Dear Sir or Madam.….

A cou­ple of things, one new and one back­wards looking:

First­ly I have a guest post in the NZ Nation­al Busi­ness Review, on the record­ing indus­try, copy­right, and var­i­ous issues fac­ing both. In par­tic­u­lar, I talk about the intrigu­ing and huge­ly impor­tant Eminem/Universal case. This case has the poten­tial to change the face of the indus­try, and I note that it’s been joined this week by Toto — a band who should prob­a­bly be fined for inflict­ing aur­al agony on a whole decade, rather than rewarded…

And Peter Framp­ton. Yeech.

The flood cometh.…

The oth­er impend­ing indus­try mael­strom I neglect­ed to men­tion is the arriv­ing 1976 US Copy­right Act pro­vi­sion that poten­tial­ly allows artists to strip assigned copy­rights from record com­pa­nies after 35 years under so-called Ter­mi­na­tion Rights. The first of these comes up next year and there­after. Rather than explain it, this cov­ers it well, but it does­n’t need to be said — although I am — that this could destroy the record com­pa­nies in their cur­rent form.

Cou­ple that with the UMG case…


Whilst that one runs I’m deter­mined to track down miss­ing mas­ters of my ancient Pro­peller stuff and get all the bits that are stray on-line this year, and onto oth­er for­mats. In a few weeks, a 7″ repress of the Spelling Mis­takes 1980 debut Feel So Good will make the shops, via the won­der­ful folks at Sing Sing Records in NYC.

One I’d like to see avail­able in some form is the Furtive Four Three Piece Pack, a mini com­pi­la­tion on Furtive, a briefly extant label owned by Paul Rose and myself in the ear­ly 1980s.

A lit­tle his­to­ry since it’s so very long ago. Paul and I were part­ners in Pro­peller and most of our acts went via main dis­trib­u­tor, Fes­ti­val Records. How­ev­er, Paul also man­aged the still cor­rect­ly famous and fan­tas­tic New­mat­ics (if you are unsure why, this song might help) and the acqui­si­tion of said band was one of the rea­sons — aside from the fact he was a smart guy — I offered him a part­ner­ship in the label.

It worked and the New­mat­ics became the third band in the tril­o­gy I want­ed — with the Blams and the Meemees — on the label. This per­fect plan was com­pli­cat­ed by the fact that Paul had promised the band to CBS.

In order to keep Fes­ti­val hon­est and to hon­our that com­mit­ment, we formed Furtive, a new label via CBS. I shift­ed the new­ly signed Tall Dwarfs across to the label and their 12″, 3 Songs, was the first release.

Paul and I then decid­ed to issue an EP — four tracks by four new bands we want­ed to sign to either Pro­peller or Furtive — and tour the bands. The result was the  Three Piece Pack, so named because all the bands were three piece bands — except they weren’t: there were four mem­bers of The Skep­tics and we even admit­ted the rouse on the pro­mo blurb as below, and by the time we issued this The Bon­gos had grown (briefly) to five.

Paul chose the tracks. All the acts were from Auck­land aside from The Skep­tics who were dis­cov­ered by Paul and var­i­ous New­mat­ics in Palmer­ston North on a tour.

The record came out, had some fine reviews, and we there­after released a record by each of the acts with, again, the excep­tion of The Skep­tics — their record, FUR 006, Pyrronhist Selec­tions, remains unre­leased after some­body stole the mas­ter tape, which was the only copy 1, from Paul’s desk­top on after­noon. It was nev­er seen again, thus becom­ing the holy-grail­dom of the Skep­tics, and before we could issue anoth­er record­ing I’d decid­ed to close the label(s) and move to the UK, which I did. They were sub­se­quent­ly on Fly­ing Nun as we all know.

I own a copy of this — I know I do — but where it actu­al­ly is is anoth­er mat­ter alto­geth­er. So I was hap­py when Ben Curnow emailed me to tell me he had scans of not only the sleeve, but the pro­mo book­let that came with the first copies. Thus, instead of waf­fling on, I will, cour­tesy of Ben, let the bands on FUR 004 speak for themselves.

Furtive 4 front

The DabsThe Prime MoversThe Bongos

The sleeve was cred­it­ed to Gor­don Ben­nett, which was an alias for Peter Urlich and Trevor Reekie. And I have no mem­o­ry of sell­ing ad space on the back of the pro­mo book, but I guess it was con­tra — a Rip It Up ad and a tour poster from Hugh Stew­art (now an Aus­tralian based pho­tog­ra­ph­er of glob­al repute).

Now, where is that mas­ter tape…



Show 1 footnote

  1. Or at least we thought it was until a cas­sette turned up late last year.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Simon Grigg on Facebook
March 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

For Paul & Ben

Jonathan Rop­er on Facebook
March 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm

first time i heard thee skeptics…

Andrew Clif­ford on Facebook
March 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

There was an insert? I need anoth­er copy then…

Simon Grigg on Facebook
March 6, 2012 at 7:05 am

Tell him I have an order for 10 Teardrops Explodes tickets 🙂

Hugh Stew­art on Facebook
March 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

I will see what I can do!!

Glenn Cas­sidy
March 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm

a cas­sette you say — tease!

Leave a reply