TODAY'S TOP STORY: UK entertainment retail sales were up 6.4% in the first half of 2017 according to new stats published by the Entertainment Retailers Association yesterday, and music retail led the way with an 11.2% uplift year-on-year... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Sephine Llo - aka musician Josephine Lloyd-Wilson - released her debut EP, 'Flame', in 2014. Its intriguing mix of folk, electronic music and studio experimentation rightly drew attention from people hunting out exciting new music and she was quickly marked as 'one to watch'. But since then there has been little heard from her. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU PODCAST: CMU's Chris Cooke and guest presenter Becky Brook review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including the latest mechanical right lawsuits against Spotify in the US and what they reveal about the complexities of digital licensing, plus the BBC's big pay reveal and its plan for a new prime-time music show. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
LATEST CMU TRENDS: Rarely a week goes by in the music business news these days without at least one catalogue acquisition. But who - other than labels and publishers - is buying music rights, and why? Are there opportunities for individual artists and songwriters to do deals with professional investors? And how do you even value music rights? Ahead of a Music 4.5 event exploring all these topics, CMU Trends reviews the music rights market - past, present and future. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Streaming fuels 11.2% growth in music retail
DEALS Sony/ATV signs Zak Abel
Universal Music signs Asia's Got Talent judge Anggun
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Ed Sheeran tops overall entertainment retail chart for 2017 so far
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Facebook buys rights management start-up Source3
MEDIA Commercial radio calls on OfCom to demand more distinct BBC services
EDUCATION & EVENTS Music education and grassroots venues must be better supported, or the music industry faces a "perfect storm"
ARTIST NEWS Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos not quitting music, but is going to focus more on mental health support for artists
RELEASES Fifth Harmony announce new album
AND FINALLY... Alice Cooper finds Andy Warhol original rolled up in a tube
Domino is seeking a confident individual to oversee digital account relationships and strategy, based in the London office. The position will lead key partnerships and activity with digital music and video service providers (including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Vevo) across the UK and international markets, excluding North America.

For more information and to apply click here.
Merlin's Head of Technology and Development will manage and oversee the company’s technical infrastructure, including developing the company’s IT systems, project managing and relationships with external IT providers, working with members and DSP to maximise efficiency of data provision and reporting, as well as contributing to the future technical/IT strategy for the organisation.

For more information and to apply click here.
City Slang is seeking a Digital Marketing Manager for its Berlin office. The main function of this role will be to oversee the execution of dynamic digital marketing campaigns across City Slang’s key territories, leading on a global basis where applicable.

For more information and to apply click here.
Sold Out is an independent full service advertising agency, specialising in arts and entertainment for over 20 years. It is looking for a Junior Social Media/Campaign Exec to join its vibrant, growing team, contributing to the growth and culture of the company and driving the business forward.

For more information and to apply click here.
The Great Escape takes place every May and is now firmly established as the festival for new music and new music business. We are now recruiting an Events Manager who ideally has a minimum of three years experience in a similar management role and is ready for the challenge to become The Great Escape linchpin.

For more information and to apply click here.
New rock focused label services company requires junior project manager to oversee all aspects of a music release from release planning. Genres included but not limited to punk, metal, hardcore, active rock. Two/three years music release planning preferred and digital experience essential.

For more information and to apply click here.
ICE Services Ltd is an international company that represents music rights across multiple territories. As the Service Development Manager you will be responsible for the effective coordination and delivery of key developments in our business services that respond to our Customers’ changing needs.

For more information and to apply click here.
MelodyVR is looking for an exceptional Community Manager to join our team, who is as passionate about music and as excited by technology as we are. We’re looking for a creative person who has a track record of coming up with fun and original content ideas for social media and beyond.

For more information and to apply click here.
Once Upon A Time Music (OUAT Music) works with major and independent record labels, artist management companies and artists directly to create vinyl, CDs and award winning boxsets. The Production Planner will be responsible for overseeing the production process of all musical formats from start to finish for a wide variety of music industry clients.

For more information and to apply click here.
As DHP Family's Concerts Promotions Co-ordinator in London, you will be creative, fast working, forward thinking, with the ability to work under pressure, both alone and as part of a team. As well as a strong marketing knowledge, you will ideally have a good grasp of the music/ents industry in London.

