Fatback Band Letter

August 31, 2009

Sorry about being late with the newsletter. I’ve been caught up in some family matters. Health issues that Mr. Obama is pushing to change. To see it first-hand is a different story. I know this is not normally the platform to talk about things like this, I try to keep our newsletters lighthearted and uplifting. Most Musicians and Entertainers usually keep a very low profile when comes to political views, and I’m one. But my beautiful soulmate for fifteen years, my daughter, drove to the Emergency room feeling pains in her chest. And after four days of observation and an IV stress test, it has now resulted in weakness, stroke-like symptoms on her left side, blurred speak, and an inability to walk.

That was June 19th. Her doctors has ordered numerous tests, but only what her insurance allows. We voted for a change in our healthcare system; now we’ve got to get insurance companies out of the doctors’ and hospital’s offices telling them what they can and can’t do. It’s not just the local hospitals, but the big ones too. I carried her to UNC Chapel Hill in NC; they did all the standard tests the MRI, CT scans and ruled out all of the obvious: no sign of a stroke, heart attack, multiple sclerosis or lyme disease. She was there one day and now, here’s the kicker… they couldn’t understand how the local hospital released her in that condition. They came to me and asked me if we would be upset if they sent her home, since they too could not find any thing medically wrong with her condition? I said yes, and his reply was “the kind of study we need to do would be a little costly. I don’t know if you have the finances to cover but it let me check with our social worker.” He and also the social worker suggested that if she’d quit her job, apply for public services including Medicaid, that there would be a greater possibility of the additional test and research that she need to get paid for through the healthcare systems. It still goes back to the same old thing… it will be paid for by the taxpayers!

This is what our health system is like. If you’re working for a small company and you have limited coverage you will not get the care you need. All I can say Mr. Obama has it right, when he tried to get a bill passed by August before the right-wingers could get their scare tactics going. Now that they got it up and running it’s going to be very hard road for Mr.Obama. The people he’s trying to help are the least-educated, least informed, and least able to make political waves, and the right-wingers know that. I want to get my say in on healthcare. It’s the young just entering the workforce, unemployed, self-employed, and people who work for the small businesses who are overlooked.

I didn’t think I’d ever go there! Then something comes along and pulls you out of your comfort zone and makes you speak out. I can see the similarity in the music industry and health care reform. The Shareholders don’t want to change their bottom line from insurance companies and the music industry wants to keep their control over artists and the music, earning the lion’s share of the money. The music industry is being redefined right now,and everyone is jockeying for position while the right formula comes along that will be fair for everyone and allow the artists to control their property. The industry will be better. I don’t know whether music will, but you will be able to pick and choose what you hear and buy. It’s a major overhaul/evolution of the way, we hear, sell, buy and present music. We’re not just depending on the old way… the music stores. The new way might be harder and longer! What you get from the formula… you own your property, you have artistic control and in some cases you get all the money. Today’s artists are more informed than yesterday’s, now they must take control of their destiny.

Mr. Obama doesn’t need the right-wingers to pass his health care package. Musicians need radio and the majors to get their music heard or sold. And for those of you who think it’s wrong to tax radio, I will make this brief. Radio gets paid one way or another for playing our records. Radio stations have been pimping long enough off our music. Let’s not forget the junk box, man. Okay, I know what you are probably saying; they are promoting your music. It is just the other way around; we’re promoting the radio stations for them to get paid from people to advertise on. Just think about it: without our music, no ads; but do we get anything from that? No! The money from record sales goes to the slave master (the record company). They give you what they want you to have. The taxes they are talking about will go straight to artists and not in the hands of the slave master. I feel that Apple should have to pay for using our music. They use our music to sell their phones for $200-$300 and at least 2 cent per phone should go to the artist. It’s a form of advertising. Now, the biggest pimp have pimped the slave master which is the highest of the majors and music industry pimps!

Best always,
Bill



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