Slash and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
Photo: Paul Morigi/WireImage.com
Guns N' Roses' Slash Lobbies Congress For Fair Pay For Musicians
On Dec. 6 the Recording Academy hosted a holiday reception for lawmakers on Capitol Hill, but not before Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash made the rounds one-one-one to lobby for fair pay for musicians.
The GRAMMY winner championed fair pay for the next generation of performers, songwriters and producers. One of the key issues for the Academy is to ensure artists get paid when their music is played on AM or FM radio. Currently, when a tune hits the radio airwaves, only the songwriters receive royalties, leaving performers and copyright owners without any compensation for the use of their work.
Case in point: Though Slash co-wrote many of Guns N' Roses' hits, the Top 5 power ballad "November Rain" was solely written by frontman Axl Rose. Slash, who contributed two distinct guitar solos to the song, doesn't receive a single penny when the song is played on terrestrial radio.
Whether music is played on satellite radio, internet radio or traditional AM/FM radio, it's imperative that music services compensate creators under consistent, uniform standards that reflect fair-market value. Slash underlined this point, adding in his lobbying campaign that a change in radio policies is crucial to making sure musicians can continue making a living.
(Members of Congress attend the Slash Holiday Reception hosted by the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus in the Canon House Office Building on Dec. 6 in Washington, DC.)
"It makes it hard for me to tell kids to pursue a career in music — it's almost like lying to them to encourage them," Slash told partygoers, according to The Washington Post. "I've got a 15-year-old who is a musician and he's awesome, so I encourage him, but it's hard for me to tell him there's a future for him where he can make it as a songwriter and as a performer."