Meeting with Fabrice Epstein, the lawyer who raises all the defendants of rock – Gonzaï

The hearing starts as in a dream, in the vaulted room of the fire bar of the Palais de Justice in Paris. Amidst the ghosts and their old hidden files, lawyer Epstein (not Brian, Fabrice) unfolds his “judicial history of rock” compiled in the book Rock’n’Roll Justice. In just under 60 texts, he gets just about everyone naked.

It must be said that the young lawyer is not used to drinking too much. A few glasses of dry white wine and he is tipsy in the middle of sober January. We are not safe from an offense of public drunkenness in this bar itself steeped in history, but history with a capital H. It is here, you see, that Marie-Antoinette , Queen of France, waited before embarking for the Place de la Concorde to be promptly beheaded. French tradition as we know, still current. It is here again – but we would have to ask our lawyer – that Bob Dylan slipped in before meeting Judge Potier in November 2013 on the pretext that the latter had indicted him for incitement to racial hatred. Yes, in a magazine interview RollingStone, Bob would have declared that the victims smell the assassins coming, they smell their “blood”: that of the Whites, the Nazis as well as the Croats. Holy Zimmerman. The Representative Council of the Institutions and the Croatian Community of France did not at all like reading this fallacious digression in the French version of RollingStone. But surely it’s a mistranslation as argued by Bob. He never validated these remarks and, moreover, he never gave an interview to RollingStone France. Well yes and Potier quickly understands the trick. If he went to the refreshment bar after the audition, he will no doubt have declared it to the public. For sure, this citizen deserves a dismissal! Before delving into this very simple menu which is the joy of the establishment’s bistro. Epstein, if he was around, watched it all from afar. He was still very young, but had already understood that to eat quickly, you had to have the favor of one of these waitresses in a skirt and white collar, contrary to what the specialized gazettes were saying at the time: ” [à la buvette du Palais] the waitresses in uniform administer the room with enthusiasm and professionalism. »

If you missed the royalties train, you wasted your life

So obviously if we talk about citizen Epstein, it’s because he’s good. Well-bred okay, but quite at the level. His stories are well put together, always filled with irony and tenderness for his passion, the teenage thing as he says, his quadra thing in fact. He didn’t directly experience the late 1970s, but he can sincerely sympathize with poor Robert Fripp who is skating in semolina to get his rights to the intro of “Heroes” admitted that – yes, yes everyone is ok- he recorded well with Bowie, Eno and Visconti. He was there. But here it is, it is not credited; and he missed the royalties train.

These money stories are often at the heart of litigation and it amuses the drooler a lot, not only because of his surname which links him to the crook Brian, but also because as a criminal lawyer, he officiates in business law. So he dug deep into the files of Colonel Parker and Allen Klein, perhaps the most treacherous of them all, the one whose estate still possesses the Stones’ 1961/1969 catalog and rains and shines on synchros and quotation rights. A textbook case, the Klein estate, the very opposite of the Peace and love of the late 1960s. With this band of Sopranos, there is no question of looking for “measures” here and there because supposedly, the music is shared. No question that The Verve has fun playing the first notes of “The last time” from 1965 to shine its Bitter sweet symphony of 1997. Finally, until this fixation becomes ridiculously counterproductive, until in 2019 when the rights will be transferred (Richard Ashcroft will warmly thank the Stones by social networks interposed when they have not much to do with this decision).

Beyond the funny anecdotes that dot the book (Barry White imprisoned for stealing tires, finally deciding to move towards singing), it is undoubtedly on this point that the book touches on something essential: the progressive transformation groups in a shareholders’ pact, a dirty word whose main function is to avoid the ass-fucks suffered by the elders. Of course, there will always be scams floating above good deals. But from the 1980s, everyone knows the story. As Orelsan would say: I have some flashes of genius, but most of the time, I’m dumb “. And then, a band today frankly, it’s a bit old school isn’t it? Now is the time for self-entrepreneurship. As such, it is interesting to observe the attitude of French rap leaders and their virtuosity in making cash and hooliganism rhyme, reputation and the general public. And afterwards, we will say that we have no serious entrepreneurs in France! OK, there are thugs and thugs and a lawyer has to separate the wheat from the chaff. In Rock ‘n roll Justice, inevitably, rap is only nenni, or denial. Well almost. There is nevertheless a paper on Tupac and then the funny story of the Parent Musical Resource Center (PMRC) that the wife Gore carried in the American opinion until imposing the famous mention “explicit lyrics” on most rap albums. And thus increase the profile of record companies by 10%. It’s curious, but suddenly Epstein stopped laughing and told me straight in the eye that ” it’s not because we have succeeded in life, huh! This story also teaches us not to take ourselves too seriously.He probably overdid the white wine.

