JetSpeed Records / Total Scam
I should have known better. My story is almost a carbon copy of everyone else's only with a little more 'fun' attached to it.
I paid Courtland almost $10k over the two to three years I thought he was doing something for it.
I found it strange when he would call me in a panic on a Saturday afternoon to tell me I needed to wire him another $200 right away. What does a label who I just sent thousands to need me to send them $200 for?
To make matters worse, his studio guy, Dave Morse, was moving to Nashville so I decided to move my studio to LA so I could produce records for Jetspeed. Courtland was supposed to have a house or apatment reserved for us but it never happened. I spent over $5, 000 on hotels and parking over a period of 2 to 3 months before I found a place on our own. Then Courtland would talk about the equipment he had in storage or would purchase for the studio. He told me he had this amazing board for my protools studio. None of this ever happened.
He sent this $400 board that wasn't ProTools compatible and it had a fan that was as loud as an airplane. He only got me that board because there was a band from Vegas coming to record. He owed them so they were to come and record in my studio for a discounted rate, pay me directly, then wed be done. The project was pretty rough without the right gear, but we made the best of it and the band seemed to have a good time. That is the only job Courtland even came through on. He booked 4 other bands over 2 months and none of them ever showed. I dont think he even told these bands they were coming to record with me. Nothing ever came of it. In fact, the failure to follow through from Jetspeed forced me to have to move out of the house I had spend several months building the studio in (at my own expense). I counted on the money that Courtland assured me was coming from his bands.
On another note, Courtland told me he would pay me $200 per week to fix and maintain his web site. I spent over a thousand hours on his site and never saw a dime for it.
The last straw was when he wanted to use my PayPal account to sell coins on Ebay. (At the time, I was unaware that he couldn't get his own PayPal account because he screwed it up already.) It seemed harmless enough, especially if I was going to be paid, finally as a result of his new revenue stream. Over the next couple months he paid me about $1, 000 while he made over $10k. The only problem is when people started to complain, he left me holding the bag. PayPal cancelled my account when Courtland posted PS3s that he didn't even own yet. To this day I can't open a paypal account.
He is pathological. Even with people he allows to get closer to him. He will simply use and use and use them until they finally see the light and leave him behind. People like Dave Morse, Martin Brown and others who used to speak up on his behalf finally became tired of his B.S. and just moved away. They stopped speaking up for him. They watched their friends get burned by him, one after the other and couldnt take it anymore. I remember one of these people sharing with me that they had to rebuke Courtland because one of his own staff couldnt pay her rent because he owed her money for her paycheck and Courtland couldnt pay it.
The problem is that in this industry there will always be another sucker. He only needs a dozen or so at any given time to keep him going (and you can always see who that dozen are by looking at his web site). Based on how he has operated with so many others, including myself, Im certain his current clients paid him $5k to $6k in the hopes that he would do something for them as well.
He cant help himself. He would call me out of the blue saying my song was being played on the radio â€œright nowâ€. The problem is I never got a check from BMI nor was there ever any proof that this was the case. He would get me out of bed to write and produce songs for him ON SPEC. I would send him MP3s for what? Again, I never saw anything come of it. He would call to tell me that my song was going to be on some Cable TV show. My folks subscribed to that channel specifically to hear my song, but it never played. Then Courtland would tell me that the artwork for my new CD was going to be in Billboard magazine. I would tell my family and they bought 2 or 3 months of Billboard. My own Grandmother picked up a magazine, but do you thing she saw my product there?
When I specifically questioned Courtland about the money I paid him, where it went and what would become of what he promised, he simply said I was sick back then. You cant hold that against me. Like I was just going to live without that money and forgive the debt. He is pathological. I just dont know how he gets away with it.
For 7 or 8 months he gave me a phone on his Verizon account and to him, that is supposed to make up for the thousands of dollars I gave him. He has a funny way of comparing the value of his contribution to the hell he puts you through. When I was setting up my studio, he took me shopping for a set of â€œstudio monitors. I wound up with a $100 pair of radio shack bookcase speakers.
I wish I didnt but there are nights that I lie in bed and cant sleep because of all that he cost me. I wish I could be around when he finally gets his Karma.
The guy pretty much destroyed my faith in people. My faith and enthusiasm in the music business is all but gone. I started my own music production company after much of my own blood sweat and tears. I just finished producing my second project and Im proud of what I do. I offer Indi artists a chance to make their songs sound really professional at a very reasonable cost. I cant even make a living off it but I enjoy helping people and staying close to the music scene.
Courtland doesn't have any offices or studios. I'm not saying he has any questionable habits but he was always broke and always claimed to have a 'sinus infection'. He had me drive him to a casino once, where he gave me $100 and I watched blow through $10k in 2 hours.
I tried hard to be his friend but he screwed me over too many times.
BTW - I never saw my CDs (that I paid my own money to produce in my own studios) on any shelves, there was never any air play and I was never offered even a partial refund. I wish there could be some justice for what sounds like a lot of us who got screwed by him.
PS - There are many others with similar stories. See: http://www.musicmarketing.com/2004/10/songsharks_get_.html