|| Saturday, 10th November 2007
Starbucks, Main Drag, Lake Geneva.
Ladies That Breakfast, that is, local ladies having Saturday morning coffee together, are currently discoursing at an amplitude sufficient to penetrate these excellent Noise Cancellators delivering Shotskovitch string quartets, plus also managing to override the Starbucks’ in-house NPU outside them. This is an amplitude-achievement of some, well, achievement.
08.33 The Ladies-That-Shout Breakfasting Club has departed…
I do not believe for a moment that they are shouted-out, only that their shouting is moving elsewhere. For those whose energy-economy is based on dumping energy through the mouth, a major life-change is needed before re-equilibration & re-calibration takes place.
09.27 Freejazz (the poster): making it in NYC:: Posted by Ornate_Coal_Man on November 09, 2007
First of all, when someone with the stature and acclaim in the realm of popular music such as Fripp has to sell off a prized guitar to finance a tour, all I can say is: YIKES!
The RF & The LCG tour in March/April 1991, beginning in Italy, coincided with the fourth consecutive failure by EG to pay my record royalties on March 31st. 2007. Artist income stream was being diverted from the EG Music Group to provide loans to Athol & Co. (formerly EG Management Ltd, which had quietly changed its name to Athol & Co. in Autumn 1990). Athol & Co., along with the EG Group, was under the common control of Messrs. Alder & Fenwick & functioned inter alia as a conduit to supply the partners with money to address cash-calls from Lloyds’ (Marine 475) & their collapsing property company, Old Chelsea. The EG Music Group loaned Athol & Co. £4,000,000 in 1989/90, and (in the same period) paid the partners £561,000 for supplying Messrs. Alder & Fenwick’s consultancy services back to their own music companies (cf "The UK Record Industry Survey 1993" Cliff Dane, page 96).
So, EG Music had enough cash to lend / pay Athol & Co. c, £4.5 million, but not enough to pay its artists due royalties. The official EG position was that “the delay in royalty payments was due to an unexpected delay in the completion of the sale of E.G. Records Ltd. to Virgin". This is a nonsense: Virgin Records did not have to sell itself in order to pay its artist royalties: it made provision to meet royalty commitments. The sale of EG record & publishing interests (to Virgin & BMG respectively) for c. £4 million filled the hole created by the loan to Athol & Co.
The managing director of the EG Music Group told me (1991) of his fear that the group was trading in insolvency. I do not know if this was the case; I know that the managing director of the EG Music Group told me he feared it was the case.
Did the EG Music Group keep client accounts, to protect their managed-artist income stream from being raided? The Chieftains (sub-managed within EG) did have a client account; myself & several other artists of close acquaintance did not. Since the artists’ interests vis a vis EG Records & EG Publishing were protected by EG Management, who protected the artists against EG Management? This was the central issue. Endless Grief is a textbook, classic example of conflict of interest. Arguably, EG artist management moved from representation-of-common-interests to artist-control-for-management-exploitation. To quote Mr. Alder (to myself in 1991): “we are sensitive to suggestions of conflict of interest”. Judging by the actualite of EG actions, not overly sensitive.
On August 28th. 1993 I wrote to John Whitehouse, of Hughes Allen, the EG Group auditor and also my auditor, and asked him for his opinion regarding the possible conflict of interest of Messrs. Alder & Fenwick dealing with Polydor, while representing both my interests as an artist and their interests as EG Records. Mr. Whitehouse replied, on September 20th. 1993, that he did "not
necessarily see any potential conflict of interest in respect of the negotiations that took place between EG and Polydor. Surely, any negotiations that took place between them and Polydor would be on the basis to achieve the best available deal for both themselves and their artists". Examination of EG practices re: record advances & recoupment indicate that the “best available deal” for EG took priority over the “best available deal” for EG artists. Mr. Whitehouse ceased to represent me not long afterwards.
we never discussed the possible conflict of interest of JW acting as auditor to
both EG and myself.
