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The Banned Beatle Album Cover

In the early 80s I was absolutely apalled when someone took the tapes from the first Elvis Presley album, added “Disco beats, modern sounding instruments and effects”, while removing the excess echo that was my favorite sound on the original lp! I remember hearing a few cuts while I was waiting to be served at the Hard Rock cafe in Hollywood. I was starting to become physically ill from hearing some of my all time favorite cuts desecrated, so I walked out…but not before I complained loudly and vehemently to the manager! I chalked this one up to the Presley estate trying to breathe life into a dead horse! (no reflection on the Hard Rock’s hamburger, of course.)

The next time I was shlocked to my very core was when my friend, Alan O’Day, sent me the URL to the new remixes of Motown classics “remixed” by current top Hip-Hop producers. Although there were a few interesting moments…it was a futile attempt to improve upon musical history. http://motown remixed.com/

As long as I’ve been in the music industry I’ve admired, enjoyed and studied the sucess of Motown records. When I brought Nick Ashford and Valarie Simpson to Eddie Holland in 1967, I developed a strong relationship with many of the company’s writers and producers. I was also privy to many secrets of their phenomenal sucess. I used to sit (at different times) with Norman Whitfield, Hal Davis, Mel Larson, Jerry Marcellino, Freddie Perren, Bob Crewe and Michael Masser and listen to what sounded like instant smash hits, including early mixes of ” Touch me in the Morning”, ” Papa Was a Rolling Stone”, and “My Eyes Adored You”, all of which were initially turned down by quality control!

The endless remixing and meticulous mastering was the most important And the most frustrating part of the recording process. I remember sitting with Iris Gordy, who was head of quality control and listening to dozens of mixes of ten totally different tracks of Stevie Wonders production of “Let’s get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson. I was intrigued by some of the “radical” mixes and amazed by the subtlety of others. I asked Iris if this many versions were unusual? she laughed and said, “Sometimes there are hundreds!”

With so much care and respect Berry Gordy had for the music, it’s a shame that the new owners of the Motown catalog let someone come in and fuck with the music!

This past tuesday a double CD was released called “Love”, featuring remixes of the original Beatles hits along with an incredible advertising blitz. After hearing a little of about 10 songs, of this “Bloodless”, adreneline free remix, I couldn’t help wonder who put this shit together? Are the Beatles hard up for cash? Has producer George Martin gone mad? Is his son Gilles the actual producer of this CD set? What has Cirque du Soleil have to do with this? After reading the Associated Press story I understood what was going on! http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,229702,00.htm ,

I realized this was the soundtrack to the new Cirque Du Soleil Las Vegas Extravaganza that opened last July! This means I have to listen to it with entirely different ears. Unfortunately, that also means before I say anything more about the album I should hear it in context with the show! If the Cirque Folque are reading this, pleased be advised that Artie Wayne on the Web is ready to be flown to Vegas to check it and come back here to report the findings!

Merci’ and Auvoir

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

To reach the Mirage where “Love” by Cirque du Soleil is playing
http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/CirqueDuSoleil/en/showstickets/love/intro/intro.htm?sa_campaign=internal_click/redirect/love

 

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l to r Hank Medress, Mitch Margo, Phil Margo, and Jay Siegal
The Tokens are inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame 2005

Hank Medress, the founder of the Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and producer of the Chiffons (“He’s So Fine”), Dawn ( “Candida”, “Knock Three Times”) , Tony Orlando and Dawn ( “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ( On The Old Oak Tree “) talks about his career, challenges and aspirations.

In an exclusive interview that amounts to a couple of old friends talking, Hank shares stories and experiences that make you feel like you’re there in the moment with him! He also talks about the organzation that he represents, and the gratification he receives from finding recording artists who don’t even know they are owed money.

Artie Wayne On The Web and Spectropop proudly present The Hank Medress interview http://spectropop.com/HankMedress/index.htm

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Whoppy and Streaker in a reflective mood.

It’s been ten years since Alex, the lovely hostess at Genghis Cohen, gave her boss Allan Rinde, a little calico cat by the name of Streaker. I watched Allan, who had little experience with pets, proceed to spoil her over the next 6 months. I remember going to visit him once and he answered the door with Streaker dangling by her claws, casually, from the bottom of his shirt. That little booger would always manage to do something that would keep me in stiches. She knew how to use the remote control on the TV and would change channels just as a program was starting to get good. Allan thought he had the problem solved when he started using two remotes. Then I remember one night, we were all watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, just as Sarah Michelle Geller was about to drive her point across…Streaker changes the channel! I quickly change it back…and Streaker changes it again! This “duel” goes on for a while until I chase her into the other room where she ducks under the bed. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I could heard her laughing.

