"Some years ago we were touring with a popular young group. They were friends. One day I was talking to the leader about this & that, passing the time, and we got around to the internal workings of our respective bands."
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"You guys got a reputation for being democratic, you know, a communal group of equals and all that," I said. "I got this reputation for being an unreasonable dictator. So I suppose you vote on things, hunh?"
"Sure," Mr. F said.
Me: "You're a four piece. What happens when there's a tie?"
Mr. F: "I've got two votes."
Me: "So the only way you get outvoted is if all three of the others stand together?"
Mr. F: "I suppose but if that happens we do what I want anyway."
The project basis of Ubu Projex is described in The Story of Ubu. Pere Ubu doesn't vote unless the outcome will be unanimous. Opinions are polled and if anyone is likely to dissent a vote is deferred and nothing happens. In practice we operate by consensus. This has had disastrous commercial consequences. It means that we sometimes don't do anything. (When the situation becomes intolerable the only solution is to disband and reformat.) Over time a series of precedents has been established. These protocols embody principles that have been accepted and are the basis for future decisions. In this byzantine world even the simplest equation has unimaginable repercussions. On The Penny/Pound Principle (from the English expression, "In for a penny, in for a pound."), for example, hangs everything Ubu.
Band meetings are rare events. They usually have apocalyptic consequences. Hence, the rarity. When a band meeting is called everyone knows there's trouble coming. In Ubu's history there have been only three or four of them. Ubu is organized so as to minimize the need for conversation - no, so as to eliminate as far as possible any conversation. This has evolved for two reasons: (1) David doesn't like talking; and, (2) in the early days it became clear to us that if you feel the need to yak on about something (specifically, art) then odds are you don't know what the hell you're talking about. (This was carried to extremes by a long-time manager who would send emails to his assistant, sitting next to him, along the lines of, "Next time you go down to the kitchen bring me a coffee please.")
David Thomas is the day-to-day Project Director. He proceeds down a course with greater or lessor band consultation, depending on circumstances. As long as more of his decisions are reasonable than fewer then the band allows him to proceed. (Historically, this has also been because he is the only band member ever to be in possession of the Nuclear Button.) One of the Project Director's responsibilities is to see to it that the Rules are maintained.
On tour the Project Director acts as Tour Manager. Other duties are assigned to band members. Guiding principle: the more you do a good job the more responsibility you get assigned. Sometimes a band member will perform several functions. These are: • Promoter Liaison / Trouble-shooter: get paid, arrange for any unresolved rider issues, solve problems that involve the show with a cool head. • Pioneer: jump out of the truck at a moment's notice and find out what the hell is going on, i.e. where we are, where load-in is, etc. • Archivist: collect and preserve stuff. • Set-List: make sure there are set lists drawn up for each show and distributed. • The Nice Guy: talk to people... nicely, pretending to be interested. • Merch Assistant: help David sell merchandise from the front of the stage, watch his back. • Enforcer: the less said about this the better... Opposite of The Nice Guy. Principle to keep in mind: Good Cop / Bad Cop.
The Penny/Pound Principle is our E=MC2.
Think about this nightmare world:
• Once a principle has been accepted it becomes a rule and the status quo.
• The status quo is operative until it is changed by vote.
• We don't vote if any one person doesn't want to vote.
The Rules serve to counterbalance the awesome inertia of the organization. Ubu Projex operates on a Silence is Acceptance principle. Members are informed. If there are no objections the Project Director proceeds. This allows for a member to Not Agree while also Not Disagreeing. This is an invaluable organizational tool. Somehow we muddle through.
So, yes, Pere Ubu operates by Rule. And, no, Pere Ubu is NOT a democracy. We are, if anything, a Republic. In Pere Ubu you are responsible for yourself. We are a collection of moderately responsible adults who choose to work together as independent agents, pooling our talents and sharing in the rewards of whatever our talents are worth in the marketplace. We are all independent contractors. No one is an employee. This goes for crew and management.
No partner (or Director) of Ubu Projex owns more than his personal share of the works. No partner receives payment for being a partner. If a partner leaves the band he ceases in that moment to be a partner. Ubu Projex is the sole custodian of all Pere Ubu copyrights.
1. David will not do interviews while on tour. All interviews with him must be conducted before the tour begins. "If it doesn't sell tickets then I got more important stuff to do - walls to watch, windows to look out."
