…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



There has been much Sturm und Drang by a couple of posters on
Facebook about the first paragraphs of the Resolution 4 report,
before the detailed history of the RMA.

Here, again is exactly what was written by me to include at the
beginning of the report:

“Long time AFM and Local 47 member Charles Fernandez attended
the convention with the intention of speaking in support of the
resolution.” [TRUE]

“Unfortunately, Member Fernandez was not informed as to when the
committee would discuss Resolution 4, so was NOT IN ATTENDANCE
WHEN IT WAS. (True) Whether this was by design, or accidental,
we don’t know. We do, however, know that member Fernandez
was not allowed to speak on the floor of the convention,…”

[Since I was not there on Monday I did not hear the “Guests Shalt
Not Speak On The Convention Floor” speech. When they called for
debate, I went to a microphone, was told by a person in control
of the mikes that I could not speak, I said ok, and sat down.
That is the long and short of it.]

“…though he was told he could speak to the committee before the

[This is true, I could have spoken to the committee in their meeting,
not, as it turns out, on the convention floor, something I found out

at that moment.]

“In other words, the committee made the decision without allowing
support expressed for the resolution,… [As I was told later, someone
actually DID speak in favor, so here I was wrong. Cudos to them!]”

“…while no doubt the RMA was there to influence the committee and
a decision was made as to it’s fate without any feedback from those
who wrote the resolution.”

[This also is true, no one from Local 300 spoke in favor, nor did I,
since I was not there.]……..

This is the tempest in a teapot those who posted on Facebook were
talking about… Nothing more, nothing less.

They of course, could not fault anything that came after….. just saying’.

Moving on…..


Neither I nor anyone from a brave, VERY brave Local 300 had any
delusions that Resolution 4 would pass, in fact, we knew it didn’t
have a chance in hell of passing, but that wasn’t the point.

The point was to get the subject of buyouts into the zeitgeist of
the convention floor, the federation and all present. I also assume that
many knew nothing of the problems presented before this resolution.

Why Local 300? This resolution would never have seen the light of
day at Local 47 nor would any California Local have the guts
(In only my opinion) to present it. The long standing and well
regarded president of Local 300 had no qualms about having his
local back it, because in discussions with fellow presidents,
locals and musicians across the federation the destruction of
the industry was clear, as is it’s source.

He, his officers and his board did a wonderful job of finalizing
the resolution. They deserve major kudos from all rank and
file for bringing up what has needed to be said for a long, long

BRAVO TO THEM on behalf of all rank and file members.

After all the talk on the convention floor about how the AFM is
such a democratic organization and open to all voices, I have
heard that folks from Local 300 are facing retaliation from
the AFM. If this is true I can only say it’s a total dick move by
President Hair and undeserved by the few that will speak up.


Like it or not, it’s not a matter of IF buyouts will become a reality,
it’s a matter of WHEN. In fact they already are. There are no fewer
than three organizations just in Los Angeles ready and able to
provide the service. The sooner the Federation realizes this the
more people we can get back to work with union recording.

In the last few weeks I have visited three studios (big and Bigger).
When asked how the business was going, all said it could be better,
but that it was ok. When asked how much of it was union,
they all said virtually none.

So the sessions are happening, just not AFM, and as of now
a majority of musicians, including some on the board of
Local 47 are willing to do dark dates. There is simply no
other way for them to pay their bills and their mortgages.

THE REST OF THE CONVENTION (on the bright side)

With the exception of the recording area, the AFM seemed
to be doing some good work, particularly for orchestras

All the committees I heard seemed to be committed to
full disclosure and the reports were excellent.

Of the things I heard, the most important was working for
pay parity for orchestral subs in professional orchestras.

There was a change made to have it include ALL orchestras
full time or not, and I think that passed.

It brought up a good question:

Do you know whether you are being paid the same as tenured or
full time orchestra members when you sub with them? You
should find out.

Why would an orchestra even ponder not paying musicians the
same for the same job? It boggles the mind.


There was also a presentation on FAIR TRADE MUSIC.

According to someone from the Seattle Local. It has been very
effective in Seattle at banding freelance musicians and groups
together to work for better working conditions from club owners
and the like. Nice to know they’re trying to look out for the
freelance musicians.

You can check it out here:

Slightly smart-ass trivia:
Of all the bling handed out at the convention, most of it was
made in China. Someone in attendance supposed they were
trying to save money. Oh, the irony.




A transformation like never in union history saw the formation of the
RMALA, freelance musicians as they referred to themselves, resurrected
in the 1980’s managed by a group of people from within the group,
encouraged and supported a process of manipulation of free enterprise
to eventually displace 100ths of recording union musicians and music
prep while at the same time undermined local 47 creating a monopoly to
ultimately capture a majority of the recording LA market translating into a
windfall of residuals it provided them.

So caught up in their scheme they lost focus placing emphasis on
protecting there self-righteous interests including using there leverage to
deliberately keep the AFM out of LA so to flourish by allowing no one to
get in their way to maintain a corrupt control dictating over union
recording musicians livelihoods.

