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EDITIONS
Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Blur drummer stands for union post
Blur
Rowntree (R): MU "needs to include pop musicians"
Blur drummer Dave Rowntree is to stand for election to the Musicians' Union's (MU) governing body.

The musician, who has been in the studio with bandmates on Blur's latest album, told The Stage newspaper he wanted to "fight politically for people in bands".


If any one should be well placed to fight for bands it is the Musicians' Union

Dave Rowntree
Elections to the 21-member MU executive start on 18 October and results of the postal ballot will be made known on 11 November.

If elected, Rowntree will be representing one of the union's London branches on the executive.

He told the paper that he first decided to get involved with the union after being angered by a British Phonographic Institute (BPI) letter to record companies.

'Loathsome and vile'

The letter, part of the BPI's lobbying effort for recent European Union copyright legislation, asked record companies to recruit artists for an anti-piracy petition headed by Jean Michel Jarre.

Rowntree told The Stage he found the letter "loathsome and vile" and added: "The BPI doesn't represent people in bands.

Blur
Blur is currently "considering the position" of guitarist Graham Coxon (L)
"It works with and is entirely controlled by record companies and quite often their interests are at odds with bands'."

A BPI spokeswoman told BBC News Online that a number of artists had chosen to sign the petition.

"The BPI does represent record companies - but they have to look after their artists and represent their interests," she said.

Rowntree, who has been nominated by Blur's bassist Alex James, said: "If any one organisation should be well placed to fight for people in bands it is the Musicians' Union.

"I think it needs to include pop musicians, who should take a more active role in the MU and the union should be reflecting their concerns."

The MU assistant general secretary Bob Wearn has welcomed Mr Rowntree's decision to put himself forward for election.

See also:

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