For more information and to apply click here.
New Citizens is an established leading events company within the music, food and drink sector, based in the North of England. You’ll be responsible for driving and increasing ticket sales, brand awareness and positive association for the projects/events you’ll be working on.

For more information and to apply click here.
weekly from 25 Sep 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: The How The Music Business Works Programme
25 Sep 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
2 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
9 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
16 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
23 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
30 Oct 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase – Social Media Tools
6 Nov 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase – Music Media
13 Nov 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business

Streaming fuels 11.2% growth in music retail
UK entertainment retail sales were up 6.4% in the first half of 2017 according to new stats published by the Entertainment Retailers Association yesterday, and music retail led the way with an 11.2% uplift year-on-year.

ERA figures include monies generated by the music, video and gaming sectors, taking in both digital and physical products, and sales and subscription revenues. Unlike stats put out by the record industry, ERA's music numbers also include the retailer or streaming platforms' cut of any revenue, plus monies paid over to songwriters and music publishers, which are not generally included when the record industry reports digital income.

Overall UK entertainment retail sales generated £2.9 billion in the first half of 2017, up 6.4% on the £2.8 billion that came in during the first half of 2016. Music sales were up 11.2% year-on-year, gaming 8.4% and video sales just 1.2%, even though video products account for many of the best selling individual releases so far this year.

Before all you music types get too smug, let's not forget that overall, gaming accounts for just over 48% of the entertainment retail market, with DVDs and online video products responsible for about a third of revenues, and music just under 20%. But still, music retail is 11.2% up, woo!

Streaming subscriptions, of course, are fuelling that growth in music income, and digital products and services also now account for 75.4% of overall entertainment retail revenues. Though fans of the vinyl revival can sleep soundly tonight knowing that sales of old fashioned records continue to grow, up 35.7% in terms of units and 37.6% in terms or revenue so far this year.

Commenting on her organisation's latest stats pack, ERA CEO Kim Bayley told reporters: "Entertainment has now seen over four years of continuous growth thanks to a combination of digital services pioneering new ways of consuming music, video and games, and physical retailers working hard to maximise sales of discs. To now deliver another £180m worth of sales in the first half of 2017 is really extraordinary".


Sony/ATV signs Zak Abel
Sony/ATV has signed rising British popstar Zak Abel to a worldwide publishing deal. He is already signed to Warner's Atlantic label on the recordings side, which will put out his debut album 'Only When We're Naked' later this year.

Abel has already released a number of singles and EPs, and guested on an assortment of other people's tracks, having originally come to wider attention via his collaboration with Gorgon City on their 2014 hit 'Unmissable'.

Confirming the publishing deal, Sony/ATV's UK Head Of A&R David Ventura told reporters: "Zak's music is incredible. He is truly an extraordinary talent. I can't wait for the world to discover him, as he is without a doubt an international songwriter and artist".

Abel himself added: "I feel truly humbled to be part of the Sony/ATV family. They are the home to so many amazing songwriters that I admire. I want to be up there with the best and I know Sony/ATV will help me get there".


Universal Music signs Asia's Got Talent judge Anggun
Universal Music Asia has signed what it is calling a "one-of-a-kind pan-Asian" record deal with Indonesian singer-songwriter Anggun ahead of the release of her next English-language studio album.

Anggun re-located to France in the 1990s and has since enjoyed success in a number of European markets as well as her home country, releasing albums in both French and English. More recently she has judged on 'X-Factor' and 'Got Talent' shows in Indonesia, as well as on the multi-territory 'Asia's Got Talent'. She has worked with various labels over her career, but enjoyed a long alliance with Sony Music.

Confirming the new deal with Universal, the major's President of Asia Pacific, George Ash, said: "Anggun is without doubt an incredibly talented artist. Throughout her career, she has been lauded not only in Asia but around the world, proven by the fact that she is the best-selling female Southeast Asian artist outside of Asia".

He went on: "She has countless international accolades and her work on 'Asia's Got Talent' will lay the foundations for future generations of artists. We are very proud to be working alongside her on her much-anticipated forthcoming English album and look forward to an exciting year ahead".

Anggun herself added: "I am so proud to partner with Universal Music Asia on this new album. The team is truly amazing and dedicated to both music and artists. I have been working very hard on my new English album, writing songs while having short breaks during my extensive tour across France and Belgium over the past few months".

