Dear Mr. Schubb,
Thought you might like to read this. It is an excerpt from a longer posting at acousticmusic.net
"You know, in all the commotion over Folkscene and who has control over what, it never semed to occur to Mr. Schubb that I made the recordings in question, and, as such, have an equal legal claim to them as the Larmans. No attempt was made to make ME "work for hire"! Good thing. I wouldn't sign such a thing under any circumstances whatsoever. I have never been paid a penny to do this program. (in 28 years) To call me "work for hire", or any of us for that matter, is absurd and insulting. So, even if the Larmans were to sign Mr. Schubb's agreement, he would then have ME to deal with. And if he think Roz Larman is difficult, he hasn't seen ANYTHING yet.
Mr Schubb and KPFK will NEVER, I repeat, NEVER gain any control whatsoever over recordings I have made...PERIOD. Thirty years of historic and valuable recordings have just left the building forever. Wave bye bye, Mark."
Over the 28 years of my involvement with KPFK (when I started, Ruth Hirscmann, Seymour was program director) I have often been told that "KPFK doesn't know who it's friends are". I never wanted to believe this, though I saw some evidence of it over the years. I made it a point to stay OUT of station politics completely and just do my show (yes, MY show...I am just as much a part of it as Howard & Roz) and go home. That is the secret to longevity at KPFK, I am afraid. This episode finally proves this statement to be true as far as I am concerned.
Folkscene has done NOTHING but benefit the station for over 30 years. A truer "friend", KPFK could not have had. We produced folk fairs and festivals to raise money for the station, we pitched tirelessly, we cultivated and nurtured a large and loyal money giving audience that came back again and again every fund drive to meet our fund raising goals. And when we endeavored to produce some CD's and sell them publically, we donated to the station 25% of the net profits (I got what you got) without ever being asked to do so by anyone at KPFK. To do any differently seemed immoral to all of us on the Folkscene crew. We wanted to give back to the station that provided a home for and nurtured us for all those years. And we were more than willing to see to it that KPFK was held not liable for any litigation that might arise at some future date. (Which it has not and will not...you know it as well as we do...there is absolutely no reason for any of these artists to ever go that route)
These people (the Larmans) have given 30 years of their lives for this, losing money at every step along the way, providing recording tape and facilities. So have I. Every bit of the profits from the CD's and then some has gone back into the program in the form of a $ 1,000 Mackie mixer, compressors and limiters, racks and cables. We literally build a state of the art recording studio each week to produce this program. If we didn't, it simply would not be possible...PERIOD. If you don't believe me, try to record a 4 piece band of any kind in studio A with the gear KPFK has on hand. I dare you. Even if you got enough channels on the existing console to function, at some point during the show, one or more of the channels would fail and the corresponding vocal or instrument would suddenly disappear out of the live mix. We, at Folkscene, are unwilling to subject our audience, our performers and ourselves to this sort of thing.
The Folkscene crew is TRULY a TEAM...a FAMILY. We work together, without arguments or petty jealousies. We really CARE about each other and respect each other. We've got what we do down to a science. We are completely self-contained. Another secret to our success. Everybody knows their job and does it, without stepping on someone else in the process. This MAY be a bit of a foreign concept around the station, as we have all seen, in our three decades, a great deal of conflict, jealosy, and out and out nastiness among the staff and volunteers....more and more as the years went by. If you could have seen KPFK when I started, in 1972,(Nixon was President, remember?) you would not even recognize the place, Mr Schubb! It was a cultural and political mecca, staffed by truly brilliant and creative people who had a passion for great radio. And, though there are those who may not have the best things to say about Ruth Hirschmann (Seymour), I am not one of them. In the years we worked together (I was still in my TEENS!) she was kind and APPRECIATIVE to me!! She thanked me, regularly, on the air, and off, for my involvement. I have to tell you, that except for the Larmans, I haven't heard the words "THANK YOU" from anyone in management in at least 20 years. GRATITUDE. Now THERE'S a CONCEPT!!! That is one of the things most lacking at KPFK in recent years, in my opinion. Gratitude to the staff, to the volunteers, to the AUDIENCE!! " People use radio like an appliance....." That is NOT GRATITUDE, Mr. Schubb. That's just out and out hostility and lack of respect for your audience. YOUR AUDIENCE, not Folkscene's...but YOURS. If anything needs "retracting" it is that insensitive statement. If I were on the Pacifica Board and I heard you make that statement, I'd be, at the very least, demanding an explanation and likely an apology to the KPFK audience in print. That is simply a slap in the face, nothing less.
If, due to my connection with Folkscene and/or my candor in these words , you feel it necessary to make me your "enemy" and "ban me from the premises", so be it. If there is no Folkscene, there is truly no reason for me to be at the station anyway. I have no other business there. If this is your response, I will respect it.
Just know this, Mr. Schubb. A greater "FRIEND", KPFK could not have had over the last 28 years. I say this in all humility. I have given my time, my expertise, spent much of my own money, over the years, to produce a truly great radio program, of which we are all justifiably proud. Yes, it gave me great pleasure to do this...I love the music...it is my passion. And I love the Larmans, who recognized this passion in me and nurtured it, taking me to festivals and folk clubs when I was barely 16 years old. And I love the rest of our crew, who help week after week without question or complaint, because they know their efforts are appreciated and that they are respected. We are truly FRIENDS to each other. We have lived the experience of friendship all these years. And we will go on being friends and working toward the same goals for our common love and passion...THE MUSIC.
Folkscene is not just a radio program and it never has been. It is a living, breathing, entity...with a life of its own. Folkscene will not end here, of that you can be sure. We will go on to bigger and better things. We are committed to that. Can the same be said for you and for KPFK? Only time will tell. I wish you luck. You'll need it.