…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity – Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity – Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal – L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention – National touring musician

Name Withheld

A resolution requiring a balanced budget will be voted on. Please be
there to make the local be more “RESPONSIBLE”.



Re: Correspondence to AFM Local 47 dated January 5, 2016

Dear Mr.(Local 47 Counsel)

Pardon the delay in responding to your letter of January 8.

And thank you for the offer to meet with the Board. My clients’
decline based on past experience with the Board, which has
been tone deaf to the concerns and grievances of many
members – especially regarding the sale of 817 Vine Street.
We have no expectation the Board will sufficiently address
the issues raised in my letter of January 5.

Your letter also fails to respond to many of the issues.

These include the knowing failure by the Board to correct
continuing, erroneous misrepresentations, including, significantly,
the amount of “surplus revenue” available to invest after 817
Vine Street is sold, a new building is purchased, and renovations
are completed. The failure is grievous because the entire object
of the exercise in selling 817 Vine Street is to provide Local 47
with an “$11 million fund” which will produce sufficient interest
or dividend income over the long haul to ensure the “continued
viability of Local 47.” I am certain a lawsuit will be filed by
those who relied on the representation against those responsible
if the representation turns out to be false.

There was no mention in your letter of the Board’s choice not
to provide for an independent third-party to keep custody of
the ballots until they are counted, or for independent, third-
party supervision of the ballot count. Yet the board spent
$15,000 to aggressively promote the sale of 817 Vine Street,
including printing of entirely unnecessary color ballots and
promotional materials. Nor has the board explained why, in
the referendum count, it has departed from the standard
required in the Bylaws for the election of officeholders;
especially when the Board claims this referendum is “the
most important vote” members will ever make.

Nor did you address the misleading and confusing
language of the ballot. One of the points I raised in
my January 5 letter was the absence of an explanation
what a “yes” vote, and what a “no” vote, mean. Many
members have questioned me on this point. That —–
(Member Realtor) finally addressed the confusion in
his email “blast” to members on January 6, 2016 admits
the confusing nature of the language.

And regarding the —- (Member Realtor) email, is a list
of those member names and email addresses who have
not so far voted available to all members? In that regard,
(Member Realtor) states “I saw your name on a list a week
ago or so that you have not sent in your ballot yet.”

If available to members, in my capacity as an active
member of Local 47, I request a copy of the list within
the next 48 hours.

And I also found it interesting that (Member Realtor), in
aggressively soliciting “Yes” votes on behalf of himself
and the Board, failed to disclose that he was going to
personally benefit by receiving a large chunk of the $1
million real estate fee/commission if he could persuade
recipients of his email to vote for the sale.

Finally (Member Realtor), who is apparently acting as an
authorized representative of the Board in his email blast,
alludes to the extensive and annoying methods employed
by the Board in drumming up “yes” votes when he states:
“Please vote! I am writing you instead of Union phone bank
contacting you time after time; I figured you would appreciate

You also failed to address the need by the Board for an
independent appraisal of 817 Vine Street, given their
utter lack of experience in the purchase or sale of
commercial real estate, especially unique property
such as 817 Vine Street.

As previously noted, how the referendum has been
handled by the Board has led to great distrust among
the members. And the distrust appears to be the
proximate cause of the increasingly desperate measures
now undertaken to drum up enough votes to authorize
the Board just to count the votes received.

Yours sincerely,




Subject: Questions & concerns from many members re: sale
of 817 N. Vine & adjacent property

Local 47 Officers John Acosta, Ruck Baptist, Gary Lasley,
Gordon Grayson and Members of the Executive Board.

I am Bill Peterson, a 50 year + member , recording trumpeter
and former Vice President & President of Local 47. Here are 
questions & concerns I have been asked, and I have had myself,
regarding the sale of the 817 N. Vine St., the building & 
adjacent property, and subsequent move of Local 47 functions
such as offices, auditorium, rehearsal rooms, et al, to Burbank.

I want to make it clear that I have had many calls and emails with
questions I have been asked by members as well as some of
my own to which I would like an answer. 

1.  Who is the appraiser who did the appraisal of the present
site, and when, and at what cost was this appraisal accomplished? 

