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#1176455 - 05/09/21 02:23 PM Music Business A Little Slow...  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Music business is a little slow the last two months. Only 10 placements in two month. And this last month only 3. So what to do when things slow down? I turn to my first love - classical piano. I don't care about placments when I'm composing serious music. It's just joyful - even though the music is melancholy. Melancholy joyful, one of my favorite moods...

So here's my work this weekend. The first song on the webpage. Nocturne in Blue: https://johnlarenceschick.com/home

Best, John smile

#1176460 - 05/09/21 07:01 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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I love it when a melody keeps me guessing!
NICE John smile

#1176466 - 05/10/21 12:03 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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I am curious John, as a creative exercise, if you could compose some short pieces "in the style of" famous composers?

I think it would make for a fun video compilation for one of our artist interviews. I approached a well known Instrumentalist (kind of a household name in their genre) but he thought it would be too difficult on his instrument. Do you think you could take a crack at it John? If it was fun it might be a viral video.


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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#1176467 - 05/10/21 07:04 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: JAPOV]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Originally Posted by JAPOV
I love it when a melody keeps me guessing!
NICE John smile


Thanks JAPOV! Yes, never quite sure where the melody is going myself. laugh

Best, John smile

#1176468 - 05/10/21 07:08 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I am curious John, as a creative exercise, if you could compose some short pieces "in the style of" famous composers?

I think it would make for a fun video compilation for one of our artist interviews. I approached a well known Instrumentalist (kind of a household name in their genre) but he thought it would be too difficult on his instrument. Do you think you could take a crack at it John? If it was fun it might be a viral video.


Yes, I've already composed about 15-20 piano solos in the style of the Greats. I posted three of them on my website. In the order on my website: https://johnlarenceschick.com/home #3 In the Style of Mozart #4 In the Style of Gershwin #5 In the Style of Bach.

Best, John smile

#1176469 - 05/10/21 08:00 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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John.

The main reason the business has slowed down has been before the Pandemic, but the pandemic has increased the bottleneck for everything. All productions slowed down or stopped. More and more people, even at the top of the heap, have had their materials slowed down or completely stopped as recording, production promotions, have all slowed or stopped as well. And there will be a HUGE backlog of things to be processed for a while.

In the performance venues, tours, all the side of the live industry, which the recording side is made to promote, have slowed, stopped or in many cases, stopped forever. So I would expect some slow growth or even declines for some time, even possibly years. And as more and more have gone to an online format, the amount of songs, writers, artists, etc. have increased ten, twenty or even thirty times. So the combination of more and more people doing this, more product out there, and less and less venues or avenues for it, have created a huge imbalance in the supply and demand.

What we've seen on the front lines of the industry have now spread to the backlines or supply lines in the industry. Just part of the world as far as what has gone to an online format. Good luck though.
MAB

#1176471 - 05/10/21 08:09 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Pretty

#1176472 - 05/10/21 12:38 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: Sunset Poet]  
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Originally Posted by Sunset Poet
Pretty


Thank you Sunset!

Best, John smile

#1176473 - 05/10/21 12:51 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
John.

The main reason the business has slowed down has been before the Pandemic, but the pandemic has increased the bottleneck for everything. All productions slowed down or stopped. More and more people, even at the top of the heap, have had their materials slowed down or completely stopped as recording, production promotions, have all slowed or stopped as well. And there will be a HUGE backlog of things to be processed for a while.

In the performance venues, tours, all the side of the live industry, which the recording side is made to promote, have slowed, stopped or in many cases, stopped forever. So I would expect some slow growth or even declines for some time, even possibly years. And as more and more have gone to an online format, the amount of songs, writers, artists, etc. have increased ten, twenty or even thirty times. So the combination of more and more people doing this, more product out there, and less and less venues or avenues for it, have created a huge imbalance in the supply and demand.

What we've seen on the front lines of the industry have now spread to the backlines or supply lines in the industry. Just part of the world as far as what has gone to an online format. Good luck though.
MAB

I agree Marc. My Jan & Feb placements were up, but March & April not so good. Thatís how itís been the last year Ė up one month, little the next. Also, I think clients are behind in filling out cue sheets. Many of my cue sheets coming in are from airings a year ago (or more). Anyway, I take it for what it is. Iím thinking musicians are changing clothes too, since the ďliveĒ performances have dwindled. Maybe more are heading into the TV/ film realm, which makes it even more competitive. So be it!

Best, John smile

#1176476 - 05/10/21 02:49 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Well almost all musicians and writers have headed to the online world as they don't really have any choice. So yes, it will be much more competitive going forward.

#1176486 - 05/10/21 06:10 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Well almost all musicians and writers have headed to the online world as they don't really have any choice. So yes, it will be much more competitive going forward.


