Off: CD Promo

Paul Mather paul at GROMIT.DLIB.VT.EDU
Fri Sep 2 21:27:22 EDT 2005

On Fri, 2005-09-02 at 19:07 +0100, Jon Jarrett wrote:
> On Fri, 26 Aug 2005, Paul Mather wrote:

> > PS: I'm not condoning selling promo materials, but having bought such
> > things in the past, it'd be a little hypocritical of me to condemn it.
>         I think it's a matter of the point in the chain, isn't it? With
> most promos that you or I have in our collections (I've got three I think,
> not counting the promo `Love in Space' single which I was given by
> Hawkwind's kind offer on this list at the time, and if I ever meet any of
> the members of the bands concerned I'll buy them a beer or suitable by way
> of apology), they've been bought from some second-hand stall or
> whatever; I think all of mine came this way. They presumably got there
> because DJs or whoever who'd been given them by record companies sold
> them, either to the stall-holder or a previous owner. In those cases it's
> the DJ or whoever whom we;'d presumably consider shouldn't really be
> selling what was given him for free and labelled not for sale, and perhaps
> the stallholder shouldn't have bought it. The buyer from the stall is too
> far down the chain to be condemned though I think; once it's been sold
> once the damage is done and it's fair game (much like a normal release on
> that sense).

An interesting take on moral distancing, there, and I'm sure similar to
the one used unsuccessfully at Nuremberg. :-)  My view is that it takes
two to tango, so if you're going to froth at people selling promos you
should a) be consistent and froth at all promo sellers (and not exempt
some on the basis that they're waiting a tactful amount of time before
doing what you otherwise consider to be a rip off of the band); and b)
probably not buy them yourself (because there can't be a sale without a

I've bought a few promos down through the years (I don't think any
Hawkwind ones, oddly enough), and I certainly don't advocate those that
sell them be shot in the head.  Hopefully, there a certain consistency
in that stance. :-)


e-mail: paul at

"Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production
 deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid."
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