July 31, 2006
L-R ALLAN RINDE, ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, DON WILLIAMS, TIM RICE, AND ARTIE WAYNE
Thirty years ago, I was general professional manager of Warner Bros. Music, living in Hollywood, when my friend Don Williams, who held a similar position at MCA msic, played me an acetate of “JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR”. I freaked out!!! My instinct told me …this was going to be a phenomenon!!! I asked Don to play it for Allan Rinde, the beloved head of Columbia records A+R dept….he was as excited as we were and proceeded to hold listening parties…that included all of the underground tastemakers of the time.
MCA RECORDS credits us with breaking the album. I hope Tim and Andy have forgiven me for trying to talk them out of writing “Evita”…..Who would go to see a show about an ex-dictators wife anyway?
YOU CAN BUY MY BOOK, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” (AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY) FOR $9.99 BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO ARTIE WAYNE P.O. BOX 1105 , DESERT HOT SPRINGS CALIFORNIA, 92240 OR THROUGH PAYPAL TO MY EMAIL ADDRESS firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2014 by Artie Wayne
July 31, 2006
MARLON BRANDO 4/3/24 – 7/1/o4
Although Marlon Brando’s musical abilities were limited to playing
“Bongos” at “Beatnik” parties during the fifties, his influence on
pop music for decades was undeniable. When we think about “Black
Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots” by the Cheers, in the 50s’, “He’s
A Rebel”by the Crystals, or “Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-las
in the 60s’……..Who comes to mind? Yeah…….Marlon Brando, “the
Wild One”in his black leather jacket and dungarees…..the kind they
wouldn’t let us wear in high school!
I heard that Elvis wouldn’t smile in his early photos because Marlon
never did. When he became “the Godfather” in the seventies it became
difficult to listen to the beautiful theme without visualizing Marlon
and his “puffy” cheeks. Even when James Brown was justifiably called
the “Godfather of Soul”, we all gave a nod to Marlon.
I remember when I went to Tahiti and Bora-Bora, in the 80’s
the question I was most asked by the natives was, “Did I know Marlon
I wish I did………..respectfully, Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/
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July 29, 2006
Back in P.S.55, when I wasn’t running from the guys with switch-blades and zip guns I would sit and draw. I learned how to make 3-D comics, you know the kind where you needed red and blue glasses. This peculiar talent got me in to New York’s High School of Music and Art. Although I never became the Picasso of 3-D, I developed the love of images that challenge the eye and the imagination.
In 1983, my friend and sometime business partner Allan Rinde decided to exit the music business and open a Chinese Restaurant in a Jewish neighborhood in Hollywood. I came up with a name for him, Genghis Cohen! The place was an immediate hit. Soon after, Allan asked me to take some of the burden off his shoulders and become night host. It was about this time that I had begun working with fabric paint and decided to create a unique look for myself by creating my own outfits. The first night I wore one of shirts to work, I sold it off of my back for $125.00…and I knew that I had something
Soon I had all sorts of people buying my clothes including, Robert Downey, Jr., J.D. Nicholas of the Commodores, Pam Tillis, Patti Dahlstrom, Sammy Davis, Jr. James Caan, Val Garay, Steve Cropper and Luther VanDross.
When I did a couple of jackets for ERTE….the father of Art Deco….I didn’t know who he was….when I found out I doubled my prices and landed a one man show at Bobbi Leonard’s gallery in Santa Monica. It wasn’t long before I was selling my clothing out of Fred Segals, Robinsons & Leather Force on Melrose and in Beverly Hills.
Once Sarah Jessica Parker 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 get mad at Sarah Jessica Parker?
When I started using glow-in-the-dark paint on my creations, I would dim the lights then go into the kitchen and get a blast of flourescent light. I’d walk back into the restaurant, hand out fortune cookies and sell the glowing jacket right off my back!
copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne
July 28, 2006
When I decided to do a series of articles, on “Unsung Heroes”, the powerful men and women behind the scenes in the music business, Russ Regan, was one of the first people I wanted to interview. The general public may not know his name, but the former head of UNI Records and 20th Century Fox Records has been responsible for selling over one billion records and CDs in his career!