So we should be even more proud of our accomplishments knowing there's a lot more competition out there. laugh Let the chips fall where they may. I am glad my perfoming days are behind me. When I was in my twenties, this area was booming with bands. Every bar, tavern, resort had bands most days of the week. The venues would sign bands up a year ahead for New Years Eve. Today, very few venues use "live" entertainment. Mount Airy Casino Resort still has entertainment. But they don't use locals.The Dear Head Inn is still popular for jazz performers. Other than that, I wouldn't know where to go to see "live" entertainment. Sad... but it is what it is...

Oh, I'm sure wedding receptions still use bands. Though I don't know where those bands come from.

John smile

Last edited by John Lawrence Schick; 05/10/21 06:12 PM.
#1176489 - 05/10/21 09:10 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Hey John,

Placements are down because TV/film production is down. Restrictions in place can make it very difficult to produce media. Sometimes it's just impossible.

Just had the Survivor series return to Fiji ( US crew ) as they are all isolated in one place.

Ms Rock Chic had a film shoot cancelled, as they wouldn't let the guy pull the dolly. Huh ??

Also, sound studios and production studios are "air locked" making life difficult.

Keep writing John, I bet you'll do your best work yet and will surprise yourself ! smile

cheers, niteshift

#1176502 - 05/11/21 07:04 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: niteshift]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Originally Posted by niteshift
Hey John,

Placements are down because TV/film production is down. Restrictions in place can make it very difficult to produce media. Sometimes it's just impossible.

Just had the Survivor series return to Fiji ( US crew ) as they are all isolated in one place.

Ms Rock Chic had a film shoot cancelled, as they wouldn't let the guy pull the dolly. Huh ??

Also, sound studios and production studios are "air locked" making life difficult.

Keep writing John, I bet you'll do your best work yet and will surprise yourself ! smile

cheers, niteshift


Good points Nite!

Best, John smile

#1176506 - 05/11/21 08:29 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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John,

I have watched so many things hit the "live industry" even before the pandemic, that has driven it nearly into the ground.

In the 80's, karaoke came in and became a huge factor in dialing back live bands, duos, or singles. Let the crowd be the show.

That led to Karaoke contests, which became a huge money deal when American Idol and the voice "Legitimized Kareoke" nights. Movies, TV shows, etc. exploded celebrating the amateur singers in the population.

Contests became a huge deal in every type of entertainment, thereby cutting down the nights where professionals could actually make any money. And since there were more people now doing it, (The Internet exploded with performers) the amount of money that any venue would offer was nothing or next to nothing.

The cost of liability insurance, drunk driving arrests, increased competition, health and other regulations, all drove the cost of doing business up and the ability to pay for entertainment down.

The costs of going out increased by huge multiples, for average families or individuals, so it became fewer and farther between, and the threat of losing your liscence, your car, insurance, etc, by DUI arrests for even a small amount of alcohol in a system, weeded out many people.

Subscription services or streaming with constant music, replacing live music. ANd people who were losing the connection with the "live" context in the first place.

The general population who can get endless music on their computers, easy access even from the major artists.

Costs of concert tickets, etc. going out.

Societal upheaval, causing rips in the entire culture Going out to dinner to have a group of people surround and attack cars, assault people at resturants, mayhem and riots, property and physical destruction, will have an overall effect on venues, entertainers, and ability to conduct music.

The latest thing that had happened before the pandemic was venue after venue being sued by ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, for venues lacking proper payments for liscencing music. As money has dissapeared in other sections due to streaming, the PRO's have tried to make it up by going after many places, mostly smaller Mom and Pop venues, many of which are barely hanging on to begin with. If it comes down to paying employees, food and alcohol costs, liability insurance, rent, water, etc. the last thing to be paid is going to be entertainers. And if you are letting them play original music, paying them for that through increased fees is not even on the radar screen. So venue after venue have dropped paying the PRO's one by one. Again, since there are less and less venues and more and more writer/artists, the ability to get paid slowly ebbs away and dissapears.

Similar things are going to happen in television and film. As more go to alternative venues, productions, and more content is added, viewership gets more and more displaced, and spread out, the payments for that type of music will decline as well. Again, more people putting more and more product into the pipeline, different production companies, the less and less money they are going to pay.

Supply and demand never stops. More supply, more dissipated damand, and the amount of money paid is going to decline. Same as streaming has done. Just a matter of time.

So, as I said, I unforunately believe that we are headed for a time when all, or most of music is completely free. It;s something that all writers have to prepare for. A sad but true sign of the times.

MAB

#1176521 - 05/11/21 05:11 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette


The latest thing that had happened before the pandemic was venue after venue being sued by ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, for venues lacking proper payments for liscencing music. As money has dissapeared in other sections due to streaming, the PRO's have tried to make it up by going after many places, mostly smaller Mom and Pop venues, many of which are barely hanging on to begin with. If it comes down to paying employees, food and alcohol costs, liability insurance, rent, water, etc. the last thing to be paid is going to be entertainers. And if you are letting them play original music, paying them for that through increased fees is not even on the radar screen. So venue after venue have dropped paying the PRO's one by one. Again, since there are less and less venues and more and more writer/artists, the ability to get paid slowly ebbs away and dissapears.

