Rastus ...

Some time in September 1970, John Edward, of Instant Sound Productions, handed his songs, 'Sister Simon (Funny Man) and 'Rastus Ravel (Is A Mean Old Man)', to Heatwave which they rehearsed and then recorded in Pye Studios on 16th October 1970.

2nd November 1970, Larry Page, of Page One Productions, released the songs as a single, PEN 738, on his Penny Farthing Records label ... and still owns all rights to the songs.

43 years later, Greg Smith greg.smith@britishmusicarchive.com (said to be, 'a very decent fellow') at the British Music Archive, submitted 'Rastus Ravel (Is A Mean Old Man)' to Steven Carr Particles/Red River Exports Ltd.

As a result, 2nd April 2013, 'Rastus Ravel (Is A Mean Old Man)' was released illegally, as track 4, on Piccadilly Sunshine, Part Twelve – British Pop Psych and Other Flavours 1967-1971 by the Particles label.

U.K. distributor: Steven Carr steven@redriverexports.com, Red River Exports Ltd., 36 Central Avenue, West Molesey, Surrey, KT8 2QZ, England.

U.S. importer: Kristin Anderson marketing@forcedexposure.com, Forced Exposure, 219 Medford Street, Malden, MA 02148 U.S.A.

30th July 2013, Smith wrote to Heatwave, 'It's really encouraging to see that Heatwave have their own place on the web and a website done so well! Unfortunately, I've never come across this page before.

As for the Piccadilly Sunshine Volume 12 which features Heatwave's fantastic Rastus Ravel, I can tell you that I contributed material for this project such as, a number of original items from my own record collection and the literary research.

It is assumed that Red River Exports Ltd. are a professional company (also associated with Sunbeam Records) and will have their own department for dealing with licensing and publishing which in this particular case, would have been directed between themselves, Larry Page and MCPS.

Personally, I can only hope that you are able to reach Mr. Carr in relation to using the material for reproduction and any form of due reward.'

Carr previously wrote to Heatwave, 'The company that owns the Particles label is Yasim International, based in Cyprus. I have no idea if they have copyright documents showing ownership of the sound recording in question.'

Smith, 'I imagine that Col Wolfe, of Spoke Records, may have given you my contact address. British Music Archive is a website I am involved with in documenting and celebrating bands and musicians from the past that have all too sadly been largely overlooked by our more established heritage bodies (British Library et al) and continue to be. We are a non-profit, educational resource that is run by a handful of like-minded enthusiasts who give their time time and ability voluntarily.

Red River Exports is a registered business. I sent my discs to a sound engineer for due restoration/mastering purposes as per standard with most projects I assume. "my disc" being from my own personal record collection, I'm a music fan and musician and have collected various original records over the last thirty odd years.

There are literally loads of releases out there that feature artists who won't see a penny for it as anything received is lost in 'administration' and certainly will not be consulted on (or made aware of) the release of their work, such is the music industry.'

Carr, 'I have been asked to instruct a solicitor to commence an action against you for libel. It seems you are unwisely claiming that Particles is a bootleg label. I am meeting with the solicitor on Monday and will advise the outcome then.'

Smith, 'Very sorry to hear of the situation with Mr. Carr. Isn't the copyright owned by Larry Page?

I'm not exactly clear on how I can help with this situation. I am not part of Red River Exports Ltd. and I have no say or input into their working practices. I feel truly sorry for ever having suggested this record for inclusion on their project. I wish you all the best in pursuing whatever it is you are trying to pursue and I can only thank you personally (fan to artist) for making a truly great record, a record that I am proud and very happy to have in my collection (so proud that actually I have two copies!). Incidentally, when I bought my copies of the record, it cost me well over a tenner, none of which I assume came to you, but instead went to a second hand record dealer!

I contacted no-one. I submitted it myself as part of a proposed track listing for a compilation. I am consulted on selecting material for projects being a curator of a specific genre of music and music history.

My work is sent to Red River Exports Ltd. The audio files and discs are sent to a local studio for restoration and mastering on behalf of Red River Exports limited (address on google). Red River Exports distributes Particles records product.

Material approved for inclusion on a project distributed by Red River Exports/Particles would be licensed correctly from the present owner of the respective work. For example, the Heatwave single was originally released by Penny Farthing. To my knowledge, the label, it's catalogue and rights to that catalogue, is still owned by Larry Page.

Until very recently, it has been near impossible to trace surviving members from various bands from over forty years ago. It is only thanks to the internet and those people concerned coming forward online, that people are being found and that the true music history can be revealed thankfully.

You can look at this in two ways, one, this is the present state of music, now the internet is here, music will never be the same as it was. Two, people are discovering great music that was very hard to discover and so you could say that at least more real music fans are discovering more real music such as the Heatwave single which I would have thought is surely a positive thing?

As I see it personally, the music business is what it has always been, a business and as such is there to serve a select few in getting rich off the sweat of many musicians/artists who they sought to exploit in the early days of the business and even now. It remains one of the most deluded and grotesque industries around and yet people still love it.

I contacted no-one as there is no need for me to contact anyone when submitting ideas for a project. I'm not sure that you're understanding this situation so here's another explanation: The ownership in the Heatwave sound recording is owned by Larry Page who owns the Penny Farthing and Page One catalogues. Red River Exports (or Particles) would produce a licensing form for this project with each owner of the respective work on the project concerned. If they do not, that is their concern, not mine, as that is something that they should handle.

I am really pleased that Heatwave and their musical history is online for people to see and learn about.'

Carr, 'Red River acts as a distributor of the Particles label.  The owners of Particles are requesting written evidence that you (Heatwave) have an interest in this track. Reliable sources indicate that Martin did not even play on the track in question and neither are you (Heatwave) in a position to claim a writing.'

What 'reliable sources' would those be?  If not for Martin, who came up with the funky drum beat, there would be no 'Rastus Ravel' as we know it.

5th August 2013, Larry Page spoke to Martin about 'Rastus Ravel (Is A Mean Old Man)' and confirmed that he had NOT licensed the song to anyone since its initial release.  Their phone conversation may be heard on BandCamp.

1st April 2014, the offending album was remastered and re-released minus, 'Ratus Ravel (Is A Mean Old Man)'.

October 2015, at Martin's request, Apple deleted a pirated 'Rastus' mp3 download from iTunes. The Co. responsible was ODL ~ whose CEO is Nicholas Dicker nicholas@redriverexports.com.

8th March 2017, Steven Carr scarr@odmcy.com, using the company name, Obiterdictum Ltd., registered 31/12/2008 in Cyprus at Themistokli Dervi, 20, Myrna Court, Floor 5, 1066, Lefkosia now at Leforos Kapparis 34, 5290 Paralimni wrote, 'We’ve received a notification from our download aggregator, Christoph Enzinger christoph.enzinger@rebeat.comconcerning the inclusion of this track on a compilation called Piccadilly Sunshine Part Twelve.  The track was received from a third party (Greg Smith) as part of a huge catalogue of psych tracks from the ‘60s and ‘70s and given the size and scope of the catalogue, your track was included without proper scrutiny.  Please contact me to discuss suitable remuneration for the inclusion of this track on the compilation in question.'

Heatwave immediately replied to Carr re: 'remuneration' and, two weeks later, received, 'I would think £250 to include everything would be reasonable. What do you think?'

2nd May 2017, Heatwave sent Carr a £250 Invoice and, on 3rd May 2017, Carr responded with, 'This is not exactly what we need. I am out of the country until late next week but I will get back to immediately upon my return.'

And so the non-payment saga continues ...

 

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