Category Archives: Howard Kaylan

#IRespectMusic: #California Court Rules for #TheTurtles, Deals Crushing Blow to #Sirius in Victory for Artist Rights on pre-72 via @MusicTechPolicy @howardkaylan

#irespectmusicA Huge Win for The Turtles and Songwriters everywhere! I rarely reblog an entire article, (in fact I never have), however this one was so exciting for songwriters and artists as a whole. Have a read! Special thank you’s to Blake Morgan, David Cloyd, Chris Castle, California Congress and, of course everyone at MusicTechPolicy! Congratulations to our friend Howard Kaylan and The Turtles!!! And click to sign the petition on!

#IRespectMusic: California Court Rules for The Turtles, Deals Crushing Blow to Sirius in Victory for Artist Rights on pre-72 
September 23, 2014 by Chris Castle

Original Artical via @MusicTechPolicy

Score Round One for the Duke, the Count and Satchmo–Flo & Eddie pka The Turtles have won a crushing victory over Sirius XM requiring Sirius to license and pay royalties for Flo & Eddie’s recordings published before 1972. Sirius had taken the position that because the Congress did not expressly include pre-1972 recordings when it established the performance right for sound recordings in 1995, Sirius did not have to pay royalties on pre-72 recordings it used on its service. This is a position held by Pandora and the Digital Media Association which includes Google among its membership. More about that later.

The case was brilliantly argued for Flo & Eddie by Henry Gradstein and Harvey Geller, two long time artist advocates (the firm is also representing Aimee Mann in her lawsuit against MediaNet). The theory is actually very simple, even biblical–thou shalt not steal. But then I’m an Old Testament kind of guy.

However, the case is based on a complex set of legal principles that need to be mastered and presented just so in order to prevail. Because Flo & Eddie managed to get back ownership of their masters years ago, they were able to bring the case themselves without any record company involvement. (After the artists led the way, the major labels also sued Sirius.) And Gradstein and Geller made a very effective and compelling argument to the Court that resulted in victory, a victory that will be available to artists and copyright owners everywhere seeking to correct the “Pandora loophole.”

Not only will this defeat for Sirius, Pandora and DiMA be encouraging to artists wishing to take action, it also provides what must be a tremendous sense of satisfaction to the sponsors of the RESPECT Act (HR 4772), introduced by Rep. George Holding and Rep. John Conyers. The cosponsors are a bipartisan group seeking to right the wrong of the Pandora loophole: Reps. Coble, Blackburn, Chu, Cooper, Deutch, Gohmert, Jeffries, Peterson, Rangel, Lowenthal, Collins, Rooney and Fincher.

The Pandora loophole is an effort to justify denying artists their right to satellite radio and webcasting royalties by playing with dates. Those dates are 1972, 1995 and 1998. (In Flo and Eddie’s California case, another date was 1982.) 1972 is important because that was the first year that Congress extended the federal copyright law to sound recordings. Before 1972, sound recordings are governed by state common law, sometimes included statutes as is the case in California that has an extensive state copyright act directly on point as one might expect. 1995 is important because that was the year that Congress established a limited public performance right in sound recordings transmitted digitally (including satellite radio and webcasting) and 1998 is important because that was the year that Congress fleshed out the law that established the compulsory license under Section 114(g), the royalty rate setting and put the finishing touches on establishing SoundExchange.

The Pandora loophole is some version of this argument: Because state law applies to pre-72 sound recordings and because Congress did not intend to extend the performance right to sound recordings in 1995, pre-72 artists and copyright owners (as well as the non featured singers and musicians) get none of the royalties established in 1998 under the compulsory license. But here’s the truly weird part: Sirius rejected the safety of the compulsory license established in 1998 to commercialize the limited performance rights established in 1995 in favor of no license at all under state law.

Yes, that’s right: Grown men thought this was a good idea.

The case boils down to a very simple concept: California has a carefully crafted state copyright law that the Court ruled includes the public performance right (and does not exclude it):

The Court finds that copyright ownership of a sound recording under § 980(a)(2) [the California copyright statute] includes the exclusive right to publicly perform that recording. See Cal. Civ. Code § 980(a)(2). Accordingly, the Court GRANTS summary judgment on copyright infringement in violation of §980(a)(2) in favor of Flo & Eddie.

