'One Minute With Dec' 06 June 2010

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“3 Minutes on the Radio With Dec” –

"My Emails Are Written With Good Humour And Should Be Read With A Smile"

[-The views of any contributor to 'One Minute with Dec' are not necessarily the views of Dec Cluskey-]

"The worst kind of vice is advice” Al Pacino


    All great news from members [ what a week? ]
    The Incredible Charity Tour [ Member Ian Campbell is having ball ]
    I am amazed [ X-Factor at 70? …. Read on ]
    Subscriber's Section [ live drums or what? ]
    The gags: ..... [Incredible story about an elephant's memory... from Paul ]

All great news from members [ what a week? ]

Serious Writers Guild member, Singer songwriter, Neness Gold, has reached the finals of the 2010 UK Songwriting Contest (UKSC) with “I Know There Is Something” produced by Soundskrit (www.myspace.com/soundskritlondon)

There were over 5,000 entries this year and the song reached top 1% in the most popular category Pop, judged by an experienced panel of senior industry experts.

Last year, Neness reached the semi-finals with Distracted.

Who is Neness Gold?

Neness Gold is a self-taught singer, multi-instrumentalist and prolific composer, with more than 160 songs to her name, which she writes and self-produces in her bedroom studio; Manuela Robson is the lyricist in the partnership and George Christie is the producer ( www.myspace.com/soundskritlondon).

About The UK Songwriting Contest:

The UKSC was formed through a partnership between the BRIT Trust (of Brit Awards fame) and The Music Aid Organisation to promote the art of songwriting. The first UKSC was held in 2002 and is now held annually in association with these organisations, BBC Radio and other leading music companies and organisations. It is also supported by The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. This contest really does attract the best and the most serious songwriters and the judges had great difficulty in selecting winners and runners up this year.

Songs can be also be heard at:


For more info, please contact: fatmanpublishing@yahoo.co.uk

“Freedom is never having to say you’re sorry” Al Pacino

The Incredible Charity Tour [ Member Ian Campbell is having ball ]

Ian started an amazing tour as FRANKIE MARTIN. In support of “Help For Heroes”.

The record breaking GREAT BRITISH PUB Tour. 366 shows in 366 pubs in 366 towns in 366 days! Not just an EVERYDAY tour!

It started on Monday 19th April 2010 lounge/swing artiste Frankie Martin has undertaken a record breaking tour of the UK mainland playing at least one show a day, every day, for a year and a day.

8 out of 10 service personnel when asked what they missed most on tour answered The Pub!

From Ian [Frankie]


10% of the tour is completed today with a total of £9,500.00 so far...thank you soooo much to all the venues and customers who have already contributed.

all the individual stories and kindnesses are too numerous to list here but I am writing them in my diary.

In Willoughby a lady bid £80.00 to win a single bottle of wine and 2 glasses! and I won’t say how she raised another £25.00 as well as a few eyebrows!!

In Thorpe Satchville Leics. they sold out of tables in the restaurant at over £25.00 per person!

At the Brewers Arms in Snaith they raised £1,000.00 in a single night!! simply with a raffle and auction.

In Grimsby the wonderful "Pink Berets" helped me to raise over £200 on a Tuesday night!

If you are one of the venues coming up on the tour and you want to start fundraising in advance of the show let us know and we can make the local media aware

A great way to drum up interest is to get local businesses to donate raffle prizes and start selling tickets...then invite the business owners and their staff to the draw on the night. They did that in Surfleet and raised £645 on a Monday night!. and in Bury St Edmunds £1,500 on the Tuesday after a bank holiday Monday!!

Anyway just an idea...I'm sure you'll have your own.

To all I've met....thank you, thank you, thank you. To all I've yet to meet...thank you in advance.


Ian Campbell, BND Music Co. 104 Park Gate, Upper College St, Nottingham NG1 5AP


"I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks”

I am amazed [ X-Factor at 70? …. Read on ]

What a story …… X-Factor at 70 singing my hit songs.

“Hi Dec.

My name Roy Eardley, I contacted you about my crazy bid at 70 to audition for the TV program The X- Factor.Well Saturday Morning I turned up Birmingham N.E.C.: Thousands were there every age & shape and size including me.


1) I sang ' No Arms Can Ever Hold You' (very nervous) but got through to Next Round.


2) Sang 'Ramona' (feeling a bit better) Got through to Next Round.

3) Interview 15 mins. (seemed OK) Move to Next Step.

4) Sang 'Ramona' & 'Love me With All Your Heart' ( went quite well) Got through to Next Round. =

5) Photograph taken Interview & signing Form giving ITV Full rights to any performance I do on this show. Also brief family history (my wife Ruth & I adopted 2 girls now have 3 grandchildren: Anything interesting? (Ruth & I walked Lands End - John O'Groats also E-W.) My greatest achievement? (I co-coordinated 'Building a Life Size Bronze Statue of my father G.H. Eardley VC.MM. in his home town of Congleton, Cheshire.)

