…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


+Late next week will be a bombshell edition on the AFM Convention –
Please read and share to all you know!+



The AFM convention is coming from June 20th -23rd in
Las Vegas at the Gateway Resort and Casino
(Formerly the Hilton)
3000 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV  89109

To register go to the AFM Website.

102nd Convention




February 16, 2016

Ray Hair, President
International Executive Board
c/o Sam Folio, Secretary-Treasurer
American Federation of Musicians
1501 Broadway, Ste. 600
New York, NY 10036

RE: Referendum to Sell 817 Vine Street

Dear President Ray Hair and International Executive Board,

I am writing on behalf of many members of Local 47/Musicians’ Club
who are convinced that the referendum recently passed to sell our
Vine Street property was severely compromised.  While perhaps
one to two procedural “missteps” may not be sufficient to void
the referendum….the aggregate is circumstantially compelling.

As the parent organization we are asking you to consider taking
the Local into Trusteeship and/or voiding the referendum vote
based on the following:

1) Absolute refusal by the administration to use an outside agency
to secure the ballot and voting process, given the magnitude of
the vote. The administration had been urged by the membership
to do so in open meetings early on.

2) Unclear ballot language with the Local refusing to clarify what a
yes vote meant or what a no vote meant, leaving many members to
consider the question a fraud because were not being asked a yes
or no question.  Repeated efforts seeking clarification was met with
contempt for asking.  It was at the January 25, 2016 meeting,  Atty.
Levy confirmed that what the ballot means is based on the intent
of the drafter.  (4 days before the end of the voting period.)

3) The administration thwarted any dissent by manipulation of the
information and avenues of membership communication. The
membership-at-large was deprived of alternative compelling
arguments that the administration was well aware of. This we believe
is a Title I issue under the LMRDA that can only be remedied by a
civil suit by the members.

4) The Election Board did not have control over the process.  They
cannot account for every ballot. The Election Board Chair referred
all questions to Atty. Levy, even as to how to handle the “Return to
Sender” ballots which were not produced until an observer insisted
on their physical presence with all other returned ballots. And only
then, with the help of Vice-President Baptist who apparently obtained
a key to the cabinet that kept those ballots separate from the care
of the election board.  Also, no unused ballots were produced or
counted in the final tally.

5) While the voting result on its face looks to be overwhelming, the
truth is that in order for the referendum to even be viable there
needed to be  50%+1 of the eligible voters to return their ballots.
That threshold was met by only 240 ballots. Given all the “substantive”
and “procedural” problems, this referendum should properly be voided.

We are told that all members in good standing in Local 47 are also
members of the Musicians’ Club, a 501 c 2.  The purpose of the Club
was to hold the Local’s  real property in trust.  The by-laws of the
Club call for the elected officials of Local 47 to hold the same positions
as Club officers and directors.

It is also our understanding that the 501 c 2 was created to keep the
AFM from taking over the Local some years ago.   In fact, that would
probably explain why,  since 2005 the 990 Form filed by the Club
reported a “secured note” owed to an “unrelated third party.”  That
is not the case.  This “error” in reporting has and did give the IRS
and the public the impression that there was a secured loan owed
by the Club.  Attached is the response to my inquiry regarding the
federal filing from Local 47’s accounting firm who agreed to correct
this entry to another line.

A note for zero interest showing a sum due and payable in 2024 was
attached to Form 990 in 2005.  That note identified monies used to
build our rehearsal rooms. Since then, there was another sum of money
admittedly transferred from Local 47 to the Club for the refurbishment
of our auditorium.  Essentially, they have borrowed from and are paying
back themselves. (Local 47 Counselor Levy refers to this as a “ledger
transfer.”)  All in all, we have put about one million dollars in upgrades
to our facilities between 2005 and 2009.

Under the Local and Club by-laws, I have requested the Minutes that
should have reflected these transactions.  I have repeated my request
both in writing and in person. Apparently, the proper corporate formalities
have not been followed and it is only because of the referendum that
the Club has been resurrected to be visible to the membership.

The Club by-laws are now posted on the Local 47 website.

Finally, while observing the ballot counting on February 2, 2016 I had a
discussion with President John Acosta regarding the fact, that to date,
there is no motion or resolution that requires the Club to actually replace
our facilities.   There is no timeline.  What about the balance of the funds?

President Acosta indicated that they were looking to secure a balance after
relocation and remodeling for use as an endowment protected from the AFM.
I would argue that the issue is one of alter-ego and that failure to follow
corporate formalities should allow a court to ignore the corporate forum
of the Club allowing the AFM to intervene.

Of course, there is much more to this than these few points. We understand
that the Department of Labor does not involve itself in internal union
governance unless it is regarding a regularly scheduled election of officers,
or wrongful use of monies.

