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The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga

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GeorgeH 21 Jun 01 - 09:00 AM
pavane 21 Jun 01 - 09:10 AM
Noreen 21 Jun 01 - 08:09 PM
pavane 22 Jun 01 - 12:34 PM
GeorgeH 22 Jun 01 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Terry Blankenship 24 Jun 01 - 01:59 AM
nutty 24 Jun 01 - 02:49 AM
pavane 24 Jun 01 - 03:17 AM
Ditchdweller 24 Jun 01 - 02:54 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Jun 01 - 03:11 PM
GeorgeH 25 Jun 01 - 05:26 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 01 - 07:25 PM
GeorgeH 26 Jun 01 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Dita (at work) 26 Jun 01 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Roly H 27 Jun 01 - 03:22 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Jun 01 - 07:18 PM
Geoff the Duck 28 Jun 01 - 03:46 AM
GeorgeH 28 Jun 01 - 05:34 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Jun 01 - 02:17 PM
Greycap 29 Jun 01 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Dita (at work) 29 Jun 01 - 10:34 AM
English Jon 29 Jun 01 - 11:59 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jun 01 - 12:52 PM
GeorgeH 29 Jun 01 - 01:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jun 01 - 03:51 PM
Ralphie 29 Jun 01 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Les Jones, once of Ellesmere Port now of Man 30 Jun 01 - 03:38 AM
GUEST,Adrian Owlett (adrianowlett@ntlworld.com) 01 Jul 01 - 12:29 PM
GeorgeH 02 Jul 01 - 05:08 AM
ard mhacha 02 Jul 01 - 01:52 PM
GUEST 02 Jul 01 - 02:39 PM
Ralphie 02 Jul 01 - 04:02 PM
Ralphie 02 Jul 01 - 04:16 PM
GUEST 02 Jul 01 - 06:48 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jul 01 - 07:31 PM
GUEST 02 Jul 01 - 07:39 PM
GUEST 02 Jul 01 - 08:36 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jul 01 - 09:02 PM
Jeri 02 Jul 01 - 09:35 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Jul 01 - 10:01 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jul 01 - 10:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 03 Jul 01 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,andy from Penarth 03 Jul 01 - 02:25 AM
john c 03 Jul 01 - 02:28 AM
GeorgeH 03 Jul 01 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Dita (at work) 03 Jul 01 - 07:30 AM
GUEST 03 Jul 01 - 07:46 AM
Noreen 03 Jul 01 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Dita (at work) 03 Jul 01 - 08:03 AM
English Jon 03 Jul 01 - 08:13 AM
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Subject: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:00 AM

Over in the Nic Jones Double CD thread Ralphie suggested I might point people at a summary of this saga. However I decided it was easier to summarise what I knew.

A brief summary

Mr Bulmer is clearly an exception to the rule that "no-one ever makes a fortune from Folk Music in the UK". He is also known for being rather litigatious (he can afford to be, unlike most if not all of those with whom he is in dispute). A degree of caution is advisable in recounting matters surrounding Mr Bulmer.

Bulmer runs (or ran, I've not checked that this is up to date):
   A recording company, sometimes called Celtic Music.
   A cd distribution company, sometimes called Celtic Music Distribution.
   A recording studio

Over the years, he has purchased the rights to an enormous quantity of the "back catalogue" of the British Folk Revival, especially from the 1970s and 1980s. It is probably true to say he owns a majority of the important recordings from this period. He has often acquired rights to this material by purchasing them from record companies "in receivership", which can possibly be taken as indicating that he has paid peanuts for these rights.

Most significant amongst his collection is the entire Bill Leader catalogue from the Leader/Trailer label, but he also owns a lot of small labels.

He has repeatedly declined to re-release most of this material. His argument has always been that he will re-release the material, in the course of time, when it is commercially sensible to do so. He has maintained that his purchase of the rights included having to buy up large stocks of vinyl, and that he wouldn't release things on CD until he had cleared those stocks. However there are clear cases where a particular recording is in demand, there is no vinyl stock left, and Bulmer has still declined to release on CD.

It also seems that Bulmer has been trying to charge 'over the odds' for his stocks of vinyl; I have seen a price of gbp 12 quoted for such a record, which would have been available for one pound when the label folded. However this may not have been Bulmer's doing.

