When I first moved to California thirty years ago and worked for Warner Brothers Music, I wanted to give back to the music community, so I joined the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences, where an enthusiastic active member, Mike Melvoin took me under his wing.

I never worked with him in the studio, but as a music fan, I knew that he was considered one of the best keyboardists in Los Angeles.

In addition to being one of the best Jazz players in the business, he played on such Pop classics as Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable,” the Jackson 5′s “ABC,” and “Pet Sounds” and “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys as well as Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman,” John Lennon’s “Stand By Me,” Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen” and Quincy Jones’ all-star collective, “We Are the World.”

Although I was a New Yorker and considered an outsider to the closely knit LA music scene, Mike helped me gain a foothold in the creative community.

At the time, NARAS, was criticized for having an aging membership, being out of touch with contemporary music and accused of giving out Grammys to the wrong people. Mike supported me in an effort to attract younger voters and helped me, producer Nik Venet (“The Beach Boys), Columbia Records A&R Man, Allan Rinde, and songwriter Van Dyke Parks (“Heroes and Villans”) form listening sessions around the country to play new recordings and artists for our members, so they could vote more knowledgably.

It wasn’t long before NARAS was respected again as the premier music organization and rivaled the new kid on the block, THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS in the TV ratings!

Soon after Mike Melvoin and I were elected to the Board Of Governors, we traveled around the country, New York, Atlanta and Nashville on behalf of NARAS. It was right after the Civil Rights Movement and while traveling through the south there were times when Mike had to soothe my hurt feelings whenever I encountered the stinging barbs of racism…which I never forgot.

Mike went on to become the first musician to become President of the Academy and through the years remained active in the organization. The LA TIMES reported. In 2011, when the Academy made changes in the Grammy awards structure. Melvoin was in the vanguard of the movement to rescind the category changes. As a pianist whose career had touched every stylistic era, he was especially bothered by the effect of the changes upon instrumentalists.

“Everyone who has ever played an instrument,” he said in a public statement, “has had the possibility of receiving recognition from the Grammys gutted. That cannot and will not stand!” 

GOD BLESS YOU…We’re all going to miss you man, may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

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

COPYRIGHT 2012 BY ARTIE WAYNE

There will be a memorial service for Mike Melvoin
Friday, March 2nd at 2pm
at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills.
 
5950 Forest Lawn Drive 
Los Angeles, CA 90068
 

 My new book, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” now available at AT AMAZONor Barnes & Noble or from Smashwords

TO READ SOME OF THE COMMENTS  CLICK  HERE

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

Posted by

In 1982 after giving my friend Allan Rinde, a name for his new chinese restaurant Genghis Cohen, Allan backed me in THE ARTIE WAYNE SONGWRITING MOTIVATIONAL COURSE.

I didn’t expect anybody to learn how to write songs, but how to write better songs that would help get them a deal with a publisher or a record company. I advertised, “I’ll show you how to make your package so strong that only a fool would turn you down” (with a disclaimer at the bottom, “Not responsible for all the fools in the industry!”) I knew that newcomers rubbing elbows with the top people in the music business, would not only give them more self confidence, but also give the pros a chance to discover new talent on the way up.

In a dance rehearsal studio above a dry cleaner on Fairfax and Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, we had three hour meetings, once a week for six weeks that turned into ten. I charged each person attending $100 or the publishing rights to one song they would write during my course. We started off with 25 people and ended up with almost 100.

I brought guests in every week like producer Bob Monoco who listened to songs from our group for Chaka Kahn. We had Ron Miller (“For Once in my Life”) tell us that, “Rewriting is just as important as the writing of the song”. Ron brought Charlene with him who was currently #1 on the charts with “Never Been To Me”, which Ron Co-wrote with one of my discoveries Kenny Hirsh. Buddy Kaye (“Speedy Gonzalez”) stressed the importance of music and lyrical hooks in songs. I also teamed up professional songwriters like Patti Dahlstrom (“Emotion”) with newcomers like David Plenn.

