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Jay Stapley / Blog

New Business Models

So tell me: am I being a naive fool? This morning, my daughter said "Dad, I need some money. Can we make an EP today and I'll go out and do a couple of open mic nights and sell it?" The old-school music-biz side of me immediately started thinking about production meetings and MCPS licenses and other stumbling blocks. The child in me went out to the studio, mixed 5 of her voice-and-guitar tracks we'd recorded as demos, fired up the CD-label design software and Waveburner, generated the ISRC codes, and by 5pm she was off to her gig with 10 CDs. She sold 2 in one night: that's £10. I just got my Spotify statement from CD Baby: $9.28 for 6 months. Who's business model is the better? OK, £10 is small beer, but it's a start.

Why I Hate B*&%£y "Friends"

I hate bloody "Friends." Why? Many reasons.

Firstly, like many successful sitcoms, it has become self-referential. Titling the episaodes "The one where...." assumes that the audience already know it and that it is already a classic. How can it be a classic before it's aired? Nonsense and tomfoolery.

Second, the actors have also become smug and self-referential. Instead of Actor X simply playing Character Y, I get the feeling that Actor X is playing him (or her) self playing Character Y. A kind of ironic performance if you will.

Thirdly, my daughter sets my BT box to record entire series of the bloody thing and I can't find how to delete an entire scheduled series of recordings. And of course, this is entirely the fault of the producers of "Friends."

I hate bloody "Friends."

Back to Life, Back to reality...

OK, after a summer of bliss, back to work. I took the summer off: for the first time in decades I decided to relax, go sailing... In pursuit of this dream I bought a new (well, second-hand, but new to me) sailing boat: a 26' Westerly Centaur named "L'Etachon." The name unfortunately refers to a rock in the Channel Islands... may have to ignore the superstition regarding renaming boats! She's a fine and beautiful thing. I sailed her down from Ipswich to West Mersea with Simon Webb and Al Stewart as crew on a blowy day in August after spending a few days pottering in the marina, getting her ready. Such bliss! A 18HP diesel engine that does 5 knots at half revs! A hull that cuts through the waves (we had to motor for 6 hours dead into the force 5-6 wind) rather than staggering to a halt every time a wave hits the bow! A cockpit that's big enough for three people to sit in comfort and a sprayhood that keeps those three people dry! When we were finally able to sail for the last hour of the trip she came alive under my hands, the tiller singing and suddenly light to the touch. Vin and I sailed her up to Brightlinsea on Bank Holiday weekend and spent the Saturday and Sunday in the marina while the wind got up to a 7, occasional 8 but the skies remained clear. Such bliss, being able to stand upright in the cabin! Such bliss, being able to set up a double-berth and sleep in comfort! I finally plucked up the courage to take her out (the boat, not Vin) single-handed: she's a handful (the boat, not Vin) but it's doable. I may need to change the foresail cleats to jamming cleats, but I can do that over the winter. I also took Steve Pearce (who regular attendees at my gigs will know as a fine bassist and all-round good egg) on a day with somewhat more wind than expected: he took it like a man and soon got the hang of the helm. So, back to work... so many projects I left piling up in the studio over the summer: I just completed a rock remix of "Everybody Dance" by CC Music Factory for M-Bop records and am hoping they will follow up on their plan to re-release my "Edge of the World" CD. I'm starting to gather the threads for my next record (working title "Mr Angry") and will post demos, ideas, etc., here. I'm looking for gigs again: any suggestions gratefully received. Now then, how do I work this thing????

For My Westernhagen Friends

Gott sei dank! Ich bin endlich unerlaubt geworden! Meine Rock'n'Roll credentials sind komplett!!!!! Ein bisschen erklaerung: Ich bin unheimlich dankbar, dass soviele MMW-Fans haben solche nette Worten gesagt uber meine Arbeit mit Marius. Es gibt soviel Geruechte (rumours?) um Thema "J.a S.t....l.y nicht auf die Buhne in 2010" Ich wollte alles klar machen.

2 Moeglichkeiten:

Nummer 1: Marius, wie alle Kunstlern, will neue Ideen, neu Sounds, neue Inspiration horen. Seit 25 Jahren, hat er mich im rechtes Ohr. Kein Wunder, dass er die Schnautze voll damit hat und will was anders horen! (Stell' mal vor, was Ich im linken Ohr hat seit 25 Jahren? Diese blutende Mundharmonika solo in "Nur Ein Traum!" Kein Wunder, dass Ich Taub geworden bin.) (Witz, ehrlich:-)) Es ist auch ganz normal, dass die Musikern die auf die Plate spielen, spielen diese Songs live. Ich hab' seit 1986 auf die Platten gespelt, und war ebenso auf die Buhne bei jedes Tour. Ich war fur Williamsburg nicht dabei, sowie beim Tour dieses mal auch nicht.

Nummer 2: Marius hat mir seit Jahren gesagt, Ich soll etwas abnehmen. Hat nicht passiert. Er will kein Dicke, nuer dunner Hering, auf die Buhne haben.

Ich hoff' schon, wieder dabei zu sein: Marius und Ich reden noch, haben kein Argument gehabt, und Freundschafft ist wichtiger und starker als Geld.

Ich wunsche Euch viel Spass dabei, und wenn Ihr Lust hat, bitte suchen meine www.reverbnation.com seite aus und sag' Hello. Neue CD ist im Betrieb, working title "Mr Angry."