'One Minute With Dec' 07 Feb 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-]

"Good quality information usually costs money" Eric Holmlund


    So ’29 main words in a hit toon’ really works? [Florian scores big time using the theory]
    A nice compliment? [a proud mother wants help]]
    A usual ‘copyright’ question [How to keep your writing safe]

    Subscriber's Section [ Rock School franchises ]
    The gags: ..... [ bad news solution … from Dorothy ]

So ’29 main words in a hit toon’ really works? [Florian scores big time using the theory]

My theory on cutting down your lyrical content to 29 main words or less causes a lot of controversy and downright anger among writers who have not had success yet.

The music newsgroups get very angry when confronted with the simple fact that the less words you use in a lyric the more chance the toon has of being a commercial, sellable success. Simple fact. John Lennon always aspired to write a one word song with one chord. Paul McCartney almost achieved it with a one line song.

One of our more successful members of ‘The Serious Writers Guild’ in Germany wrote me this Email:

“Hi Dec!

Just a few words regarding your 29 word theory:

There was one member mentioned in one of your latest newsletter who disagreed about it. Well, here is my experience with it.

I recently produced a track which was one of the best selling dance songs on iTunes in Germany this Winter and the (to be honest crappy) video topped the VIVA Club Rotation #1 for several weeks in a row. The act is House Rockerz feat. Unter Druck. If you plan to book this act today you have to do that 8 months in advance - full calendar! The act also supports Scooter on their Germany Tour and I will produce their show.

So, this is my resume for the most successful song I´ve been involved so far:

"House Rockerz feat. Unter Druck - Nur tanzen" different words used TOTAL: 53

Key words: 11

use of the MAIN word "tanzen": 16

text lines (sentences) total: 12

Well, I will never ever again produce anything that can´t stand the 29 test. GRIN! I mean, it´s so obvious for commercial TOP10 POP music, just examine Video Phone by Beyoncé & Lady Gaga. Brilliant, haha!

Flo [in Germany]”

And it’s all in ’57 Secrets of a Hit Record’ at http://www.makehits.com/57Secrets.htm

"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people
into thinking they can't lose." Bill Gates

A nice compliment? [a proud mother wants help]

How about this for a compliment?

“I need help please!! My youngest daughter has joined the Royal Navy and is awaiting her first ship. After listening to your album this morning whilst ironing, the lyrics to 'Walk with Faith in your Heart' is very appropriate to what I want to say to her before she goes. I have looked on the internet and on your site and cannot seem to find these lyrics. Would it be possible for you to forward me an attachment or a copy of the lyrics so I can send them to her.

Many thanks from a very proud mum who was brought up listening to your music with my parents on a Sunday afternoon, around the record player.

E**** S***”

Of course I gave her the link….


Simply Google “lyrics Walk With Faith in Your Heart” [I just did].

The top result will be for my band’s hit version and will bring you to http://www.top40db.net/Lyrics/?SongID=67322

That gives the lyrics in total … simply highlight the lyrics … then paste into a ‘word’ document and choose whatever nice font you want …. You can also personalise that with clip art [in Word programme]. Print onto a nice parchment paper. You could even frame that?

Your daughter will love it.


"Stay hungry." Steve Jobs

A usual ‘copyright’ question [How to keep your writing safe]

I had this sent to me ….

"Is Mailing a registered letter containing a copy of my music just as good as an "official" copyright?"

The Answer: For this one, we turn to Dorothy Richardson, of the Law Offices of Dorothy Richardson, for an answer: "A common myth is that you can obtain the same protection as a federal copyright registration by mailing a copy of your script or song lyrics to yourself, or by registering a script with the Writers' Guild of America. These methods are sometimes called 'the poor man's copyright.'

The truth is that at best, these methods may serve as proof of the date on which a work was created but they will not

provide you with all of the remedies available for copyright infringement under U.S. law. These include the ability to recover attorney's fees and statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work."

Interesting …. I would not explain the situation that way, however. The best way to imagine keeping your copyright safe is to picture yourself in front of a judge, when someone has nicked your toon!

The more proof you can offer, in real terms, the quicker you can close the case … so, the ‘proof of postage’ method for proving your material existed at a certain date in time is invaluable.

The other solid method is a copyright certificate from a publishing company … and why should that not be from your own publishing company? No need to pay others for a copyright certificate when you can issue your own?

Go to How to Start Your Own Music Publishing company for less than £100

By the way, if you use the Library of Congress system in the USA, be aware that you pay per application to them … so make sure you bundle a lot of toons together so that you only pay for that one application.

[the above should not be construed as legal advice under any laws, past present or future of any country]

"Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get."
Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's


“We are so flat out with work that I’m gonna be tied up with existing projects for the next year or so.

Yes, things are going very well. The studio has been booked fairly solidly.

Thanks heaps! Cheers

Damian Codotto

Recording Engineer [Australia].”

"Capital isn't scarce; vision is." Sam Walton [founder of Wal-Mart]

Subscriber's Section [ Rock School franchises ]

“Hi Dec,

This Rock Teaching franchise is not the right choice for me then. do you have anything against franchises in general or against teaching children music a different way to keep them motivated and alive?

Best regards


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]


Teaching music is all about integrity …

It starts from the premise that the teacher will teach in a manner that will encourage the child or pupil to make a success of whatever they are being taught. And that is particularly important in music.

This country [UK] is full of music colleges that are staffed by failed musicians and failed sound engineers … the logic is that if they were successful they would not be working per hour in a college?

The average sound/music college simply buys the latest equipment [rarely the best, just the latest] and lets the students loose on that equipment with little supervision. They are rarely taught industry standard methodology because:

a) The teacher does not know the industry standard

b) It is easy to get a sound out of ‘idiot proof’ equipment … it is designed to work straight out of the box with no instructions read.

With the result the students end up as clones of the teachers … usually tired, 60’s rockers hoping for ancient Rock ‘n Roll to come back … no knowledge of the chart and certainly no knowledge of today’s production and arrangement requirements. They end up bitter and twisted like the teachers.

As I have said, there is one exception: Brighton Modern Music Institute.

The franchise business is even worse than the usual colleges. Anyone can buy a franchise, have no knowledge to give … just follow the tried and tested route as designed by the original franchise owner and produce yet more disappointed music makers.

Sorry to sound so negative … I once employed a sound technology guy with a degree from Leeds University … he could not wire a plug when asked!

Enough said!

There was a huge rush some years ago to buy franchises of an Agency idea … they sprung up all over the UK … strange, I never hear of them today.


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?

Check out 'How to Make A £Million From your Music' at http://www.makehits.co.uk. Secure purchase at https://secure.mistral.co.uk/makehits/swgappsecure.htm or fast cred*it card line: +44 1323.728005 or UK 01323.728005

“3 Minutes on the Radio with Dec” …. Available immediately at http://www.myspace.com/makehits

"A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination
and usually the best way to get there." H. Stanley Judd

The gags: ..... [ bad news solution … from Dorothy ]

“A Jewish man was sitting at a coffee bar reading an Arab newspaper.

A friend of his, who happened to be visiting near him, noticed this strange phenomenon. Very upset, he approached him and said: 'Moshe, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading an Arab newspaper?'

Moshe replied, 'I used to read the Jewish newspapers, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted, Israel being attacked, Jews disappearing through assimilation and intermarriage, Jews living in poverty. So I switched to the Arab newspaper. Now what do I find?

Jews own all the banks, Jews control the media, Jews are all rich and powerful, Jews rule the world. The news is so much better!' “


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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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