She concluded: "I'm really excited to showcase several collaborations with some of the most talented songwriters and producers I have ever met and worked with. This is probably my best album so far and I can't wait to share it with the world".


Ed Sheeran tops overall entertainment retail chart for 2017 so far
Whenever the Entertainment Retailers Association pumps out a stack of stats from across the UK entertainment retail sector - as it did yesterday - one of the fun by-products is the chart that puts music, video and gaming releases side-by-side and compares them based on relative performance in terms of units shifted.

When you do that for the first half of 2017, music comes out on top thanks to good old Eddie Sheeran, though video releases dominate overall. Gaming doesn't perform so strongly, though that has more to do with the games industry stacking all the big releases in the final quarter of the calendar year than anything else.

So, here is ERA's wider entertainment retail chart for the first half of the year, with total sales figures (adjusted to accommodate music streams) in brackets.

1. MUSIC: Ed Sheeran - Divide (Warner Music) (2,064,966)
2. VIDEO: Rogue One - A Star Wars Story (Walt Disney Studios) (1,180,496)
3. VIDEO: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Warner Bros) (1,032,525)
4. VIDEO: Bridget Jones's Baby (Universal Pictures) (936,064)
5. VIDEO: Moana (Walt Disney Studios) (714,698)
6. MUSIC: Rag N Bone Man - Human (Sony Music) (694,194)
7. VIDEO: Trolls (20th Century Fox) (657,760)
8. MUSIC: Various - Now That's What I Call Music 96 (Sony/Universal) (530,290)
9. VIDEO: Doctor Strange (Walt Disney Studios) (510,711)
10. VIDEO: Sing (Universal Pictures) (489,672)

11. VIDEO: The Girl On The Train (20th Century Fox) (397,619)
12. VIDEO: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar (20th Century Fox) (352,199)
13. GAME: Grand Theft Auto V (Take 2) (334,280)
14. GAME: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon - Wildlands (Ubisoft) (311,792)
15. VIDEO: La La Land (Elevation) (294,456)
16. VIDEO: Arrival (20th Century Fox) (294,171)
17. GAME: Horizon Zero Dawn (Sony Comp Ent) (286,538)
18. VIDEO: Inferno (Sony Pictures) (271,388)
19. VIDEO: Jack Reacher - Never Go Back (Universal Pictures) (268,888)
20. VIDEO: T2 Trainspotting (Sony Pictures) (259,892)

21. VIDEO: The Magnificent Seven (Sony Pictures) (257,867)
22. VIDEO: Fifty Shades Darker (Universal Pictures) (249,590)
23. VIDEO: The Lego Batman Movie (Warner Bros) (245,739)
24. GAME: FIFA 17 (EA) (242,385)
25. VIDEO: Hacksaw Ridge (Elevation Sales) (237,735)
26. VIDEO: Sully - Miracle On The Hudson (Warner Bros) (236,486)
27. VIDEO: Passengers (Sony Pictures) (229,520)
28. MUSIC: Drake - More Life (Universal Music) (228,862)
29. MUSIC: Ed Sheeran - X (Warner Music) (224,267)
30. VIDEO: Deepwater Horizon (Elevation) (220,734)

31. VIDEO: Assassin's Creed (20th Century Fox) (219,093)
32. VIDEO: Finding Dory (Walt Disney Studios) (218,625)
33. MUSIC: Little Mix - Glory Days (Sony Music) (215,638)
34. MUSIC: Take That - Wonderland (Universal Music) (212,037)
35. VIDEO: Suicide Squad (Warner Bros) (210,642)
36. GAME: Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Activision Blizzard) (204,778)
37. VIDEO: Trainspotting (Spirit Entertainment) (203,000)
38. GAME: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Capcom) (190,545)
39. VIDEO: The Secret Life Of Pets (Universal Pictures) (190,509)
40. MUSIC: Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer (Merky) (188,240)


Facebook buys rights management start-up Source3
Facebook has boosted its rights management capabilities by acquiring Source3, a start-up described as "the world's first platform for end-to-end management of intellectual property in user-generated content".

As video becomes ever more central to the Facebook proposition, and Facebook users upload ever increasing quantities of video to the platform, the social media firm has been busy trying to provide tools for copyright owners whose content is uploaded by third parties without licence.

