Musician Lester Chambers: I am the 99 percent, screwed by the music industry

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The lead singer of the 1960s soul rock group The Chambers Brothers is barely surviving on his meager income, even though his voice has appeared on hundreds of albums, movies, TV shows and commercials.

While musicians have penchant for squandering their money on luxuries or drug addictions, 72-year-old Lester Chambers is living in poverty because of an exploitative contract he signed decades ago. He claims he received no money in royalties between 1967 and 1994.

“When you’re a young group, you listen to people say: ‘We’re going to make it better,’” he told Vice magazine. “And that never works, because if they were going to make it better they woulda made it better. Young musicians are still caught in the same situation ‘cos they wanna be heard.”

 “God knows, The Chambers Brothers were not the only ones. And some of them have come forward and some of them haven’t. When you’re told: ‘Go get a lawyer,’ and they know upfront that you really can’t afford a big business lawyer to do this for you, you’re caught between first and second base.”

After writing letters and making phone calls to record companies for years, Chambers and his wife put their complaint online.

Imitating the online postings of supporter of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, Chambers uploaded an photograph to the Internet, holding one of his Gold Records in front of his face and declaring that “Only the 1% of artists can afford to sue. I am the 99%.”

Complete Article at:

Lester Chambers Fund: president: give lester chambers his due:

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Anonymous in Paris: Anti-ACTA protest video

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Rally staged against new US electoral laws

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Embracing Our Eccentrics and Protecting Them

Eccentrics are hard to find in our over-medicated, over psychopathologized plastic fantastic world of consumerbots.

In the Fifties there was a character in New York known as Moon Dog, long flowing hair, Viking helmet and spear, like a supernumerary from a Wagner Opera.

Today he would be taken down by Homeland Security as a terrorist threat, hospitalized and forcibly medicated as a threat to the credit spending tourists and consumerbots.

San Francisco had its legendary Emperor Norton during the early 20th century.

We’ve plasticized the world to the point where it is a homogenized mix of corporate outlets, the same stores with the same facades and logos.  We’ve abandoned the cities that had individual character for the ersatz world of shopping malls.

We are afraid of people who are different be they bikers, gays, lesbians, hippies, transsexuals, transgenders, transvestites, vegan,atheists or bicyclists.

When so many people fall into one or more groups who are considered out of the mainstream, even if only slightly one has to wonder who is left in that mainstream.

But I digress.

People who aren’t from Texas, who have never lived here often have strange stereotypes of what Texas is like.  While those stereotype are true they aren’t the only thing one finds as there is also a Texas of Willie Nelson, James McMurtry, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Marcia Ball.

We have Austin with the city slogan, “Keep Austin Weird”

This week we lost one of our Austin Eccentrics. A mentally-ill homeless man who outrageously cross dressed in a manner that has been described as “Gender Fuck”.  Leslie Cochran passed away and Austin’s Sixth Street is a little less weird.

From the Austin Statesman:

By Patrick Beach
Friday Mar. 9, 2012

An Austin icon is dead, and a bit of Austin’s weirdness has gone with him.

Leslie Cochran — the city’s flesh-flashing, cross-dressing, attention-loving, frequently homeless mascot, unofficial ambassador and sometimes mayoral candidate — died about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, said his sister, Alice Masterson of Homestead, Fla. He was 60.

Cochran recently had been admitted to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center after he was found unconscious in a South Austin parking lot. Cochran died “peacefully and comfortably” among family and friends, said Valerie Romness, a longtime friend.

Like Austin’s famed bats, Cochran was initially regarded as something of a nuisance when he arrived in the mid-1990s. Stories tell of a North Austin supermarket worker trying to shoo Cochran out of the store parking lot with a power washer. Soon enough, Cochran was downtown.

Usually dressed in ankle-snapping ladies’ heels and a thong, Cochran was for more than a decade a fixture in Austin, particularly in the Sixth Street entertainment district. He eventually ascended to the highest rank of celebrity, joining the few known by but one name: Leslie.

Friends said he was funny, intelligent and charming. They also described him as an alcoholic, stubborn and unreliable — qualities that often landed him in jail. And since a 2009 head injury, he had been in undeniable decline.

