Yes, this is my ill advised attempt to make sense out of the open letter by Ahmet and the response by Dweezil.
I think that this is just an unfortunate issue. I do not see a good guy and a bad guy, I see two guys who have both messed up. Here's how:
Dweezil: Should have either sued mom years ago for her to honor the contract. To wait until she passes and drop this bomb on the new management puts them in a very difficult position. I realize that you probably loved your mom and did not want to antagonize her, but waiting has not helped the situation any, only made it worse.
Ahmet: If Gail signed a contract she did not honor, then the right thing to do is to rectify that in some manner. I realize that you have been thrown to the wolves, so to speak, to inherit an apparently mismanaged trust, but you can't sweep the issue under the rug. It is wrong morally and legally. I understand that you inherited a hole. The last thing you want is for that hole to get bigger, but how is Dweezil wrong in asking for what he was legally and morally due? I probably would not have sued my mother either, but I would sue my brothers in a heartbeat. This is completely understandable, if not exactly good business practices. When I first managed a business, I went through a period of taking it very seriously. The result was that I took on a plantation manager mentality without even realizing it. One day a friend pointed it out and I was shocked. Don't worry about every penny in the trust. Fill every action you take with goodwill and the business will eventually thrive. Give Dweezil the financials and let him suggest how you work things out. Inhibiting his touring is the absolute worst thing that could happen to the trust. Make him happy.
Conclusion: Dweezil obviously let the trust take advantage of him without resorting to legal means for a long time. In my mind, it is time for the trust to take a hit for him. Show him all of the numbers. Have an accountant explain everything to him. There are ways that each business can benefit the other that a creative accountant could help to create.
Gail: I have felt for a long time that Gail's bull-doggedness of hoarding FZ music was a hindrance to the trust. When Edison invented the phonograph, the orchestras were all terrified they would lose their way to make a living. Why would people pay to see a concert when they could hear the same thing in the comfort of their homes? They tried to outlaw recordings left and right. But guess what? People having access to records made them excited to hear the bands play in person. Attendance increased.
When the radio began playing music, the record companies were in a panic. They tried to sue to stop the radio from playing the music because people would stop buying the records if they could just sit home and listen. But guess what? Exposure to the records made them sell better!
When cassette tapes came out the record company again tried to block them. If people record and share music, then they won't buy the records. But guess what? People mostly made mix tapes that exposed them to music they then went and bought. The record companies did not see a dip in the market, they saw a surge.
The more Dweezil plays out, the more value the trust has. Whatever it takes to keep him happy. I can't imagine someone who did not sue his mother for breach of contract even though it was an egregious theft, as far as I can see, would be a reasonable person to deal with.
Suggestion: The ZFT should hold annual contests for best cover of an FZ composition, best midi arrangement of an FZ composition, best original tribute, best homemade video to an FZ recording, etc. Make an event of it. It is a very easy way to introduce more branding and to get new musicians and composers interested in FZ. Frank always complained he never got radio play. With a handmade video contest, with even a moderate prize, you could flood YouTube with FZ tracks. Exposure is always good. Cassettes, radio, records, none of them put musicians out of business. Those who mastered the management of these media became rich. Here's an opportunity for you to learn from history.
that's all I got.
Last edited by allan r emery on Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.