Facebook needs to provide such tools, of course, so that it can claim protection under the often controversial copyright safe harbour, meaning it can't be held liable for the copyright infringement of its users. But ultimately the social media firm wants to encourage rights owners to upload content - and to allow others to upload their content - by promising to share any ad income generated with said content makers.

Which, of course, is what YouTube's Content ID was set up to do. Facebook has its own Content ID rival already, called Rights Manager, which was initially about rights owners blocking uncleared content, but now monetisation options are slowly emerging too.

It's thought that the Source3 acquisition is about Facebook boosting its abilities in the rights management domain, so to woo rather than annoy content owners and content-generating brands who it wants to keep within the social network's ecosystem.

Source3 confirmed the Facebook deal via its website, declaring that: "We're excited to bring our IP, trademark and copyright expertise to the team at Facebook and serve their global community of two billion people, who consume content, music, videos and other IP every day. We feel great about this next step in our journey, and we thank everyone who helped us get to where we are today".

Confirming the deal for Facebook, the firm's Vanessa Chan told TechCrunch: "We're excited to work with the Source3 team and learn from the expertise they've built in intellectual property, trademarks and copyright".

The acquisition could help Facebook match the abilities of YouTube's rights management technology, and maybe fuel a competition between the two tech giants as to whose platform offers the best content control tools. Which would be good for the music industry which reluctantly acknowledges that Content ID is a decent system, but which would like to see increasingly sophisticated tools developed to make it easier and less time consuming to manage content that has been uploaded to sites like YouTube and Facebook.

It's sort of ironic that Source3 will likely help Facebook catch up with Google's YouTube in terms of rights management abilities, given that the start-up's founders - Patrick Sullivan and Benjamin Cockerham - sold their previous digital music rights management company Rightsflow to Google in 2011.


Commercial radio calls on OfCom to demand more distinct BBC services
The commercial radio sector has called of media regulator OfCom to increase the obligations put on the BBC with regards its radio output, with trade group RadioCentre criticising draft operating licences for the Beeb's various radio services, partly because they contain less rather than more conditions than in the past.

Commercial broadcasters don't like it when the BBC competes head on with commercial programmes and services, and therefore support obligations being put onto BBC channels and stations to broadcast more content that complements rather than competes with commercial radio and telly. After all, commercial media owners will tell you, the BBC gets all that licence fee payer money so to provide the kind of content you don't find elsewhere.

The way the BBC is regulated has recently changed considerably, with OfCom - which also regulates commercial radio and TV - taking over many of the regulatory duties previously undertaken by the now defunct BBC Trust. The new system was outlined in the latest version of the BBC's Royal Charter and a so called Framework Agreement, which were both passed and published last year, and OfCom is now translating all of that into operating licences for each BBC service.

According to RadioCentre: "The Charter and Framework Agreement contain specific references to both retaining existing conditions on [BBC] services, as well as considering areas where conditions could be increased, with the aim of supporting a broader range of choice for audiences and ensuring a healthy and diverse media industry. In radio the Charter and Framework Agreement also require Ofcom to examine the case for clearer age targets for mainstream radio services, support for UK talent, news, information, current affairs, social action and broader sports coverage".

But, the trade body says, the new operating licences OfCom has developed for each BBC radio station actually have fewer conditions than the previous licences devised by the BBC Trust, with - says RadioCentre - "a 36% reduction in the number of regulatory conditions" and "no strengthening of target audience requirements". Also, it reckons, "where current quotas have been increased, BBC services are already exceeding these new targets, so listeners will not notice a difference".

So, basically, OfCom needs to be demanding of the BBC. Says Radiocentre CEO Siobhan Kenny: "The BBC provides some fantastic radio content, which it can do partly because of its scale and its guaranteed funding. As a result of these advantages, it is acknowledged that the BBC is regulated in a different way to other broadcasters, with obligations to deliver broader public service goals, with a distinctive flavour, in addition to mainstream output".

"Listeners deserve the widest possible choice and it is not clear that the current proposals will deliver that", She goes on. "Government and Parliament agreed in drawing up the new Royal Charter and Framework Agreement that the intention was to reinforce BBC accountability and strengthen regulation in order to produce distinctive BBC services, changes which were presumably not envisaged to result in fewer measures against which to hold the BBC to account".

