Poor Man In Love, Jamaican fairy tale

by Guillaume Bougard

Kingston, Jamaica February 2006

I had promised myself I’d never produce albums again. Too much energy was spent, too much of my own money was risked, and too little reward was in the cards. Voices (caustic or acidic howls, rather) of too many armchair critics, from too many experts and similar toxic creatures had finally convinced me I wasn’t cut out for that.

Instead, I got involved in a legal fight on behalf of Jamaican recording artists, assisting French lawyer André Bertrand, who singlehandedly crusaded against a coalition of evil forces and their richly paid lawyers and against all odds, prevailed. This epic (and pyrrhic for André) victory forced European copyright and performance right societies to shell out a record $5 million to Jamaican recording artists and musicians in 2005.

Jamaicans are often and unjustly accused of being selfish and devoid of gratitude but it is just not the case with the ones I have met since I started dealing with them. When they received their share of the settlement money, they invited me to Kingston to record music for me. It’s the kind of offer one cannot refuse and I happily broke my promise. So here I was again in February 2006, on an airplane bound for Kingston.

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