MAB


Are you saying that some bands/venues have been legally and monetarily discouraged from performing "covers"? That's just sick! What's next... outlaw music instruments?

Money screws EVERYTHING up!

#1176537 - 05/12/21 07:42 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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It's business. When you are a smaller venue, withall of the things that are involved in the costs of doing business as well as the increased competition, not to mention what has happened to the venues during pandemics, paying what often seem to be exorbinant rates for the use of music is an economic decision. They can't afford it. They will go to a music subscription service. Contrary to popular belief, live music is not as essential as it once was. Like everything else, music is in the background of our lives now, not in the foreground. And it's not just covers, it's originals as well. It's any live music. If you have live music, you have to pay BMI/ASCAP/SESAC, liscencing fees, which often are arbitrarily decided on. Venues resturants, bars, pubs, clubs, etc, are not on the profit margins most people think they are.

So having live music at all is being phased out in many places. But again, this has happened long before the Pandemic. This has been something happening for well over 20 years. BAck when I was really performing a lot and then phasing into my teaching phase of my career, I started being at many of the "final live shows" of venues that had been around for a long time. Meeting with managers, owners, etc. were always financial considerations. They were not making as much money, indeed, many losing money. On many occasions, I was brought in as a "last gasp" of some venues, thinking that I would bring some extra business (which did happen at times) or have some special "magic" (I didn't) to inject life into some place. I did many songwriters workshops and shows in some resturant bar, bring in two or three dozen people, who ate, drank, and had a good time, making the venue good money for that day or days. Then to find out they closed a few days or weeks later, because that was the last gasp.

The present lackadasical attitude of the general public in many areas toward live music is pretty interesting. It's just not that big a deal anymore. There are pockets of course, was just in Florida,where things are opening back up and pretty active. But in many places, audience numbers have been down even before the Pandemic. There are just a lot of competing factors for the consumer dollar now. And the Internet has brought endless choices to people's home computers and phones. They just don't place the same priorities on it.

As far as outlawing music instruments, while that's not happening, another segment of the culture that has taken enormous hits due to the Internet are brick and mortar music stores. They are passing into history too, as people go to more online purchasing. Nashville is down to two or three left, with most of the rest closing left and right.

So in all of this, I don't know that it's MONEY that screws everything up. In regard to music, it's the LACK of money that is screwing everything up.

MAB

#1176539 - 05/12/21 08:42 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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ďIn the 80's, karaoke came in and became a huge factor in dialing back live bands, duos, or singles. Let the crowd be the show.Ē

Oh yeah Marc! I remember the decrease in band gigs then. Even the 70ís, venues were starting to use DJís instead of bands. Hire one DJ to hype the crowd up and pump-out music. Much cheaper than hiring a band. I also noticed starting in the late 70ís, duos and single acts were replacing 4 & 5 piece bands. The Music business has always been a changing phenomenon. Well, maybe not a phenomenon, itís all about cost efficiency and profits. Personally, Iíd prefer those Tin Pan Alley days Ė ha, ha.

[Linked Image]

John smile

#1176541 - 05/12/21 12:05 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Yep, me too John ,Hey, you ought to try to book a band I perform with from time to time. 13 peice full R&B horn band. Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Ides of March, Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, Otis Redding. Ray Charles, etc. Try to book that thing these days. LOL!
It's why we play once a year whether we have to or not!

MAB

#1176542 - 05/12/21 01:47 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Would they do a gratis performance Marc? Or maybe they'd work for their dinner. As long as they only order the specials. laugh Hey, maybe that will be the new normal - work for food.

John smile

#1176546 - 05/12/21 05:17 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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LOL! By the time you consider that half of the horn section lives in another state, Kentucky, travel costs, food, time away from other work that might pay more, eveyrone is about playing gratis as it is, even by being paid, And when you toss in one tune up rehearsal, you're pretty much in the hole.

It's like that old joke. "Only a musician would cram $3000 worth of gear into a $2000 car, drive 500 miles to pay a gig that paid $100."

Not far from the truth. Now the normal is you still work for food, but you are the one cooking it, serving it to the patrons, cleaning up afterward. Yeah, the music business. Ain't it glamorus. If we could only figure out how to turn it into a pyramid scheme, with the new people coming into the business, being forced to pay for the people who have been there a long time. Hey, they want to get into this. I'd like that one.

The first half of your career you try to figure out who to sleep with to get INTO the music business.
The second half of your career, you're trying to figure out who to sleep with to get OUT of the music business.

#1176577 - 05/14/21 01:57 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Just born 60yrs too late... There will never be another Buddy Holly!

#1176590 - 05/14/21 05:52 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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I've always been struck by the fact that if you go back in time, to the days of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Hank Williams, etc. you found that they would be out on the weekends traveling hundreds of miles, with a bass guitar strapped to the top of a station wagon,driving all over, trying to get to some radio station to do some interview so that people would come out to the dance on the weekend. And make barely enough to make all their ends meet. Always some producer, manager, agent, record lable, publisher, etc, made most of the money and contolled what they did. And they never recieved what they had earned. And much of what they did earn is still in some form of legal action today.

