Posted: Dec 22, 2003 6:31 pm
I think if you simply asked the Ken Rock dude he'd be amenable to giving up 15% to 20% of the pressing - a standard amount and, I expect, probably what you received the first time around. If for whatever reason Ken Rock dude is some kinda dick about it, I don't think that there's much of anything you can do about it short of kicking his ass, egging his house, rolling his yard, fucking his girlfriend, spray-painting "John Hinckley Is Innocent" all over his car and house, etc.
When you don't sign a contract, you're fucked. What's more, by the very act of your extending the guy a loan of your master tape for use in a 'for-profit' business venture where there is an expectation of benefit for both parties (you: free records, cash from the sale of such, and some kind of publicity; him: cash profit, publicity, AND an implication, at least, of asset-building and "good-will value" creation through the strengthening of his label catalogue), a contract is so strongly implied that a court would laugh and scold most any legal action right out the front door and down the steps. Unless, of course, your label happens to be Touch&Go or SFTRI, the record happens to be worth a lot, and the adversary happens to be a multi-national death-culture conglomorate with more bling than Croesus. Then all bets are off.
But, the reality is that that ain't your situation. The facts are that Ken Rock is some tiny, living-room label, your old band isn't even a band anymore, and the amounts of real and potential cash are so small as to be miniscule. So, what to do? Hit the guy up for cash and/or records, and if he gives you some shit make sure everyone knows what a stinking, hippie-capitalist sack of shit the guy is. Do the other stuff, too. Then wait for the inevitable garage-punk revival in about 20 years, wait for him to try to license your old recordings to a death-culture label for some stupid, hefty fee and then sue the fucker till he bleeds like a poked pig. Next chapter: How to fuck-over an asshole boss.