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Comments about the soundtrack for The Mummy Returns (Alan Silvestri)

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Re: Who is this FORD A. THAXTON?
• Posted by: Richard Crannix
• Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2001, at 11:52 p.m.
• IP Address: aog8402lry514g.cd.hsia.telus.net
• In Response to: Who is this FORD A. THAXTON? (MandyC)

> Who is this monster Thaxton? How horrible!

This rambling by Lukas Kendall over at FSM.com seems to be accepted as the official source of information on Ford Thaxton.

> EXCERPT FROM "FILM SCORE MONTHLY"
>
> --
> ABOUT FORD THAXTON
>
> Posted by Lukas Kendall on January 28, 1998 at 01:05:30:
>
> ABOUT FORD THAXTON
>
> This post will have little to no meaning to people not
> familiar with the newsgroup rec.music.movies, but I
> simply must vent about the one film music "persona"
> whom I truly cannot stand.
>
> DO NOT READ THIS if you don't want to hear about it.
> This will be personal. I'M SERIOUS! This is very
> specific venting that I will not foist on unsuspecting
> readers.
>
> ***
>
> I'll start off by saying that most of the people producing
> soundtrack albums who you, as fans, read about, are
> themselves fans. That's why they got into it. These
> are people not much brighter than you or I who happened
> to parlay a love of film music with the proper connections
> into a good job and/or lifestyle. No harm there - it's
> what I'm trying to do!
>
> I'll also say that these people are, by and large,
> nerds. This is not a bad thing. Today, being a nerd is
> kind of hip, and there simply is no better description for
> one who memorizes facts about Jerry Goldsmith music than
> a grade-A, class-one nerd. There are a lot nerds
> out there who are good people and who do good work.
> They have their hang ups, as do we all, but
> they get by through possessing a certain amount of human
> decency and humility.
>
> Ford Thaxton (real name, Buford) is a nasty, nasty
> piece of work. In this little essay I will reveal all I
> know about this unpleasant Hutt (as in, Jabba the) who
> takes great pleasure in being the town bully on rec.music.
> movies and slamming the work of Jeff Bond, my trusty
> FSM cohort, and myself.
>
> It may be hard for people to read this and think, how mean,
> Ford has been really helpful to people who have a question
> about a soundtrack album, and after all he is "in the
> business." Put simply, we are dealing with a deranged
> person who comes from a tortured background. His family
> is dysfunctional, to put it mildly, and everything bad
> that has ever happened to him is reflected in the
> cruelty and pounding tone of his "writing."
>
> ***
>
> Some physical characteristics:
>
> Ford is probably over 300 pounds. Now I love all living
> things, and have no problem with people who are overweight,
> or downright obese. But I do have problems with people who
> make my life difficult -- on purpose! -- and in this case
> everything is fair game.
>
> So we're envisioning 300 pounds. Now imagine suspenders,
> a bald dome, and thick coke-bottle glasses. This is
> Ford Thaxton. He wags his finger in your face when he
> talks and dominates any discussion with idiotic comments
> such as "Have you taken your meds today?"
>
> Some background:
>
> Besides his childhood, the details of which I barely know,
> thank god, Ford's schooling is minimal, to say the least,
> and he somehow got involved in producing a radio show
> about soundtracks in his native Olympia, Washington.
> Through this he managed to contact some film composers -
> this is probably in the mid-'80s - and he "produced" his
> first album with Dennis McCarthy on Star Trek: The
> Next Generation's "Encounter at Farpoint" (1987).
> The story there is that Ford was visiting Dennis at
> the time - a truly nice guy and warm human being who
> will not turn away someone, even a total freak like Ford.
> They were at the mastering session and Dennis basically
> turned over decisions of sequencing to Ford. ooooh,
> the seas parted, the sky went pitch black at noon
> and a career was born.
>
> >From there Ford moved to LA some time in the late-80s
> where reportedly he worked for like two weeks at
> Varese Sarabande before leaving (or being fired). He
> worked on some albums for GNP/Crescendo in the late
> 1980s before a fall-out with Crescendo's Neil Norman
> sent him running back to Olympia, tail between his