There are 'well known' cases where artists have tried to obtain the rights to their recorded work back from Bulmer, and he has not been prepared to discuss terms with them. His argument has been that he is not prepared to 'split' the Leader/ Trailer catalogue. There has been at least the implication that he would be prep eared to discuss selling the catalogue as a whole.

Two specifics need to be mentioned in relation to this chapter of "The Bulmer story":

Bulmer was asked to either re-release the Nic Jones back catalogue (no vinyl available( on CD or to relinquish the rights to these albums, so they could be used to generate some income for Nic's family after his accident. Bulmer refused.

Pete Coe co-ordinated a proposal from those involved in the Banndogs LP (himself, Tony Rose and his ex-wife Chris, plus Nic) that they would all waive their rights in the recording to allow it to be published as a benefit for Nic. The suggestion was that Pete's recording company should make the release and so bear the production costs. Bulmer declined to participate and would not release the rights to the recording.

Chapter 2 of the saga is that there have been disputes between a number of performers who were under contract to Celtic Music, and Bulmer's company. Some of these have gone to the courts; a number of others have led to artists waiting, frustrated, for their CM contracts to expire (and, clearly, being unable to record during that period). As well as sitting on a large chunk of the history of the UK folk revival, Bulmer has at least contributed to the fact that significant developments in UK folk music have never made it to a recording.
It is widely believed that this is why Bulmer features on what is referred to as the "Musicians Union Blacklist". (As I understand it, this comprises advice from the union to its members that they should contact their local "union rep" before considering entering any contract with Bulmer).

It should also be mentioned that Bulmer insisted on putting what Dick Gaughan considered to be a totally unreasonable price on the Clan Alba CD, totally against Dick's wishes.

I belive that's about as much information as is in the "public domain".

Against this, it needs to be said:

   Bulmer has been "trickling" some of the "lost treasures" back onto CD release over the last few years.

   Bulmer has agreed to a number of tracks being included in various compilations, samplers, etc.

   Following Mick Tems' recent stroke, Bulmer did agree to release right to his back catalogue to allow "benefit" CD re-releases to be made.

   There are at least some artists who appear happy with the deal they have with CM - most notably Sid Kipper . .

George


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: pavane
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:10 AM

I hadn't realised that Mick Tems was involved as well! We both came down to Wales at about the same time, and used to go to the Ivy Bush, Pontardawe, in the early 1970's. Glad that HE managed to get a re-release anyway.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Noreen
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:09 PM

Thanks for the summary, George.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: pavane
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 12:34 PM

I wondered why the folk scene had gone a bit dead - I was away working in Europe in the early to mid 80's (But I got to see Peter Bellamy and Jim Couza in concerts in Luxembourg)


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 02:37 PM

BTW, Pavane, did you assume your alias from the Richard Thompson song of (almost?) that title?

(This will be embarassing if it proves to be your actual name . . .)

Cheers!

G.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 01:59 AM

If someone was doing to me what they are doing to Nic, I think I'd fing a way bootleg my own albums and get away with it. If they caught me and it went to court it would make just make them look even worse (if that is possible).

They have to know that their reputation is going to be mud with almost the whole folk world, if it isn't already.

Almost every major folk artist I have met meet is aware of this situation and is on Nic's side, and I have met a lot of them.

I am surprised they could ever get ANY new artist to sign with them.

Terry


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: nutty
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 02:49 AM

It just goes to show what problems could arise (EVEN NOW) with "cheap" CD deals. It may cost more to produce CD'S but it is really important that the singer "owns" the master.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: pavane
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 03:17 AM

I explained my name in a previous thread - nothing to do with Richard Thompson, I am afraid. It was taken from the name I gave to my boat in about 1976.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ditchdweller
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 02:54 PM

Anyone know where Bulmer lives? Perhaps an occasional delegetion could visit him to peacefully discuss the matter.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 03:11 PM

As has been said in previous discussions, he is a stubborn man, and that sort of thing would only make matters worse.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 05:26 AM

Thanks for the injection of good sense, Malcolm . . I think it fair to say that every possible means of retribution has been "considered" (including the Bootlegging one) - generally after a few pints too many - and fortunately in the cool light of morning good sense has prevailed.

