Tuesday, March 27, 2007

stay alive

Through my affiliation with CD Baby, I get e-mails from an outfit called JPF (just plain folk), a sort of crunchy/poppy netroots music marketing/advocacy group. I usually look it over and throw it away, but the following essay from the founder Brian caught my eye. I don't share his love for Boston's music, and don't know a thing about Brad Delp, but I share his sentiments otherwise (italics are mine):

"It was reported that fellow JPF member and Boston lead singer Brad Delp committed suicide at his home in a fairly planned out and awful way. Though I never had a chance to meet him in person, he had entered the JPF music awards with his duo Delp and Goudreau and I actually planned to try and make direct contact with him and Barry this year because I've been a long time fan and Boston was a seminal group for people my age (42). His soaring vocals are forever burned into my musical DNA. Sadly, his end wasn't as unusual as it should be. Suicide and the thoughts and emotions that lead to it are all too common in our industry. We often focus on the major names due to celebrity factors. While this may bring some attention to the issue briefly, once the news cycle runs, it disappears again quickly. I was very disappointed that the mainstream media made no attempt to use this tragic end to discuss resources for others out there facing the same illness. I am no doctor and I am no mental health professional. But I feel like I can't just move on from this topic while I know some of you reading this are suffering. Help does exist. Though I've had my share of health problems, I am fortunate that suicidal thoughts have not been one of them. My Grandfather, however, was not as lucky and killed himself when I was an adolescent after a series of debilitating strokes. For those of us lucky enough NOT to personally have these feelings, we should educate ourselves because it's likely someone in our family or friends are already or will some day be suffering from this. We all suffer at one time or another. All we can hope is that when we're not suffering, we're helping those who are and when we are, they'll return the favor. So here's my attempt to do some of that now.
If you are having suicidal thoughts (or have had them in the past), please call this toll free number 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you have transportation, you can also go to the local emergency room. Even if you don't have health insurance you can go and get treatment at any emergency room.
Here's a Q&A about Suicide and Depression that everyone should read: http://www.save.org/basics/qna.html
Here's what you should do if you know someone else is suicidal:
http://www.save.org/prevention/someone_you_know.html
You can get all sorts of information and help at these sites:
www.save.org
www.afsp.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

One of the best resources to deal with musicians and mental health I have ever come across is a grassroots facility in Athens, Georgia called Nuci's Space. It's an amazing facility created by the mother of a 22 year old suicide victim named Nuci. We've written about them before, but it's worth repeating here. They offer mental health and other medical support services for musicians without health insurance. I haven't come across anything else like it in the 9 years I've been running JPF. Visit their site at http://www.nuci.org
Most of us can't really understand how you might be feeling, but it doesn't mean we don't care and we don't want to help you. Just as we'd want to help you if you had cancer or heart disease or alcoholism. All these things are physical illnesses and though not everyone can be cured, everyone CAN get treatment and help. Please don't hesitate to seek help. All of us need a little help now and then. We can't afford to lose another musical genius and more importantly, we can't afford to lose another friend.

If you are having suicidal thoughts (or have had them in the past), please call this toll free number 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you have transportation, you can also go to the local emergency room. Even if you don't have health insurance you can go and get treatment at any emergency room.Here's a Q&A about Suicide and Depression that everyone should read:http://www.save.org/basics/qna.htmlHere's what you should do if you know someone else is suicidal:http://www.save.org/prevention/someone_you_know.htmlYou can get all sorts of information and help at these sites:http://www.save.org/http://www.afsp.org/www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/One of the best resources to deal with musicians and mental health I have ever come across is a grassroots facility in Athens, Georgia called Nuci's Space. It's an amazing facility created by the mother of a 22 year old suicide victim named Nuci. We've written about them before, but it's worth repeating here. They offer mental health and other medical support services for musicians without health insurance. I haven't come across anything else like it in the 9 years I've been running JPF. Visit their site at http://www.nuci.org/.Most of us can't really understand how you might be feeling, but it doesn't mean we don't care and we don't want to help you. Just as we'd want to help you if you had cancer or heart disease or alcoholism. All these things are physical illnesses and though not everyone can be cured, everyone CAN get treatment and help. Please don't hesitate to seek help. All of us need a little help now and then. We can't afford to lose another musical genius and more importantly, we can't afford to lose another friend."

On a note more along recent lines, JPF have a much different take on the internet radio rate increase that I mentioned last week. Again, from them (italics mine):

"I planned to cover this in more depth, but I just want to let all JPF members know that the hysteria over the new Sound Exchange Internet Royalty rates are no reason to panic. I was initially shocked, but then I had a talk with Jenny Toomey of the Future of Music Coalition and I understood what was going on. This rate is a GOOD thing. Many of you many not realize that in the US, Radio Stations do not pay a Performance Royalty like they do in nearly every other Western Civilization in the world. That means that all the income that ARTISTS make from Radio in other countries for Radio Play isn't paid to US Artists. And because of that, no foreign artists get paid either for US Airplay, so those countries retaliate and don't pay the US Artists for airplay in their countries either! It's unfair but Radio was able to get away with it many years ago and it stuck. If Madonna does a song she didn't write and it goes #1, she doesn't make a dime from airplay. It sucks. But the good news is that as music shifts to Digital/Satellite and Internet Radio, everyone will now get paid who performs on a song or owns the copyright of the recording. (You'll also still get your songwriter royalties from the PRO's). In the next decade, that is going to start becoming a major source of income for every artist who get's airplay. This is setting the foundation for that. So why the panic? Small hobby level or non commercial Internet Radio stations can't possibly pay the new fees. Small commercial operations are also in danger. But Jenny explained to me that it's likely there will be waivers for non commercial stations or at least a small blanket license fee. There may also be options for small broadcasters to share a % of their income so it's affordable to keep going. It's not in anyone's interest to shut down the little guys (except perhaps the major players who want less competition) and fortunately we have a representative on the Board of Sound Exchange from the Future of Music Coalition (and he's a brilliant guy and a good friend of the JPF Organization). I am confident a reasonable resolution will be made and it will allow folks to continue playing music they love, exposing new and developing writers and artists and helping nudge everyone into the next generation of the music industry. So take a deep breath and be a little patient while the details come out."

I don't know what I make of this yet, and I think we need to be very alert to the details that follow. Especially with this administration's aversion to the little guy, I'll believe the waiver rhetoric when I see the piece of paper. If "likely" doesn't get written into the new rules unambiguously and clearly, this is a bad idea IMHO. So let's stay diligent, and noisy, and work to see a win/win solution here.

1 comment:

Will Kiser said...

Pat -
Thank-you for helping us spread the word! We really appreciate it!
- Nu├ži's Space