Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thanks .belville

Shit it's back to the Lomax article again.....

Right, the Lomax article got a bunch of letters this week and with most I simply disagree but one is worth pointing out and that is Jonathan Updegrove of .belville's letter. Personally, if you want to make a career out of music, I have no issues with that at all. If you want to "make it", while I may be dismissive, it's not for me to judge. Most of Johnathan's comments are standard wide eyed, "Gee, I'll add this stuff to my How To Make It notebook. Again that's neither here nor there - whatever. But then he throws this lovely paragraph (emphasis mine):

I understand that you probably were not saying all bands in Houston are apathetic, for lack of a better word, towards the business aspect of music, but I wanted to let you know that there are some out there who are anyway. And that your article was very helpful in turning them in the right direction to "make it," so to speak.

So, if you are not taking the steps to "make it", you are pointed in the wrong direction. Wow, thanks for speaking for me you fucking tool. It's like this Nickelback Pigfucker can't get it through his head that there are other frikkin reasons for making music!

I have a 4 year old who constantly says "You wanna play?" and he then goes off on some fantasy about knights, astronauts, firefighters, or whatever. You know that's all I frikkin do; I play with my friends. Making music to me is an end in itself. It's fun and there is nothing more to it that that. It makes me happy. For god sake Johnathan, tell me why the fuck am I heading in the wrong direction? Because I never look past the next gig, practice, or recording session? Piss off.

I say you should look at Ian Varley comment in the same article about making it:
"To be honest, my overarching philosophy is that the only thing really worth focusing on is making your music better,"
Amen, Brother!

You want my test for whether you are "headed in the right direction." Ready?

1. Is it Fun?
2. Does it make you happy?
3. Is the crap you sometimes have to put up with outweighed by #1 and #2?

If you are making music you enjoy, you should answer of "Yes" to all three.

Now go make some music and fuck off!


Kilian said...


I would add...

4. Don't listen to Music Editors who become such drooling groupies over one record that they will whore themselves to one member of a non-existent band (while not giving voice to any of the other members of the non-existent band) so that said member can whine in front of the entire community.

Justin said...

Here's a new beef with the article. Why is it the responsibility of the band to sell themselves? Isn't that what a manager does? When somebody whines about not knowing how to sell a product, is that the fault of the people making the product or is it the fault of the person selling the product? I guarantee that if a good manager set up some good gigs or was able to get his band lots of radio play, then people would indeed be falling over themselves to play with Haaga. Even people in Houston. What Houston lacks is not good bands, but rather good managers who are smart and creative and know how to sell a product. Tom Bunch does not fit this bill. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time to convince a past-their-prime Butthole Surfers that he was a good choice to manage them, based possibly on his experience with promoting shows.

Let me tell you, it doesn't take a genius to promote shows. You don't even have to be particularly well organized. And the audience in the early 90s was an easy sell. The Surfers made a poorly informed decision in picking Bunch, but that doesn't surprise me. I ran across Gibby around that time when I was helping with the MTV spoken word tour. He was obviously strung out, becoming so distracted by almost anything that he couldn't complete a sentence. He did, however, have no trouble understanding me as I described to him how to get to the bar of the hotel we were in. I'm guessing he probably made lots of bad decisions like hiring Tom Bunch.

So, let's actually take some stock of what Bunch did for the Surfers. Can anybody tell me? I know there was that one radio hit--"Pepper," but then what happened after that? It would seem that Tom Bunch added that to his resume in order to convince The Toadies that he should manage them, too. The Toadies were an up and coming band, who probably had a choice of managers, but they picked the guy that managed the Butthole Surfers. Coooool. The Toadies then had one radio hit: "Possum Kingdom." What happened then? Was Tom Bunch able to capitalize on that? Why not? He sounds pretty ineffectual to me. And since both the Surfers and the Toadies fired and subsequently sued Bunch, I'm guessing they felt the same way. The truth is Tom Bunch has failed at everything he has done because he's not particularly good at what he does.

The Vatican ended with Tom owing money to his partner and the ridiculous comedy of the two of them locking each other out of the building. The Butthole Surfers deal saw him suing their label, a move which resulted in most of their albums being out of print. This is some smart management if I ever saw it.

I remember when I promoted a show at UH with King Missile, who were then pretty popular, and somebody brought me a message from the box office that a guy called Tom Bunch was out front insisting that he be allowed into the $5 show for free. He was saying things like--I shit you not--"Do you know who I am?" And the funny thing is, I do know who he is. He's a two year old that can only see what's in the deal for him in the near term. Why anybody would work with somebody like that is beyond me.

Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

Wow, that is probably the most on-spot about bunch I've seen. dead on! Thank's for a winkipedia like comment.

I really have to say my biggest beef with the articke is how Tom Bunch is hailed as the High Noon type of savior of the scene. Without his inclusion I'm sure the article wouldn't have been so insulting. Why? Becasue he's held up as a standard - he's not he's a self promoting schlub abd Lomax bought it hook line and sinker.

And I agree with your point on the manager thing, it just seems that most bands don't need a manager at their level. Most bands can manage themselves quite well.

