June 30, 2007
In the early 60’s, I went out with a few Iranian girls who actually told me that they were brought up to tell people what they wanted to hear, then go out and do the exact opposite. One of these girls, Jamela, was the beautiful daughter of a deposed general, who was exiled to the United States along with the Shah of Iran. I admit it was exciting to wonder who was following us on our dates, her father’s bodyguards…or the Secret Service! All of this danger, brought us closer together, and she revealed many aspects of her culture I never knew about. She told me that Iranian men showed no quarter to their enemy and were fierce warriors because they weren’t afraid of dying! It was only when she told me that she feared for my safety, did I take our cultural differences seriously! We continued to see each other secretly, however, which led me to co-write my first hit song, ” ( Meet Me At) Midnight Mary” (Raleigh/ Wayne).
Ben Raleigh (“Wonderful, Wonderful”, “Tell Laura I Love Her”) came up with the title, and we wrote it in a couple of hours. The next day we took it up to Larry Taylor at Bourne music, who gave us an advance and gave us money for a demo. For the next year, the publishers weren’t able to get the song recorded, then we were told that a new artist on Capitol records, Jerry Cole, had just cut it.
Although his record was good, I thought I could produce a better one. I had become good friends with one of my co-writers, Joey Powers, who had just been released from an RCA recording contract. We decided to go into the studio to do another demo good enough to become a master. We scrapped up $500.00, booked Associated recording studios, hired arranger Al Gorgoni and Charlie Macey to play guitars, Buddy Saltzman on drums and Jeannie Thomas who sang all the background parts.
The following week, “Midnight Mary”was turned down by every major record label in New York City! I remember playing it for my friends song plugger, Jerry Landis (Soon to become better known as Paul Simon) up at E.B.Marks music and Tony Dee, who was a promotion man for the company. They both suggested that I take my master up to Larry Uttal who had started running AMY Records. Larry, who was my former neighbor at 1650 Broadway, loved the record gave us our production costs back as well as a shitty percentage!
I remember as we signed contracts he asked me if I could make the bass on the master a little bit louder? I just looked at him and said, “What bass?” Larry smiled and handed me an extra $15 out of his pocket to add a bass and do a new mix.
$15 ? for a bass player And a new mix? Fortunately I had a few friends who did me some favors, including bass player, Russ Savakis. After the session I took the $15 and bought everyone hot dogs and some coconut champagne at a store around the corner from the Brill building.
A few months later, I remember taking publicity pictures and being handed a gold record by Larry Uttal, who whispered, “Now this doesn’t necessarily mean it sold a million records!”
It was November 22, 1963 and I had been preparing to record the entire “Midnight Mary” album during the four day weekend. I’d been flying to Columbus, Ohio every week to rehearse Joey Powers, who was going for his Masters Degree at Ohio State.
That night, as Al Gorgoni put some finishing touches on the arrangements, and Jeannie Thomas polished the background parts for her and Lettie Hamblet. Our usual crew of musicians, augmented with Paul Simon and Roger McGuinn on 12 string guitars, was going over the charts for the first session, due to start in a half-hour.
Joey Powers and I were riding into the city from the airport, when we heard the horrible, unconfirmed reports on the news. By the time we walked into the studio and saw the tears in most everybody’s eyes, we knew it was true, “President Kennedy had been shot!”
(To Be Continued)
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
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June 30, 2007
Until I joined Spectropop, The 60’s music forum, I largely dismissed my early body of work, which included hundreds of releases as a writer/ artist/ and producer, because most of them weren’t hits.
Now through all of your eyes, I’ve re-examined some of my own songs and realized a lot of them didn’t suck after all!
Here are 2 songs from the past…followed by three songs I’ve written recently.
“FROM THE INSIDE”
Whenever a line or idea came to me, seemingly, out of the blue I considered it a gift. It was only during times of great emotional stress, however, when I channeled entire songs. The next time this happened was when my Grandmother passed away in 1974.
When I heard the news, I flew back to New York from Hollywood, where I was general manager of Warner Brothers Music. Although for the past few years I had been concentrating on promoting other people’s songs … now I was compelled to write again.