As the recognized governing body for the United States and Canada we are
looking for your oversight and intervention.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. Please let me know that you
have received this correspondence and what actions, if any, you are prepared
to take. If you are unable or (unwilling) to intervene in this matter-please
advise as to what a FULL range of options are (no omissions please) for
challenging and contesting what many believe a fraudulent vote.

Your prompt reply and actions will be greatly appreciated as this matter
is very time sensitive.


Helen Crosby, Member
Local 47 AFM/Musicians’ Club of Los Angeles

Encl. (2)

cc:  U.S. Department of Labor/OLMS
Kamala Harris, California Attorney General- Registry of Charitable Trusts



April 25,2016

Helen Crosby

Re: Referendum concerning 817 Vine Street

Dear Ms. Crosby,

This is in response to your February 16 letter regarding the referendum to
sell 817 Vine Street, in which you requested that the Federation place Local 47 in
trusteeship in order to void the results of the referendum. I understand there is
often disagreement among members regarding the conduct of a union’s internal
business affairs, particularly at Local 47. In fact, rarely is there unanimity on such
issues. However, the Federation cannot justify imposition of a trusteeship on the
basis of requirements that do not exist in the LMRDA or AFM bylaws, or on conclusory
assertions unsupported by factual evidence. The remedy of trusteeship cannot be
sustained in the absence of clear and convincing proof of a violation of law.

We note, for example, that the employment of a third-party agency of Election
Board to administer the voting process in the referendum was not required by
either the LMRDA or the Federation. Thus, a trusteeship could not be supported
on this basis. Nor would the Federation trustee a Local where an election or
referendum proceeded without the participation of 50% + 1 of eligible voters
as you suggest. We do appreciate the information that “return to sender” ballots
and unused ballots were not tabulated as a vote either for or against the proposal,
and believe that this protocol was appropriate. We are further persuaded that the
referendum was conducted according to law by your confirmation that open
membership meetings were held early in the referendum process up through
four days before the close of voting, and that Local counsel was present during
at least one of there meetings.

Many of the other allegations in your letter lack factual details specific enough for
the Federation to act upon them. For instance, your objection to the ballot language
does not explain how the ballot was unclear or fraudulent, who was allegedly
subject to contempt for repeatedly seeking clarification, the source(s) of such
contempt, or the nature of such contempt. Similarly, your letter is vague as to
how in particular Local 47 officials chilled dissent or membership communication.
Local officers cannot be compelled to make every argument for and against certain
actions, and frequently do make recommendations on ballot referendums. In that
regard, we have no factual basis upon which to distinguish this referendum from
the norm. And, you have not referred to, and we are unaware of, any threat of
internal union charges or actual charges made against a Local 47 member as
a result of protected speech or activity.

Finally with respect to the intend use of proceeds from a property sale, if any,
such determination rests with Local 47 and its members. The Federation cannot
legitimately deploy trusteeship to coerce this determination or to prospectively
“cure” a breech of trust of trust that has not occurred. To the best of our inquiry,
information, and belief, there have been no substantial irregularities in the
accounting practices of either Local 47 or the Musician’s Club. The Musicians’
Club exists and operates in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.
We therefore maintain the presumption that the offices of Local 47 will continue
to manage members’ assets in full compliance with their fiduciary duties.

The federation expresses no opinion with  respect to the substance of the
proposed sale of the Vine Street property. Nevertheless, I trust my response
will resolve any doubts you have about the validity of the referendum procedures.


Raymond M. Hair Jr.
International President
American Federation of Musicians
of the United States and Canada

Action Up-date as follows:
“A letter was crafted and mailed two weeks ago in response to the above
letter from President Hair. The following is an outline of the subject matter
covered. We are awaiting a response.”


Ballot Language Issue
Non-Disclosure of Member Concerns in Official Communications/Inadequate
Members’ Request for Special Club Meeting/unreasonable Delay by Executive
Letters to the Editor January Print Edition of Overture
Refusal to Provide Resources for Opposing Views
Disparity of Resources
Refusal to Use an Outside Agency
The Election Board Was Not In Charge of the Ballot Process
Referendum Ballot Count
Tally Incomplete Due to Failure to Count Unused Ballots
Jay Rosen Resigned From the Election Board
Campaign Manager Hired From Promotional Company
Shut Down of Committee For A Responsible 47 Blog
Grievance Issue

[EC: We certainly support Ms. Crosby in her actions. If more members were as active and committed as she is, our Local would be far better off.]




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.



Please pass the word that the annual auditions for the CalStateLA
Symphony Orchestra/Olympia Youth Orchestra for the 2016-2017 season
will begin in June through mid August immediately after the season is

Qualified students may submit the form on line at the website

under “youth orchestra”.

