The first time I met Johnny Maestro was in 1959 at the stage door of an Alan Freed Rock and Roll Show. He was signing autographs and I was looking for a way to sneak backstage to get discovered. When Johnny and the Crests were taken backstage, I acted like I was part of the group and walked in with them.

Johnny could have busted me, but he didn’t. I had a feeling he grew up on the mean streets like I did, and could identify with my desire to do anything to become a Rock and Roll Star!

From “16 Candles”, “The Angels Listened In”, “Step By Step”, “Trouble In Paradise” Johnny proved that he not only had a great voice, but also an identifiable one as well. You could turn on the radio during any part of one of his records, and know exactly who you were listening to…even if you never heard the song before.

A few years after the Crests broke up, I was up with Neil Bogart at Buddah and he played me a new record he was about to release. The minute he dropped the needle on “The Worst That Could Happen” by The Brooklyn Bridge I knew exactly who the lead singer was!

Johnny Maestro R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne

Link to news, funeral arrangements and memorial services updated hourly. Courtesy of Clay Cole http://www.claycoleshow.com/C_Notes.html

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In 1970, although I was a partner in a successful music publishing firm, Alouette productions, in New York I was ready to trade in New York Canyons for California fields.  When I went to work as professional Manager of VIVA music in Hollywood the first record session I went after was teen idol, Bobby Sherman (“Julie, Julie, Julie Do You Love Me”) produced by Jackie Mills.

As I was going through the VIVA catalog, I heard a song by new writer Alan O’Day called “The Drum”, which sounded to me like it could be made into a number one record for Bobby Sherman. The only problem was I didn’t know Jackie Mills or anyone else connected with Bobby.

I hadn’t learned how to drive yet, so I had our office boy drop me off at Metromedia Records and I waited for a few hours until I was able to corner CEO Artie Vallando.  Although we’d never met, I knew his reputation as a well respected music publisher, and fortunately he knew who I was.

Artie loved the song and a few weeks later got Jackie Mills, to cut it. Artie asked me to come over to the office to hear it. Halfway through the record I screamed, “It’s a smash!  It’s a F#@*in’ Smash!”

Artie looked disappointed as he said, “Everybody at the label thinks so too! But  the producer wants to put something else out.”

When I ask if he can give me a copy of our song I tell him maybe Ed Silvers (The President of the company) and Mel Bly (the VP) can do something, Artie says, He can’t officially give me a copy. Then he slides a copy of “The Drum” across the desk to me, excuses himself and leaves the room.I get back to the office as fast as I can, and play the record for Ed and Mel. They’re even more enthusiastic than I am about it. We all know that Bobby Sherman is due out for a new single, and we want it to be ours! Mel is a great record promotion man and on a Friday he has 50 acetates made of “The Drum”, and he sends it out to the top program directors in the country. The record is added to all of their playlists on Monday before anyone at Metromedia finds out what’s going on.

Songwriter Alan O’Day Adds, “1969 was an exciting time when I found out that Bobby Sherman recorded my song “The Drum”, produced by Jackie Mills!  The combination seemed to work, as “The Drum” became a hit, & Mills went on to produce two more of my songs with Sherman, “Caress Me Pretty Music”, and “Everybody Wants To Sing A Goodtime Song”, co-written with Artie Wayne.”

Although Jackie was mad at me initially, when “The Drum” went Top Ten all was forgiven. And from then on he kept a door for me to get material straight to him. Not only did he have a great ear for a song, he was an excellent producer, a consummate musician, and always a gentleman.

Jackie Mills R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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

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Before there was an Eva Cassidy, before there was a Selena, or Leona Lewis there was Patti Dahlstrom!

 

When my friend singer/songwriter Patti Dahlstrom, moved to London two years ago to get her masters at London University, I introduced her to some people I knew. You can imagine how good I felt when Mick Patrick of Rev-Ola records wanted to put out a compilation CD of her four US albums.

 

Patti is one of the most talented singer songwriters I ever worked with and when I was General Professional Manager at Warner Brothers music in the ‘70s, I gave her a French song “Amorouse” (Sanson), to write an English lyric to. When Patti recorded and released it as “Emotion” (Sanson/Dahlstrom) every body thought it sounded like a hit! http:artiewayne.com/emotion.html

 

Unfortunately, “Emotion” wasn’t a hit for Patti, but less than a year later, Helen Reddy covered it and took it to the Top Twenty. Patti’s CD has some real undiscovered gems like,”He Did Me Wrong, But He Did Me Right” which could be a hit for Sade, who’s back on the charts. “Letting Go”, and “Cleveland Snow” are also standouts.

 

I’m especially proud to be included in this collection with a song I wrote with Patti for our friend the Late Jim Croce the night his plane crashed. Here’s a video Patti and Wedigo Watson just created for “Sending My Good Thoughts To You.”

FOR MORE STORIES, PICTURES AND MUSIC CHECK OUT PATTI DAHLSTROM’S WEBSITE http://www.pattidahlstrom.com/

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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In 1967 I met Herb Cohen for the first time. He was managing Linda Ronstadt, and we all had dinner at the Tin Angel, above the Bitter End where Linda was performing with the Stone Ponies (“A Different Drum”). I didn’t have any “official” reason for being there other than wanting to meet Linda.