By RMALA’s failure to adapt, due to their self-righteous calculated
maneuvers from within the RMALA, they managed to eliminate most of
the recording work from within Los Angeles.

As long as this organization continues, in its past or present form, will
once again curtail professional recording union musicians careers and
damage opportunities for local 47 and the AFM to generate membership
and work dues. Under a misaligned veil of authority, using the title
“Players Conference” will again dominate by imposing their short
sightedness and self-imposed work opportunities with the only purpose
to provide residuals beyond any ones imagination to a relative few.

The AFM has to consider whether they want defiance by those who see
through RMALA’s past establishing a permanent Non-Union presence in
the recoding field by allowing the RMALA twisted control and misused
“Players Conference title” to continue unabated into the future or remove
the RMALA all together.



A COMPOSERS VIEW: this is from the early ought’s 2006-7
I am a composer I live in LA and usually record here.

Recently, I had
to do budgets for a 60 piece orchestra. I chose to

shop around. I
 chose to look at LA, Budapest, Prague, Phoenix,

Utah and Seattle. I
have about $25,000 to spend as a

music budget for recording – not
including mixing, copyist,

conductor, engineer, room, catering, cartage and whatever the

heck else comes up.

In order to get the kind of sound I want, I need to do overdubs along
with sampler pre-records. The LA Union doesn’t allow overdubs as
far as I know unless you pay a fee. I need a buyout. The LA Union
does not offer a buyout.
All the other orchestras offer a buyout and overdubs at no charge.

 could hire a 40 pieces in Budapest with travel and all other costs
(not including mixing, copyist, conductor, engineer, room, catering,
cartage and whatever the heck else comes up. ) for $23,000 with
overdubs and a buyout leaving me $2,000 to mix as well as a short
vacation in Hungary.
Seattle gave me a quote that was out of line, Prague still looks
good, Utah still hasn’t got back to me, Phoenix is just a bit more
than Budapest and LA wants about 50% more than anyone else
+ back end.

Look, I love the LA Musicians. I have been educated and know
what the options are. But I have to work with-in a budget and
I refuse to go out of pocket like I have so many times in the
past. I need to get paid too – I mean heck I am writing the music.
Plus with the explosion of cable networks, the smaller networks
and production companies doing stuff on a shoestring budget,
samplers, reality TV using libraries of mainly synth recorded
stuff and falling TV viewer-ship (Video Games, Internet and
maybe just maybe people actually turning off the tube and
having a life) it is no wonder that budgets have fallen.

Composers have no union, we are mercenaries and therefore
we get squeezed. We want to score projects and some we are
even willing to do for free if it has a chance of either training
us or being good for our reel. This lowers our value in the eyes
of our prospective employers even though they can’t really pay
us and it lowers the amount of musicians we can hire.

For the A-List Composers there will always be the A-List

/Producers who are willing to pay more. There
may always be the golden 150 players in town that get the
choice gigs, but then again many of those gigs are going
to the LSO. For those of us who are trying to get to A-list
land: Directors, Producers, Composers and the like, we have
to claw our way up. Even the big studios, TV Production
companies and ad agencies are seeing their revenues decline.

And you know how crap rolls downhill.

We are now in the midst of taking a look at the big picture of

economics 101 and seeing supply and demand in action.
Technology has become cheaper, it continues to evolve making
many live music applications unnecessary. We used to hire
large ensembles, now we do pre-records with a small group
of live musicians. In the Future it might be 1 or 2 musicians
for overdubs. Theaters are running off of CD’s of sequenced
music, because it is cheaper to do that than hire a music director
and an orchestra. The current generation has seen more DJ’s
than live musicians and that plays a huge part.
Technology has made it such that you can be a composer just
About anywhere, as long as you can gain the trust of the
director/producer and fly out to record if you need to. We
live in a global economy.
The playing field is leveling. And as Charles Darwin pointed

out -
life is a game of Survival of the Fittest. Sooner or later

the shake
down will happen if it hasn’t already. Will you adapt

or not? There
are others who are adapting and those are the

ones who will get t he work. Consumers are demanding cheap

prices across the board. Look at Wal-Mart. Consumers in our

profession are called Producers (The ones that pay the bills).

They are demanding we create with smaller and smaller budgets.
If I can go somewhere and get what I need without the hassle,
why should I stay?

My most recent producer looked me in the eye straight faced and asked
“What is really the point of paying more money to get the same product?”


Videogame production. Videogames are a global market with publishers
and developers worldwide. There are no package deals for composers in
the videogame industry, just a reasonably stable composer’s fee plus
separate budgets for live musicians, studios, etc. The composers,
publishers, and game developers in this industry are big advocates of
using world-class musicians. There is currently a very liberal AFM
agreement for videogames on the books and in use by myself and others
in the industry. It includes a buyout among other provisions and big
publishers like EA, Ubisoft, Vivendi-Universal are doing sessions here.