60 years later, and every musician is out there trying to navigate the millions of miles of the Internet, to scrape together enough gigs or interest to get people to come out and see them, possibly buy some form of product, and trying to develop an audience, often not even making enough to make ends meet. And internet service providers, and other platforms, make the majority of the money and control what they do. And they rarely make the money they've earned.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

MAB

#1176591 - 05/14/21 06:56 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Oh, come on Marc... The "music industry" is not that old. Buddy Holly and the Crickets were recording in a garage back when producers were still beating the bushes looking for opportunities to make money. Now, you can't get a producer's attention without money... Travel has always been part of the equation lol.

I could be wrong... but... the way I see it, music has always been one of those things that musicians look at an say, "Well, if he can do it so can I." So, it simply didn't take very long for the market to become saturated with both producers and musicians. The biggest change I see today is musicians becoming their own producers.

#1176639 - 05/17/21 08:24 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Tony, I think you need to do a little historical research. The term "Payola" came from "Pay and Victrola." They were having pay to play problems in the 20's and 30's. It got really bad in the 50's with Allen Freed, but there has always been politics and money involved in music. But the point (you always seem to have a problem with that) is that musicians, artists, writers, are always having to go to extrodinary lengths to get themselves and their music heard, which anyone who has ever had to travel any length of time and end up making virtually no money will know, basically ANYBODY who has ever done music.

Having anything that actually pays off in music is a rarity, and the exception, not the rule. And it's always been that way. Now the platforms are the ones making the money. It always takes money to make money. And in music, it takes money to make no money. That's the rule. You're lucky to just not go broke.

MAB

#1176644 - 05/17/21 05:08 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
It always takes money to make money. And in music, it takes money to make no money. That's the rule. You're lucky to just not go broke.MAB


Lol... So, do we agree that, historically, money has always been the problem?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_oldest_living_people
These folks would certainly argue the "birth of the entertainment industry" with you lol... In 1913 Henry Ford was mass producing the Model T, and just think, by the 1950's we had the Chevy, Buddy Holly, and Elvis on color TV. By 1964 we had the Beatles, the Ford Mustang, FM stereo radio, and most folks finally had indoor plumbing. All of our Great Grandparents lived through that Marc, it really wasn't so long ago... The whole world has changed drastically in just the last 100yrs, and it's not hard to see that it has all been profit driven by those with the capital to do so.

#1176661 - 05/18/21 09:29 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Nope. In music, to most songwriters, it's the LACK of making money that is the problem. Money is the nessasary evil in life. Everyone has to eat, has to live, and money is part of that. Are their greedy people, of course, businesses that thrive on other people's labor, sure. There are countries that have tried the "equalization" of everything, Cuba, USSR, China, and that didnt' work out too well. They started adopting capitialist processes and they are some of the richest countries on earth now. And have some of the worst poverty in existence.

I'm just not a "blamer" I don't sit around blaming this or that. I'm a realist and take it as it is. Not a thing I, or you can do about it. But everyone is able to donate whatever they want to the Govt. or charities, or whatever. If money is a problem, give it away.

In music, there are always a few people at the top and most never get there. There are also imaginitve people who break molds and find their own niches' and are able to make the system working for them. But it takes money to make money and people that get in on the ground floor of anything are going to be the ones to set the rules. But has money played a part in it? Absolutely. All part of it. Part of life.

MAB

#1176663 - 05/18/21 09:38 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Hey Tony, check your PM.

#1176666 - 05/18/21 11:17 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Well, realistically... I do tend to assign blame lol. It's not difficult to understand that those who are successful at "anything" are going to manipulate the system to protect their assets; especially anyone or anything media related. Public address is a very powerful and influential tool....

You know how much I love arguing with you Marc! I think I'll stick a pin in this one for a while wink

#1176695 - 05/19/21 09:47 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Seems that YouTube (Google) has developed a Tik Tok style application that takes any video youíve put on YouTube and makes it available to everyone who has the ap. I guess the result is, Google can take your music and allow users of this tik tok like ap to make short videos with your music. Who makes money with this ability? Yep, Google, not you. Thereís an opt out for this, and of course, Iíve read that itís time consuming. Iíd bet sometime within the next few years, Google will be persuaded to make it a little easier to opt out so your music isnít used for any Tom, Dick, or Harryís dog (baby, vacation, etc.) video implanted with your song in the background.

