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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

EXTRA! EXTRA! YOU CAN BUY MY BOOK ,“I DID IT FOR A SONG” AT AMAZON or Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

TO READ A CHAPTER OR TWO FOR FREE CLICK  HERE

TO READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS  CLICK  HERE

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB! http://artiewayne.wordpress.com  

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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”
http://artiewayne.com/sending.html

“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.
http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/12/theres-a-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

To hear Terry Mace sing, “Invisible”

http://artiewayne.com/invisible.html

“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!
http://artiewayne.com/best.html

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
For Spectropop http://spectropop.com

To reach Alan O’Day http://alanoday.com

Artie Wayne website http://artiewayne.com

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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

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne

http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

pat-three1Websters 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!

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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.
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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/

On Ronald Isley http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/09/04/its-your-thing-do-what-you-wanna-do-ronald-isleyshame-on-you/

Luther Vandross http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/27/rock-and-roll-heaven-finally-back-online-tribute-to-joplin-vandross-and-zevon/

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

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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

Michael Buble’ – “Everything” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5257118180413657446&q=michael+buble&total=2128&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Ronnie Kimball – “Rock And Roll Heaven” http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/

Avril Lavigne – “Girlfriend” – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8146371784531658546&q=avril+lavigne&total=23728&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Linkin Park – “What I’ve Done” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-952455852070371676&q=linkin+park&total=63622&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1

R. Kelly and Usher – “Same Girl” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7380193928426594889&q=r.+kelly+usher+same+girl&total=170&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=8

Pink – “U Can Use R Hand” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6542863963153644645&q=pink&total=72138&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=2

Fall Out Boy – “Thanks For The Memories”

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Angelina Jolie, gently strokes the possible co-star of her next movie, rumored to be “The Naked Truth About Adam And Eve” Wonder what Brad thinks about this steamy picture?

After 83 year old Bob Barker’s tearful farewell on the “Price Is Right”, he drove off with new gal pal Lindsay Lohan, partied all night then took her back to rehab in the morning.

When a reporter asked President Bush if he knew he was wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe, Bush looked down and said, “Of course, I even have another pair like it at home.”

Paris Hilton is making good on her promise to Barbara Walters to stop “acting dumb”. As soon as she is released from jail she begins a ten city tour, lecturing on “How the US can achieve an immediate and lasting peace in the Middle East”

The Secret Service has always given code names to presidential candidates they’re assigned to protect. Hilary Clinton’s code name is “Evergreen”, Barack Obama’s is “Renegade” and Fred Thompson’s code name is “Booger”, but nobody knows why.

Uncle Walt must be spinning in his grave, after Disney films and Pixar announced they are doing an a computer generated animated remake of “Deep Throat”!

Bush daughters, Barbara and Jenna, have joined the contestants vying for the heart of clock wearing rapper, “Flava’ Flav” in the third season of his popular MTV reality show.

Larry Seidlen, the “Crying Judge” in the Anna Nicole Smith Paternity suit has resigned from the bench and is set to star in a new reality show on FOX, “Make The Judge Cry”. Whoever makes the judge cry first, the plaintiff or the defendant…wins their case!

Mike Nifong, the disbarred prosecutor in the Duke rape case, has asked to appeal his case on the new FOX reality show, “Make The Judge Cry”.

To see Hilary and Bill Clinton spoof the finale of the “Sopranos” in her latest campaign ad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shKJk3Rph0E

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

For more on Angelina Jolie and my brief, but memorable encounter with her!
http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/10/14/my-brief-encounter-with-angelina-jolie/

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HANK MEDRESS  11/19/38 – 6/18/07

My old friend, Hank Medress”, the founder of the Tokens (”The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and producer of ”He’s So Fine”,“Candida”, “Knock Three Times”, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ( On The Old Oak Tree “) talks about his career, challenges and aspirations in an interview I did with him last year for Spectropop.

I’m proud to have known him for as long as I did, he was always a friend and inspiration. I’m happy I was able to give him a chance to set the record straight about some controversial aspects of his career, which he never spoke about before in print. http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/10/31/hank-medress-the-unsung-hero-behind-the-lion-sleeps-tonight-hes-so-fine-and-tie-a-yellow-ribbon/

Hank R.I.P.- Rock In Perpetuity!

Respectfully, your friend Artie

top photo l-r: Hank Medress, Jay Seigal, Phil and Mitch Margo…The Tokens

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne

http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

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One day in 1973, while driving down La Brea in Hollywood, I saw Jerry Moss waiting in line at Pinks hot dog stand. I leaped out of my car and introduced myself!

