The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35698   Message #498240
Posted By: GUEST
04-Jul-01 - 09:56 AM
Thread Name: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
Subject: RE: The 'Celtic Music/Dave Bulmer' saga
I'm really not interested in detailing lists of artists who have been legally ripped off by record companies, publishers, and copyright owners. I mentioned Green Linnet only as an example of a highly visible "respectable" company in the U.S. which engages in the practice.

While I empathise with people's desire to see rights wronged, I think their time might be best spent educating themselves about these issues before deciding to "take action" on behalf of Nic Jones or anyone else. I would humbly suggest the last thing Nic Jones needs is for a group of well-intentioned Internet users to collectively purchase the masters or the rights from Dave Bulmer.

I refer those who are sincerely interested in this issue to this article at the Musicians Union website, which clearly outlines some of the issues relevant to Nic's case:

Click on the Dec '97 issue, and go to the article titled "Benefit and Burden" by Horace Trubridge.

This is a good summary of precisely what Malcolm was talking about.

And finally, there are some people who continually claim to be in possession of the so-called "facts" about Dave Bulmer/Nic Jones. Since so few of the contributors to this thread bothered to go to the link I previously gave at Living Tradition, which a number of years ago made the case that there was a lot of myth being passed off as fact, I will just give the direct quote to which I was referring in that editorial:

"I have had a considerable amount of flak after publishing the news item in the last issue about Celtic Music. The main accusation being that by pointing out positive contributions Dave Bulmer may have made to the folk scene I was giving him credibility, 'sitting on the fence', and in danger of actively supporting him.

What I was pointing out was, that the article in the Observer to me appeared to be unbalanced. It seemed to me that there must be another side to the story. My view was that substantive matters could be masked by people making statements that were not true.

Some of what people relate about Celtic Music is clearly heresay and some myths are building up.

Celtic Music has featured in the folk press - mainly in letters to Folk Roots - over a number of years and the company has been in the 'notices' section of The Musicians Union for a long time warning people to seek advice before dealing with them. Some time ago I was faxed a copy of this with a scribbled note on it saying 'What has brother Gaughan got to say about this'. The fact that Dick was working with Dave Bulmer was a surprise to many people and is another factor that led me to the conclusion that there must be more to Dave than is commonly portrayed."

And, I apologize for length here, but I'm also going to quote the much cited, rarely read article by Dick Gaughan posted in in January 2000. This DG article on the Internet was in response to a query put to him by the editor of Folk Roots (which I also quote below), who appears not to have near the grasp on the "facts" of this case some keep attributing to him.

In <> on Wed, 12 Jan 2000 20:25:05 +0000, Ian Anderson wrote:

>If you're willing to talk about this in the public domain as it were.

>do you happen to know if the purchase of Trailer/Leader >included the LPs which came out on Transatlantic bearing >the logo "The Leader Tradition". Because those included >both "From The Devil To A Stranger" and Bandoggs., and if >they weren't part of the deal, then where are they now?

I haven't a clue if they were part of the sale or where they might be if they weren't. It was during a period where CM were buying up back catalogue from anyone who decided to call it a day, in itself quite a laudable and smart decision. It is what happened to the stuff later that sets my teeth on edge :(

When the question of CM purchasing the Leader stuff came up, I was asked for my opinion. Given that the alternative was probably purchase by some institution or other from across the pond my view was that it was vital that it remain somewhere in the UK as it was a vital part of our culture(s) and was an irreplacable archive of a unique period of musical exploration and development; it would have been a tragedy were it to be taken elsewhere. Were I asked the same question by anyone today, I would offer the same view.

As I had, at that time, no real reason for doubting that CM was run by honourable people with reasonable motives, my advice was to buy it and make it available on CD, the complete catalogue. To do anything other made no sense whatever to me and the subsequent witholding left me a bit stunned, to be euphimistic, and scratching my head in vain attempts to discover anything remotely resembling logic, of either business or ethical varieties.

The sum of my knowledge regarding the actual content of the purchase was that it comprised the entire Leader and Trailer catalogues which John Zollman had bought, either directly from Bill or from the company Bill had sold it to. (The latter, I suspect.)

To my knowledge (which is probably not complete) it included masters, contracts and existing stock, mainly vinyl - hence, I presume, the obsession with vinyl sales.

Sorry I can't be more helpful in tracing that,

-- DG

As I and Malcolm Douglas have both said, there is always more than one side to a story.

This story has grown to urban legend status within certain circles of the UK folk scene. Everyone knows the story, of course. But not everyone is in agreement about the version promulgated through the Folk Roots letters column, and the on-line forum, which is now making its way into the Mudcat mythology.

Because Dave Bulmer has never publicly responded to these criticims, doesn't mean he doesn't have what I'm quite sure is a very different version of events than the ones DG gives, the letter writers to Folk Roots give, the Musicians Union gives, etc etc

I'm not saying any one of these versions is more right than the other, because I honestly don't know. Nor, it seems, do those who are promulgating and/or swallowing myth as fact in this thread.

Educate yourselves if you are sincerely concerned about artist rip-offs. And PLEASE don't go around repeating myth as fact.