The first time I met composer John Barry was at the Tokyo Music Festival. In 1973, I was General Manager of Warner Brothers Music when I accompanied one of our staff songwriters, George S. Clinton Jr. (who went on write the score for the three “Austin Powers” movies), to the Tokyo Music Festival. It was my first trip to Japan, which turned out to be one of the most significant times of my life.

Not only was it a place where I became friendly with Pop Stars from all over the world, it was also a place where I could rub elbows with the top film composers the men who scored the films. John Barry had been famous for ten years, having helped create one of the most memorable movie themes of all time, “The James Bond Theme from “Dr.No” written by Monty Norman, which has been used in every 007 film ever since.

My friend George Clinton, Jr. was also inspired by this unassuming man, which can be heard in Clinton’s “Austin Powers” film scores, a series that spoofed the super popular Bond movies.

John Barry won academy awards (see Wikipedia below) He was also knighted by the Queen, but remained the kind of guy you could sit with in a pub and have a nice quiet drink with.


Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne



“THE NEW ELDERS” isn’t a secret organization, or a cult, and it doesn’t cost anything, you just have to be a senior citizen with a desire to make things better for yourself and for society at large!

At one time primitive tribes respected their oldest members and considered them to be the wisest…in today’s society being old is considered a liability!

I’m 69 years old and I haven’t given up the fight. Now I have a new weapon…my blog. What started out as a simple means of expression has turned into a tool that has made life better for everyone.

A couple of years ago, I noticed something very alarming. Time-Warner Cable was sending programs to their customers with the picture out of synchronization’ with the sound! Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I like my sound and picture fed to me at the same time! I went down to my local Time-Warner cable office to pay my bill and complain about this and I was told by the manager that they knew about the problem. They said everyone was experiencing the same phenomenon, but could offer no solution. That’s when I asked for a refund, and to my surprise the manager said he would take $4.00 off of my monthly bill! I screamed, “$4.00 ARE YOU CRAZY?”

He tried to calm me down, and said to call him on Monday. When I called the number he gave me I reached the head office, hundreds of miles away. When I asked for the number of my local office, they said it was against their policy to give it out! I restrained myself from exploding and calmly asked to speak to the manager. The manager, who would only identify himself as Ed, allowed me to explain my problem and he said he’d send somebody out to check my cable. I agreed even though I knew there was no problem on my end!

When the repairman arrived he confirmed my suspicions that they could only fix the fault at the station where the signal is received and sent out. It looked to me like Time-Warner was more interested in building their monopoly than delivering good service to the reasonable expectations of their customers. The e-mails I received from people all over the country proved this was not an isolated incident.

Finally out of desperation I went to my blog and wrote, “For the last two nights TIME-WARNER in Desert Hot Springs, California has been transmitting “Dancing With The Stars” out of synch, with the picture ahead of the sound! IF THIS IS NOT CORRECTED BY TONIGHTS SHOW…THE CLIPS OF THE LAST 3 SHOWS WILL BE POSTED ON YOUTUBE IN THE MORNING along with copies of e-mails from outraged customers all over the country!”

In six hours the problem had cleared up…and it never happened again. Six hours!


When I wanted to learn more about “TWITTER” for an article I was writing, I had to give the social network my name and e-mail address. THEN THEY SLAMMED ME LIKE AN UNSCRUPULOUS TELEMARKETER! Even though I was extremely careful not to press a button to “SEND OUT INVITES”…they did anyway and compromised my entire address book! So I kept writing about them on my blog, until the company set things right and gave me an apology.


Many of us “oldies but goodies” are still relevant and have proven abilities as well as untapped ones that could help our entire society.

The world as we know it is in the End of Days, but this could be just the beginning! If we utilized all of our resources, especially “THE NEW ELDERS”, the positive spirit that dwells in our collective consciousness could turn our destiny around.

Although I can no longer walk and have lost use of my hands, I will stand up for what I believe! The only limitations we have are the ones we put on ourselves, “and if you can only lift one finger you still can point the way!”

Regards, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne


Painted clouds at the top…photographed, colored, and designed by “Lezlie Sokol”, ~ © 2010 by Gwynn Graphix & Painted Cloud Photography!/profile.php?id=1215335979&v=info



The last time I saw folk singer/ activist Phil Ochs was at a small celebration the day that Nixon resigned live on TV. His brother, and my friend, publicist Michael Ochs, arranged for an NBC-TV crew to record Phil’s reaction to his arch enemy’s fall from power…while we all cheered!

It must’ve been one of the most gratifying times in Phil’s life to see the evil that he fought so hard against in his songs brought to his knees.

