Do As I Say Not As I Do

Interesting story in the Toronto Star about copyright violations.

Chet Baker was a leading jazz musician in the 1950s, playing trumpet and providing vocals. Baker died in 1988, yet he is about to add a new claim to fame as the lead plaintiff in possibly the largest copyright infringement case in Canadian history. His estate, which still owns the copyright in more than 50 of his works, is part of a massive class-action lawsuit that has been underway for the past year.

The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $60 billion. If the dollars don’t shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

The real interesting observation in this article:

After years of claiming Canadian consumers disrespect copyright, the irony of having the recording industry face a massive lawsuit will not be lost on anyone, least of all the artists still waiting to be paid. Indeed, they are also seeking punitive damages, arguing “the conduct of the defendant record companies is aggravated by their strict and unremitting approach to the enforcement of their copyright interests against consumers.”


Planning a Christmas Concert

On Sunday, December 13th, I will be part of a Christmas concert event here in Kingston. I will be on guitar and my son will be with me on bass. We also have a great team of vocalists and players assembled for the event.

I remember the days when I used to be just a player. I would often play at Christmas events where I would receive the charts in advance, show up to rehearsals and then play. For this particular concert, I elected to play the role of “producer”.  And that meant a lot of work. At a very busy time of year.

My personal work plan included the following tasks:

Permissions and Schedule

  • Obtain approval and location for event
  • Set concert date
  • Set rehearsal locations and dates

Recruit Personnel

  • Lead vocalist
  • Lead guitar
  • Bass
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Drums
  • Background vocalists
  • Program director
  • Audio engineer
  • Multimedia


  • Select songs
  • Prepare arrangements
  • Prepare charts
  • Prepare multimedia
  • Lead rehearsals


  • Contract sound system
  • Contract lighting system
  • Contract audio/visual recording


  • Prepare posters, flyers
  • Media notification
  • Call lists


  • Hall booked
  • Hall dressed
  • Dress rehearsal
  • Refreshments
  • Child care
  • Ushers

With the event just under two weeks away, I have one additional task remaining: rehearse my guitar parts. Although my wife might add: “have some fun!”

Barber of Seville

An interesting interpretation of a classic. On the drums no less.

U2 360 Tour

So. How many people does it take to run a U2 concert?

Jake Berry, production director for U2 360, recently joked that the tour had gotten so large and complex that the production team should be called Crew 360. Judging by the design, production, and vendor crew list below, he”™s not far off. The group of individuals involved in this tour below clocks in at over 250, but that doesn”™t include all of the staffers working for the vendors involved on the tour (PRG, Tait Towers, Kinesys, Clair Brothers, XL Video, etc, also listed below). Add those folks, plus, we guess, the four band members, and they may be pretty close to that final tally.

The crew list can be found here. Makes for some interesting reading.

The U2 Stage

I will look into the details a bit further, but some people have told me that it took over 500 people to set the U2 stage and that the cost of the stage was somewhere near $40 million. I’ll confirm that data over the next couple of days.

Here are a couple of photos that I took of the concert. That stage was huge. The concert was sold out and by the time U2 started, there were well over 60,000 people in attendance. The dome was open. It was an amazing evening. The opening act was Snow Patrol and the front person was having the time of his life. And it showed. You can even tell from the picture that he was in the moment.



U2 Concert

A picture of me standing in front of Gate 3 at the Rogers Centre — taken with my Palm Pre. Lorraine and I are waiting for the U2 concert to open in another hour or so. Looks pretty quiet in this photo but in a little while there will be over 60,000 fans in the building.

U2 starts around 8:30pm tonight. Should be fun.


Special Evening

Over the past few months, I have been hard at work organizing and planning an evening of music at our church. We had a great team of players and support folks helping us out and we enjoyed a very special evening last night.

Although a lot of planning went into the event, the past two days have been exhausting. I am very tired today. However, the memories will last a lifetime. A few photos from the event.






Jammin’ with the Boys

Rockin’ Rick and the Holy Cows. Really fun to have a new member join us on the drums.