We've been on vacation, sorry it's taken us so long to set the record straight on the "bootleg poster." Ron and I have been apart of the jam music scene for years. He's done artwork, both officially and unofficialy, for Widespread Panic, The Dirty Dozen, Karl Denson, Particle and Tishamingo, just to name a few. We love music. As soon as Jam Cruise was announced, Ron started working on this poster, this labor of love which took over six months to complete. His goal was to contribute something to this music event as beauiful and exciting as the cruise itself. Months ago, when the email went out that Drowning Creek would be the poster designer, Ron's poster was already close to complete. We immediately sent it to the Jam Cruise and Madisson House people who responded very positively, however they did stand behind their DC contract. We were very disappointed realizing we would have to share Ron's labor of love "unofficially." A month prior to the cruise, Jam Cruise sent out emails asking for vendors. We immediately replied, sent the poster again to Mark Tapazio (Captain Toast) , and off to print, so the Jam Cruise people KNEW we had a poster prior to setting sail. Mark let us know weeks later, after the poster had been printed, that the decision was that no vending of any kind would take place. A week later the t-shirt contest was announced. Ron adapted the poster to fit the contest requirements. We were thrilled when we got an email from Annabel Lukens that Ron's design had won! Sadly, just a few days before the cruise Annable called Ron to let him know the shirts would take the promoters over-budget and they would not be using his art. She offered help to pay with our bar tab on board ship as a consolation prize. Once we set sail, we began giving away posters. Annabel got some. Captain Toast got some. The bands got them. Everyone loved them. We did ask for donations, to help offset the printing costs. If someone didn't have money, they got a poster anyway. This was not about us making money. This was an attempt for Ron to network with promoters, managers and band members. The postcard size version, was an ingenious business card. Our goal was accomplished. Ron made wonderful new contacts, including Drowning Creek who was incredibly supportive of Ron's art. We truly believe that we tried to go through all the proper channels. We showed the poster twice to the Jam Cruise promoters, and we feel it was perhaps naive of them to think that an artist would spend 6 months on a project to not let it be seen. We truly weren't trying to cause anyone any problems.
At the first band signing, everyone in line pretty much had one of Ron's posters. We were not selling them in line, we gave them away, and some people chose to give us a donation. Annabel and Mark came to speak with us, and said that since their merchandise wasn't selling they would appreciate it if we would stop passing our poster out, but wait until the end of the cruise. We gladly agreed, and we put the posters away. The following day, Annabel and Mark returned, upset because we were passing out Ron's business card, which did indicate what our cabin number was. We again reinforced the fact that we in no way wanted to ruin their cruise, and we would pass nothing else out. We were as compliant and agreeable as we have even been or could possibly be. Mark still looked concerned and Ron asked him if it would make his job easier if we turned the posters over to him. The look of relief on his face was enough for us, and WE TURNED THE POSTERS OVER ON OUR OWN FREE WILL. NOTHING WAS ACTUALLY CONFISCATED. Mark gave us his word of honor that he would return the posters to us at the end of the cruise, where we could pass them out for free as people departed the ship. Katie, a Jam Cruise representative, came to speak with us later that night wondering if we couldn't help turn this unpleasant situation around by selling the posters to Jam Cruise. We said that nothing would make us happier, and we were even willing to be paid NOTHING. We just wanted the fans to have the poster, and the Jam Cruise people to be happy. Again, we felt like our mission was already accomplished. Ron had made connections with the different bands, and met the Drowning Creek people.
I wish the story ended happily ever after, but the truth of the matter is that promises were broken. Here are the facts.
1) The bar tab promised in compensation for the t-shirt contest was not fulfilled. They didn't buy us a single drink. How do you ask artists to prepare an entry for an art contest, and then expect that artist to not want to show off his design? Don't invite artists to contribute via contests, let alone be a contest winner, and then not ask that artist to show off his work. 6 months of work went into this poster.
2) One person indicated that we received a free cabin. Completely untrue. We paid full price when this was first announced. First and foremost we are music lovers and this cruise was a dream come true!
3) Mark Brown to this date has yet to honor his word. The posters were not available for us to give away to passengers upon departure, and no one from Jam Cruise has contacted us about returning the posters to us, which Annabel promised as I was leaving the ship. In this final conversation with Annabel, I again offered her the posters for free to sell on the Jam Cruise website so the promoters could reap the financial benefit.
4) The donations we received merely helped deflect the cost of printing the poster. Yes there were 500 on board ship. Mark Brown has over 300 of those. Of the remaining 200, most were given away. You do the math. This was not about making money, it was about Ron getting jobs and sharing his love of the jam band scene with fellow freaks. No harm was intended.
We thank those of you who have suppored Ron's artwork from the bottom of our hearts. And, we apologize to those we have offended. Our intent was pure. Perhaps in the future, promoters will realize that people enjoy Ron's artwork and will take advantage of his talent.
You are welcome to get in touch with us at (760) 934-1822 or our email which is firstname.lastname@example.org