[joe-frank-list] Music royalties & Wiretap

Matthew Shepherd matthewshepherd at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 8 07:02:05 PDT 2005

Hi all,

I'm currently working on my own Joe Frank Cough Rip-Off Cough Tribute 
project. Basically heisting his monologue-and-intervew-over-ambience format. 
Hopefully with enough of a unique and personal spin to make it more than 
just Joe Frank Lite, but at least I'm being honest with myself: I'm starting 
by emulating an artist I deeply admire, and hopefully my own voice will grow 
from there. Like Bill Sienkiewicz starting as a lesser  Neal Adams clone, if 
you're into comics.

I am curious, however, about whether Joe or KCRW ever had to pay royalties 
on the background music used in Joe projects. It's copyrighted stuff, 
obviously, and radio can be pretty loosey-goosey about how royalties and 
"fair use" works. I'm hoping to work with some local musicians on this 
project, side-stepping the problem altogether, but it would be good to know 
how this stuff works. I'm in Canada, if that makes a difference.

Also: Joe Frank fans might get a charge out of Wiretap, on CBC radio. It's 
kind of crushing for me to listen to, because I've been developing this 
project for several years and then Wiretap turned up just when I was 
prepping a CBC pitch, basically occupying the Joe Frank wannabe position. 
I'm not a huge fan -- I find the host ridiculously self-absorbed, and all 
the worse for making fun of being self-absorbed but doing so in a very "ha 
ha I'm looking at myself critically aren't I clever and post-modern" sort of 
way. Recently, he's been doing his own versions of bible stories.

It's hard to say whether this is an intentional Joe Frank rip-off or just 
somebody thinking they're brilliantly original 20 years after the fact; Joe 
Frank has certainly never been mentioned on the show to my knowledge. But 
Frank fans might get a charge out of it. I'm still a little sour grapey 
about the whole thing, so I think that's jaundiced my ear a bit.

- Matt

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