The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126067   Message #2883983
Posted By: Joe_F
10-Apr-10 - 09:44 PM
Thread Name: Dave Van Ronk's Memoirs
Subject: RE: Dave Van Ronk's Memoirs
In the meantime, I have finished the book.

A repellent tho not surprising story appears on pp. 92-93. Several of Van Ronk's Folkways records had (to his observation) been selling pretty well, but resulted in only derisory royalty payments. He was bitching about that to his lawyer, who volunteered to fire off a nasty letter to Moe Asch, threatening to sue. Presently, sure enough, Van Ronk received a check representing at least a much larger fraction of what he was owed. He was afraid he might have offended Asch, but the next time they met, Asch merely said "So, you're finally getting smart".

So, the folkways of Folkways were the same as those of the rest of show business: lie & say "So I lied", cheat & say "Sue me". IMO, the maintenance of such a subculture is a high price to pay for what it produces.