Part of my work involves making recommendations on business contracts for indie record labels and individual artists. I enjoy going all Attila the Hun, ripping the legal jargon apart and getting to the bottom of how one might be getting screwed this time. Yes, I’m cyncial – this is the part where it’s *not* “only rock’n’roll,” as they say.
I learned a lot about the world of music contracts from one Mr. Ailbe Flynn (and patent law and copyright law and privacy law and the competition act and and and). A former member of BMG’s uber-competent legal team, Ailbe was always there to skillfully guide me through the often murky waters of legalese. It was astonishing how in the blink of an eye, he could go from high-frequency, super busy Ailbe to completely present, helpful and undivided Ailbe. He loved his job and it was clear he loved helping his co-workers too. And his overall commitment to the intellectual side of life was really refreshing to encounter in the often cruel and shallow money trench, to paraphrase Hunter S. Thomspon.
Part of the reason I enjoy reading these contracts now is that I get to recall past conversations with Ailbe and I’m often comforted when I wonder what advice he would give me this time. I know I’m not the only one to feel such affection for Ailbe. Many were blessed to call him a friend in this lifetime and we all felt great heartache when he lost a hard-fought battle with cancer last year.
I miss you Ailbe and I’m so glad to have known you. The world continues to be a better place because you were here.