Saturday, February 11, 2023

Stanley Spector news

I received an email yesterday, from a violinist named Xinou Wei, regarding the “Spector School of Drumming”— which sells itself as an official Stanley Spector enterprise, and apparently it is a complete fraud. 

Wei says:  

“I just wanted to let you a bit about the situation, as a close friend of Stanley's widow Astrid. All the materials were taken from Astrid, around 2012 by John O'Reilly. It was verbally agreed between the two of them that John would make copies of the material, for studying purposes with no details envisioned. The opening of the school, the selling of the materials, [asking “thousands” of dollars, see comments. -TB] the lie that "from the Spector estate" was nothing but without Astrid's consent/awareness. 

Without an exaggeration, John's indecency remains one of the heaviest regrets the 86-year-old Astrid has to carry in her heart.” 

To clarify, that is not the respected drummer and author John Riley. The John O'Reilly who is doing this is a prog drummer living in Pennsylvania.  

So, he took a lot of Spector's materials on the pretense that it was for his personal use, and immediately ran out and set up a whole business entity around it, marketing it as an “official” Spector enterprise, using Spector's name, and hyping it from a very hard-sell paranoid angle.

And I see there's an interesting legal notice on his YouTube page: 


Maverick Musician is O'Reilly's business. Unclear whether he's claiming to own the SSSOD trademark, or that it simply is trademarked by someone. It's quite sleazy to ambiguously suggest he owns the trademark, knowing that the Spector estate owns it, and even more sleazy to have trademarked it himself, stealing Spector's name after stealing his materials. 

Looking further, on the site itself, under terms of use:  

Publications, products, content or services referenced herein or on the Site are the exclusive trademarks or servicemarks of Maverick Musician LLC. 

I'm pretty sure you can't just trademark somebody else's name, business name, and copyrighted work just because you got your little rat claws on some photocopies of it. I'm no lawyer! 

It's pretty slimy stuff, and pathetic. He thought he got his hands on a hot property, but he can't be making much money off it. Drumming materials, especially niche materials, are not that lucrative. I don't believe the hypey / secretive marketing pitch he's using will attract many students. I assumed he would've folded the con after it initially flopped— there are a few YouTube videos posted about ten years ago, and nothing since; but then the site was updated in 2022, and the Facebook page gets updated about once a year, so I guess he's still doing it.   

Wei said Mrs. Spector is seeking legal representation— I doubt there's any financial damages to recover, but she would like him to stop what he's doing. If anyone has any recommendations for music/copyright attorneys, please contact me via the EMAIL TODD link in the sidebar, and I'll pass it along to them.  


bananajou said...

Wow, didn't know about that. It's a crazy expensive course, he markets it like a "commitment" thing. I didn't pay for it but got some of it for free directly from John O'Reilly.
I will email you soon to send you what I have and you can check for yourself if it's worth the thousands of dollars he asked for it.

Todd Bishop said...

Oh my God. How many thousands, and for what?

Xinou wei said...

Dear Mr.Bishop, thank you for your attention on this matter. And my greetings too all the drummers who knew of had heart of Stanley Spector and his work. The most MOST incredible thing is John has been not been able to reached by Astrid Spector, Stanley’s 86 years old widow to this day since he came to Stanley’s apartment to pickup all of the materials. Mrs.Spector, May had the vague idea that these materials will be in good use and be beneficial, instead of having them sitting around the house. There’s no question that she May had wanted someone who could carry the torch, or like to assisting her to operate the school. In fact, she was a main force in the Stanley studio, hosting students, opening Doors, talks to them, and helping mailing/distributing the self study material. And as many of you know, Stanley died at a rather young age, only at 62. And Mrs.Spector is 12 years of his junior. She was and remains a very naive lady believing belong kind to people and helping people etc Whatever John was somehow able to persuade her to give him the material, he was taking advantage, exploiting the old woman’s trust and friendship. Once again, John has not been in touch with Mrs.Spector since the day he took all the material, and remains unavailable to the us day. So all these fraudulent unscrupulous things he did and he does would had never been brought to the attention of Mrs.Spector, if I hadn’t informed her. It is infuriating and painful to see her husband’s head / name made into a shirt for John to sell on the site. All we wanted is for John O’riley to return material-at least put a full stop on this severely wrong doing.
John O’riley came to study with Stanley Spector as a 12 or 13 years old. It is extent uncommon for Spector to teach someone so young, he had always preferred to work with older drummers. It was at O’riley’s father’s earnest plea, that Stanley Spector took him as a pupil. Stanley is his teacher, and benefactor. And this is what John does to Stanley’s widow. I’m at loss of words.