It was the songs of Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs that drew me into the folk song protest movement of the early sixties, up until then I was just an other Brill building songwriter with a pop music monkey on his back!

For a while I followed in the footsteps of my “folk” heroes and played in Greenwich Village on hoot nights at the Bitter End and Gerde’s Folk city, with Paul Simon and Roger McGuinn backing me up on guitar. Then I lost interest in becoming the next Pete Seeger (when no one would actually pay me to play in their club) and I became a songplugger.

I look back in retrospect and realize how lucky I was to grow up and experience what I did in the middle of the Folk Movement. I can’t wait to see the documentary on Phil Ochs, “There But For Fortune” which is playing to sell out crowds in New York and relive some of those incredible times.

As I was going through the YouTube collection of Phil’s Videos I wanted to post, I realized I haven’t heard most of the songs in over 30 years. I also realized that many of them are as timely now as when Phil wrote them.

The preview of the Phil Ochs Documentary makes a point that, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. I can understand why so many people who are disappointed in the lack of content in today’s music are re-examining Phil’s songs as blueprints for a better present and a more promising future.

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne-


Marjorie Kurtz, Normand Kurtz, Steven Kurtz, with Max Kurtz at bottom… THE KURTZ FAMILY…BOUND BY MORE THAN BLOOD…BOUND BY THE LOVE OF MUSIC!

This is not just a tribute to the the late Steven Kurtz but to three generations of The Kurtz Family, The late Manny Kurtz a/k/a Mann Curtis the grandfather who wrote songs like ”Let It Be Me”, “Aname Core”, and ” I’m Gonna’ Live Til I Die”, Normand Kurtz, the father who was directly involved in the careers of David Bowie, Tommy James, Rupert Holmes, The Jets, Lena Horne, and producer of the “MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD” on Broadway.

Steven Kurtz, the grandson, met Christina Aguilera when she was seventeen, and instantly recognized her talent.  As her manager, he developed and personally invested in her demo recordings.   He also negotiated Aguilera’s contract with BMG that led to her self-titled debut that sold 12 million copies worldwide.  Driven by a passion for the music, he helped facilitate Aguilera’s rise into a multi-platinum, Grammy winning worldwide pop sensation.

Sadly, Steven Kurtz, Esq., President of Marquee Management passed away on December 27, 2010

Steve Kurtz was 48-years-old and he’s survived by his wife Alison, two children Max and Leo, sister Susie and his parents Normand and Marjorie Kurtz.

Although I never met him Steve has had a profound effect on my life as anyone I’ve known. His passing has reunited me with his father Normand Kurtz, a former mentor and my friend for over forty years. His passing also reminded me of his late Grandfather, Mann Curtis one of my songwriting heroes.

I met Mann back in 1973 when I went to New York for my grandmother’s funeral and although I only spent about 20 minutes with him he said something to me that has resonated everyday of my life since then! I told Mann that I stopped being a songwriter when I started plugging songs for Warner Brothers Music, but I was feeling compelled to write again due to my Grandmother’s passing. He looked at me, smiled and said, “You never stop being a songwriter.”

In preparing this article, I asked Normand what were some of his son Stevens’ best qualities and he said it was his ability to encourage and inspire. A trait obviously passed on from generation to generation, then he gave me a letter that Steven wrote shortly before he passed away to the Cubs, a little league team that he coached.

“Dear Cubs,

“The sun was bright and the breeze mild as the Yorkville Cubs met for their final practice and game of the season. With Josh and his parents always the first to arrive for practice, the diamond soon filled with the familiar light blue uniforms of our favorite boys and girl of autumn.  As usual Coach Tom began batting practice working on level bats, squared stances and stepping toward the plate. “Ole Grandpa Bob” a late postseason coaching addition worked diligently with the infielders. The Cubs appeared ready to knock the opposing Astros into orbit.

Before the game started, the coaching staff had prepared a special private award ceremony for the players, unique to the Yorkville Cub franchise -the award of the official nickname. With only Cub personnel and immediate family present, each of the players received their official nickname based on their style of play all season.

2.        DAVID
3.        BENJI
4.        JACK
5.        TAYLOR
6.        MARCO
7.        HARRY
8.        JOSHUA
9.        ROSCOE
10.        JONATHAN
11.        CARYSSA
12.        SCOTT
13.        ZACK

After the ceremony, the Cubs moved into their dugout and then onto the field as the visiting Astros came to the plate. With hard throwing Scott unavailable, the Astros pecked away at theCubs staff scoring 1, 2, or 3 runs in each inning but one.  Taylor did a great job in his first long relief appearance holding the Astros to 3 runs over 3 innings. Marco also did an admirable job in emergency relief.  But the Cubs were 10 runs back by their final at bat.

