Taking Our Members To The Intersection
of Access and Information.

As I've said before, our annual Road Rally is the high point of my "professional" year. My head swells (not to mention my pride) when I stand back and take it all in. The Rally is the ultimate expression of all that TAXI stands for. It's neatly summed up in just a few words plastered on the huge banner that we hang on the wall behind the panelists. "TAXI, Taking You To The Intersection Of Access And Information."

Access to the music industry? Certainly. We do that all year long, but we do it more directly at the Rally. One look at the photo of our over-zealous members storming the dais should convince you of that!


OneMusic CEO Jim Long being assaulted by a throng of members.

The members whose songs get played during the panels are the lucky recipients of access of the very best kind -- exposure to several industry executives all in one shot. It doesn't get any better than that! But there are two other important types of access that happen at the Road Rally. The first is the face-to-face meetings between our members and TAXI's great staff and A&R team. And the second is the access the members have to each other. The amount of informal collaborating that goes on in the hallways, lounges, and other nooks and crannies of the hotel is amazing. You can barely turn a corner without seeing members playing their music for other members. It's more heartwarming than an episode of Lassie. I'm not kidding!!


EMI Music Publishing Sr. Vice-President of Creative accepting a tape from a TAXI member.

As for the information aspect of the Road Rally . . . what can I say other than I think it's safe to say that there's no where else on the planet where anyone could get so much great information from so many high-level people in such a short amount of time. But please don't take my jaded word for it. Here are some letters from members who attended this year's Rally. "Thank you" to everyone who took the time to write and tell us how valuable the Road Rally was to you.

Michael Laskow
TAXI President




Arista's Mike Sistad.

Dear Michael,

I want to take this time to tell you what a pleasure it was to finally get to meet you at the Road Rally. Although, I had the opportunity to thank you in person for the wonderful weekend, I'd like to tell you again.

Thank you, as well as your entire staff at TAXI, for the great opportunity to network with my peers and the music professionals. To learn from the professionals on the panels was the gift, not to mention what a great time I had. Your entire staff were genuinely nice, in addition to doing a great job.

Since coming back from the Road Rally, I have enthusiastically reported to all my Philadelphia songwriting friends and acquaintances about the weekend. In fact, I'm in the process of giving additional information about TAXI to two songwriters I met last night at NSAI meeting. They seemed extremely interested after I spoke to the group about my wonderful experience at the Road Rally. Perhaps I can recruit them for membership!

It is most certainly my honor to be a member of TAXI. Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Sharon Weinbrum
Chadds Ford, PA





Dear Michael,

I felt a strong will to write you (after our TAXI weekend in L.A.) and tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend in its' entirety. I got back home and you, the speakers, and so forth kept playing through my mind in a very positive way.

Unfortunately, I did not have my song(s) critiqued, nor did I get to play at the "Open Mic" (I was dying to, though...well, maybe next year), nor did I get to personally meet you. I had the perfect time to introduce myself to you several times but I haven't quite figured out how to get rid of this "shy-bug" inside.

Anyhow, the whole weekend was very cool. It was great to actually see you so heavily involved with the "question and answer" sessions, and just being so much a part of the Road Rally. I commend you!

I look forward to another year with TAXI and will already plan to attend next year's musical weekend. Today, there are only two words that describe my future goal and that is "hit songs."

Yours truly,

Tennessee Tuckness
Amarillo, TX





Dear Michael, Doug, and The Entire Staff,

You Rock! Thanks so much for another superior weekend. We learned a lot, as usual, and we loved the new panel on the Internet future...Very cool. It was great to be able to meet all the publishers and industry folks face to face, plus lots of awesome networking with fellow artists and writers took place, as well. You all put a lot of hard work into the Road Rally and it showed. Thanks again for caring so much about your members.

Sincerely,

Cher Klosner Lane



P.S. The TAXI website is awesome.

P.P.S. To whoever slips in the "comments" in the song listings: You make my gut hurt from laughing so hard! Thanks! Keep 'em coming!





Hit songwriter Jon Lind (Save The Best For Last-Vanessa Williams) is very popular with mostly female TAXI members.

Dear Michael and Doug,

Thank you and the whole TAXI staff for another wonderful Road Rally. While I was unable to attend the second day (my current film score -- feature film number eight -- is keeping me quite busy), I did get a lot of useful information and ideas from the panels on Saturday. Also, I always find it very inspiring to be in the company of so many fellow lunatics who seriously believe in the possibility of living off the art and craft of music.

Personally, I find the moderated portions of the panels a lot more informative than their Q&A counterparts, and I would prefer to hear more detailed comments from the A&R professionals during the "Pitch Panels" rather than squeezing as many songs in as possible. I assume, though, that the majority of the attendees would disagree, and this is only a minor issue for me.

Thanks again for a terrific conference, and for doing an outstanding job in "environmental damage control" in the world of music. Thanks to you, some good music can survive that otherwise would be dead and gone.

Kubilay Uner





TAXI members Jim Funk (L) and Erik Hickenlooper (center) being honored by Doug Minnick and the Rally attendees for getting a cut with Kenny Rogers through TAXI.

To my dear friends at TAXI,

I just walked through my door from this year's TAXI Road Rally '99 and wanted to make sure I didn't put off writing you guys a short note of our appreciation. This is the 3rd Rally my wife, Amy, and I have attended and once again you have outdone yourselves. From getting many experienced and incredibly candid panel members, to the screening/critiquing song sessions, to the evening live showcases and the impromptu jams in the lobby, just everything about what you tried and succeeded to do with this weekend we feel you accomplished. When Amy and I reflected for a few minutes (over a Bombay Sapphire or two) in the lobby, we could only begin to imagine the hours, weeks, and months of preparation, planning, and coordinating an event like this must take... Not to mention the financial aspects involved. It's a performance by TAXI above and beyond the call of duty. The real kicker is the fact that you HAVE NEVER (!!) charged your members or their guests one thin dime extra for all of this, and for that I tip my bandanna (not literally, of course) to all of you. But then again, knowing your track record as we do, we never expected anything less than giving it all from your heart.

We just wanted to give you very fine people a BIG FORWARD on your extraordinary efforts for this rewarding weekend. Thanks so much, guys.

XOXOXO,

Jimmy & Amy Muffin




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"I look forward to another year with TAXI and will already plan to attend next year's musical weekend."
— Tennessee Tuckness,
TAXI Member


"As always, a great Rally! I really can't believe that anyone serious about making it in the music business would even consider missing it."
— Roy Flower,
TAXI Member

"I really appreciate these opportunities so much."
— Justine Kaye,
TAXI Member





"To learn from the professionals on the panels was the gift, not to mention what a great time I had."
— Sharon Weinbrum,
TAXI Member

"It was well worth the trip. You can count on me being back next year..."
— Zupe,
TAXI Member


"Thank you and the whole TAXI staff for another wonderful Road Rally."
— Kubilay Uner,
TAXI Member

"TAXI offers bands and songwriters, serious chances, wonderful opportunities, and many, many reasons not to give up on your dreams and that is worth everything."
— Justine Kaye,
TAXI Member





"You all put a lot of hard work into the Road Rally and it showed. Thanks again for caring so much about your members."
— Cher Klosner Lane,
TAXI Member

"Thanks again for a great time."
— Zupe,
TAXI Member


"Just want to thank you again for the great Road Rally and for all the great work you guys do for us all year long."
— Hunter Payne,
TAXI Member