This was about the time that Allan and songwriter Toni Wine ( “Groovy Kind Of Love”, “Candida”), who I introduced, were starting to get serious about each other. Allan was spending more and more time in Nashville where Toni lived, so Alex suggested that he should consider getting another cat to keep Streaker company. That’s when she brought a chubby, but dashing little white tomcat over, recently rescued from a crack house fire, whose name was Whoppy.

Allan let me stay in his apartment, after my spinal operation, where I fed and looked after my two little friends. Whoppy, who was now tipping the scales at 25 pounds, would lie on my right hand which, was partially paralyzed until it opened up! Streaker remained aloof with me, but fell in love with “Whop”. When I moved into my own place in Silver Lake, Allan gave me Whoppy as a present. A few weeks later, when he and Toni decided to marry, he asked me if I would take Streaker as well, because Toni was allergic to cats!

It’s been almost four years since the three of us moved here to the desert. Although I hate air conditioning, I turn it on for my little pals when it hits a hundred degrees or when they start sweating…whichever comes first!

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This morning I was in a reflective mood myself and I took a look at the guest book on my website. I was amazed at many of the old and new friends who signed and some of the incredible stories they tell! If you’d like to see it just click onto http://www.artiewayne.com/Guestbook/

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About five months ago I met Sebastian Prooth, an American living in the U.K. Although we’ve never met face to face, as we got to know each other online, I gained more respect for his knowledge, ideas, talent and relentless ambition. When I listened to a couple of his podcasts and read a few of his blog entries I knew he was on the cutting edge of the new media and communications frontier!

In the course of Sebastian building a blog for me I discovered he was also a video producer and director. When he heard a demo of a song I was promoting, Alan O’Day’s brilliant updated version of his number one hit by the Righteous Brothers, “Rock and Roll Heaven”( O’Day/ Stevenson )

Sebastian urged me to let him produce a music video of it. Although doing a video of a “demo” is unheard of, after seeing one of his student films on the environment, Alan O’Day and I gave him our blessing!

Since the video was released on the internet about a month ago it’s been getting about 2000 views a week. The video, however, is not without controversy. In addition to images of Rock and Roll Icons who have passed away, he includes footage of American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson who have left some of her fans wondering if she is still with us!

SP- (laughs) I’m happy to say that , the reports of miss Clarkson’s demise has been greatly exaggerated!

AW- I assumed she was in your video because she represented the birth of a new Rock and Roll spirit!

SP- No…she was in there because at that point in the song the lyric is: there’s a spotlight waiting no matter who you are, and I knew when I was designing and pitching the video that I was going to use symbols of American Idol at that point.

AW- Are you surprised at the response the video is getting!

SP- I’m very pleased it affects so many people on such an emotional level. We all remember at least one of the people featured in Alan O’Day’s song. This video serves to remind us of not only the artists remembered in pictures, but also the ones that we remember personally. I hope it will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come.

AW- I know you’re still going to school…How do you manage to keep focused on so many things at the same time?

SP- I only try to work on things that I am passionate about. Generally when I blog I write something that I know is going to impact my readers. Sometimes I write articles to inform them about a new hot website or review. For example I wrote an article which pitted Open Source Word Processing Application, Open Office Writer, against the heavily used Microsoft Word.

AW- I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about…but I do know that you’re working on something new as we speak!

SP- Yes I have been working with the evaluation version of Windows Vista (for those who don’t know, the next version of Microsoft Windows.) I will be writing about some of its features in a blog entry soon.

AW- As a new blogger myself you’ve given me the courage to bring to light things that have caught my attention like the C.I.A. TV recruitment ad I saw on “Dancing With The Stars”!

SP- And see…no one’s tried to shoot you…yet (laughs)

AW- Is there a profile of what a blogger does or should do?

SP- I think the general consensus is a blogger is what a blogger does. I can qualify that a little by saying that whatever somebody is interested in, if they blog about it in an interesting and informative way they will build an audience for their site! Personally, I write about tech and life, and interview those who help make it happen. I was having a conversation with a really good friend of mine VIA Skype.. Joe Klein of PodcastVoiceGuys and I were having a normal skype-phone call when he received another call. When he came back he told me that it was a telemarketer, speaking spanish! I was shocked, having not heard about telemarking on Skype at that point, realized that it was something of headline blogger’s news. We wrote something for my blog up together and it became big news overnight. Digg among other sites were carrying the story on their front page!