My longtime friend and sometime collaborator, Alan O’Day (“Undercover Angel”, “Angie Baby”) was my musical director and videotaped the entire ten weeks. When he asked if he could bring in two new songwriter friends as his guests for the course…how could I say no? One was arranger John Barnes, who went on to co-write most of the “Bad” album with Michael Jackson, the other one was Diane Warren (“Unbreak My Heart”, “How Can I Live Without You?”) Since then Diane has been recognized six times ASCAP Songwriter of the Year and four times Billboard’s Songwriter of the year. She has had her songs in 70 films and TV, received 6 Grammy nominations , 6 Academy Award nominations and has just received a Grammy nomination for the Best Song written for visual media. “Born To Be Somebody” – from “Never Say Never” by Justin Beiber...as well as a nomination for "You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me" from "Burlesque" by Cher.

Diane...I wish I could say that THE ARTIE WAYNE SONGWRITER MOTIVATIONAL COURSE could take credit for any of your successes, but I’m just happy for you and to have been around at the beginning, when your talent was starting to emerge and I was lucky enough to have a front row seat!

CONGRATULATIONS…and keep it up!

 

Regards, Your friend Artie

 

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

To reach Diane Warren http://www.realsongs.com/

COMING NEXT WEEK AT ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB…THE DIANE WARREN VIDEO JUKEBOX!

 

EXTRA! EXTRA! NOW YOU CAN BUY MY NEW 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/

After a whirlwind trip of selling dance records around the world, and tracking down a guy in Germany, who bounced a $15,000 check on me, when I get back to LA, I have one of the strangest nights of my life.

My long time friend, Neil Bogart has invited me to the Casablanca records party and concert, for the unveiling of his new group, KISS, at the Century Plaza. Allan Rinde, the head of CBS records west coast A&R waves to me frantically as I walk into the main ballroom, suddenly, an eerie hush comes over the room, and everyone’s eyes are on me! My friend Cecil Holmes, a Casablanca VP, comes over, hugs me, and says, “You’re Alive!!”

I have no idea what he’s talking about, until we’re joined by Allan and some of our friends, who told me that a full page obituary on Artie Wayne, who was a band singer in the ’40s had just appeared in Daily Variety! After having the article read to me over the phone, I spend the next few hours acting lively explaining, that it was the “other” Artie Wayne, who passed away.

After KISS plays an electrifying set, Neil Bogart comes over and says, “Artie, I thought you were dead!” I smile and say, “Neil, you know I’d never miss one of your parties!”

“I Wanna’ Rock and Roll All Nite and party every day!

I Wanna’ Rock and Roll All Nite and party every day!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Env5iMrBjws

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

EXTRA! EXTRA! NOW YOU CAN BUY MY NEW 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/

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 and 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 in a Jewish neighborhood, 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 2011 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

EXTRA! EXTRA! NOW YOU CAN BUY MY NEW 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

 

blacksparkle7b

Artie Kornfeld “The Father Of Woodstock” says, “…God Bless you Artie for keeping the music alive!”

Kornfeld http://www.artiekornfeld-woodstock.com/

Author/ publicist Bob Levinson says,” Dunno if I’m repeating myself here, but want to make sure you know I classify your book as a “must read” for anybody who was in the music business or interested in the music business when it was more about the music than about the business. Gone are the days; shamefully, they ain’t coming back anytime soon.

Warmest regards, Bob www.robertslevinson.com 

Joel Diamond Producer, Says, “Classic pictures Artie…how lucky we are to have had contact and know some of these people first hand who could never be “duplicated” again in our industry…”

Patti Dahlstrom Singer/songwriter, adds, “So exciting and great pictures..but not as good as the stories inside. So many will love this book!”

tommy james (“I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW”, “CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION”) Says: “hey, artie, you are a million hit legend in the music business….still keeping the good times alive with all your great stories and information….keep rockin’!”

I love the songs you got to us. “HEAVY CHURCH”, “PLAY SOMETHING SWEET”, “LET ME SERENADE YOU”, FREEDOM FOR THE STALLION”, and “EASY EVIL”, The fans have put together a few videos for you!