2. Other members of the band may be willing to do interviews during the tour. Requests should be addressed to Communex.
3. Ask pithy, straightforward questions - don't try to be clever.
4. Ubu Projex retains copyright to anything a band member may say. So, if we like the answer we will post it or use it however we want.
5. David prefers email interviews. Whatever the format, he will read or copy-and-paste from his prepared 'Book Of Answers.' There is only one answer for any question. If you ask a question that's been asked before then you will get word-for-word the answer to the question he answered before. There is no variance. In email answers feel free to cut from the bottom.
6. For radio interviews, ask the question and get out of his way. If David needs or wants your input he will let you know. "What was I talking about anyway?" is a good clue that he is willing to listen to you now.
7. David usually makes himself available in the venue after a show. He will sign autographs and sit there while you take a selfie with him. Don't ask him questions - he won't answer and will likely be so annoyed he makes a polite excuse and moves somewhere else. He is off-duty after a show. Also be aware that David does not like the frequency range of the human voice and has stopped bothering to listen in that range. Best policy is to smile, move slowly and offer him a banana.
Once Ubu Always Ubu
Pere Ubu is not a community, or a collective. It is not a strictly defined and specific body of people. Once you are in the band you are always in the band, subject to recall. (The caveat is that if you quit under certain circumstances or if you 'cross the line' then a recall is unlikely.) For example, Wayne Kramer is, as far as we're concerned, a member of Pere Ubu because he played in the band as guitarist one night - maybe it was two. He didn't quit. So it's like the boycott of South African goods - no one ever called it off so it's still going on. It's like 'Frank The Storm' here in the UK - no one said it was over so we're now in the 43rd week of Frank The Storm.
Pere Ubu, from the beginning, was meant to be a string of one-off projects, one only coincidentally linked to the next. That was how it was set up in October 1975 when we met at Tim Wright's apartment to decide whether or not we were going to continue as a band.
From time to time the band will be structured in a certain way for specific reasons. Some people will be in, some will be out for a project. Sometimes the budget forces limitations on band size. Sometimes the deciding factor is aesthetic. The Pere Ubu Film Unit is an example. The Pere Ubu Moon Unit is another. Sometimes the deciding factor is simple availability due to scheduling conflicts. And sometimes it is a cabal of the American Federation Of Musicians and faceless government clerks in a small Vermont town.
(There is a corollary - If You're In The Van You're In The Band which means that if you're traveling with us you are subject to the Rules.)
Michele Temple missed out the Cogs tours - people were asking, 'What happened to Michele?' We didn't respond because it's none of your damn business. In any case, she is 'back' for the Coed Jail tour. Keith Molinè, Gagarin and Darryl Boon are still 'in the band' but not on the Coed Jail tour. Why? It's none of your damn business.
Taking Pictures & Photo Pass Protocol
1. We do not grant photo passes. All men are created equal and endowed by Ubu Projex with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of photos of the band. No one individual has any more 'right' to occupy space or have precedence. No individual has any right to obstruct the view or pleasure of any other individual by reason of any sort of imagined privilege.
2. We do not restrict citizens of any particular country from taking pictures for their private use and enjoyment.
3. We do not restrict newspapers, blogs or similar media from taking photos for the purpose of publishing them with reviews or articles, as long as such photos are not then offered for sale.
4. We do not grant blanket license for agencies to sell photos of us. The only license that may be granted must be negotiated with Ubu Projex after the event in writing and then only under the condition that maximum resolution files of the photos are handed over to Ubu Projex for our unrestricted use without any overlays of any kind, including copyright notices.
5. We don't care about flashes as long as any other attendee of the event has no objection. If a citizen does object then it is incumbent on the photographer to ameliorate the situation.
6. If the venue restricts photos or flashes for their own reasons - aesthetic or otherwise - then that is their right. But such restriction must apply across the board - no exception may be granted to 'media elites.'
7. We retain copyright on all images of ourselves without exception. If you photograph us, the image is ours and we will use it however we want.
1. We do not permit the recording of our performances by any audio, visual or or audio-visual means. In rare instances, we may consider archival or other non-commercial recording with prior written approval, contact Communex.
2. We will not consider any recording arrangement that involves a promise to give us a copy of the recording. In forty years, it's never happened. We don't believe you.
How do you feel about audience recording for personal home use?
1. We will not give permission for that sort of recording.
2. We recognize that it happens.
3. The promise of 'personal home use' is a nice fiction. 4. Our lives are too short to police the audience. If we see mic stands going up and some elaborate rig in place, or if we don't feel good about any aspect of the situation, we will act to put a stop to it. Discreet and respectful people have no worries.
