This is a bit of an unusual post for me tonight because to be honest. I am not really a fan of Amanda Palmer’s music myself [no offense meant to her-it’s just not my thing] but when I saw this video posted [from a recent show] of her dedicated and re-vamped rendition of the classic Henry Mancini tune ‘Moon River’ which I have always adored since I first heard it played in ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’ many years ago, I felt I had to re-post it here and give Miss Palmer some HUGE props for speaking her mind in such a clever way.
Having gone through similar things myself, when a friend had mentioned to me about her very public and ongoing feud due to ‘disrespect and creative differences’ with her label [Roadrunner Records] I found it easy to relate so I decided to read what she had to say. RR is a label who I too am very familiar with from my past as I have dealt with them on several occasions dating back to 1996 when my then band Manhole toured with a few of the bands on their label at that time [Fear Factory, Biohazard, Type O Negative, Life of Agony, Sepultura, Madball & Machine Head] and one very amusing story being when they were interested in signing My Ruin some years back and stupidly suggested I get rid of Mick and get another ‘hot chick’ in the band on guitar to replace him because it would ‘look much cooler’ despite the fact he wrote all the music and was the most talented member of our band but hey, that’s the lame ass music industry for you and needless to say, I decided to keep Mick and what do you know…. I alsomarried him! 🙂
I guess I can relate to the current plight of Miss Palmer and her ongoing fight with her label because I have been in a similar situation myself with Century Media Records after My Ruin inked a 3 album deal and we wanted out after our first album which ended with our having to pay to get released from our contract after a bitter battle with certain people at the UK side of the label. Having said that, I applaud Miss Palmer for standing up for herself and speaking out against what she feels is a situation she is not suited for personally or musically and if left the way it is could be potentially detrimental to her well being as an artist. It takes guts to take on the corporate bullies and big mouths behind the scenes knowing that the repercussions can leave you labelled as ‘hard to work with’ when in many cases, the fact of the matter is it is the other way around. As an artist, when you sign a record deal you are putting your life and your livelihood in someone else’s hands trusting they share your passion and vision but as many have come to learn the hard way, the reality is they usually do not. Nine out of ten times it’s more about the money than the music and you are often left at their mercy to fend for yourself.
If you ask me, I do think it’s time for artists to rise up and take the power back on as many levels as possible and this means to start doing it for themselves as much as possible. I hope the future begins to see more ‘true’ artists creating their own labels on which they can release their music directly to their fans, cutting out the greedy middleman who has his hand in their pocket taking them for everything they are worth until there is no meat left to pick from their bones or fire which burns in their hearts. Somewhere Audrey Hepburn may be turning over in her grave but hopefully somewhere else Monte Conner is ducking for cover.
It’s nice to know there are still a few artists willing to burn for their ART.