The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in New York against a Manhattan bar demanding performance royalties because one of their nightly acts played a couple of Bruce Springsteen covers and were paid for the gig.
Billboard claims Springsteen wants off the suit and that he never agreed to anything of the sort. I believe him. But he needs to do much, much more.
I'm not sure if you are aware of what ASCAP has been doing in the name of artists for the past few years, but it is fucking terrifying and disgraceful. This is one of many suits filed against cafes, bars, clubs, and other intimate venues.
The MC at one of the open mics I frequent here in Los Angeles made an announcement a few weeks ago that performances must be strictly original content from here on out due to a letter threat from ASCAP. A fucking coffee shop.
I wish I were making this up.
I was with friends at the cafe and, once again, embarrassed to be a part of the present music business. This fascist bullshit needs to stop immediately and the movement must be led by our musical icons that still carry some clout within a dying industry.
Bruce should hold a press conference, humbly apologize to the band and the Manhattan bar, and ask his buddies to join him in protesting these lawsuits in their name. Only their image is at stake. ASCAP pretends to work for the artists, but we all know who they work for: The titans of the record business.
This must end now, before everyone in this country has completely lost interest in popular music.