5. We will use all means necessary to remove any such recordings from the internet and go to any length we choose to punish the offendor.
6. Asking to patch into the soundboard gets a curt, dismissive "no" and will get you banned from recording. Putting up mics around the soundboard achieves the same end. Bugging our soundman for any reason gets the same.
I recently had posted the Rocket from the Tombs Jack Slack Lp, on Ebay and was threatened with legal action by your agent for doing so. I purchased this record legally in Canada over 10 years ago and believe I had every right to post and sell this record. I will attach below the emails from your agent . I removed the record for sale to prevent any possible infringement on your rights. Please let me know your position on this matter.
The album you refer to is an illegal bootleg. Regardless of whether or not it's been bought in good faith, there is no such thing as legal ownership of stolen property. Go out and buy a stolen necklace in good faith. See what happens. If someone sells a legal copy of a copyrighted work that is a perfectly sound and normal transaction. It is the foundation of all commerce. There is, however, no such thing as legal ownership of stolen property. There are no circumstances of law anywhere on the planet I dare say that allow for legal ownership of something stolen. Clearly this incident may seem like an unfair situation from your end but, on the other hand, if you're honest about it, you probably knew it was a bootleg when you bought it. A bootleg is stolen property. Of course everyone has bootlegs and we're pretty loose about this when it comes to fans trading bootlegs with each other privately.
It seems to me that going on eBay is the equivalent of being indiscreet. As you note, not being discreet calls down the hammer. The reason for this "don't ask, don't tell" policy is that we have no problem with fans doing what fans do but if you allow public exploitation of your work to go unpunished then you devalue it. By entering into a commercial transaction you have left the safe confines of fandom wherein the discreet non-commercial trading or exchange of bootlegs, for example, would be overlooked. We are not seeking to strip you of your bootleg and if you return to the safe confines of fandom then you will slip beneath our vision and that will be the end of the story. In the marketplace, however, you are expected to play by the rules.
Smog Veil, the legally licensed copyright holder of the RFTT recordings, has a right, and as far as we're concerned, a duty, to protect their investment - an investment that has been distributed to all the musicians and writers of the recordings. Jack Slack, it might be noted, has never paid anyone anything.
So my question to you is, What do you want from me? I am sympathetic. But I also play by the rules. And I play by them even when they don't go in my favor - which like yourself probably seems like much of the time.
On the subject of YouTube
Responses to Fan Enquiries
Our position on fan usage of bootlegs is very clear. We are happy for fans to do what fans do. Some of us are, or used to be, fans. To our undying shame there is an Ubu musician who trolls Russian web sites for Yes bootlegs. To repeat, as long as you do not enter the marketplace we are happy.
None of the submitters asked our permission to upload to the site. If they had we may or may not have given permission depending on quality of recording and quality of performance. And on any number of intangibles. "We reserve the right to be arbitrary - it is our art."
We are not interested in self-promotion if the cost is loss of editorship. Recordings of live events are not accurate reproductions of the event. The concert experience cannot be captured on tape. It is a gestalt of innumerable real-life sensations that fill each moment as it goes by and then are lost forever in the time stream. We almost always choose bootleg style recordings in preference to mobile multi-track recordings when we compile live records. But the operative word is "choose." WE choose. We are uniquely and solely qualified to be the editors of our own work. We have paid the price. In regard to YouTube, we were not asked. We did not choose.
The fans of Pere Ubu do not own us. Their money does not buy us. It buys our productivity - we determine our productivity. Without control of our productivity we abdicate our uniqueness. We owe nothing to our fans but the determination to maintain the quality, vision and uniqueness of our productivity. (But, to be truly accurate, we do not owe our fans even that - we owe ourselves.) Otherwise then why don't you just send us a monthly check because we are who we are? Of course not. It's a one way street. The bus runs one way. You can get on the bus or not. But if you get on the bus you can't then tell the driver to go by the mini-mart on Payne. What is particularly galling is the law in this matter. As you discovered we own the copyright and any posting of our material violates that copyright unless it is licensed. When we discover a violation we inform YouTube and they promptly remove the material. However, the law is written in such a way that should the same material be posted after a week, or weeks (I'm unsure of the time frame), YouTube is legally permitted to host the new posting until they are AGAIN notified of the violation - even though it may be the same material. You can imagine then that for a small company of artists like ourselves this becomes a matter of constantly policing the site. It becomes a significant waste of time and energy. And it constitutes what I would call a form of harassment. Though not legally. So here we are, two different parties viewing the law from two different angles, both frustrated by the same law.
