Motown had been in place for 2 or 3 years, Ed decided that
he was ready to make a move.
He suggested that we
would make a good partnership as we had been partners in a
lot of things.
So we decided to go
to New York City to find an attorney, as there was no one in
Detroit who knew the legal side of the music business.
George Schiffer had
helped to establish Motown on a firm footing and it seemed
like a good idea to ask for his assistance."
Schiffer was Motown's
Copyright Attorney and International Adviser and he would
help Gordy set up an international distribution deal with
EMI in late '63 in Europe.
"He was expert
in drawing up contracts on anything to do with the music
business. He was very frank with us and warned us of the
high mortality rate that existed in that field; although
Motown was beginning to do well, and so were companies in
He also pointed out
that we were at a disadvantage to Berry because he was able
to write his own material, whereas we were not. We both
admitted that we couldn't write a thing. He then suggested
that we do something else with our capital as it was serious money
that we wanted to invest.
Schiffer then tried
to persuade us to get involved in a new commercial project.
A company was coming up with the rights to airwaves, lots of
stakes were available and it was based on people buying in television pictures -
eventually it would become known as Cable TV. It was too
much for us to contemplate; 15-20 years to wait for a return
on our money. Anyway there wasn't enough detail, it seemed
It was obvious too
that Schiffer felt that there would be a conflict of
interest between representing two rival Record Companies in
the same town. We respected that and eventually found
another lawyer with similar credentials."