#1176702 - 05/19/21 12:24 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Craig,

The Internet platforms have taken the place of the Record labels, managers, agents, lawyers, etc. that have always gotten the lions share of the money involved with music or any creative endeavor. It's a catch 22. In order to get your music OUT THERE, you have to go to the ISP's, like GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, SPOITIFY, PANDORA, ETC. who make great claims about how much they pay out, but not songwriters or creators at all ever really see much of that money and never will. If you are quite frankly the window everyone has to use for access to the general public, you have no choice. And one of the things that have been the "great equalizer" or "Great destroyer" of the industry, (and extends to books, articles, blogs, art, photography, etc.) is the INTERNET.WE all have to use them, and from the days of flie sharing, illegal downloading, even into today, you can't monetize FREE. And most people get all their music for free or vastly reduced rates for streaming. And the goal posts continue to get moved as to how many streams (and for how long people have to listen to a song to qualify as a stream) are needed to qualify for payment.

Tik Tok is just the latest platform, and there will be more. It;s the equivalent of the HOLLYWOOD studio system of the 30's and 40's. Hollywood studios owned all the equipment to make movies, the back lots and real estate to make them. the contracts on every actor, every director, every camera man, script writer, make up person, grip, Union worker, craft services, truck drivers, etc. that made the movies, the publicity departments to promote the movies, and the theaters to show the movies. In the 50's television starts and the studios branched into those, then when they broke the studios up in the 60's theu still had tentacles into every facet of those industries Same is said for the modern Internet platforms. These people are not stupid, and if successful people break through, they usually sell out to those entities at one time or another.
We're currently seeing the major icon writer/artists like Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Paul Simon, etc, selling all their song cataloges because they are getting the end of the money that will be in music. And there will be new entities that come along that will facilitate music, and creative work, and those will be owned by these same people.

"Meet the new boss...Same as the OLD BOSS." Pretty appropriate.

MAB

#1176703 - 05/19/21 01:26 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Seems the famed catalogues are sucking the air out of music for national/regional commercials. And most of the songs donít fit the product to my mind (or ear). All you hear are very familiar songs from the radio only days accompanying Volvo, Geico, what have you, commercials. Even if you have the master and all the rights to a song, unless itís a familiar tune playing to the generation targeted, it wonít be bought for TV use now. As far as buying music, Iím in that category - the last album I bought was Bridge Over Troubled Waters and it cost me $12. I think you can stream on Sputterfy for $9 a month anything you want to hear all day long. Thanks for the insights, MAB (and others here). All interesting perspectives. The big boys and gals, Sony, Warner, etc. do employ lots of people tho.

#1176704 - 05/19/21 02:17 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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A strange ASCAP phenomenon. So far this year there has been two domestic and two International royalty payouts. In the past, the domestic was always much more than the International. This year the International is twice as much as the domestic. Curious as to the meaning of this. International royalties have never been so high. Though I'm not complaining...

John smile

#1176711 - 05/20/21 07:49 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: Craig Allen]  
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The commercial usage of songs is "AIR OF FAMILIARITY." If you have a product that is targeted to a certain demographic, you will use the music most familiar to that demographic. Have an $80,000 truck, you are going to use the music that the 35-50 year old demographic are going to embrace. That of 20-30 years ago that was on the radio. Same with the middle age women and female rock songs of Sherryl Crowe or Heart.

So the Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, demographic will be heard everywhere. Sometimes it creates demand for the origninal song. I Wonder what products Cardi B and Lil Nas X will be promoting in 2075? LOL!

John, you're probably just getting more miliage overseas than here, so your checks are larger.

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#1176718 - 05/20/21 12:39 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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"John, you're probably just getting more miliage overseas than here, so your checks are larger"

Maybe Marc, but I don't have time to analize the statements. The domestic statement is 60 pages and the International is 90 pages. Seems a lot of my old domestic placements are showing up on my International statement. I'll get one show showing up in 7-8 different countries. Like this show airing in Canada: "000012 DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH OPRAH WINFREY $65.32". Not bad for one play, but a Country like Malaysia, would have only paid a couple dollars for the same show. This is massive accounting. I'm sure there's some computerize technology that calculates all this. Then ASCAP has to convert all the foreign currency to ours. Amazing though...

John smile

#1176722 - 05/20/21 02:43 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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John,

It is pretty funny. But not as funny as sitting with an ASCAP/BMI/SESAC rep and try to have them explain the formulas used in calculating this stuff. Basically now its all algorhtmns and who reports what. One of the grayist of the gray areas. Glad you are seeing a few bucks here and there. Most don't even send out checks anymore unless it is over $50. I'm just waiting till the day they start invoicing writers for money they OWE for having their songs used. That'll be the next shoe to drop. LOL
MAB

#1176723 - 05/20/21 02:53 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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"It is pretty funny. But not as funny as sitting with an ASCAP/BMI/SESAC rep and try to have them explain the formulas used in calculating this stuff"

Ha, ha... I've been there Marc when a rep called me and explained for 15 minutes why I wasn't getting paid for 150 Telemundo News Shows.

John smile

#1176734 - 05/21/21 07:18 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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It's a strange world this music world. In North America I make peanuts for use of my material, while in other parts of the world I'm getting heard in places I've never expected to be heard. Like $150.00 from a song being used in a concert in the UK I think. Cast your bread upon the waters and it will not return void, also a prophet is without honour in his own country. Some wise sayings in the bible.

