Barbra Streisand And The Price Of Egg Rolls
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
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