This never happened to me before...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by gustobassman, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    After playing music professionally for over 20 years i had something happen to me that NEVER happened before...

    I got fired from a band I was in by snail mail.

    Yes, instead of speaking to me face to face, a phone call or sending me a rude text, they sent me a an old-fashioned letter. Signed by the other 3 members (we've known each other for about 15 years) saying they were moving on without me. I'm having some issue with this as we began recording an album last october, i did my parts quickly and moved on. Right around November these guys pretty much started ignoring me all the way up to the 2nd week of January saying that "the holidays were busy, we'll get together soon". :scowl: Obviously that wasn't the case.

    So basically the letter also said they would be releasing the album with my parts (and songs i wrote) but that i would be given "credit" on the album. Am i mistaken or do they need my written permission to use my parts? I also came up with the band name, started the Facebook page (which i was taken off of as an admin by one of them), and i'm not sure how to proceed. Should i chalk it up as a loss and walk away? Would any of you pursue trying to get written permission to use your material? Just curious, as like i said, this has never happened before. It's kind of funny and kind of sad at the same time that they couldn't speak to me face to face as 39-40 year old adults would.
  2. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Walk away, your done. If you haven't copyrighted your songs then get to it. Be sure you get credit for the songs you wrote. That means you wrote the lyrics and melody, not a bass line. Take the album credits for the studio sessions and consider it part of your resume. Musicians are not generally known for their social skills, IMO.
  3. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    Well, i wrote the music to the songs in question, not the lyrics. I can understand that not working in my favor.
  4. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    I would be racking my brains trying to figure out what I did or did not do right. My guess is that they got some hotshot on bass. That's why I have a rule never to take somebodies place in a band. If they are already gone then it's okay. They probably assume that you want the credit for the tunes on the CD so if you don't then you should tell them. I don't see any logical reason to not [DEL]get[/DEL] want the credit though.
  5. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    Wrong Wrong Wrong, as soon as you commit pen to paper or sound to recording , you are copyrighted
  6. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    It had to do with money. I was broke and had a crappy low-paying job for a significant part of the year. They had these grandiose ideas of buying lighting, doing animations, and recording a full length all around the time i ended up losing my job in october. I explained (sometimes heatedly i will admit) that they couldn't just spend money that i didn't have. They're explanation was that i "was fighting them the whole time over these things". I WAS BROKE for cryin out loud, lol!

    Anyway about 2 weeks after i was fired from my job i got an old job back and cash started rolling in. They wouldn't answer a single text, email, facebook post anything.. all i wanted to do was contribute now that i had the cash to do so. I was told they were "over me" by that point. :meh:
  7. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    Still pretty uncool on their part. I still believe you should get your name in the "credits" if you can. It can only help your future Resume IMO. Also, Don't let them see any anger, Just be nice and tell them you wish things were different. This way maybe in the future they will come back and ask you to work with them again. You can always say no.
  8. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    It's your intellectual property. Worse case scenario-you can make life suck for them.
  9. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    That's kinda how i look at it. I didn't leave any angry messages (although after a few beers last night i was more than ready :bag:), didn't post anything on facebook... nothing like that. I sent a text asking if we can resolve the recording issue on paper, with my signature as well as theirs.
  10. thunderbird66


    Sep 30, 2012
    west Texas
    Man, I'd be doing everything to have my basslines and songs removed. That is a real douche bag move to sh#t can you and still use your contributions and songs. Legalities of this kinda nonsense suck. I wish u luck.
  11. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Lets see.....three band members against one with a signed letter of termination by all remaining band members. Pretty strong statement. Just forget about it and move on to avoid further drama. Life is too short.
  12. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    Can't argue with that statement.
  13. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Oh great and knowledgeable one ... I bow before your great intelligence, evidenced by your condescending tone. I'm not "wrong, wrong, wrong" in suggesting the OP secure the copyright. What you say is true but ... you'd have to prove it was yours before anyone else's. It's just too simple to actually file the forms to leave it to chance.
  14. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Ask yourself one question, is this album/short ep going to make any money?? What chance do you put that at, less than 50%? less than 20%? If it isn't going to make any money (which most original bands don't) then write them a nasty-gram letter right back, out them on facebook and then move along. Now if by some miracle you guys are the 1 in a million who might make some money, then sue their collective ****.
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Trust me, these fools aren't going anywhere.

    You're lucky to be rid of them.

    Make sure there is a record of every copyright that should be yours, just in case they do sell something, and then sue the piss out of them, should that happen.

    But don't hold your breath waiting for their big success.

    The odds of making it in music today are smaller than your odds of being killed in the next 911-style terrorist attack.
  16. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Did you watch Beware of Mr Baker.

    During the brief section on music law he explains that the royalties are split 50% for the lyrics and 50% for the melody.

    Arrangements get nothing.

    You deserve 50% of all royalties for those tunes.
  17. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Move On!! Have a lawyer work out terms for your performance compensation.
  18. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    And you should be over them too.

    You have cash. You have experience. You have songs to perform.

    Time for a new band. And may I suggest a course in business law at the local community college.

    Music is a business. A dirty business as you may have guessed.
  19. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    My brother is an intellectual property attorney and deals with issues such as this on a regular basis. Unless the writer registers a song with the Copyright office, there is no proof who wrote it. The OP should contact an attorney.
  20. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Even if somebody files, that still isn't proof of authorship or ownership.

    OP should contact an attorney, preferably one that specializes in entertainment law, if he want's to claim a share of ownership in anything. Odds are, though, that the attorney(s) will end up making more money than anybody else involved with the whole affair.