As far as I can tell, Nic, Julia and family continue to re-build their lives - the last thing they want is a confrontation, either through the courts or in any other form. (Morality and the law aren't closely alligned in these matters). And, as I tried to point out, thinks aren't entierly black and white . .

However I don't think Mr Bulmer's signed any new artists in quite a long while . . .

George


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 07:25 PM

In defence of the man I was a member of a band who got a money up front deal from Celtic music to record an album (this was about 11 years ago and before I knew anything about the problems Nic Jones was having). We as a band were definately the winners of the deal financially. I am perhaps in a slightly different situation to some of his other signings in being not financially dependent income from music - it could be argued that this is how traditional music should be ie free from financial constraints.

Regards


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:22 AM

Guest sadly doesn't identify his/her self.

I have spoken to at least half a dozen other performers who were under contract with Bulmer and were totally unhappy with the way they were treated . .

Guest, did you ever get any royalty statements out of Celtic Music for this recording?

Cheers!

George


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:38 AM

Hi GeorgeH,
Just a couple of add-ons on reading this, and Ralphie's thread

Bulmer had a shop selling CDs in Glasgow until six months ago, it closed over the space of a weekend when he drove up to Glasgow and removed all the stock.
He had received formal notice,on the Friday, that Glasgow City Council was about to take action against the shop, to recover a four figure unpayed rates bill.

Another body of recorded material that has vanished into the black hole are the North East based labels Rubber & Black Crow.
Those albums that he has allowed to escape, are easily recognised as the labels are shoddly copied from the origional albums on to poor quality paper, no notes are provided, and he burns the CD off himself. Not even up to the standard of a good bootleg.
All the best to Nic and Ralphie
love, john.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Roly H
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 03:22 PM

Is Bulmer involved in the recently released 'Rout of the Blues' by the Dransfields on Leader? (Sound is OK, Artwork Poor)


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:18 PM

I tentatively suggest that where the musicians are still alive (too impractical otherwise), a post-term recording restraint would be likely to be unlawfully anti-competitive, and the songs could be cleared via the MCPS, so note-for-note re-recorded versions could be lawfully made


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 03:46 AM

The other week i was discussing this subject with a friend who knew Dave Bulmer from many years ago.
My friend said that he had heard that CM had gone out of business. He also believed that the rights to the recordings were owned by Celtic Music and not by Dave Bulmer himself. It was the opinion of my friend that this means that nobody currently owns the rights to the recordings, and that DB does not have any claim on them.
Any opinions???
Quack!


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 05:34 AM

If it's on Leader then it's Bulmer . . and also your description matches that I've heard of other Bulmer re-issues.

Geoff and Richard: My understanding is that all legal angles have been considered and are always under review by at least some of the parties involved.

Certainly there have been a couple of cases where artists have re-recorded work that's locked in the Bulmer archive . . while these have been close to the original they've not been "note for note" - a wise decision, IMO, since you can't recreate a "cut" you made 20 years earlier, and attempting to do so is probably doomed to failure.

If CM has gone out of business I'll lay money the Dave Bulmer trading as something else has acquired all its rights to everything. The guy is, without doubt, a shrewd business man. I deliberately failed to mention his re-imaging some of his operations (e.g. I've seen the Clan Alba double CD marketed on a flyer which makes no mention of Bulmer or "Celtic Music").

Cheers!

George


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 02:17 PM

If Celtic Musif was a limited company the Company House website www.companieshouse.gov.uk will tell you if it has been struck off or liquidated. Other records there may show you whether there was a liquidator appointed or even perhaps if the rights were assigned out in the course of liquidation. If not they may be bona vacantia and an approach to the Official Receiver (or is it the Treasury Solicitor) department of bona vacantia might enable the rights to be bought.

As far as I know the issue of whether non-UK copyrights owned by a UK company devolve according to UK law or the laws of the relevant foreign places, when the companies cease to exist has not been thoroughly litigated although there was a case a few years ago the name of which eludes me right now which might indicate that the laws of the foreign places applied.

US law (US corporations) I'm pretty sure in most states the rights automatically go to the shareholders.