The point–and one made recently by David Lowery–is that there is no language in either the California state law or in the 1995 amendment to the federal Copyright Law that excludes public performance royalties for pre72 recordings. So the RESPECT Act can be thought of as almost a technical amendment to fix this Pandora loophole.

Neither Pandora nor Sirius exactly trumpet to their users the fact that these companies are using the pre-72 recordings in multiple channels to their profit–but none of the fees paid by fans ever gets to the artists. Pandora even misappropriates the artist’s name in the music genome and uses association with artists by name in order to sell their service–and that’s not covered by the compulsory license, either. (And neither is the derivative work created by the music genome–but that’s another lawsuit.)

So you have to ask yourself–what were they thinking? Wouldn’t it have been better if Sirius really wanted to stiff old guys and dead cats that they paid the royalties and sought declaratory relief before cutting off America’s musical treasures?

Pandora and Sirius have a chance now to openly reject the bad advice they got (apparently from DiMA) and start paying on pre-72 IMMEDIATELY. Throw their support behind the RESPECT Act. Disassociate themselves from DiMA, CCIA, CES or whoever is giving them this horrible advice that it’s worth the downside liability risk and yet more bad PR to “save” a few bucks and stiff Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Neil Young and so many greats who are responsible for putting American music on the map.

But if past behavior is any prediction of future action, they won’t. You get into these scrapes by being pig-headed, and you can’t waive a magic wand and make a pig into something else. You can fire them, however.

And when Wall Street gets a load of the level of liability that these companies have taken on without a care in the world, the reaction will be interesting.

Apparently Pandora’s CFO would like Pandora to be a better partner to artists. That’s easy.

All he has to do is act like it.

Save The Turtles: The Turtles Greatest Hits Original recording remastered
Save The Turtles: The Turtles Greatest Hits Original recording remastered click to order on Amazon!

Howard Kaylan on his new book “Shell Shocked” and his role in Frank Zappa’s ‘200 Motels’ receiving LA Orchestral World Premiere

by Karen A. Brown  Follow @IndieStardust 

I spoke with the ever brilliant, spontaneously unrestrained Howard Kaylan, to get his take as Frank Zappa’s ‘200 Motels’ Gets Orchestral World Premiere at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Also to grab a bit on his new book “Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, and Frank Zappa, etc.”

 When I asked Howard to share with me a little about his new book, “Shell Shocked”, his warmth and humor came right through as he replied,“Too many wives should be the title.” He said, “I name names. I’m not afraid. This is the whole ugly mess, but its got laughs and pathos too. Waiting for Spielberg’s call.”

An undeniable living legend of pop music culture Howard Kaylan’s journey has been one of musical history. “Shell Shocked” is a MUST READ! I am sure I’m not the only one looking forward to a possible future documentary.  (click on the photo left to order.)

Brown: As you think back to the time during the filming “200 Motels”, does any specific story stand out in your mind that you’d like to share?

Kaylan: The coolest part of the saga was Jeff Simmons quitting the band cuz he refused to say theirs in the script that Frank had recorded him saying. Between Wilfred Brimley and Noel Redding, we couldn’t find a replacement til Ringo’s chauffeur walked in and got the role.

Brown:  What was a typical day on the set like?

Kaylan: A typical day way early, wake and bake, and extremely British at Pinewood Studios. Roget Moore hit on me. Lots of tea and Moon’s drugs.

kaylanzappaBrown: If there is one thing you would like the world to remember about Frank Zappa, what would it be?

Kaylan: The world should remember F.Z. as a kind and nurturing man. He was with me–very parental and protective. The only actual genius I’ve ever known. His composing early on, but I hope his guitar virtuosity is remembered. He was the best there ever was.