He was standing with Jack Daugherty (the Carpenters producer) They were both surprised and amused by my boldness…which led to both of them opening the doors of the A+M lot to me. As time went by, I became friendly with not only Jack, but with Richard Carpenter, John Bettis ( who co-wrote “Top Of The World”, “Yesterday Once More”and Paul Williams ( “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Old Fashioned Love Song”). We would sit around Paul’s office, discuss music and play songs for each other.

About a year later, when the top position at Irving/Almo music became vacant, Paul Williams suggested to Jerry Moss that they consider me for the job.

In 1974, I left Warner Brothers Music and was asked to join the Irving/Almo publishing arm of A&M Records. The company had been run by Chuck Kaye, but Chuck had decided to take some time off. I was in the right place at the right time.

The following is the actual press release that Rondor Music (the parent company) put out to announce my hiring:

MOSS NAMES WAYNE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IRVING/ALMO MUSIC

Jerry Moss, president of A&M Records, has announced that effective March 15, 1974 Artie Wayne has been named executive director of publishing for Irving/Almo Music. He was formerly general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music.

Wayne was first discovered by Bobby Darin in 1959…who sent him to Donny Kirshner who had just formed Aldon Music with vet song man/producer Al Nevins. It was there that Wayne learned how to write songs from Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield.

He went on to collaborate with Paul Vance and in 1963 co-wrote his first hit “Meet Me at Midnight Mary” with Ben Raleigh and produced Bell Record’s first hit with Joey Powers.

In 1965, Wayne went to Scepter Records with Ed Silvers, where he produced the Shirelles, the Kingsmen and the Guess Who. When Silvers moved to the coast to join Viva Records, Wayne stayed in New York.

Unable to afford to sign Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, whom he worked with at Scepter, he took the duo to Eddie Holland, who signed them to Motown. In the next four and a half years, Wayne and partners Sandy and Kelli Ross build Alouette Productions into the top New York administration and exploitation firm of the late sixties. They represented Quincy Jones, (Joey) Levine and (Artie) Resnick, (Gary) Geld and (Peter) Udell, Bobby Scott, Janis Ian, Ron Haffkine, Leslie Gore, Bo Gentry and Jerry Jeff Walker.

After moving to the coast in 1970, he contributed pieces to Rock and Fusion magazines and reviewed acts for Cash Box before joining Viva Music as professional manager.

For the last three years, Wayne has been general professional manager and director of creative services for Warner Bros. Music. He directed the New York, Hollywood and Nashville professional staff, which has been dubbed “The Warner Raiders.” During those years, they represented the works of America, Badfinger, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, the Faces, the Fifth Dimension, the Kinks, Gordon Lightfoot, Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, Randy Newman, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimmy Webb, Neil Young and many others.

He spearheaded campaigns that resulted in multiple recordings by Three Dog Night, the Lettermen, Bobby Sherman, the Jackson Five, Johnny Winter and Art Garfunkle. His “Raiders” were also responsible for over 50 “cover” records of “Theme From Summer ’42″ before the composition received a Grammy or Academy Award nomination. In 1973 the company boasted 55 chart singles and representation in the average of 33 chart albums every week.

More recently, Wayne acted as musical consultant on Warner Bros. Films’ “Cleopatra Jones” which resulted in two top 20 records by Joe Simon and Millie Jackson.

Although his time only allows him to be an occasional song writer, over the years he had nearly 200 of his own compositions recorded, including, among others, titles by Aretha Franklin, Bobby Darin, Jose Feliciano, Chi Coltrane, Rick Nelson, the Jackson Five, Miriam Makeba, Tiny Tim, Wayne Newton, and most recently, the much-covered “Flashback” (co-written with Alan O’Day) with chart records by the Fifth Dimension and Paul Anka.

My first day at the office I found “I Honestly Love You” and sent it to Olivia Newton John http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/09/13/olivia-newton-john-tries-to-squeeze-one-more-hit-out-of-jeff-barry-and-artie-wayne/

The following week I discovered and signed Rick James
http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/26/rock-and-roll-heaven-soars-on-internet-tribute-to-croce-perren-and-james/

I had a chance to work with Brian Wilson http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/brief-encounters-with-brian-wilson/

I didn’t have a chance to work with Billy Preston http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/25/rock-and-roll-heaven-rocks-internet-special-tribute-to-cash-pitney-preston/

Got to work with my old pal Jeff Barry http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2007/02/10/jeff-barry-i-honestly-like-him/

Became friends with Barry White  http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/28/a-very-special-tribute-to-barry-white-mickey-most-and-jimi-hendrix/

During a time when women were treated unequally in the music business, I did everything I could to give talented, qualified women a break. I promoted my Secretary, Margo Matthews, to the Head of the Copyright Department where she remained for over 30 years.

