January 10, 2011

When I heard about the Troubadour Family Reunion, a friend of mine who was one of the Monday “Hoot Night regulars said, “I don’t remember seeing you there…you don’t “qualify”…it’s only for people who were there on Monday nights!”

I was livid, as I reviewed my long history at the club which included hanging out with many stars who performed there and as well as vigorously supporting new singer/songwriters that “Hootmaster” Roger Perry presented on Monday nights.

It was right outside the Troubadour when my friend Shel Silverstein convinced me that I could be as creative working for a publishing company as I could be as a songwriter. It was at the club that I hung out with some of the writers I represented before they released their first albums including Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, and the Eagles, which is all detailed in my new book, “I DID IT FOR A SONG”.

I even made a fool of myself a few times when I passed out into my coconut ice cream in the first row at Jimmy Webb’s opening and sang drunken harmony from the balcony with AMERICA and had to be quieted down.

I remember sitting one night with Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, and my girlfriend who had one Quaalude too many at the Cheech and Chong opening. When Stevie asked his companion to describe the action on stage my girlfriend yelled out, “What’s the Matter…Are you blind or something?”

Another night I was sitting with Sonny and Cher, when David Geffen and Cher’s eyes met and they became tabloid headlines. I was an occasional music critic for Cashbox magazine, and from the balcony gave Don McLean, and “American Pie” one of the first national reviews.

I was the guy who Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler thought enough of to take around from table to table and tell other reviewers what I thought of John Prine’s performance and stellar songwriting ability.

When I mentioned all of this to that friend of mine who was one of the Monday night hoot regulars he said, “I still don’t remember seeing you there…you don’t “qualify”…it’s only for people were there on Monday nights!” Then I looked at the Reunion’s website and it said the same thing.

Then I started to get angrier. I wrote last week how I brought Olivia Newton-John into the Troubadour Bar on a Monday night to impress all of my friends as well as the industry “heavies” who held court at the bar. It was also on a Monday night when Glenn Frye and Randy Meisner of the Eagles wrestled me to the ground, took my highly polished Frye boots with “sissified” custom built platform heels, and threw them onto Santa Monica Boulevard as a joke.

The “Troub”on Monday nights, was where I met and became friendly with journalists Peter Greenberg, Todd Everett, Chris Van Ness, Digby Diehl, Cameron Crowe, David Rensen and publicists Billy James, Corb Donahue, Bob Gibson, David Sweeny, Gary Stromberg, managers Abe Hoch, Herbie Cohen, Peter Rachtman, Jerry Heller, and Elliot Roberts.

When I became the General Professional manager and director of Creative Services for three and a half years at Warner Brothers Music, I insisted that each of my four songpluggers maintain a presence at the club at least twice a week, sometimes bringing as many as 10 guests on “Hoot Night”. This effort wasn’t lost on the late owner Doug Weston, who bought me a drink from time to time, in appreciation for all the business I’d bring in.

One of the things I’m proudest of in my professional is helping to introduce “Karaoke” to America. In my last promotion for the Singing Machine Company, Doug Weston gave me a half hour on a Monday Night for me to sing over tracks and demonstrate this remarkable device. It was one of the first times, I’m told that recorded music was allowed to be used in a live performance at the venue.

I started the show with songs everybody knew like “Sweet Caroline”, which they could sing along to, then I invited five of my friends (including journalists, Lita Eliscu, and Ellen Sander) up on stage to sing the chorus of a controversial song I just recorded called “WHITE WOMEN IN HEAT”. Although I got a standing ovation from the packed room, I was fired the next day by the Singing Machine Company for my “QUESTIONABLE” choice of material.

I ask myself why am I getting so worked up about all of this “Reunion Stuff”, I’m too disabled to attend the event anyway…but I wanted to set the record straight about the important part the Troubadour has played in my life and the place it has in my heart.. If anyone still thinks that I don’t “Qualify” to be part of this event, if only in spirit…they can “Kiss My Past!”

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne-

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


Picture at top Doug Weston outside The Troubadour Remastered, colored and redesigned by “Lezlie Sokol” ~ at Painted Cloud Photography © 2010!/profile.php?id=1215335979&v=info

Picture in middle l to r Tom Rush, Michael Ochs, Allan Rinde, Elliot Roberts, and James Taylor at the Troubadour Bar.



  1. Loni Specter Says:

    Artie, You won’t be there!?! They should send a limo to pick you up, those cheap bastards! You have WAY more right to be there than I do.

  2. naomi riopelle Says:

    hi artie! i was a waitress at the troub for several years, and along with lezlie, roger, pam and harriet, am one of the organizers of this event.. and there is no doubt that you most certainly DO qualify! the criteria are having been either an employee, hoot night regular, front bar regular, or performer. in any case, i want to thank you for your articles, and i wish you were able to join us.. best wishes.

    • Artie Wayne Says:

      Hi Naomi…I’m excited for all of you this will be quite an historic event. If a thousand people show up…years from now five thousand will swear that they were there!

      All the best, Regards Artie

      • naomi riopelle Says:

        thanks artie….
        one favor..will you please tell your readers that it was NOT the organizers who told you that you didn’t qualify?

  3. naomi riopelle Says:

    loni, this event is being paid for by the aforementioned employees/organizers, not the club.

  4. El F Says:

    Just for the record – and as someone who was at the Troub every Monday night for years – Artie was there often. I’m a witness, along with many others.

  5. rob Says:

    Your qualifications will definitely withstand scrutiny. The only question is how you could call someone a “friend” who made such a snarky comment?

  6. Artie Wayne Says:

    sent on behalf of John Brahaney


    Sorry, I accidentally sent a blank before I got a chance to write this. Sorry you won’t be at the Troub. We should video it so you can see it. Whoever told you he didn’t remember you there probably wasn’t there.