So, how did RF’s business affairs manage to continue 1988-90, if he were not receiving royalties?
Mr. SG Alder had a power of attorney to act on my behalf since c. 1977, necessary given my extended stays & journeying abroad. Who better to hold a Power of Attorney than a chartered accountant, a God fearing family man, renowned for his probity & sound business practices? Mr. Alder used the POA to negotiate loans on my company’s behalf from Coutts, our joint banker. In effect, this provided EG / Athol & Co. with an undeclared forced loan from my company, on which I paid the interest. In subsequent correspondence, with Endless Grief underway, Mr. Alder’s solicitor declared that “it was always my clients’ intention” to pay the arising interest, but that this was subject to reciprocation from myself in respect of the negotiations then underway. In other words, there was no intention to pay interest on the forced loan. (This was the same period & the same solicitor who declared that his clients were “renowned for their probity & sound business practices”).
Following my resignation from EG Management (April 11th. 1991) I contacted Coutts & notified them that Mr. Alder no longer had authority to act on my behalf. Mr. Alder’s response to having his Power of Attorney withdrawn was you made me look like a common criminal! (In my final personal meeting with Mr. Alder, along with his business partner MA Fenwick Esq., on April 17th. 1991 at 63a, King’s Road, Chelsea).
This was an hypocrisy a little to rich for my taste.
In the 1990s, The Independent described the business culture of the 1980s as "a culture of greed, characterised by the abuse of trust". In my affairs, in my opinion, the actions of Mr. Alder & the dealings of the EG Music Group provide one example of this.
Why has so little of the details of the EG operation been made public? Probably because I am most likely the only player who refused to sign a gagging clause. Bryan Ferry & his professional advisers are banned from any comment on their dealings with EG, as is my Wife. Mr. Alder’s solicitor wrote to her reminding her that she was bound by the clause from discussing EG with anyone, including her husband. This is, in my opinion, a good example of EG’s Chief Feature: control. Control of money supply + control of information + belligerence & litigiousness + threats = control of behaviour.
Now that an increasing number of EG-innocents are visiting DGM Live, I suppose that I should write the full history of Endless Grief; but currently my interests are more positive & forward looking. Mr. Ornate might not be aware that Mr. Alder is presently sitting on a number of charitable bodies, a representative of Right Practice & social responsibility, with accountancy services available from his firm Messrs. Alder Dodsworth & Co. at 22. Athol Street, Douglas on the Isle of Man.
11.04 All manner of e-flurrying & arisings. One of the discussion-points at DGM Live is the degree to which hot tickles & free-downloads are prejudicing our business. And on the topic of prejudiced-business, Mr. Wilbert feels deceived by the HRVHL in his dealings with DGM. I shall return to this topic in the future.
13.46 Pre-packing for Sunday. Lobby call for departure at 14.00.
18.56 The Majestic, Madison.
Departing punctually in the League Mobile, leaving Lake Geneva for Madison I…
… arriving at The Majestic as the equipment is being set up I…
A walk around the block…
Leon Russell is at The Majestic tomorrow. Directly opposite, the King Club…
… a regular gig for Clyde Stubblesfield, the highly-respected drummer for James Brown.
Up the street to the Capitol I…
… around two more corners…
… and back to The Majestic…
Marcello is line-checking…
… and Sylvain has the Solar Voyager ready for take-off…
Mr. Biffy directs the Soundcheck I…
The Majestic is a former burlesque theatre. In one of its incarnations, it was a movie house & John Sinks was the projectionist here. It is in new ownership & has only been re-opened for 2-3 months.
01.14 Hotel Acceptable, Lake Geneva.
A fave SoundSculpture for walk-in.
An almost full house. Very supportive. A good sounding room powered by Mr. Beefy.
Eruptile rain when loading the vans to drop-off guitars at Studio BeefTone for tomorrow / today’s NST Intro.
On the way home: a swerving car in front of us; the driver was most like drunk or asleep.
Back, dribbling gently.
Search Robert Fripp's diary archive.