Brenda Andrews, had been a secretary for seven years before I arrived. Not only did she have a good song sense, but she was showing songs in the catalog and getting more covers than anyone on the professional staff! I doubled her salary and made her an official songplugger. I’m happy to say that she retired a few years ago after becoming senior Vice-President of the company!

Lance Freed, the son of disc jockey Alan Freed, was fairly new to publishing at the time, but had potential. He ultimately became president of the company, a position which he still holds today.

I was told by Jerry Moss when I was hired that I was in charge of the World Wide Publishing operation, only to find out from one of A+M’s lawyers on the eve of my departure to Europe, that I was only in charge of the operation in the US!

Jerry was out of the country, so I couldn’t get this “mistake” straightened out. Besides, I had a meeting in London the next day with Richard Branson to make him an offer to buy his company…Virgin Records.

(To Be Continued)

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne

pil-birth.jpg

I’m not a Star Trek enthusiast, but when I worked with Gene Rodenberry on “Genesis 2″ I gained a lot of respect for him and for his philosophy. I was working for Warner Brothers Music and I was asked by the TV division to help Gene find someone to write the music for his new pilot, a proposed series. I was impressed with how open to suggestions he was to composers I was able to offer him for his pilot…even new untried and inexperienced ones. I wasn’t surprised when I saw his bohemian and hopeful form of television making. During the 1960’s Star Trek was the only show that featured minorities in authoritative, significant roles. From the African American, Uhura to the Russian who symbolized that although at the time the U.S.S.R. and U.S.A. were involved in a very tepid cold war that one day they would be able to get over their differences and coexistent in friendship and cooperation. As an Authoritative African American, I could identify with that.

A couple of weeks ago I told this touching story to my friend and my co-writer of, “Guide To Advanced Blogging”, Sebastian Prooth who directed me to read his recent tribute to the late Star Trek Producer Michael Piller.. After I was so enthusiastic about the first chapter that he posted of Piller’s unpublished book, to my surprise I opened up my email to find another excerpt, “Roddenberry’s Box.”

I was informed and inspired by Gene’s original vision of an idyllic and hopeful future.

I can understand why Paramount and CBS wanted to suppress the sovereignty of Gene’s future that Michael Piller took as his responsibility to relay to us.

Sebastian, was deeply disappointed when CBS made him take the first chapter down. After a little investigating, I discovered that CBS and Paramount don’t own the rights, in fact all they own is the Star Trek material contained in the book. The actual text of the book is the property of Michael Piller, now his estate!!

I’ve been trying to reach Sebastian every other hour since I found out to tell him the good news…but I’ve been unable to.

I took it upon myself to post the second chapter right here, right now on my blog so all of you can read it and have a wonderful weekend taking a look inside of, “Rodenberry’s Box” from Michael Piller …

Copyright 2007. Artie Wayne.

To reach Sebastian Prooth go to http://www.sebrt.com

To know more about Advanced Blogging with Proven Results http://www.guidetoadvancedblogging.com

Back to Artie Wayne on the Web http://artiewayne.wordpress.com

 

Now here’s the next chapter Michael Piller’s unpublished book…

 

 

 

 

 

 

RODDENBERRY’S BOX

When I surf the net or read letters to the editor in some genre magazine, I often come across complaints from fans who say that Star Trek really needs to get “some new writing blood in there”. They’re absolutely right.

In fact, recruiting new talent was one of my priorities when I was producing the television shows. I scheduled pitches from free-lance writers every day and required my staff writers to do the same. Hearing new voices and fresh ideas, in my opinion, kept the franchise vital. The Star Trek series were the only television shows in town that encouraged amateur submissions of speculative teleplays (if they were accompanied by legal releases that protected the studio from lawsuits). Thousands were submitted. Every one was read. I looked at every synopsis and analysis myself. Ninety-nine out a hundred were not what we were looking for. But that last one made the search worthwhile. We discovered several writers through the process.

A writing assignment for a Star Trek movie would certainly attract all sorts of good writers with credentials in feature films. Why then wouldn’t the studio and Rick Berman seek out “new blood” to write the next Star Trek movie instead of giving it to another old television warhorse like me?

