SCAM ALERT IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!


Subject: SCAM ALERT IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!
From: Collective For Honesty in the Music Business (musiccollective@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Apr 01 1999 - 14:30:50 EST


This is a serious scam alert from
THE COLLECTIVE FOR HONESTY IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS (Hereafter 'the collective')

Please read this carefully, and we recommend that you - a conduit of honest
business in the music industry - spread the word about this to all music
related people you know. It is important that the music community stays
clean and that publicists, managers, artists and press behave
professionally and conduct honest business with each other.

We all know about many scams in the music community, where managers,
publicists and lawyers literally steal money from their clients, without
doing their job as promised. Few of the artists ever get or even seek
justice, in the fear for punishment. This collective consists of artists,
publicists, managers and lawyers, who have come together in an effort to
improve the communication and trust in the music industry. The collective
has a very ambitious goal: An effective isolation of all scam companies, by
spreading the word, mainly by e-mail and word-of-mouth. This has proven to
be a far more efficient method than an in-door trial, where the outcome may
be subject to a decision made by an average judge, who is not specialized
in the complicated business of music.

It has come to the collective's attention that UTMAN MITCHELL CLARKE MEDIA
GROUP (hereafter UMC) of New York City, which has recently advertised in
Jazz Times, Hot House and other jazz related publications, has conducted
dishonest business with several of their clients. UMC consists of
publicists Bryan Utman and Lesley Mitchell Clarke, but it is mainly Bryan
Utman, whose actions have resulted in this alert e-mail message.

UMC charged a cabaret singer $ 5000 for a "nationwide campaign of her CD."
Utman organized a release party for her in a midtown location but without
any press attention. The results were virtually none; no reviews, no
interviews or radio appearances of importance.

A contemporary jazz artist, with a foreign CD release, paid $ 3400 to UMC
for a similar "nationwide campaign." The artist booked the release party
himself, but UMC was unable to obtain any significant press attention.
There were no results during seven painful and frustrated months, according
to the artist, with the exception of one on-line review, one under
five-minute (remotely located small station) radio interview, two non-jazz
related TV-appearances where neither Utman nor Mitchell Clarke showed up.
The artist provided a total of 175 CDs, but the final destinations were
never reported to the artist in spite of requests for a report at many
occasions.

In a meeting on 3/24/99, the collective - having reviewed all UMC related
materials - discussed whether UMC's actions are intentional or simply a
result from lacking knowledge in the field. A unison answer from the
collective is, that UMC intentionally leaves their unknown artists with
less - if any - attention at all, while charging them large amounts of
money. UMC also represents artists such as Helen Merrill and Mark Murphy,
who seem to enjoy proper treatment, according to a member of the collective.

The collective has received a few of UMC's 'follow-up reports', which all
show shocking unprofessionalism: Numerous unimportant publications,
remotely located small radio stations, the text "will call this week"
appearing week after week, and denied reviews due to many targets in a
wrong genre (Avant garde CDs sent to cabaret press for instance) are just a
few of the observations the members of the collective has made.

Furthermore, Utman has told some of his clients that they are not welcome
to correspond with his office, except by fax or e-mail. "UMC will be in
touch with their clients only on Fridays" !! Is this what the clients are
paying for?, the collective asks. While the fax is working, the e-mail
address "utmanmitch@aol.com" results in a failed delivery, although e-mail
messages are regularly sent out with such an e-mail identity. To new
clients, Utman, as well as Mitchell Clarke, appear very friendly and
promising about their "nationwide campaign." They talk about how everybody
in the press "loves" them, and what kind of great results they achieve. The
collective sums this up again as unlawful monetary gain by fooling the
clients to believe in something they are not going to get.

Utman has also booked performances for some of his clients. In February
this year, this (note! contemporary jazz) artist was booked at a New York
Uptown cabaret venue, with a former client of UMC. The former client did
not show up, and later it appeared that she had never agreed to the
performance. The contemporary artist was never paid, and Utman later
explained in an e-mail message: "Funding has been withdrawn." Through
investigations by telephone calls to this venue, it seems that funding was
never available, and that Utman had promised salaries which did not exist.

The collective makes the following conclusion about Bryan Utman: He is
generally disorganized; actions, replies and correspondences are often very
blurry; he makes many major spelling errors in his letters; but most of
all, he lacks a candid and professional attitude towards his clients.
Instead, he tries to intimidate the artist by saying (as one example):
"Never piss off your cook or publicist, they can both poison you."
Additionally he tries to benefit from the business-unawareness of the
artist by charging for stapling, messengers and other inappropriate and
possibly false expenses without the artist's prior consent.

After seven months of frustration, wasted energy and money, this
contemporary jazz artist was dropped from UMC's "service" with a "final
communicae", which reads: "It is not possible to badger, coerce or
intimidate writers into liking your record..." and continues: "Šshould you
make any defamatory statement(s) about us, we reserve the right to seek
both punitive and compensatory damages." The letter is dated 3/11/99.

The collective has been aware of UMC's business style since December 1998,
but has not taken any immediate action since no direct threat has been
expressed by UMC towards their clients. (The collective does not spread
information based on rumors or bitter clients who did not succeed with
their music due to a lacking quality of the music itself.)

This "final communicae" has, however, awakened the members of the
collective to understand the seriousness of this scam, and consequently to
inform the music community immediately. It does not seem enough for UMC
that they charge some of their clients without any revenue in return, but
UMC also threatens these clients in advance with legal actions, should the
client later decide to spread negative word about UMC. This proves that UMC
is fully aware of its actions. The collective has been created in order to
protect the rights of these clients, against any legal action by UMC.

The Collective For Honesty In The Music Business recommends that UTMAN
MITCHELL CLARKE MEDIA GROUP be boycotted by press, musicians, co-operating
publicists, radio hosts and venue managers.

We appreciate you reading this e-mail and thank you in advance for
spreading the word.

Please do not forward this to your mailing list. But, please forward this
message to all who you think should be aware of this scam.

Year 2000 with an honest lifestyleŠ that is what we want. And you can make
a difference.

Truly for the benefit of the music,
THE COLLECTIVE FOR HONESTY IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS

P.S. Feel free to reply if you have any questions or comments. You may be
anonymous.



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