She concludes: "Stakeholders have submitted their thoughts on the draft operating licence and the BBC has published its Annual Plan. We hope that Ofcom will take the opportunity to strengthen its proposals in line with the requirements of the Royal Charter and the Framework Agreement".


Music education and grassroots venues must be better supported, or the music industry faces a "perfect storm"
If you're going to have a storm, it might as well be perfect I guess. So good news everybody, the music industry is facing a perfect storm!

Though the thing about perfect storms is that they make the world around them somewhat imperfect. And the imperfection this perfect storm is set to unleash is a British music industry without the platforms required to support and hone new talent.

These are not my words, by the way, but the words of Michael Dugher, the new boss of cross sector trade body UK Music, who gave a speech at a conference for members of the Musicians Union in Brighton yesterday. Among other things, he expressed concerns about music education in the UK, and the much discussed challenges facing grassroots venues.

He told his audience: "For the industry to continue to grow and flourish we need to ensure that there are enough opportunities for existing musicians and that we can develop new talent. But I believe our industry is now potentially facing a perfect storm that, if allowed to develop unchecked, poses an existential threat to our sector. This grim reality potentially puts in jeopardy the UK's ability in the future to generate breakthrough artists that are one of the keys to sustaining Britain's £4.1 billion music industry".

Honing in on the education issue, Dugher discussed the impact that the slightly confusingly named English Baccalaureate (or EBacc) system - the way the academic performance of English schools has been assessed since 2010 - has had on the teaching of creative subjects, including music. He began by noting that "creative subjects such as music are excluded from the EBacc", so that schools generally don't get any glory for student achievements in creative disciplines.

Lining up some stats on the impact that has had on music education, he continued: "According to the latest research conducted by the University Of Sussex, 59.7% of state schools indicate the EBacc has had a negative impact on music provision and uptake. A fifth of schools did not offer GCSE music at the start of the 2016/17 academic year. Of those schools that do offer music GCSE, 11% are taught outside curriculum time".

As a result, Dugher explained: "In June, Ofqual figures indicated that there had been an 8% year-on-year decline in students taking creative subjects at GCSE. Entries for music have fallen from 46,045 to 38,740 between 2010 and 2017 - a 16% decline". And as it currently stands, there are no plans to add a compulsory creative subject to the EBacc system, the UK Music chief noted, despite the government's own commitment that young people receive "an excellent well-rounded education".

He concluded: "Music in schools is vital. The creative industries are a growing part of the UK economy, at which Britain is world-leading. And all the evidence is that kids who do well at music, as well as other supposedly non-core subjects like drama or sport, do better at their maths and English. So cutting music in schools is bad for the country and bad for the education system".

In addition to the down-playing of music education in English schools, those young people who nevertheless choose to make music will likely find it increasingly difficult to locate a stage on which to perform it, given the challenges facing grassroots music venues.

Government has various roles to play here, Dugher reckoned. And that includes a further simplification of live music licensing laws, a proper adoption of the agent of change rule that limits the impact of new property developments on existing music venues, and an overhaul of way business rates are calculated. "How can it be fair that the Emirates Stadium has received a 7% cut in business rates, whereas the Lexington venue down the road gets hit with an increase of some 237%?" the UK Music chief asked.

Concluding, Dugher declared that: "It is vital that we all rise to this challenge and fight to keep music alive in our schools and battle to save all those music venues that are currently in danger".


Approved: Sephine Llo
Sephine Llo - aka musician Josephine Lloyd-Wilson - released her debut EP, 'Flame', in 2014. Its intriguing mix of folk, electronic music and studio experimentation rightly drew attention from people hunting out exciting new music and she was quickly marked as 'one to watch'. But since then there has been little heard from her.

Sadly, while she was working on her debut album, her husband, Autumn Chorus's Robert Lloyd-Wilson, was diagnosed with cancer, leading her to put work on the record on hold. In December last year, he passed away, shortly after learning that Josephine was pregnant.

As she grieved, she began work on her album, which is now due for release on 27 Oct. The first single, 'First To Tarnish', is a powerful but delicate piece of music, filled with love and loss. From the opening buzz of a guitar amp - which gives way not to riffs, as your brain is probably conditioned to expect, but to gently looping harp - the song is a finely balanced construction.