Punk revenge and Daft for all

We’ll let you pick the “good stories” on your own, we’re not going to chew you up all the work either. The book is 25 euros, but it’s worth it to shine in dinners. Epstein has been working on it for a while, he was already working five years ago without really knowing what to do with these chronicles sex drugs and big money.
At the time he was busy setting up his practice with his friend Benjamin Chouai, himself terribly contaminated by the rock’n roll virus. His priapic pen finally found a home port at Larivière editions, an honorable family house which publishes in particular 4×4 magazine, Knowledge of hunting, Le monde du camping-car. And obviously Rock ‘n Folkthe French clone ofUncut, the favorite magazine of all rock grandpas. This time, he goes up a level with this book, published by the Manufacture des livres, rather oriented towards the noir novel or the social novel. Good pick.

We recommend the chapter on the Court of Assizes of Épinal which sees a look-alike of Johnny and another of Gainsbourg clash. Truculent. Special mention also for Daft Punk who bend Sacem on digital rights. It’s so huge that Epstein adds to it. It would be the father Bangalter who would have put the chip in the ear of his son, arguing that his members would have despoiled the property of Jews during the war. Punk revenge and Daft for all according to Epstein. Rock’n roll, in the sense of his own teenage years; those 1990s during which music didn’t really know where it was going, the blessed era of VHS tapes and the Scream franchise, the transformation of the electric guitar into an Air guitar, into a video game. The parody of the parody of which the fan in the little black dress seeks to extract the substantive marrow here. And the worst part is that most of the time, he succeeds. He’s not a lawyer for nothing. And besides, if he finds himself at the bar with the champion penalists, it is not because he defended a drunk Joey Starr, insulting a flight attendant. Don’t mess around either. No, if he’s here, it’s because he was also secretary of the Conference of Lawyers, who here regularly have eloquent feasts. The Conference, you probably don’t know, but it’s a traditional trick of the trade where you come to compete in spirit when you are under 35 and less than 5 years at the bar in front of a jury of peers who makes you choose an absurd subject on which you have to improvise and shine in rhetoric. The kind of place where you can dwell on the self-plagiarism trial against John Fogerty or the one targeting the Sex Pistols on the pretext of the indecency of the title of their album “Never mind the bollocks”. Bullshit. Because here, as a professor of English literature will explain in the courtroom, the word “bollock” band of nose also means “orchid”. It is also the name with which priests are decked out when they say nonsense. Bollock is much bigger than your balls, it belongs to the heritage of the English language. Add to that, Mr. Justice, that this disc on display everywhere in the shops and which the press keeps talking about has not offended anyone’s decency so far. So, we understand, the case is quickly closed.

Life is a bitch and then you’re dead

To stay with the stories of balls, there is obviously that of Jim Morrison since his story intersects with that of the Palace. Is it not close to here, we know today, that the Doors singer consumed the poison that was fatal to him? Here, at Sam Bernett’s Rock’n Circus, here in the city of Gaul which housed a Morrison in trouble with the justice of his country for having, it is said (but nothing is really proven) exhibiting on stage his beautiful camera of rock ‘n roll star.

Did The Doors'  Jim Morrison exhibits himself in Miami?  |  Miami Herald

Epstein then splits an imaginary plea which atomizes the dealer Jean de Breuil and accuses Pamela Courson and Agnès Varda who covered his testimony. Agnès Varda is a liar, he promptly declares and it’s really good to hear that as the little old woman who has completed her work in shameless egotism is hailed everywhere as the poetess of the New World. But yes, that’s also a pleading, working to overturn the table of good intentions with a few words and, in passing, ambience your badass superego. And Epstein can let go, especially when he learns that Morrison ended up being pardoned by American justice as Merle Haggard had been by Governor Reagan (1972). Morrison he says ” shit in his pants during the hearing “. It’s not that the grace is too Christian or the fact that the judge was a school friend of the big Jim that revolts him. No, it’s more that grace is “legal nonsense”. As unpredictable as this late statement from the Vatican explaining that the Beatles are still great and that it was not worth shooting them on the pretext that this simpleton Lennon sincerely thought that his group was better known than Jesus Christ him -even (1966). That’s what annoys Epstein, the fact that white people are forgiven while black people rot in the dungeon. We are at the heart of the pleading, of the DNA of the defense lawyer and it is undoubtedly the thread that connects the word “justice” and that of “rock’n roll” here. By extension, the beautiful idea of ​​the 1970s that comes from it refused the penitentiary solution and the principle of confinement on the pretext that it is not only unequal, but solves nothing. One thing, look at it, back in tune with the times, in Bourdieu-style diagnoses reworked with the spice of intersectionality. Working class, dangerous class, this mad cultural power of black music and hip-hop – in France, its Arab-Caribbean component – ​​which never ceases to excite this new reactionary spirit which, we are told, is insidiously spreading in our advanced democracies. That’s all the magic of a pleading. You start from a guy who shows his stuff in public, you arrive at a critical analysis of capitalist society. A way like any other to save the honor of rock’n roll.

Fabrice Epstein // Rock’n’Roll Justice // The book factory
https://www.lamanufacturedelivres.com/livres/fiche/214/epstein-fabrice-rock-n-roll-justice

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