    John Brahaney

  7. Artie Wayne Says:

    posted on behalf of Brooks Arthur

    Do I qualify? Janis Ian sang at the Troub. I produced her records. I was pretty much a regular. Doug Weston always had a seat for me in the “peanut gallery.” (My preference)

    Love you Artie! You CERTAINLY qualify!

  8. Ron Haffkine Says:

    It’s probably going to be a lot of fun Artie….I don’t think I qualify for anything anymore….My wife said she wasn’t even sure I was qualified to live in my house…I told her I produced and managed Dr Hook for 14 years. She said…… so what….I guess I won’t be there…..

  9. Hey I qualify. I sang there twice! Artie, I’ll never forget those nights in the VIP box! Elton, Carly, Rita, too many nights to count, and I was there on that Sonny and Cher and Jimmy Webb nights. Great memories. Thanks. The front room bar always held celebs and was so much fun. Eagles, John Lennon, Brian Wilson in his bath robe. How lucky were we to be part of all that music history. Great article!

  10. steveo Says:

    What a crock, Artie for someone to say “you don’t qualify.” I used to go there myself, and hung with various celebs…back in the early 70s….including Jimmy Webb and Johnny Rivers. According to the legend you were there quite often..
    You certainly do qualify!

  11. carol ross-durborow Says:

    who are these people organizing this reunion??? they must come from another planet, if anyone should be there it should be you, artie, for god’s sake, you are a part of that rock and roll history made at the troubador and in the industry itself….these folks need to do their homework!!….i won’t be going as i live in the east, but even if i could , i wouldn’t…knowing what they said to you….with admiration and affection, carol ross

    • naomi riopelle Says:

      carol, if you read my earlier comment, you will see that it wasn’t the organizers who told him he didn’t qualify. it was his “friend.” the organizers (all of us are well aware of artie’s qualifications.

      • Artie Wayne Says:

        Carol…Thanks for sticking up for me but Naomi is correct it wasn’t the organizers who questioned me but a foolish “friend”, who was only aware of the activities of he and his circle of friends at the club.

        I talked to him about this last night and I had to admit that at the time, I was known for being in bed by nine O’clock…but I made exceptions to go to the Troubadour…and stayed up until at least ten.

        I hope everybody has a great time at the event, the club leveled the playing field for me and allowed me to rub elbows with the most talented and powerful people in the music business, for which I’m eternally grateful.

        I do, however, strongly object to the word “QUALIFY” which is featured prominently on the REUNION website and “QUALIFICATIONS” in Naomi Riopelle’s reply above. I have heard from several of my friends who’ve asked me, “Who are these people and who are they to judge me?”

        To be perfectly honest I don’t know…but if they remove the offensive wording from their website, which takes seven minutes to do, I’ll know their heart is in the right place.

        Regards, Artie Wayne–

  12. Bobbi Cowan Says:

    Artie…what an amazing response to a column that surely qualifies you to be there, as well as having some of the best stories as anyone…Sounds like the only event you missed was the one where Lennon was crowned with a Kotex. Hope Cheech & Chong will be there, as they were “discovered” on that Monday nite stage and subsequently signed by Lou Adler, at the urging of Bob Gibson and the rest of us at Gibson & Stromberg. We were there all the time, for openings like our clients Minnie Riperton, Danny Fogelberg, and so many more. I do hope someone will be filming interviews and memories from those of us who were there. We will miss your presence. Love,

  13. naomi riopelle Says:

    artie, the word was used because we wanted it be clear that this was not an event open to the general public, but rather a gathering of people who were there at the time and therefore part of what we refer to as “the troubadour family.”
    anyway, thanks for your good wishes… and again, we really do wish you could be there.

    • Artie Wayne Says:

      I’m sorry but your defense of using the word “Qualify” is lame. I’ve fought against many “isms” in my life,racism, ageism, eliteism, but I never thought I’d have to rally against “Troubadourism”.

      It’s hard to believe that the “Troubadour” which once was a proud alternative for singers and songwriters who protested the establishment, has become the establishment.

      If Doug Weston were alive don’t you think he would approve the removal of one line “IF YOU THINK YOU QUALIFY” if it offended as many people as it has?


      • naomi riopelle Says:

        im sorry artie, but i respectfully disagree. when we first published the notice, we began receiving responses from people who had been there once or twice (or never), as well as people who weren’t even born until 1960, etc… far more people than the few hundred who are actually going to be attending. we were just trying to be clear about the intended purpose of this gathering, and never meant to offend anyone.

  14. Roger Perry Says:

    Maybe we should have kept it at “Troubadour Employees Reunion” as originally conceived. It was intended to be for people who actually worked at the club and our friends. We didn’t realize “Troubadour Family Reunion” was all that elastic a phrase.

  15. May Pang Says:

    As I would love to be at this event, I, too, lived on the East Coast bracing for another snow storm. Lucky me.
    Thinking back to the Troubadour brings back a flood of memories when John Lennon and I used to “hang out” with our friends including a couple of infamous nights (like the night of John wearing the Kotex & The Smothers Bros.) Each time the stories get told, they change. For a club that held approx. 500 or so people, I think we have had over 1000 people telling me they were there that night. The above 2 incidents have now become one! LOL.


    May Pang

  16. Artie Wayne Says:

    Thank you all for your remarks. this blog is closed to further comments.

  17. Chris Walsh Says:

    I hate when people cut off a blog.It’s like I don’t qualify. I don’t know if you remember me. I was the manager for awhile in that period. I understand your feeling cutoff by the wording but I have to tell you…I had dozens of folks contact me that were not connected to that time at all (many who were far too young) who insisted I had to get them in. I was able to fend them off barely with the excuse taht I was not an organized and could not help with exceptions.

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