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Long before Clive Davis, was known as the genius behind the recording careers of all the “American Idols”, he was already a legend!

I was skeptical when I heard a lawyer was taking over as head of Columbia records, until I met Clive Davis at Woodstock in 1969. Awash in the rain, the mud, and the good vibrations, I remember sharing a bottle of water with him and thinking how cool it was for the head of a record company to be out here “roughing it” with his artists!

The next time I saw him, it was at a Columbia record convention in Los Angeles, soon after Janis Joplin passed away. I knew that he and Janis had been close and mentioned that Allan Rinde, Michael Ochs and I had been with her at the Whiskey, a few nights before she died. Reverently, Clive asked me to join him in one of the conference rooms, where he played me an acetate, which he was going to introduce at the convention later that afternoon, “Me And Bobby McGee”by Janis…it was a moment I’ll always remember.

His personal taste in pop music of the sixties, and his signings at the label, put Columbia at the head of the pack. Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, Laura Nyro, Electric Flag, Santana, Chicago, Billy Joel, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Pink Floyd were all top moneymakers.

I was a bit worried, however, when he took over as president of Bell records just before he changed it’s name to Arista. I was with Warner Brothers Music, and had a record recently released on Bell, that was starting to make a little noise. It was the first cover of a song I picked up at the Tokyo Music Festival, “Daydreamer” by David Cassidy. Clive, however, set my mind at ease when he didn’t let the record get lost during the companies transition. It ultimately went on to become David’s biggest hit selling over 5 million units world wide!As he went on to create an Empire at Arista, his formula was simple…it all starts with the song. I remember my old friend Scott English telling me that it was Clive Davis who suggested that he change the title of his song, “Brandy” ( which had been the title of a recent US hit), to “Mandy”, which became Barry Manilow’s and Arista’s first multi million seller!

Soon the label’s artist roster included, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Monica, Exposé, Sarah McLachlan, Annie Lennox, saxophonist Kenny G, rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Sean “Diddy” Combs, Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Air Supply, Ace of Base, TLC, Bay City Rollers, Nona Hendryx, and Patti Smith among others. It wasn’t long before he became CEO of the BMG music group in the U.S.

Clive Davis’ secret for finding winners is simple, “You look for stars. You look for the makeup of artists who can have long lasting careers and who could be headliners.”

He forgets to mention that it doesn’t hurt to have an incredible song sense and the power to promote the kind of music that you believe in…the kind of music that makes a difference all over the world!

Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne


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SIDNEY SHELDON  2/11/17 – 1/30/07

I became friendly with Sidney Sheldon in the 80’s, when I was hosting Genghis Cohen, the Chinese restaraunt I named for my friend, Allan Rinde. Although it was starting to become a trendy hangout for the “Brat Pack”, Hard Rockers, Country divas, and Pop Icons it was Sidney who started bringing “Classic Hollywood” through it’s doors!

I couldn’t help getting excited everytime Sidney made a reservation! He always was in the company of the most interesting people in the World! Among others, he introduced me to Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier, US Ambassador John Gavin and international financier Marvin Davis. He always treated me like his guest as opposed to a guy working in a restaurant. Although I acted like I owned the place, I wasn’t one of Allan’s partners. Sidney knew this and after leaving a generous tip for the staff, which I didn’t particpate in, he’d slip a fifty or a hundred dollar bill in my pocket before he left!

When he started throwing big dinner parties at the restaurant, I felt honored and flattered that he asked me to put them together for him and privately host them. When he said he’d leave the menu up to me, I had to confess that I didn’t know shit about Chinese food and it was Allan’s choice I was hawking! He laughed and said he trusted me to take care of everything…and I did!

Although I was familiar with the TV shows he created, “I Dream Of Jeannie”, and “The Patty Duke Show, I never read one of his super successful novels, “The Other Side Of Midnight”, “Master Of The Game” or “Rage Of Angels”. Just knowing, however, that he became a novelist after the age of 50 has been an inspiration to me and thousands of writers all over the world!

Although he won an Academy Award, a Tony, and A few Emmys, I’ll always remember him as one of the humblest, most genuine people I’ve ever known with an incredible work ethic. The biggest tip he ever gave me, came after his passing…and through a newscaster who quoted his philosophy, “Don’t talk about writing…Do it!”

