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Friday, Nov. 09, 2001 at 8:48 PM
firstname.lastname@example.org 68a Brownlow Road London NW10 9QT
PLEASE, THIS STORY IS FOR PUBLICATION AND NOT JUST FOR READING - YOU MUST MAKE JUSTICE - YOU MUST STOP THIS VILE CONSPIRACY - HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF ALL THIS WAS DONE TO YOU???.....THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF JOURNALISM IS "NOT TO HIDE".....I AM ALSO SENDING YOU MY ADDRESS FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES.
TO THE EDITOR
(Additional copies distributed to whom it may concern)
My name is JOSEPH FERRANTE. I am a musician.
I am writing to inform you of a long history of efforts to block my musical career and take my ideas. It has now gone beyond the pale.
Some time ago, while I was living in England, I was sent out to tune the ex-Beatle GEORGE HARRISON's piano several times. After five years in England I eventually went back to where I'd originally come from. There I made my own adaptation of the Beatles' "Hey Jude". I took the original song and re-worked it into a latin "Bachata", mixed with flamenco. I made a demonstration cassette of it and sent it to George Harrison.. It came back to me stamped with a rude "by bike" in the place of the usual "Air mail" on the envelope. I phoned him to ask for an explanation but was told by his secretary that he did not want to come to the phone.
Mr. Raul Cairo of the Dutch "Music and Media" magazine can testify to the quality of my arrangement of "Hey Jude", as he wrote an article about it in the same magazine.
I tried sending demonstration cassettes of my version of "Hey Jude" to three record companies in Spain, and, some months later, a group called "Los Roling" came out with a flamenco rendition of Beatles music. Significantly, it was at the same time that Raul Cairo was writing up my "Hey Jude" in "Music and Media".
After a Finnish promotional firm requested 28 CDs of the song for broadcasting on their radio chain throughout Europe the song began to get airplay. I was told by the firm that they were getting phone-in requests for the song at the stations and that it was being given a nice reception by radio listeners. Some ten days later the song disappeared off the air as though an invisible hand had stopped it. The Finnish promotional firm did not care to provide any explanation when I phoned up about it.
Time went by and I made a "salsa" version of the Beatles' song "Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". This time I sent demonstration cassettes to record companies outside Europe, including in New York. Some months later, a well-known latin entertainer got a salsa band together with performers from "Fania All Stars" among others, and released an L.P. of salsa-style Beatles music in New York.
Time went by again, and it occurred to me that perhaps I could help get the Beatles back together again as a Beatles' music specialist myself and a professional musician in my own right. I faxed a proposal to that effect to George Harrison, one which he never answered. I did fax him several times again afterwards trying to set out my ideas about the Beatles revival venture, only to discover at one point that he had had his fax number changed. The international operator told me she couldn't give me the new number, as it was unlisted. About six months after the fax incident the "Beatles Anthology" CD came out. My idea. He took it and went ahead without me.
Now I am back in England.
I came back with 14 songs that I'd put together under the title "Shangri-La", hoping to get a record deal for it. Both "Hey Jude" and "Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" were included in my production. There were also two other well-known songs in my own adapted version. The rest, the other ten songs, were all my own original compositions.
I took demonstration cassettes of "Shangri-La" to the ten major record companies in London. All ten were somehow mysteriously "mislaid". Representatives of the A&R departments concerned refused even to come to the phone to give me an explanation, delegating other people to take the call instead and tell me that they were still having trouble locating the cassette. All ten cassettes??...Isn't that a bit much to be a coincidence??...
One of the other two items I'd re-worked for "Shangri-La" was "If I Had A Hammer". The rhythm and arrangements were all distinctly different in my version from the original song. One day, after having delivered my cassettes to the main record companies, I switched on the television, only to see the launch of a new programme featuring Trini Lopez's original "If I Had A Hammer" as the theme song...That was after my version of the long-forgotten song had been heard by the record companies.
Again, after my cassettes had gone out to the record companies, a big night club that was owned by people who had links with the record industry started running a show they called "Shangri-La". They stole the name from my production. I ended up having to hire solicitors to get them to stop using the name, as I had already had it registered for musical purposes.
