Robbed of product and credit!
I am sure we all have stories to tell, but reading the words of
Mr. Barrett brought back some horrific memories about why I am
selective about who gets access to my instruments!
In brief, I hosted the second annual "bash" of the Canadian Ragtime
Society at my country property. I certainly never gave a thought
about all the pictures being taken and the tape recording being made.
It was a proud and happy event for me.
For some silly reason I foolishly thought that picture and sound
recordings were being made for personal memories. Considering the list
of luminaries in attendance, which included John Arpin, Eubie Blake
and Rudi Blesh along with a host of others, it was indeed a very
A few months later I was walking past the front window of Sam's Record
Store in Toronto and spotted the jacket of a long play recording on
display. Actually "two" jackets, showing the front and back sides.
The title was "Thanks For The Buggy Ride," prompted I assume from the
recording of an Ampico roll by the same name. On the back side were
pictures of several pianos whose music was included.
I could not believe my eyes -- these were pictures of my instruments,
taken in my home! I purchased a copy of this recording and discovered
more amazing and hard to believe things. It was issued on a "major"
record label: Columbia. In addition, the album notes were written
by none other than Pierre Burton, a well-known author, who, by the
way, had never been in my home. A final touch was the "logo" of the
Canadian Ragtime Society.
I did seek legal advice, only to discover that the evil person
responsible for this act of theft had presented a "package" of the
master tape, jacket design, album notes, etc. to Columbia Records and
they had paid this man a lump sum for a "ready to go" product.
Columbia took the position that they purchased the "product" in good
faith and had done nothing wrong. My lawyer advised I just walk away
because "Columbia" had an army of corporate lawyers on staff and it
would cost way more to fight for my rights than I could ever hope to
gain back from the recording.
I can't even be proud that this was a recording of my instruments
because I never got a mention or any credit for the stolen property.
Ever since all visitors are told "still pictures only" and no sound
recordings are allowed.
Aylmer, Ontario, Canada
[ The Ragtime Society of Toronto is mentioned in the history at
[ http://www.ragtimepiano.ca/rags/can5.htm -- Robbie