Dear Airun,

Thanks for addressing my comments. You felt ripped off, but if credentials were the crucial issue to you rather than the teaching skills of the teacher you sought, then why didn't you inquire about his credentials before know, finding out whether or not he had (ahem...roll eyes...)'independent' cuts rather than (nose in the air) 'majors', as you so demeaningly point out?

Please know that there's a big difference between "can't get cuts" and "haven't had cuts." Billy Montana wrote in this town for at least 7 years before FINALLY scoring a #1 with Sara Evans on "Suds in the Bucket". (He currently has the new Garth Single.) I suppose if Billy had taught you something in those first 6 years you'd have dismissed it as rubbish outright? Please also know that one person's passion might be teaching over working the tip sheet, another's passion might be pitching over teaching. That says nothing about one or the other's potential success at either. As I read what he wrote and find that not only is it informative, accurate, insightful, and helpful (yet imperfect), my need to know whether he had 25 chartbusters begins to fall by the wayside. Will Ande be my one and only source as I seek skill development? Probably not.

I think Ande's like the rest of us. He's a writer who has learned much and has much to learn. He just happens to be willing to share the former, and in an impressively organized fashion. What if you'd hired someone with 6 number ones in a single year who wasn't nearly as proficient in expressing his thoughts as Ande, who maybe said nothing more than 'keep writing....don't give up'? WOuld you then have felt like you'd gotten your money's worth? Judge soley by credentials these days and you just might wind up with Terrell Owens. ;>)

There are also writers in this town who've had ONE noteable cut and suddenly they're starting a graduate school in songwriting. They piss me off a lot more than the one's who haven't had cuts who have a passion for teaching about writing. I watch the writers flock to these one cut 'teachers' in droves, hungry not for writing skills, but ravenous to learn the secret formula for a shortcut to the brass ring. Vanity's like always sells, and no one knows that better than these writers who've had a taste of the real deal, but find that they aren't being offered seconds on the first trip back to the buffet. They give up and turn to selling out to fame hungry out of town writers. Yes, they hate what they do, and they do it because they've lost the passion for writing and they've sold out. It's a sad story for them and even sadder for the people who give them their money. I talk to these writers...many of them aren't really interested in writing songs...they're interested in success and fame. Come for success, you go home a failure. Come for the love of music, you just can't NOT stay.

Final note:

Dude, all ya gotta do is be nice to people. Don't forget, we're all on the same team. Your points are well taken, and I agree with just about everything you say regarding what you feel is important in a song (obviously very strongly, and I believe that that's good!) YOu obviously know quite a bit about what your talking about. I bet you're a good writer too, and you have a lot of passion for writing. I dig that. But we want to be your buddy, and if you tell us we suck, well, that just may slow down the whole process a tad. If you've had a difference of opinion with a member, then send him an email or call him up and bitch at him. Don't tell 60 million readers he's a shitty writer just cause you're pissed off at yourself for committing to something without doing your research. That's just not a nice thing to do. It also makes you look a lot worse than him.

I can't speak for Ande, but if you were one of my clients, and you wrote me a NICE letter and said, "Dude, it's just not what I thought it was...I should have looked more closely and that was my fault. But I gotta say, I'm just not feeling satisified with our deal", you know what? I'd give you a refund in a frickin' heartbeat. But if you viciously attacked my art in front of a huge audience? Well, I might just not get around to answering your emails.

A little courtesy and respect go a long, long way. How about we all start all over again, eh? You have much to offer, it's clear by what you write. We need ya.

Sincerely and with respect.