JOHN CARTER R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!
May 14, 2011
“I remember calling Russ Regan’s office at UNI records and telling him I just produced a master that sounds like a hit. He tells me to rush over and when he hears it he says, “You’re right Artie, it sounds like a hit..I just can’t figure out which hit it sounds like!”
We both laughed and then he played me a new record he was about to put out, that really sounded like a hit, “INCENSE AND PEPPERMINT” by the Strawberry Alarm Clock!”
I found out that this Psychedelic Masterpiece was written by John Carter, and dropped by to see my friend Frank Slay Jr. who produced the record. I wanted to meet this guy who was a unique songwriter destined for success. It wasn’t until a few years later, however, that I was finally introduced to him by my friend Bruce Garfield, who worked with him at Capitol records.
By this time Carter had produced major hits on Tina Turner (“What’s Love Got To Do With It?”, “Private Dancer”) and I felt honored that he let me hang out. Unfortunately, it was the only time that I was with him.
Here are a few comments from people who really knew him.
“Carter was not only one of my dearest and closest friends, he was a work of art. Cryptic, left of center, a lover of the best of form, music and humanism… we often spoke in code.
I fondly remember our Capitol Records lunch time excursions to Tommy’s Burgers… Carter would buzz me and say… “Ok, who’s rolling and who’s driving… you call Tusken (Ray head of album promotion) I’ll meet you in the parking lot in 5 minutes.” Carter produced and signed, Tusken and I worked on the records and careers. Sammy Hagar was our personal code ‘red’ Carter priority.
It is important that Mr. Carter Sr. his father be acknowledged. His gruff Oklahoma wildcatter oil man… silver haired and pointy western boots… I think Carter had a lot of his Dad in him. The night I first met Mr. Carter at a Thanksgiving dinner, he kept calling me Dave. So for all the years that followed until his passing, Carter had me swear never to correct him and always play the role of “Dave Garfield
Artists pass on… the art lives forever… Carter was art and his memory will live as long as anyone who knew him walks this earth.
In closing as a living Carterism I think he’d say…”Yeah… I know, but how can you be missed if you don’t go away.”
“When Carter and I were still living in the Studio City area, and before we both moved out to the desert, we would occasionally bump into one another, and then sit and talk over a coffee or two. I always looked forward to his take on life, politics, film, philosophy, art, especially mid-century architecture, and of course music.
Just recently, I was visiting Carter at his home. Along with Jason Minkler, we were watching the basketball playoffs, and he was full of life and enthusiasm and looking forward to getting back on the links, (Carter was a hell of a golfer), and that’s why it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around his passing. Aside from being a good friend, one thing’s for sure. He had the best ears in the business. Music minus one!”
“Carter is irreplaceable. In the same company as Ahmet, Hunter, Garcia, Bill Graham, Bert Berns, and so on. Working in the music business is supposed to be fun, above all. Carter was not only a genius in his field, he had fun doing it. You can’t be creative unless you’re having fun.
Those who worked with him and were his friends were blessed to know him.
The tributes continue.”
“JOHN CARTER WAS NOT ONLY A GREAT GUY
HE WAS A GREAT MUSIC MAN!!!
HE WROTE MY FIRST HIT AT UNI RECORDS
INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS IM FOREVER GRATEFUL!!!!”
“My sympathies to all of John Carter’s closest friends and family. I remember him as a lovely man, always prepared to take my calls and listen to any songs that I sent him. A great record producer and another wonderful person who will be missed immensely.”
John Carter…May you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!
Respectfully, Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com
copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne
Photo at the top of Carter and Christie by Owen Husney
EXTRA! EXTRA! Just released on SMASHWORDS my auto-biography, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/53813
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