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Prog royalties - think they got rich?

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cstack3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Prog royalties - think they got rich?
    Posted: August 19 2012 at 16:29
Many fans presume that our prog heroes (especially from the 1970's) wallowed in vast piles of cash from album sales, touring revenues etc.

However, when you speak with them, you learn about the hijinks that occurred in music back in that time.  One musician told me that it was very common for record company executives to ply musicians with drugs & then get them to sign away royalties when they were high. 

John Goodsall has often told me about his loss of royalties and revenues over a career of recording and touring with Brand X and others, and this was posted to his Facebook page:


Other musicians who have complained about lost revenues included Patrick Moraz and Robert Fripp.  


It really ticks me off to know that the money I paid for live shows, albums etc. never made it into the pockets of my favorite musicians!!  

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cloud Forest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 17:06
well the world is a sick place. 
     
All Hail Geddy Lee!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 17:44
Ian Anderson slightly bucks the trend, I think. I saw a recent estimate of his worth at over £30m with around £500k annually in royalties.
 
But good luck to him; he's earned it for the pleasure his music has given me and many others.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 17:47
When you said "prog royatiies" I thought you meant the King and Queen of prog, in which case I assume they are very rich indeed.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 18:13
It's sometimes hard to believe anyone wants to play music for a living.
My other avatar is a Porsche / RARE GOAT bandcamp page
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 21:12
Originally posted by Hercules

Ian Anderson slightly bucks the trend, I think. I saw a recent estimate of his worth at over £30m with around £500k annually in royalties.
 
But good luck to him; he's earned it for the pleasure his music has given me and many others.

I think a lot of them are probably doing well now (at least the big name ones like Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, etc.), regardless of how poorly the music business treated them in the 70's.  Rush, especially, seems to be rolling in cash at the moment.  As you said Ian Anderson has, they sure have earned it, though.


Edited by Ambient Hurricanes - August 19 2012 at 21:13
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 00:09
Originally posted by Hercules

Ian Anderson slightly bucks the trend, I think. I saw a recent estimate of his worth at over £30m with around £500k annually in royalties.
 
But good luck to him; he's earned it for the pleasure his music has given me and many others.

Good point!  Ian ran his band like a corporation....he paid his sidemen salaries, rather than trying to divvy up the royalties etc.  It seemed to work really well for them.  

I suppose it is an old game....I doubt that Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and the others paid the black American blues artists the royalties they probably deserved for the blues songs/licks that ended up gracing their albums.  

Still, it is very moving to hear the stories from the musicians.  I think we still witness this stuff....do you think Benoit David will get a penny from Yes for royalties for "Fly From Here"?  I doubt it. 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mirror Image Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 00:24
Originally posted by HolyMoly

It's sometimes hard to believe anyone wants to play music for a living.
 
I don't thankfully. I do, however, partake in music as a hobby.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 06:27
Originally posted by Hercules

Ian Anderson slightly bucks the trend, I think. I saw a recent estimate of his worth at over £30m with around £500k annually in royalties.
 
But good luck to him; he's earned it for the pleasure his music has given me and many others.

It is important to note that Ian made a lot of his money not just with music, but rather investing wisely in other industries, like his salmof farm and other finacial venues he invested in.

I know it,s hard to believe, but many of the old timers, and not only in prog, but also in other genres and branches of entertainment, like actors and atheltes, have done fearly poor, due to poor lack of common sense. I know for a fact that Jose Airas, who played congas for Carlos Santana, died of alcoholism and was living on the streets of San Francisco. Unfortunately, he is not the only one that has ended up in a very sad situation.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NotAProghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 07:28
^ And Ian Anderson financially helps to save rare wild cats. Clap
"I’ve loved cats since I was a small boy (in Scotland), and since being married (for 29 years) to Shona and living in the country we’ve raised many litters of abandoned feral kittens. We’ve managed to hand tame them, and get them good homes. The extension to wild cats was an easy one. Besides, so many are out there doing ‘the human thing.’ Elton (John) gives huge amounts to AIDS, and Bob Geldoff and Bono are concerned about Africa and Third World debt. I don’t know anyone else in my profession helping small wild cats. When it comes to the little guys, if I don’t, who will?"
Who are you and who am I to say we know the reason why... (D. Gilmour)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neu!mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 09:39

...to quote Mr. Fripp:

"The business of a musician is music. The business of a professional musician is business."
 