#1176735 - 05/21/21 08:03 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
"It is pretty funny. But not as funny as sitting with an ASCAP/BMI/SESAC rep and try to have them explain the formulas used in calculating this stuff"

Ha, ha... I've been there Marc when a rep called me and explained for 15 minutes why I wasn't getting paid for 150 Telemundo News Shows.

John smile


What was his explanation for that?

#1176736 - 05/21/21 08:19 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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I had a friend who is a song plugger/publisher, who ended up getting a song that was a top five song in GREECE. There was a female trio, who was the equivilent of America's "DESTINY'S CHILD". HUGE in Greece and throughout much of Europe. They were everywhere, television, billboards, on buses, etc. They were this sensation, and his song was their huge breakout hit.
He noticed that the next year, when he should have started seeing money, there was nothing. He thought it was just an intercountry thing. He waited 18 months, two years, and started calling ASCAP, started trying to check on where the money was. Every place led him to another dead end. Finally, in year three, he was put in contact with the ASCAP equivilent in Greece, and was basically told that "People were rioting in the streets. The PRO in Greece is owned by the state, as it is a socialist country." He never recieved a dime.

Basically you are pretty lucky if you get anything out of these people. When there is Civil Unrest, desrtruction going on, people dying, paying for a song is not quite the priority. And when you get money from different countries, you find out it's not quite what anyone thinking it is. Getting 100 million Yen ends up being worth about $20. To me, it's sort of amazing we're getting anything from anywhere. As I've said before,music is now endless and free. Ain't going back.

Another friend of mine showed up to a set I did last night. Had not seen him in years, and was pretty amazed he popped in. He was once the "PUBLISHER Of the YEAR two years in a row and 10 years ago had told me he was getting out of publishing and into CATELOG SALES. You know, the Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks" type sell outs of the entire catalog that we are seeing now? He is doing that for major country writers. That is where the money is and quite probably the end of the money in music.
Everything he told me ten years ago has come true.

You always hope, but to tell you the truth, I'm just not that optimistic "money for music" is even going to be a thing in the not too distant future. Do music because you enjoy it. Don't look for some huge pay off or even any pay off. Be apprecitaive for what you get, and remember, one day you'll look back and THESE will be the "good old days."

MAB

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#1176739 - 05/21/21 12:31 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: Sunset Poet]  
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Originally Posted by Sunset Poet
Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
"It is pretty funny. But not as funny as sitting with an ASCAP/BMI/SESAC rep and try to have them explain the formulas used in calculating this stuff"

Ha, ha... I've been there Marc when a rep called me and explained for 15 minutes why I wasn't getting paid for 150 Telemundo News Shows.

John smile


What was his explanation for that?


Hey Sunset... The Telemundo Network is a smaller network. Not as much money there (I was told) Ė however, theyíre owned by NBC Universal and service 100 countries and 35 languages. The explanation was that I didnít show up on their survey mechanism. Their survey for Telemundo only scans 2-3 hours of air time in a quarterly period (major networks are surveyed 24-7). So, if my music doesnít show up during 2-3 hours during a three-month period, I wonít be paid. Cue sheets have no weight using this formula. By using this formula, some composers will benefit, while most will get the shaft. I got the shaft - ha, ha.

John smile

#1176744 - 05/21/21 03:30 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Originally Posted by Sunset Poet
Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
"It is pretty funny. But not as funny as sitting with an ASCAP/BMI/SESAC rep and try to have them explain the formulas used in calculating this stuff"

Ha, ha... I've been there Marc when a rep called me and explained for 15 minutes why I wasn't getting paid for 150 Telemundo News Shows.

John smile


What was his explanation for that?


Hey Sunset... The Telemundo Network is a smaller network. Not as much money there (I was told) Ė however, theyíre owned by NBC Universal and service 100 countries and 35 languages. The explanation was that I didnít show up on their survey mechanism. Their survey for Telemundo only scans 2-3 hours of air time in a quarterly period (major networks are surveyed 24-7). So, if my music doesnít show up during 2-3 hours during a three-month period, I wonít be paid. Cue sheets have no weight using this formula. By using this formula, some composers will benefit, while most will get the shaft. I got the shaft - ha, ha.

John smile


Thank you. That explains a lot.
A quarter is 3000 hours, give or take. That three thousand hours is scanned 2-3 hours (call it 3) per 3000 of playing time or on air time. That is .01%.
Unless your music is omnipresent during that entire quarter, the chance of your music being picked up in that small slice of time doesnt much actually exist.
If what he told you is true and accurate, that set-up is massively slanted towards the big ones.

And...(correct me if I am wrong)...If I go into my favorite little bar once in a year and pull out a guitar and cover an ASCAP or BMI song on the one night that a BMI rep is in there, that bar will have to pay appx $2000 in annual royalty payments. This was told to me by their staff.

Is that likely accurate?