I will be in touch to set up a time during the summer. The next
season begins late September of this year through early June of 2017.

The orchestra consists of talented students age 12 through college
age. Rehearsals are at CSULA on Sundays at 4:30-7PM. Tuition is $650
for the entire year. Scholarship is available on a need or merit
basis depending on instrument and individual student. The orchestra
students will also be able to take optional transferable college
credits from CSULA, perform with college music students in 4 on and
off campus concerts.

This is a great orchestra with lots of talented students taking part.
I look forward to hearing from students learning all orchestral

Thank you!

Fung Ho
Music Director & Conductor
CalStateLA Symphony Orchestra/Olympia Youth Orchestra


The Orchestre Surreal

Elvis Schoenberg
Dangerous Dan O’Callaghan
The Fabulous Miss Thing
Los Angeles’s Most Notorious Musicians


LA’s Most Hip Pan Asian Restaurant.

Tuesday June 14th
one set


A Special Event Show

Among our usual mashups and
genre bending arrangements
We will be performing
a special Tribute to

Keith Emerson.
On the program:
two of Keith’s rarely heard orchestral works,
Glorietta Pass and After All Of This
also a piece that Keith conceived that was written for him and the
Orchestre Surreal. Pacific Honky Tonk 231 Blues
plus orchestral versions of ELP tunes.



The Corbin Bowl and San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra
Present Concerts at the “Bowl” in the “Corbin Lounge”
Wednesday Evenings at 7:30 pm

June 15
The Screaming Clams
Rock ‘n’ Roll with music of the ’60s and early ’70s, featuring
Jimi Dee, lead quitar and vocals; Joel Domine, keys and guitar;
Larry Muradian, bass; Nick Scarmack, drummer and Rebecca Ray,
vocalist extraordinaire



June 22

The Blues Bandits
Play and sing the “Blues,” featuring David Reo, guitar and vocals; Jimi Dee,
guitar and vocals; Larry Muradian, bass and Chuck Burkinshaw, drums

June 29
The Screaming Clams, part 2
Rock ‘n’ Roll with music of the ’60s and early ’70s, featuring
Jimi Dee, lead quitar and vocals; Joel Domine, keys and guitar;
Larry Muradian, bass; Nick Scarmack, drummer and Rebecca Ray,
vocalist extraordinaire

“Lounge” at the Corbin Bowl
19616 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana

Free Admission/ONE Drink Minimum
Persons under 21 years of age not admitted

The BBB  featuring Bernie Dresel returns for
the first time since our live recording

Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill  in Burbank
from  8:30pm-11:15pm
No reservations necessary!!
21 and older
4311 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
Dear Doctor Wu Fans,

We will be appearing at the Santa Monica Endless Summer
SOULstice Festival on Sunday, June 26th 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00
PM, where we will play two sets of your favorite Steely Dan tunes.
Please bring your friends along and enjoy a great time with us!

Edgemar Courtyard
2440 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
5:00 – 7:00 PM

We hope to see you there!

The Doctor Wu Band

Music at Westwood presents
Missa Mortem Da Pacem
Mass for Peace

Join us for an extraordinary evening of music with
Westwood Master Choir and Soloists
with the
Westwood Chamber Orchestra

June 26th at 5pm

Westwood Presbyterian Church
10822 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024



The Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program
At The
Seattle Film Institute

is still accepting applications to the One year

Master of Music (MM) in Film Composition

Recently rated as the #4 school for film scoring education
in the world by Music School Central and the #2 school
for earning a Masters of Music degree in Film Composition

Study with program creator and lead instructor

Hummie Mann

2 Time Emmy Award Winning film composer of
“Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and featured in
Variety Magazine’s article “Leaders in Learning”

Click here to listen and watch student scores from previous years

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016
school year We offer rolling admissions – applying
early is recommended Scholarship support is
available to early applicants


You can read all previous offerings at:



  1. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to Ray and the RMA leadership. Another big win… maybe the lawyers collecting our work dues should actually study our contracts before filing a lawsuit next time. Now there is a court ruling for producers to study so they too can get out of future scoring obligations.

    “The AFM argued that it has long understood a studio is the producer of a film under Article 3 “if it financed at least 25% of the production costs of the motion picture.” The judge, however, ruled that “this 25% threshold appears nowhere in Article 3,” and that the union offered “no evidence of past practices by the parties that demonstrate that they interpreted Article 3 in this way during the course of their decades-long relationship.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Deposition of Dennis Dreith:
    Q:”So where is it that you obtained the understanding that if a company invests in a motion picture and it is not a distribution deal, that that makes a company, quote, ‘producer’?
    A: “That’s my personal view. It comes from discussions with various people in the industry.”

    Full Court Opinion, pg 14

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