way to go.

Around this time, a letter came from Way To Go!.  It read something like this:

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we need you to send us a new master tape and artwork for the following titles:

cuppa joe: nurture

The Mommyheads: Flying Suit

Until we receive the new tape and artwork, we cannot proceed with the manufacturing process.  We apologize for the inconvenience.”

What.  The. FUCK?!

I got on the phone and called my customer service rep, and got no answer.  I called again.  And again.  I left multiple voice mails, and left multiple messages with the receptionist.

Finally, I asked to speak with her supervisor.

“I’m hoping you can help me,” I said. “I received this letter, asking me to send you a new master tape and artwork for two titles that you’re currently pressing for us.”

“Oh, yes.  How can I help you with that?”

“Well,” I proceeded, “I can’t exactly do that. I sent you the original master tapes, and the original artwork for printing on the CD.  There are no copies.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” he said. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do.  We need you to send us new material.”

I tried to understand what could have resulted in both my master tapes and both sets of artwork getting destroyed, particularly since I’d sent them both about a month apart.  “Why?!” I asked.

“Again, like the letter says, it’s due to circumstances beyond our control.”

“No.  You don’t understand.  There is no other copy of the artwork or masters. I cannot get these things to you,” I explained.  “What happened to my masters and my artwork?”

There was silence on the other end of the phone for a few seconds.

“Look,” the voice said.  “I’ll level with you.  We’re a middleman – we don’t actually manufacture the CDs.  Unfortunately, the replicating plant that we were using for your CDs has gone out of business.  When they closed their doors, they took all the master tapes and artwork with them.  We want to send your project to a different replicator, but we can’t get your masters and artwork back.”

It was my turn to be quiet.  How the hell could something like this happen?

I felt reasonably sure that I could get a new master from Adam for Flying Suit, as he probably kept one for himself anyway.  I also figured I could get a new DAT of the nurture CD from cuppa joe.  

But the artwork – Jesus!  The cuppa joe artwork was original artwork from steve.  The Mommyheads artwork was original artwork from the artist the band commissioned in San Francisco.  How could I call those two guys and tell them that their original art was gone, and that they needed to make new art?

“You’ve got to get that artwork back,” I said. “I can get new DATs, but the artwork – that’s original artwork.  Both pieces were designed by hand, and those are the only copies available.  I can’t ask them to make new art.”

“I’ll see what I can do, and I’ll call you back,” he said.

I hung up the phone.  I was livid.  How could I call the bands and let them know this?

Furthermore, I thought these CDs were well along the way to being manufactured.  I hadn’t even gotten test copies yet, and I needed to release these records in the summer.  It was starting to get late in the process.  I wasn’t that concerned with cuppa joe, but the Mommyheads were planning a tour!  They needed to have new CDs in time for their tour.  I couldn’t let them down.

I was pretty frantic.

A couple of days went by before I heard back from the supervisor, who told me that they could not get my artwork back.  I was going to have to make new art.

Now I was really frantic.

I decided to wait until after we moved to deal with it.  Maybe things would work out.  Maybe I was freaking out for no reason, and the replicator would be returning all the DATs and artwork to Way To Go!, and I’d be creating anxiety among cuppa joe and The Mommyheads for no reason.  

When I mentioned it to Rich, he said “I can fix it.  I have copies of everything.”

I had given Rich the artwork so that he could turn the booklets and tray cards into transparencies for silkscreening.  He made copies of the films for the CD artwork as well.  “Why did you do that?” I asked.

“A good printer always makes an extra set of films,” he said.  “Plus I’m using the films for my portfolio.”

Rich was still developing his “graphic designer” portfolio.  And I was thanking the cosmos for it.  “Dude, you’re the greatest,” I told him.

“Well, you’ll still have to deal with the artists when you tell them they can’t get their original art back, but at least you’ll be able to make the CDs.”

“Fine.  Whatever.  I don’t care,” I said.

 

~ by Al on May 5, 2009.

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