#1176745 - 05/21/21 05:03 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Probably not. That might be the threat, but doubful they would go to that length. One song is not going to make much of a difference at all. It is usually more of a playlist. It would depend on the square footage of the bar, and what their aggreement would be. Yes, in theory, that might be true, in reality, probably not for one song. But they are threatened quite a bit, and it is quite convincing.

The scenario that John talks about, the smaller markets, has always been true. It's why people who get their songs played on some small market or college station, will never make it to a survey mechanism. Songs have to be played continually, on multiple stations in multiple markets to show up on the surveys. This gets into advertising revenue, and other formulas. It's why all of this is so difficult to keep track of. Imagine the hundreds of thousands of writers and millions upon millions of songs that are floating about out there. Basically, you really have to recieve airplay or viewers in substantial markets to ever make much money.

MAB

#1176746 - 05/21/21 05:20 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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The number that they actually quoted to me was $1800 and some change...and they said that it was based on the size of the bar... as you said.
They have a very eclectic and non contemporary juke box and they were explaining why that was to me, and why they only allow people to play originals in the bar.
People exaggerate. What you are saying sounds correct, but the fact that it is even theoretically possible gave me something to wonder about.

The takeaway for me is that if a person's song is not on the radio in big markets getting a lot of airplay....then ASCAP, BMI, SESAC are irrelevant to that person for any practical reason. Reasonably correct assumption?

#1176758 - 05/22/21 11:25 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Yes, that is the exact assumption. There is really no physical way that PRO's can collect money on everything and pay all songwriters. Most songs and artists NEVER get more than a couple hundred views or listens (if that) from friends and family. Most never get that. And in many cases, such as the Internet, they are not even listening to more than a few seconds of any song. Studies have been done that people have the attention span of a goldfish. About eight seconds. With endless music out there, (about 100,000 songs uploaded an hour on Facebook alone) people are just bombarded by music all the time any time. And they are also bombarded by moble apps, games, puzzles, blogs, movies, TV, you name it, where they get it on their phones and all devices.

So why belong to any of these organizations? Because we all HOPE that we might hit the lottery and have one of those songs go worldwide viral. There's always that hope, and people do that. But when you look BEYOND the song, and find the stories of the song, the people involved with the song, the years that it took to get there, etc. you find that it is always much more complicated and involved than anyone wants to believe. And a lot of the shady aspects of the music industry that people like to talk about here. Yeah, that exists too.

But put your self in the place of the people at BMI, ASCAP, SESAC. A very good friend of mine here in Nashville is DAVID PRESTON. DAvid is an Executive Vice President, and one of the heads of the Artist representative departments. Two years ago he told me he gets an average of 150 calls, emails, A DAY, asking for personal conferences from songwriters. That;s every day. And he has a pretty large staff below them. They probably get four or five times that. There are not enough hours in the day to see everyone. And that is the same with ASCAP and SESAC. I have good friends at all of them, and they pretty much echo that.
For someone like David, a lot of his calls are from HIT, STAFF and SUCCESSFUL writers all asking where their money has gone, because it has all taken a huge nosedive to next to nothing.

And what are they supposed to tell these people? In order to MAKE MONEY on songs, SOMEONE HAS TO PAY MONEY FOR THOSE SONGS.
That's how songwriters are paid. The sale of PHYSICAL PRODUCT (CD'S, LEGAL DOWNLOADS, etc. Things you can hold in your hand.)
And PERFORMANCES (Times something is played, where it's played, etc.)There are all kinds of different things, digital, Echo dot, subscription services, usage in Television and movies, commercials, etc.) Each one have their own rules and etticates. Each one takes a different relationship to deal with.

Professional songwriters give up half the ownership of this song to have PUBLISHERS, who deal with all of this. And they need publishers to be able to get their songs in the pipelines to even be heard in the first place. Publishers are the "AGENTS" for songs, which is the same as Hollywood actors have. Russel Crowe, and Daniel Day Lewis, don't go to every audition. They have agents that represent them. And if you dion't have an agent, you don't get in on those auditions in the first place.
Same with publishers and songwriters. And those publishers spend HOURS every day, tracking down all that stuff and keeping track of what is happening with their clients songs. Songwriters are writing songs. Again, only so many hours in the day.

Now there are people, like John here, that has established himself over the years and gets some placements in certain projects. That's great and very few and far between. If he didn't have the product, he wouldn't get those, because he is having to get through the gauntlet of people involved in those productions, like film and televison music directors who are often songwriters themselves. Want something in a Pixar movie? Better be hotter than Randy Newman.
But many of those productions, independent films, smaller networks (Like Telemundo, that John is referring to) don't pay that much money. They don't get that much advertising revenue. That's where these payments come from.