The Cub defense was highlighted by a number of great plays by the infield tandem of “Mr. Steady” and “Ms. No Sweat”.  David made a fabulous back hand stab near the base at third and fired a one hopper to Harry who made a tremendous scoop at first. Everyone at the field knew the runner was out easily (except the umpire). In her two innings at second base, Caryssa simply did not let a ball get by her, as she knocked down three grounders and with “no sweat” made three strong accurate throws to first to record three outs.

As the heart attack Cubs season drew toward and end, the Cubs faced their final at bat with a daunting task -down by 10 runs. But, demonstrating that the power of team and spirit cannot be discounted, the light blue cavalry mounted a legendary rally.

Caryssa took her place at the plate and calmly drew a lead-off walk. The Walking Man followed suit as Max drew his league record 16th base on balls. David then hit a sharp grounder that turned into a fielder’s choice, nipping Caryssa at third.

Marco then confidently strode to the plate. With two ducks on the pond, “Joe Mauer” took a first pitch strike and then swung at the next pitch, rolling the ball through the infield. Max took off like a rabbit towards third. Coach Richard began the windmill and with Max’s arms pumping, he cut the corner at third. Max was two thirds to the plate when the Astro fielder whipped the ball towards home. The Astro catcher received the ball moments before Max arrived home. In a surprise move, the Walking Man jumped over the catcher’s glove, touching home plate. The umpire signaled SAFE and the Cubs were on the board.

Next up, was Mr. Clutch. Jack, on a 3-2 pitch dug his heals in and attacked the ball just enough to score David from third. Then, Taylor, like his namesake Reggie, swaggered to the plate with cool sunglasses firmly in place. Carefully selecting when to swing on seven pitches, Taylor worked an all important walk to load the bases.

Gentleman Harry ambled to the plate, surveying the scene and with his new straight ahead batting stance, practiced and ready, Harry swung at the first pitch, scoring Jack from third. After Josh, was called out by the umpire on a questionable low and outside pitch, Benji came to the plate with his wooden howitzer quietly cocked at his shoulder. On the second pitch, the Toy Canon blasted a single, Taylor rushed around third and scored, and Harry racing behind him scored the 6th Cub run on a pop-up slide.

Picture the scene, having come into the last of the last up by 10 runs, the rowdy Astros bench was now silenced by the Never Say Die Cubs 6 run rally. The brave boys in blue needed one more base runner to put the tying run at the plate.  The Cubs dugout was abuzz.

It was up to the Thinking Man, Roscoe Elings-Haynie. All season long, Roscoe conjured schemes on how to help his team win and in his previous at bat had flustered, confused, and utterly flabbergasted the opposing team with his bunting stance. In a tense final at bat, in which the Thinking Man matched his wits against the brawn of the 5 foot 6 inch 130 lb Houston hurler, Roscoe worked the count to 3-2. The Astros bench was as silent as if it was floating in deep space. Rowdy Cubs fans shouted for their team. Cubs players, each with their rally cap inside out, as a team, quietly, then more loudly, screamed in unison, “THINK, THINK, THINK.”

Roscoe stepped out of the box, turned to his cheering bench and caught a glance of his batting coach and proud father, Coach Tom. They smiled at each other and the Thinking Man stepped back to the dish. Jonathan Brave Heart Diamond ready on deck, The huge Astro pitcher rocked back on the mound and flung a fastball that looked to be low and just a bit outside. The Thinking Man calculated his chances and chose to hold his swing. Unfortunately, the man in the dark blue umpire uniform  did not agree with the young boy in light blue at the plate. And that is where the glorious Yorkville Cub season ended. Til the end, a team small of stature, but always with lots of heart, having given it their all on a small diamond on a small island in a great big city.

The Coaches would like to once again thank the parents for their never-ending support, the enthusiasm they showed the team and the respect you gave us as coaches.  The two of us have coached many teams together now and clearly know how important the parents are to our goals.  As for the Cubs players, we are truly thankful for what an excellent bunch of young people we had the opportunity to work with this season.

Facing our own concerns as coaches as we moved up the player age ladder, we were blown away by the maturity and positive energy that our older players brought to the team and were equally impressed with the focus and determination of the younger players.  We hope that everyone feel at least a little more knowledgeable about a game we love, a little more confident about their baseball playing skills, and that they will carry with them as many fond memories of the Fall 2010 Yorkville Cubs as we will.