2.  When was the listing of 817 N. Vine, (building & property),
given to a real estate  agent or firm? 

3.  How was this decision made? How was a real estate agency chosen?

4.  Was this done before notifying the Musicians Club & Local
47 membership of any of these moves, or the plan to move ?
Was a competent architect, building designer or architect hired to
make an estimate of the cost to Local 47 to build or make needed
facilities at the Burbank location such as an auditorium, rehearsal
rooms, offices, archival area, et al?

5.  What is the true financial status of Local 47?  The total financial
& property assets of Local 47? Profit/ Loss figures for the last 3 years?
Is a balance sheet available to all interested members, which shows
the assets, real, cash, and investments of the Local?

6.  Is the new location practical, in terms of on-site parking for members,
orchestras that need or wish to rehearse there, and parking which is safe,
free, and close and available, such as the Local members now enjoy?

7.  Will the sale of the present property eventually result in another raise
for the officers of 47? Will the top three  executives; President, 
Vice President & Sec. Treasurer be granted higher salaries ?

8.  Why have the Local Officers & Executive Board decided to put ballot
boxes in the Secretary Treasurer’s offices? Why wasn’t an organization 
such as the League of Women Voters or a similar organization chosen
to hold this Voting procedure?

This vote concerns the very life of the Local, and is too vital and sensitive
to handled by placing ballot boxes in a sitting Officer’s office.

This question casts no aspersions at any officer or individual, but points
up the fact that the very Local 47 financial present & future is at stake here.

9. How much of Local 47’s, and the Local Memberships’ funds  been spent
to launch the campaign to sell 817 N. Vine & the adjacent property?

What cost has the printed material & mailing, &  phone bank been?
10.  Have any monies been offered to members, (individual or groups),
who do not agree with the aims of this campaign?
11. Why was knowledge of the plan to sell 817 N. Vine St, Local 47 &
Musicians Club  building and adjacent property not announced in a logical,
straightforward way to the members of the Local? Many members
learned of the plan as a rumor which “leaked out” bit by bit!

12. What are the exact figures, dollar amounts, please), of number of
film & TV sessions, (live & film) as well as recording a game-show sessions,
and the amount of work dues collected from these sessions, for the
last five years?

In Closing, I feel it incumbent upon you to answer these questions as
elected officials of our Local, In order for the membership to make any
kind of responsible and informed vote on this plan.

Fraternally yours,

Bill Peterson



To my friend, teacher, coach & colleague —— —-,
and all of you listed above, I offer my thoughts on the
sale of 817 N. Vine St., and adjacent property….

If you agree or disagree, I applaud you for considering
what I have written. Feel free to share this, if only to stir
up discussion before a decision to sell or not to sell is
made. I point out what I believe are the real, underlying
problems that face our officers & Exec. Bd.

What this is really about is:

1.The lack of what my license plate proclaims… “MO GIGS”!  
The Local’s finances are at a low  of perhaps $900,000.
This is because there are not enough films, TV, Video games,
etc. being scored in L.A. Instead the Pres. of the AFM, Ray
(“Wild”) Hair, has been busy suing the studios for this or
that infringement …

2. The Local is worried about the costs of doing business,
such as replacing the roof at 817 N. Vine, updating the
electricals, etc, and some improvement to the façade
of the bldg. The Officers & Board feel that they can sell
the bldg., (worth little) & adjacent property, (worth a lot!),
so they can move the operation to Burbank and use part
of the sale proceeds to construct rehearsal rooms, an auditorium,
etc. – in other words have some of what the Local already has,
plus put $ in the bank.

I feel that a move to Burbank, or Petaluma, or Colton, California
is not the answer to Local 47’s woes. The property at 817 N.Vine
stands glowing like a cash cow. Even if the property is sold, but
no new work comes into Local 47, so that no new income comes
gushing to the Local, cash can easily be used up. I think it’s great
that the salaries of our officers are very handsome indeed, Pres.
upwards of $130 K per year, Veep & Sec. treasurer at least $ 93 K.
but if the Union can’t afford to put a new roof on the building,
perhaps the Officers could consider ‘contributing’ part these
salaries back to Local 47 coffers, so as to keep a roof over
their heads.

