NEWS: Post from Fripp


Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 16:33:49 -0400
From: Discipline Global Mobile <73064 dot 1470 at compuserve dot com>
Subject: NEWS: Post from Fripp
DGM World Central
PO Box 1533,
SALISBURY,
Wiltshire, SP5 5ER.
(44) 1722 781042: fax.

Sunday 6th.

September, 1998.

Dear Team,

        Firstly, many thanks to Dan K. and the many posters
who have contributed suggestions and expressed interest
regarding the DGM Collectors' Club.

        Secondly, I quote from DGM postings:

        "One important point to prospective Club members: if
you have any reservations about joining, I recommend that
you do not. I assume goodwill, and a measure of
enthusiasm. There is no compulsion on any member to take any
release, whether a Club Selection or not. Selections will be
made on the likelihood that most of the membership will want
them, guided by the large amount of feedback we have
received and are receiving.

        Club releases, both historical and contemporary,
assume the willing engagement of the audience: the audient
extends themself to connect with the music. With open
releases, we cannot make that assumption. So, we present the
music in such a way that it reaches out to welcome in its
listening public: sonically, musically, and in presentation.

        Small unit runs are relatively expensive (copying,
editing, mastering, pressing) and operating the Club is also
(relatively) expensive.  We shall keep down the costs to
members of double / multiple CDs wherever possible. This is
where Members assume a reciprocal goodwill from the
company. Which they may.

        DGM as a trading company is very healthy. Roughly,
our releases sell enough to maintain the company but haven't
yet moved to the next plateau, which is a profit level. This
would enable us to invest in choice technology and address
our overdraft, so we don't have to bear hire and interest
charges. But, in time and with a supportive audience."

        This past Friday 4th. September we turned down our
first applicant to join the Club. A four page letter from
the applicant included useful suggestions for future Club
releases, and three pages of concerns and questions about
joining the Club. If any potential Member of this
(exclusive?) Club needs to write a three page letter
expressing their worries in joining, better not to join. We
sent their cheque back. (I guess that makes the Club VERY
exclusive).

Sample Q. & A.
_____________

Q.  Is the DGM CC democratic?
A.  Actually, no. It's a business. But it's the kind of
        business I'd like to do business with.

Q.  Is it right that Robert / DGM chooses the releases?
A.  Yes.

Q.  Why?
A.  Firstly, because we are the only person/s with the total
overview of musical and business possibilities; including
informed feedback and suggestions from correspondents, ET
enthusiasts, and the DGM Web Guestbook. Secondly, because we
take responsibility for our decisions, and pay the tab for
taking them.

Q.  But that's not democratic!
A.  Right again.

Q.  Why are the Club releases at the high cost end of
mainstream CD releases?
A.  They're not - they're at the low price end of bootleg
releases.

Q.  Will the sound be good?
A.  Probably not: most of it will be terrible. And if its
good, be happy. If it's bad, be happy anyway.

Q.  That's terrible!
A.  I thought we'd agreed on that.

Q.  Is the Club exclusive?
A.  Yes, but only if you don't join it.

Q.  What do I need to join?
A.  Sufficient sentient capacity to breathe in, and then
out, through two nostrils simultaneously. And if you only
have one, then we'll accept that as well.

Q.  I've never be so insulted in all my life!
A.  I don't believe you. But, perhaps you should go out in
public more often?

Q.  I'm not giving you my business!
A.  Firstly, I support your decision. Secondly, business
dealings between DGM and its customers assume goodwill and a
(critical) engagement. And so, thirdly, I support your
decision.

Q.  I'm not going to save up my hard-earned pay until I have
enough to join, and then give it to a manipulative, greedy,
mercenary, anal retentive who has no feelings for struggling
musicians who send him unsolicited tapes, and doesn't allow
himself to feel the pain of loss of not being able to assist
those who come pounding at his door.
A.  I thought we'd agreed on that too.

Q.  You'd better maintain DGM as an open model for others
who would endeavor to create a similar small label, or I'll
write you arrogant, assumptive and insulting letters which
tell you nothing about you but a lot about myself!
A.  So, you're sure you don't want a series of dodgy
bootlegs?

