03.09.04 BMI Comes to Marco Island
www.BMI.com is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music. Everyone from John Lennon to Willie Nelson.
I've been a member of BMI for many years, but you couldn't prove it from my royalty checks. Zilch. But that's only because JRobert and none of his songs are famous. I sometimes pay BMI to publish my own renditions of Jimmy Buffett songs...but that's an honor.
So anyhow, Francis Preston is the President of BMI and I have heard nothing but admiration and praise of her, not only from within the business, but from mutual friends who are neighbors of hers. I was destined to meet Francis someday, I always wondered how, when, or why, but I knew it was meant to be. I'd even tried to contact her a couple times while doing business in Nashville...another story.
BMI contacted me via Ocean Beach Resort to round up some buddies to entertain their festivities in Marco Island, March 4th thru March 9th 2004. Cool. Upon their specific requests, I called Frankie Paul & His Italian Accordion for Sale la Pepe Night, Michael Oakland Samba DudeTrio for Jazz Under the Chickee Hut Night, JRobert played the Kahuna Sail, and Mitch Peters BMI Dove Award Winner accompanied by JRobert violinist on Marco Yacht Club Grand BMI Awards Night featuring John Secada!
So there we were, Mitch and I, dressed up in our little tuxedos playing violin and grand piano in the Harbour Room of the Marco Island Yacht Club, really cruising along with our guests requests. BMI tunes only. It was actually a challenge to stump the band, countered by a challenge to see whether we could slip any ASCAP songs under their nose...without mentioning it even if we did.
So, here's Mitch Peters...long time piano bar artist at the Hilton and Marriott for over 30 years, BMI Dove Award winner in his own right, and probably 10,000 songs played by heart under his 88-key belt. And he's accompanied by JRobert. Mr Ears. The guy who can jam with almost anyone in the business comfortably.
Meanwhile, one of the CEO's of BMI European division walks over and hands us some sheet music from a John Secada Broadway song. Sheet music, for chrissakes! Silence.
Mitch doesn't read. It would be like kicking a dead horse or floating a lead feather. So he looks at me.
I wasn't about to start sight reading a piece of music I've never seen or heard before and hacking it up into little bits in front of the author, John Secada, President Francis Preston, and God!
So, we smiled, broke into an abbreviated version of Miami Sound Machine's "Rythm's Gonna Getcha!" and took a break.