SCREW THE GRAMMYS: AN OPEN LETTER TO CARMINE D'AMICO by Andrew Stergiou
(Why are you being a jerk?)
Recently I received a message from Carmine D'Amico a distinguished notable musician acquaintance of mine of some accomplishment, that I had a link to from my Yahoo 360 blog page (http://360.yahoo.com/andrew_zito), where he and I have linked blogs, by what yahoo refers to as "friends", though we have never met.
Actually now he has pissed me off, and I don't mind letting him know, since he started it by "shooting his mouth off" then deleted me from his list of complacent friends when I rebutted him, as he closed off his comments section to postings by me. So I will post this response on my blog as I found him to be intellectually gutless which I don't mind saying:
As a musician I have great respect for my hard working fellow musicians (as all musicians should), but add what musicians earn a living from isn't always from being a musician. Often the distinction as to weither or not they earn a living is based on how well connected. There are musicians who earn money as studio musicians, producers, side men, orchestra musicians, or even in bar bands, which requires, and all too often entails not mere musical ability by political clot. An often rowdy musician up on stage acting out that bad boy image, isn't exactly what you find off stage as then they are tame and well behaved, as they are too busy trying to get away with indulging themselves, habits etc..
Generally their earning power is based on political clot that can diminish when one makes comments that are found to other disliking, like what happened to the Dixie Chicks some years back when they gave George W. Bush a few well earned blasts, or if they are sellouts they can parley themselves like Ronald Reagan,and so many super starts did.
Being that Carmine has much success, that according to his site releases includes winning 24 Grammy awards.
Carmine D'Amico has played (performed) guitar for/with the likes of Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, and Bill Crosby, his credentials might go on forever. Carmine played "guitar on 2 Marianne Faithful CDs, produced by Stones' guitarist Keith Richards." (Carmine's Blog), one can not deny his has been on the inside of the music world. Maybe he was there and got the inside story when Marianne Faithful allegedly "got the boys hooked on heroin" who knows.
In any case Carmine signed to Major Label at the age of 9 (Carmine site), which means he started working for that perhaps when he was 5 or 6, which means he has me beat by about 14-15 years considering I started playing when I was 19. Perhaps In a way he reminds me of my granddad who started working making and fixing shoes when he was 6 years old, as part of the work ethics of southern European Mediterranean peoples have, working to eat, even when they don't have to. Working if we need money, working just for the heck of it, it does not matter we need to do something just to keep busy and to prevent insanity, in the curse of Saint Agnes, for which we bury ourselves in WORK even if there is no money involved.
I seem to remember this guy Carmine from down in the Little Italy Section of SOHO Manhattan back in the days on Spring Street before it became trendy, and there were Italians, in little Italy and you din't have to import them from Italy. I seem to remember from his photo being in the window of Rudy's Music Shop on
I seem to recall some one else who was involved producing Grammy hits (like Cramine), and in that instance as he was only a 2-3 time Grammy winner he earned surprisingly a low $350 an hour as his standard rate for mercenary services to produce a major label record (according to him), as one would figure it might have been more, as there are many issues of royalties labeled producing fees, and the like that add up.
In any case a musician for the moment it was an honor to be communicating with Carmine and so as to say in his presence, BUT (and that is a big buttttt), but like all celebrity types with inflated egos I learned a long time ago in dealing people (who like getting their way like anyone else) it is a question of honesty, cause if they want to get their way that is one thing but if it goes against honesty and truth the are superficial and worthless which is how I peg Carmine.
So without pulling punches, and being as fair as possible, without being too nice I was very disappointed in receiving a message from Mister Carmine D'Amico as that message was very strange, regarding the war in Iraq and jingoistic rhetoric, though critically I have observed from a distance the sides involved as technically as of yet still I have not supported nor opposed the war in Iraq (you can see that right? Good!)
He wrote in short:
-------------Carmine D wrote:
> Do not Support Starbucks Cofee.Our Soldiers in
> no.Whether you support the war ,or not,Men,and women are being killed (Our people,and the Iraqi
> people)for us, Carmine
> Subject: Fw: NO COFFEE FOR THE MARINES ***The spelling errors are those of the person who > emailed Carmine
Like the Marines in
What the heck are you saying sending out that message on Starbucks when: I found on the Starbucks web site
"Starbucks Donates to Military Personnel Starbucks, our customers and partners believe that it is critically important to support our men and women serving the United States. There are numerous examples of Starbucks Coffee Company and our partners supporting the troops. Each week Starbucks partners receive one free pound of coffee. Many partners have collected their free coffee and shipped numerous pounds of Starbucks coffee overseas. For instance, partners in our
These are just a few of the many examples of our partners supporting the troops. We recognize and appreciate the very personal connection customers have with us and how they might miss their Starbucks Experience while serving overseas. Additionally, we are humbled that the troops request Starbucks coffee.
To enhance our partners' outstanding grassroots efforts in support of the
I wrote back to Carmine to say:
Carmine I don't know if you realize it but the military has attempted to use civilians (i.e. you and me) to influence things to their (policy wonkers) advantage by have paid propagandists hype issues, when in this case they as the "US MILITARY" can buy ship etc whatever they want.
In fact I was employed for a company that was a military supplier of their PXs, my family was in the military, and I have a $1000 that says there is no real basis to that concocted story you accidentally posted which in its demeaning manner trivialized the issues. in actuality for the duration of this undeclared war (another undeclared war, how many more undeclared wars) I have not either been for or against it hoping that it exposes the crazy politics of this country as the sides argue, I have succeeded but now add that the administration has been the most underhanded and dishonest, as Saddam Hussein was a friend of the US establishment then for merely money he wasn't. Tell me one thing: What makes those establishment creeps any better than common criminals, nor beholding to a different standard, where RICO for me, is not RICO for them, and as they commit criminal acts every day in lying?
Like many Carmine did not bother to go to Starbucks website but instead he shot his mouth off, closed the conversation, withheld further comment, deleted me from his list of friends, to prevent me from commenting, after actually he was the one who made the public comment on the state of the nation but couldn't back it up. If he likes I will give his sorry ass an opportunity to rebut anything said if he want to arrange an opportunity to telephone me where I can record the conversation for a pod cast until then I suppose we can call him a good musician who happens to act like a jerk.