By Kenny Kerner

Pam Quinlan comes from a poetry and literary background. By the time she reached her teenage years, she was already well published. In the late Eighties she was included in a poetry anthology called American Poets Say Goodbye to the Twentieth Century and later in a poetry journal called The Exquisite Corpse.

Musically, Pam wrote her first lyric when she was four years old. "I don't remember the title of it but it was sort of a rip off of an Archies song. I think I was influenced at that time by the Archies. By the time I was six or seven, I was a sophisticated music listener, listening to Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead. I never listened to the teen boy bands. I always listened to quality stuff."

Pam is a lyricist who also sings, so collaboration was a key in putting her words to music. But, until 1996, she was a straight performance poet! Then, one day, she woke up and decided it was time to "do the band thing."

Pam placed an ad in the Seattle Rocket that said—Lyricist Looking For Guitar Player—and, as she puts it, "I had about 19 weirdos call me up."

As it turned out, one of those weirdos was an amazing guitarist named Tim Henwood, who was between bands at the time. Grego Sanguinetti came aboard as the bassist, and a few members later, Fez Fatale was born. Pam wrote all of the lyrics to the band's music and even sang lead on several numbers. By the way—she also handles all of the band's business.

"I loved this from the very first second," Pam told the Meter, "I loved the sound system. I loved having a drummer. I loved having a bassist and a guitar player—it was absolute perfection." The song collaboration process between Pam and Tim was a bit unusual. Pam brought her lyrics to Tim with virtually no melody in mind and the two would work out (sometimes fight about) styles as they experimented with the songs.

Another interesting aspect of Fez Fatale is that to them, the Brass Ring has never been getting a record deal! Pam explains: "for us, the brass ring has been writing a song that becomes popular through a soundtrack or a commercial. And, as we speak, the band is working on a soundtrack to a full length Science Fiction film tentatively called Back Time.

Pam first came in contact with TAXI when she saw a flyer pasted to a telephone pole while strolling down NW 23rd Street in Portland. Shortly thereafter, she happened to be reading an issue of Spin when she came across a tiny mention of TAXI that told the readers the company was a good business model and was legitimate. That's all the coaxing Pam needed. "That was a big deal for me. I checked out the company with a major publicist in our town who also said that TAXI was a legitimate company and it was a fine way to go to try and get some national connections. It seemed to me that what TAXI was doing was a good idea. So, I became a member."

To date, through her TAXI membership, Pam has made both a publishing deal and a licensing deal. "I simply have no access to music publishing or licensing companies in New York or Florida. I had no access to them without TAXI. And once you have those deals on your resume, it's good for getting a little press or a gig or getting people to take you more seriously. So you still have to build on anything you get through TAXI and use it locally."

Pam believes that her three year relationship with TAXI has been worthwhile. "I have a couple of songs that are swingin'-loungy type songs and the TAXI screeners kept forwarding those. Interestingly, those were the same songs that got local airplay. So the feedback from TAXI was very helpful to me as a band manager in letting me know which were my strongest songs. It was good to be able to weed out the songs that weren't going to go anywhere and focus on the ones that actually panned out for us. TAXI does give you good songwriting feedback."

Fez Fatale will continue to tour live and put their money from gigs and CD sales into the recording of their fourth record which they hope to release in 2005. Another DIY success story—with a little help from their friends at TAXI, of course!

See How TAXI Works

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

"I must recommend it to anyone I think is serious about songwriting."
— Dwight Nichols,
TAXI Member

"You stand behind and assist your members with their songs' best interests at heart."
— Rob Belanger,
TAXI Member

"I would like to thank Taxi for helping me and my partner and become more polished writers."
— Liz Aday,
TAXI Member