"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

Randy Jackson (L) telling a member, "No, I'm not related to Michael Jackson. I'm V.P. of A&R at MCA Records. Almo Sounds Director of A&R, Andy Olyphant steals sunglasses from a member, while Ron Fair and Tony Ferguson contemplate their escape.

Dear Michael,

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. They do so at their peril. Here are some other thoughts:

What could have been more illuminating than the A&R Pitch Panel, where the audience voted along with the panel as to the merits of a member's song? And what could have been more "Real World?" I know of one guy whose weekend was ruined by the experience, but maybe he learned something about keeping his next intro SHORT.

...And that great "Business Unusual" panel with all those major Internet players! Anybody with a website who missed that panel should consider their loss a major professional catastrophe.


Interscope V.P. of A&R, Tony Ferguson looking at a cassette like he's never seen one before in his life!

The same songwriting/demo advice was again offered to those who would listen: short intros, plenty of melodic and harmonic contrast, know your song forms and use them, no guitar solos in the middle of the demo. Keep the production clean, clear, and simple. Keep the vocal out in front. Get the best demo singer you can. Don't use a drum machine. The A&R guy's ear is very, very impatient. You still don't think so? Write your first 100 songs and throw them away. Then you might be ready to say something. Know your genre.

Remember what Raleigh Pinsky said: "You are a business." Remember what Ralph Murphy said: "Knowledge is power." Read Billboard. Be current. Know what's happening.

If you're at one of the mics on the floor at the Rally, write out your question in advance and keep it short and to the point. "Ummm" is not a word. Get it together.

I've learned that much can be gained by rereading the TAXI Meters. Several times I've come across really important stuff that I missed the first time around.

Can't wait 'til next year!

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

Love,

Roy Flower





Dear Taxi,

Wow! That was fantastic! It was so very cool to meet you and the industry folk you brought along. It was well worth the trip. You can count on me being back next year and now I have a new goal....one day I want to be a panelist!

Thanks again for a great time. Oh yeah, I got a rejection notice from you today. Roses still have thorns. ; )

Zupe





Ron Fair, V.P. of A&R at RCA smiling because he signed Christina Aguilara and the band Lit in the same year.

Dear Taxi,

Rather than reiterate what I've heard countless members praise your company for, I wanted to thank you for the giant gift you have given me: Perspective.

More important than the information contained in the reviews, the expansion of knowledge at the Road Rallies, or even the industry contacts via the forwarded submissions, The ability to internalize the way the music business listens to songs has been worth far more than any amount we have paid to TAXI. (This is not an endorsement for higher rates!)


Hollywood Records Director of A&R, Marshall Altman does his level best to imitate Jethro Bodine (Beverly Hillbillies).

My band has taken the TAXI model of song critique and used it to form our own screening sessions. Our four-piece band includes three contributing writers, so now we present our ideas to the others to be "screened" before we begin to play the new material. We use each other as sounding boards before the objectivity about a new creation wears off. Much like the process of co-writing, each of us has our strengths that we attempt to utilize to improve the body of our work. (Unlike Taxi however, we will write things like "sucks", "lame", and, "worst lyrics I've ever read".) This extra process may seem like a lot of wasted time, when you figure we will send these songs in to be professionally screened anyway, but consider this: At the Road Rally public screenings, the audience and the screeners agreed on virtually every aspect of every submission. So why do otherwise talented members submit lackluster material? A simple lack of objectivity at the writing stage. A song being great or poor is obvious to everyone except the person who writes it. This leads to my belief that while creativity may be the key to artistic success, objectivity is the key to commercial success.

Thanks for the perspective.

Jeffry Wynne Prince
from "Roy's Love Virus"
Sacramento, CA





Internet Guru Jim Griffin (in case you couldn't tell from the sign in front of him).

It never stops. First . . . Road Rally was amazing. I had been hit from behind in a terrible car accident a few days before and nothing was going to stop me from being there. Now on top of it all, I'm getting great emails from people who share the same passions and motivations as I do because they are responding to my listing from the Musician Referral area on the TAXI website. I really appreciate these opportunities so much.

I've told friends about TAXI and I saw a couple of their faces at the Road Rally cause they knew they had to sign up to go to it and I was thinking, "YOU WON'T BE SORRY." Nothing bad can come from belonging to this unbelievable organization that has definitely allowed my songs to be stronger than ever. We can see the reaction not only from forwards we're receiving but even from a publishing company we were signed to before we joined TAXI who are taking notice of our material now more than ever. I had the drive, I had the passion, I just needed help and you keep supplying it.


The Hit Songwriter panelists. L to R: Ralph Murphy (Crystal Gayle, Kathy Mattea), Michael Anderson (Maybe It Was Memphis), Jon Lind (Crazy For You), Leon Ware (Marvin Gaye to Maxwell), Stephen Bray (Into the Groove, Express Yourself).

Where else do you feel this support? I love it that I can feel good about where I am , but look incredibly forward to how much better my songs are going to continue to get. It's really magical seeing it right before your eyes by people's reactions. I shall keep you posted on forwards that come to pass.

I'm due for a renewal in a couple of months and you better believe I'll take the longest membership you offer. Thanks for so much more than you know. 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.

Sincerely,

Justine Kaye,
Toluca Lake, CA



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"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





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

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

"Can't wait 'til next year!"
— Roy Flower,
TAXI Member


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





"This is the 3rd Rally my wife, Amy, and I have attended and once again you have outdone yourselves."
— Jimmy & Amy Muffin,
TAXI Members