I’m doin’ it, Sidney…Thank You! R.I.P. Rock In Perpetuity!

Respectfully, Artie

From my forthcoming book, “I Did It For A Song”
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne
https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

BACK TO THE R.I.P. ROCK N PERPETUITY ARCHIVES https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/rip-rock-in-perpetuity-archives/

BACK TO ARTIE WAYNE ON THE WEB https://artiewayne.wordpress.com

For more of Sidney Sheldon’s philosophy, bibliography and list of credits and awards http://www.answers.com/topic/sidney-sheldon

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As a long time lover of pop music I’ve always been curious about the story behind the song. Knowing that many of you feel the same way, I’d like to share the story behind “I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”, A new song that I wrote with Toni Wine (”Groovy Kind of Love”, “Candida”) which is on the Tony Orlando and Dawn “Reunion” album.

In 1995, after 20 years of being in the music buisness as a singer, songwriter, producer, being an exec at April-Blackwood, Warner Brothers music, and running Irving/ Almo, I had become too weak to even hold a guitar. Finally, I could no longer work at Allan Rinde’s legendary Chinese restaurant in Hollywood, Genghis Cohen, (which I named and hosted off and on for ten years)

When I kept falling down in the street, I knew that something was seriously wrong with me! I was uninsured, and was facing this crisis all alone. My two closest friends, Allan Rinde, was spending more and more time in Nashville with his fiance, Toni Wine…and Patti Dahlstrom, had moved back to Houston, to teach music and critical thinking at the Art Institute of Houston. I had taken to wearing all black, as I stumbled around the back streets of Hollywood, hoping I wouldn’t see anybody that I knew. I felt, for the first time in my life, that I had reached the end of the road.

Fortunately, Patti was in town for a conference, and came over to visit. I didn’t want her to see me broke and broken…but now I’m glad I did. She convinced me to swallow my pride and seek help from social services…which saved my life! I went to the USC medical center for 2 days of tests, and they kept me for 3 weeks.

It was a few days before Christmas, I was in a ward with many who were far worse off than me…and we did our best to keep each others’ spirits up. Somehow, I lost my phone book, and the only numbers that I could remember was my Mothers’, who had moved to West Virginia, and that my long time friend Alan O’Day, who was on his way out of town.

It’s a policy of most hospitals to send as many patients home for the holidays to be with their family and friends. Soon, I was the only one left in the ward, since I had nowhere else to go. One lonely night, as I sat feeling sorry for myself, I heard a group down the hall, singing Christmas carols. I followed the voices to the the children’s ward…where I heard the joyous sounds of “Jingle Bells”. It was the Salvation Army, passing out toys and candy, and singing to the kids, who wereconfined to their beds. I joined in on “Silent Night”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”, but when they started singing “White Christmas”…tears started running down my face, and I had to sit in another room to compose myself. This song, written by Irving Berlin, always brings back memories of family and friends in a snow covered New York City…flooding me with emotions.

10 years later, I told Toni Wine (whom I’ve known since she was 14), and showed her some lyrics I had written that fateful night “I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”.

She loved it, but wanted to make the story more universal. Over two writing sessions, which we started on Irving Berlin’s piano, which was given to Toni many years ago, we came up with….

“I LOSE IT WHEN THEY HEAR “WHITE CHRISTMAS”
words and music by Toni Wine and Artie Wayne

They can play “Jingle Bells” all day
talk about Santa’s Sleigh
I’m alright on a very “Silent Night”
But then my tears begin
when they sing I can’t join in
‘Cause I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”

Bein’ without you just ain’t no fun
What kind of thrill is cookin’ for one?
Can’t deny I wanna’ cry myself out
Here’s to Holiday spirit
don’t wanna’ be anywhere near it
‘Cause I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”

And Baby I know…You needed to go
But why did you have to leave me now?

[instumental]

Don’t feel like spreading good cheer
Just wanna’ sleep in the New Year
‘Cause I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”
‘Cause I Lose it When I Hear “White Christmas”

Copyright 2005-CasmoTwine

If you want to hear the Tony Orlando and Dawn recording click http://artiewayne.com/I_Lose_It.html

If you like it, please feel to share it with a friend…if you love it, however, feel free to share it with your entire address book!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukka and best of holidays, from Artie Wayne On The Web…and Whoppy and Streaker on the couch! Enjoy to the world!

