Beatles Tracks in London

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Nearly everyone has heard this song at one point in their lives, and wondered what in the world happened there? The original song title by Iron Butterfly was supposed to be “In The Garden of Eden,” but something happened on the way to the studio….or who knows, someone’s words got tangled behind their eye teeth, and the rest is history.

Why is it historical?  Because no one forgets the story behind this song.

Since August 4, posts on this site refer to Copyright Officer Stephen Carlisle’ s article:

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! The Department of Justice v ASCAP

Carlisle is talking about the 75-year marriage between music and copyright law that has produced lots of fighting and no sex. And after all these years it looks like  D.I.V.O.R.C.E. is imminent.

So what are songwriters, co-writers, performing and recording artists to do?

Oddly enough, there are many things that can be done, and this series of posts should give you an idea where to start and what to do thereafter.

In an impractical sense, if copyright law goes to the dogs it’s likely one of the best things to happen to music since….well, you be the judge.  First, and foremost, music and the Internet do not mix because it isn’t personal. There’s no energy between the performer and the listener; and the sound quality is crap. To that end so is a majority of the music.

Pointing my finger at you, forget about the internet and consider where you live as a highly advantageous asset.  It’s where friends and family are, your support group, the people who want you to succeed. If you live in Sacramento, how many people in Seattle will actually come to hear your music live? How many music directors or entertainment editors will invite you for an interview?

That number is likely real close to zero.

At this juncture, your best option is to make yourself a known quantity within about a 250-mile radius of your home as a short term goal. Aside from being a musician, who are you and why are you an interesting person? What audience can you bring to listen to or read an interview that’s valuable to your local radio, newspapers or TV?

Consider these things carefully.

Then you get on the phone with local radio stations, the newspaper, and local TV stations. You have a story you want to talk about. The story is about you, what you’ve done with your life, why you write music and why music is important in the first place. Not why music is important to you…but why is music important.

If you cannot do this, there’s likely a bigger problem. It would be unkind to say :

  • Only a narcissist would ask someone to indulge their time listening to something so personal as a song without having said another word to them….ever!
  • Only the most shallow person would pretend to be interesting because they know how to play a guitar or sing out of tune.
  • Only the most needy people desperately need approval from strangers.

Somewhere along the line we’ve lost our way in talking about music. And this is important to the subject of copyright law because playing the music on airwaves probably won’t be an easy answer to the question of how to build an audience.

It’s the story of the musician that is ultimately important.

Music is not an intellectual experience. It’s a personal experience. When you make it personal, then we’ve got something to talk about.

And just so you know, music is important because it is meant to bring people together, in the same room, for a shared experience.

 Scout logo

Posted in Branding, Business Practices, Leadership, PR/Marketing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Using Hillary’s Cloth to Wipe The Sins of the Internet Clean

The last three posts here on Scout 66 have focused on the writing of Copyright Officer Stephen Carlisle, J.D. and what is happening with copyright law, common law, and consent decrees which you can read about here

It’s all very heady stuff and from what I’m hearing, “the decision written by the Department of Justice is much worse than you can possibly imagine…” Surprised, not surprised, that even something as sacred as copyright law is being tampered with when, in fact, musicians and the music business have been seriously oppressed by the evolution of technology.

This could only mean more oppression is coming unless you take proactive steps right now. In the unlikely event everything remains unchanged, then being fully prepared to take a different path may teach you a few things you hadn’t thought important until now.

If you have a publisher, get over to see them right away. If they tell you don’t worry, it’s much ado about nothing — run! If you don’t have a publisher, make an appointment with an entertainment or intellectual property attorney and find out just what the hell is going on concerning your situation.

Here are a few things to consider:

Copyright and music do not have to be complicated.

Whatever the DOJ has up its sleeve is for one reason: It will most likely give Google ultimate authority over existing PROs.

Google can only be involved if your music is entangled in the Internet unless they seek to destroy PROs completely. Even still, intellectual property must have protection if the property is not used on the internet.

We must have copyright law to protect intellectual property, but intellectual property does not have to be the property of entities such as Google. Music and literature have existed for millennia without the internet, and it is the internet’s omnipresence that has destroyed what was working well within the music business model until about 1999.

The internet and advanced technology have nothing to do with the concept of music; they only act as models for distribution and marketing of intellectual property. Therefore if you remove yourself from that plane and create your business around practices that exist on the physical plane you are in full control of your work.

There ARE many, many ways to have a successful career without putting all your eggs in the Internet’s basket. In many ways, it is the smartest thing to consider given recent trends in growing market share for vinyl recordings. Taking your power back and finding other means creates more demand for anachronisms like turn tables, newspapers, and hard copy magazines, real artwork for album covers, liner notes, advertising specialty items and  an entire array of concepts and methods the internet has wiped  clean from recent memory.

[There must be a joke here about using a cloth to clean up the mess of the internet. We all know of a politician who’s been in a pickle under similarly extenuating circumstances.]

Of the many music marketing specialists and publicist active today, I am one of the few who has extensive experience in old school strategy, and I’m willing to help anyone who wants to pull the plug on Big Brother’s browser and get back to the very old-fashioned idea of creating music for the sake of music itself.

What a concept!






Posted in Business Practices, Leadership, PR/Marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Don’t You Go Back To Your Double-Wide and Fry Something?

The snarky essence headlining this post roars the attitude of the US government toward songwriters, recording and performing artists. It’s a line from the movie, “Sweet Home Alabama,” which Candice Bergen’s character, Kate Hennings, chipped out of ice for all the world to hear.

If you’ve been following the last couple of posts here, you know the US Department of Justice is into some kind of backroom deal to break up PROs and limit or abolish copyright law as it’s been upheld for the past 75 years. Common law and consent decrees are on the chopping block because … the DOJ. Yeah. She said so.

Read the latest info by Copyright Officer Stephen Carlisle, J.D. and be sure to read all his updates, or any updates you’re able to find as this tenably, untenable situation progresses.

Everyone on the creative end and the admin side of music will be screaming bloody murder beneath the proverbial balcony to the king like peasants whose ration of bread flour has been cut off.  Make no mistake, everyone should be mad as hell.

It just won’t make any difference.

Moreover, a lot of precious time will be lost screaming and this enormous change will set careers back years if you’re not immediately proactive.

Being an old-school publicist and digital marketing specialist has shown me a thing or two over the past several years and there’s an upside.  Marketing like it’s 1999 is much more effective. The DOJ’s partisan hardline will allow musicians more freedom by taking the process all the way back to the time consent decrees were made into law 75 years ago. You can take it back in time even further if you choose.

The simple fact music hasn’t always existed within the model we use now is reason enough to choose your own path.

Start assessing your individual situation and forget what everyone else is doing. Release yourself from the online sardine can and stand alone. True artists insist on choosing their destiny without compromise.

Consider this list as the fork in the road:

  1. If you have a publisher make an appointment to talk about your copyright history especially if you share co-writing credits.
  2. Where you live is important and what advantage that affords you.
  3. What forms of promotion make the most impact without using airwaves or the internet?
  4. Who is your audience and how can you reach them without platforms like Facebook, Reverberation, etc.?
  5. What style of music do you excel in forgetting about specific genres? You won’t be needing the genre tag necessarily.
  6. Master the art of storytelling to create an experience for your audience.
  7. Learn to talk about your music to the extent people will buy it without having to hear it first.
  8. Consider vinyl for future recording projects.
  9. Many times over music insiders have said the era of the rock star is over. Sure, some whose work has incredible universal appeal will reach critical mass. But on the whole believing music is about fame is a fool’s game.
  10. Think of yourself as a craftsman instead. If you insist on notoriety you’ll have to figure out a way to make that happen beyond the realm of everything you know with one simple exception: It’s all about the song.

Scout logo






Posted in Business Practices, Leadership | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Trouble in Paradise: Everything You Know About Writing, Recording, and Performing Music is Going to Change

The legality of one of the most faithfully held precepts in music is being called into play by enormous players.

Copyright law is on the chopping block and none other than the US Department of Justice is the heavy. A law that goes back 75 years is under siege and is leading the battle in how music copyright law will be handled in the foreseeable future.

I’m not an attorney (thank goodness), and I’m not a publisher (even more gratitude) and I can barely wrap my head around what the following post written by Stephen Carlisle  represents. Please read it here: 

It’s complicated. Terribly, imperceptibly complicated.

Without pointing fingers at the who and why this change is imminent, what needs to happen is finding short term solutions that can be put into play as quickly as possible.

I’ve made it clear in the past all the Internet really represents in music is a dispensary. It has taken the place of distributors and physical brick and mortar retailers. Social channels have taken the place of radio without the authoritative stamp of approval from regionally or nationally known stations. This validation will get kicked to the curb. The short lived CyberPR so highly touted for about a decade will die as well.

Since the DOJ and LOC are going back to the language of copyright law established in 1941, the most logical thing to do is take the process of making and promoting music back  to 1941 and let the big boys in copyright law and publishing duke it out. In a way it makes so much sense it could be one of the best things to happen to the business of music which is unstable and amorphous.