> legs. Somewhere in here he got hooked up with Silva Screen
> where he produced such memorable albums as
> "Frankenhooker" and a ton of low-grade horror dreck.
> (Ford has a complete lack of taste and a tin ear,
> which has contributed not only to his obnoxiously
> hosted radio shows, but some truly unmemorable and
> flawed, wasted albums, with everything from guillotine
> edits to illiterate liner notes to arbitrary se-
> quencing.)
>
> Through this time, envision a man, to use the term
> loosely, who existed to make telephone calls. This is
> someone who found a coterie of composers who didn't have
> the heart to tell him to get lost (the way James Horner
> personally did). He would then call them EVERY WEEK,
> if not every other day, to suck up, chat them up, and
> waste their time. Around this time was when he
> made the infamous call to the now-late Mort Stevens,
> "So Mort, I hear you're dying of cancer...", and in
> his most hilarious act ever, ran up $250 in PHONE
> SEX charges while staying with a well known composer.
> You've gotta be pretty dumb to do that - like they're
> not going to find out?
>
> ***
>
> Around this time is also where I come in. People sometimes
> ask about my background, and I'll tell it: I was a high
> school student on Martha's Vineyard, MA, where I grew up,
> and I published FILM SCORE MONTHLY (then going not
> even by this title, but as "The Soundtrack Club") as
> a small newsletter, for fun. One summer my dad, a doctor,
> treated a successful television composer for allergies
> or something and I met this gentleman (now a good friend
> of the family), I think during the summer of 1991. The
> composer offered to put me in contact with some people
> who might be interested in the newsletter, as it then
> was, and could help with other contacts and information.
>
> One of these referrals was Ford Thaxton - and I was
> thoroughly warned that this guy was downright nuts and
> a bully and to be very careful. But at the same time
> he knew people, had an encyclopedic knowledge of film
> music, and, hell, how much damage could he do from
> across the continent? (Shortly thereafter Ford
> borrowed $1000 from this composer, a debt which went
> unpaid for years until Ford made it up to him by producing
> an album for free.)
>
> So, from 1991 until probably 1994 I was on Ford's
> "call list," and I, Lukas Kendall, your humble editor,
> was at the receiving end of a phone call almost every
> single day. Such phone calls were of complete unim-
> portance: desire to spread "news" first - now fulfilled
> by rec.music.movies, except we beat him with most news
> at FSM.com anyway - dumb questions, personal insults,
> unintentional harassment of my poor mom, but more than
> anything persistent bullying.
>
> Keep in mind: I was between 16 and 20 years old,
> a rube from an island. People ask why I seem so loathe
> of Ford personally, and this is why: he repeatedly
> berated and abused me when I was new to the "business."
> I would never take advantage of someone this young
> but that's exactly what Ford did. And by take advantage,
> I mean bully me into accepting his opinions as gospel,
> threatening to "cut me off" from his contacts (an
> empty threat if there ever was one), and berating me
> into apologizing if I dared name one of Ford's
> transgressions.
>
> And believe me there are many. This is someone who has
> hoarded tapes like no one else. Someone who has tons of
> tons of cool things on DAT, many of which he has either
> directly bootlegged himself, or copies of which have
> found their way to bootleggers. Someone who would SELL
> tape copies of unreleased scores to alleged FRIENDS to
> pay for his Doritos and Diet Coke habit. Someone who
> regularly produces albums under pseudonyms (such as
> Arch Stanton on some utter #####from Edel, and Jason
> Alexander Stone on the 2CD Joe Harnell compilation).
> Someone who was directly involved in putting together
> the Off World Blade Runner bootleg, which really
> opened the floodgates for illegal recordings.
>
> ***
>
> This is truly a small, insecure, mean person who would
> need to beat up on a naive kid over the phone every
> single day. I still remember my freshman year at Amherst
> College and my roommates despising this "Ford" who would
> telephone all the time.
>
> Moving on, Ford's only real "break" as a record producer
> came with the 4CD Arista box set of the Star Wars Trilogy.
