"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for putting on
such an incredibly comprehensive weekend and inviting
me to be a part of it."

— Laurie Z
TAXI Member

RCA Sr. VP of A&R, Bruce Flohr tries to get Tommy Hilfiger's attention
Dear Passengers:

The dust has settled, and Road Rally '98 is now behind us. But the effect it had on our members appears to be long-lasting.

During the course of the weekend, they learned about the real nuts and bolts of the music industry from some extremely articulate A&R people who have signed acts like the Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, and No Doubt, just to name a few. They learned about songwriting from two teams of experts who have enough gold and platinum hanging on their walls to open a chain of jewelry stores. I would venture to say that our Film and TV Music panel was the best ever put together. Our members loved it. And Randy Bachman delivered a very inspirational keynote speech that was grounded in reality and filled with hope.

But maybe the best thing that happened during that beautiful, Southern California weekend was that members got to meet the industry folks up close and personal, and meet other members.

None of this could have happened without a lot of hard work from the same terrific staff that keeps TAXI's motor humming all year long -- Doug Minnick, Serrina Sims, Solmaz Allen, Alex Reed, Miatta Wilson, Anthony Solario, Lori Scalise, and of course, my partner Michael Lederer. I'd like to thank them once again for a job well done.

We all had a great time putting on Road Rally '98, but rather than me rambling on about how great it was, we're dedicating much of this month's TAXI Meter to letters that have come in from your fellow members who experienced it first-hand. We hope you can join us for next year's Rally!

I hope you have a healthy and successful 1999!

Warm regards,


Dear Michael,

Just wanted to send out a huge thank you for the incredible Road Rally this last weekend. My partner and I came down from Portland, OR, with absolutely no expectations-and were pleasantly blown away by the event. The nightly open mics were great and the panels were informative. I didn't mind coming home with a sore butt from all the sitting, because the information I came away with was better than anything I've done to date toward becoming a better songwriter (and for God's sake, it was all free!). We have a better understanding of how the business works, and now know how high the bar is set. It will truly make us better songwriters.

And I have to tell you: It's one thing to hear the hype, to take a chance on signing up and sending in real money, and to hope that you (TAXI) really are who you say you are. After this weekend, seeing who showed up to serve on your panels, to see the respect, to feel the totally supportive vibe in the room, I'm convinced you guys are everything you've said you are and more. In this world that doesn't happen very often. Keep up the great work.

Looking forward to pitching like a maniac,

Don Campbell
Portland, Oregon


Interscope VP of A&R, Tony Ferguson gives a little free advice and gets a free CD in return


Just thought I'd drop you a note and thank you for the great TAXI weekend. I learned much more than I anticipated and am spending the next few weeks slicing and dicing my songs, making stronger opening lines, trimming solos, creating better titles, and getting better singers to do my vocals.

I'd like to thank all the great people who I met over the weekend for their compliments and conversations and hope to see everyone at the next Rally.

Happy trails,
Randy (Bachman)
Salt Spring Island, B.C.


Dear Michael:

This will be fast because I've returned from the Road Rally focused, with hopes strengthened by Reality. Last year's Rally left me very inspired and a little overwhelmed, but now I'm ready. May the new stuff be good stuff!

A terrific Road Rally--somehow even better than the first. Please pass praise on to Michael Lederer, Doug and the staff. Where did you find all of those non-attitudinous, hard-working souls? Mercy!
  • great panels and panelists (smart, candid, knowledgeable, funny)
  • nicely lubricated organizationally
  • cool T-shirts, cool badges
  • a real piano at the open mics-nice touch; please reprise
  • a hotel and hotel staff that were just peachy-reprise that, too!
  • the TAXI membership-wow!!-what a cross section!
A suggestion for next year's Rally: You are a tactful, diplomatic, compassionate guy. There must be some way that you, as host, can get the more loquacious, ėround-about' overly self-centered question askers to keep it in the ballpark.

I had my first band in 1963; graduated Berklee in 1975; have played, written, arranged, recorded and taught in a respectable spectrum of venues, including ten years in NYC. I've been a working musician for thirty five (wait--can this be!?) years. And except for a few years in the Air Force, no day job.

It's been great, yet despite some good and solid industry relationships, it has been unbelievably hard getting anything to almost anyone. And I'm not some slouch!

TAXI, at a few hundred bucks a year and five dollars a pop is literally the bargain of a lifetime. Charge me twice that and I'm still happy. You want $20, $50 for the Road Rally? Delighted! TAXI is not only legit, educational and friendly, it's more for the money than anything else I can think of. So to all those not-so-well-informed ... get a grip! This is the real deal, in all its meanings.

Gotta run. But one last time, THANKS!

Bill Gordon
Miami, FL


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

"I can't thank you guys enough for everything you do."
— Peter Elakis,
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

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

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

"It is most certainly my honor to be a member of TAXI. Thank you again."
— Sharon Weinbrum,
TAXI Member