It is our stated policy that if you ask permission to post we will consider it after you supply us with a 1:1 digital copy of the material. I do not know what you posted. I have no interest in viewing these clips and more to the point, I simply don't have the time.
In our current state of irritation we must now consider changing our policy. If we license some material and refuse license to other material it means that we will have to spend even more time and effort weeding out what is permitted and what is not. At the moment we can send a notification saying that everything they have is in violation. It's irritating but still simple. If we permit some and refuse others then the process becomes even more time-consuming. Another element to the equation is YouTube's policy whereby the posting of material to their site grants them a copyright to the material for all time. There then arises a legal question in that should we license a posting are we granting them a copyright in the material? Yet another time and life consuming issue. I am a musician. It's amazing how little time I can devote to creative work in my year as time goes by and worldwide bureaucracy expands. If you want to know real mind-numbing tedium, try to work through the regulations and paperwork involved in playing a concert in France, for example. Not to mention the punitive anti-foreigner taxes becoming rife throughout Europe. Germany and Holland, in particular, target foreign musicians with a 20% levy on gross income - it only applies to musicians who are not German or Dutch, no other profession is affected, and DJs are exempt. If you don't like Ronald McDonald and Happy Meals and Special Sauce then you don't have to buy a Big Mac. The McDonalds Corporation, however, is under no obligation to run their affairs so as to please you or your sensibilities. And frankly they'd be nuts to even worry about it. That record companies choose to promote their products on YouTube is of no concern to us. But, note, they choose. They select exactly what they want to be distributed. No one asked us.
Not everyone at a record company is a scumbag. I doubt if even the majority is. I don't know any of the details of CCR's dealings with record companies and I wouldn't presume to guess. I DO know that record companies make an easy target for disgruntled musicians who have made bad decisions in the past, or who have been "cheated" by the times. There are plenty of people especially in the early days who got a bad shake from the business. On the other hand, name any sports player from 40 years ago who didn't get an equally bad shake in comparison with today's players.
Fan appreciation has nothing to do with it. And there is no point to getting sidetracked. We bring a product to the marketplace. Those who choose to do so may purchase that product. Buying a concert ticket entitles the purchaser to that momentary experience but not to record the experience and not to copy the recording of that experience. That is the law. And more importantly that is the "deal." We clearly state that we will not stop any respectful, discreet recording of our concerts, or the private, fan-driven trading of those copies. We go on to state, however, that once the marketplace becomes involved we will intervene. YouTube is a marketplace. It is not a benign and discreet environment. It is a business. Once a marketplace is involved we have the right and duty to determine what of ours appears in the marketplace.
Whether it hurts or helps us has nothing to do with it.
There is nothing to prevent a fan from seeking our permission to post. There is a methodology for accomplishing this. We are freely available via email. The issue is permission, not money, not appreciation, not harm or benefit. It is politeness, respect, and appreciation for the fact that we are entitled to have absolute control of our own art. The beginning and end of the issue is Permission. When you want to use somebody's property you ask.
Licenses, cover versions & film synch rights
FILM SYNCH RIGHTS
We will need to see a synopsis of the film and have a brief description of how the song will be used. Contact Communex.
You don't need our permission to record or perform our songs. You do need to pay mechanical royalties on any manufactured copies, and downloads you may have sold. You can do this by paying stupid amounts of money to the Harry Fox Agency or you can pay us directly via PayPal at the following rate:
Number of Songs multiplied by Number of Copies multiplied by $0.105
You must also report the song title, writers and publisher information to the relevant performing rights society of the performance territory. Contact Communex.
Please note the following guidelines for in-stores. These are not meant to discourage in-stores, simply to ensure that they're successful as well as being enjoyable for all concerned.
• 'IN-STORE' means band members make an announced appearance at a record store.
• 'MEET & GREET' means band members make private appearances.
Note that Pere Ubu does not always do in-store performances as a full band.
1. Please remember that all in-store appearances must be approved in advance.
2. Mr Thomas gets nervous when the record store owner / manager offers free cds or merchandise. Should the record store want to make a gift the transaction shall be handled by a third party (the Record Company rep). The third party shall approach Mr Thomas discreetly, describing what gift is offered. Mr Thomas will then okay a formal presentation at which brief, formal speeches of presentation and acceptance are made.
