Should you decide to request a copy of the 2006 financial report you must make sure to send a formal request to the Secretary’s office and ask for the Full Local 47 and Club 47 2006 Financial Reports, or the Final 2006 Auditors Reports. They will put it together for you, but you need to go down to the Local and pick it up.

A member just went through a real labyrinth trying to get the report and it took him weeks and at least 6 e-mail exchanges to get the report that the bylaws clearly allow ALL members in good standing to have.

If you request the reports and have any problems getting them, please let us know.


At the last General Membership meeting of April 23, 2007, the members present, voted to bind the AF of M Delegates to vote as a bloc at the AFM Convention. Due Notice, required for such a vote (as per Local 47 By-laws) was not printed in the Overture and the votes must be voided.

Here are the pertinent Bylaws…

Article VIII, Section 7. Instructions to Delegates: The Regular General Meeting immediately preceding a convention of the American Federation of Musicians may issue binding instructions to the elected delegates to such convention. Due Notice of the right of the membership to instruct delegates shall be included in the call of the meeting.

Articled I, Section 5. Due Notice: Whenever the Bylaws shall provide that Due Notice be given to the membership, this shall require that the notice be mailed to each member at the last known address at least 15 days (21 days in the case of proposed amendments to the Bylaws) prior to the meeting or action requiring the notice. The Local shall issue an official publication which shall be named Overture, and any announcement set forth in that publication in accordance with the above stated time lines shall satisfy the requirements of Due Notice.

More info on this as it becomes available.


2007 Playboy Jazz Festival Presents a Free Community Concert In Beverly Hills

Featuring The Bluecat Express

Heather Lyle -Vocals
Earl Alexander – Guitar and Vocals
Dan Weinstein – Trombone, Violin and Vocals
Steve Rawlins – Piano
Andrew Carney – Trumpet
Robert Kyle – Sax
George Harper – Sax
Leslie Baker – Bass
Michael Lyle – Drums

Also performing will be big band icon Ray Anthony

Sunday MAY 6, 2007, 3:00 PM

Beverly hills Civic Center Plaza
450 N. Rexford Drive
Free Admission
Seating is Limited, So Arrive Early
2 hours free parking
Refreshments will be sold
Info: (310) 454-3078 or visit


Some reactions to the meeting:

I thought we we’re goin’ down, but alas we prevail. I have to admit it
was a pretty “fun” meeting and the food was great! Thanks,


1. We’ve got to find a practical way to have secret ballots on certain sensitive issues. Did you notice how the votes went from clear splits on the resolutions to near- or completely unanimous ones on the voice or hand votes? Did the RMA/board suddenly become so much more correct in their proposals? (Well, maybe on the renaming of the hall issue…) Or did many people get cold feet when suddenly having to vote their consciences under the scrutiny of some of their colleagues? Anonymous votes are by definition freer votes, and I trust them a lot more.

2. The problem with the use of the parliamentarian was our own laziness and lack of preparation. I bet we wanted him to do our heavy lifting for us by keeping our president honest as he ran the meeting. It doens’t work that way. The Chairman makes the fairest rulings that he can. When he’s not sure what the correct procedural answer is, he asks the parliamentarian for professional advice. He doesn’t, however, have to follow it. He still makes the rulings. But then, most of his rulings can be appealed by any member. All he has to do is object and “appeal from the decision of the chair.” Then the body debates and votes on the appeal. There are checks and balances, but we have to be smart enough to know the rules and awake enough to follow the action. Most of the time the fairest answer truly is what the majority says it is, which puts the burden for getting it back on all our shoulders, not one officer or one consultant or one faction or one organization. Done correctly, general membership meetings should be as fascinating as any ballgame. But the price of a ticket is preparation, education, and participation. Win or lose though, there is a great satisfaction in playing the game.

3. The issue of quorum size only has two parts, which should have been, but weren’t, separated in the discussion: The size of the quorum and why different factions want different numbers. The true, correct quorum size should be whatever is necessary for the local to have regular meetings, period. That IS the job of the local, after all. If a quorum of 100 prevents meetings, and it sure does, then it (and any higher number) is too high. If 50 fosters them, with an occasional failure, then it’s probably a much better number.

With that settled, all that hoo-hah about small quorums allowing minority control was crap, and they knew it, or should have. Nothing would allow a small group of the “wrong” members to make some dangerous decisions except for the sheer laziness of the “right” members. Let’s face it: one side found it preferable to simply prevent meetings altogether so they could control the local simply by controlling the board (which rules when the quorum is not achieved) and to do that all they have to do is show up once every two years and coerce the votes of an adequate number of their “people.” Pretty efficient. And lazy. And definitely not very “democratic,” no matter what they say. Democracy is another word for “Fairness costs,” or maybe “37 heads are better than 5.” It is NOT another word for “I want my way; but since I’m too busy making money, can someone else get it for me?” Really now, when was the last time you saw most of those faces in that room at a general membership meeting?