6) Talk with Producer 10 mins then stand on the 'X' with TV lights & cameras to sing 'Ramona' & 'Love Me With All Your Heart' again.

No comment is given about this Performance: I'm told "If you are to go to the next 'stage' you will hear from us either by Letter or Telephone in 2 to 4 weeks”.. this I believe would again be Birmingham N.E.C. sometime in June. This would be in front of Panel 'Simon Cowell' & Co. for TV.

In case I can go further , Your advice please …..

Many auditioning took Backing Tracks CDs. Are there any available for:

'Love Me With All Your Heart': 'Ramona' & my 2 favourites 'No Arms Can Ever Hold You' & 'I Believe'.

No judges knew of these songs but they all liked them (wrong generation). If I do well it could well put them on the Map again.

I know this is asking a lot using your songs as well, but I said I would be happy just to get through the First Round.

Please Let me know if you can help.

Roy H. Eardley

Of course I will let him have any back tracks he wants …

“Stress is when you wake up screaming and realise you haven’t fallen asleep yet”


“The street date for our first release in the US has been confirmed -

13th July 2010, Japan will follow soon after.

Two songs have been selected for use in an on-line video program

about a US Paintball competition.

Andie Cayne”


Subscriber's Section [ live drums or what? ]

“Hi Dec

Many thanks for your prompt reply.

I want to begin by saying that I respect your experience and credentials enormously. Also, your warmth as a personality communicates very nicely in an email…which is a rare knack.

RE: my question and your answer –

I hear you loud and clear (and across the full frequency spectrum) regarding drum sounds in modern music.

I listen to the chart, and I am a long time admirer of artists like Justin Timberlake, Kelis and NERD, producers like Timbaland and Dr Dre.

I understand that your guidance is 'the sure way' toward making Top Three chart records. And (last time I will mention ME), I'm aware that you must have had this conversation with a lot of other guys before me…

Here comes the BUT…

Do you think that modelling the production techniques of this genre of music is the only way to develop and sustain a lucrative career in music? Are there any artists who don't use the drum techniques that you describe, but still manage to sell a lot of records to a slightly different demographic and do very nicely out of it?

Is there no possibility of recording and mixing the sounds of an acoustic drum kit so that it is harmonically rich, yet preserves the impression that this is a drummer playing?

Do you think that there are any commercially viable genres of music today, where the layered and electronically enhanced approach would just seem out of place? There are lots of groups doing richer arrangements that would disappear behind a Dr Dre snare, for example.

Are you still the right guy to help me?

I look forward to hearing from you.


My Reply:

Our rules are "one short reply to ONE question on music FOR NON-MEMBERS, Members of 'The Serious Writers Guild' have unlimited personal access to Dec by direct telephone, Fax and Email, apply at https://secure.mistral.co.uk/makehits/swgappsecure.htm ".

[Any advice given here shall not be deemed as financial or legal advice under any existing or future laws of any country]


I can see that you are "addicted to live". A sure way to end up bitter and disappointed, blaming everyone else.

There are literally hundreds of good talents who have thrown their careers down the drain with a misconceived belief that 'live' will somehow bring them better credibility from the public and from the Industry.

The truth is that no one gives a monkey's!

The public or the Industry never judge a track by what live elements there are ..... We all realised that a long time ago...even great 'live' talents like Phil Collins .... The correct logic is to use 'live' when it 'adds to the occasion'.

The record buying public simply want to bop and sing along to their fave toons ... As simple as that! Give the public what they WANT. Not what you feel they NEED.

A drummer we nurtured and mentored from the age of 15 is now one of the greatest technical drummers in the land. The nephew of Harold Fisher [the busiest session drummer in the UK, on every TV show and practically every record]. M***** is and was completely addicted to 'live'. Harold is the guy who played the most famous fill [on Simmons Electronic kit] the opening seconds of 'Eastenders'.

The biggest chance M***** ever had was with a band, single released, pitched up for Radio One Road Show. 'Where do I set up my drums and when is the sound check?" ... Floor manager: "Use the kit already set up over there and you are on air at 1.19pm". M*****: "Where are the mics. on the drums?" Floor manager: "Why would you need mics. when you are miming?" M*****:" Ah no mate, we never mime, everything we do is live" .....Floor manager "Goodbye .... Next!"

That was the last time that fine drummer was heard of in the Pop Industry ... He now teaches and does odd jazz sessions in pubs. By the way, the same guy came on the QE2 with my band for a cruise ... We were allocated to eat in the No. 1 restaurant, 1st class .... He didn't bring a suit! Or a shirt, or a tie!

He was asked to take over in the new production of West Side Story in the West End ... Turned up to sit in the pit in T shirt and Jeans ... He was simply told to leave!

<<<<<<<<Do you think that modelling the production techniques of this genre of music is the only way to develop and sustain a lucrative career in music?>>>>>>

Of course not ... But all the top producers, in every genre, realise that including an element of Hip Hop in any production will give the project a 'today' edge. Listen to the Top Ten.

