Friday, 18 August 2017

Sorry, G

Dear G,

Thank you for your e-mail.
This isn’t the first time my big letter-writing pen has got me in trouble.  However, this is the first contrite e-mail I’ve sent in a while, so forgive me if I go off-topic.
When I was a cheeky wee boy, people often laughed at things I said, and I often didn’t know why.  When I tried to make jokes, I sometimes offended people by saying things I didn’t quite understand, in my childish innocence….my embarrassed parents would tell me to apologise, and I would.  I knew I had to tread carefully in future, but couldn’t be sure I would avoid repeating my mistakes, since I wasn’t sure what they were.
Now, of course, I don’t even have the excuse of being young and trying to grow up in public.  But like my opinions on most matters I know little or nothing about, a bit of knowledge on the situation soon calms the self-righteous anger…part of the tone of the blog was to be deliberately a bit belligerent, to remember myself as a twenty-something folk rapper, angry at everything in general and nothing in particular…hopefully I’m over that…
Anyway, I went ahead and posted the blog because I am on a deadline, and as the blog post suggests, not really sure what I’m doing any of this for (the blog, the music, anything creative).  I only realised recently that the single was available on Spotify (I had forgotten all about it for a long time before that), and intended to get in touch with them first of all, and your company as well.  The idea of the blog was to follow-up the official, professional way of dealing with the issue, with a more personal take on the whole thing.
I wasn’t trying to have a go at you, G, but we all sound off sometimes, without any expectation that the issues can be resolved – sometimes without even wanting resolution, just sounding off for the sake of it.  To get it out of one’s own head, to lessen its ill effects.  (And then when it is out, there’s the hurt/embarrassment of having misdirected anger.  (Which is the reason to repress that anger in the first place, isn’t it?))
As Aristotle put it:
“Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”
Clearly, I should have contacted you/Spotify – the fact that I didn’t is the reason the above jocular/serious approach didn’t work. 
I can assure you that even fewer people read my blog than have listened to my single online, so the damage to your company’s reputation will hopefully be very limited indeed.  (Hence, I never thought anyone involved would see it.)  I have updated the original blog post to obscure the full name of the company, but have otherwise left the post intact (or this one wouldn’t make any sense).
I’m not apologising for my feelings on the situation, but I’m sorry my response was immature and ill-considered.  I still have concerns, of course, but should have contacted you and not been a petulant child about it.  Shutting down the myspace page was not cool, (was/is that standard practice?  Did you know UMG were doing that to individual accounts?), and I would have appreciated a heads-up that the single was going on Spotify, so that I could make my own decision about whether it should or not, as I'm not sure it was covered under the original agreement. 
At that point, I wasn’t even sure who to contact, not being in the know about your arrangement with UMG. But this is less relevant than the more obvious (to everyone else) and troubling (to me) point:
I made the angry letter public before sending the polite one in private, which was a dick move.  I apologise for that. I will donate my comically small royalty payment to a charitable cause. 
As a self-appointed expert, I read your email as a masterpiece of restrained exasperation.  More than fair.  Thanks for removing the single from the online platforms and waiving the initial charge. 
In future, I will contact people I have a problem with/questions for, instead of slagging them on the internet.  (It’s the first time I’ve done that – in the professional sense, at least – and it will be the last.)
This episode seems another obvious reason why I didn’t “make it” in the Business of Music.
Life is for learning, as Joni Mitchell once sang.

Thanks & Peace

Clayton Blizzard



No comments:

Post a Comment