Anyhow thanks for a fine comment

Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

PS I posted your comment to my myspace mirrored Blog becasue it's so good.

Thanks again

tabmgmt said...

I just came across this blog article and today is 8/30/2007, and since the Houston Press article that is refers to is about a year old. I am guessing that these post were around the time of the Houston press article. I have never met Killian or Justin and it is interesting that they both have such strong opinions on events that they were not directly involved in and that they have such strong feelings towards me. All I did in the interview with John Lomax was give my personal and professional opinions on subjects that John Lomax was interested in. I gave accurate answers to subjects and projects that I was directly involved with. As far as Justin’s guesses about what I did for my clients and my businesses, they are just that, guesses made by someone that obviously has something against me, without ever having any direct dealings with me. I don’t ever remember meeting or working with Justin, Yes I did see King Missile at the U of H, and since I had worked with King Missile multiple times before this show, they invited me to the show as their guest. I can tell you that I never said to anyone, at any time in my career “don’t you know who I am”. It is not something that I would ever say to anyone for any reason. People that I worked with in the past know who I am and I don’t go to shows or participate in projects unless I am invited and asked to participate. “As far as it not taking a genius to promote shows”, you obviously haven’t promoted many shows. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to promote successful and profitable shows, and I promoted successful and profitable shows from 1983 until 1997, with acts ranging from the Butthole Surfers (as early as 1983) to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and hundreds of others, and you can ask any of them about my talents and abilities. I promoted almost every Red Hot Chili Peppers date in Texas from 1983-1996 and am still friends with them and most of the acts I worked with. As far as managing the Butthole Surfers, I promoted almost every Texas date with them from 1983-1989 and as a result of my work with them as a promoter I managed them from 1989-1999. When I started managing them, they had just released their worst selling and received record (pioughd) and were talking about breaking up. During my 10 year stint as their manager and directly through my work and connections, they were part of the first Lollapalooza tour, opening for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, headlined a tour with the Stone Temple Pilots, Flaming Lips and Firehose (which we won the Pollstar most creative package of 1993). I got them signed to Capitol Records, who re released Piuoughd and went on to sell over 100,000, and then their first Capitol Record, which was produced by John Paul Jones or Led Zeppelin, sold over 300,000 copies, spawned a radio and MTV hit with who was in my room. The video was produced and animated by 2 friends of mine that I hired. The Next record went gold and The BUtthole Surfers toured the world and made more than 10 times the money as a result of my work. I handled their publishing and licensed songs to many movies soundtracks, and the combined sales of the movie soundtracks were well over fifteen million units. I also negotiated a Nintendo commercial that ran on all the major TV stations and honestly there isn’t enough time to list all the other accomplishments that were not only mine, but the bands as well. As Justin mentioned, Gibby, at his best is difficult and at his worst, impossible. I singed a 5-year management contact with the Surfers, which went on for 10 years, and after 10 years I told them that I was no longer interested in working with them. I was just tired of working with them, as I had worked with them daily for almost 16 years. The did not fire me and their was a lawsuit that I filed seeking payment for my services as per my contract. The Surfers ended up paying me exactly what was asked for in the lawsuit. As far as the Toadies, I signed a 5 year contract with them and at the end of the contract I informed them that I was no longer interested in working with them as they had bogged down in personal and personnel problems that I was not interested in being involved with. They sued me, trying to get me to pay for some of their mistakes and the end result was that they paid me what they owed me as per the contact that we signed 5 tears earlier. In both lawsuits I was not in any way found to be at fault or liable for anything and I was paid everything that I requested. The woman that was their attorney and who advised them poorly was fired from the firm at the end of the lawsuit for her part in the lawsuit. The Toadies went from selling 2000 units before my management, to having a platinum records and being on many sundtracks that sold gold and Plalinum as well as touring with Bush, White Zombie, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others And as for the Vatican, you got it completely wrong. The Vatican closed owning no one money and that was because I ran the Vatican for almost a year to make sure that non-one was owned money. Their was an argument between myself and my partner and my partner moved to Louisiana with much missing from the Vatican and it was my decision to run the Vatican until all the accounts that I was involved with were paid, and as soon as they were, I closed the club. Once again, I have no idea who Killian and Justin are and how they seem to know about my business, as I know for a fact that neither were directly or indirectly involved with my business, nor do I know either to be an expert in the entertainment business. For all my work with the Surfers and Toadies I have 10 gold, platinum and multi platinum records. If the presidents of Capitol and Interscope records are asked, these accomplishments were directly related to my work, and I have a very long list of happy clients and business associates for every one that has anything negative to say about me. Working with musicians is a very difficult business and I did it to the best of my ability and was told and am told that my work was and is top notch. Anyway, that is all I have to say and honestly think it is ridiculous that I have to explain myself to people that I don’t know, who weren’t there and probably don’t have any experience with the type of business I am involved in, but I do wish you all peace, happiness, and Success. Thank you Tom Bunch

PS Mike Haaga is a great talent and a good friend and anyone would be lucky to work with him

Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

(see my last comment to your last comment) : )

Thanks for the belated response