3. No one seems to remember the effect that Uan Rasey, Vince
DeRoas and all the others had when they & others,  started
“The Guild”! That organization forced Petrillo & those who
followed him into the AFM presidency, to pay attention to
the needs and desires of the players, such as:
To be consulted & involved in negotiations with the studios,
and receive the “Raises” which Petrillo got,  but funneled
into the James C, & Caesar Petrillo Trust funds. My 1st
record date, with leader Van Alexander for Gordon MacRae
at Capitol Studio paid $ 60.00… When the guild got Sinatra,
& his label “Reprise”,  to sign with The Guild to be the
bargaining agent of Phono musicians, scale went up
amazingly to $100.00 a session.

$. So, what to do? Sell the bldg., & property, sit on the
proceeds after buying & outfitting new digs in fabulous
downtown Burbank, the new hub of Show Biz, according to
our elected officials, (or Petaluma, or Fontana!!), and wait for
the work of scoring  films, TV, Video games, jingles, & so to
magically flow back! Well, if we don’t do something new and
inventive, like realizing that BOTH sides of the table have
items they want, need, and are determined to get!! …
And unless we find new ways, new negotiations, etc., to
bring the work back to this town, the work won’t return —
it ain’t gonna happen!! The Local will eventually run out of $,
and the Officers won’t collect the generous salaries they receive. 

Sure,  having John Towner Williams score the new StarWars
here is a good move in the right direction, but after joining
attorney/deal maker Jay Cooper one evening,  a couple of
months ago, I heard that the majors have memos to producers,
etc. that order, “Do not score films in L.A. using the Local 47
forces!” (Or words to that effect).

Perhaps we can meet and listen to what Jay Cooper, highly respected
member & attorney, might say, and perhaps get new, fresh, creative
ideas to create “MO GIGS”! Suing the ‘big, bad studios’, thereby
making them our enemies is not going attract them back to hiring
Local 47 players!!! But the folks that run the studios are business
men & women, whose job it is to turn a profit with the product!
Gee! what a concept?!

They want the best price to score their films that they can get.
The Secondary markets payment has been a great addition to
scoring musicians’ incomes. But if there is no work, then, then,
of what benefit is the Back End payment. Especially to those,
outside of the 100 or 150 musicians who are called to do what
little work there is!

There are hundreds of competent players who do dark dates, etc.,
because they are not working, and they have to pay their bills. I
cast no aspersions or stones, (& until my shoulder heals I won’t be
casting anything but spit!)! Perhaps new, creative ways to be found,
thought of, brainstormed, by the musicians who work & those who
don’t, to attract the employers back! It’s a dream, I know, but I
fervently pray that the days of 2, 3, & 4 dates a day, can, & will,
return. I had my day doing the work, but I want all the fine players
in this Local to have that opportunity and that gift too!

The bottom line is, as my license plate proclaimed,


“The Marshal” has done spoke!

{EC: We couldn’t agree more!]



[EC: No one can say we don’t print opposing views. However,
this seems like a simple restatement of all the Local talking
points with much of it in the exact wording the Local has used.

Was this all written personally by Lisa, or was she given verbiage
to pass on?

If this was so honest and forthright on the Local’s part why
all the deception, duplicitous ballot and bait and switch meetings?

We don’t buy it.

As to the ballot, the fault lays squarely at the feet of the Local 47 counsel.
As we’ve pointed out before, the wording was perfect on the 4 page,
“Mini-Overture”. As President Acosta pointed out, the wording was
changed directly at the behest of the counsel.

We still say not voting is the only way to guarantee your vote counts
as a no.]

Dear Freelance Musicians Assn – FMA Members:
Report on possible Local #47 building sale:
As you may know, we are being asked to vote whether to sell
our Local #47 building, and buy another location. Deadline
for ballots is Monday, Feb 1 (either by mail, or via a special
ballot box at our Local.)
Two things happened this week:
1. The Building Committee was given many new details as to
“why” this action is being brought to a vote now.
2. On Thurs Jan 14, we saw the entirety of the potential new
property, both inside and out, with our own eyes.

Based on the information below, I am personally recommending
a “Yes” vote regarding the building sale and relocation.

And I am additionally asking that all FMA members please return
their ballots ASAP. (“If” you have already mailed in your ballot with
a “No” vote, but are reconsidering in view of the following info,
please contact Secretary/Treasurer Gary Lasley, who will put you in
touch with the Election Board for a new ballot.)

(This info below was previously not mentioned to the rank & file –
why is that? But now we have details!)