Follow @HowardKaylan on Twitter

howardkaylanThe description of “Shell Shocked”, reads: “If Howard Kaylan had sung only one song, the Turtles’ 1967 No. 1 smash hit “”Happy Together,”” his place in rock-and-roll history would still be secure. But that recording, named in 1999 by BMI as one of the top 50 songs of the 20th century, with over five million radio plays, is only the tip of a rather eye-opening iceberg. For nearly five decades, Howard Kaylan has been a player in the rock-and-roll revolution. In addition to his years with the Turtles, Kaylan was a core member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention and the dynamic duo Flo & Eddie, and part of glam rock history with Marc Bolan and T. Rex. He’s also given street cred and harmonies to everyone from John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Alice Cooper to the Ramones and Duran Duran, to name just a few. Howard Kaylan’s life has been a dangerous ride that he is only too happy to report on, naming names and shedding shocking tales of sex, drugs and creative excess. Shell Shocked will stand alone as not only one of the best-told music-biz memoirs, but one with a truly candid and unmatchable story of rock-and-roll insanity and success from a man who glories in it all.”

The Turtles – Happy Together – 1967


Frank Zappa created and stars in this demented tale of what happens to his band when touring leads them to 200 Motels (1971).

200 Motels: Synopsis
As Larry the Dwarf descends onto a television soundstage carrying a steaming genie lamp, the German announcer asks him why he is dressed as Frank Zappa, the leader of the music group The Mothers of Invention. Larry responds that Frank forces him to dress up in order to have sex with a nun playing the harp. The announcer, whose is actually an American named Rance Muhammitz, states that Larry’s statements are part of the score to 200 Motels , a movie that occurred as a fantasy while The Mothers of Invention were touring. As the band, including Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan, Ian Underwood, Aynsley Dunbar and George Duke, plays in concert, Muhammitz continues that the film addresses the ways in which “touring will make you crazy.” The band stops in the town of Centerville, whose motto is “A real nice place to bring your kids up,” consisting mainly of a boutique, a bar called Redneck Eats, the concert hall and a motel just like the hundreds of others in which they have stayed. As the band recovers from their show, Muhammitz appears and explains that the film’s conceptual framework will be nonsensical. The band members realize that Frank is always listening to them, and attempt to act naturally so he cannot tell that they know he is recording them. While band member Cowboy Burtram cares only about the money they will earn for their roles in the film, another entourage member suggests that the musicians form a separate band and split from Zappa, who at thirty is too old for rock and roll. As Muhammitz, accompanied by a female reporter, talks to the band, Mark and Howard enter Centerville, watched and judged by two groupies, Lucy and Janet. In the bar, Cowboy Burtram sings to patrons wearing hardhats and pig masks. Later, Cowboy Burtram questions whether or not Muhammitz is the devil. Zappa states that the musician, as the consummate outsider, still has actual physical needs, and introduces an experimental reorientation facility designed to retrain useless old musicians. While some will enter the military and some learn shorthand, others will disappear on a special train. Back in the motel, Zappa feverishly writes a symphony. In his mind, the orchestra sings about soup and getting “hot and horny,” after which the nun attempts to overdose. Meanwhile, Jeff, a former band member, takes drugs in a motel room and subsequently decides he is wasting his life and talent on Zappa’s “comedy music.” He then rolls the rancid bathroom rug into a cigarette and smokes it, after which he hallucinates images of alcohol, the devil, motel rooms and the other band members. The nun, afraid she is dying, is helped by Janet and Lucy, who then prepare to go out to what they call the “fake nightclub.” As Janet performs a preparatory ritual involving squats, the band members also prepare for the evening, sprucing themselves up in the hope of finding a woman with whom to spend the night. Leaving their individual starting gates, much like at a race track, the men hurdle themselves into the club and quickly devolve into an orgy. After the nightclub is closed, one of the band members creates a potion and feeds it to another musician, who returns to his hotel room to hallucinate. Muhammitz returns to announce the end of the movie, as all of the characters gather on one stage to sing and sermonize.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention live at Fillmore East, NY 1970-11-13
Frank Zappa, Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan, Jeff Simmons, Ian Underwood, George Duke, Aynsley Dunbar

And for good measure, You have to listen to this as well. Howard Kaylan has had an incredible career!
These are the Original BANG A GONG -Backing Tracks with Marc Bolan, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman – 1971 

‎”One of the best recording sessions of my life. Yeah, we had fun. Can’t you tell? These rare tapes from the collection of producer, Tony Visconti, take me back to the foggy seventies. I loved Marc Bolan so much. Miss you, my dear friend.” Howard Kaylan

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