The answer can be found in Roddenberry’s Box.

I happen to like the box. A lot of writers don’t. In fact, I think it’s fair to say, most writers who have worked on Star Trek over the years would like to throw the box away. It may surprise you to learn that when I took over as head writer, the entire writing staff of Star Trek: The Next Generation was so frustrated and angry with Gene Roddenberry they were counting the days before their contracts expired (and indeed every one of them left at season’s end.) He wouldn’t let them out of the box and they were suffocating..

My first time in Roddenberry’s Box was during the very first episode I worked on as head writer. We were already in production of season three, four shows were finished, twenty-two still to do. There were no scripts and no stories to shoot the following week. Desperate, I bought a spec script that had been sent in from an amateur writer named Ron Moore who was about to enlist in the U.S. Navy. It was a rough teleplay called “The Bonding” and would require a lot of reworking but I liked the idea. A female Starfleet officer is killed in an accident and her child, overcome with grief, bonds with a holographic recreation of his mother rather than accept her death.

I sent a short description of the story to Rick and Gene. Minutes later, I was called to an urgent meeting in Gene’s office. “This doesn’t work” he said. “In the Twenty-Fourth Century, no one grieves. Death is accepted as part of life.”

As I shared the dilemma with the other staff writers, they took a bit of pleasure from my loss of virginity, all of them having already been badly bruised by rejections from Gene. Roddenberry was adamant that Twenty-Fourth Century man would evolve past the petty emotional turmoil that gets in the way of our happiness today. Well, as any writer will tell you, ‘emotional turmoil’, petty and otherwise, is at the core of any good drama. It creates conflict between characters. But Gene didn’t want conflict between our characters. “All the problems of mankind have been solved,” he said. “Earth is a paradise.”

Now, go write drama.

His demands seemed impossible at first glance. Even self-destructive.

And yet, I couldn’t escape one huge reality. Star Trek worked. Or it had for thirty years. Gene must be doing something right.

I accepted it as a challenge. Okay, I told the writers, I’m here to execute Roddenberry’s vision of the future, not mine. Let’s stop fighting what we can’t change. These are his rules. How do we do this story without breaking those rules?

A day later, I asked for another meeting with Gene and Rick. And here’s how I re-pitched the story:

“When the boy’s mother dies, he doesn’t grieve. He acts like he’s been taught to act — to accept death as a part of life. He buries whatever pain he may be feeling under this Twenty-Fourth Century layer of advanced civilization. The alien race responsible for the accidental death of his mother tries to correct their error by providing a replacement version of her. The boy wants to believe his mother isn’t dead, but our Captain knows she isn’t real and must convince the boy to reject the illusion. In order to do so, the boy must cut through everything he’s been taught about death and get to his true emotions. He must learn to grieve.”

The new approach respected Roddenberry’s rules and by doing so, became a more complex story. He gave his blessing. And I began to learn how Roddenberry’s Box forced us as writers to come up with new and interesting ways to tell stories instead of falling back into easier, familiar devices.

The rules of behavior in Roddenberry’s universe have filled books. There are more books dedicated to the personal histories of Star Trek characters as well as detailed cultural histories of the alien races of the Twenty-Fourth Century. And even more books written about Star Trek’s science and technology. Gene and his colleagues over the years have created a tapestry that is not easy for new writers to penetrate. My experience has been that our most successful new writers grew up as dedicated fans and already know the Star Trek world inside and out. With the notable exceptions of Ira Steven Behr, Jeri Taylor and Joe Menosky, three writers in a decade, I rarely had luck hiring experienced writers who could come in and understand the franchise.

I can’t speak for the studio or for Rick but I can guess why they wouldn’t take a chance on a brand new writer on a major motion picture.

An epilogue.

There was a writers’ rebellion of sorts on my last year as head writer at Star Trek, four years after Roddenberry’s death. Some of the writers at Voyager went to Rick to say they wouldn’t return if I came back. It was nothing personal, Rick told me. We were all friends. But my rules were holding them back. My creative demands were suffocating them. They wanted to be free to do the things I wouldn’t let them do as writers.

I had completed a cycle. Somehow, I’d become the alien replacement for Roddenberry. It had become Piller’s Box.

It was time to leave. I opened the box and let them, and myself, out.

And now, three years later, here I was about to climb back in again.

-Excerpt from Michael Piller’s “Fade in: From Idea to Final Draft, The Writing of Star Trek Insurrection”-

 

 

 

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