Chuck Negron…3 DOG NIGHT http://www.threedognight.com/index.html

“I Did it for a Song” is a poignant tale told in fast-paced, first person, you-are-there style. You never want to stop reading it as you work your way through the heyday of 60s, 70s, and 80s music at its best, from the Brill Building to the bright lights of LA and all stops in between. Artie Wayne is a born storyteller, and every day of his career in the music business as a songwriter led to simply more and more exciting times. He’s met everyone, knows everyone, and has helped create more good connections for music professionals to have their music heard, recorded, and shared over the years. Outside the music world, Wayne is a just-plain-great writer and he cites Sidney Sheldon’s encouragement, “just write, Artie” as the impetus that set him off and writing. Don’t be offput that this is an e-book. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading it on your computer, your Kindle or the back of an envelope. It’s the inside skinny as he relates stories and answers with the real versions of what happened, because he was there. First-person fun, bright lights, big names, the music industry who’s who that includes those on their way up, and down, in the business. Dare you to put it down, once you pick it up. Artie Wayne: singer, songwriter, wordsmith
As ever,

Dawn Lee Wakefield – Classic rock music – The Examiner    Dawn@dawnleewakefield.com.

ARTIE, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS YOU STILL KNOW HOW TO GET A HIT. MY FRIEND WHO WITHOUT QUESTION HELPED SHAPE AMERICAN MUSIC. I AM PROUD TO KNOW YOU AND CAN STILL CALL YOU MY FRIEND.

I ENJOY READING ABOUT THE JOURNEY MUSIC HAS TAKEN AND THE WONDERFUL STORIES SURROUNDING IT. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK.

STEVE CROPPER  (“DOCK OF THE BAY”, IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR”)      http://www.playitsteve.com/home.html

Stephen-Craig Aristei , independent film and TV music supervisor comments, “The pictures and the stories are all “greats”…When people read your book, they will realize how each and everyone of their lives was touched in some way, by what you did…We were a part of the industry when “people had fun” with what they did….Joel is right when he says “we are all so lucky to have had contact with so many of these people”…..I was blessed to work with, fight with and have success with many of the true “greats” of our industry….And Artie, you are one of them…You are truly the last of that breed of creative individual who truly make the music and the business great….you are one of the “Last of the Greats” ! ! Everyone who has ever loved music, needs to read your book….!”

Bernadette Carroll Says: As Clay Cole said it best “Weren’t We Something”….Thanks Artie!”

Barry Oslander Producer Says, “Artie like you, I have been waiting for this day since I read your book months before it came out and read it in one day…. Your a man who just wrote some more music history which in turn will bring bring back many minds to dreaming of the good old days and the way it was in the days when the music biz was great and we all were starting out and were friends joined by the music in our blood….Good luck with your book.”

Jerry Ross Producer (Bobby Hebb, Keith, Spanky and our Gang) comments, “Artie: New York Yankees 1930….
Lefty Gomez made the well known comment: “I’d rather be lucky than good”
You are blessed to be lucky; being in the right place at the right time, and so good at what you have accomplished…Congrats on your book!!!”

Mike Edwards Says, “Hi Artie. You were kind enough to send me an advance copy of your book, “I Did It For A Song”. Even though it arrived around the Christmas period, I could not put it down. The details of your career in the music business are well told and are fast moving. Anyone who knows, say, New York and Los Angeles, would feel that they were right there beside you as you covered the ground in these cities. I note that you experienced the sting of prejudice but, like our President, you just brushed it off and kept moving, demonstrating to us that, whatever barriers are put in your way, you can still succeed in this country.
 
It is a fun read; whether it is about you trying to get Motown Records to issue a Michael Jackson Christmas album or you trying to collect royalties from dangerous sounding characters in Germany. These are just two of the many incidents that grace the pages of this book. I wish you every success with it, Artie.”
I DID IT FOR A SONG”, perhaps the best ever title of a music industry
book.The title reflects the the entire mentality of the business in an
era  that produced more classic music and creativity then in any other
time in it’s history.The book reveals how it all went down through the
journey of one man …..
Harvey Cooper former head of 20th Century Records promotion.

“Artie, I got your book last night and read much of it through the night you have one incredible career. It’s an honor that you put me in your book literally in the same sentence with Paul Simon… How cool is that! I played a very, very, very small part, but what a part it was. You stopped by my office, at E B Marks Music and my ears heard that Joey Powers demo, Meet Me at Midnight Mary, and it was then I told you, that’s a hit, master it just the way it is. It was then that I told you to take it over to Amy Records. You did that … added a bass and the rest is history. Wow!”

Tony DiGirolamo tvlights@aol.com

Good to hear from you Artie. I love the songs you got to us. “HEAVY CHURCH”, “PLAY SOMETHING SWEET”, “LET ME SERENADE YOU”, FREEDOM FOR THE STALLION”, and “EASY EVIL”, The fans have put together a few videos for you!