AW- To continue in English please press one.

SP- (laughs)

AW- Okay enough frivolity… Is there a book on being a blogger and certain things that are expected of bloggers?

SP–It’s funny that you should mention that Artie because there is a blog I read a short while ago. A guy called Seth Godin, he is in the top 100 on Technorai and a very popular and well-read blogger and technology writer. He talked about the top one hundred ways he could think of to increase traffic and or readership of your blog.

AW-I know that you are doing quite a bit of interviewing for your site.

SP- Yes. Bloggers, Podcasters, Editors, whoever has something to say really. My first blog interview was with a gentleman by the name of Dennis Madalone. He is a singer and writer and what compelled me to contact him was that he was the stunt co-coordinator on Star Trek. He was also the patriot behind the great song America We Stand as One.

AW- I remember when you turned me onto that video, it was one of the most inspiring things I had ever seen. Then you took that and added stuff to it – a visual remix that I remember running on my website.

I know you were interviewed recently by Liz Strauss, can you tell me a little about that?

SP–I’d noticed that Liz Strauss was doing some interviews with people who had been named SOB (Successful Outstanding Bloggers) – I did an interview with her and she was kind enough to give me a two-parter. She really made me feel like an influential part of the blogosphere by naming me a SOB but then going as far as to actually interview me that was just tremendous.

AW- You’ve also been in touch with Robert Scoble, one of the internets foremost bloggers / vloggers in the world.

SP – Yeah, Robert and I have been talking about doing some things together.

AW- Wow, well that sounds great. Before you go, I want to wish you a Happy Birthday thank you Sebastian, for spending your last few hours as a teenager with Artie Wayne on the web!

SP-Thank you, Mr. Web , It’s been a pleasure.

To visit Sebastian’s Blog http://sebrt.com

To watch Rock and Roll Heaven http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2cijNKu9qc

For Artie Wayne http://artiewayne.com

For the PodcastVoiceGuys http://podcastvoiceguys.com

For Alan O’Day’s Website http://alanoday.com

For Seth Godins’s Blog  http://sethgodin.typepad.com

For Robert Scoble’s Blog http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/ 

For the Interview with Liz Strauss and Sucessful Bloggers:  http://www.successful-blog.com/1/interview-101-sebastian-prooth-blogger-podcaster-film-maker/

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In 1973, I accompanied one of our Warner Brothers staff songwriters, George Clinton Jr. [who went on write the score for three “Austin Powers” movies], to the Tokyo Music Festival. It was my first trip to Japan, and I was impressed how well organized the large masses of people were. Over the years my heavy workload, beautiful women and other excesses used up too much time and too many emotions. I knew I had to find a way to learn how to really focus.

When I got back to the states, I decided to look into deep relaxation techniques and self- hypnosis. I went to see my Chiropractor and friend, Dr. Floyd Taylor who had developed remarkable physical, mental and spiritual methods of healing after his plane was shot down in World War Two. Over time, and through much pain, he was able to correct his bone structure and musculature, which left him bent over and unable to walk. His super-posture and confident stride was proof positive that his methods work. He not only told me that deep relaxation and self-hypnosis could help attain my goal to focus, it could help the severe back pain I suffered from congenital scoliosis. He said I could learn to go below the pain level and function better. He also mysteriously hinted that the deeper I went, the more “things” I would discover.

My equally psychically adventuresome friend, Patti Dahlstrom [who introduced me to Dr.Taylor], was just as fascinated with the possibilities of self-hypnosis as I was. We both took private lessons from Dr. Taylor’s friend, Henry Mundt, a member of the Society of Ethical Hypnotists. I was helped immediately by the relaxation techniques he taught me especially “ The 2-2-5 “ a simple breathing exercise that I continue to use everyday. Here are the simple steps Hank Mundt taught me.

First…in a quiet, semi-darkened room with your eyes closed, lie down on your back on a bed or a couch or sit up in a straight chair with your feet flat on the floor, palms upward.