1. Why are we considering selling now?
a. Several “big ticket” repairs, which have been delayed for varying
lengths of time, are now at the point where they “must” be done
without further delay, including:
1. Desperately needed new roof
2. Electrical building grid is at capacity (due to the ever-increasing
needs of computers & security.)
3. Earthquake retrofit concerns (Many homeowners face this same
dilemma: “Get a loan & fix what we’ve got vs. sell and move to
something better?”)

b. Property values are still rising (but currently extremely volatile
stock market.)
c. Property taxes, which have always come out of Local #47’s budget,
are getting more difficult to afford
(It is my opinion that up til now, our Officers and Executive Board were
hoping for a turnaround in our music business economy.
It is embarrassing to admit that our #47 revenue has decreased

Sadly, the time to “wait and see” must now be over. Our reserves
are lower than ever before.
Rather than take out a huge loan for repairs (which we might not
be able to repay!) our leaders feel we should take different action.)

2. Why this particular building?
a. Many favorable features, including:
i.     29 different rooms, many of them already finished:

1.     One very large room, which could become an auditorium
2.     Three conference room-size areas, one of them very large
3.     Many rooms are finished offices, each approximately 15 x 20
4.     I lost track of number of bathrooms – at least 10?
5.     Kitchen/break room, very spacious, plus 2nd smaller kitchenette
6.     15K sq ft back area (used to be Digital Symphony)
7.     Three additional units to the left of the main one
8.     One additional unit to the right – could become Musicians Credit Union
(if they choose to come with us + change their Charter)
9.     We would own the entire structure

ii.     Electrical has its own 12KW substation – solely for this building, new
iii.     20 foot ceilings throughout – many currently “hidden” by drop-ceiling panels
iv.     Earthquake retrofitting two years ago to current code
v.     Security system throughout the building, modern with cameras, separate
entry code boxes for many rooms
vi.     Computer optics already installed
vii.     Terrazzo stone floors throughout (some rooms covered over in carpeting)
viii.     Red brick exterior walls
ix.     Current “Mezzanine” upstairs w/additional office – we could build
additional 2nd story offices if needed
x.     144 parking spaces – including 55 behind a gated secure fence in
back – plus extra available spaces those hours when the nearby school
and AAA are closed.
xi.     Close to Freeways!
xii.     Three restaurants in a separate structure on the property:

1.     Subway
2.     Caesar’s Pizza
3.     Japanese Sushi restaurant

–        With leases, which would generate rental income well more than
sufficient to pay all property taxes
Also previously not mentioned to the rank & file (I have no idea why not):
Two neighbors to our prospective property, Peer Music and Team Music,
were previously typical, ugly “strip mall” locations.
What their respective architects did with their property space is truly amazing
– modern, spacious, light, steel & glass, etc.
Please stick your head into both companies and ask for a quick look-see.

I must admit that when I saw the photos by one of our members a few
months ago, (taken through exterior windows at the front of the property)
I was discouraged – it looked like simply an empty shell.

I am very glad I waited to give you this report until the Building Committee
“tour” on Thurs. 

I had no idea of the size and amenities of the new building.
It’s huge, folks.
Nobody likes moving. However, I see this as a wise move for our
Local in view of the obstacles.
Only 2,200 ballots – total – have been returned so far. PLEASE VOTE.
I must give our Officers and EB only a C+ on their communication skills.
So much of the angst of the past few months could have (in my opinion)
been easily avoided, had the info above been presented along with the
ballots. 🙂
Kindest Regards,
Lisa Haley
Freelance Musicians Assn – L.A.





With regard to selling the Local 47 Building/Property:

Now is not the time to liquidate our material assets
such as real property because the Stock Market is
sinking like a stone and no one knows what’s going
to happen to the value of the dollar.

I understand we have 5 offers – each for $24 million.
Obviously we have an item that will sell @ almost
anytime we choose.

With no mortgage and money in the bank and lower
overhead (which could be made lower with a few
salary reductions) we should maintain our current
position – at least until after the election when
we know which the wind is blowing.


P.S. I’ve seen the proposed building over in Burbank.
The building does not look like it has good bones.



I just read your message regarding the protection of
the approximate $8m surplus.

It would seem to me that this would have been
organized and presented to the membership long
before there were offers for the sale of the building.

My ex husband was a trombone player, and became
the President of the Musician’s Guild (Union) of
Quebec, Canada, as well as  involved in private and
Guild related real estate. 