As you all head off to the warmth of holidays in the cold of winter, we remind you to consider the slightly paraphrased words of an American president, Teddy Roosevelt, known to have thrown a baseball around Central Park and who entered many arenas in which some he triumphed some he failed:

“It is not the critic who counts: not the boy on the sideline who points out how the strong player stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the boy and girl who is actually on the field, whose face is covered by dust and sweat and grass, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no success without error or shortcoming; the credit goes to the boy and girl who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause known as a team; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who neither knew the joy of victory nor pain of defeat.”

(Theodore Roosevelt Sorbonne 1910)

We wish all the players and families a tremendous off-season and look forward to crossing paths on the baseball diamond and elsewhere in the future.



Respectfully, Artie Wayne

The Kurtz family is establishing an endowment fund in Steve’s name at Dartmouth College, the school that Steve and Normand Kurtz attended. The fund will be dedicated to Steve’s passion for the joy of creating music by providing support for under-graduates studying in Dartmouth’s innovative Department of Music. For those interested in contributing to this endowment, please contact Normand Kurtz,

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne-



When I sat down to write about The Troubadour Family Reunion last Monday night, I decided to let some of the people who were there tell about it in their own words. Photographer/ artist, “Lezlie Sokol”, a former waitress at the club and one of the organizers of the event, had this to say,

“The music and the love that was with us decades ago was with us again on Monday night. It wasn’t a re-creation…it was a continuation.  We all came together with the spirit that was The Troubadour, those times and we people who were there were re-animated and Doug Weston’s dream came alive within all of us for one more magical night!”

Photographer/ musician Henry Diltz  Reminisced, “The Troubadour was my old stomping ground starting in 1962 when my folk group, The Modern Folk Quartet, played there 3 days after we arrived from Honolulu. We were signed to an agency and record company from that one performance.

At the reunion the other night we were able to reconnect with many old and dear friends. We are all the same young age in our minds as we were those years ago, but now we look like our parents and grandparents. Many of us who were musicians went with the Troubadour waitresses back then, and I had a drink at the bar with my old girlfriend, Alexa, a former waitress. The live music at the reunion was epic stuff as Bob Lind, Van Dyke Parks, Jackson Browne, Rick Cuna, David Jackson, Michael McGuiness, Ruthann Friedman and others took the stage.

I remember photographing Bob Lind in the room which is now the bar but was then McCabe’s guitar shop. It’s a rare thing these days to walk into a bar and find it full of people you know…just like the good old days.”

Allan Rinde, former “underground tastemaker” and Chinese Restaurateur said, “Aside from seeing a few old friends I’d lost contact with and meeting some new ones, there was just this sense of energy at Doug Weston’s Troubadour (glad they kept his name on it) that made this evening a great success. Of course it all dissipated the next day when I realized that while I was having a good time at the good old Troub, Don Kirchner lay dying in a hospital in Boca Raton. Oh, the humanity! And one more thing: thank you Jackson for the tribute to Warren Zevon and for the love you put into your set that night.

Publicist Bobbi Cowan commented, “It was an amazing evening, full of surprises and warm memories and feelings. One of the best was seeing you there, along with Allan, Kimble and Patti, Billy James, Ronnie Haffkine, Ochs and Sandee, and so many of our pals from way back when.  The music was AWESOME, particularly Van Dyke Parks and Jackson, and it made me feel like those magical days and nights were not a distant dream, but TRULY real.  Somebody should put a documentary together with the stories from so many of the colorful and funny people who helped to create this business we once loved (and subsequently watched dissolve in the greed of the last 20-30 years.)

Former KMET DJ Richard Kimble chimed in, “It looked like a meeting of the aarp, rock division”…….”It’s the only time I’ve gone to the Troub and remembered being there”…..Hey I’m here all week, try the veal!!!!!!!”

Producer Ron Haffkine (Dr.Hook, Shel Silverstein) remarked, “What a blast!!! as I posted on fb before the event, I really believe that some of the success of the reunion had to do with Artie working hard letting people know about it….I think we all know that when Artie promotes something, things happen….I couldn’t have had a better time….Ran into someone from the very first act I ever produced..Long time ago…Also one of the members of DR HOOK that I hadn’t seen in a while…I flew in from Nashville just for this reunion and to see some of my dear friends that I don’t get to see often enough….Hope there’s another one sooner rather than later…I don’t want to be on that list just inside the door….”

The list that Ron is referring to is one with names of people who are no longer with us who had a link to the Troubadour (This list will be posted on the official reunion website.)

The evening’s host Larry Murray said “Amazing..Grace! Heartfelt thanx to all who made it a nite to be cherished..organizers..performers..audience..lounge lizards.. and the eternal spirit of the Troubadour… for making my nite an absolute ‘Holy Hoot’ !!!”