On the UK front it might be worthwhile re-reading the Elton John and George Michael cases.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Greycap
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 09:45 AM

Sapper 82 FYI, Bulmer plays accordian at the 'Yorkshire Lass' public house in Knaresborough, N. Yorks. most Thursday nights with the Drouthy Band.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 10:34 AM

Please listen to George when he asks for caution.
I repeat Bulmer is an exceedinly stubborn man. There has been some suggestion, that his attitudes may be changing, although this may just be more "Bloody-minded Bulmerism".
Ralphie and George know the score, DB is getting increasingly isolated, he has lost his Scottish shop, lost trust of artists who were friends and workmates etc.

Direct confrontation, by well meaning supporters, can only do more harm than good to Nic's situation. I know how frustrating it is, but he is well aware of the strength of feeling against him.
If you want to take effective action, choose not to buy his products. This is hard when suddenly finding, "Rout of the Blues", "Under the Rain", "The Traveller", Bright Phoebus", or "No more Forever" in front of you in Tower or wherever, after 20 years of looking, but remember if you do buy them not a penny will reach the artist anyway.

Peace
Remember the tale of the old bull and the young bull,
love, john.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: English Jon
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 11:59 AM

as in,

"no no, we'll stroll in there and have the lot?"

EJ


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 12:52 PM

Is it all right drinking the cider of the same name?


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 01:07 PM

The cider has no connection . . or so I believe . .


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 03:51 PM

That's something anyway. Not that as cider goes it's that good, but it's a helluva lot tastier than Dave Bulmer.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 05:34 PM

Dita/John.... You never spoke a truer word... Please, all of you irate Mudcatters out there..don't do anything about this, or, I'll have to send the boys round.! Wait for Nic's "Unearthed" CD to appear, and then all will be calm... Please...(pretty please) "Chill my droogies." Love R xx


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Les Jones, once of Ellesmere Port now of Man
Date: 30 Jun 01 - 03:38 AM

I once lent DB a banjo in Leeds in 1972. He is left handed and played it instantly even though it was strung for a right hander. I was impressed. I got the banjo back without any trouble. It is worth remembering that DB is a chemist, cider was invented as paint stripper but as paint had not been invented people decided to drink it instead. Spooky or what?


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Adrian Owlett (adrianowlett@ntlworld.com)
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 12:29 PM

Hi everyone,

I know a lot about Mr Bulmer. I am currently in litigation against him. I am (as always) depressed to read what he has done to the Folk scene.

If Sapper E wants to get in touch with me I will happily be able to put him in direct contact with Mr B.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 05:08 AM

Can I, PLEASE, second the calming words of Ralphie and others . . .

ANY action against Mr Bulmer isn't going to help anyone (least of all those "actively" in dispute against him) AND is going to distress various people, including Nic and his family, who have always been absolutely clear about being scrupulously "above board" in their own dealings . .

Thanks,

George


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: ard mhacha
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 01:52 PM

Hello All you cautionery lads and lasses. I drive a JCB in my sparetime and I wll be heading towards Knaresborough, That Yorshire Lass is in for a raping Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 02:39 PM

There's always more than just one side to a story.

Nic Jones' story is certainly a sad one, but I don't know that Celtic Music releasing reissues of his back catalog would make for any happier an ending for Nic. It would certainly earn him some money, but it wouldn't change the reality of his life.

Dave Bulmer recently made Calennig's releases available for reissue--very quickly--in order to benefit Welsh musician Mick Tems, who recently suffered a stroke.

That doesn't strike me as the the act of a greedy, heartless profiteer.

Like I said, there is always more than one side to a story...


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 04:02 PM

Dear Guest.. Firstly any reason why you won't post your name ?? Secondly. I can't leave the phrase "It wouldn't make for a happier life for Nic." without a comment (against my better nature, I must say.) Well, pardon me for saying this.....but, 20 years lost royalties has made an enourmous difference to Nic's life. and, not for the better. Yes, I know about the Mick Tems story, (and Good Luck to you Mick) but, one good deed, doesn't negate two decades of humbug Angrily Ralph


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Ralphie
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 04:16 PM

Dear " Guest" Have just re-read your message.....and I'm not angry anymore...I'm furious....To hide behind the cloak of "Guest" is, to me anyway, a despicable thing to do. And to invoke the problems of a lovely man like Mick Tems as, some sort of defence for Mr Bulmers unpleasant activities, is really beyond the pale. Tell us who you are, or stop posting messages. Ralph


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 06:48 PM

Ralph,

I wasn't defending Dave Bulmer.

