Parental advice - get a songwriting credit


It is New Zealand music month. Part of the event is a dinner/auction/show at the Auckland town hall to raise money for Play It Strange - a charitable trust that promotes songwriting to secondary school students.

I think it is one of the most worthy causes that you could support. Whatever I hear you say...indignantly snorting into your morning coffee. Trivial, teenage angst and all that...

My son showed an interest in music some time ago. We trucked along to guitar teacher Danny McCrum (recommended by the inimitable Bill Latimer of Bungalow Bills music shop. He showed some promise - a natural according to Danny. But music fell by the wayside to his obsession with sport. My advice during the music phase was - if you join or form a band make sure you write the songs/lyrics and get a credit. Compared to the estate of John Lennon and the fabulous wealth of Paul McCartney Ringo Star earned a pittance from his time as a Beatle. He didn't pen any/many of the songs. The royalties from performance (including radio airplay, video and commercials, video games, lift musak etc), sales of recordings and sheet music - that's where the money is.

Play it Strange is an organisation that is a model for the kind of thinking we need to instill in kids with regard to intellectual property. When we export sheep and milk we get paid once. Sir Paul still earns a comfortable living from work he did in the 1960s. Think about it.

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