Chuck Negron…3 DOG NIGHT http://www.threedognight.com/index.html

Ed Silvers former CEO WARNER BROTHERS MUSICsays, “Forever a great promoter/publisher/writer, Artie has been my artist, my friend, and co-writer through many years of music business. It has always been more than fun to work together!! I wish we lived closer to one another”

 Mike Millius Says: “Dude, The best and most realistic Woodstock Experience I’ve ever read. Honest in it’s telling and observations.

HAVE KNOWN ARTIE WAYNE SINCE THE EARLY AND COLORFUL DAYS ON BROADWAY IN NYC, WHEN WE RUBBED ELBOWS..I BELIEVE HE USED TO BE AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN AS ‘THE SHADOW’ BECAUSE OF THE OUTRAGEOUS HAT AND CAPE-LIKE COAT HE USED TO WEAR..ARTIE HAS DEDICATED HIMSELF TO KEEPING US INFORMED MUSICALLY FROM HIS BROAD LIFE EXPERIENCE IN MUSIC AND LIFE, AND HIS COLLECTED RESPECT FROM MANY OF US WHO HE HAS WRITTEN ABOUT.

FROM ANOTHER BROADWAY SURVIVOR..LARRY, ‘RHINESTONE RABBI’ WEISS.

Your story needs to be told via a film, or even a TV mini-series. It is fascinating!

John Harrold

peggy santiglia davison   (The Angels) Says: “Hey Artie, I always knew you were talented and smart and the Blog is great. It’s so interesting to me because even though many of us were in the thick of it, we didn’t always know what others were thinking or doing behind the scenes. Maybe that’s my take as a performer since I was on the “road” so much back then, but it is facinating to read the stories. Even just reading the comment list, I see the names of some very long ago business and personal friends and it brings back many memories, mostly good:-). Much success to you in all your future endeavors.
Peggy/The Angels/The Delicates

To a long lost friend. Having been part of your life in those wonderful early days and finally reconnecting after all these years I truly choke up with emotion. Oft times life is a bitch but through your incredible pain your presence, your insight, your memories have brought joy to the so many people you’ve met along the way.

I skimmed through the book the first time around but now I’ll eat up every word. Thanks for the great ride…and please don’t leave.

Ira Howard
Irah36@aol.com

“Artie,Those were the days when our business was exciting every day.. I remember so well of what you wrote in your terrific book.. I miss those days & your weekly visits to our office at 1697 Broadway. We have great memories…”

Jay Siegel-The Tokens
jaysiegelandthetokens.com

Linda Perry Says: “Been a long time. So happy to hear you don’t miss a beat. You keep us all informed. Congratulations to a great guy.
Best regards,”

Linda

ann munday Says, “It’s amazing to me that you and I have known each other over 31 years now!
We were such children when we first met!

Congratulations on your passing another milestone. I know how hard you work, and I know how hard it all is for you physically and you’re truly amazing!”

Vikki Sallee-Dillard Says: “Hello Artie, You are the wonderful to provide “THE MUSIC” and all the information that you do. It is a TREASURE to me and others. Thank you Brother Artie. Your are the Best! Rare finds and Memories that most have never seen.”
“Your articles are, without fail, always entertaining, informative, and exciting.  Few people make learning fun like you do.  I love reading about the people behind the scenes of the music I loved so much as a youngster and still love today, and your write-ups about Artie Kornfeld, Russ Terrana, and others like them are so very much appreciated.”

Laura Pinto http://oldiesconnection.blogspot.com/

Bobbi Cowan PUBLICIST Says: “Hey Artie…Adding my congratulations to the growing list of your fans…and the unique perspective you bring to a business that no longer exists.”

Much love,
Bobbi

Don Charles Says: “Congrats, Artie! I’m convinced your blog was instrumental in getting Ellie Greenwich (posthumously) and Jeff Barry inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Thank you.”

“Artie, I’m loving your book and literally could not put it down until Chapter 22 when nature finally came knocking after my drinking an inordinate amount of coffee. Your writing style is lively and conversational. In a previous incarnation as a journalist I learned to “Write like you talk unless you’re from the Bronx.” It appears that you have come along and totally dispelled that adage. I love the story about your standing-up and telling a roomful of people that you don’t have to accept being exploited merely because you’re black; and nobody in the room was even aware of your racial make-up. Too funny. So much for the argument, right?”

