I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. I am not asking to be paid. I really just don't want to do it. Besides, I would never agree to be paid if the others we NOT being paid.
I understand that you're doing your job by looking for ways to solve what is, for you, a problem. I respect that. But for me it's not a problem to be solved because it's not a problem. It's just something I'm not going to do.
6 out of 8 is a great record, I'm impressed! Sounds like you guys are doing good work. Keep it up, and have fun!
- Kurt Larson
From: Dave Rupel [[email protected]]
Fri 9/10/2004 4:53 PM
Sorry if this feels like I'm being a dog with a bone... but I am. Partially because it's my job, but also -- and I'm being totally sincere here -- if there is any way possible to make this concert happen, I really want to do it.
Normally, our schedule gives us very little time between the end of tracking down the final band member and the night of the concert. We always reach out via websites to get long-time fans of the bands, and for the most part, it's a last minute scramble.
For Information Society, we've had the luxury of having several weeks to prep for the concert. We never announce to anyone what band we are going after until everyone is on board. I have to tell you, the fan response has been really great to the notion of your band performing a concert.
So for all those people, I want to make sure I've exhausted every option possible. You said some things in your email that left me a little confused... and since it'll be my job to explain to my bosses, as well as the fans, I want to make sure I understand.
1) Performing. Several of the musicians in other bands we've approached have worried if they can still play after so many years of no longer being musicians. We've approached this in the past by renting them instruments for longer practice periods or even arranging extra back-up musicians for the concert.
Since you mentioned that the group is probably going to perform in November... I'm surmising this isn't an issue, but we can make similar arrangements if it helps.
2) Personal issues. As we discussed on the phone yesterday, certain members don't want certain parts of their lives included in the show. I offered yesterday if there were such issues, we could discuss how the show would handle them (or even drop them.)
If I understand correctly from what you said yesterday, that wasn't an issue for you.
3) Reality TV. You made it clear yesterday that you don't like TV -- especially reality TV. I'm certainly not going to be foolish enough and try to extoll the virtues of reality TV. In most cases, it really is the lowest common denominator of entertainment. However, I like to think "Bands Reunited" is different. (And believe me, I certainly wouldn't say that about every show I've worked on.)
This week is our premiere week, so if you wanted you'd be able to see our first five episodes of the season. (VH1 runs them constantly -- they're hard to miss.) We even offered to send you copies, but you said that in the end, it really doesn't matter if our show is good or bad.
If I remember correctly, you said you just didn't believe in a free show for TV.
4) Compensation. Based on that comment, we made an initial offer of money. Like I said on the phone yesterday, this is a problem I inherited. I only started on the show the second season and immediately disagreed with the policy that the band members aren't compensated.
The explanation I received was that "it should all be done for the love of the music" and that since most of the bands broke up over financial issues, bringing money into the mix could cause problems all over again.
While I understand that thinking, I still disagree with it. If there is a third season, the first change that will be made is that there will be a flat fee offered to all members. I very much respect the fact that you aren't just looking out for yourself, but are looking out for everyone in your band.
So, that said, if I can convince VH1 to agree to the same dollar amount for all four members of your band, would you be willing to do the concert?
I have to ask because according to Chuck, you told him at your original interview that as the concert approached, you'd turn into a prima donna.
I say that with no disrespect intended. I've worked with many people I admire over the years who have the "difficult" label, when in reality, they just have very high standards. Yes, someone who is difficult just because they can is frustrating. But taking a stand for something you believe, I have the highest respect.
So Kurt, I really don't want to keep pestering you. But I also don't want to let this opportunity slip away if there are things we can do to salvage it.
Thanks for the dialogue. I look forward to hearing your response.
From: Kurt Larson [[email protected]]
Fri 9/10/2004 5:44 PM
> The explanation I received was that "it should all be done for the
> love of the music"
I'm sure you thought this to yourself at the time: If that's the case, then Viacom shouldn't sell advertising during the show.
> So, that said, if I can convince VH1 to agree to the same dollar
> amount for all four members of your band, would you be willing to do the concert?
Well, then it comes down to a question of doing something I don't want to do for money. Now, I'm not above doing something I don't want to do for money, within limits. Now it becomes a question of HOW MUCH money would I have to make do to a particular thing that I don't want to do. In this case the answer would be: "Way more than I'm worth, Dave." Seriously, the amount it would take to get me to do it would be unreasonable and a bad investment for Viacom, especially when you multiply it by four.
> I have to ask because according to Chuck, you told him at your
> original interview that as the concert approached, you'd turn into a prima donna.
I don't remember, I was probably making some off-hand joke.
Funny thing happened to me at Burning Man...
My group and I do Thunderdome. (Have you ever been to BM?) Anyway, some HUGE TV camera was in the dome during battles one night. I'm the MC, so I used my mic to ask WTF was going on... long story short, I told him he had to either harness up or get out. He was worried about his steady-cam, so he left.
Point is... TV seems to be following me these days...
- Kurt Larson