Publicist/ cyclist Billy James, seen here with singer/ songwriter Penny Nichols’ …

Photographer/guitar maker Loni Specter exclaimed, “Artie it was so good to see you and Allan Rinde there! So many faces I thought I’d never see again. A truly frightening experience! It was a great night indeed!”

Songwriter/former member of the Association, Terry Kirkman reflected, “I had a good time but was somewhat disappointed at the low turn out of performers. I wish there had been some forum provided for shared stories. what surprised me most, though, was that after an hour of making the round and reading the nametags I found the number of familiar old time regulars to be enough to give me a true blue de ja vu….with my feelings for those there very much the same as I remember them being all those years ago…. like thumbing through an album of pictures….. nodding acquaintances mostly…. just a couple of real honest to goodness friends…but very, very glad I went…very glad I got to share it with my wife who was not around here in those days. i wish we’d had time to talk, artie…maybe next time around. god bless.”

Music publisher Don Williams exclaimed, “It was a very special evening the Troubadour Reunion this past Monday.  Thank you
for putting the story on your web page and giving the emphasis needed to ensure success.  I had a wonderful time”

Naomi Riopelle, another one of the organizers of the Reunion remarked, “I think the idea was to gather together and perhaps to relive a memory of a time and place, with the music and the people that in a very significant way helped to shape our lives and make us who we are…whether or not we realized it back then . I believe we succeeded……”

Bass player Colin Cameron smiled and said, “It seems an unbroken circle finally completed its rounds at the Reunion, as my music career and post-Vietnam service civilian life really began with the people I met at the Troubadour, and the many great acts I was able to listen to there.  It was a joy to see so many of them once again.”

Journalist  Susanella Rogers said, “Just another night at the Troub: Michael Ochs refused to leave the bar, Todd Everett refused to leave the showroom, Bobbi Cowan spoke to Every Single Person There, and the girl in the box office couldn’t find my name on the list.

Finally here’s my pal from the past journalist/blogger Todd Everett with the wrap-up for the evening,

“It was one of the most amazing nights of my life! I have heard so much love and joy expressed about the success of this event and how beautifully it brought back a time in a place that was so brilliant in it’s day. No place on earth ever rivaled what happened at Doug Weston’s Troubadour ever! How blessed we all have been to have been there then and then again last Monday night.

Like most of us, I didn’t know what to expect from the Troubadour Family Reunion. But several people I knew would be coming — mostly people I saw fairly often, but an indication of quality. So at the very least it would be worthwhile on that level.

As it turned out, of course, the thing had become a real event. I’ll name some of the people I knew; I’m sure others had the same experience with people they knew.

Maureen Donaldson (shown with Sandee Lewis Ochs), bless her soul, had come in from England; she swears specifically for the event. Matt Kramer had no other reason I know of for having returned to West Hollywood from wherever it is he’s living these days (Texas, I think), and former hoot master Roger Perry arrived from Oregon. Artie Wayne, whom I sadly didn’t see this time, and Richard Kimball, whom I did, had come in from the desert. Michael Ochs took time from promoting the documentary about his late brother, and counting his own money. I knew it was the Troubadour bar, I told them, when the first faces I saw were Michael, and Alan Rinde.

By the time I left – 11:30 or so – Alan, Artie and several others had already retreated to Genghis Cohen, the restaurant Alan had owned, and Artie named and hosted for however many years (has he ever mentioned that?).

Though the layout of the main room has changed quite a bit — much larger stage; no tables; bar in the back — it was familiar enough that I might have been back in the ’70s, which was pretty much my era, though years earlier I’d driven 60 miles down the coast from Ventura to see acts including the Dillards (with Roger Miller opening), when the stage was still at what’s now the left-hand wall.

I spent half an hour or so in the bar, meeting old pals and choking on a piece of cheese; when Lezlie asked for a glass of water for me, the guy behind our end of the bar said we’d have to go to the woman at the other end. If I’d died from asphyxiation, my survivors would stand to make a fortune! Oddly, when I recovered, he was able to sell me a drink without consulting the other bartender. Ah, the Troubadour!