During that same period I received dozens of nuisance calls on my mobile phone from people mocking me with taunts like: "Don't you have a record deal ?", or "Go find another country", or "I'm not hearing your songs on the radio"...
Realizing that there must be a conspiracy against me I had promotional CDs pressed of "Hey Jude" and distributed them to 84 radio stations around England. After a couple weeks I had letters back from radio stations saying they couldn't play "Hey Jude" on their programmes, although some of the selfsame directors went on to praise my arrangement of the song. Capital Radio described it as "a very interesting arrangement". The BBC World Service went on to call it "a very original and quite virtuoso arrangement". From Sony Music I read: "..I was really impressed with the quality of the performance and your new arrangement". If the song was good enough to generate such comments, why wouldn't they play it ? ? ?
After the radio set-back I sent a CD of my adapted version of "Hey Jude" to Paul McCartney at his office, asking if he could give me a hand by contacting some of the radio station directors. A week later I followed up by phoning his office, only to be met with one of the secretaries, who in a rude and aggressive manner dismissed me with,: "We've put your CD of "Hey Jude" in a cold cellar...". Why such a violent reaction ? ?...
So I wrote to Paul McCartney. I even made 16 copies of my letters and mailed them separately to be sure that one of them at least got through to him at his home. Yet I never had a reply.
Interestingly enough, just at that time I started to hear massive outpourings of the Beatles' "Hey Jude" on the radio,and Paul McCartney himself suddenly began performing live again at the "Cavern" in Liverpool after years of inactivity.
It was during those same months that I was getting threatening, anonymous phone calls on my mobile, warning me against giving live performances or playing anywhere. The calls were always made from public telephones.
One music agent whom I'd contacted in an effort to find myself a manager, apologized, saying: "I'm sorry, but I cannot use you...". He refused to say why and hung up on me.
That was when I realized what a huge operation I was up against. So huge, in fact, that in the two and a half years I have been in England this second stay I have as yet to give my first live concert or perform anywhere, despite having contacted more than 20 music agents.
Five months after my "Hey Jude" was blocked on British radio stations the latest Beatles' CD came out. This was the second time that my adaptation of "Hey Jude" had caused a Beatles' Anthology to appear..It seems some people regard my "Hey Jude" as a threat...
And as another "coincidence", the e-mail address that Paul McCartney offered for fans to write to him is called email@example.com...as I said before, after my Hey Jude got blocked on british radio, Paul McCartney rushed in with concerts at the "Cavern" in Liverpool and launched this second Beatles Anthology CD. Nevertheless, when he saw that the concerts only gathered a very small audience and that the CD did not sell as expected, now he pushed for a CD to come out of his work with his group "Wings"...all this with no let-up, one thing after another, like he was trying to gain time for something, wanting to be constantly present in people's minds for some reason....It is with sadness that I realize that possibly some people could be very afraid of my Hey Jude....
Most recently, one of my piano tuning customers, who is involved with the British music industry, said an aggressive letter had been forged in my name and sent out to different branches of the above mentioned music industry and to other parts of the music world. This was further confirmed by a DJ friend of mine in British radio...What vile extremes will some people not resort to in their attempt to alienate others from me???...
Also, as another "coincidence", one of the ten major record companies in London that stole my "Shangri-la" cassettes, has just launched a CD of one of their bands, being the band's CD title exactly the same as my own, with the addition of a couple of words to make the title a comical phrase !!! ..... They've launched it through one of their branches in another part of the world.....I suspect this is a subtle trap by this record firm expecting me to react to their action to implicate me with that part of the world.....I will not fall into that trap.....Now they are trying to block me in other parts of the world as well.....it looks like some people consider my work something very dangerous, judging by the amount of conspiracy they are generating......once again, it is amazing to see the vile manoeuvres of some people......
What I have said so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Depending on how things go, the full iceberg may yet come to light in all its magnitude. I don't want to blame anybody but I feel my story has to be told.
I come looking to all music lovers to help me fight this horrible multi-tentacled monster that has kept me and my work out of the public eye and stolen my ideas.
It is because of this conspiracy against me that I have had to find shelter on the Internet.
Myself and my work can only be found at: www.ferrantemusic.com. I invite you all to my website.
68a Brownlow Road
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