Independent label?
One Deep and Two Deep Labels
The Major Label Deal
The Major Label Deal From The Artist’s Point Of View
Recoupable Financing-The Moving Goal post
The Big Deal Real Deal Numbers
But how long does it take to see some money?
Egghead Box I
Packaging Deductions & Giveaways
Breakage-The 90% Rule
The 3/4 royalty
Egghead Box II
In The Hole
Returns, Reserves & Cutouts
Cross-Collateralization-Robbing Peter To Pay Paul
Timing success & A&R
Need And Greed
Publishing Deals – The 200% Pie or 100% of Something Is Better Than 200$ Of Nothing
Three Quarter Rate
Publishing Advances, The Interest-Free Loan At 33% Interest
Egg Head Box III
Artists Are In The Believer Business
The Major Label Deal From The Producer’s Point Of View
The “All-in” Deal
Non “All-in ” Deals
The Spec Deal
When The Producer Wants Publishing
The Major Label Deal From The Record Company’s Point Of View
The Distribution Vig
To The Writer
To The Artist
To Musicians
Giveaways, Returns and Special Programs
Packaging & Manufacturing
One Deep And Two Deep Label’s Vig
Egg Head Box VI – Breakdown of costs to the label
Image Molding
A bit of history
Improving upon the truth
The Single
Who picks the single
The Hit Parade Charts & “The Hit Single”
Billboard or Bullboard?
Other types of charts
Promoters and Payola
The Birth of the New Indie
The Independent Record Deal  From The Point Of View Of The Record Company
The P&D Deal
The Hot Sheet – How Records Get To The Store
Egghead Box V
The Independent Record Deal  From the Point of View of The Artist
Egghead Box V
Publishing and Royalties
Speed Trends
Super-duper Cross-collateralization
The Baby Deal
The Artist/Producer Production Deal
The Mini Record Deal
Watch out!
The Joint Venture
The “Work for hire”
End-zoning – Cutting out the Producer
Informal Agreements
Contraceptive Contracts
The Vanity Label
The Virtual Budget & The Virtual Producer’s Fee
Producer’s Compensation Packages
5% royalty
Buy-Outs, or the “Fuck you” clause
“Go Away” in a production deal
The Producer As a Virtual Partner
Where’s My Contract?
Holding The Masters
What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You
Fucking The Producer, The Re-record
Letters Of Direction (LODs)
Artist’s LODs
Wrap up – Who Earned What?
Record Company


Part 2: Scams and Shams
The Myths Of Copyright Protection or  “Hey, They Stole My Song”
Suing Stars
Mick Jagger and “She’s The Boss”
New Kids On The Block and “All My Love”
Michael Bolton and “How am I Supposed to Live Without You”
2 Live Crew and Pretty Woman
What exactly is a copyright?
George Harrison and “He’s So Fine”
Collecting your money
Master Fraud
Clears, Cleans and Fake Masters
Soundtrack Scams and So-called CD Samplers
9 to 1 publishing (Or, Why Is There Only One Good Song On The Record?)
Sneaky Lawyer Stuff
The “I forgot to mark the contract” Trick
Virtual Terms
The Little Squeeze
Decoding of an actual Warner Brothers record contract
Letters Of Misdirection
The First Draft Is The Coldest
“Voted out.” The Band as a Corporate Entity
Miscellaneous Myths And Untruths
A&R Dogma
A Good Promotion Kit Is The Key
Gigging a Lot is Good Exposure To The Industry
Second Sendings
“We love it but . . . ”
Labels Sign Bad Acts For Tax Write-offs
The Mercy Signing
Production Boners
You Need A Master Quality Demo To Get A Deal
You Must Record Your record On 24 or 48 Track Formats
“We get to say what our album cover, posters etc. will look like”
Why The Cassettes Sound Muddy
Marketing Mishigas
Lots of Airplay Assures Big Record Sales
Great Reviews Mean Great Record Sales
Record Industry Slumps Are The Direct Result of Poor A&R Decision Making
The Virtual Record Store – Will albums be sold on the Internet?
Getting Credit Where Credit Is Due
Look For The Union Label
Major Label Philosophy On Giving Credit To Sidemen and Engineers
Songwriters Credit
How to Get Even
The Co-Production Credit
Industry Census
Are All the Powerful People In The Business Jews?
Women Are Discriminated Against In The Music Business
The Big Picture
Do record companies really make any money?
Lost Leader
A Map of the Financial Universe
Check List for Disaster
A Final Word