<<<<<<<<Are there any artists who don't use the drum techniques that you describe, but still manage to sell a lot of records to a slightly different demographic and do very nicely out of it?>>>>>>>>>>

Very few, they have built their careers over twenty years of trawling up and down the motorways in broken down vans. But their producers will still use every bit of up to the second technique to create the best sounds. U2 were very ordinary until Brian Eno came along.

<<<<<<<I listen to the chart, >>>>>>>>>

And most likely, like most, you listen but you don't 'hear' ... Two different concepts.

<<<<<< I'm aware that you must have had this conversation with a lot of other guys before me…>>>>>>>>>>>

Many! Trying desperately to prove a point which does not exist in our industry! I always say: "best of luck in everything you attempt". They NEVER have success.

<<<<<< yet preserves the impression that this is a drummer playing?>>>>>>>>>>>

Why bother? Nobody cares! It is simply wasted effort .... It is nowadays impossible to tell a live drummer from a sequenced drummer [when programmed by top programmers] ... Except that the sequenced drummer will arrive on time, play in time and be sober!

Finally: The other night after sound check for a concert, our drummer said: "Dec, I was in the studio today and they took 6 hours to get a sound from my drums" ... I said: "And I just took 3 minutes [using his kit, triggers and samples] - which is bigger and better?" .... He said: "no contest!" "and we can go and have a drink and a bite to eat before the show."

<<<<<<<There are lots of groups doing richer arrangements that would disappear behind a Dr Dre snare, for example.>>>>

We have faders on the mixing desks! Danny, I could repeat until I am blue in the face: "You simply will never know what went on in the studio ... Who played what, what was layered, sampled ... The job of the producer is to make the Hit record"

<<<<<<<Are you still the right guy to help me?>>>>>>>>>

If you want success then yes, if you want to argue the toss and have a chin wag, no! I give the way forward, which you will never get from anyone else.... I cannot force guys to accept what I say [and what the rest of the successful side of the Industry say].


Dec [Cluskey] dec@makehits.com

2 Gold discs in 2008! Decca have relaunched their ‘World Of’ series on the back of those hits. Readers Digest are now promoting a triple album set …. Do you think I can help your music career succeed?

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"Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today – it’s already tomorrow in Australia!”

The gags: ..... [Incredible story about an elephant's memory... from Paul ]

“A young man was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from college. While he was walking through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed so the man approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot. There was a large thorn deeply embedded in the bottom of the foot.

As carefully and as gently as he could he worked the thorn out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather stern look on its face, stared at him. For a good ten minutes the man stood frozen -- thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away.

The man never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later the man was walking through the zoo with his teenage son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to where they were standing at the rail. The large bull elephant stared at him and lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times, all the while staring at the man. The man couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

After a while it trumpeted loudly; then it continued to stare at him. The man summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. Suddenly the elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of the man's legs and swung him wildly back and forth along the railing, killing him.

Probably wasn't the same elephant."


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  • “Hi Dec £170,000 I've made in the past six months ... so many projects I haven't a minute. Number 4 in Music Week chart ... can't wait for next year ... they are predicting huge chart success for my productions. Unbelievable.
    D**** E****”

  • Enjoy video for a song I co-wrote with extraordinary Dutch singer Jenny Lane.
    I have 2 co-written songs on her great new album Monsters.
    Thanks for all the continued support & advice... Mick Lee.

  • In 2010 film, just budgeted in LA, for full theatrical in the US for $8.7mill with Paul Kay attached.
    Two Liverpool 08 commissions. First with 200 choir Second a major CD Brass Band album with Fairey Brass Band ... Phil Lawrence [UK]

  • I had my first Top Ten Hit in Germany as a songwriter, great things are happening ... I'm on tour all over Europe with the band that I'm producing. We're the official support act for 50 Cent. 15 shows in the greatest countries of Europe. Marcell Brell [Germany]

  • We played The Cavern Club in Liverpool
    Patchwork Grace were the best thing they'd ever seen!!
    Ian - Thanks again Dec! [UK]

  • I was asked to play at the Pepsi Music festival in Buenos Aires. The most important festival held on the whole South American continent. it lasts 10 days every major local star, as well as many international acts like Megadeath, The Wailers, Die Toten Hose, etc. Thanks again Dec ... Emiliano Canal [Argentina]

  • Recently I have finished a score for an independent movie called “Treehouse”. I am now composing tracks for various music libraries for licencing and am also discussing publishing the MUNKIE catalogue with various publishers. Jason Clarke. [N. Ireland]

  • This is Yosi & Ofir Nafkar from Israel member of The Serious Writer Guild Membership No NET0778030W. We wrote music for an Australian Movie By Kerry Bowden. She is a great woman who helps children in need. The movie and the music had a great success. Together we gathered 1million$. [Israel]

  • Hi Dec, some good news regarding my girlfriend Erin's songs, 3 are being used on a new American TV show. Anyway thanks again for your invaluable support, knowing your there makes this leap into the publishing world feel a lot safer ... Roger O'Donnell [The Cure]

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