Nothing is left to chance in the 3 in stacks of paper
for any business or real estate transaction, and
yet your column is suggesting what MIGHT happen
to the millions of dollars being moved, and the
ways you MIGHT protect this money.

As a  non business person, I perceive this to be
totally backwards. These details should be ironed
out and presented to the membership BEFORE
there is a sale, and definitely before there is
even a vote to sell the property

One member’s thoughts,




DEAN AND RICHARD are now playing every third Friday
at Culver City Elks 7:30pm-10;30pm,
11160 Washington Pl.
Culver City, 90232



Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at Viva Cantina
900 Riverside Drive, Burbank.

Free parking across the street at Pickwick Bowl.
Come hear your favorite charts played the way they
should be.

We are in the back room called the Trailside Room.

Come on down. Guaranteed to swing.



Malibu Friends
of Music
Montgomery Arts House
for Music and Architecture 
January 2016

Kairos Musical Soirees

Monday, January 25th
7:30 pm 
Wednesday, January 27th   
7:30 pm

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Ludwig van Beethoven   
…and a few surprises…  
performed in the beautiful MAHMA Music Room
designed by architect
Eric Lloyd Wright 
Featuring Esteemed Artists:
Wendy Prober, pianist
Maria Newman, violinist
Scott Hosfeld, violist
Jeness Johnson, cellist  
For Reservations click here: 

$25.00 per Guest
18 and under admitted donation-free

To make a reservation  
 please visit our website at

Or call the
MAHMA Reservation Line:
(310) 589-0295 

Please Like Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture
on Facebook


Join us at MAHMA 
February 13 and 14, 2016
for our Valentine’s Events
Champagne & Chocolate

Champagne and Chocolate
Featuring members of the
Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra Solisti
Malibu Coast String Quartet
World Renowned Guest Artists and Speakers
Scott Hosfeld, Music Director & Conductor 


Chamber Concert

1/30/16 – 7:30pm
2465 Ventura Blvd
Camarillo, CA 93010

$25 (reception included)

[email protected]




7:30 PM
Sessions at the Loft
2465 Ventura Blvd,
Camarillo, CA 93010

$25 (reception included)

[email protected]



will present the premiere of Paul GIbson’s
“The Shepherd’s Lot”
in three February concerts.

Harriet Fraser (soprano),
Amanda Walker (clarinet)
Irina Bazik (piano)

Winners of the 2015 Beverly Hills National Auditions

The European Concert Trio was formed in 2015 by
three European-born, Los Angeles-based professional
artists, each having already established successful solo
careers, to fulfill their passion for chamber music and
share it with Southern California audiences.


Fri, FEB 19 – Encinitas – 7:30pm
The City of Encinitas presents
Music by the Sea concert series
Encinitas Library
540 Cornish Drive
Tickets: $13, plus fee. Purchase tickets in advance here.

Sat, FEB 20 – Torrance – 3pm
Classical Crossroads &
FirstServe Community Services present
The Interludes concert series
First Lutheran Church & School
2900 W. Carson Street
Tickets: FREE, donations appreciated. Information here.

Sun, FEB 21 – Beverly Hills – 2pm
Music in the Mansion concert series
Greystone Mansion
905 Loma Vista Dr.
Tickets: $20. Information here.


You can read all previous offerings at:http://www.responsible47.com


  1. anon says:

    I would like to make a comment about last night’s 1/25 Union and Club meeting:

    In general I believe I think this sale is a good idea and I guess I had better get my ballot in soon.

    There was a lot of emotion and ill will last last but I thought that there was one set of comments that were more disgusting than others. The president of the RMA got up and said the RMA has no opinion on this sale, a first, but speaking for himself he didn’t like that people involved knew who had voted and this could be a scary thing for work if a contractor found out. HOW OUTRAGEOUS! The biggest thing the RMA does is have a yearly fundraiser where they have a contractor stand on the podium and say how important buying tickets are, even if you don’t or can’t go still buy. And the RMA only gives tickets to the “first” chairs to sell in their sections. Are you kidding me? How outrageous this RMA president is! People complain that the Union is spending too much money on this vote so they are just trying to contact people who have not voted, many of which for one reason or another did not get a ballot.

  2. Anonymous says:

    NO, NO, NO! Don’t sell our building. Not only is it historical but it has so much potential that only non business people (i.e. our officers and board) would think of doing such a thing. Unbelievable!

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