During the three-day period, from the time she passed until her funeral …Gooma came to me in my darkened hotel room several times. She talked to me in her usual comforting tone… told me not to cry or be afraid. She smiled and said I should be happy for her…that she was finally out of pain.
She didn’t look like the 83 year old that I revered…but like the thirty year old, whose picture lived in the family album. She sat across from me slightly illuminated by what seemed to be a light coming from within. She told me that we all have guides from the other side who anonymously give us information everyday…but from now on she would be my personal guide.
To hear “From The Inside” and the original demo by Kim Carnes http://artiewayne.com/inside.html
“SENDING MY GOOD THOUGHTS TO YOU”
One of my closest friends, Patti Dahlstrom, introduced me to one of her closest friends, Jim Croce and we hit it off immediately. We went to his concerts, TV shows and sometimes we just sat around talking or playing guitar. Although I was more of a publisher at the time, working for Warner Bros. Music, I knew I was in the presence of an extraordinary human being and could learn a great from him about songwriting and life.
The night his plane crashed, Patti and I had started a song that became a tribute to him “Sending my Good Thoughts to You”. Since his passing, whenever I’ve been stuck on a lyric or need a little help with one of life’s little problems Jim appears to me and gives me an answer, usually laced with his “wicked” sense of humor.
To hear Patti Dahlstrom sing “Sending My Good Thoughts To You”
“THERE’S A CRACK IN A STAR ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD”
Once upon a time a publicist would warn their female clients not to be photographed exiting a car if they weren’t wearing underwear, now they warn them not to be photographed like that unless they shave! We’re living in an era where publicists rule and manipulate our perceptions…where spin is King!
To hear Ariel Wolf sing, “Crack In A Star On Hollywood Boulevard.
“(DON”T WANT TO BE) INVISIBLE”
Ever since I was a kid I’ve known people who have tried to keep a low profile…so low in fact, they are virtually invisible! I’ve never been one of those people. With every ounce of strength and determination in my body, I fight everyday to make my mark in this world, while carving a pathway to the next. I’d like to present a song I wrote with Terry Mace, about this struggle…and the effect love can have on it. I hope you enjoy it! Just click onto
“I’M AT MY BEST WHEN I”M DOWN”
Since I’m no longer able to play a musical instrument, I put down an acapella version of “I’m At My Best When I’m Down” on my computer. I sent it to my friend Alan O’Day ( “Undercover Angel”, “Angie Baby”), who surprised me by putting chords behind it!
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
For Spectropop http://spectropop.com
To reach Alan O’Day http://alanoday.com
Artie Wayne website http://artiewayne.com
June 28, 2007
BOBBY DARIN 5/13/36 – 12/20/73
During the 50’s and early 60’s, racism divided radio just as it divided America. White people, for the most part, didn’t want to hear Black voices sing about a life style they couldn’t relate to and Black people didn’t want to hear White voices sing about a life style they were being denied.
I don’t believe there was a conspiracy to”steal’ songs and styles from black artists and give them to white artists to make pop hits. It often was the idea of many progressive, soulful white artists to sing songs they personally liked and wanted to record.
Such an artist was Bobby Darin, who who could sing and write like a Black man, (“Splish, Splash”, “Queen Of The Hop”). he could also sound like a country singer ( You’re The Reason I’m Living”, “Things”), a folk singer, (“If I Were A Carpenter”)…not to mention “Swing” like Sinatra (“Mack The Knife”, “Beyond The Sea”)
It was singing R&B flavored songs, however, that first captured the public’s attention, and brought him to the top of the charts. I met him for the first time, back stage at an Alan Freed Rock And Roll Show in 1959, when I was trying to break into the record business.
I was sitting in the rehearsal room of the Brooklyn Fox Theater, learning a few chords from my new pal, Bo Diddley who I met that morning after sneaking backstage. I remember Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Clanton and Bobby Darin coming in and asking if we would mind if they played a test pressing of Bobby’s next single. I sat there spellbound as we all listened to the record that would take his career to the next level…”Dream Lover”!
Over the next few days I sat with Bobby and played him a couple of my songs. When I told him I was going to sign a management contract with Alan Freed, he spoke to me privately and told me about a friend of his who just opened a publishing company at 1650 Broadway.
He wrote down his friend’s name in my autograph book…and the next day I went to audition for Don Kirshner.
