Don Henley’s Contribution To Billy Corgan’s Strive For Justice
Creating a song usually goes beyond simply writing and recording it in a few hours. Long days and months are usually spent in between the walls of a studio until artists get the perfect take, and numerous producers, alongside sound engineers, try their best to come up with the most excellent versions of each track for, what we might imagine, days.
It’s teamwork, after all, and if the album or the single goes on to be a chart-topping hit, all those months spent in the confinements of a recording studio surely worth all the trouble… since making a hit piece doesn’t only mean a few good reviews from prestigious magazines, but it might also mean a nice way to get lengthy royalty checks.
Most will want to have a piece of the hit, streaming it on their digital platforms, and the TV and movie industry will be willing to pay large royalties to use the track in future projects. Even your local grocery store will have a piece of the hit track, possibly playing it through their speakers for a while until they make sure you know every lyric to it.
Radio airplay is also essential to mention since even against all the odds of the modern age, radio still holds up a valuable place in most people’s lives, from nostalgia lovers to daily listeners who enjoy their favorite station while driving to work or school. So, radios are also undoubtedly a good way to introduce new music to broader audiences, and it’s a win-win situation for both stations and listeners.
The only community who didn’t get many wins out of this, however, seemingly were the artists themselves. Although they did receive large amounts of royalties from their music being featured on TV and movies, when it came down to radio, only the songwriters would get paid their dues.
Artists who weren’t credited as songwriters weren’t paid any royalties from radio stations, and for numerous artists, this created an unfair situation. So, the Smashing Pumpkins icon Billy Corgan took the stance before Congress on one faithful day in 2009, advocating the right for artists to get paid royalties for their contributions to the music and sound.
The same day Corgan made his speech in front of the U.S. lawmakers, another rocker, Don Henley, joined Cleveland Magazine for an interview. The drummer discussed why he founded the Recording Artists’ Coalition foundation while pointing out the injustices in radio airplay, supporting Billy’s fight against the unfair situation.
Don’s statement on founding the Recording Artists Coalition, the importance of the Performance Rights Act, and Corgan’s strive for justice:
“The Performance Rights Act (H.R. 848) is the top priority now… RAC has joined forces with the MusicFirst Coalition, which is a partnership of more than 165 artists and 13 music industry organizations advocating that performers — from aspiring and local artists to background singers and well-known stars — be compensated when their music is broadcast over the air.
In fact, there was a hearing this morning before the House Judiciary Committee, and Billy Corgan did a brilliant job testifying on behalf of the artist community. The issue is this: When a song is played on the radio, the publisher and the songwriter get paid a small royalty, but the singers, who often don’t write or publish, get nothing. The Performance Rights Act brings the United States in line with almost every other nation in the world.”
Henley was quite supportive of Corgan, who testified on behalf of him and other fellow artists who felt that there was an injustice in the way stations paid royalties. So, the rocker didn’t hesitate to support Billy’s strive for justice, bringing people’s attention to the challenging problem.