Cochran lent a whimsical demeanor to the serious problem of homelessness and relied on the kindness of strangers and friends. But he was no freeloader. He did occasional odd jobs for local businesses and appeared in a commercial for Pinky’s Pagers that aired locally during the 2001 Super Bowl. His runs for public office include a race against former Mayor Kirk Watson, now a state senator, who joked at the time, “My fear is that this will not be an issue-oriented campaign but (about) who has the best legs, and then I know I’m a dead man.”

Continue reading at:

Aside from the thought that there is absolutely no reason why anyone in this rich nation should not have a place to live, food and medical care, we lose something when we lose the strange people who absolutely fail to conform to our consumerbot plastic fantastic world.

We lose a little bit of our soul when we no longer see people who are really harmlessly going about being mad, who make no attempt to conform.


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For This We Spent a Trillion Dollars and Killed All Those People?

If this doesn’t send a wave of disgust through you then you have no heart.

Iraqi Militants Stone 14 Emo Kids to Death

From Gawker:

By Louis Peitzman
Mar 10, 2012

American emo kids who think they have it rough should take note of this storyout of Iraq: at least 14 young people have been stoned to death over the past three weeks, apparently for wearing “emo” clothes and haircuts.

It all started last month when Iraq’s interior ministry declared “emo” to be “Satanism,” and demanded that a community police force end the trend for good. In response, militants have been circulating leaflets with the names of emo kids in danger of being killed.

“We strongly warn you, to all the obscene males and females, if you will not leave this filthy work within four days the punishment of God will descend upon you at the hand of the Mujahideen,” the leaflet said.

Another leaflet in Sadr City bore 20 names. “We are the Brigades of Anger. We warn you, if you do not get back to sanity and the right path, you will be killed,” it said.

And sadly, they’re not all talk. So far 14 youths have been brought to the hospital with fatal injuries from rocks and bricks, while 6 others were wounded as a “warning.” But there is no official confirmation that these deaths are linked to the victims’ emo style, in part because hospital sources “were not authorized to speak to the media.”

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BTW Saddam may have run a dictatorship but he kept the religious fanatics under control.

Pat Robertson: Lesbians Are “Evil” So Woman Can’t Attend Sister’s Wedding

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by David Badash
March 9, 2012

Pat Robertsontoday told a conflicted woman that her lesbian sister is “evil,” and therefore she may not attend her sister’s wedding — to do so would be blessing an ungodly union. “The Bible is very clear about homosexuality,” Robertson tells her, adding that if this means the end of her relationship with her sister, “tough luck.” Because, apparently, family comes first — unless they’re gay.

That Pat Robertson thinks he has any say in the matter is almost as bad as this woman who actually cannot decide if she should support her sister in a loving union.

Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch, who bring us so many of these unbelievably gross religious atrocities, offers the video and Robertson’s response:

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America’s Authoritarian Turn

From Adbusters:

Speaking truth to power becomes a crime.

08 Mar 2012

Creative Commons Permission

Ever since the rise of Occupy, corporatist authorities have been trying to figure how to squash our emerging social movement. First they tried a media blackout, but when over 700 nonviolent meme warriors were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge our Gandhian ferocity catalyzed a thousand encampments and the 1% could ignore us no more. Next elites tried the Bloomberg model of midnight paramilitary raids backed up by excessive force and sometimes-lethal munitions. That worked well to evict encampments in New York City, Oakland and nationwide … but it backfired when occupiers became diffuse, appearing at scripted events and interrupting the spectacle of corporate-funded politics with mic checks of truth. Now they are trying the new tactic of “lawfare” – using draconian laws to squash free speech in a last ditch effort to put an end to people power.

A week before the G8 Backdown, the US House of Representatives voted in near unanimous consensus in favor of an authoritarian law, H.R. 347, that makes it a federal crime to disrupt “Government business or official functions” or to enter any building where a “person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting.” In other words, to mic check Obama is now a federal crime punishable by a year in prison. And so too is the banner drop if it takes place in any building that a “protected” person might be visiting in the future, even if jammers don’t know it. And so is the anti-globalization tactic of blocking road access to a meeting of world elites, there is a special clause about that too. Obama signed the bill into law on March 9.

History shows that using authoritarian laws to silence the authentic, legitimate concerns of the people always boomerangs into a fatal loss of legitimacy. Governments derive their authority and right to exist from the people and when the people are ignored and beaten back regimes fall.

Read more about H.R. 347 at the and the and then brainstorm below on how Occupy can outmaneuver this new tactic of repression.

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