3. The Record Company representative must do the following:
• Immediately on arrival introduce Mr Thomas to as many people as possible, pointing out interesting facts & aiding the flow of conversation. Do not let Mr Thomas stand around like a lemon.
• IN-STORE ONLY: As soon as possible Mr Thomas must be guided to a chair from which he may play his accordion & dominate the immediate space in an absolutist manner.
• Mr Thomas should not be referred to as Dave or touched in an overly familiar way. His name is David. Shaking hands is all the physical contact that should be needed.
4. The record store MUST NOT play any Pere Ubu recordings for the duration of Mr Thomas' visit. It is simply too embarrassing, draws undue attention to his presence & most importantly forces him to withdraw into a protective shell of weird uncommunicativeness. This is not desirable.
5. Please remember that the first 30 seconds of arrival in-store sets the tone for the entire episode. If Mr Thomas is allowed to slip into an Outcast Lemon Mode you will have an unsatisfactory experience. INTRODUCE HIM. ENCOURAGE CONVERSATION. TAKE UP ANY SLACK. If you know a fan who wants to meet him then by all means introduce them. Mr Thomas prefers civilians. He wants to be approached. He wants to talk in these circumstances since that's what the gig is.
Mr Thomas can be the most charming & exciting personality if very simple steps are taken to avoid awkwardness. Once he gets rolling there are no problems, you can sit back, relax & observe a professional smarming his way into the hearts of all around him. The initial stages, however, are critical. Keep in mind that Mr Thomas undertakes these events as a performance.
MEET & GREETs are not a problem because of the informal nature of the event.
Press Tour Protocols
1. David Thomas's hotel requirement while on the road doing promo & performances of any kind is:
A large bed with headrest (European note: beds must NOT have footboards) in a comfortable, CLEAN & NICE air conditioned room with en suite TV, phone, bathroom & toilet with a decent breakfast in the morning in a friendly, reasonably quiet hotel situated somewhere sensible; the room MUST have a telephone, preferably with a modem jack or with a modem friendly configuration. Less than this and you're asking for trouble & inferior returns. Especially so if the room is not clean.
2. Per diems should not be less than £20 in Europe and $30 in the US with all meals provided on top. PDs must be paid in full for all days or part days away from home.
3. All road expenses must be either paid for by the record company rep on the spot or reimbursed promptly after the end of the trip. If David or Ubu Projex is meant to float any such road expenses the details must be agreed in advance with the Directors of Ubu Projex.
4. If any other band member goes on the road as well then they must be treated identically.
David works hard to make these trips successful. He doesn't get paid any extra for them and he expects to be treated well on the road so the experience is enjoyable and civilized and not unnecessarily tiring.
Please ensure that the Directors of Ubu Projex have the names, phones and faxes of all David's hotels on promo trips at least a week in advance. The fax number is essential.
David must be warned if a photograph session is on the cards. See the separate set of Photo protocols. Very important.
The local record rep must provide a compact disk copy of the album for radio play, NOT a cassette, and must inform the dj of any local appearances that David Thomas or Pere Ubu will be making. David is embarrassed by self-promotion and will not do it so it is the local rep's responsibility to ask the dj to plug any concert appearances and to provide details of such appearances to the dj ahead of time. David will become irritated if he has to do this himself.
In general we decline benefit requests unless they are for friends or personal acquaintances. We would never do one for an institution. We donate concert appearances. This allows us to give of our best. We generally decline requests for unreleased tracks. We don't produce out-takes or alternate mixes, nor do we keep back anything of quality that we don't eventually release. Without intending to, such requests, effectively, ask us to donate something inferior only so that our name attracts fans to buy the record. This is an unfair transaction, as far we're concerned, and means that we do not give of our best.
I would like to send you a tape with my music. I am curious what you'd think of it.
David replies: I don't want to give out opinions. I don't want to be under obligation. I'd rather not hear 8 things that are wonderful than to have to say something nice about one thing that I find detestable. Odds are I won't listen in any case or if I do that I won't remember anything about the experience. I won't return the tape or cd even if you send postage. If you still want to send a tape under these conditions then do so. Don't ask for a response and don't hope for one.
Leaving The Tour Protocols
If you "leave the tour" you are responsible for all costs incurred from the point that you leave the tour til the point that you return to the tour. This includes costs incurred that would normally and reasonably be paid by the tour account.