And, lastly:

Why does the RMALA, or its supporters, continue to push, push, push to try and squeeze the breath out of every non-RMA thought, word, and deed in the local? Did axing all the services, employees and free access to information which might have helped the non-“fulltime-recording” musicians in the local really improve the RMALA’s lot one iota? Their biggest problem: Film and TV producers want cheaper, buyout sessions. Isn’t the existence and health of the rest of the local the only thing that keeps most members from giving it to them? Basic economics makes it unarguable that the monopoly in the contracting of recording sessions invites gauging which results in fewer people playing fewer sessions for more money rather than more people playing more sessions by making less. Could the need to protect this income/workload discrepancy between the rich few and the struggling many be what motivates that few to constantly stick it to the rest of the local?

Is it not yet obvious that every time they flex their muscle to control, manipulate, weaken, defeat, antagonize, and alienate the “rest of us” it will become just one more factor that will eventually allow and compel their own fellow musicians, just to survive, to jump ship and give the producers what they want, without the “elite?” The emergence of New Era Scoring shows how the whole scenario could easily and quickly happen, if enough union musicians get tired of being crapped on, marginalized, and given less and less a return on their dues. Or maybe those most successful at milking the monopoly, short-term, are just grabbing what they can, while they can, until the whole house of cards eventually collapses, leaving the hopeful, panting wannabes (who have propped up the RMA with their dues and votes for so long) holding the bag. Didn’t JFK say that “A rising tide lifts all boats?” Could it be that when the tide goes back down, as it has lately, we are seeing how willing some of us are to toss their colleagues overboard to keep their own boats riding high?


I feel much better now, having left before the results were counted. For me, the meeting was a strange experience. I saw so many people I once considered mentors or looked up to as a model of success when I was younger and still had dreams of studio work. With each familiar face, I felt a twinge of sadness, knowing they were there to shut people like me out. I’m nobody to them, though once, they may have given me encouragement or coached my chamber music group. I couldn’t help feeling like a nobody to them as I sat there in what seemed like a sea of them. I don’t know that I ever could have been as successful as them, but I wonder if I was, would I be acting like they were, clapping like a wind-up monkey to everything their approved leaders said?


Three things:

1. I’m curious, did anyone else besides me
comment about the rapid disappearance of the
person who was supposed to sign us in and give us
ballots? I wonder if that was planned to
eliminate votes of late-comers, since the margin
of victory was certain to be small. After I made
the leadership hunt him down, there was an
instant small crowd around him.

2. I asked a fellow local percussionist if she
attended the April 23 meeting. She responded
that, “I remember receiving an email, but why
should I take the time? The union has never done
anything for me.” What can we say to wake up
members who feel that way? Most members forget
that our union is made up of “us,” the union is
not made up of “them.”? She might as well have
said “I have never done anything for me.”

3. For those of us who haven’t been paying
attention for the past decade, can you remind us
for what “RMA” and and all those other 3 and
4-letter abbreviations stand?



Congratulations to the committee,

It is your hard work and diligence that kept us informed. Thank you.

The RMA have some sharp people and are very tricky, that whole bait and switch with the quorum numbers from 170 to 125 at the last minute was a brilliant move on their part even though it didn’t work. Seeing as how the last resolution did pass, don’t be surprised if next time they make a motion to deal with the most important issue to them last. For the RMA it’s not just about voting, but controlling the process, giving them a slight advantage. I would suggest the committee anticipate these kinds of tactics for future meetings and have strategies to deal with them. Also maybe have a surprise motion or two of your own to add to the mix like they did.


Many thanks to the committee for keeping all of us informed on the real
issues facing all the members and for separating the reality from the
“spin.” Thanks to all of those who voted to allow all union members to
have an equal voice in their union. I thought that was the original
idea of labor unions in America; to guarantee worker’s rights and
protect workers against those who wish to exploit and abuse them.

Let’s take some of the great minds at our disposal and put them to work
on a plan to help bring back some of the production work to Los Angeles.
Let’s have an intelligent discussion of the Fi-core issue. Does going
Fi -core really mean resigning from the union and having your name
“outed” in the Overture? I read the federal law and (I’m no attorney)
but from what I read, the law states that a Fi-Core member cannot be
discriminated against or identified as a Fi-Core member by the union.
What’s up with that?

Let’s have a discussion of a sliding backend scale for smaller budget
“made for TV” and Hallmark films. It seems that virtually all of the
smaller films go out of town. Perhaps a sliding backend scale based on
the predicted success of these films would help influence the producers
and studios to keep this work in town. It would let them know that we
professional musicians are willing to assume at least a little of the
financial risk.

