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
January 27, 2007
The Memphis sound intrigued me so much that Stax Records became the first stop on my publishing tour of the south. When I was general manager of Warner Brothers Music in 1970, my longtime friend and sometime collaborator, Steve Cropper, who co-wrote “In The Midnight Hour”, “Dock Of The Bay”, “Knock On Wood”, etc., took me around his town, winding up at the offices and studios of the legendary record and publishing organization, East-Memphis music
The company occupied an old movie theater in the ghetto, with a markee that simply said STAX.The reception area, was the place where refreshments were sold, and the recording studio was where the second run movies were once shown.
I was humbled to be in the same studio where Booker T. & The M.G.s, Otis Redding, The Mar-Keys, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, The Barkays, Eddie Floyd, Johnny Taylor and Isaac Hayes made all of those mega-hits!
I’ve always believed that every studio has its own flavor, due to the collective consciousness and spiritual vibrations from all those who have poured out their hearts and souls within its walls. This place was no exception. I walked around mesmerized with the sounds of the late Al Jackson, Jr.’s solid drumbeat from, “Hold On I’m Comin’” running through my head. I even had the urge to yell out, “Play it, Steve!”, but I restrained myself!
Before I had to leave for my next stop, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Steve invited me into the control room to hear some remixes he was doing on the late Otis Redding. It was a spectacular ending to a day I’ll never forget.
Since I became interested in music, I always believed that more than just music is captured in the recording process. Primitive tribes correctly believed that a photographic image of them takes a piece of their soul forever…I believe a recording essentially does the same thing. More than sound and musical content are recorded, retained and reproduced…so are the inaudible vibrations, thoughts, emotions and energy of the lead performer as well as every participant in the studio.
I accepted the psychic fact years ago, that each of us carries with us spirits of our family, friends and ancestors…who carry with them the spirits of their family, their friends and their ancestors. Some of these entities that surround the artists, musicians, and other contributors to the process, mingle with other entities they encounter there. Some like their new environment so much, they stick around and become part the studio’s collective creative consciousness.
As a songwriter/ singer/ producer and publisher, I’ve had the chance to visit recording facilities all over the world where historic sessions have taken place…including Allegro, Associated, Bell sound, Olmstead, Sound factory, Mirasound, A+ R and Atlantic studios in New York, The Sound Factory, A+M, Gold Star, American, M-G-M studios and Cherokee studios in Hollywood, Apple, Trident, Rak studios, EMI studios in Abbey Road, London, the legendary Motown studios, The Record Plant in New York and L.A., Stax, Hi and Sun studios in Memphis, RCA and Columbia recording studios in Nashville, London, New York, and San Francisco to name a few.
Although most studios are routinely cleaned, few, if any are spiritually cleansed. Like a well – used grill at a restaurant, there is a spirit buildup over time that gives each studios end product a distinct flavor.
I’ve been asking artists, musicians, producers and engineers, if they ever experienced any paranormal phenomena in the studios where they worked. If you have any first hand experience please let me know about it.
Thanks and regards, Artie
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
For another article about the paranormal click onto
August 4, 2006
Okay, I admit it I was/am a ruthless self promoter. When I moved to California in 1971 and became general professional manager of Warner Brothers music, I did everything I could to get noticed by the show business community. I would sit by the pool of the Beverly hills hotel and have my secretary page me every few minutes, so the luminaries would know who I was. I also became friendly with members of the Paparazzi, who would take my picture chatting and mingling with the stars.
I remember being at a party with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neil, who hadn’t made their affair public yet. My photographer friend, Andy Kent, snapped a picture of the three of us, which prompted Ryan to beat the shit out of him. I don’t know how Andy did it, but the film was saved and made it to the cover of the National Enquire the following week! ( Andy sued a got a handsome settlement. )
Later that week, I wasn’t able to attend Barbra’s session for “Since I Fell For You” which was in Warner Brothers,”What’s up Doc?”, for fear she would recognize me.
I didn’t see her again until the late 80′s when she came into Allan Rinde’s, Genghis Cohen, a chinese restaurant, which I named and hosted. My longtime friend and sometime song writing partner, Richard Baskin came in with Barbra, who was his girlfriend at the time. As Richard and I caught up on old times, she checked out the menu, nervously reminding Richard that their recording session, which he was producing at Cherokee studios across the street, started in 10 minutes.
He told her not to worry because the restaurant would deliver it. I explained to Richard that we didn’t have delivery service. He looked disappointed, but said, “We’re right across the street…Artie, if you bring it over yourself then you can hear what I’ve been cutting with Barbra.” How could I refuse an offer like that, besides my friend Dee Robb, who also owns the studio was engineering the date.
Twenty minutes later, I took a couple of our dinner specials and six egg rolls across the street to the studio. they seemed happy to see me and Barbara stopped the playback to check out the order. Suddenly, the mood changed as she looked over the bill. She was outraged at the price of egg rolls at $1.75 each! She went on and on how the price of our egg rolls were a rip-off, while Richard, Dee and I just looked at each other…then broke out laughing! I reminded her that since the studio was costing $300.00 an hour and she had spent 10 minutes ranting, these were going to be the most expensive eggrolls in history!
After she calmed down and paid the bill, Richard told her about my background in publishing. She asked for a playback of a song she had co-written and asked me for my opinion. I was really impressed and told her how much I admired the song and her underated talent as a writer. Her eyes lit up and for the moment the price of egg rolls was almost forgotten…almost.
Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne
For more Artie Wayne On The Web http://artiewayne.wordpress.com