ASCAP or BMI?

[imported from Myspace]

Current mood:amused

So, I was loitering around Melbourne today by myself and I went to Chinatown for lunch. I’d got so hungry that I went into the first place I saw, sat down and looked around. It was the “Post-Deng Cafe”, and the walls were festooned with large posters and photographs of Deng Xiaoping.

(Rather than try and explain who he was according to my limited knowledge, I refer you to Wikipedia, where it says he was “the de facto leader of the People’s Republic Of China from the late 1970s to the early 1990s”)

The menu began by saying “Why Post-Deng Cafe?” and went on to explain how he pioneered Chinese economic reform and ushered in a new era of prosperity etc, etc.

I ordered my meal and noticed another lone chap at the table opposite me. His meal looked cheaper but better then mine.

When we had both finished off our lunch he walked over to my table and said “ASCAP or BMI?

I was a little taken aback and said “why do you ask?”. He explained that he thought I looked like a songwriter! I’ve no idea why or how, of course, as I just look like a normal guy.

He’d heard me speak to the waiter and thought that I had an American accent, which may be because I have a slight touch of Canadian in my speech. That’s why he said ASCAP or BMI (they are the two main American performing rights organisations, by the way, which means they collect royalties for songs). If I had been more on the ball I would have replied with the appropriate antipodean acronym, “APRA”.

He went on to explain that he is a music publisher, so I said, “Sit down, I’ve been  thinking of trying to find a publisher!”

Post-Deng Restaurant, Melbourne

We chatted for an hour or so and arranged to meet up again. He was very interested in my little MySpace “career” and of course I hyped everything about my myriad of devoted fans and my tremendous inroads into the music industry. Well, not really. I just shrugged and said that I didn’t know why but people seem to like some of my stuff. Told him about some of the interest from record companies, and about how someone really should be able to pick up the Tom song and make a lot of money out of it, but it’s not entirely representative of my work, etc, etc.

He told me a bit about his own career – he’s from London and worked with a lot of big names in LA for many years but has been in Australia for some years now. He has close contact with a very major record producer, I’d say one of the top ten most famous ones in the world, but I’d better not say who.

I promised to send him a CD – I know I owe about a hundred of you a CD if I ever get a batch of the things made, but as I met this guy face to face he goes to the top of the list and I’ll burn him one specially!

Anyway, boring story, really, except for that one little quirk that he guessed I was a songwriter. I assure you I wasn’t humming loudly and frantically scribbling on a napkin or anything like that! In fact I generally go around actively resisting the urge to write another song because I don’t even have time to record the ones that I have waiting!

By way of illustration, I was so amused (it doesn’t take much) by the Post-Deng Restaurant thing that I took a photo of the plate with my mobile phone. Before there was any food on it.

~DC

Post-Deng Plate