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MichaelHorowitz wrote: »
So sad to hear this... ... turn the clock back to 2000 and there was pretty well nothing. Nick changed all that with DjangoFest. RIP.....
Ted Gottsegen wrote: »
Nick and I had a huge falling out and hadn’t spoke for almost 10 years. I was recovering from my own near-death experience and had heard of how sick he was so I reached out to bury the hatchet and I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy to have to go through what he did. I’m glad that he passed as peacefully as he died with Django’s music in his ears.
To be fair, I can’t comment on post-2006 Nick Lehr, but between 2001-2006 I (and many others) can tell you that he was not the benevolent tireless promoter of this music and champion of the independent musician that some are making him out to be. He was a shady promoter out to make as much money as possible so he didn’t have to get up and go to work everyday and he did that by underpaying and holding serious, dedicated and hard working musicians to ransom. A very famous European musician refused to go on until he was paid everything, in cash, before he walked out on stage because of questionable accounting. Another time at a private party in a house a famous European musician walked into what he thought was a bathroom but was actually a set-up to record the concert. He had not be asked permission, nor offered compensation until he refused to play.
He would “guarantee” your fee for playing and usually come up with only half to 2/3’rds and mumbling some vague response as to how he’ll get you the rest of the money as he shuffled off. If you tried to call him out on it he’s say something like “well I can get so-and-so to do it for free so why should I pay you?” When I did the Djangofest tour Andreas, Kruno and Stéphane’s trio he told me to hold onto all my receipts for expenses (driving from Seattle to Laguna Beach and back again) and when I presented them after the tour he looked me right in the eye and said “I don’t remember having that conversation with you. Sorry.” So I wrote off the $500+ loss to “cost of doing business” and moved on. It was a very important lesson that I’d have had to learn at some point, the business of music. In the end I forgave Nick for becoming consumed by power.
I owe many of my early professional successes and more importantly my professional failures to the opportunities Nick gave me. They are lessons that I’ll always be appreciative of and thankful for.