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

If you’d like to see “Whoppy and Streaker Presents The Top Christmas Music Videos Of All Time!” Bing, Elvis, Band-Aid, Singing Reindeer, Bowie, Destiny’s Child, more! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/12/15/whoppy-and-streaker-present-the-top-christmas-videos-of-all-time/

For “Nookie’s Top Christmas And Hanukka Videos!” Adam Sandler, “Hanukkah Song”, Neil Diamond, Jingle Cats, Mariah Carey, Charlie Brown Christmas, more! https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/nookies-top-holiday-video-picks/

If you’d like to see my custom pet paint sculptures called PETZROCK, created on quartz just click on http://artiewayne.com/petz1.html

For Toni Wine http://toniwine.com

For the Salvation Army http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn.nsf

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Mary J. Blige, leading the pack with 8 nominations is applauded by Justin Timberlake who has four nominations of his own!

When I was General Professional Manager and Director of Creative Services at Warner Brothers Music, I became acutely aware of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The organzation was looked upon as antiquated, whose membership was old with little understanding of the contemporary music They also had a tendency to vote for their peers and the same familiar names year after year. When the American Music Awards (with no industry credibility at the time) came on the scene, it trounced the Grammys in the ratings, NARAS took a long hard look at itself!

I had recently joined the organization to rub elbows with some of the greats in the industry including bandleader Billy May, critic Leonard Feather, Lawyer Jay Cooper, Composer Jim Helms, Producer Bones Howe, Keyboardist Mike Melvoin, and Producer Nik Venet. After a month or two of going to NARAS meetings at the Brown Derby in Hollywood, I came to a simple conclusion. I realized most of the membership was hip enough to recognize and reward quality recordings that they heard…they just never had the opportunity to hear the new stuff! At that point, I organized listening parties in every city that Naras had an office. After experts in each catagory narrowed the field down, the membership was able to listen again then make final choices.

I remember Nik Venet got us Capitol Studios in Hollywood, where he was producing the Beach Boys and Linda Rondstadt, to hold our listening parties. I brought my pal Allan Rinde, then head of West Coast Contemporary A&R for Columbia and “Underground Tastemaker”, to help with publicity. And finally I spearheaded a campaign to recruit new members among songwriters, artists and producers who were currently making hits! Although I’m no longer with the organization, I’m proud to have been on the Board Of Govenors for several years, and Vice-President for a few.

I’m looking forward, not only to see who gets the awards for 2006, but to the performances of the best that music has to offer. The following is a complete list of nominations from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

December 7, 2006

Nominations for the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards were announced today by The Recording Academy, reflecting a year in which multiple genres were represented in top categories, new up-and-comers were nominated alongside established artists and a diverse array of producers and other creative professionals garnered multiple nominations. The 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on “GRAMMY Sunday,” Feb. 11, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

The press event was held at The Music Box @ Fonda in Hollywood and was attended by national and international media, as well as key music industry executives. Artists reading nominations this morning included Mary J. Blige, James Blunt, Chris Brown, Evanescence’s Amy Lee, Ludacris, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rascal Flatts, Justin Timberlake and KT Tunstall.

Mary J. Blige tops the nominations with eight, while Red Hot Chili Peppers garner six, James Blunt, the Dixie Chicks, John Mayer, Danger Mouse, Prince, Rick Rubin, will.i.am and John Williams each earn five nods. Beyoncé, Bryan-Michael Cox, Gnarls Barkley, Israel Houghton, T.I and Justin Timberlake receive four each.

“These nominations truly reflect a diverse and vibrant community of music makers and creators who represent some of the most remarkable music of the year,” said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. “Once again, the GRAMMY Awards process has delivered a well-rounded group of excellent nominees, which promises music lovers a spectacular show filled with dynamic performances and ‘GRAMMY Moments’ that can only be seen on the GRAMMY Awards telecast.”