For almost two years I was signed to Donnie and his partner Al Nevins’ company, Aldon music. Although I never got any of my songs covered or made a record while I was there, I did learn how to write songs from the best in the business, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Howard Greenfield, Larry Kolber and Barry Mann.
It wasn’t until 1963, until I saw Bobby Darin again. I left Aldon music and was writing songs with Ben Raleigh (“Wonderful, Wonderful”, “Tell Laura I Love Her”) When Bobby asked Ben If he had any songs, for his hot new artist , Wayne Newton. Ben and I wrote one and brought it back the next day. Bobby loved, “Better Now Than Later”and a few days later recorded it with Wayne and put it on the b-side of “Danke Schoen”.
After that I became a regular visitor to Bobby’s publishing company, TM Music, where my friends Kenny Young and Artie Resnick were signed as writers. I ran into Bobby, who asked If I had any folk songs for a new album he was working on. It must’ve been one of the hottest days of the year, when I started to play a new song I wrote with Ben, “Train To The Sky”. At the end the first chorus, Bobby smiled, reached up, whipped off his toupee and threw it on the couch!
I knew I’d start laughing if I stopped singing, so I sang it over and over until the moment passed. That night he went in and recorded the song with Walter Raim and Roger McGuinn playing all the instruments.
In 1965, after I was one of the first Americans to have open heart surgery, I remember I’d sit and talk to Bobby for hours about the procedure. He wanted to know if I was afraid? Did it hurt? Would I go through it again if I had to? Then he told me that he had a similar problem with his heart since he was a kid. He said his doctors talked about open heart surgery…but he was afraid to have it!
(To Be Continued)
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
Bobby Darin sings “Dream Lover” on the Ed Sullivan Show http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=1549762784
To see Bobbys remarkable live performance in 1959 of “Mack The Knife” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=582310482463733506&q=bobby+darin&total=396&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0
“If I Were A Carpenter” in a live 1973 “Midnight Special” performance http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7940216871363353978&q=bobby+darin&total=397&start=40&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=5
BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/
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June 25, 2007
Bruce Willis, took no prisoners as “Live Free or Die Hard” shot straight to #1, officially becoming the biggest movie of the summer! And summer only started last week.
Although Apple’s I-Phone isn’t released until friday, A bootleg version has already made it into malls across the country. Apple warns consumers that if there isn’t a picture of an eye talking into a cell phone on the back of the device…it’s a bootleg!
After winning an undisclosed amount in a libel suit against the English tabloids, Heather Mills smiled said, “You only need one leg to kick somebody’s ass!”
It was revealed after a mix-up at the DNA lab, that Larry Birkhead is actually the father of Scary Spice’s baby, while Eddie Murphy is the father of Anna Nicole Smiths’ Dannielynn, and Knut the baby polar bear.
Websters dictionary has added the term “political correctness” to it’s hallowed pages…
“Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which believes that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end”.
Rosie O’Donnell announced this morning that she’ll be replacing Meridith Viera on the “Today”show, as well becoming the new host of “The Price Is Right”.Then she said this afternoon, that she’ll be taking over the “Tonight Show”. Finally, it was announced tonight that Rosie has been taken to Bellevue Hospital where she is being held for observation.
97 pound Nicole Ritchie told TMZ.com that she isn’t pregnant and the “baby bump” that appeared in pictures last week was only an olive she had for lunch!
EXCLUSIVE PHOTO! After being released from jail today, Paris Hilton (below left without make-up and underwear) tried to sneak into her limo unoticed. Our top photographer, Al Ketchem, was the only one of the papparazzi there to get this shocking picture that she didn’t want any one to see!
Presidential candidate Barack Obama, has dropped out of the race after being caught with Amber Lee (above Right), who sings, “I’ve Got A Crush On Obama” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4563509419827524955&q=i%27ve+got+a+crush+on+obama&total=7&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
Thanks to Patti Dahlstrom, Al Ketchem, Phil X. Milstein, Richard Yannotti for their contributions, and to the late Harvey Miller who helps me with this column.
June 23, 2007
If it sounds like I’m dropping names…I am! Bruce Willis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Will Smith, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Depp, Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Sean Penn, Jodie Foster, and Forrest Whitaker were just a few of our customers.
