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LETTER FROM DAVE FAULKNER
August 28, 2005
Dave Faulkner emailed the above letter to me in response to an initial email approach from me to him, through his management, in which I explained that the Geeks songs were co-written by James Baker and I, outlined my reasoning as to why the copyright registrations should contain only James' and my names, and asked Dave to consider amending the registrations of songs for which I believed he was erroneously attributed writing credits. As mentioned in The Geeks Story, he was good to his word as per his letter above, and prompt in following up through his publisher on all he undertook to do. All the original Geeks songs are now registered with APRA as co-written by Baker/Buncle, as should have been the case from the outset.
Parts of Dave's letter, as signified by the footnote numbers within the text of his letter, do require responses or clarification here, which are as follows:
2 James' description of our songwriting collaboration process as reported by Dave Faulkner here is, in fact, accurate enough, though not sufficiently detailed to give the full picture. James would have some idea of the musical aspects of his songs when he brought his lyrics to me, which he would do his best to communicate by 'singing' (as mentioned in The Geeks Story, he struggled to hold a tune). I would work off these ideas, but by the time the songs had been developed into their final forms, they had taken on new or modified riffs and melodies, the latter of which would sometimes undergo further refinement when Lloyd sang them. On occasions, I introduced chord changes which would end up in the development of a bridge, and various other excursions from the basic song form James had conceived.
3 I did not "create" the musical elements of the songs entirely, as may be inferred from Dave's wording here - as per footnote 2 above, I worked off James' initial ideas. The songs were truly a collaborative effort between James and I, with Lloyd contributing some melodic refinements on some occasions.
4 My experience in songwriting with James is entirely in keeping with Dave's observation here, which I think is a point well made.
5 This assertion is certainly not correct (although I am sure it is Dave's genuine recollection) - see footnote 1 above. Also, see James Baker's response to Dave's letter.
6 Dave's point is unclear to me here. I'm not sure what he means by "my story or yours". His story, as per his email above, is that he was unaware that anyone but James Baker was responsible for the creation of the Geeks songs played by The Victims. My story - which Dave indicates he accepts as truthful - is that all the Geeks original songs were co-written by James Baker and I (as per footnote 2 above). I don't see that the two "stories" are incompatible with the facts, or that the credits on The Scientists' Pink album have any bearing on the matter. I stated in my initial email to Dave that on The Scientists' Pink album the record includes my name in the credits for I'm Looking For You and Teenage Dreamer (which derives from the Geeks' song, I'm In London). An added complication with the Scientists' versions of these songs is that Faulkner's and Salmon's names also appear in the credits along with mine and James Baker's. I explained in a follow-up email to Dave Faulkner that I had not mentioned this initially simply because I did not wish to unduly complicate the issues I was seeking to have resolved, which were that writing credits had been incorrectly assigned to songs I had co-written with James Baker, and for which I had never been acknowledged. Dave did not respond to my follow-up email.
7 I do not understand why Dave charges me with being disingenuous. I addressed this issue in detail (as per footnote 6 above) in a follow-up email to Dave, but again, he did not respond.
8 Indeed, in a recent email to me, Kim Salmon does explain his inclusion in the writing credits for The Scientists' versions of the two Geeks songs in question in similar terms to those outlined by Dave Faulkner here. Incidentally, as was the case with Faulkner, Salmon immediately agreed to have his name deleted from the writing credits for these songs, and promptly followed this up with APRA.
9 James Baker was adamant when discussing the issue with me that he did not receive a cent in royalties, or any other payments, for the Timberyard Records release. Needless to say, James' version of events regarding the Timberyard release differs markedly from Dave Faulkner's understanding as outlined in his email above. It seems likely that there has been considerable miscommunication between the parties.
10 James Baker does acknowledge my part in the creation of the Geeks songs, as he has recently expressed to me on a number of occasions, as well as his regret that the copyright issues were not cleared up long ago. Neither James, nor Dave Cardwell, nor Dave Faulkner (based on his letter above) can agree on how the erroneous accreditations occurred in the first place. My conclusion is that all parties are telling the truth as they recall it, and that this many years down the road it is not possible to fully establish the facts. The matter is now satisfactorily resolved anyway, and I am very pleased to finally put it to rest.
11 I did not say "very little" - my contention has always been as per footnote 2 above, which makes it clear, as did my initial letter to Dave Faulkner, that the songs were co-written by James and I, with contributions to some vocal lines by Lloyd.
12 There is
no longer any "mystery" - this site clarifies, I trust, once and for all, the manner in
which the Geeks' songs were written. All members of The Geeks agree that
my claim for co-writing credits with James Baker is valid, and that my
descriptions of the songwriting process for The Geeks' songs are factual and accurate.
Unfortunately, direct comparison between the Geeks originals and the later cover versions of
the same songs by The Victims is no longer possible for most of the songs.
Of the Geeks songs still in existence in recorded form, only one - High School Girls
- appears on The Victims' EP (or its re-released form, All Loud On The
The other Geeks songs that still exist in recorded form (all of which are on the
Geeks CD) were, in most cases, performed by The
Victims, but not released in recorded form. James Baker tells me he
has sent some unreleased Victims tapes to Dave Faulkner with the view to a possible
CD release, but has not received them back; thus, a direct listening comparison of more songs
may be possible - this possibility now rests with Dave Faulkner and would appear
to depend on whether he and James can settle their differences.
Here's hoping...a lot of people would love to hear any unreleased Victims
material still in existence.
If anyone reading through this site happens to have a tape of the missing Geeks songs through who knows what weird and wonderful happenstance, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact me. Locating a tape - however rough - including The Geeks' rehearsal versions of Flipped Out Over You, Disco Junkies, TV Freak and I'm In London would provide the sole missing piece of the jigsaw and make The Geeks Story complete. I know I made one complete cassette copy, at least, off the mastertape reel that I sold in about 1979 with the Teac 4-track tape recorder we used to record our rehearsals. A single copy probably is still out there somewhere, so if by happy accident YOU have it, PLEASE email me.
Ross Buncle, October 2005