In the General Field, nominees for Album Of The Year are Taking The Long Way by the Dixie Chicks, St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley, Continuum by John Mayer, Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake. Nominees for Record Of The Year are “Be Without You” (Mary J. Blige), “You’re Beautiful” (James Blunt), “Not Ready To Make Nice” (Dixie Chicks), “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley) and “Put Your Records On” (Corinne Bailey Rae). The Best New Artist nominees are rock troubadour James Blunt, R&B singer Chris Brown, British singer/songwriter Imogen Heap, neo-soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae and country singer Carrie Underwood.

This year’s Song Of The Year nominees represent multiple genres from pop to R&B to country. Nominated songwriters include Johnta Austin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox and Jason Perry for “Be Without You” (performed by Blige); Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson for “Jesus, Take The Wheel” (performed by Carrie Underwood); Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Dan Wilson for “Not Ready To Make Nice” (performed by the Dixie Chicks); John Beck, Steve Chrisanthou and Corinne Bailey Rae for “Put Your Records On” (performed by Rae); and James Blunt, Amanda Ghost and Sacha Skarbek for “You’re Beautiful” (performed by Blunt).

Earning five of her eight nominations in the R&B Field, Mary J. Blige dominates the Field. Among her nods, in the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category she earned a nomination for “Be Without You,” along with Beyoncé (“Ring The Alarm”), Mariah Carey (“Don’t Forget About Us”), Natalie Cole (“Day Dreaming”) and India.Arie (“I Am Not My Hair”). In the Best R&B Album category, her Breakthrough album vies with Jamie Foxx’s Unpredictable; India.Arie’s Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship; Prince’s 3121; and Lionel Richie’s Coming Home. Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals nods go to George Benson & Al Jarreau for “Breezin'”; Jamie Foxx featuring Mary J. Blige for “Love Changes”; Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams & Carl Thomas for “Everyday (Family Reunion)”; John Legend & Joss Stone with Van Hunt for “Family Affair” (Sly & The Family Stone); and Prince & Támar for “Beautiful, Loved And Blessed.”

In the Pop Field, nominations for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal went to the Black Eyed Peas for “My Humps”; Death Cab For Cutie for “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”; the Fray for “Over My Head (Cable Car)”; Keane for “Is It Any Wonder?”; and the Pussycat Dolls for “Stickwitu.” Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals nods go to Tony Bennett & Stevie Wonder for “For Once In My Life”; Mary J. Blige & U2 for “One”; Sheryl Crow & Sting for “Always On Your Side”; Nelly Furtado & Timbaland for “Promiscuous”; and Shakira & Wyclef Jean for “Hips Don’t Lie.” And the nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album include Back To Basics by Christina Aguilera, Back To Bedlam by James Blunt, The River In Reverse by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, Continuum by John Mayer, and FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Raconteurs, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Neil Young earned nominations in the Rock Field. Vying for Best Rock Album are the John Mayer Trio’s Try!; Tom Petty’s Highway Companion; the Raconteurs’ Broken Boy Soldiers; Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Stadium Arcadium; and Neil Young’s Living With War. Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal nominees are Coldplay with “Talk,” the Fray for “How To Save A Life,” the Raconteurs for “Steady, As She Goes,” Red Hot Chili Peppers for “Dani California” and U2 & Green Day for “The Saints Are Coming.” And Best Rock Solo Vocal Performance nominees are Beck (“Nausea”), Bob Dylan (“Someday Baby”), John Mayer (“Route 66”), Tom Petty (“Saving Grace”) and Neil Young (“Lookin’ For A Leader”).

In the Rap Field, Missy Elliott competes with male rappers in the Best Rap Solo Performance category with “We Run This.” Other nominations in this category are “Touch It” by Busta Rhymes, “Kick, Push” by Lupe Fiasco, “Undeniable” by Mos Def and “What You Know” by T.I. In the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, nominations go to Akon featuring Eminem (“Smack That”), Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z (“Deja Vu”), Eminem featuring Nate Dogg (“Shake That”), Jamie Foxx featuring Ludacris (“Unpredictable”) and Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. (“My Love”).

