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Friday, January 28, 2022

Frampton comes a-cropper

Peter Frampton is the latest rocking chair rocker to signal his virtue by demanding Spotify chose between him and Joe Rogan.

This will cost Frampton $1,700 because he cashed in on the royalties to his music long ago, as did another Censor Rogan old man named Neil Young. Young received $150 million for his catalog. Good for him. The miner for a heart of gold found some gold.

Frampton's battle with Spotify predates Rogan. Frampton has hated Spotify for a long time, complaining about the low royalties he receives. 

All they get now is a performance royalty, which Frampton complained about in a tweet on August 3, 2018, that said, "For 55 million streams of, Baby I Love Your Way, I got $1,700. I went to Washington with ASCAP last year to talk to law makers about this. Their jaws dropped and they asked me to repeat that for them."

While the news media quoted him and moved on to the next story, musician Will Chernoff did some research. Frampton did this to himself.

Chernoff wrote, "Music has two types of rights that you can hold:

"1. The rights to the song itself, music and lyrics. You get these rights if you wrote the song. You’ll earn royalty revenue when someone performs it live or when someone broadcasts a recording of it on the radio. Peter Frampton and Universal Music Publishing Group hold the rights to the song Baby I Love Your Way. No matter who else makes recordings of the song, they continue holding the rights to it.

"2. The rights to each recording. You get these rights if you made the recording. You earn royalty revenue when someone sells copies of it. A&M Records holds the rights to Frampton’s recording of Baby I Love Your Way on the album Frampton Comes Alive! However, Frampton and his publisher still hold the rights to the song featured on that recording. If I recorded that song, I’d hold the rights to the recording but not the song."

The bottom line is the bottom line.

Chernoff wrote, "Frampton only holds a tiny fraction of the rights, so he only gets a tiny fraction of the revenue."

He calculated that Frampton got 1.4% of the overall royalties on Spotify having earlier sold his music.

Songwriting royalties can be cash cows. This is why artists mainly sing their own music. 

The Beatles revolutionized the music world two ways. 1. They revived rock 'n' roll. A fellow at Decca Records turned them down saying guitar bands were on the way out. He learned. The man who turned down the Beatles, Dick Rowe, later signed the Rolling Stones.

2. The Beatles recorded their own songs mainly, which was fairly uncommon then. Yesterday and Something are beautiful pieces but those royalties get you not just a Bentley but the Bentley factory, if you want it. 

Poor Elvis. He died barely a millionaire because he failed to write his own songs. He sang for his supper while his songwriters ate caviar. 

My point is not about the music industry. All I know about the music industry is what I read in the newspapers. After 40 or so years working in that trade, I know how reliable newspapers are.

Frampton comes alive with praise from his fellow censors of Rogan. It costs him little.

Barry Manilow joined Frampton and Young. He too sold his 917-song catalog two years ago for considerably more than $1,700. One of the ironies is Manilow did not write I Write The Songs. Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys did. He joined that group when its main songwriter, Brian Wilson, could no longer tour with the group due to mental health issues.

(UPDATE: Manilow did not join Frampton and Young in this folly. I apologize to him and readers for spreading a lie.)

I have no problem with artists selling their rights. They had nice careers. Cash in. Do oldies concerts. Chuck Berry was wrong. Rock 'n' roll is not here to stay. Like big band music and American polka, it dies with its audience.

But I laugh at their virtue signaling over Joe Rogan. They want to bankrupt him. What's it cost them? 1,700 bucks? Heck, even I can afford that.

43 comments:

  1. Aging rockers become aging Karens. Who would have thought that? God, they're pathetic.

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  2. You are right, Don. Rock n' roll is not here to stay. It is dying like the aging rockers. My kids, who grew up with rock, listen to music that has no guitar riffs. It's rap or techno or some such music that does not have guitars in it. They are not even remotely interested in classic rock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both of my kids listen to a wide variety of music but they both love classic rock.

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  3. I say FPF (through a talk box of course)!

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  4. But Peter, YOU YOURSELF told Cameron Crowe that it was only about the music, man…about the people. (Liner notes to Frampton Comes Alive) I’m gonna start a GoFundMe for his sorry butt. Who’s in?

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    Replies
    1. I'll fund Bob Mayo, on keyboards. Bob Mayo.

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    2. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Gold.

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    3. Good call out on Bob Mayo! You may owe Pete some royalties. I think he wrote that and recorded it. LOL

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    4. If a lot of us give a penny each we can replace his $1700.

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    5. You won the Internet today with that.

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    6. Poor Bob Mayo died a few years ago

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  5. Manilow has tweeted that he has not asked Spotify to remove his music. According to him someone just threw his name out across the internet.

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  6. I worked in radio for nearly 30 years and filed the ASCSP, BMI and SESAC reports each year. These are for royalties paid to the writers. Astronomical fees only recently renegotiated when the radio industry sued and won. None of them would have sold a single record before the internet were it not for radio playing them! Now stations pay even more fees for their streams. SESAC was the worst. All they had was Neil Diamond and they extorted even small AM’s struggling to make ends meet. So cry me a river!

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, Sue…which is why El Rushbo completely blew up the existing format at that time. 3 hours, no payola? And even Chrissie Hynde (Don knows her, I think) pitched a bitch when My City Was Gone became recognizable. Look, artistes. You play music to make money. I get that. So don’t get all freaking sanctimonious.