Mark L. Ostrovsky
Richard Kimball Says: “Congrats Artie..Obviously you have waaaaaay too much time on your hands!!!!!”

Ash Wells Says: “Congrats Artie!! Truly always awesome & Informative stories which I love to read. Keep Goin’ Strong.. Love Your Work!”

Roger McGuinn Says:

Congratulations Artie!!!

That’s fantastic!!!

All the best,

Roger McGuinn THE BYRDS

: “Artie, you’re a consummate story teller and because we can track your personal history in tandem with the history of rock and roll. You were there, you’re honest about both your failures and triumphs. You da man! Proud to be your friend.”

Much love
John Brahaney

Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne

WHILE FIGHTING LARGE CORPORATIONS WHO ARE TRYING TO KEEP ROYALTIES AWAY ME AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER ARTISTS, SONGWRITERS AND PUBLISHERSMY ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME IS FROM THE SALE OF MY BOOK. ” I DID IT FOR A SONG”, WITH OVER 100 STORIES FROM THE MUSIC BUSINESS OF THE ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. I HOPE YOU’LL CONSIDER BUYING ONE DIRECTLY FROM ME THROUGH PAYPAL FOR ONLY $9.98 AT  artiewayne@gmail.com OR BY CHECK TO…ARTIE WAYNE  P.O. BOX 1105, DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA 92240

THANKS AND REGARDS, ARTIE WAYNE http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/celebrating-two-million-views-today-on-artie-wayne-on-the-web/

 

Here is the story of how I met my longtime friend, Allan Rinde, former publicist, the west coast editor of Cashbox magazine, head of West Coast A&R at Columbia Records, (who was behind Billy Joel’s first hit “Piano Man”), the man who helped to break “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and owner of “Genghis Cohen”, one of Hollywood’s top restaurants, which I named and hosted for many years.

” It’s the winter of 1968 , and I just finished writing  a special press release for my new album as “Shadow” Mann on the label my partner Kelli Ross and I co – own with the nefarious Morris Levy! I walk up Broadway to 57th street  to Cashbox magazine. I give my three page release to the new guy who’s just started to work there, a former publicist, Allan Rinde. He glances at it as I hype him on all the excitement going on at my company and how Morris Levy is going to make me the new Tommy James! When he hands it back to me it has a C- at the top with a few grammatical errors circled, I realize this asshole has actually graded my paper! I hold my tongue and tell him I’ll bring it back “corrected” before his deadline.


The next morning I bring in the revised press release. Allan finds it acceptable and puts it in the magazine. Through gritted teeth I thank him for his suggestions and invite him to have dinner that night with my producer Ronnie Haffkine and me at the Roundtable, a hot night club that Morris Levy owns. On our way downstairs to be seated, a belligerent drunk sees me in my Black Suede Shadow outfit with a giant red eagle on the back, then pushes me out of the way! When he makes a nasty comment. Two tough guys suddenly appear, throw him down the stairs, and ask, “Are you all right, Mr. Shadow?”

I brush myself off,  pick up my black floppy Shadow hat from the floor; compose myself as the tough guys ask what should they do with him? I benevolently say, “Let ‘em go…this time,”.  As soon as they eject him from the club, a somewhat impressed Allan and I join Ronnie at my usual table.”

top photo l to R – Allan Rinde, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Williams, Tim Rice, and Artie Wayne

bottom  L – R  “Shadow” Mann in winter attire and “Cookie”

Special thanks to Carol Tandy for the bottom photo

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song” Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/celebrating-a-million-and-a-half-visitors-today/

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

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/

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

I was shocked when I checked Facebook this morning and saw my longtime pal Ellen Feldman had posted that our friend Doug Fieger, lead singer of the Knack, and co-writer of “My Sharona”, had passed away.

I worked with Doug in the studio helping on background parts when he was in the Sunset Bombers, a group DJ Scott Shannon and radio spot maker Joe Klein produced for Ariola Records. Doug was one of the most natural lead guitarists I’ve ever seen in the studio. He could emerge from driving a solid musical track track to playing a dazzling solo in a heartbeat, without overdubbing.