        If we were to enter into a dialogue with one
potential member who has major problems with whether they
will be treated fairly by DGM; with the sonic quality of
bootleg tapes; with whether their suggestions for titles are
heeded; with whether we shall be consulting with them and
replying to their letter which takes three pages to air
these concerns; we wouldn't have time to prepare the
releases.

        Perhaps the ET enthusiast reading this may, inwardly
and quietly, say to themselves: "This is absurd! How could
any one person expect and demand so much of DGM's time? Who
is this?" I necessarily reply: a large proportion of those
who write to us.

        "The Book of Wimborne" by David Popham was published
by Barracuda Books in 1983 in a series which included The
Books of Sherborne, Dorchester and Bridport. The financing
for the Wimborne book was underwritten by a subscription
list put in the window of a Wimborne bookshop. Local
residents signed their name, guaranteeing sufficient sales
to make the venture possible. Names of the first 350
subscribers are printed at the back: 326, 327 & 328 are
Robert, Edith & Patricia Fripp. (I looked through the book
with my Mother on her last visit to this house). Club
Members are, in effect, the subscription list which
underwrites Club releases.

        If the gentle reader has an interest in joining the
Club, and finds a regular breathing pattern not unduly
onerous and / or challenging to either their sentience or
customer rights, the telephone order lines for DGM CC (and
regular mail order) operation in the US are:

        1 (323) 937 3194
        1 (213) 386 2522

        The fax order line is:

        1 (323) 937 9102

        If anyone applying to join the Club has not yet had
a reply: worry not! The repercussions of moving our
(analogue) office are continuing to settle.

        Once again, if anyone has any doubts about joining
the Club: please don't. Have an easier life, and allow us
the same.

        Thirdly, each e-mail / letter bearing my name and
sent directly to RF at DGM is presented to me. I undertake
to read all direct correspondence. A lot of letters do not
need formal response or acknowledgement (which is almost
impossible). But, if you write to me, I will read your
letter. (The exception to this are three individuals who
suffer mental health challenges and have acted aggressively
towards me over a period of years. Their letters are not
shown to me).

        In addition, I read our Website mail as well as a
large amount of regular DGM letters. If you write to me,
e-mail or otherwise, please give your fax number and postal
address. When I am able to respond, this makes a reply much
easier for me (I use analogue and digital formats!).

        If you don't receive a personal answer, please don't
be offended or disappointed: if we / I entered into personal
correspondence the business would fold and I would never be
able to play a note again (or eat cake, or brew Monster
Cappucini). But I do read all the comments.

        Fourthly, for those enthusiasts who have an interest
in the financial aspeKcts of touring ensembles, the three
members of ProjeKct Two have just received the final
statements for their most recent leg of touring (June 28 -
July 8). The income for six performances totalled
$33,678.53, plus merchandising profit of $907.15. This gave
a total income of $34,891.80.

        To quote Richard Chadwick: "As there was a deficit
on the touring side, the merchandising profit has been
included in the tour income to help offset the loss. After
allowing a retention of $507.53 for accountancy fees, the
overall profit was zero. Unfortunately, there will be no
fees due to anyone in respect of this leg of the tour".

        Each player received per diems @ $40, which gave
them a weekly income of $280.

Sample Q. & A.
______________

Q.  Fripp! You venal, hypocritical toad! You're trying to
cull sympathy by playing music for nothing!
A.  True, to the degree that $280 per week counts as
nothing.

Q.  You're a useless businessman! Anyone else in your
position would have made a fortune!
A.  True, to the degree that I don't look on playing music
as a business.

Q.  You're a failure! If you played decent tunes with
singing, preferably songs which were hated by the majority
of rock audiences 25 years ago but have gained a small and
devoted male following since, you'd make a lot of money!
A.  True, to the degree that I'm a venal toad.

        Fifthly, Guitar Craft enquiries for Europe may be
addressed to Hernan Nunez, the GC Registrar for Europe, at
(tel / fax) (49) 431 52 8612.  If you have any doubts about
attending a course, better not.

        Sixthly, good wishes to ET, its readers and
contributors, in their finding of the purposes and value, to
them, of their Newsletter.

        Robert Fripp.


Mike Stok