> Out of respect for Lucasfilm and the producer on this
> project, my friend Nick Redman, I will not go into
> details. Suffice it to say I was privy to them, being
> the liner note writer on the project (which was
> a lot of fun!), and they are that Ford became a complete,
> irrational prima donna and would never again work for
> either Lucasfilm, Redman, or 20th Century Fox.
>
> In fact it brings me great joy that Fox deliberately
> excluded Ford, contractually, from his true dream project:
> the 6CD Irwin Allen box set put out by Crescendo two
> years ago. Fox and the producers simply would not allow
> Ford any access to the material for fear of the havoc
> that he would create.
>
> Shortly after this I finally put my foot down and broke
> what I consider to be the only abusive relationship I
> have ever been in, in my entire life. One night I noticed
> that there was a person called "Cuecutter" posting repeated
> and nasty messages on the Babylon 5 newsgroup in the
> most identifiable fractured English ever seen. Yes, it
> could only be the work of Ford Thaxton - as anyone who
> reads rec.music.movies knows, his style of non-writing
> is impossible for him either to improve, or hide.
> I identified "Cuecutter" as such, to the gratitude of
> the B5 denizens, and found myself being screamed at
> by Ford on the phone, literally 15 minutes after I posted
> this revelation.
>
> This would be the last time I would speak directly to
> Ford Thaxton. Since then he has tried to call me and
> I always hang up instantly, just as I always delete
> his e-mails without opening them. This was 1994.
>
> ***
>
> Whatever whipping-boy function I once served for
> Ford is now fulfilled by the innocent questioners
> and fans on rec.music.movies. Although I rarely post
> to rmm, I do read it regularly, and I have seen Ford
> attack, berate and illogically harass upwards of
> dozens of innocent users. At the same time I see
> people come to Ford's defense when attacked, because
> he is perceived as someone "in the know," which is
> ludicrous. This is someone *loathed* by most, and only
> barely tolerated by the rest. This is someone with a
> tin ear whose albums are sheer idiocy, filled with
> incorrect takes and unreleasable edits.
>
> On a Psych 101 level, this is someone whose entire
> life has seen him abused, and thus he seeks instead to
> be the authority figure, discplining others, to soothe
> his own pain. Although this is pitiable, it is not
> acceptable. I know I'm one to talk about authority figures,
> since I act as the same kind of dispenser of information
> via FILM SCORE MONTHLY, but I would never approach the
> sheer malice and personal spite of Ford -- a fact
> Ford does not understand, for I only focus my evil
> on one person: him.
>
> But there are many differences between us. I do not
> post several times a day to correct people on matters
> of opinion, not fact. I do not
> search dejanews to find incriminating information on
> people. I do not call up episodes from the past
> (except with Ford!). I do not harass Internet providers
> of people with whom I disagree, and I certainly do not
> find people's HOME PHONE NUMBERS to berate them.
>
> And contrary to what Ford repeatedly alleges, I am not
> without humility. A lot of FSM to me is fun, and
> entertainment, and I am secure enough in what I do not
> to care if I am criticized, just as I am sure many
> composers do not care if I criticize them. Why would
> James Newton Howard care if I give a CD of his a bad
> review? He might be interested, he might disagree, but
> he's not going to go, how dare this person disrespect
> me. I met James Newton Howard, he's really cool and I
> do respect him. One of the most frustrating things
> is how Ford has horrible tastes and needs to suck up
> to marginal composers, defending them to his last
> breath, as a substitute for his lack of any worthwhile
> intellectual contribution to film music.
>
> OK, now I'm going in circles. I will end. I realize
> the distasteful nature of this diatribe, which is why
> I did not post it to rec.music.movies. But this is
> upwards of one-half a decade of venting. If I think of
> any other Ford stories - there seem to be more daily -
> I will add them. All I'll say is, you've gotta get
> me pretty riled up to write anything this long about
> one person.
>
> Lukas Kendall
> --




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