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Correct Your Hubby

Barbarella does a good job. However, the tone of the foie gras article (Diary of a Diva, June 28: “What the Foie?”) with what her hubby, David, states about the forced feeding of the ducks is not the issue — right or wrong. It’s the forcing of the internal organ of the animal to abnormal size and to a diseased condition. Babs should have called the APRL (Animal Protection & Rescue

League) for their version. Then — and I know it’s a stretch — she could correct her David, in print, and educate the public as well!

Ted Rodosovich
via email

Barb Didn’t Bother

This is regarding Barbarella’s article, “What the Foie?” (Diary of a Diva, June 28). I’d like to state that Barbarella has proven that she is truly not an investigative reporter, as she did not bother to investigate the other side of the story about foie gras — the cruelty to a single species.

Name Withheld

via voicemail
Chula Vista

Art Dealer Corrects Author

Although I hesitate to give too much importance to Elizabeth Salaam’s story (June 21 cover story: “No One Cares About Being Cool”), I take exception to being misquoted, taken out of context, and seeing information given “off the record” used in her story.

Re “Kopeikin shakes his head and says something about the ‘huge difference between art and decoration.’” Ms. Salaam has gone out of her way to make my statement seem like an insult, which as she knows was never my intention.

Re “which Kopeikin has already dubbed ‘art-fair art’.” The collection as I recall was very personal and not at all “art fair art” so I do not know where this quote came from, but it didn’t come from me in regard to the collection we were visiting.

Re “...at which point Kopeikin rolls his eyes, causing both you and Victoria to choke on stifled laughter.” Ms. Salaam’s point here seems to be to make Victoria and I sound as if we were laughing at out hosts? Nothing can be further from the truth.

Re “Later, by email, Kopeikin will inform you that none of the portfolios sold, “though I would have been surprised [if they had], given the crowd.” My point to Ms. Salaam was that these events are not intended for sales, which happen later, but rather as showcases.

Were Ms. Salaam a real journalist I would have received a call from her and been given the opportunity to correct her 100% record of errors.

Instead she decided to write what she wanted to write to fit her predetermined judgement of what the evening was about.

Surely the San Diego Reader can find more competent people to write for them.

Paul Kopeikin
via email

Who’s Mo?

Re: “Sell Tickets, Then You Play,” Letters, June 28. 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, 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 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 is 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. 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 say 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 reins 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 phrase, “these promoters don’t promote anything.” 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.

Ken Leighton

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