Example A: There are 3 off days and the tour is in Chicago. You decide to visit your mom in St Louis. You are responsible for your own accommodation and travel expenses. Furthermore, if you are late getting back, through no fault of your own, and we miss a show, you are responsible, in theory, for lost revenue and/or penalties.
If you plan ahead with the tour manager and it can be arranged without adding cost to the tour budget then you can be reimbursed for any actual, receipted hotel costs you incurred up to the amount the tour account allocated had you stayed with the tour.
Example B: You decide to stay on in Europe after a tour. The return of your equipment becomes your responsibility and costs incurred beyond what the tour account would expect to pay are your responsibility.
The above notwithstanding, we will still do what we can (within reason!) to help with post tour travel arrangements, the crucial point is that after the end of the tour there is no tour manager and you are therefore responsible for making sure that the arrangements work. Any help we give is on a good intentions basis, meaning we'll try to help but if things screw up there's no comeback on us
Example C: You leave the tour and make arrangements to meet the band in Barcelona. On the way to Barcelona the tour bus loses its brakes crossing the Yugoslav mountains. The gig has to be canceled. You are then responsible for rejoining the tour which has now diverted to Udine. Why? Because if you hadn't left the tour you'd be in Udine with the rest of us.
Example D: You arrange to meet the band in Harwich onboard the ferry to Stockholm. The band is late and misses the ferry. You are on the ferry and YOU are responsible. Why? Because if you hadn't left the tour you'd be with the band driving down to Dover and insanely across Europe in a frantic effort to make the gig.
Read the novel Catch 22 for a full understanding of the principles involved. Leaving the tour causes anxiety whatever happens and potential loss for the tour if something goes wrong. We will not discourage the activity but it becomes your problem in all facets.
1. Band policy is that each person is responsible for his/her own equipment, period. This policy is not arbitrary but has deep roots in the structure of the organization, why we do things, etc. Along the way, we introduced a "Strings & Skins Supplement" where tour budgets or recording budgets will wear it. It is a supplement at a flat rate. It is not meant to cover the cost or to be a reimbursement. It is a distribution to all members to aid in the cost of supplies.
2. Per diems for studio & rehearsal sessions: For out-of-towners per diems are at the base rate, for in-towners they are at half the base rate.
1) Insurance for instruments & personal belongings is the sole responsibility of the individual.
THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN SUSPENDED (8/25/06): Ubu Projex will arrange this for anyone who wants it at a competitive rate on the Ubu Projex company policy. This is outside the tour budget. The cost of insurance will be deducted from monies due you.
If you are not insured and someone half inches your instrument in darkest Bavaria it is your hard luck and Ubu Projex is not bound to help out.
The same applies to road damage and the like (ie: the crew are to do their best to look after the gear but if your instrument isn't properly cased it's at your risk). Irreplaceable gear should always be secured overnight. It is your responsibility to confirm that this is the case.
2) If a Travel Insurance supplement is paid, it will be based on the rate for a year's cover as available in the UK.
The amount paid will be pro-rated according to the number of weeks an individual works on Ubu tour & recording projex in a calendar year versus the total number of Ubu work weeks scheduled in that calendar year.
It is your responsibility to arrange your own travel insurance, to cover sickness and accident, etc. If you're not insured and you fall ill on tour then you're solely responsible for any medical costs and extra travel costs, etc.
Games & Driving
1. All games are based on The Price Is Right rules.
2. All traffic tickets for moving violations are the sole responsibility of the driver. Parking tickets are the sole responsibility of the driver unless he is simply following orders.
Small Town Cop Override: You are driving thru the no man's land between Croatia and Serbia. You are stopped by a Croatian Police road check who insist you passed another vehicle on a bridge which is a very serious offense in Croatia according to the Traffic Code brandished in your face. You look back. There is nothing that a reasonable person would define as a "bridge." You look ahead. You see the UN checkpoint and the fact that this is the last chance they have to punish you for wanting to go to Serbia. Ruling: Driver is not responsible.
1. In principle, & as a goal, roadie/soundman per diems will be paid by the week & in advance each Sunday.
2. Payment of roadie/soundman wages on a regular & weekly basis is the goal. Sunday will be payday for the week passed. Cash flow undoubtedly will determine the practicality of this plan.
3. Payment of advances on salary, if weekly wage payments are up to date, will be paid only if it's convenient for Accounts.
4. Floats are to be reconciled weekly.
5. Per diems for band members will be paid regularly if cash flow permits. Band members are expected, however, to be self-financing for the first few dates of the tour and should equip themselves with sufficient funds and currency to manage their own financial needs for several days.