I’ll let others get into the acts – Van Dyke, Jackson, and so on; but will add that I was very impressed by two “second generation” groups, fronted by people whose parents had (in one case sort of) worked at the Troubadour. Paul Riopelle, whose mother Naomi was a long-time waitress at the club, was in a rock band called The Motion with Steven Wolfson and Dsvid Jenkins; the three members of Blackfire are all the progeny of Berta Benally, who was more of an Ash Grove person, really, but was right at home in this company. Native Americans of the Navajo nation, Blackfire is more “indian” than Redbone, and played a strong mix of contemporary, punk and traditional music. Had I a label (and everybody can be thankful I don’t), I’d sign them in a minute. As it stands, they already record; their more recent album produced by Ed Stasium, whose credits include the Ramones, Talking Heads and Smithereens. In other words, they need no help from me, even if I were in a position to give it to ‘em.
One disappointment: three members of Hearts & Flowers were present: Larry Murray, Rick Cunha and David Jackson. But they didn’t see fit to reconvene, even though Jackson did back Cunha on a solo set, along with anybody else who needed a bass player.

That, too, was just like the old days.”

— Todd Everett

To know more about the evening click onto the official TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION WEBSITE

Thanks to Henry Diltz for the photo of Jackson Browne

to Pete Senoff for the photo of Maureen Donaldson and Sandee Lewis Ochs. Richard Kimball, Michael Ochs, Allan Rinde, Pete Senoff and Bobbi Cowan

to George Steele for the photo of billy James and Penny Nichols

to Sean McKenna from X-SITE MEDIA for the photo of Me, Ron Haffkine and Van Dyke Parks

to photographer/ guitar maker Loni Specter for the Photo of Blackfire

to Coleen M. Pumfrey for the photo of the Troubadour sign

Special thanks to “Lezlie Sokol” and Sally Stevens for helping me with this article. You can click on to the fourth installment of Sally’s riveting JIM MORRISON STORY at

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne-

for those might not have recognized me at the reunion with my beard…I shaved



If they built a time machine it could never equal the experience I had at the TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION last Monday Night! Jackson Browne played to a packed house that included old “Troubadourians”, Allan Rinde, Sandy and Michael Ochs, Patti and Richard Kimball, Ron Haffkine, Don Williams, Jerry Heller, Joel Diamond, Bobbi Cowan, Pete Senoff, Todd Everett, Val Garay, Billy James, Terry Kirkman, Colin Cameron, and Van Dyke Parks.

Pam McKenna one of the Reunion’s organizer’s said, “The intention of The Troubadour Family Reunion was to gather together a group of people…a very lucky few, who were in the right place at the right time in America’s musical history. Doug Weston had a knack for finding great singer/songwriters…and we were the fortunate recipients. One such artist was Jackson Browne…so it was only fitting that he came to play for us again. This is where he began, like so many others, and his return brought him and us, full circle…May the circle be unbroken.”

Many people flew into Hollywood for this once in a lifetime event, including producer Ron Haffkine (Dr.Hook, Shel Silverstein), and singer/ songwriter Van Dyke Parks (“Heroes and Vllians”) who apparently is still flying!

On Friday, I’ll post more pictures and comments .

To know more about the evening click onto the official TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION WEBSITE

Thanks to Sean McKenna from X-SITE MEDIA for the photos

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne-



“After playing Bobby Darin (“Splish, Splash”) a few of my songs backstage at an Alan Freed Rock and Roll Show, I tell him I’m going to sign a management contract with Alan. Then he speaks to me privately.  He tells me that a payola scandal involving Alan is about to break, and I should wait before I sign anything with the controversial Disc Jockey.

Then Bobby tells me about a longtime friend of his who just opened a publishing company at 1650 Broadway. He writes down his friend’s name, and the next day I go to audition for Don Kirshner at Aldon Music.

After hearing my songs, Don or Donnie as he likes to be called, a large imposing man still in his 20’s, gives my Mother such a pep talk about my future, even I’m convinced I can’t fail. He tells her, “If you’ve got talent and perseverance; all you need is a little luck”. Then he and his partner Al Nevins convince my mother that I can learn more about the music business from spending time in their offices, than I can by going to college.

Over the next year and a half I sit for a few hours everyday in Aldon Music and become friendly with most of the writers who are signed: Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield (“Happy Birthday Sweet 16”, “ Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” ), Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil  (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’), Carole King and Gerry Goffin (“ One Fine Day”, “I’m Into Something Good”) Larry Kolber (“I Love How You Love Me”, “Patches”), Jack Keller (”Run To Him”) as well as Brooks Arthur, Billy Michelle, Al Gorgoni, Tony Orlando and a 14-year old Toni Wine.

Everyday I learn something new from my pals who are becoming the tops in the music business. Donnie puts me together with Howie Greenfield who shows me how to tighten my lyrics, he asks Jack Keller to show me more interesting chords to play against my melodies, and gets me with Barry Mann to show me how to sing harmony.

