Once upon a time I was offered a publishing deal after playing a solo showcase SXSW in the 90s. This first of all means you should try to always play those things, shit happens from showing up whether it’s a conference or a party, go shake hands, meet people …things happen not necessarily for the right reason, that’s how it is.
But the deal changed. They offered it to me in March and resigned their offer in April. My then lawyer thought it was his fault, he felt terrible. This was great because over the next 4 years anything that came my way he did free because he had an ethical streak (which he has successfully since erased).
Back then he thought he dragged the process on unnecessarily and that’s why they dropped the deal. Maybe so but I thought if they want me Monday but don’t by Thursday then were they ever for real? Do I want to do business with people like that? Even more confusing was if I went through with signing a publishing deal, it meant about $25,000 which would have been awesome but there were two other aspects that screwed me up. First there was the promise of great money if other things happened. Like if I cracked the Billboard top 100 then they would release $75,000 to me. When I calculated everything I might earn a lot of money… might. What stopped me was the “if”s. You aren’t too savvy if you think an “if” means something real.
But worse than anything was that signing this deal meant they owned all my music including music I am yet to create. How can one write music and occasionally from a critical perspective of management if one agrees to be on the company payroll? Pondering this hurt my imaginary soul. I was more than fine when they dropped it because I never had to make a final decision. My lawyer was grateful I was understanding but he didn’t understand I felt relieved.