Actually, I wanted to meet Herb too, I had heard a lot of “colorful” stories about him,but whenever I mentioned anything specific he closed up. Over the years whenever I’d run into him, he’d kind of nod his head to acknowledge me, but that would be the extent of our conversation.

My friend Ellen Feldman adds “My recollections of Herb revolve mostly around his presence. He would turn up at virtually every record company where I worked for over a decade. He seemed to be everywhere, whether it was an event at the Troubadour, Roxy, Whiskey or any other club or private event.  He would make an appearance at every industry party, regardless of who was giving it or what it was for, usually just smoozing at the bar or moving quietly through the room.”

It wasn’t until the ‘80s that I became friendlier with Herbie, when he was a regular at Allan Rinde’s “Genghis Cohen” (the Chinese restaurant I named and hosted in Hollywood). He would come in several nights a week for dinner and was a regular at my talent shows on Wednesday nights. Whenever I’d see him in the audience I knew it meant that some “future star” must be performing.

I hadn’t thought about Herbie for years, but like Allan Rinde says, “He was the kind of guy you always thought you’d see again.”

Herb Cohen, R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Photo at top front Tom Waits… in back stroking his beard Herb Cohen

FOR A COMPLETE ROSTER  OF HERB’S ARTISTS AND ENTERPRISES THROUGH THE YEARS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herb_Cohen

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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When I moved to California and went to work for Warner Brothers Music the company leased a brand new Audi for me. I had been driving for less than a year and sometimes when I’d be cruising through a quiet Hollywood street in my new car, I’d suddenly accelerate to 80 miles an hour!

After a few times this happened, it slowed down by itself and I was able to regain control of it. I chalked it up to experience as a new driver and figured I must have been pressing down on the accelerator instead of brake. When I mentioned to some of the execs at my company what I was experiencing, after they stopped laughing, they suggested I take it back to the dealership where I leased it.

I got scared and figured I should take care of this right away, so I went downstairs to the parking lot, but when I got into the Audi it started acting like it had a mind of its own. It stalled on Hollywood B’lvd just before I got to La Cienega…and then when it was time to make a left turn the car suddenly accelerated!

40….50…MPH I was a blur passing Santa Monica and Melrose. I was up to 70 MPH when I got to Beverly B’lvd. I had both feet on the brakes, my left hand on the wheel, and my right hand trying to pull the hand brake out of

its socket. I was lucky there wasn’t much traffic. I didn’t soil my pants, however, until I was about a half a block away from the Audi dealers on Wilshire when I made a sudden turn and the engine stopped as I spun around and slid into the Audi showroom!

When I stopped within inches of the salesman, who was with a customer, casually looked up at me said, “I’ll be with you in a minute”. I jumped out of the car and screamed, “YOU’LL BE WITH ME RIGHT NOW MOTHER F@#KER”

Before I had a chance to scare away any potential customers, the manager took me aside, apologized, and said “don’t worry we’ll get it fixed for you” and gave me a “loaner”. Although no one said anything to me, I sensed this kind of thing happened before.

After one more incident, the Audi was performing perfectly. Although this happened to me almost 40 years ago, with all the problems Toyota is having with sudden acceleration, and with the Honda recall yesterday, I think it might be a good idea to for these companies to put competition aside, talk to the engineers at Audi and work together on a solution that will surely save hundreds, if not thousands of lives!

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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I NEVER THOUGHT I’D GET SO ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT A COMMERCIAL THAT I’D WANT TO SEE IT OVER…AND OVER AGAIN!

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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They say you can’t predict Earthquakes, but this Friday with the opening of  “The Runaways:”, I guarantee there’ll be a whole lotta” shakin’ going on!  Starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, the biopic written and directed by Floria Sigismondi chronicles the adventures of the all-girl ‘70s Rock and Roll group, the Runaways which  included Joan Jett, Cherie Curie,  Lita Ford, Sandy West, and Micki Steele.

In the mid-seventies I was dragged to a rehearsal of the group by their then manager and producer Kim Fowley, the eccentric guru of the Sunset Strip, a “Hippie” with the Jeffery Dahmer smile. I wasn’t expecting much “from the girls”, and then they started playing! Although I’d seen female rock groups before I’d never been as impressed as I was that day.

They didn’t try to imitate their male counterparts and play with “balls”, but played with a “vaginal fortitude” that I had never seen before! The songs reflected a new point of view…but with a new kind of edge!

I always thought the group deserved a lot more success than they ultimately achieved. I can’t wait to see the movie to see what really happened behind the scenes that led to their demise. Although Cherie Curie and Lita Ford continued to record, it was Joan Jett who distinguished herself as a Rock and Roll Star.

I remember visiting my friend Neil Bogart at his new label, Boardwalk Records, when he played me a record he was about to release, “I Love Rock And Roll” and I begged him to hear it two more times!

Photo at top Dakota Fanning as Cherie Curie, Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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