Thursday, July 1, 2010


I am sorting all my files onto our new computer system. "BUCKET OF DOCS" is one file on the Raid Drive. Out of sight, out of mind is how things work for me so I am discovering hundreds (make that thousands) of documents as they are all laid down in one big file and not duplicated anymore across different hard drives...

I've also created one file for 'MY LYRICS' and I've been putting the words I've written into this as I've gone along. Last time I catalogued them was in 2006! I found this file and Christiane had me print them out so we had hard copy then.... Four years ago. Can't believe it was so long ago - time flies.... I decided to do a rough count of the work done since then... 177 Lyrics to 2006 - another 300 ish since then.

So I have written around 450 Lyrics for songs since my first on 17th June 2005 when I started to study lyric and music writing... Goodness. And I have produced the sum quantity of 5, which I hastily did in 2006 and were dreadful. I sent a copy to Mike Batt prompting him to write back to me and beg me not to keep singing!!!! He was very gentle in his observation and trying to save me from myself... lovely man.

I have far fewer melodies - about 50 so this is an area to develop.... or maybe just to produce a few would be a new strategy! More to come though from my studio :)

And Mike - I have a sound booth - no-one can hear me sing - so I can warble away free from upsetting the neighbours and letting myself go - which may help my tone and ability / capability ... you never know - beautiful sounds may one day be heard from here.... hopefully before another five years have passed!

Systematisation of production is what I'm after - a Sausage Factory for music and film... my rationale being that I want to enable a lot of output and - once the cork's out of the bottle we will be able to fly in that - that's the goal I have... Of course it needs to great quality output - a part of the challenge - interesting journey in building this capability. I think I'll need a backer and an engineering and production team at some time... Hopefully soon...

Keep the dream alive says my friend Chris - and as he flies in his journey - it's a good one for me to remember.

Now back to writing a new show for gigs on Monday evening... need to stop being distracted!!!




This Tuesday I was invited to the annual ITV Garden Party hosted by Peter Fincham, the Director of Television and all things Online for ITV. It was a glorious evening and some of the great talent of ITV's presenting and performance lineup were there along with execs that make things happen.

I always find it a bit daunting to go to these things initially. But once I'm there there is always someone interesting to talk to. Had a wonderful conversation with Melinda Messenger and with her hubbie Wayne - we chatted about music, swing songs and artists such as Chet Baker, Andy Williams and Sinatra and about bringing up kids. Wayne is a singer and was encouraging me to get out gigging! Scary... but necessary? Robin (Cousins) tanned and glowing from his West End success in Grease was great fun too... Some fun chats with DOI potential cast, Controllers and media people...

It's funny when you see the people that are 'Stars' in close proximity... Everyone is just doing a job but it still has a dynamic to it.

Anyway - I read in the BBC News that STAR PAY IS TO BE CUT... due to economic circumstances. The BBC does not comment on the salaries of individuals, however a spokeswoman said: "Whilst it's true to say that we are, of course, honouring existing contracts, our presenters are aware that when contracts fall due for renewal, the fee will be reduced." Now am I right in thinking the BBC is funded by a license fee and that this keeps going without advertising? So its income is guaranteed and is much less susceptible to economic circumstances than that of independent ITV or Sky for example. Perhaps I am missing something here?

Of course the prevailing mood of our country is tighten our belts and austerity all round but... Why can't we be happy to reward great talent? Now if you don't deliver and still get paid that gets me going as I'm sure it does you but performance related pay is nothing new... Are the BBC using 'the prevailing mood of the country,' helped by our media, to give PR leverage to their negotiations with Artists Agents? What will they do with the money saved? Reassign to other projects? I've been in the "Times are tough and we have no money, negotiation..." Which isn't true but is perhaps a place to start if you want to get people for very little money. A consultant friend of mine told of his dealing with a lawyer who said "I have a great day when I get everything for nothing." Not quite a Win Win scenario....

The danger in this stance is that PEOPLE LEAVE YOU... you can bank on the fact that right now the super agents of the big stars will be scouting out options for moves. But then they always will be. Top talent goes where the biggest money is - hence the plethora of foreign players in our Premier League.

I do wonder if and when it gets to the wire and the bottom line is... OK we will leave you now for a competitive broadcaster that the PR talk may become more muted and we may hear?

"We are delighted to have signed Mr Slater and whilst we cannot comment on individual salaries we are convinced we have excellent value for money." :) ....

Apparently the top 30 to 40 performers in the British Entertainment industry earn over £1m a year. (Source BBC Report - June)

That would do then...

What value Andy Murray if/when he wins Wimbledon?

Have a great sunny day.