I occasionally baby sit for Carole King, while she’s in the studio doing demos.  In return she plays keyboards, arranges, and sings all the background parts on my demos. I remember one day she comes in to play her new song for Donnie, but he’s still out to lunch.  She asks me if I’d like to hear it while she rehearses it.

She sits down at the old upright piano and starts to sing,

“Tonight you’re mine completely…You give your love so sweetly.”

I sit there with my mouth dropped open as she goes over “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” I know I won’t be able to write anything of my own for weeks as I devour every line!

Then she’s summoned to Donnie’s office. I think he likes it too…I can hear him yelling through the door, “It’s a Smash! It’s a F@#in’ Smash!”

Even though my Mother and Grandmother told me that I shouldn’t curse, from then on I thought it was cool…because Donnie Kirshner did it!

Don Kirshner truly has a golden ear, the ability to pick hit songs and match them to the right artists. Manager Ken Greengrass recalls: “Don and Sheila, his wife, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, my wife Gerry and I were all pretty friendly. We dined, partied and in the hay days of Eydie and Steve’s appearances at the Diplomat Hotel in Florida, and had many good times.  Don was a wonderful music man. He brought “Go Away Little Girl”, “Blame It On the Bossa Nova”, and other wonderful songs to us for Eydie and Steve to record.”

Former editor of Cashbox, Ira Howard who also worked with Kirshner at Screen Gems Columbia recalls, “The first time I met Donnie was when he came up to my office with Bobby Darin and the two hung around my desk.  I thought they were important since they came up with some exec at Roulette Records.  However, I later found out that they were struggling songwriters writing commercials for Bamberger’s Dept. store in Newark, among others.  We became fast friends and since I had a car, after music men softball and basketball games, I would drive Bobby down to the projects around 23rd St. and Donnie up to his parent’s place in Washington Heights.  I immediately realized and that Bobby had an unbelievable gift for singing and playing a piano without knowing how to read music and that Donnie had a great “ear” for a song.”

Spending time up at Aldon put me right in the middle of all the excitement in the golden age of Pop Music. I watched Al and Donnie become the most powerful new publishers in the business, as they elevated the song into the most important part of the recording process. And even though I never became a part of the inner circle, or even got one of my own songs recorded, I’ll always be grateful for the opportunities to learn as much as I did “at the ears of the Master!”


Or as my friend Grammy winning producer/engineer, Brooks Arthur likes to say, “ALDON MUSIC FOREVER!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne from his forthcoming book “I DID IT FOR A SONG”

photo at top l to r- Don Kirshner, Barry Mann, Gerry Goffin, and Al Nevins

second photo l-r Howard Greenfield, Don Kirshner, and Neil Sedaka

third photo Carole King

fourt photo Bobby Darin and Don Kirshner


As I was searching for some new video clips I made some extraordinary finds! The first is a one minute film taken backstage at a rock show in Texas in the ‘50s featuring ELVIS PRESLEY, BUDDY HOLLY, CARL PERKINS, AND JOHNNY CASH together for the first time…again!

The second is a theatrical trailer of a man I knew slightly but respected greatly, Phil Ochs. His documentary, “There But For Fortune” is only playing at one theater in New York and it’s already #25 at the box office!

Regards, Artie Wayne


After reconnecting with a lot of my friends who are coming to the TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION Monday night January 17, 2011 I wanted to know a more about the club and the man who owned it, Doug Weston.

In a time of civil unrest in America, Doug Weston wasn’t afraid to present controversial acts who were protesting the status quo. He gave the “political puppeteers” the finger when he booked Lenny Bruce, even though his license could have revoked.He also regularly presented anti-establishment performers that other clubs were reluctant to hire, including Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lord Buckley, and Phil Ochs.

The Hollywood Reporter said in his obituary, “Weston prided himself on the acts and audiences he attracted for more than four decades, from singer Linda Ronstadt to comedians such as the Smothers Brothers and Cheech & Chong. Elton John, beginning to make a name in England, played the Troubadour for six nights in August 1970, introduced by Neil Diamond. He came to consider the booking the best move of his career.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Troubadour was considered the most consistently important showcase of contemporary folk and folk-rock talent in the country. Appearances there could guarantee major record sales for new and emerging artists.

Over the years, the club’s acts were consistently impressive: the Byrds, Judy Collins, Bill Cosby, the Committee, Bo Diddley, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Gordon Lightfoot, Roger Miller, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Mort Sahl, Kris Kristofferson and Nina Simone.”

I asked Artist/ Photographer “Lezlie Sokol”, a former waitress at the club and one of the organizers of the REUNION, if she knew Doug.