After the Sunset Bombers flew off into the horizon, I ran into Doug a few times at the Whiskey and the Starwood. He told me about a new band he was forming. A few months later Ellen Feldman, who was working at EMI records at the time, kept raving about this new group she wanted me to see, The Knack. You can imagine how happy I was to see Doug with a great band and a set that included “My Sharona.”

The last time I saw Doug, it was after his first #1 record. We were having dinner at Martoni’s Restaurant in Hollywood, with his girlfriend, Sharona and CBS’ Allan Rinde.  I remember we had a lot of laughs, hearing stories about the Knack on tour, but I don’t remember much else, since I spent most of the night flirting with Susan Lucci at the next table.

Doug was always a positive person and years later, even though he knew he was fighting a losing battle with cancer he said to others who find themselves in similar circumstances, “Don’t stop living your life. Do every possible thing you can to build up your body. Stop doing anything that might be hurtful to your body. Eat really well, exercise, stop smoking and stop eating junk food,” he advises. “I’m here to tell you that you can get through it. I can’t tell you it’s fun. But going through it, I have to say, is nowhere nears as bad as the fear of going through it. The fear of having cancer is way worse than the reality of having cancer.”

Doug Fieger R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

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

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

LUTHER VANDROSS  4/20/51 – 7/1/05

I was also deeply affected by the passing yesterday of my friend Luther Vandross. Everyone thought he was recovering from a stroke so nicely…but it’s all in Gods hands.

“I became friendly with Luther when he was a loyal customer at Allan Rinde’s Genghis Cohen, a Chinese restaurant and Hollywood hangout, which I named and hosted. Luther would come in, sit and eat a couple of Peking ducks for dinner (by himself) and order one of my hand painted shirts for dessert. Sometimes he’d bring in old music business pals of Allan and mine and we’d all have a good old time!

I was impressed with Luther’s artistry from his first album, which my friend, Jerome Gasper, who signed Luther to Epic played me. He wrote most of the
material he recorded and hit the heart everytime out. I told him, with every new album release how much I admired him maintaining an evolving level of musical excellence, while the R and B genre all around us was all but disappearing.

Just as Luther Vandross’ music has transcended generations…I’m sure it will continue to emotionally influence us for years to come.”

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

ken sting

I first met Kenny Schaffer in 1968, when he was the publicist for Alice Cooper and the Left Banke. My friend Allan Rinde had just joined the staff of Cashbox magazine and rented a room in Kenny’s “Funky” penthouse apartment, which adjoined the Plaza Hotel in New York.

After every rock concert at Madison Square Garden or show at the Fillmore, everybody would wind up at Kenny’s. It was a lot of fun to hang out with the stars and their groupies, even though Allan and I had to eject rowdy guests from time to time. I wonder if Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart have ever forgiven us.

Of all the things I admired about Kenny was his imagination…but he didn’t just dream, he turned his dreams into reality. He conceived, designed, built, and sold the first wireless guitar and wireless microphone that forever changed staging and the way music was performed.

Ken remembers, “The idea to make the first wireless guitar stemmed from Lynne Volkman being my girlfriend… Lynne was the first female tour manager in rock ‘n roll, doing everyone from the Rolling Stones to the Who, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Lynyrd Skynyrd… (For Peter Rudge and Nat Weiss)…. of course, up until then tour managers were always guys (who’d bring their girlfriends out for weekends). As I was Lynne’s boyfriend, roles were reversed., so instead of the tour manager’s girlfriend flying out to join the tour on weekends, it was me! If you go to http://www.nutcom.com/nyer and browse for “Rolling Stones,” it describes how Ace Frehley (Kiss) got electrocuted and I came to invent the wireless guitar/microphone.”

Kenny, I remember introducing you to Maurice and Verdene White of Earth, Wind, and Fire, as well as producer Tony Camillo (Gladys Knight and the Pips) who became a couple of your good customers.

Now how on earth did you get involved with Russia and the fall of the Soviet Union?