If the production companies want to dissolve their corporations after
the films are released, let’s set up an escrow system to guarantee the
secondary market payments etc…

Any used car salesman knows that to be successful in sales, one has to
identify the client’s objections and systematically overcome these
objections. Let’s sit down with the production companies who have a “no
union” clause in their contracts and let’s find out what their
objections are. Then we can work on overcoming their objections.

These are complex problems and they require creative solutions. We are
creative people. Let’s pull our collective heads out of the sand. We’ve
identified some of the problems, let’s come up with some solutions.


To all members who read these e-mails from “The Committee” as if they were merely ‘entertainment’ news:

I have spoken to several union members who freely admit that they really don’t feel as if they are part of the union – as they rarely get union-contract work (like me). Some of them say that they are only in the union so that they can take the occasional union gig, or just to be eligible for equipment insurance. They almost never attend meetings, have no real interest in participating and my guess is that they probably don’t even bother to vote.

My message to those people is that there are others in the union who actually want it that way. They want a union to represent a minority of its membership – in fact they would prefer a smaller membership so that they don’t have to compete with YOU for work. If you find yourself in this ‘disenfranchised’ group, I suggest that (a) you resign altogether, (b) change to ‘Fi-Core’ status so that you are not vulnerable to union fines for non-contract work (plus you don’t attend meetings of vote anyway, so what’s the difference if you lose that privilege?) or (c) PARTICIPATE by voting and attending meetings and make your union help not just those who make a great living from union-contract work, but YOU as well. Why do you think that the RMA had such a large turnout at the last meeting? Because their interests were being addressed by the board, not yours! Fortunately the rest of us had enough numbers to make a difference – barely. The only way to make the board represent the majority is for the majority to show up at meetings, and better yet, do their homework when it comes to voting for the board members – and vote!

Whatever your choice is, take action! Don’t be part of the lazy majority! Your inaction only supports the causes for your feeling disenfranchised in the first place!


Thanks for all of your work! This union would be a union in name only without you guys.




Those four votes that spelled success in
defeating resolution I? That may not have turned
out that way if I had not shown up at the

I am troubled, amazed and disappointed that the
officers running such a controversial and
important meeting where a large crowd was
expected; where many who would be attending, such
as I, most likely came with only a few hours
notice; where being on-time for most of us was
impossible; yet no plans were made for someone to
stay at the entrance tables past 7:30 PM to sign
in late-comers.

Because of my aggressiveness, at least a dozen
late-comers – including me, who arrived to empty
tables and had no one to sign them in,
got to vote after all. Not to mention ….their
additionally running out of ballots because of
the lack of planning for such a large turn-out.

I managed to be in two places at once, sort of.
I had an important formal dinner with 400 other
people, at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena,
Monday night, complete with free valet parking.
Fortunately, dinner came on time, precisely at
6:30. I ate and sneaked out and bribed the valet
parking guy to let me return on the same
validated parking ticket. Seventeen miles later,
I can’t believe I found a parking place on the
street right in front of the local; right next to
the driveway.

As I entered the meeting, I heard, “I call for
the question.” And, there was nobody to sign me
in and no way for me to get a ballot. There were
about a dozen others who were standing around
wanting to sign in too, but nobody in that outer
room knew anything, nobody moved and nobody cared
either. I was amazed.

Because I am famous for not taking “no” for an
answer, those dozen latecomers and I got to sign
in, get ballots and vote. (But that was only the
first half of the battle.) I pushed my way to
the front of the auditorium and told the
president I came to vote and demanded he do
something. He did.

By the time I walked back to the entrance and got
my ballots, the voting was over on that issue.
So, onto the second half of the battle. I pushed
my way, again, to the front and arranged for my
ballot to be placed in the box.

My vote got counted.

Boy, you have to fight for everything nowadays.
And, I usually do.

Sincerely, Karolyn Berkman, Percussionist.
— Comm Resp 47


Regarding the member who thinks Local 47 are heroes, it’s a point of
view and a stroke of luck this fellow had. There are probably bad
experiences like mine on the books to balance all of the good ones.

Thirty-some years ago I was part of a six-nights a week cover band in a
Marina Del Rey restaurant called Donkin’s Inn. The restaurant sat beside
a boat slip that ended at another Restaurant we could see out the window
of Donkin’s. Another band who were friends of ours played the same
schedule in that restaurant. Things were good all around for live music.
Most or all of the many restaurants in Marina Del Rey had live music
every night and all were at least four pieces. Disco had not jet savaged
the live music market.