He then adds (and here I'm paraphrasing): "Be a professional musician only if you have no other choice"
"Sacred cows make the best hamburger." - Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 14:00
I'm pretty sure that few of them made much money in the 70's despite of their success. I don't remember which documentary it was which stated that it was a big irony that despite their appearances of flying so high many of them could not pay their bills.
 
As it has been said, I believe that the ones who have made good profits made them mostly during their careers after the 70's after having learnt the lesson and probably investing wisely rather than from their record sales.
 
Of course some bands like Pink Floyd or Queen have genuinely made fortunes from their music.
 
At any rate the abuse by the record companies towards the musicians is something which has backfired to them. Nowadays most musicians who want to be real musicians try to produce themselves or rely as less as possible on the record companies management. Record companies are still busy exploiting one-hit-bands and singers but they know that most Prog musicians are harder to cheat.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote unclemeat69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 22:48
Kinda ironic that you hear stories like these all over the place and not only from progbands while the RIAA and equivalents from other countries call for more draconic laws against filesharing and the likes because 'musicians should be able to earn a living' while those same people doe everything they can to prevent those musicans making a living from their music.
Musicians are better off remaing independent, now more than ever.
Apart from that: there many bands releasing albums while having a regular jobs to pay their bills.
Follow your bliss
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zoviet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2012 at 00:35
think the main thing that distinguished bands in the olde days is that you didnt have to worry abt coming up with as much cash i.e. have to work first to generate it to pay for recordings and rehearsals and thus have to juggle day jobs and music.
 
All paid for by the label and mgt company etc. also you neednt worry and bother as much with all those horrible logistics and day 2 day running issues........... Prob is, once the records started to sell you also dont see much money coming yr way 'cause they're taking back what they gave you upfront hahaha
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2012 at 01:05
Originally posted by Gerinski

I'm pretty sure that few of them made much money in the 70's despite of their success. I don't remember which documentary it was which stated that it was a big irony that despite their appearances of flying so high many of them could not pay their bills.
 
As it has been said, I believe that the ones who have made good profits made them mostly during their careers after the 70's after having learnt the lesson and probably investing wisely rather than from their record sales.
 
Of course some bands like Pink Floyd or Queen have genuinely made fortunes from their music.
 
At any rate the abuse by the record companies towards the musicians is something which has backfired to them. Nowadays most musicians who want to be real musicians try to produce themselves or rely as less as possible on the record companies management. Record companies are still busy exploiting one-hit-bands and singers but they know that most Prog musicians are harder to cheat.
I remember Rick Wakeman saying he was completely broke about 1980 despite seliing millions of solo albums and being in one of the biggest prog bands on the planet.I thought this more down to bad management though. ELP also complained they were ripped off by promoters in the early days before they made Stewart Young (a qualified accountant) their manager.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2012 at 07:37
Originally posted by Neu!mann

...to quote Mr. Fripp:

"The business of a musician is music. The business of a professional musician is business."
 
He then adds (and here I'm paraphrasing): "Be a professional musician only if you have no other choice"

Thank you for this!  Bob's been railing about these matters (royalties, intellectual property infringement/theft etc.) for decades!!  

I believe this was a major impetus for his formation of DGM.  

For those who missed it, Bob's recent interview with the Financial Times is a fascinating insight into the man's mind and a window into the music business: 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neu!mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2012 at 08:22
RF has always summed up his dealings with the music industry, and in particular his long court battle against the (in his words) "dishonest and exploitative practices" of EG Records, as the period of "Endless Grief"
 
...and you're absolutely right: it led directly to DGM (a silver lining if ever I saw one!)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2012 at 08:37
Originally posted by Hercules

Ian Anderson slightly bucks the trend, I think. I saw a recent estimate of his worth at over £30m with around £500k annually in royalties.
 
But good luck to him; he's earned it for the pleasure his music has given me and many others.
Yeah, but Anderson diversified too... He invested in a salmon fartm, and around 40% of the smoked salmon available in Belgium (through Delhaize and another  two supermarket chain) comes from his estate...
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2012 at 14:30
Salmon fart?  I'm not gonna taste it even if it comes from Fripp farm LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sympathy Orchestra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2012 at 20:50
I was always under the impression that ELP were doing very well financially until the Works Tour almost bankrupted them. It would be interesting to know how much each of them are worth now.
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