Listen to 'First To Tarnish' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos not quitting music, but is going to focus more on mental health support for artists
Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos has responded to recent reports that he is quitting music, saying that this is not the case. He does, however, plan to spend time focussing fully on his Wishart Group mental health advocacy organisation, and to that end will take "time away from being a commercialised artist".

Among a number of tweets discussing mental health awareness at the weekend, Angelakos wrote: "Until it is safer and healthier for us to be advocates, to be a writers, producers, and performers, I simply cannot continue making music".

This led to numerous reports stating that Angelakos was putting Passion Pit on hiatus or quitting music altogether. But it's not as simple as that, he says. He will continue to make new music, but you might not hear it for a while. Either way, there are plenty of Passion Pit releases in the schedule. However, right now, he feels he needs to focus fully on The Wishart Group, meaning promoting his music will have to wait.

"Contrary to the headlines, I am not really on hiatus", he wrote in a statement to Pitchfork. "That might be a bit of a casual word to use in this scenario. I make music everyday, it's part of my life. I just played a show and I am about to officially release an album. The proceeds from the album are going entirely to psychiatric scientific research at The Stanley Center / Broad Institute. I was an artist before I was signed and working within this industry, and (as confusing as it may be to many people, myself included) I am continuing to be an artist with or without the industry".

He continued: "What I am actually doing - what I have said I am going to do - is all the work required in the development of The Wishart Group. It requires my full attention, which means taking time away from being a commercialised artist. It requires me to explain this because the idea that we can do several things at once and really create change, especially in the realm of mental health, is clearly not working. It's just not enough, though I wish it were".

"I cannot continue to operate in this space, this industry, due to the way that it functions and treats people that work for it or create within it", he went on. "It does nothing to promote the health required in order to produce the work it sells. The risks associated with being a commercialised artist and embarking on a typical album release, like endless promotion and touring, have nearly killed me".

As previously reported, Angelakos launched The Wishart Group earlier this year. The organisation aims to provide musicians with legal, educational and healthcare services and has already raised over $250 million of funding.

Of his commitment to the organisation, he said in the statement: "I only have a certain amount of attention, so it should be used carefully. I started The Wishart Group and will be focusing full time on its developments. I will be advising other industries, and doing any work that is required at this current juncture until I have achieved certain goals and helped build a new system. We need better systems, systems that can actually contain and tend to workers, like artists who want to and have been contractually signed into deals to make music for people".

Read Angelakos' full statement here.


Fifth Harmony announce new album
Fifth Harmony have announced that they will release their new album, 'Fifth Harmony', on 28 Aug. The record is their first since the departure of Camila Cabello last year.

As previously reported, Cabello's split from the group in December was fairly acrimonious, with a series of statements issued on both sides. Cabello later said that she was "not comfortable" with efforts to "sexualise" the group.

The first single from the album, 'Down', featuring Gucci Mane, was released last month.

Meanwhile, Cabello's debut solo album, 'The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving', is set for release on 22 Sep.


Alice Cooper finds Andy Warhol original rolled up in a tube
Alice Cooper has found an Andy Warhol artwork that may be worth more than $10 million rolled up in a tube in a storage facility. The screen print of an electric chair was mistakenly placed in the musician's touring archive and only recently rediscovered.

According to his long-time manager Shep Gordon, who spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live, Cooper was given the print as a gift in the early 70s by his then girlfriend Cindy Lang. At the time, a section of Cooper's live show saw him staging an electrocution in an electric chair "very much" like the one in Warhol's print.

The artwork was never placed on a frame and remained rolled up in a tube. At some point it was placed in a storage locker with the stage sets from that tour. More recently, Gordon mentioned the picture to an art dealer friend, who recommended he try to find it. It took several months, but eventually it was discovered. "We found a tube, like the type you keep posters in, and there it was", he said. "Oops!"

Of how one might forget that they own a Warhol original, Gordon noted in an interview with The Guardian: "Andy Warhol was not 'Andy Warhol' back then. And it was all a swirl of drugs and drinking ... It was a rock n roll time, none of us thought about anything".

The most a print of Warhol's 'Little Electric Chair' artwork has ever sold for is $11.6 million is 2015. It's unclear what the exact valuation of Cooper's copy might be, although it would apparently be less as it is unsigned. Still, Gordon hints that it has still been valued at a pretty substantial amount. When Cooper learned the figure, said Gordon, "his jaw dropped and he looked at me. 'Are you serious? I own that!'"


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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