Capitol Studio info from the SCL, notice from Referral Service Committee head Marcy Vaj, Featured comment, events, trivia, comments and more.



The hearing that was set for Tuesday, May 13th has been moved to
Early June. More details to come soon.



A developer intends to build an underground garage
next door to the famed Capitol Studios in Hollywood.
Acoustic experts have determined that construction would
certainly affect short-term and possibly long-term use of
the historic studios, and the planned garage will be only
20-25 feet from Capitol‚s irreplaceable, Les Paul-designed
underground echo chambers. Capitol/EMI are appealing to
a City Council Committee called PLUM.



In a recent FMA Mailing, the wisdom of changing the name
of the Referral Service committee was questioned. The
COMMITTEE itself also questioned this point of view.

Below, Marcy Vaj, Chair of the RS Committee and recently
elected to the Election Board by a landslide, wants to clear
the air. We are delighted she approached us for assistance
with getting the word out on her behalf..

Here is her message to the membership:

Dear Colleagues,
Regarding my motion to change the name of the
Referral Svc committee, I stated quite clearly that
the job of dealing with referral svc issues was huge
and I thought what we needed was separate committees
to deal with CD sales and advertising. Or at least one
committee to deal with those two issues. I’m sorry
someone understood me to say that I’m “personally
tired of having to deal with the Referral Service plus
the CD/Radio Airplay Dept”. I couldn’t possibly be tired
of the latter two issues since for the past 5 years I and
my original committee compatriots have only been able
to address the sole issue of the referral service. We met
for a year and prepared a large report with recommendations
and presented it to the general membership and the Executive

Where was the membership then when the report died on
someone’s desk 4 years ago? Why are you complaining
about the messengers when it’s the Board who ignored our
work? Why didn’t you come alive in the past years to demand
action, follow-through, satisfaction?

I think it would be far more productive to listen to the reports
and take action from them. When I suggested changing the
name of the committee I expected someone to take my cue
and establish a separate committee to address CD sales and
advertising. Please do that at the next meeting.

I hope we’ll have more progress to report at the next
meeting and I hope you understand that your participation
is needed to get action.

Sororally and fraternally,
Marcy Vaj



Hi Musician Colleagues:

I’m the one who asked the question of Hal Espinosa “what
is the status of the resolution of the lawsuit by the NLB re
fi-core members who sued because they were not allowed
to used the rehearsal rooms since they were considered
non-members while they were fi-core. The fi-core, in turn,
said, „You can’t treat us any differently than you treat other
people who use the rehearsal rooms who are non-members,
which directly impacted all of us who use rehearsal rooms
with singers who are non-players/members, and the lawsuit
re the two members who sued the AFM re the improper use
of their dues.”

Well, because I opted to use the rehearsal room twice with
out-of-town non-member singers, I accepted a 90-day
restriction from the use of rehearsal rooms. I called a few
other locals on the east coast and in the midwest to get
their spin on this matter, and they agreed with me. They
said it’s a problem that is happening only in LA at this time,
and that they all still need only to have their bandleader or
person who books the room be a union member. They all
still let other players use their rehearsal rooms as long as
the leader/booker of the room is a union member.

I walked a letter in and gave it to board member, Bobby
Rodriguez, to present at one of the board meetings stating
all of this and how I felt it was discriminatory to bands who
use singers, which I do since I’m also as strong a singer as
I am a player. Hal responded with the fact that the matter
was being decided by the NLRB. That was the question that
I fielded that night.

However, in agreement with Rick Blanc, Hal slipped it over
to Levy, the glib one, so quickly that I knew his answer was
going to be flippant, moronic (you’re right) and non-substantial.
Not only was it disrespectful to me but to everyone of us who
remained at the meeting! He, of course, replied they were waiting
for a new regime which is “pro union” to come in and save the
day. This answer actually does tell us that Levy is “doing nothing”
other than sitting on his laurels and waiting; and we all know
that’s not going to solve AFM Local 47’s problems! He’s not
earning his keep as far as I’m concerned!

