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Re: [ARSCLIST] Public's rights....was offlist archival question from ARSC list member
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Fine" <tflists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Roger, it's not the "fan base's" right to hear what the artist, producer and
record company don't
> want to release. These are COMMERCIAL products. You as a fan do not own the
artist, you mearly
> purchase the right to own and enjoy what the artist puts forward as their art.
If you don't like
> that, take music lessons and make better art. My objection is that this
completism usually takes
> place at the corporate or worse, obsessive-fan or "academic" level after an
artist is dead or has no
> rights or input to the fate of their art. Led Zep is a good example of artists
who understood this
> from the get-go and kept possession of everything (and had a manager, Peter
Grant, who enforced
> their rights). So when Coda came out after the group disbanded, that was it,
that was all that was
> in the can (except for some BBC radio recordings and a couple of live tapes,
which had been out on
> bootlegs for years and were eventually released on CD). You're never going to
have some idiotic "10
> evolutions of Stairway to Heaven" reissue come out, thankfully. I think what
the Beatles did with
> Anthology was the worst kind of money-grubbing, but I can't say it wasn't
totally in control of the
> artists. I just chose not to spend one red cent on it because I think it
disgraces the memory of
> John Lennon and vastly lowered the esteem I had for the other three.
> If voyeuristic completists need to hear "something else," add the studio take
> count-off before a take and be done with it!
> By the way, writers and visual artists have died with boxes and boxes of
notebooks and sketches,
> much to the detriment of their art in most cases since the completist-fetish
"scholars" then go and
> put all their half-baked ideas (which dillute what they considered their best
ideas which were
> carried forward to finished art) on display in "new retrospective" exhibits. I
guess some people are
> drawn like moths to see how the sausage is made. Do they expect some of the
> rub off on them? It won't.
Yet, when we go back a bit further, to the "jazz age," the discovery
of an unissued (often rejected) item on a test pressing is considered
a major event...especially with artists like Ellington, where "alternate
takes" are often completely different from the issued version!
Part of the rock-music "completism" comes from a simple source...that
being the dominance hierarchy in Homo Sapiens, which demands that
folks can say "I got something you don't...nyah-nyah-na-na-nyah-nyah!"
But, some part of it comes from serious "rock musicologists" (many
classical fans would dismiss that as an oxymoron!) who are actually
interested in tracing the history and evolution of a piece of rock
music! Note that when applied to Beethoven, Ellington or "Uncle Dave"
Macon, this is considered valuable...!
Thus, "bootleg" or "pirate" illicit recordings of live performances
ARE "unfair" in the sense that royalties which should be paid never
were...but in the sense that they help establish the history of an
artist and his/her/its reperioire, as both evolved, they have
inarguable historic value!
Just consider that if recording Walkmans had existed in the 18th
century, we would have recordings of Beethoven's "greatest hits"
as they evolved musically, and as they were performed by then-
Steven C. Barr