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Subject: Re: New Buddy Holly Demos

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Date Posted: Fri July 20, 2018 16:43:12
In reply to: Mike C 's message, "Re: New Buddy Holly Demos" on Thu July 19, 2018 11:21:54

Hi Mike

I will elaborate on what I have been told over the years by more than one source.

If I have a different take on the situation than yours, it's only because I feel the Holly legacy could and should be given so much more care and attention.

The very best attempt to do so was the wonderful 1978
boxed set, which was not compiled from the first generation masters, as N. P. had not made those available at the time.

However, that box is wonderfully packaged and annotated,
and considering the generous number of tracks also has better than average audio quality.

In the digital era, the only offering that hints at just how fabulous those original tapes can and should sound,
is the 32 years old Steve Hoffman 20 track compilation.

The collection known as "for the first time anywhere"
(mainly demos recorded in Clovis", was I recall, also made from a good quality safety dub tape, not the true masters.
It was the lower quality of one cut, Bo Diddly, if memory serves, that prompted Norman Petty do search his many storage units in search of a better source. He may have also been encouraged to do so by Steve Hoffman.

I was told by no less than Bill Griggs, that Norman's
acumen for business kicked in at that point, and he negotiated a new royalty rate for what would be the first
time use of the true master tapes.

My reason for "singling out" M.E.H. is also based in what I was told by Clovis insiders.

I agree with you that in the ensuing 10 to 20 years, many suits and counter suits were initiated, but the initial
salvo came from the M.E.H. team, preventing MCA from issuing any further releases based on Norman Petty's
true first generation masters.

Of course record labels will always, always, always
try to pay as little as possible for artist and producer royalties. This was one time N.P. had some leverage in the matter, as Steve Hoffman, along with his human failings, was nothing if not a champion for best possible audio quality.

The sad truth of the roughly 2 decade lawyer fest you mentioned is that even after a truce was agreed upon,
the fans were shortchanged.

The digital boxed set that was ultimately released was
NOT sourced from N.P's master tapes, and if not for some last minute intervention by Mr. Griggs, would have had many more flaws.

Sadly, in the long history of what has been done with Buddy Holly and the Crickets music since Feb.'59, there have been
many villains (occasionally with good intentions), and
not nearly enough heroes.

Blocking more than 20 songs from ever being remastered
in the best possible quality has been a most unfortunate
result of the quest for higher royalties.

Can you imagine just how much must have been paid to lawyers?

I often wonder, if M.E.H. genuinely cares about Buddy's
artistic legacy, why some effort on her part (and some of the lawyer budget) has never been undertaken to eradicate the brutal 1980's vocal overdubs by the Picks.
If that task is unachievable due to international copy write law, I would have been both impressed and satisfied with a strong public condemnation by the Holly estate and a warning to avoid those atrocities.

It's sad to consider just how many young fans have first learned of Buddy's talent via those ham fisted Picks "amendments".

Though it may seem otherwise, I am not an M.E. H. hater (I have met her several times), even though I do feel strongly that the focus of the Holly Estate
has too often been about cash flow, and not nearly enough
on celebrating, protecting, promoting and enhancing Buddy's legacy.

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Subject Author Date
Re: New Buddy Holly DemosMike CTue July 31, 2018 08:46:05

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