Mudcat Café message #500442 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35698   Message #500442
Posted By: Nerd
07-Jul-01 - 05:02 AM
Thread Name: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
GUESTS, Tyke et al

To paint DB as a heroic preserver of national heritage, doing his bit by not playing his master tapes (since that would damage them) is ludicrous.

First, if you never play the tape, and leave it on the spool until it crumbles into dust, it has not preserved anything. It is only in playing the tape and re-embodying the music on it, that the preservation attains any purpose.

Second, to release an album to the public, if it was recorded in the 1960s or 1970s and is thus not in truly brittle shape (like cylinders or old 78s) you generally only absolutely NEED to play the tape once in a studio to get a digital dub of it. Then all your work can be done from the dub if necessary. So by playing the master once he could get it to the public AND preserve it in digital form. Not bad for the amount of deterioration one play-through will cause. Indeed, if one play-through does destroy the tape then it might as well BE destroyed, since the music on it was essentially unrecoverable already.

BTW, there is one organization seriously committed to the preservation of a national folk music archive that also runs a record label: smithsonian folkways. And ANY recording in their catalog is available on CD at any time precisely because they've done digital dubs of most of the catalog. That's what a preservationist label would do, not fret over master tapes to the extent of never playing them.

As to the suggestion that DB doesn't REALLY own the rights and so can't release the material; then why wouldn't he just say so? And what about the ones he HAS released?

What about the Good Businessman argument? I can't see how he's making anything off a bunch of tapes in a storehouse. He's not selling vinyl either. Seems buying this catalog was a total loss. And as for the idea that business and friends don't mix, that's a crock, too. Many people don't f*ck their friends over when doing business with them. It's not compulsory, you know!

What about the argument that anyone who's sung a Cyril Tawney song in a singaround and not paid royalties is doing the same thing as Dave Bulmer? Ludicrous. The point is SUPPORT THE ARTISTS. Go to gigs and buy albums. When you can buy the albums from the performers. If you feel worried, ask their permission to sing their songs in singarounds. They will say yes, end of trumped-up moral dilemma.

Now, this does not mean DB is a monster, but some of the noble motives being ascribed to him by GUEST(S) are simply not rational. Clearly he has reasons for not releasing material, and clearly he would rather see poor musicians remain poor than do anything about it. He's selfish, then. As many have said, there's not much we can do about it. Still, my "winning the lottery" dream is to buy the rights from DB and redistribute them to the artists. Not good business, I know. But I'd sure love to hear those albums again.

Steve