The Dixie Chicks earn two of their five nominations in the Country Field. In the Best Country Album category, their Taking The Long Way is nominated along with Like Red On A Rose by Alan Jackson, The Road To Here by Little Big Town, You Don’t Know Me: The Songs Of Cindy Walker by Willie Nelson and Your Man by Josh Turner. For Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready To Make Nice” is up against the Duhks’ “Heaven’s My Home,” Little Big Town’s “Boondocks,” Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts The Most” and the Wreckers’ “Leave The Pieces.” Nods for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals go to Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” Solomon Burke & Dolly Parton for “Tomorrow Is Forever,” Kenny Rogers & Don Henley for “Calling Me,” Rhonda Vincent & Bobby Osborne for “Midnight Angel” and Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks for “Love Will Always Win.”

This year’s Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical, nominations reflect established professionals across multiple genres with nods going to Howard Benson, T Bone Burnett, Danger Mouse, Rick Rubin and will.i.am.

In the newly re-named Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album category, the nominations are Solo Acoustic Vol. 1 by Jackson Browne; Black Cadillac by Rosanne Cash; Workbench Songs by Guy Clark; Modern Times by Bob Dylan; and All The Roadrunning by Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris.

Best Jazz Vocal Album nominees are Footprints by Karrin Allyson, Easy To Love by Roberta Gambarini, Live At Jazz Standard With Fred Hersch by Nancy King, From This Moment On by Diana Krall and Turned To Blue by Nancy Wilson.

The Best Gospel Performance category features nominees Yolanda Adams (“Victory”), Israel & New Breed (“Not Forgotten”), Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers (“The Blessing Of Abraham”), Chris Tomlin (“Made To Worship”) and Tye Tribbett & G.A. (“Victory”). Vying for Best Traditional Gospel Album are An Invitation To Worship by Byron Cage, Paved The Way by the Caravans, Still Keeping It Real by the Dixie Hummingbirds, Alive In South Africa by Israel & New Breed and Finalé Act One by Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers.

GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed to the voting members of The Recording Academy on Dec. 13. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 10, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the telecast.

The 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by John Cossette Productions in association with Ken Ehrlich Productions for The Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich and John Cossette are executive producers, Walter C. Miller is producer/director, Tisha Fein is the coordinating producer, David Wild is the writer, and Tzvi Small is supervising producer.

For a full list of 49th GRAMMY Awards nominees, please click here. And for information on the official 49th GRAMMY Awards art and artist, please click here.

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Homer Simpson

As we decide if we should have another piece of pumpkin pie or another glass of egg nog, the moment of truth draws closer…Black Friday! It’s the biggest shopping day of the year in America, and the official beginning of the Christmas season. I remember just a few years ago, it was wiser to buy presents closer to, or even after Christmas, to get the best deals. Now they’re advertising sales that are starting at 50% off!

Heaven forbid you waited to get your Playstation III or the new “masterbating” Elmo… Now it’s going to cost you a kidney to get one before Christmas! I was considering going to Petco today and getting a remote controled mouse for my cats, Whoppy and Streaker, but I think I’ll wait until the excitement dies down. I don’t want to be held up at gunpoint in the parking lot by some “catnip crazed” crook who’ll do anything to get a remote controlled mouse!

As I sit and think about some memorable Thanksgivings I had in the past, I flashback to one in particular. In the early ’80s, my friend Allan Rinde, owned a chinese restaurant in a Jewish neighborhood in Hollywood, which I named Genghis Cohen. This is the place in which Larry David (co-creator of the “Seinfeld”) based the episode, “The Chinese restaurant”, where he was kept waiting by an “arrogant host” for what seemed to be hours!

On the first Thanksgiving night after it opened…I was “humbly hosting” the place. There must’ve been 6 or 7 reservations that night, instead of the usual 100, so I assumed it would be like this all weekend. I didn’t even bother to have as many of my hand painted shirts, which I sold to customers from $75 to $350, onhand as I usually did. I thought that on Black Friday there would be as few customers as there was on Thanksgiving night.

As I sat back to enjoy the night, a publicist friend of mine came in for an early dinner, and left me an incredible trip…I mean tip! She gave me a capsule of MDMA ( Ecstacy) which was legal then, and I took for the very first time a few minutes later. It wasn’t long before a smile swept across my face and I felt an emotional connection with everyone I came in contact with. I even engaged in long conversations with Chinese and Mexican workers in the kitchen, even though we didn’t speak each others language!