Russ Regan is “the man”, because Russ Regan “was the man” who signed Elton John, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, and Barry White, as well as the one who was responsible for green lighting, “Jesus Christ Superstar.” In his spare time, he also named the Beach Boys!
Next week my provacative and controrversial interview will run exclusively at Artie Wayne On The Web and Spectropop. Hope you take a little time to enjoy it.
July 28, 2006
Ray Charles has been here for so long it’s hard to remember when he wasn’t around.I’ve always thought of him as an “Uncommon Denomonater”in popular music. For 50 years, he exposed the World to the Blues……was the “Soul” of Rock and Roll…..and brought an African-American voice to country music.
My own life was soothed, rocked,and sometimes explained by Ray Charles.Isn’t it funny how we don’t appreciate someone fully until they’re gone? Fortunately, Ray knew how much he was loved while he was with us.
I only met him once, on a plane back to L.A.from the Tokyo music festival. I felt more like a fan, than an exec at Warner Bros.Music, and became a little flustered. I introduced myself,and told him that I gave his producer a song he’d recorded,”Go On Home” (HughMcCracken)…Ray smiled and sang a few bars back to me.
I thanked him for his time….for remembering…. and went back to my seat. Now I wish I had been a little less overwhelmed….and spent a little more time talking to him.
I spent the last ten years recovering from a spinal operation and I’m still am unable to use my hands to play the piano or guitar. When Ray passed away, however, I was moved to finish up a song that I’d been working on for years, “I’m At My Best When I’m Down.”
Although I couldn’t play it, I asked my friend Allan Rinde to record me singing the song accapella (without music]. I sent it to my friend Alan O’Day (“Undercover Angel”, “Angie Baby”), for an opinion. He surprised me and put some chords behind it. You can hear it it you click over to http://artiewayne.com/best.html
July 27, 2006
Back in 1966, having been traumatized by my run in with the
Rolling Stones in the U.K., I returned to the United States.
My friend, Ed Silvers, who produced me as an artist for
Liberty records, was now a vice-president of April-Blackwood
music [Columbia Records publishing arm], and gave me my
first job as a songplugger. Of all the staff writers, Van
McCoy, who was starting to make a name for himself and a new
writer, a young Neil Diamond, impressed me the most.
Neil was not only prolific, all of his lyrics were
consistantly deep and his music, always commercial. I looked
forward to him coming in to sing and play live, and
familiarize me with the songs he had in the catalog. I had
dozens of ideas of who should record this and who should
record that…and I couldn’t wait to get started! Then two
weeks after I joined the company, Ed Silvers left in a
political hailstorm, leaving me to fend for myself!
The interim management team, urged me to stay since I got
along with the staff writers and knew the catalog a little
better than they did. After a little “financial” persuasion
I decided not to leave. As they rushed me through a routine
medical exam for their insurance company, the doctors
discovered an previously unknown heart condition, and gave
me two years to live unless I had an immediate operation!!
April-Blackwood eagerly offered to pay all of my expenses,
so I went in to have open heart surgery the following week.
I was one of the first Americans to have such an operation
and I’m happy to say I made medical history, up and walking
36 hours after my operation!
When I went back to the publishing company, a few weeks
later I saw a memo on my desk from the interim Chief. Neil
Diamond’s current contract was about to expire and they
would have to pay him an additional $50 a week, if they
wanted to keep him. The memo went on to say that this is
something they refused to do, since Neil was still a few
thousand dollars in the red on his old contract!
That’s when I saw RED…I stormed [more accurately hobbled
dramatically] into the executive offices, holding my heart
and fighting to get a pittance for a songwriter who I thought
was worth millions! When my pleas fell on deaf ears, that’s
when I coined the phrase, “This Sucks!” and left CBS forever!