Now, Hal’s answer to me in private, which I didn’t get to bring
up, was that he had been thinking of incorporating a two-tiered
rehearsal room fee, since we have these lawsuits going: a lower
fee for musicians who use only union musicians and a bit higher
fee for musicians who use union musicians and non-union
singers/musicians in the rehearsal halls. What do you
guys think about that? Give me some feedback.

And Leslie, poor soul (of course, guess she’s not too poor
with almost $75M a year and all her other work which is
keeping her from having those financial reports ready at
general meetings … tsk, tsk). Every time I asked a question,
I don’t know why she was prompted to spout meaningless
platitudes i.e. “well, non-members … .” Did she think this
meeting was for NON MUSICIANS? – I had to straighten her
out more than a few times with “moot point” since I’ve been
a union member probably almost as long as she is old. In
addition, I’m not happy with the stance she’s taken with
the ‘old boy regime stock answers’ since she stepped into
the position. You’d think she might have brought a more
rank and file-oriented breath of fresh air to the position
being quite a bit younger than the older guys and female!
Guess, I thought too long and waaaaay wrong!

Well, my next question is, “Is anybody running for any
of the offices who thinks of union members as musicians
who really need to be represented and have substantial
input in their union’s operations?‰ … you know, someone
who has the union at heart and isn’t just using it only
for political capital (as your also moronic U.S. president
might say) and/or for personal gain!

Thanks, Lisa for your info on health care options. We
didn’t have time to get into that at the last meeting but
should make sure it gets brought up at the next meeting.

Matilda Haywood

{Editor‚s comment: In our communication with other Locals
to check their policies, we found the same thing, only LOCAL
47 (among the Locals we spoke to nationwide) is being so
draconian in their conduct towards fi-core musicians. Ironically,
Local 47 Officers partisanship creating the exodus to fi-core
Status to begin with.

What do you think of the two-tiered fee idea?

Let us know.



American Society of Music Arrangers & Composers
welcomes composer, arranger, conductor


Wednesday, May 21, 2008 – 11:30am
@ Catalina’s Bar & Grill on Sunset

Ian Freebairn-Smith has been a singer, composer and
arranger in records, films, and television for 53 years,
with a GRAMMY AWARD for best arrangement accompanying
a vocalist: Barbara Streisand‚s „EVERGREEN.‰

Ian has arranged and conducted for BARBRA STREISAND,
and many others.

His film composing and orchestrating credits include:
Television series scores include: MAGNUM, P.I., FAME,
CAGNEY AND LACY and AIRWOLF. Ian has composed
music for dozens of TV and radio commercials, including
most of the major beers, airlines, and oil companies ˜

In the world of concert music, his quartet for four cellos,
„Toward the Light,‰ was recently performed in Los Angeles,
and he conducted his suite for string orchestra, „The River
Dialogs,‰ at the Music Center. „LA Marathon,‰ commissioned
for the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, was premiered
at Royce Hall in August of 1999.

Ian is a three-time LA Chapter governor of the National
Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was appointed
Artistic Director of the Hollywood Bowl Weekend Concerts
in 1999. For the past five years Ian has been the morning
classical music host on KCSN-FM. Keeping it in the family,
his wife, Shari Zippert, and daughter, Vanessa, violin
and cello respectively, are both studio musicians in
Los Angeles.

Wednesday, May 21st
11:30 cocktails; 12:00noon Buffet Lunch; 12:45pm
Guest Speaker

Catalina Bar & Grill
6725 West Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028
(1 BLOCK E OF HIGHLAND ˆ north side of street ˆ
corner of McCadden)

Cost: ASMAC Members & Students $30  Guests and
all walk-ins $35 Parking: Valet $3.00  Enter on
McCadden – west side of Catalina‚s ˆ lot at back

Please make reservations by Tuesday morning,
May 20th @ 818/994-4661
OR by email to [email protected]

check out our website—



Change Ringing developed in England during the 1500‚s,
evolving gradually away from continental bell-ringing
methods. It involves bells being swung in a complete
circle by a single person so that, the more bells there
are, the more people there are ˆ six bells for six people,
etc. The essence of Change Ringing is ringing the bells
in a precise relationship to one another. Rung in the
order from the lightest, highest pitched bell to the heaviest,
the bells, strike in a sequence known as Œrounds‚, which
ringers denote by a row of numbers. In order to ring a different
row with each pull of the rope, ringers have what are called
Œmethods‚ ˆ orderly systems of changing pairs. Methods are
constantly changing and never-repeating patterns are learnt by
heart by the ringers and named after their creators (i.e. Stedman).
The names are followed by the number of bells appropriate, such
as the Stedman Doubles on Six Bells, or the Stedman Triples on
Eight Bells.