I got into Russia pretty much by accident. It really started as a spin-off of my long-time hobby, ham radio, designing crazy radios and crazy antennas – electronics.  In 1983 I invented a fancy, technical-breakthrough (satellite system) that was able to eavesdrop on internal Soviet TV.  I put up a few systems for some cryptic government agencies, then for a few major universities. Columbia became the first American university to offer a course “Russian through Soviet Television,” and, well — it was the girl again — I met an incredible girl who was a graduate student in “Kremlinology,” and followed her to Russia.  (Of course, I would’ve followed up to Easter Island of Pago Pago, it didn’t really matter, you know…) We started a company together they came up with and set up really bizarre media projects between the US and Soviet union — like getting a Life Magazine reporter into Red Army boot camp for a month, and handing out 10,000 Trojan condoms to newlyweds in Red Square… that was a real rock ‘n roll… we got to know some really amazing Russians.

Schaffer continues, “In 1987 ABC TV had no choice but to air their long-delayed $50 million miniseries, “Amerika” — “10 years after the Soviets come over and do that… to your sister and mother.” Already 2 years into Gorbachev, I thought the series an anachronism that didn’t make anybody anywhere feel better in the morning and decided to come up with an antidote.  In the end, I came up with the idea of “sandwiching” the week-long ABC series between a week of internal Soviet TV, seen at the same moment it was being seen in “the other superpower,” 260,000,000 Soviets. (My crazy satellite system remained the only technical means of bringing Soviet TV into the Western Hemisphere …)

The Discovery Channel was barely known at the time – wasn’t carried by cable companies in New York, LA, Washington, etc. —  I only knew of it from my days walking around the sky playing games with satellites — so found a trade directory, learned the name and number of Discovery’s chairman, John Hendricks…  called and said “Hi — my name is Kenny Schaffer — you don’t know me — don’t hang up, but would you consider preempting everything you have next week?” John must have been pretty desperate — the channel had only 11,000,000 subscribers then, not nearly enough to stay on the air much longer. They were nearly bankrupt, their offices were just one small room in Bethesda and all the equipment they owned was two ¾” U-matic VCRs….   So I guess I dropped in like Discovery’s Angel – John thought the idea I threw with 5 day’s notice at him was ballsy — though inconvenient, and sure the heck timely.”

Two days later the Discovery Channel held their first press conference– at the Washington National Press Club — to announce that, come Sunday, they will run a week of live internal Soviet TV. “The first time the people of one superpower can look through the keyhole into the living room of the other,”  I described it.  Press coverage for Discovery’s announcement was avalanche — by Sunday, Discovery’s audience had 30,000,000 homes from the cable companies that signed on special. Following that week, 20,000,000 stayed with them, including the systems in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc…  Nielsen reported that more Americans that week watched local Moscow then watched ABC… finally, the stunt won that year’s Golden Ace Award from the National Cable Television Association as the best program on cable. Yay!

Now what have you been up to recently?

“In 2003 I invented something that came to known as “placeshifting” — TV2Me was the name of the box — I made it to bring me my home cable company (Time Warner New York) wherever I traveled.  The box I built was very exquisite, take no prisoners, and cost a small fortune — until recently close to $5000, currently $3750 – and it processed video as faithfully as the old Schaffer-Vega wireless guitars and mics processed audio….

I’ve sold a few thousand of the units over the years – word of mouth, and obviously, to fairly well-heeled individuals: rock stars, sports stars, business magnates, oligarchs, and to governments, schools and broadcasters.  By using TV2Me they got the same quality picture as they’d get at home, or would get if they were sitting in some city it were especially interested in, anywhere on Earth.”

Actually, Sting, my friend from the wireless guitar days and the Police’s first tour, became the world’s first “placeshifter” when he took a big chance and bought my first box in 2003…

Right now I’m sweating over a startup that turns a standard laptop into the equivalent of an expensive satellite truck for broadcasters — and on “TV Everywhere,” which scales placeshifting as a new service/revenue tier for cable and satellite companies,” so that everyone can take their cable/satellite subscriptions with them wherever they travel, watch their shows, at any time, at any place.”

Note: Sting wrote “Russians” after hanging out all night watching Soviet TV at Columbia University with Kenny in 1986.  Kenny also popped up, indirectly, a few years later in REM’s ”What’s the Frequency Kenneth?” http://www.svs.com/rem/other/real_people.faq

Photo at the top from People Magazine

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/thank-you-for-one-million-hits/

To reach Ken Schaffer http://nutcom.com

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT KENNY’S TV2Me AND “PLACESHIFTING” CLICK ONTO: http://TV2Me.com

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers