When we last
tuned in, puns intended, our stalwart record companies had completely
given up on the idea of actually making great records people might
want to buy, and had instead decided to charge radio stations
for having the audacity to broadcast their records over the airwaves
willy nilly so that even the unwashed unsubscribed could hear
the rights societies turn to go after those thieving huckleberries
who run nightclubs, coffee shops, restaurants, and hair salons.
think for a minute you sneaking, sniveling dentists are safe either.
It'll take more than laughing gas to save your ass.
fee in Australian nightclubs playing records just went from 7
Aussie cents per customer to $1.05 - and if there is dancing,
from 20 cents to $1.07 per person.
Just in case
you're thinking that might bode well for live music, think again,
my friend. Performance rights organizations are now going after
coffee shops where folk duos play to 50 people.
the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers is going
after barbers, hairdressers, and, yes, dentists who play music
of any kind that their customers can hear.
had enough yet? No?
one more, and then we can all go back to denial.
in Florida was contacted by a company that said it had to pay
a license fee for music or it would be fined.
"But we don't
play music," the conniving scoundrel claimed.
Monday Night Football don't you?" our protector and savior asked.
"We own the
rights to Hank Williams, Jr.'s "Are You Ready For Some Football,"
and you're broadcasting it."
Looking for the Candid Camera, no doubt.
you what," the former New Jersey restaurant guy says. "Next Monday,
when Hank comes on, I'll turn the sound down."
See you on
Little Steven Van Zandt plays guitar in the E Street Band, played
the role of Silvio Dante in The Sopranos and hosts the syndicated
radio show, Underground Garage. He can be reached through his