Donkin’s sold to a new owner, Carlos Romer, who immediately used his
money to influence the City of Los Angeles to get the boat slip and the
approach to it dredged deeper so he could park his huge triple-mast
schooner in front of his restaurant. Did I mention he was wealthy and

Our band’s leader had played on five-year long contracts for ten years
at Donkin’s as a piano single, but then formed a band when the Marina
music scene got into high gear. A new contract for the five-piece band
was made for SIX MONTHS. A couple months into the second SIX MONTH CONTRACT, the restaurant changed ownership. Our band played the first contract and everything seemed fine. We played Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 to 1:00 and then Sundays from 4:00 to 8:00 before a “Sunday night” band played. The Sunday night bands at Donkin’s rotated nearly every week without a contract, until one night a couple months into our band’s second six month contract when the Sunday night group happened to have a girl singer with an Angelyne-esque physique.

Carlos Romer immediately “decided” that the contract with us meant less
to him than having an object to drool and leer at, and simply terminated
us without cause or even notice. Romer had inherited 300 million dollars
and as a spoiled rich kid, was in the habit of having things happen,
literally, when he would snap his fingers and bark commands.

The day it happened was truly insulting. Without so much as a phone call
from the restaurant, we came to play on Tuesday night as usual, and
found our P.A., Rhodes piano, vibes and a number of amps gone from the
stage. We found that the stage had been cleared and the contents stored
by Bekins Van & Storage. We were on the street without our gear. We had to pay Bekins hundreds of dollars to get our gear back, and of course
the same day, filed over the firing with Local 47.

Weeks later, Local 47 declared a judgment against Donkin’s Inn, but
Carlos Romer could not have cared less about the tiny Local 47 insect
buzzing powerlessly in his world. He simply dispatched one of his many
lawyers to “take care of it.”

Meanwhile, the other band rehearsing during the day in the closed
restaurant at the end of the slip catty-corner to Donkin’s had told us
that they thought there was a Local 47 involvement of some sort in the
Marina and that maybe the local was going to bat for us because Max
Herman and Vince DiBari (then president and vice-president of Local 47,
respectively) walked off Carlos Romer’s yacht with Romer, in broad
daylight and in plain view, laughing and smoking cigars. The band
snapped a couple Polaroids they gave us and our mouths dropped open.

Weeks again passed, and now our band’s leader had an attorney. After all
this was a six month contract and five guys were depending on a half a
year’s salary, but Local 47’s president Max Herman, had told us NOT TO
TAKE A JOB “because it might impact the disposition of the judgment”
against Donkin’s Inn. I sat across Herman’s desk as he said that to us.
A few weeks later when I set up a private meeting with DiBari to ask
what the hell was going on and what I could do, he looked me right in
the eye and told me that it was pretty clear Donkin’s wasn’t going to
pay, and that they’d dropped their agreements with the Union. The
restaurant had gone disco by this time. DiBari then said “about the only
thing you can do at this point is sue your leader.” Unbelievable advice!

Well it turns out that Carlos Romer’s lawyers cost $600,000 to avoid
paying us our $70,000 but that was a trivial little game to Romer, and
it turns out that some of that $600,000 was to buy off our lawyer, who
strangely disappeared, having retired to Hawaii without telling his clients.

My personal finances were turned upside down by this disgusting series
of criminal payoffs, lies and corruption, and I changed careers for 20
years before being drawn out again by musician friends. I have never
since played for pay, and I find it’s a lot more fun when I don’t have
to worry about earning a living with the “help” of organizations like
Local 47 which I would be a fool to trust. Did I mention that since
first joining Local 47 in 1961, I have never, not once, gotten a music
job from a Local 47 effort, though through an audition I won over Jimmy
Buffett, I did go on the road with a major act as a singer and upright
bass player, singing for three Presidents at the White House, singing
the National Anthem at the Oakland A’s World Series game, etc.

I’m a member of Local 47 because it’s a tax deduction. When Republicans kill deductions for union dues, I’ll resign.

Part of me wants to stand up and shout HELLO ! When are you all going to
wake up? Maybe when the last big budget scoring session ends and all of
the work has left for Budapest or Bucharest these 6 figure guys will
pull their head out of the sand and look around at the destruction…
and wonder what happened. Well, they still have their July checks.
They’ll just retire and leave the rest of us with nothing.

I think at this time remaining anonymous provides a certain advantage.
Since I am just now starting to make in-roads into what remains of the A
list work (after 20 years in LA) perhaps it would be prudent to remain
anonymous lest I be smeared and discredited for the mere mention of
Fi-core and equal representation for all.


If parliamentarian rules are questionable, why doesn’t FMA/Comm
Resp 47 hire one for the big meetings so we can have another
expert present to clear up ambiguities?


Local 47 Colleagues,

As the AFM Convention draws closer the politics are getting pretty hot. We’ve received a lot of info about those running and the other things going on.

This month’s International Musician includes everything to be voted on at the convention. If you have some time you should read over some of these proposals and if you have feedback contact the Local.



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