Just commenting on the irony of him so quickly rereleasing Calennig stuff, while Nic's material remains unavailable.

It just introduces another twist to the saga, in my opinion.

Considering your close association is with Nic, I understand how it must hurt to see that Dave Bulmer has done for Mick what everyone wishes he had done for Nic many years ago.

But to me, it suggests Dave Bulmer might not be the monster he's been made out to be. In my mind, what he didn't do for Nic, doesn't negate the compassion and kindness he has recently shown for Mick Tems.

Just shows that Dave Bulmer is probably pretty human, like the rest of us. I, like many others, don't understand his reasoning for doing what he has with back catalogue material. Maybe I'm just a tad less judgmental and condemning about it.

Life is quite bittersweet at times, and this appears to be one of them.

Best of luck to all of you with the new release.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 07:31 PM

Guest, I know nothing about this whole business but being cynical about human nature, I could well suggest from the content so far in this thread that if "DB is getting increasingly isolated, he has lost his Scottish shop, lost trust of artists who were friends and workmates etc." being seen to do a good deed would help to restore favour... Then on the other hand he could be a reformed character...

Then again, perhaps your view point is valid but I tend to take comments from unidentified people who seem to go against the flow of general feeling as nothing more that trolls.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 07:39 PM

Due to some of the more threatening comments made on this thread I for one do not wish to make my identity known. However I must state that in fact there is more than one guest active on this thread.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 08:36 PM

Jon,

I can understand your skepticism, but really, there is only one version of this story being told here.

But to give you some hope for humanity, here is the link to a Living Tradition editorial on the so-called "saga":

http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/edtxt23.htm

Not all of us presume guilt until innocence is proved.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 09:02 PM

Thanks Guest, I liked the last paragraph there. I'm not here to pass judgement (particulaly on matters I know nothing about) but it does seem a real pity that these works are not made availible.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 09:35 PM

About the "one side of the story" - there are facts about refusal to re-issue recordings, lawsuits and blacklisting by the Musicians Union in the UK. On the other side, we have a couple of CDs that squeaked out. It may actually be a nearly one-sided issue, unless you have some facts we're not aware of?


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 10:01 PM

There are indeed several sides to any dispute.  I speak here as someone who has had work published by people who have subsequently gone to the lengths of winding up one "front" company in order to avoid paying their contractual debts to me and to others, pretending that the business was not financially viable, and who nevertheless have continued that business, uninterrupted, through a new "front" company: presumably, the business was only unviable if they paid the bills.  Companies legislation in the UK and many other countries is so biased and open to abuse that it is virtually impossible to ensure proper treatment for freelance workers (which includes musicians); the current government promised to rectify the situation, but has so far done nothing.

I have also been prevented from re-publishing work because, without my knowledge or consent, rights in it claimed unilaterally by the people who originally commissioned it from me were assigned to other publishers who have no interest in ever re-issuing it, but who nevertheless are quite prepared to use their financial muscle to prevent the originators of the material from doing anything with it.

Much of this probably amounts to an unlawful restriction of trade; it is, however, pretty well impossible for ordinary people like us to do anything about it; we simply do not have the money for the legal fees.

Of course, I have no idea how far my own experiences in another area of publishing might parallel those of people who have in the past dealt with Mr. Bulmer, though I do know people who have worked with him, and have heard curious stories.  Clearly, however, I am less than inclined to give such people the benefit of any doubt: "By their works", as the saying goes, "ye shall know them".

Nobody, so far as I know, is complaining that Bulmer refuses to invest his own money in re-releasing their records; they are, however, complaining that he refuses to release to them rights which he has for many years shown no signs at all of wishing to exercise in his own behalf, which would allow them to re-release their own material and perhaps make just a little money out of it before they die.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 10:46 PM

Thanks Malcolm for explaining the position of the aritsts to me.

Just a comment on your first paragraph and the UK in general: It really makes me sick that a company can get away with it. I guess one could call it legalised theft.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 12:09 AM

It is exactly that; it happens every day.  Company law appears to have been formulated to protect well-off people from the consequences of their own incompetence; regrettably, it always seems to be at the expense of those who do not have the luxury of a limited liability company behind which to hide, and who are as a result responsible in law -as well as morally- for their own actions, and their own debts.  Unlike those who steal from us, who have a moral obigation only.  One can perhaps forgive (though not excuse) genuine incompetence; the trouble is that this legislation is so often used deliberately to defraud.

The egregious R*ssell Ch*rch, to whom I referred to obliquely above, was subsequently investigated by the Department of Trade and Industry, but it's almost impossible to prove deliberate fraud in these cases, so his many creditors got nothing.  So far as I know, he continues to run the same business behind the cover of the latest of a long string of "front" companies.

I don't for a moment suggest that Dave Bulmer is in any way a comparable case, or that he has ever had dishonest motives; it is difficult, though, to understand why he has persisted in what appears to be such selfish and unreasonable behaviour, and it is certainly the case that current legislation not only makes such things possible, but seems almost to encourage them.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,andy from Penarth
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 02:25 AM

I dont know this bloke Bulmer but have read the "saga" for some time. He sounds obnoxious and I cant un derstand why instead of just carping on about him you don't do something. I read that he has ripped off musicians and friends/business acquaintences with great abandon. It's obviously a game to him. But if you let him get away with it he will enjoy his game even more and history has shown time on time that appeasement don't work!

The man is obviously a bully and we all know what SHOULD be done to bullies. I support the jcb owner -= good luck to you - at least youve got some bottle.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: john c
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 02:28 AM

The subject of Dave Bulmer/Nic Jones keeps appearing at regular intervals on this forum and this is the first time that someone (all be it anonymously) has attempted to, at least partially, defend him. As a former folk-musician, its hard to believe that Bulmer doesnt care at all about the music which he owns. And, as a person, its hard to believe he could refuse Nic Jones the access to the royalties he really would need. Somehow I have the feeling that theres more to this than we already know. Just a thought - are there no Mudcatters who are in contact with DB and could talk him into putting his side of this sorry saga and maybe help clear up this issue once and for all?


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GeorgeH
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 05:47 AM

Like Ralphie, I am currently furious at those Guests in this thread who lack either the courage or the honesty to attach their names to their ill-informed views. However, my guess is that at least one of them is Mr or Mrs Bulmer attempting to muddy the water.

There are two sides to any story. I went to a great deal of trouble to put aside my personal feeling and present a calm and balanced account of the Bulmer saga. Guest the gutless, where is the furst mention of Bulmer's agreement to release Mick Tems back catalogue? Why, in my original account . . what a surprise.

Let me make this quite plain . . . I PERSONALLY know several people who have direct dealings with Mr Bulmer. Several of them are people I have known for many years and whose work and integrety I trust ABSOLUTELY. Is the anonymous Guest saying these people are liars? That they have conspired together to blacken the good name of Mr Bulmer?

I have also spoken to at least one person who has defended Mr Bulmer strongly, a couple of people who are quite happy in their dealings with him, and a couple of others who see at least some "mitigating circumstances" to his behaviour. And my conclusion is that EVEN making maximum allowance for people's views being coloured by their own experiences and feelings, my original account here is more than fair to Mr Bulmer.

Now if and when the anonymous guest(s) come up with some evidence for their defence of Bulmer I'll be more than happy to re-consider my views. Until then I fear I feel, along with my own anger, great sadness that through their ignorance they slight those varioous artists I know to have suffered, to a greater or lesser degree, through their involvement with Dave Bulmer.

George


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 07:30 AM

Guest states that "there are more than one "Guest" participating on this thread", however the other guests have had the good grace to identify themselves by some means.
Some of us contribute from more than one site, but you can only have membership from one, that's why I'm sometimes Dita and at others "Guest Dita (at work)". We were not seeking your name and address "Guest", just that, if you have the courage of your convictions, at least give us a unique identity that we can engage with, otherwise all unidentified guests might, or might not, be the same.
It is curious that all the anon. postings are pro-Bulmer.
love, john.


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 07:46 AM

The subject of Dave Bulmer/Nic Jones keeps appearing in on-line folk music forums at regular intervals because there is a small, core group of Nic's self-appointed "defenders" who have such extreme views about Bulmer that they've made this whole sad scenario into something of a folk jihad.

This situation strikes me as no worse than what Alan Lomax did to Leadbelly. Countless other collectors and publishers have done the same when they collected and published someone else's music and kept the royalties for themselves.

Yes, it's a real problem. No, there likely won't be a solution which benefits Nic Jones in his lifetime. Yes, that is very sad for Nic.

But it also seems that Nic and some of his friends have found a way around the problem, to the extent that we are now seeing some of his back cataloge here and there. With the release of the new CD, it appears things are looking up for him and his wife financially.

So why beat the dead Bulmer horse again? What purpose does it serve, but to whip people up into a frenzy, as this whole thread has once again, long before this GUEST ever entered into it...

I have no idea what kind of person Dave Bulmer is, but I do know that the Jones jihad is way out of proportion to the "morality" (or lack thereof) of what Bulmer has done regarding Nic.

Histrionics is what this is about, nothing more, nothing less.

I don't like the fact that Bulmer doesn't release back catalogue material as much as anyone.

But the suggestion the catalogue Bulmer or Celtic Records has rights to should be considered a national treasure, and his failure to use his own money to produce new commercial product with it an act of "cultural vandalism", is way over the top in my book.

The problem of having the rights to old masters, whether owned by a commercial or not for profit entity (like the School of Scottish Studies), will always present disagreements between the artists and their estates, and the entity with the rights. These are complex issues, to be sure, and there just plain aren't easy answers to them.

But even if Bulmer had released the rights or put out new CDs of Nic's material, Nic would still be disabled. Would his comfort level be better than it has been? I don't know. I don't know how much rereleases of Nic's material would actually have earned him, and nor does anyone else.

But to make an argument, which I believe the Jones camp are doing, that Nic's suffering is a result of Dave Bulmer's greed and immorality, is specious.

I've never seen Nic Jones publicly make a statement or an issue about this. Ever. So if Nic himself doesn't feel compelled to make a public issue out of what's happened, what the hell possesses Folk Roots and this on-line Jones jihad to keep bringing it up over and over and over? Is that supposed to make Nic Jones and his wife feel better?

Or are they getting on their high horses of indignation to make themselves look good?

Did it ever occur to people that the reason Nic himself isn't involved in this mudslinging is because he wants to leave it in the past and get on with his life? Being bitter and vindictive, like some of the Jones camp are, won't help Nic's situation. Like I said, Nic's accident and his disability are very sad. But it has been many years since he was disabled, and people do need to heal. Ripping open Nic's wounds publicly, over and over, serves absolutely no good purpose for Nic or anyone else.

And how paranoid can a person get about the GUEST thing? I'm actually Dave Bulmer? Good grief.

Why not just let the whole Bulmer thing go, and let Nic enjoy the limelight of his new release? Would that be so horrible? Why whip up such a frenzy that people start suggesting that someone physically assault Bulmer at his local session?


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: Noreen
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 07:52 AM

Why not identify yourself, GUEST, as suggested above?


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 08:03 AM

Guest, the same or another, who knows, cites a Living Tradition Editorial as another side of the story. This infact, was an open invitation to Bulmer to put his case some FOUR YEARS AGO! I do not recall any uptake of Pete's offer ever being printed in the intervening years.
"Not all of us presume guilt.......". Let's hear the other side then. Four years to relpy is excessive don't you think?
Is this the best you can trawl (?troll) up to defend Bulmer, in the light of the facts presented, (facts mind you not "hearsay")?
love, john


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Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
From: English Jon
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 08:13 AM

The trouble with being a musician is you don't get compensation for an industrial accident, such as a car accident travelling to a gig.

That's why people think it's important that Nic should get some royalties. Also, why not re-release the material to meet the OBVIOUS demand? For god's sake, if Bulmer is worried about ancilliary costs, I'll re-master the tapes for him for nothing.

EJ


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