Experienced ringers test and extend their abilities by ringing
Œpeals‚ (5,000 or more changes without breaks or repeating a
row). The first peal was rung in England in 1715.

– In 1643 English Parliament passed an Act forbidding persons
from being present at the ringing of bells for pleasure.

– During wartime, bells are often melted down to make cannons.
During peacetime, cannon are often melted down to make bells.

– The bell, book and candle are instruments used for exorcism,
bells being the Vox Domini, or the ŒVoice of God‚.

For more on Change Ringing, go here:



The comments below and elsewhere in the mailing
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.


If there was one thing I could and should speak-out about,
it’s the referral service and what an exemplary job Errol
Henry was doing to help generate work for members.
I know first hand how much revenue came in and how many
contracts went past the live performance desk on almost a
daily basis, Errol would bring them straight to me. I’m just
afraid of more retaliation.

Paul Loredo

[We‚ve been telling you since Errol was fired what a loss he
was for our Local and weŒre grateful someone who actually
worked at the Local at the time has been willing to speak out
here. We certainly verified that Paul was willing to have his name
printed. Bravo to him!]


This letter to President Espinosa was forwarded to us by
its writer. We‚re more than happy to share it with you:

Dear Mr. President:

I don’t mean to keep pestering you with seemingly small
issues. As a concerned Member I do feel you should be
made aware of the information below. I also have
a procedural question to ask as well.

1)I came across the following postings today while reading
the Film Music Network Professional Forum online.
I believe this is, unfortunately, indicative of the general
attitude concerning the Union from accomplished and
emerging film/TV/game composers.


“It’s kind of embarrassing in a way to admit that I have
such minimal gear.

Don’t be embarrassed at all. You should be proud! One of
the things that struck me most about your music was the
production values. I was surprised to see you had recorded
them yourself, with modest gear.

They sounded like pretty skilled players. I’m curious to know,
were they pros? union? Did you hire them through your
connections in the classicalworld, or did you work with a


Message: 7
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 12:36:11 -0700
From: 

Wow, thanks. Shucks 🙂

The flute, bassoonist and trombonist were friends, and the
clarinet and trumpet were recommendations by these friends.
All are pros in the classical world. I just called them up

They are all union but accepted a cut in pay, which is why
they are not credited!

Beware of the union! ”


It is the “Beware of the Union” that’s troubling. This composer’s
(apparently) only experience with the Union is ‘they are not
allowing Members freedom to work’ or some similar negative
connotation. I know there are several “name” composers on
this LISTSERV as well, and this anti-Union attitude is somewhat

My point is, these are emerging composers who will have
future choices on whether to use Union musicians on their
future scoring sessions. If anti-Union attitudes are based
on the above type experience, what true hope is there
for future
Union sessions?

Especially considering the already-strong buyout pressure
from so-called “runaway” work, this doesn’t look too good.
What can be done to reverse attitudes in the above ‘case’?

2) Are you aware that Nine Inch Nails is currently giving
away up to 9 new songs on their website? It’s common
knowledge that ‘traditional’ music sales continue to fall.
If giving away music online (w/hope of spurring further sales)
becomes the next wave of music distribution,how will this
affect the already-weakened MPTF?

3) How does a Member go about submitting a suggested policy
change to the Board?

Thank you again for your time, Mr. President. I do realize
you are quite busy. I am just very concerned about the
future survival of our Union.

In Solidarity,



Hello Evil Doers….,

My response to another members comment
was separated from the other members comment,
so my response doesn’t really make sense. They
need to appear side by side.