Here are a few facts to consider and put into the equation as you make a personal decision to stay the course with the DOJ outcomes, or proactively take every bit of your music career into your own hands:

  • The middle class in the United States is shrinking under the strain of a global economic implosion
  • The US middle class did not begin to grow until after WWII which was precipitated by the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941
  • The Baby Boomer generation began as a result of WWII ending in 1945 and millions of babies being born after soldiers came home from the war
  • It is the Boomer generation who supported the growth of the music industry from the late 1950s  to the point of becoming a multi-billion dollar industry
  • The Millennial generation is the current socio-economic powerhouse followed closely in populace numbers by the Boomers who still support music  with more monetary influence than any other generation
  • LPs are growing a much stronger market share and the CD is dead
  • It appears whatever determinations are made about copyright law will affect radio airplay, Internet streams, and licensing in film, television, and advertising
  • How copyright law affects live performance isn’t clear


Give Carlisle’s post a read and if it doesn’t scare the living daylights out of you, come back and read the next post here. There are remedies and for every musician who truly wants to stay in the game these remedies can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

The one thing you can be sure of is your talent is the least of your worries from here forward. Staying in music will be more expensive than it is right now. Your strategy will be the most compelling thing to keep you up at night.

The good news is while all this legal mumbo jumbo is in limbo, you can move forward on your own terms. No one is going to stop this train wreck, but the terms of your detour around the chaos can be mapped out as soon as you want to begin.


Posted in Business Practices | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Reblog: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! The Department of Justice v. ASCAP

With the kind permission of Stephen Carlisle, I’m reblogging  a link to his post from July 28, 2016. Please click the link below to read his account of what is happening with PROs — namely ASCAP and BMI in regard to licensing, and how the Department of Justice is handling what appears to be a government breakup of music’s copyright system.

This is very important information for every musician. If you have an entertainment attorney, ask them where you stand. If you don’t, call your PRO rep and have them explain it to you and what it means to your music licensing.

Here’s Stephen’s post:

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! The Department of Justice v ASCAP

Over the next few days I’ll be posting information that may be helpful in the short term and what artists can do to keep moving forward in the face of a long term unprecedented legal anomaly.



Posted in Business Practices | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Party On With The Joe Reese Band Also Known As Next of Kin

Just across the way from the Grand Ole Opry on a scorching afternoon, Nashville’s Scoreboard held its 20th Anniversary bash. The Hobbs brothers, who own or have owned various clubs throughout Music City, threw a huge party on their new outdoor deck to celebrate, Saturday, July 9.

Like boarding a cruise ship, a good deal of thought was put into creating  an engaging outdoor venue, a perfect party boat to sail away. Marine gauge ships rope secure the sides of an open air covered stage and dance floor. Flanked on the star board side with a galley there’s a bar long enough to serve about 50 people port side, and grass hut umbrella tables shade the outer deck. Hanging from the rafters is a full-size flat bottom rowboat surrounded by Japanese floats and ship lights. Sailing under the American flag this is authentic ambience for fair or stormy weather.


L-R Tom Whisenhunt, Frankie Thrower, Joe Reese, Tim Thrower, Cliff Myers (Photo by Donna Faye Harman)

The Joe Reese Band took the helm to open this maiden voyage with a long set of classic tunes — a proper christening with nary a drop of water in sight. The brothers Thrower, Frankie and Tim, typically take the lead on guitar and vocals save those times when noted blues guitarist, Tom Whisenhunt, lays down some retro soul from his native Memphis. Cliff Myers is one of the most entertaining bass players you’ll ever see; and from his drum riser it’s not difficult to see Joe Reese loves to have a good time.  All these guys have been playing for years growing up with some of history’s most beloved rock, country, and blues tunes.

Their set list is a rich collage of classic stock bridging the grooves of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy,” Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” Freddie Fender’s “Vaya Con Dios,” CCR’s, “Green River” all the way back to Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” The Beatles’ “Anna,” plus “Twist and Shout” which featured vocals by Susan Stanfill Thrower. A surprise addition was Jonathan Edwards’ “The Shanty Song” sometimes called “The Friday Song.”

The audience who gathers around this band becomes one big happy family whether they know each other or not.  It happens every time! Everyone is talking, smiling, singing, and dancing. Even if someone wanted to throw some shade it wouldn’t be for long as you simply can’t be in a bad mood in the presence of this group.

As a final note, and this is important to the music industry at large — there wasn’t a millennial in the crowd with the exception of service staff. The second largest sector of the US population — the baby boomers, people at least 52 years old and above– go to live shows, they listen to and collect music on a far larger scale than the industry can figure out how to market to millennials. It’s tested and proven in Nashville every day. This day was no exception.


Scout logo





Posted in American Culture, Artist Feature, Blues, Live Music Review, Nashville, rock and roll | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment