The information below has been verified by several sources in New York.

Recently, RMA International President Phil Ayling went on quite an
adventure in the big apple. We¹ve heard about and were mystified at
three of his stops, but the real reason will become clear.

This trip took place at the very time President Lee and Secretary Folio of
the National AFM were meeting with the new RMALA Board here in Los

The first stop we heard about from our sources was to the AFM itself,
asking to have a meeting with President Lee and Secretary Folio. When
informed of their absence, Mr. Ayling apparently wandered the offices,
asking questions. Of course, the employees knew who the officer was and
did not understand why he didn’t visit when Lee and Folio were in town.

Another stop on the big tour was to the Board meeting of Local 802, which
went fine until the board started asking questions about the Professional
Musicians Guild (PMG). According to those in attendance, the RMA
International President “lost it” to the point where he was admonished by
a Local 802 board member that his conduct was totally inappropriate.

The real purpose for the trip became more clear on his last stop, at least
the last one we know about.

Mr. Ayling showed up at a meeting of the RMA-NY.


Apparently the RMA New York has not had a meeting in 6 years
because they¹ve not had a quorum (25). The RMA-NY membership
level had gone down to approximately 48 at one point.
That evening there were 24 members present, once again
missing their quorum. The RMA International President decided
he would join that chapter there and then, enabling the meeting to
take place. When other members of the RMA-NY protested, saying he
wasn¹t a member of Local 802, Mr. Ayling insisted that he can join
whichever chapter he wants.

Forcing the meeting, and owing to the lack of a quorum for six
years, someone at the meeting called for an immediate election
of a new board. A new board was elected, representing people
from both the Concerned Members Party and the Member’s Party
(The two main parties based at Local 802)


According to our New York sources, Local 802 is in turmoil. Though
the former 802 President David Lennon was voted out of office for
financial “problems”, there is a faction of Local 802 that still supports
him, among his supporters are some Officers of the RMA International
and the RMA-LA.

So it comes down to factions that support David Lennon, and those
who support AFM President Tom Lee. It is apparent that Mr. Ayling
has inserted himself into the politics of Local 802.

Since the machinations originating in Los Angeles haven’t taken hold
as the RMA International President and the RMALA would have liked,
they’re making another focus of attacking the AFM from New York itself.

Mr. Anthony should get a handle on the loose cannons in his organization.



A recent email from the Local disclosed that there was an attack in the
referral service office on the RS worker by a member, requiring the
moving of the referral service office a mere month after Member Jay
Rosen engineered an overturning of the Rank and File mandate
concerning the RS location. We hope Sam is on the mend, but there
are questions about the timing of this “attack”. Apparently a police
report has been filed.

Why move the service if the threat was from a member?
If the threat came from someone off the street, they MIGHT have a case…

Questions to be answered before moving the office for the “safety” reason:

(1) Isn’t the security guard’s station just as close to the lobby office as
any other office in the building and closer than most?

(2) If the threat was registered as sufficient to move the office,
will the threatening member be prosecuted by both the Hearing
Board and the Los Angeles D.A.’s office?

(3) If not, then just how bona fide was the threat?

(4) Will the membership be given a much more complete report
on exactly what happened that allowed the leadership to s•••-can
the membership’s lawful vote?

(5) If this threat was so dire, how can the lobby be used for ANY
similar purpose, even if they yank out the whole office?

(6) If the security guard is not a sufficient source of security for
such an occasion, what is he doing there? If the Local leadership
claims authority over facilities management because of safety reasons,
then haven’t they done an inadequate job by hiring insufficient security
to prevent what happened? In other words, if the only response to this
“incident” is to move the office, then by definition they are doing an
inadequate job of managing the facilities and the safety of all who work



One of the few areas where the Local is improving for our
rank and file is in the Overture, the monthly attacks on the
COMMITTEE not withstanding.

There are more workshops being advertised and in the January
Overture there was the nice addition of an article by the TMA
(Theater Musicians Association). We feel this is a good idea. In
fact, there should be monthly columns offered to the FMA
(Freelance Musicians Association), TMA (Theater Musicians
Association) and the RMA (Recording Musicians Association).
It certainly could be argued that the RMA gets it’s views out all
over the paper, including officer’s reports. Still, articles by the players’
conferences and even member’s reports from various orchestras
would allow the non-recording folks to make sure their interests are



There was a meeting of the REFERRAL SERVICE COMMITTEE and
other interested members last week. It was very informative and
we seem to finally have a group of members and employees
interested in making it work. Referral Service Committee members
made no bones about pointing out their frustration that they had
to wait four years from their report’s submission to see any action
on its recommendations. They were frustrated that, after
initially presenting the report on 2004, it was simply shelved.

The one responsible for the website and its development assured
those in attendance that the website was, in fact, expandable.

It disturbed us that only those registered with the Referral Service
were informed of the meeting, since there are certainly many
members who want to learn about the service and perhaps use it
in the future. This was a simple oversight and those in attendance
were assured that from now on ALL members will be kept informed
of meetings and developments.

It would seem that, without the board’s direct involvement, some real
progress can finally be made, though there are still many concerns
about the website and the working of the service itself. Cudos to the
Member Services employees and the RS Committee for their hard

The REFERRAL SERVICE COMMITTEE welcomes any ideas or thoughts
from LOCAL 47 members, whether you’re signed up for the Referral
Service or not.

Send comments and ideas to Amie Moore at [email protected]



1) We are very saddened to learn of the passing of drum legend
Buddy Miles. Sept 5, 1947 – Feb 26, 2008. He passed away peacefully
at his home in Austin, TX, at the age of 60. The official cause of death
is not yet known, though he had suffered from congestive heart failure
for several years.

Buddy performed with some of the greatest names in music:
Stevie Wonder, Muddy Waters, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, David Crosby,
Prince, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Vaughan, Rick James, Kool &
the Gang among many others.

He is best known for his work with Jimi Hendrix and bass player Billy
Cox in “Band of Gypsies.”

In lieu of flowers; the family has asked to please make donations to the
Jazz Foundation of America specifically in Buddy Miles’ name to assist
With funeral and other expenses at www.jazzfoundation.org.

The Jazz Foundation of America
Attn.: Amy Cusma
322 West 48th St
New York, NY, 10036

2) WARNING: illegitimate “music licensing” companies
Now that the writers’ strike is over, a number of Members who
are songwriters are reporting being approached with offers from
“music licensing reps,” asking to “pitch” your songs to Film and
TV. Please be aware that there are customary Industry Standard
rates for the placement of songs in Film/TV media. General
customary rates for music licensing are:

– 20% of publishing
– Zero % of writers’ publishing
– 20% of sync license.

If you are offered a different rate (for example, the rep wants
100% of publishing, and wants 50% of the sync license,
but graciously offers to “let” you keep your writers’ publishing,)
OR if the rep asks to re-copyright your songs with new titles,
OR asks to own / be added to the song’s copyright,

There are many legitimate licensing reps willing to work with
quality songs, without taking unfair advantage of the artist.




The Convention Hall Organ in Atlantic City, New Jersey,
is officially the world’s largest pipe organ. When completed
(between May 1929 and December, 1932 by the Midmer-Losh
Organ Company of Merrick, Long Island, New York), it boasted
two consoles (one with seven manuals and another moveable one
with five), more than 1000 stop controls and 33,000 pipes which
ranged in length from 0.2 feet to 64 feet.

The instrument is also the loudest musical instrument ever
constructed and is allegedly able to match the volume of 25
brass bands. The loudest stop, the Grand Ophicleide (16 ft and
8 ft), is believed to be more than six times the volume of the
loudest locomotive whistle.



The comments below represent the uncensored views of the readers
and not necessarily those of the COMMITTEE. In the faith that
freedom of expression allows for the birth and ascendancy of the
most beneficial ideas, all sentiments expressed are welcome, subject
to the bounds of good taste and decorum. If you disagree with an
opinion expressed by any contributor, we encourage you to rebut it here.


Oh my — the most serious aspect of the “Jumper” score is that the
composer (John Powell) used to record with the DeCrescent “cartel”,
moved for awhile to Debbie Datz, and, clearly not satisfied, decided to
try Sydney by remote, apparently with some success. Powell is an
alumnus of the Hans Zimmer “franchise”, so this will not go unnoticed
by many other composers.


I have been a supporting member of the RMA since its
inception and paid my dues more than the money
required to be a member. Recently I was told that
persons aligned to our recording community are
continuing their destructive habits for the benefit of
a few and the further collapse of the many. This
conversation had to do with the RMA International
President. He is attempting to use his power to
discredit the AFM International President Tom Lee through
means of legal recourse to have him removed. Past
RMALA officers have all attempted to control the AFM
either by enforcing their control to elect a president
or attempted to remove them if they didn’t do what
they were told to do by the RMA. It wasn’t long ago when
RMALA used their power to remove the first International
RMA president so the current one be put in place to
maintain their dominance.

A bigger concern is how RMA’s International President
intends to fight his personal battle at a time when
he can’t generate enough interest from the RMA
membership to back his coup. He intends to use Local
47 influence and members money to fight what ought to
be a players conference battle not a Los Angeles Local
battle. Are Local 47 officers encouraging the RMALA
by supporting them? Or are they one and the same?

Being a lifetime professional recording musicians I am
personally disgusted by these actions. By design Los
Angles has chosen to operate to serve itself at the
expense of others. The immediate power is contained
by very few who chose to influence the many
professional recording musicians lives in this town.

If you want to be suckered down this road stay the
course. Not only will they destroy your opportunities
as a professional recording musician they will
continue to control all its National Recording members
and work exclusively through Los Angeles. And don’t be
fooled to let them use their players conference status
to gain support for their own self serving agendas. No
matter where the International RMA president travels to
get support buyer beware. Los Angeles has a long history
of misleading, misrepresentation and deceit of professional
recording union musician at the expense of others.


What were we the recording musicians standing
shoulder to shoulder at the last general meeting
thinking? The persons they were aligning themselves
with were the same people that have been trying to
make them obsolete for over the last twenty years.
All they have done was to find another premise to unite
their own dwindling support. What were they

We all have been fools believing that the inside of
the RMALA was for our best interest. The monopoly
continues. Sure were all concerned about our recording
work that remains but the musicians you were
standing along side in solidarity were the same ones who
have been screwing the rest of LA for their own profit.
What is it going to take for the rest of the recording
musicians to wake up and recognize you are encouraging
the beast to screw you some more. Ask yourself did
everyone who is a recording Los Angeles musician get
the call to show up at the meeting?

Is the current theme to the RMALA and others in this
town that our union is under attack? Or are they
losing their influence. What other tactic will they
chose to get your support? Don’t become another dis-
enfranchised Los Angeles musician at the direction
of the people who have taken this town down with them.
A WOLF IN SHEEP’S clothing comes to mind. It has come
time for the recording musicians to change the way Los
Angeles operates. It has been dysfunctional for TOO many
years. We as recording musicians need to stop acting like
were being lead by the good for all recording musicians. Or
have you noticed like hundreds of professional recording
musicians who did nothing now stand unemployed. How will
they justify their actions next time when you don’t get the call
for work. Or will you just be another casualty of the recording
business? Look around there are good people out their. Don’t
encourage the corrupted to use your achievements to further your
demise. Or shame on all of us professionals. It was a pitiful
site to see people behave and be manipulated with a lack of
information to achieve someone elses goals. Wake up.


Lenin warned, “When the train of history makes a sharp turn the
passengers who do not have a good grip on their seats are
thrown off.” The train has made that sharp turn but the
Musician’s Union and RMALA hold fast to policies of a bygone
era. Musicians are being thrown off, foreclosure papers and
zero balance bank statements in hand. The train is moving on
to other distant recording locations.

Local 47 is resolute against change. It insists on the RMALA
policy of “no buyouts at any time for any reason.” Fine and
dandy — but the world has changed. We live in a buyout
world. Productions originating in LA are being recorded in
studios from Hungary to Australia to you name it. There is in
fact a worldwide market, worldwide market norms, and the
technology in place for producers and composers to get their
work done anywhere, without leaving LA. And that is precisely
what they are doing.

If the union and RMA price LA out of the market who gets hurt?
YOU, and posterity. The question is not if the union will ultimately
change its policies, it is a question of when it will finally do so.

There is no way the union can oppose worldwide market forces
indefinitely. The longer it refuses to update policy the more
damage it inflicts on local musicians and on the union itself.
A few months back I was “repudiated” in this forum by an
anonymous contributor for suggesting that the union is acting
like a socialist/communist enterprise.

Well, to misquote Forrest Gump, “Socialism is as socialism does.”
I’m sorry, but the union is in fact behaving exactly like a Marxist
regime: it takes away your freedom, it serves the elite while
pretending to serve all, it takes your money, it focuses on top-
down control of the industry, it creates a price structure out of
sync with the marketplace, it opposes free markets, it does what
it can to hijack what little ritualistic democracy is left at the local,
and it seeks to suppress and control its own members through
discipline, threats and harassment: ideas and tactics straight out
of the Stalinist playbook.

Is “outsourcing” good for the American rank-and-file? We
musicians are outsourcing work — needlessly. The RMALA and
Espinosa Administration are profoundly damaging, perhaps
permanently, the recording industry in Los Angeles. They are
protecting the few at the cost of creating a panoply of non-AFM
recording locales. They are forcing globalization of the market,
creating a situation that will negatively impact all LA musicians
for years and decades to come. It is my understanding that the
RMA is the only organization in the WORLD that will not offer a
buyout arrangement for film and TV, thereby creating a mass
exodus from Los Angeles. This needs to stop.

The danger comes when one surrenders one’s liberty — in this
case to an institution whose policies deny LA musicians the
opportunity to work while creating work in other locations
worldwide. Why allow a small centralized authority to impose its
will on the rest of us? Are you not tired of the ‘Shut up and get
back on the Reservation’ mentality? It is time for change — in
fact change is long overdue. If this administration won’t effect
change, and they manifestly will not, they have to be replaced —
by an administration capable of being something other than
RMALA puppets.

Rick Blanc (please attach name)


The news about Sydney doesn’t surprise me. Globalization
is the future (actually the present). We will just continue to plod
along with our heads in the sand so fewer & fewer of us can make
a living in recorded music for film. The producers will sign the
next contract with out any fuss & record the bare minimum
of films in LA that the contract will allow.

Of the approx. 8000 members of Local 47 only a couple
hundred plus the RMA will ever show up to a meeting or have
anything to say about what’s going on. The rest of the world
will continue to innovate & compete for the work that we once
did the majority of, & win. We will maintain the status quo,
right up to the very end!


Until next time,


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