Who is in this committee? It is always signed:
The Committee Why don’t you all make yourselves
be known if there are so many of you feel this way.


I am not part of The Committee. First, I would like
to thank who ever had the balls to send this. I am
assuming their comment was not just rhetoric, so
I hope to hear more from them. The reference to
‘how you feel’ was a nice touch. Now I’ll get down
to business…
You really think The Committee are a bunch of
idiots, don’t you? Why should you even care? What
purpose would it serve? Most of the general membership
does not show up to meetings and do not get involved
because the union has become little more than an
address book that musicians can be listed in. The
union administration tries to keep the general
membership uninformed and uninvolved. The
administration wants people to pay yearly dues
and shut up. So how about coming up with
something a little more intelligent, instead
of whining ‘who are you’. You sound like a clip
from a Clint Eastwood movie. But thanks for
your comment. Now, respond and tell me why
I am wrong. You can speak freely, even if I don’t
like it. By the way, are you a union official or a
member of the RMA?


keep it coming guys – RMA elite is scared although
they are working on moves weekly

more titles are being logged in on Secondary Mkt
fund ˆ they‚re argument only – the loss of work for
the non elite is tremendous – I am e-mailing Sam
Folio and Tom Lee weekly with this – just sent them

print this in next Comm out mail……

Subject: FYI-LA Times: Hot Spot for Movie Scores,0,5291372.story

[The member requested we print the entire article
about the boom in recording in Sofia, Bulgaria, but
we don‚t want to act as an advertiser for their services,
though we believe all members should know about it..
We therefore have included the link to the article
above so you can read it for yourself.]


Has there been any progress made on organizing a
group insurance plan for #47 members?

[Editor‚s Comment: As far as we know, no. In fact,
there are three new options for individuals or families
we reported on in the last two mailings, but the
officers in attendance when the options were
presented have not seen fit to let the membership
know. Also, as we reported earlier, we‚re probably
looking at an increase in the hours needed to qualify in
January 2009 or shortly thereafter. It seems too many
members are qualifying to „keep the fund solvent‰.]


Lord Salisbury, former prime minister and foreign
secretary of Britain, said “The commonest error in
politics is sticking to the carcass of dead policies.”
Market share for recording is in protracted and steady
decline in Los Angeles.
As market share wanes in LA it waxes steadily and
significantly in the locations we are all now familiar with.
This trend is not anomalous, it is secular. What might
a rational, analytical person infer from this?
The Golden Goose in Hollywood was built by innovation,
entrepreneurship, creativity, liberty, markets and capitalism
— not by Local 47. If we would continue on and prosper
we have to play to our strengths, the aforementioned.
The union has a parasitic chokehold on the Golden Goose
and keeping it that way trumps your professional well
being. The union insists on monopolistic control over
contracts between musicians and any number of private
businesses. How anti-market does it get?
For unions power is the only consideration. This is textbook
Marxism, complete with top-down control of industry. And
Marx, in layman’s terms, was a thug. Unionism is thugocracy,
with a rich legacy of racism, xenophobia, anti-liberalism
(trade), socialism/communism, mob-connectedness and
political chicanery. Today’s thuggery is refined, dressed up
and wears a smile, but it is just as insidious. Keep sending
in those dues. RMA ringleaders, and their minions in the
Local 47 administration, remain rigidly inflexible on policy
matters. Their sclerotic mentality is now undermining the
health of the larger corpus, the International AFM. Local
47’s irresponsible behavior increasingly puts LA musicians
at a competitive disadvantage, harming those it claims to
serve. But as bad as this administration is, it merely reflects
the apathy, avarice, narcissism and stupidity of Local 47’s
membership.If the Musician’s Union is to have a future as
a legitimate and viable institution it must be reformed.
The music business in LA will continue to decline until
the current structure collapses or new leadership emerges.
Does it trouble anyone that this debased Goose-killing
system has been forced on you?

Rick Blanc (please attach name)



There will be many interesting and enlightening reports coming
over the upcoming COMMITTEE mailings. We‚re also working
on a website where all of our previous mailings will be archived.
We‚ll keep you posted.

Until next time,


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