On any given night, I could walk into Genghis Cohen, the Hollywood hot spot I named and hosted, and feel like I was walking onto a movie set. While my friend Allan Rinde, who owned the restaurant, was making sure every customer was having a wonderful Chinese dining experience, I was paying a little extra attention to the stars. It was about this time that I had begun working with 3- dimensional acrylic fabric paint to create a new look for myself. I started enhancing old Hawaiian Shirts with 3-dimensional acrylic paint…which patrons bought right off my back! It wasn’t long before I had a profitable little sideline.
I remember while recording across the street at Cherokee studios, Bruce Willis and his producer, Robert Kraft would come in for egg rolls during breaks. This was during the end of the run of his hit TV show “Moonlighting” when Bruce was also performing around town with his blues band doing vocals and playing harmonica. From the conversations I had with him, I found out he liked blues and early Rock And Roll singers, so I made a special shirt for him of his favorites who passed away. It was called the “Rock and Roll Heaven” Shirt, based on the classic song my friend Alan Day wrote with the late Johnny Stevenson.
It was a black T-shirt, ripped a bit here and there, with with a stenciled “Heaven” on the front, with hand painted signatures of his favorite artists. I happened to give it to him on the same night he signed a 7 million dollar endorsement for Seagrams Whiskey. To be perfectly honest, later when he thanked me and said goodnight, I don’t think that the patented smirk he was wearing on his face was for the shirt!
Another actor/ musician who would drop in from time to time, was Johnny Depp. He owned a club up on the Sunset Strip, “The Viper Room”, and whenever he had yen for Chinese food he’d come down to Genghis. The first night I met him, we talked about music. Then I asked if he would mind if I asked him a personal question? “Can I see the tattoo?”
The tattoo I was talking about was a hot topic in all the tabloids. When Johnny broke up with Wynonna Ryder, he altered a tattoo he had on his arm that said “Wynonna Forever” to say “Wino Forever”. When he rolled up his sleeve and showed me, I knew he was cool!
One night when I came into work, I saw Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey, Jr. sitting at a tiny table for 2 in the middle of an empty restaurant. I introduced myself and asked if they would prefer to have a booth?
When they finished dinner, I sat with them and told them how much I enjoyed Sarah in “Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun” and Robert in “Weird Science”. They told me that they appreciated how they were treated at Genghis Cohen. Other restaurants, wanted them to get in and out because they weren’t of drinking age and could only spend so much. I told them whenever you or your friends wanted to come in just call me. I assured them that “At Genghis Cohen, your wish…Is your problem!”
They laughed and not only became restaurant regulars, but became enthusiastic supporters of my wearable art.
One night Sarah was trying on one of my creations in the wine room at Genghis Cohen. She dresses and flicks off the light switch but it’s NOT the switch for the closet it’s the switch for the ENTIRE restaurant! Allan throws open the door, turns the darkened restaurant lights back on and GLARES at me. Sarah confesses and Allan smiles…after all who can stay mad at Sarah Jessica Parker?
(To Be Continued)
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
To read an article on Barbra Streisand at Genghis Cohen http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/04/barbra-streisand-and-the-price-of-egg-rolls/
Glowing Memories Of Genghis Cohen http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/07/29/glowing-memories-of-genghis-cohen/
Peaking In A Chinese Restaurant http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/peaking-in-a-chinese-restaurant/
To some of my wearable art. http://artiewayne.com/art.html
June 21, 2007
No Rap…No Crap! Just Hot…R&B, Pop and Rock! Rihanna UNCENSORED “Umbrella” video, too HOT for MTV, New Usher, R. Kelly, Fergie, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park, Michael Buble’, Enrique Iglesias, Ronnie Kimball, Avril Lavigne, and Pink!
Rihanna – UNCENSORED “Umbrella”- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7bK4Vee36M
Enrique Iglesias – UNEDITED “Do You Know (Ping Pong Song) ” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6500743972384902795&q=enrique+iglesias&total=3701&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=4
Fergie – “Big Girls Don’t Cry” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9101559460967446026&q=fergie&total=15694&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1
Ronnie Kimball – “Rock And Roll Heaven” http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/
Fall Out Boy – “Thanks For The Memories”