We all know plenty of world-class musicians who aren’t on the A-list
for some of the busy contractors and this wording separates these
fine talents with the select few that have able to fit within the politics
of the way these contractors do business

For those of you who are part of this “A-list”,
I’d like to remind you that although you are a powerful and
well-organized group in how you vote within the union,
you are still a minority and the inevitable moment when the
majority of the union is fed up with your inability to listen,
that’s the moment when the revolution will commence and
you will be ignored for the betterment of the 99%



Despite herculean efforts by Local 257 and National AFM (and
the RMA folks who control them), they have not been successful
in the slightest with stopping our non-union work here. Matter
of fact, it is growing. I could write a book on all the dirty tricks
they have tried but it has only strengthen everyone’s resolve here.

Our work continues to grow as more and more composers and
companies come out here to record their scores (a lot more than
just Sony PlayStation). Our situation is a lot different than what
you have out there. All of us ARE the first call players and we
are all in this together. 99% of the Orchestral Recording musicians
support what Nashville Music Scoring is doing here and are glad
to have the work.
No worries of “blackballing” or other issues. No studios that
won’t let you record there.

No other “unions” that will engage in a secondary boycott

against us.

Matter of fact, l work “Union” sessions every week and still get
pension and special payments contributions, reuse, etc. Only
now, since I left the union, I can work union and non-union sessions
without any fear of fines or other repercussions. Why more people
don’t do this is beyond my comprehension. I know the Local is
thrilled with processing all the checks they receive for me, but
there is nothing they can do about it.

The union has called Nashville Music Scoring “scabs”, warned
that anyone who works for us will be fined $50,000 and kicked
out of the Union, and has depicted me as the devil, but if you
sk the players, they are thankful that someone had the “balls’
to stand up to the AFM (and RMA) and was successful in bringing
a lot of good work here for a lot of people and they are happy to
get the work.

We are all just musicians trying to make a living and are tired
of being told what we can and cannot do while we watch all
the work go to Europe. The world has changed and you can
either change or find another line of work. There are a lot of
great musicians in LA an SF but there are also a lot of great
musicians in Nashville, London, Prague, etc.

We refuse to just sit by and do nothing while the AFM chases
all of the work away.

Keep fighting the good fight!


I used to work full time as a copyist for TV and film. I have watched

my living simply evaporate. I have had to find other ways of making

money and it isn’t easy. I have had no help from the AFM and local
47, as a matter of fact they seem to be more of an obstacle than
anything else.

Watching the amount of work dry up year after year, it would seem
that something really radical has to be done if there is any hope
of keeping a music industry going in this town, or at least a
recording industry.

It seems to me like the leadership of the RMA locally is in
serious denial about the threat to its very existence.

I think we’re simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
I think ultimately this is just busy work in the final years of
our industry.

It’s not going to bring any measurable increase in work to
the masses here, it’s only going to mean more work for
the small list of yo cats. We saw this happen when the
low budget agreements were adopted. Sandy’s crowd
fought those rates, but now they’re the ones accepting
that work, and complaining about it while they do so!
When I get a call from Dateline, practically the first words
out of their mouth are an apology for the low rate or
negotiated agreement involved. But I see the biggest
names in the business on those sessions.



We are never gonna get rid of them unless folks just plain ole stop
hiring them and have their money run out – good luck on that –
hasn’t happened yet – all contractors would have to choose non
RMA players – this whole mess has ruined it musically and spiritually
for me – has for many years.


Great, comprehensive stuff re: the insidious RMA.


“Long time AFM and Local 47 member Charles Fernandez attended
the convention with the intention of speaking in support of the

“Unfortunately, Member Fernandez was not informed as to when the
committee would discuss Resolution 4, so was not in attendance
when it was. . . . and a decision was made as to it’s
fate without any feedback from those who wrote the resolution.”

Well, *that’s* interesting. So it was Chas wrote the resolution,
not Local 300! Huh. The right to submit resolutions only belongs
to delegates, conferences and locals. That’s a pretty underhanded
technique, enticing a local to shill for him.

[EC: Actually member Fernandez had a role in it’s writing, but
did not write the entire resolution, he worked with the Local to
craft it. Nice try though.]


So Chuck was late to the gig, I guess.




DEAN AND RICHARD are now at Culver City Elks the first
Friday of every month.
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

One of the best bands today playing in the tradition of
cool West Coast Jazz

Sunday Evening July 31 – 7:30pm

Vibrato Grill Jazz
2930 Beverly Glen Circle
Los Angeles, CA.90077
Reservations call 310-474-9400

Don’t miss their performance of “THEN & NOW”
Remembering the classic sounds & variations of
12 jazz legends to include:

The George Shearing Quintet
The Dave Brubeck Quartet
The Modern Jazz Quartet
The Cal Tjader Quintet
The Ahmad Jamal Trio
Miles, Dizzy and more



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:http://www.responsible47.com


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