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    2. I'd heard Chrissie Hynde was cool with it, she knew she'd cast the check and didn't believe someone playing a song showed endorsement. Of course I could be wrong.

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    3. Ruprecht is correct. She didn't complain because her dad liked Rush and she liked the money. I don't know if that's the correct order but she's made the comment more than once.

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    4. Chrissie always spoke highly of her parents. She clearly loved them.

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  7. So glad I never listened to that stuff. The music didn't die with Buddy Holly, but anything after '65 was just noise.

    They revived rock 'n' roll.

    Like Hell, they did. If you mean riffing off Chuck Berry and Little Richard is reviving, they had a little different sound, that's all.

    Rock 'n' roll is not here to stay.

    I know some 20 year olds who like it better than what they have today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neil Young once sang:
      "It's better to burn out
      Than to fade away".

      He's clearly faded away.
      Sad.

      Delete
    2. The Beatles didn't revive rock and roll so much as they made it mainstream. They did have a different sound. So did Led Zeppelin. So did the Rolling Stones. "Rock and Roll" is a pretty broad genre. Steely Dan always insisted they were a rock and roll band despite the obvious jazz influences. I don't believe a creator of music can unhear and be completely uninfluenced by the things you have heard and been influenced by.

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  8. Most artists - including the Beatles - sold their publishing rights. Michael Jackson bought them and then lost them to Sony when he borrowed a couple hundred million against the catalog.

    How much did Frampton sell his publishing rights for?
    He probably cashed in years ago.

    It's easy to be social justice warrior when you already milked out every dime and there's nothing left to risk.

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  10. As others have said here the kids that I know are constantly asking me for recommendations in music and film (I am 66yo) because their stuff stinks. Also, I have been giving out "Biden did that" stickers to most of these kids who gleefully put them up and on social media, too.
    Most are in HS and work as bussers or hosts but they are now driving and buying gas. For the first time in their lives they are experiencing inflation at the pump. They will be voting soon.

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  11. Frampton puts on a great live show. In fact, if it wasn’t for the success of “Frampton Comes Alive,” he might have only played state fairs and casinos.

    I caught him at Riverbend Chattanooga 1999, and first saw him in 1994 working the “has been circuit” at a very cool venue called “The Dock” on the Ross Barnett Reservoir (Barnett was the segregationist Dim O’ Cat MS Governor way back when they chopped miles of pines down outside of Ridgeland, dammed up the Pearl River to build it).

    Then there is “Baby I Love Your Way.” What can you say about a song used as background music in the late ‘70s by so many high school studs and babes with “Farrah Mall Chick Hair” to lose the virginity? Frampton chuckles about that one. Hardly a paragon or virtue, yet apparently also some old geezer who turns from Jekyll to Hyde and the drop of a guitar pick when the topic turns to Joe Rogan.

    Has he ever really listened to Joe Rogan, or is Frampton trying to get free press? He made a HUGE chunk of money with “Frampton Comes Alive” and he was still in his twenties. Can’t he therefore just pour himself a tall, refreshing glass of Shut the Fuck Up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last line, Nate…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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  12. Peter, do you feel like we do? No. You are a bitter old liberal.

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  13. Back in the 80s UK music reporter Tony Tyler wrote an excellent dissection of the music industry titled I Hate Rock And Roll. Most of it would still be applicable today if you changed a few names.
    He made the point there that songwriting royalties are significantly bigger than performance royalties. The Beatles, and Bob Dylan, created the performer/songwriter demographic. And as we've all learnt to our sorrow, most members of that demographic write a lot of shitty forgettable songs with the odd gem among the dross.
    And a lot of their performances aren't that great, either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting that we say "The Beatles" when actually John and Paul were significantly richer than George and Ringo. Precisely because of those song writing royalties.

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  16. From this morning on Instapundit: Related: Frampton comes a-cropper. “I laugh at their virtue signaling over Joe Rogan. They want to bankrupt him. What’s it cost them? 1,700 bucks? Heck, even I can afford that.”

    90Posted at 7:09 am by Glenn Reynolds

    Way to go, Don!

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  17. I am something of a history buff. I have read about quite a bit history spanning a number of cultures and time periods. For what it may be worth, I cannot recall ever reading about a situation in which would be censors were on the side of Good.

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  18. I read this morning that Joni Mitchell has joined Neil Young in opting out of Spotify. Don't it always seems to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?

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  19. Yup. And another Canadian. Joni is from Saskatchewan.

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  20. Reminded me of Aerosmiths, now prescient “Walk this way”. It is not enough I lend my ears to their talent, but have to lend my soul.

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  21. Several years ago, if I recall, in one of those groupie-written rock 'n roll tell-all books, the groupie-author said that Peter Frampton was unusually tiny with regard to ... how do I put this delicately ... his masculine endowment. This information seems to corroborate that detail.

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    Replies
    1. You sure that doesn't have more to do with her cavernous vag

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  22. What's not mentioned, at all, is that these people are trying to milk out a living on something they did 40 or 50 years ago. What's that phrase? "What have you done for me, LATELY?" Seriously, I'm nearing 60 and I look at some of my engineering projects from my 20's and think "holy heck that's bad". I certainly don't want to be remembered for it. Yet that's all they do. I like that Robert Plant won't play any of his old stuff. Takes guts. And in this economy most of the normal people will be working until their 70+ and still be broke. So cry me a freaking river about royalties, IDC.

    ReplyDelete
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