Lester Chambers releases video. Yoko Ono supports him

More proof, if any be needed, that the music business is filled with predatory parasites. “The Time Has Come” by The Chambers Brothers has been widely licensed by the record company but the band received pennies. Lester Chambers went public with this and now Yoko One is supporting him. Good.

Chambers also said “our hit song” was licensed to over 100 “films, TV & commercials without our permission.” He concluded the message by stating his current economic status, trying to live on $1,200 US a month, with music charity Sweet Relief taking donations for him. Chambers also said only one percent of those in his situation are financially capable of suing for royalties, stating: “I AM THE 99 Percent.”


  1. I was a regular at the legendary Ash Grove in Hollywood back in the day and never more so than when the Chambers Brothers played there. That band COOKED ! Man, were they exciting to see/hear. I hope something can be done to redress this injustice…to them and other musicians who were robbed by “the suits”.

    • Yeah, the Chambers Brothers were amazing!

      In the 1960’s Willie Dixon sued Led Zep over a song they stole, won, then started a foundation to help other musicians get what was rightfully due them. The foundation succeeded in doing so many times.

  2. Just another example, if we needed any, of the 1% ripping off the 99%. This is why the 1% should be taxed harshly. It’s the only way to get back some of what they routinely steal.

    Not all the 1% are bad people. Some are even liberal! But as a group, they need tougher regulations, watching and more restrictions on what they do (financially) than the rest of us.

    Make the Rich Pay! Make Big Business Pay! Make the 1% Pay!

  3. I’ll admit the band probably got ripped off, but come on, did they just wake up and wonder where all their money went or what? Gee, shouldn’t we have gotten paid like 20+ years ago a bunch of money? It’s not like somebody is covering up a murder here, the idiots just didn’t think to sue the record label like 20 years ago when they should have? Come on, these guys went on tour and played a lot of concerts and got no paycheck at the end of a week or even a month or a year and didn’t think to stop playing and sue the pants off the record label? Somehow I don’t think we’re getting the full story here. How did the band support themselves if they made no money from the concerts or records? Didn’t they at one point wonder when the money was going to show up? Like even a year later, not 20+ years later like idiots? That’s why I think the band was either on drugs or mentally ill. Love the music, and still feel sorry they were probably ripped off, but 20+ years later and pretty much they let record label roll all over them. Anybody know what the statue of limitations is on something like this?

    • They didn’t have the money to sue and were probably getting by on touring.

      Exene Cervenka of legendary LA punk band X recently was asked about pirating of their music. She said do, it, adding that after Slash (their original label) got sold to a bigger label they have gotten practically no royalties. Several years previously, when they were on Slash, she said they were doing well.

      Stories like this are common in music. It costs hundreds of thousands to sue a big label with no guarantee you will win and they will drag it out for years. They will deliberately not honor contracts they have made, make up bullshit numbers, and if you don’t like it, sue them.

      I find your determined defense of music industry suits curious indeed as you apparently applaud what the suits do as you spit on the musicians for being stupid, which they aren’t. They know goddamn well they’re being ripped off but have no recourse.

  4. Listen if you’re touring and the record company isn’t writing you checks and you hear you have a top of the chart hit and sales are through the roof, you stop touring and get on the radio shows and tell the people the record label isn’t paying you for squat. You get an attorney on a contingency basis on a multi-million dollar suit against the record label, and that’s how you deal with that. Many musicians that were screwed over have done just that and have won with very little effort on their part. I’m not saying the record industry isn’t screwing it’s artists where it can and getting away with it, I’m saying that those artists are also allowing them to by continuing to work for them if they aren’t being paid. You do have a point with made up numbers but you can make up numbers anywhere you want to for any industry when it comes to a percentage based royalty. I’m sure there are clever accounting tricks that are used as well as downright fraudulent reporting going on. However, that’s an entirely different issues over being paid anything at all.

    • The game is rigged.

      Why Even Major Label Musicians Rarely Make Money From Album Sales

      Courtney Love on how a million dollar advance costs the band two million


      Last November, a Congressional aide named Mitch Glazier, with the support of the RIAA, added a “technical amendment” to a bill that defined recorded music as “works for hire” under the 1978 Copyright Act.

      He did this after all the hearings on the bill were over. By the time artists found out about the change, it was too late. The bill was on its way to the White House for the president’s signature.

      That subtle change in copyright law will add billions of dollars to record company bank accounts over the next few years — billions of dollars that rightfully should have been paid to artists. A “work for hire” is now owned in perpetuity by the record company.

      Let’s see, you’ve defended TSA because you’re terrified of terrorists and now you defend record company exploitation of musicians. I guess you are unclear of the point of Polzeros.

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