1. Each person is responsible for his own hotel 'extras' (personal telephone charges, room service, etc.), including any bills normally reimbursed from Accounts. Extras should be paid at least 30 minutes before departure time to allow the Road Manager to settle up the group's hotel account with a minimum of confusion.
2. If the bus departure time from the hotel is set for 9 am this means that all musicians & road personnel should on the bus for that time. Paying extras, eating breakfast, all things must be accomplished before that time.
3. When flying with the entire band & equipment, check-in times at the airport are as follows: no later than two hours for international flights, and 90 minutes for domestic flights.
4. It is the individual's responsibility to know departure times and showtimes.
1. A single invoice must not demand reimbursement from more than one project and each demand must be clearly identified as to which project it's being directed.
2. Receipts must be submitted. It is the responsibility of the individual to obtain receipts. You will not be reimbursed without one.
1. In cases where record companies are paying tour support wages then payment is based on a seven day week. Partial weeks are paid according to the formula: x/7 multiplied by the weekly fee. The first day of the first week begins the authorized day of departure from place of residence. The last day of the last full or partial week paid is the day of return to place of residence according to the Tour Schedule.
2. If a musician or road technician leaves the tour all travel/hotel costs incurred by that individual during such time are the sole responsibility of that individual. This includes any & all costs incurred because of unexpected changes in the tour itinerary, cancellations, breakdowns, etc. Leaving the tour means the making of independent travel or accommodation plans. See the specific protocol.
If a musician or road technician joins an Ubu tour from another tour, or leaves an Ubu tour for another tour, then only half the relevant travel costs are payable by Ubu Projex. The same principle applies to recording sessions. In no case will Ubu Projex pay travel costs exceeding the amount it would have paid had such individual traveled to or from his place of residence.
For the purposes of Ubu Accounts a person is allowed only one place of residence.
3. Each tour has a Budget Currency. (As a rule, the English pound is the currency for Europe and the dollar for the USA.) Tours are budgeted using Budget Exchange Rates for foreign currency conversions to the Budget Currency.
The Exchange Rate is the rate at which foreign currency is actually converted to Budget Currency. It is related to the Tourist Rate.
The Bank Rate is the real value of the currency as determined by international money markets.
The Budget Exchange Rate is based on the Exchange Rate but it is set on a best-guess basis at the time the tour budget is worked out. It is the rate at which crew or musicians who are working on a fee-basis agree to be paid regardless of what happens to the Bank Rate or Exchange Rate.
4. Where possible wages are paid in the Home Currency of the recipient. Home Currency payments are always made using the Bank Rate.
5. Per diem payments are made using the tourist rate.
6. Wages paid on the road in foreign currencies are at the Budget Exchange Rate.
7. The Tour Accountant is not responsible for providing local currencies for personal needs. This is the sole responsibility of the individual. From time to time he may offer the service as a matter of convenience.
Ubu Projex will happily convert pounds to $s at the best possible rate (it's always better to do this in London and not in the US!) on the last day of the tour - but it is your responsibility to co-ordinate this with UP. Very important: Avoid exchanging any foreign currency in the US.
Avoid having excesses of non pounds (francs and marks etc) as you lose on the exchange rate if you convert in London to $s. Most coins are NOT exchangeable.
Often the best idea is to exchange pocket money at borders. This is the only guaranteed place to exchange coins. Avoid double exchanges. If you're on the German side of the German-Danish border and you want to exchange krone for Belgian francs then the border bank will first exchange it to dmarks and then the dmarks to Belgian francs, taking a commission each time.
Addendum dated 09/08/95
A float is a chunk of money put into someone's care for the purpose of paying expenses. For example: two vehicles. Tour manager in one, road crew or band member in the other, each has a float to take care of expenses. At the end of a period of time, accounts are settled. Receipts and balance of cash handed over.
If you are instructed to take a cab for the purposes of the tour, then this will be reimbursed. Personal use of a cab for convenience will not be reimbursed.
Only authorized expenses that involve the functioning of the tour will be reimbursed.
A PD protocol question: Band member travels to a show a few days before show and returns a few days after show, under his/her own steam, as they have friends to stay with in that town. Do we pay them a PD for only the day of the show? Or do we pay them for their travel days, equal to the other band members?
If he's going to the town just because of our show then he should be paid per diems for the working time plus 2 travel days - staying over for tourism or any nonwork reason is irrelevant.