But the biggest thing is that VISABILITY IS VIABILITY. If you have something getting played several times a day in MAJOR MARKETS, in television, on awards shows, in commercials, major motion pictures, etc. you will make a nice chunk of money Might take a couple years for it all to come in and you may have a bunch of people to pay out BEFORE it gets to you, other co-writers, publshers, things like the HARRY FOX AGENCY, who specifically collect for Television and motion pictures (you have to hire them independently) and sometimes, since most pro writers have had a couple of deals BEFORE they usually owe money to other people. IF you've had a staff deal for a year or two, that all has to be paid back BEFORE you clear a dime. I can't tell you how many people I know that had number one songs and never saw a dime of it due to money they owed to even get into the business.

THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS, THE LESS YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS.

So now there are less and less people PHYSICALLY PAYING for music. And more and more people using music. More and more, lower and lower subscription fees. How many songs do you think "$5.00 a month unlimited downloading" pays for? And for all the bluster from the platforms ilke SPOTIFY, PANDORA, and others that make these huge claims that they pay out BILLIONS of royalties, I've yet to find ONE SATISFIED AND HAPPY SONGWRITER. Why do you think Dylan and others are selling their cateloges? Cause they are not making enough money in other ways. This is the end of the money in music for the most part.

So if your focus in music and songwriting is to make money, get rich, etc. you are probably in the wrong business. And I have NEVER, NEVER met one hit writer, that moved to this town, LA or New York to make their fortune. Not one. I have personally written with around 100 writers with top tens, number one, and other very successful writers in my 32 years here. They all moved because that was the next step. They had reached a certain level in their area (I was at the top of the game in Alabama before I moved here) they all were young and decided that's where they needed to go. They wanted to write great songs and meet people that could get them in higher places. The people most surprised by their successes are usually some of the biggest hit writers. But all had enormous struggles to get where they were. And far more incredibly talented people, lasted a couple years and moved home or moved on in their lives never been heard from or getting very close but no cigar. I count myself among those people, having been closer to deals, cuts, hits artists, etc,than I really like to think about, and not getting that huge pay off.
Just part of it. I'm just too stupid to have moved out. When I got close, in 2000, a group of people approached me about teaching this stuff, and so I did.
Perseverance.

So is business slow? For some people sure it.
Is the money leaking away? For most people. Yep.
Do we quit? I don't, Other people might. Each person has to make their own decisions.

Everyone has dreams. Go chase them. But inject some REALITY into the dreams.

That would be my answer.
MAB

#1176761 - 05/22/21 04:25 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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As usual, Marc nailed it!

John smile

#1176763 - 05/22/21 05:48 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Thanks John,

It's find of weird, some people think I am some kind of "defend the music business" guy. I'm not. While I've always been on the perephery of the music business, had publishing deals, cuts, etc i've never gotten all bogged down into the details or been hamstrung by what the business is and is not. I've always sort of operated in my own world, which is why I'm still around while most of my contemporaries are long gone, quit, died off, or simply moved on to other things.
But I always know people who are there, people who are writers publishers, artists, managers, agents, venue owners, etc. that DO know what's going on. I've been able to see all this as a more or less outside observer. I don't really have a dog in the hunt. Doesn;'t matter to me if I ever get another cut. Doesn;t matter if any artist I work with strikes gold and becomes a big star. It would always be interesting, but not that big a deal to me, would not really change anything I do.

Once, when I was working with Frankie Ballard, someone asked me "What are you going to be doing after Frankie gets signed and things start kicking in?"
I said, "The day before it happens, I'll be working with artists, and writers, talking about songwriting, networking, the business of music.
The day after it happens, I'll be working with artists and writers, talking about songwriting, networking and the business of music."

And that's been pretty much what I've done.

When someone asks a question that is in my wheelhouse, I experience it personally or know people that experience it, I'll give my take on it. People can take it or leave it. But it is from the people involved with doing this.

I don't know where music will end up but people need to be involved in whatever level they are involved in with eyes open and have a love for the process and what they are doing. That should be it. If things happen, if they find themselves in positions to make money or make inroads, they should do that but be aware of the larger picture.
Anything I talk about is the bigger picture. I hope it helps.

Thanks, and congratulations on your victories. They are few and far between, but everything that keeps you moving forward is a VICTORY!

MAB

#1176765 - 05/22/21 06:53 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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JAPOV  Online Happy
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Oh, come on Mr B... Let's pick a headliner and pitch something! wink

#1176775 - 05/23/21 10:35 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Pitch what? You can pitch to anyone you write with. Aside from that, you're pretty much pitching to yourself. Headliners are LONG GONE from anyone's reach. And the people you have to go through usually have a LOT more gold and platinum records than you do, so you don't really qualify.
But hey, you can always go for it. Go ahead and pitch. You also can just walk onto the practice field of a major Pro football team too and start playing. Not really advisable, but you can try it

There is a real world out there. Best to understand the rules before you get on the field.

MAB

#1176779 - 05/23/21 01:00 PM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Lol... It was a joke Marc! smile

#1176795 - 05/24/21 09:05 AM Re: Music Business A Little Slow... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Yeah, I got it. You'd just be surprised how many don't get it.


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