“I Got to know him in several different capacities, not only at the club, but also in his home.  He had great parties and dinners.  He was also known for having a huge Thanksgiving party every year for employees and friends who had no family in the area.”

“Doug loved the troubadour…and he loved the fact that this was a place for all types of artists to try out new material or to just hang out.  The club was like a refuge for so many.  Doug took chances that others wouldn’t with talent.  He was fearless in that sense.  He’d hire artists that were blacklisted or banned.  Like Lenny Bruce who was arrested at one point for just walking up on a stage.  A lot of people thought that the club succeeded in spite of Doug not because of him. That was a mistake.  A lot of folk took a lot for granted in those days, or attributed things to luck.  Not so, when you look at the names and number of artists who started out at the troubadour and became A list stars, well, there ain’t no luck in that”

l to r- John Lennon, Anne Murray, Harry Niilson, Alice Cooper, and Mickey Dolenz



  • The Troubadour opens.
  • Lenny Bruce is arrested on obscenity charges.


  • After a gig by resident band The Men, Bob Dylan comes onstage for an impromptu “folk-twist” jam session – attended only by Troubadour staff. Shortly afterward, Dylan makes pop music history by switching from folk to folk-rock.


  • The Byrds, who met at a Monday open mic, perform their classic take on Dylan’s “Tambourine Man” for the first time.


  • Buffalo Springfield make their live debut.


June 4
  • Joni Mitchell makes her Los Angeles debut.
  • Comedian Richard Pryor records his live debut album.
  • Gordon Lightfoot US debut


  • Poco, late from a Denver gig, arrive to find unknown comic Steve Martin doing their songs on banjo to a rapturous crowd.
  • Neil Young plays his debut solo show in LA.
  • James Taylor makes his solo debut.
September 3
  • Tim Buckley records Live at the Troubadour 1969.


  • Cheech and Chong are discovered by Lou Adler at a Monday Hoot Night.
  • The Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey meet in the front bar.
  • Elton John makes his U.S. debut, introduced by Neil Diamond.
  • Neil Diamond releases Gold, an album recorded live at the Troubadour.
  • Kris Kristofferson makes his Los Angeles debut opening for Linda Rondstadt.
October 3
  • Janis Joplin parties at the Troubadour and the next day is found dead at the Landmark Hotel from a heroin overdose.
November 24-29
  • James Taylor plays “You’ve got a Friend” for the first time. He heard his piano player (as well as opening act) , Carole King, play it during during soundcheck and they decided to give it a try.


  • Lori Lieberman writes the song “Killing Me Softly with His Song” inspired by a performance by Don McLean at the Troubadour.
  • Waylon Jennings performs in the cult classic film Cisco Pike.
  • Tom Waits is discovered by rock manager Herb Cohen during an amateur night.
April 6
  • Carly Simon, opens for Cat Stevens.


  • Billy Joel makes his LA debut as the opening act for Ballin’ Jack
May 16-21
  • Randy Newman returns to the Troubadour for a six night run to perform his masterpiece album “Sail Away”.


  • Van Morrison records his live record “It’s Too Late to Stop Now…”
  • The Bryds reunite and launch tour with a Troubadour show.
  • Pointer Sisters make their debut performance.


January 30
  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band closed the hyped Columbia Records showcase week with a 90 minute set…that starts at 2 in the morning!
March 12
  • John Lennon (wearing a Kotex on his head) and Harry Nilsson are escorted out of the club for heckling the Smothers Brothers.
August 25
  • Elton John plays benefit show to raise money for UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute.
  • On the last night of a triumphant week of Average White Band shows, drummer Robbie McIntosh dies of a drug overdose.

DON’T FORGET….Tonight JANUARY 17, 2011 is the TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION! You might want to go, but you’re not going to get in unless you make reservations! For more info

To Reach “Lezlie Sokol”


When you’re in the Baby Boomer generation (or older) we have a tendency to dismiss today’s music as being inferior to what we grew up with. You don’t have time to go through the bulls#@t to find the “Good Stuff”, so I’ll help find some “Good Stuff” for you!

My current favorite artist is producer/ singer/ songwriter Bruno Mars, who not only is featured along with rappers B.o.B. and  Travie McCoy  who he produces, but is also having incredible success as a solo artist. His videos are superb and his potential is unlimited.

Here is a collection of his best videos and a possibly his most controversial collaboration which he co-wrote…“F#@K YOU” BY Cee-Lo


and for those of us who difficulty hearing…

To reach Bruno Mars

Special thanks to Sally Stevens for the Deaf interpreter video

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne-

To find out more about THE TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION click on to