1. [Inhale] hold your breath for a count of Two………1…………….2………….[exhale]

[Inhale] hold your breath for a count of Two………1…………….2………….[exhale]

[Inhale] this time hold your breath for a count of Five
1………….2………..3…………4…………5

[Exhale] then repeat the sequence called “Two–Two–Five” again

[Inhale] 1…2 [Exhale]… [Inhale] 1…2 [Exhale]…

[Inhale] 1…2…3…4…5 [Exhale]

2. visualize a flight of stairs. Starting at the number 100, count backwards slowly to the number 1, seeing each number as you descend.

3. When you reach the bottom Then say,” Positive thinking brings results I desire (five times) Then say, “My creative forces find easy expression” (five times). Take a deep breath and say each line five more times.

When you’ve finished, visualize taking an elevator up to the place where you started.

In less than 24 hours, I had a chance to put what I learned to a practical test. Saturday morning, I had an appointment to co-write a song with my Friend WB Staff writer Alan O’Day [“Undercover Angel”, “Angie Baby”]. After spending the night breaking up with my girl. I didn’t feel very creative, but we had a title that begged to be written,” Flashback”.
Usually it took a little time before I could write about a hurtful situation…but I had an idea. If I could hypnotize myself and go below the pain in my back…why couldn’t I hypnotize myself and go below the pain in my heart? And write about it!

While Alan, skeptically but quietly watched I did couple of 2-2-5s, went down 100 steps backwards …then repeated, “Positive thinking bring results I desire…Positive thinking brings results I desire…My creative forces find easy expression…My creative forces find easy expression.”I kept repeating the phrase for about 10 minutes Alan was as surprised as I was when I came out of my altered statewith the lyric to the entire first verse and chorus intact…

I wake up in a cold sweat to a clock that says it’s only 3 AM

Thinking that I touched you when I really only dreamed of you again

I’m clinging to your pillow, like a drowning man would hold on and I

Feel a flood of memories rushing in…and I

FLASHBACK…Back to the time you were mine and we lived in a love song

FLASHBACK…Chasin’ the sun, we would run with a dream we could grow on

Everything that we touched turned to love!

Alan started writing an incredible melody and a few days later we got together again. I put myself back under and a few hours later our song was finished!

My cigarette has burned down to my finger and it brings me back to now

And I’m searching through the ashes for the answers to the where, the why and how

Did I ask for too much lovin”? Did you want too much freedom?

Did we both want more than Heaven would allow?

FLASHBACK…Back to the time you were mine and we lived in a love song

FLASHBACK…Chasin’ the sun, we would run with a dream we could grow on

Everything that we touched turned to love!

Summer nights runnin’ in the rain…

Summer Nights spinnin’ in my brain…and I

FLASHBACK…Back to the time you were mine and we lived in a love song

FLASHBACK…Chasin’ the sun, we would run with a dream we could grow on

Everything that we touched turned to love!

Copyright 1973/ 2006 – Warner Brothers music/ Sashay Music

If you’d like to hear “FLASHBACK” just click onto http://artiewayne.com/music/flashback.mp3

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For those of you who have asked me about the records I wrote, sang, produced or placed as a publisher, here is a nearly complete discography. just click onto http://artiewayne.com/discs.html Since Allan Rinde updated this list about a year ago my cyber-friends at Spectropop, one of the best music forums on the net, have discovered about 20 more songs of mine I never knew had even been recorded.

Although I’m physically limited, from a spinal operation, and can no longer form chords on the piano and guitar, I’m still writing! I put my latest song accapella (without music) on an mp3 and sent it to my friend Alan O’Day (“Undercover Angel”, “Angie Baby”) for an opinion. He surprised me by putting chords behind it. If you’d like to hear “I’m At My Best When I’m Down” (Wayne) just click onto http://artiewayne.com/best.html

You can reach Alan O’Day at http://alanoday.com

Spectropop at http://spectropop.com

You e-mail Artie Wayne at artie_wayne@yahoo.com

“If you believe in forever…Life is just a one night stand.

If there’s a Rock and Roll Heaven…You know they’ve got a hell of a band!”

Director and producer, Sebastian Prooth’s inspiring video of Alan O’Day’s brilliant update of his classic number one song, “Rock and Roll Heaven” (O’Day/ Stevenson) continues to rock the Internet. Just click on to hear Ronnie Kimball’s amazing demo! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/rock-and-roll-heaven/

You can reach Sebastian Prooth at http://sebrt.com

Alan O’Day at http://alanoday.com

Artie Wayne at http://artiewayne.com