If he's combining the trip with other work then he should be paid ONE travel day per diem and NOT TWO and the cost of his work permit should be split between the two works (though if he wouldn't have got a work permit for his other work then I don't think we should charge him a share of the work permit costs).
Ubu Projex Internet Protocol
As a member of the band or associate, you take on a responsibility not to bring into disrepute Ubu Projex, its music, band members or associates, including the record company or potential promoters/venues. You also take on the responsibility for safeguarding band information that is meant for internal information or use only. Any genuine complaints regarding any part of Ubu Projex or the members thereof should always be addressed privately to those concerned or to management - never broadcast in any form on the internet.
Availability & questions of Ubu Time
Letter dated JAN 15 1990
1. Ubu was reformed on a project year basis. (A project year is longer than 12 months.) A project year is determined by an lp lifetime which in practice seems to begin with the actual studio recording (the point at which money comes due from a record company) and end with the last required group work in support of the lp. During a project year a band member keeps himself available for Ubu work. At the end of a project year a member can choose to not re-up.
2. In practice, members consult with the Directors of Ubu Projex & so far as possible mutually agreed schedules are arrived at. It has been clearly stated & accepted that the onus is with the individual member to clear his schedule with the Directors of Ubu Projex before committing to personal work. If necessary, members are left out of sub-projects when scheduling conflicts arise & the promotional or business opportunity available is judged to be too important to pass up.
1. No expense for the production of tour itineraries is reimbursable beyond basic printing on ordinary paper, basic binding (if staples won't do), and postage. No color or fancy stuff will be reimbursed. We're not children to be amused by bright colors.
2. Pre-paid phone cards are not reimburseable.
3. You must have a watch, pocket or wrist. Truck Time is official tour time. The truck is your only friend.
4. The way on is the way off. If circumstance require that we have to walk onto the stage from the audience we will walk off the stage thru the audience. We will not hide in a cupboard off-stage waiting on the silly encore ritual.
5. All musicians should be in the dressing room 30 minutes before showtime. Road manager announces stage clear at which point Ubus do final instrument checks and then report back to the dressing room. 5 minute marks start at 15 minutes to show. Soundman reports Good to go at 3 minutes to show and leaves with an encouraging word. Road manager reports Good to go at the 90 second mark and disappears. Musicians gather at stage entry point at 30 seconds to show.
1. Pere Ubu shows up on time. We expect everyone else to be on time. No, no... wait, we're not anywhere near that reasonable. Pere Ubu shows up ahead of time. If you show up ON TIME you're already late as far as we're concerned.
2. The sole function of an opening act is to start on time and to stop on time. Period. Do NOT book Pere Ubu unless you agree to this. When Pere Ubu is an opening act we start on time, we stop on time, and we don't do an encore. We don't expect to get a soundcheck and we don't expect to get to do a full show. Those are the rules by which rock music functions. Do not try to change them. You are not a musician and you have no rights in this matter. Mr Thomas in particular is very sensitive to time.
NB. If Ubu is appearing in a festival, or in a non-headline capacity, we will NOT do an encore no matter what unless the duly-authorized stage manager tells us face to face. In the past this has led to upset when we have refused to go out again without this specific authorization. We play by the rules beyond the point of sanity. We expect others to do the same.
1. We are always happy when the lights are simply set, focused, turned on and left alone during the show.
2. Overhead lights should be focused on the center mic and bass player positions. We need to read notes.
3. Mr Thomas does not like flashing lights. Light scenes can shift but avoid flashing.
4. No smoke-machines are to be used during our performance.
5. Lighting should be theatrical rather than rockist. We are interested in atmosphere, mood, drama, energy, subtlety, imagination-- not rock cliche. Please do not use patterned gobos. Mr Thomas finds patterned light routines to be particularly offensive.
6. Lights should be carefully focused on Mr Thomas and the band & not directed at the audience. Please try to avoid EXCESSIVE backlighting.
7. Lights must never fade to black between songs.
8. Light comes mostly from above not from below. A handy tip to keep in mind is that the sun is up.
Is the promotional advantage of a giveaway worth promoting a welfare-state mentality within the populace of the USA? That's a decision best left to management... along with its karmic load. Long ago we determined what trivia questions are to be used for Pere Ubu giveaways. Choose one:
1. Name two of General Lee's corps commanders at Gettysburg.
2. Quote one of Henry David Thoreau's aphorisms.
3. Name the author of this line: "Then I saw the Congo, creeping through the black, cutting through the forest with a golden track."