[TypicalGirls] rough trade

maria tessa sciarrino maria at plainparade.org
Fri Feb 17 12:15:54 EST 2006

im not sure if i have my history right, but didnt RT sell off the rights
to a lot of stuff in the 80's? i recall reading an interview with scrawl
where they had to buy their stuff back... this is from an interview
jenny toomey did with sue & marcy:

> That was a really interesting time to be on an independent label and
> to tour.
> Sue: It was.
> Can you talk a little bit about it?
> Sue: Initially it was great. They gave us money to make a record.
> Marcy: We're talking $1,000. We thought it was unbelievable that
> someone was going to give us $1,000 to make a record. We ended up
> going with Rough Trade, mostly because Steve Connell was just the
> best guy in the whole world and struck us as truly sincere. Rough
> Trade had this history of being a cooperative kind of label, and kind
> of almost socialist. The Smiths were there and the Pixies. In
> England, they were a huge independent label and really highly
> respected. It was crazy. We made He's Drunk and we toured. It was
> very exciting because we got to play in San Francisco all of a
> sudden. We did L.A., playing in people's basements on the way there
> and on the way back. And Lubbock, Texas.
> Sue: Canada. We played Canada.
> Marcy: It was completely arm in arm with Nice Strong Arm for the
> first year. Thank God, because when there were bad shows, we could
> hang out together.
> Sue: There were a lot of bad shows. I think we had a rule that if the
> crowd outnumbered the band members, we would play. And thank God it
> always worked out that there were three people in the audience.
> Marcy: We played a lot of six-people shows. Well, then our record got
> really good reviews and then Rough Trade became not socialist and not
> fun anymore. They were trying to make more money. We felt really,
> really pressured after the second record. Like, major label kind of
> pressure. It was weird.
> Sue: At one point, they wanted us to sign a contract for a third
> record. So they Fedexed the last page of the contract to every club
> we played in -- because we were on tour -- thinking we would sign it
> without reading the rest of the contract.
> Marcy: I don't even remember that.
> Sue: We didn't sign it. And luckily we didn't, because they went
> bankrupt within a year.
> "Their Masters' Voice"
> Sue: They owned the first three records that we did. They had the
> master tapes. So, we're in Columbus. We're just trying to wash our
> hands of the whole situation and just move on. And we realized,
> thanks to a friend who lived in New York, that they were auctioning
> off all of their master tapes like the next day.
> Marcy: It was actually Terry Tolkien who started working with us
> right before Rough Trade went bankrupt. When Rough Trade went
> bankrupt Terry went on to work for Elektra. Well, he called us one
> day and said, "Did you know that Rough Trade is having an auction of
> their masters tomorrow?" Like, tomorrow. And all of these bands,
> they're stuck. Your masters, three records, masters, art work,
> everything is up for auction and we didn't even know about it.
> Sue: So, we asked a friend, Dan Dow, who owns a record store in
> Columbus, if he would lend us $1500 bucks and we wired it to Terry--
> Marcy: Under the guise of being from Elektra, he bid on our stuff and
> got it back for us. That's how we got the rights back to our first
> three records was because he called us the day before and was willing
> to go and bid on them for us.
> Sue: ...and Dan was willing to shell out $1500.

can anyone clear this up for me?


Jason Gross wrote:

> Sad to say, as much as I love Rough Trade, they're not keen on 
> keeping older items available.  I understand that they want to focus
>  on the new artists that they have but they should be proud of their
>  history also.

More information about the TypicalGirls mailing list