Lena Raphael Hampton
via email

Digestion Problems

The Reader and its readers are fortunate to have the gifted Don Bauder, a refugee from the Union-Tribune, as one of the Reader’s most prolific and informative contributors.

I question, however, inclusion of his News Ticker article “Editorial Confinement?” among the formerly titled “Neighborhood News” features, when it offers no pretense of having a San Diego neighborhood connection, flaunting the byline “Outside San Diego.” Much worse, this article appears to contain no original reporting. If it does, the author and the editors have failed to include any evidence that the author did any first-hand reporting at all.

Did Mr. Bauder interview and obtain quotes from the anonymous Register editor or the elusive “Lynch”?

If the Reader is now willing to pay Don Bauder to digest articles about San Diego from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, will it pay the rest of us to do the same? Sign me up!

Ben Cooper
via email

Preposterous Plea Deal

I just read an article in the Reader titled “Down, Down, Down for the Locos” (City Lights, June 21), and I’m really pissed off. I can’t understand why these vicious assailants got a plea deal when the young man who didn’t get a plea deal. He’s dead. They should be in jail for the rest of their lives. It just makes no sense at all.

H. Williams
Vista

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Ken Leighton June 27, 2012 @ 9:08 p.m.

Both bands interviewed indicated that they signed an agreement wherein they had to pay to Breakthru Entertainment either $500 or $750. Call it what you want but this is a contractual agreement wherein the promoter provides a 30 minute slot, and in exchange the band must sell and turn in money for those tickets they took out on the night of that show, whether it be $500, $750 or $1,000. When Red Wizard was pulled from the bill, they were allowed to exchange the $10 for the ticket with the friends they sold them to and turn those tickets back in. BUT, for the tickets they couldn't retrieve, they had to pay the promoter for those tickets. So they did pay something and they didn't get to play. It came out of their pocket.

Regarding There For Affair: "The band did agree to pre sale 50 tickets at $10.00 per ticket in order to ensure there are sufficient patrons to purchase food and beverages to cover overhead costs." Again, that says they are on the hook to come up with $500 on the night they are to play. You may not like the name Pay to Play. But that is the industry term.

"Extortion" was deemed to be the wrong word. How about you send the musician who said the word a threatening letter. That word was a quote.

Yes I spoke with "Mo" a couple of times. He requested that instead of answering questions over the phone, I send him a list of questions. Although he would not give me his last name he did provide his email, {morabii@gmail.com} and I was happy to cooperate with him on those terms. On May 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm I sent him an email with the following text:

These questions are for an article in the San Diego Reader about the arrival of pay to play in San Diego. -Mo, are you involved with Breakthru Entertainment? -What other venues have you worked with? -Why is pay for play a good business model for bands and for music lovers? -Why is it a good thing for venues? -Mo, what is your last name and what do you do for the House of Blues? Are you a an independent promoter?

I asked him the last question because when I asked him on the phone if he was with Breakthru or House of Blues he said "Both." That is not true. He is not with House of Blues. Not only did he not answer these questions by email, he then told me over the phone he would have nothing to say for this interview. Seems like you left this fact out Mr. Holt. In your letter you said "Mo" told how it wasn't pay to play. Really? Where the email response. He told me everything would be handled via email. It is interesting the attorney would not reveal "Mo's" last name in his letter. I guess Mr. Holt's social skills are so superior that he deals with everyone on a first name basis. Back at ya David dude!

I also contacted House of Blues and they had no comment. They could and should clear this up in my personal opinion.

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Ken Leighton June 27, 2012 @ 9:09 p.m.

Part 2

It is important that the House of Blues thrives. It is the only venue that allows both under-21 and over-21 to see music events. HoB has a superior sound system, and it is a great opportunity for local bands to open for nationally touring artists. But the overwhelming consensus of bands I have spoken to, is that they do not share the same enthusiasm for this business model that the industry knows as "pay to play." When House of Blues employees speak of these nights, they make it clear that these nights have nothing to do HoB itself, that they just rent out the room. But at some point I think the venue may want to reverse this trend. Even if it held its outside promoters to a more reasonable ceiling like $200 or $300, is what I'm hearing from bands. Not all venues use pay to play. Maybe HoB feels it needs to. I would hope that it reigns in the upfront money these promoters are demanding.

These are only my personal opinions only.

Edited out of the article was what one local promoter/music venue owner who has used such promoters had to say...that due to particularly unsavory recent experiences, the owner was cutting back on such promoters.

Interesting to note the attorney didn't want some kind of retraction on the "these promoters don't promote anything" phrase. That would seem to me to be pretty hard hitting description. I guess his client had no problem with that.

I would truly hope the House of Blues itself attempts to mend this situation by giving Red Wizard and There For Affair a show at some future date. They are good kids and do not deserve this stress simply because they stood up for what was right.

And I may also suggest that if Breakthru Entertainment wants to do all this business down here, that you tell us who you are, what you are all about, and maybe not tell a band they have to pay $1,000, then cut it back to $750, then settle on $500 because the father saw through it. Hey, and maybe make some posters and flyers.

These are all my own thoughts.

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PrivatizedAir July 10, 2012 @ 9:55 p.m.

Breakthru Entertainment can totally suck it. They are not fooling any one with their big FIRM lawyer talk, because that is all they are big and firm. When you print the truth the profiteers seem to get upset.

Why don't you sue me you big loud mouth con man?

We would never get involved in your "not pay to play" scams. If the House of Blues is such great exposure how come you force the bands to each sell 75 tickets? Rhetorical question because we all know the only people the bands get exposed to are their friends! We could all do that at a house party and buy a lot of booze for $750!!!

Seems like hiring a lawyer to bully the reader will get you really far with the local bands and probably some free advertising in the reader! Keep it up you business geniuses!

And of course these are just my opinion, and my name is Shemp.

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