I woke up today to a ridiculous email from a friend (a friend!) I’ve been collaborating with. I don’t mention it often, but I’m a musician and I do a lot of remote recording work. My friend (FRIEND!?) and I just finished working on a ten track album on which I worked on 9 out of the ten songs.
I do this kind of thing all the time and usually with people I’ve never met. So what I USUALLY do (very sensibly) is arrange a contract first and everyone signs it before I record a note. But THIS time it was for an English friend so I thought we could just talk money once I’d finished. What. A. FOOL.
When we came to talk percentages / royalties ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE and now I can’t see past my fury enough to figure out if he’s:
b) A d-bag
or c) Rendered useless by money-talk because of his Britishness
Here’s what happened:
He emailed me to ask about contracts / percentages, etc. I emailed back suggesting slightly high figures so he could barter me down to what I actually wanted. Based on my past 10 years of experience – this is how it’s always done. But here’s his response:
I think I wasn’t expecting any of this and in reality this album wont me making you or I any money.
Really? Nobody every told me…
I won’t be making any formal agreement with percentages or sales in regards to the songs.
OH, GOOD. I thought you were going to make this difficult.
I think you will have to accept the original terms – you did this because you wanted to play these songs, not for any financial reward.
What?? I mean yes, I love music and yes, I like his songs – but I can’t pay my bills with the Sound of Music (unless the hills come alive and pay my mortgage)
You cannot now be asking for percentages and so forth when it was clear from the start I would not be paying you for your contribution to the album.
Um… yes I can. Because no it wasn’t.
This is the same as a dentist doing a filling and his patient telling him he should accept payment as HIS LOVE OF TEETH.
So cast your votes, expats! Is he a) over-reacting, b) d-bagging or c) paralysed by the fear of talking about moolah.