Then the place started to fill up with our regular customers who were out shopping and asked if they could come in without a reservation. Lana Turner , came in with a party of five, Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey , Jr. with their friends, Luthor VanDross and his entourage, Rod Stewart, so on and so forth! Every time someone would show up at the door, I’d greet them with a glazed look in my eyes and say, “Welcome to Genghis Cohen, where there’s always room for one more!” It wasn’t long before I started to answer the phone, ” Hello. Genghis Cohen, where your wish…is your problem!”

I stopped taking reservations and advised everyone on the phone to order take out because there were about 60 people waiting for tables. In my chemically induced “loving” state, I was determined to make this a night to remember for everyone I encountered! I read the menu aloud to the hungry crowd on line, while the waiters took their orders promising the food would be ready by the time they were seated.

“Tonight we have Romeo and Juliet, fresh asparagus and schezewan string beans lying side by side…on a steamy bed of lettuce. If you order this dish you must be over 18, so please have your ID ready!

We also have our world famous, “Duck with no Name”. Why doesn’t it have a name? Because there’s no guilt when you eat a nameless duck. I mean, would you order it if it were called Daffy or Donald?

Finally, our special tonight is “Terminator Chicken”, a dish so powerful that if you don’t order it…it’ll come out and get you! If you Do order it, but don’t finish it, it’ll look up at you and say, “I’ll be back!”

Then things started to get serious, I ran out of one liners as well as hand painted shirts! Chef Lin stormed out of the kitchen waving a kichen knife and cursing in chinese, about the huge orders that kept coming in, so close to closing time. Although the walls were starting to pulsate and close in on me, I managed to calm the chef down and introduced him to patrons that kept gushing about his incredible food. He was absolutely beaming as he returned to the kitchen amidst a standing ovation! Chef Lin fortunately convinced his staff not to walk out at their usual quiting time and the bus boys not to beat my ass for making them work late!

I knew how much Allan hated for me to keep people waiting on line, so I made sure by the time he was expected, everyone had been seated and served. He asked how the night was…coming down from all the excitement, I quietly said, “OK, I guess.” I bid everyone goodnight and went outside where my little Genie and her magic carpet were waiting to take me home!

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

Thanks to Elliot Weiss for letting me borrow the title of one of his songs for this article.

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The first time I hitchhiked was back in 1969 at Woodstock…not to get there, but to escape! I rode up from Manhattan to the event in a big Buick Cutlass with my friend Allan Rinde, a writer for Cashbox, a groupie and a couple of rock magazine writers. Although we had warm, dry accomodations, food, water and plenty of intoxicants, most of the half a million other people who were there had to rough it through the mud and the rain! The crowds were still pouring in after midnight and I warned my friends that we were probably going to be in the middle of a riot between the eat and drink “haves” and the eat and drink “have nots!”

I knew that this whole “Peace and Love” thing could blowup in a minute…but no one was listening as they slowly passed the bong around. I don’t know if it was my paranoia of “Drug Crazed Hippies” rushing the motel or my fear of getting my new Fry boots dirty…I just knew I had to get the hell outa’ there!

After being at Woodstock less than 24 hours, I say goodbye to my friends and decided to hitchhike back to the city. I’m 27 yeas old but, hitchhicking is something I never tried before. At the side of an on ramp, I see Vince Aletti, writer for the Village Voice, who I know from the press parties I crash. He has his thumb out and looks pretty discouraged. This is his first time hitchhiking too…but I act like a veteran and convince him that if we put on great big smiles, and act sincere…we’re bound to get a ride! In less than 10 minutes we’re picked up by a guy in an old Chevy wagon, who happens to be going all the way into the city! Just like the guys who rode the rails and became “Boxcar Buddies”, Vince and I had a shared experience that went “without a hitch”, so to speak, “Hitchhiking pals”for the rest of our lives!

Finally, I’m back in my apartment, thankful to be away from all of those people…I don’t believe all those people…Shit! It’s still early, so I pack my duffel bag and grab a subway out to Coney Island, stopping only long enough to swallow a little capsule someone had given me up at Woodstock! I don’t know why, but the rest of the day is magical! I feel so much love for Everyone I run into. I don’t even notice that I’m surrounded by a million people on the the beach…twice as many as there was at Woodstock…but now… somehow I don’t care!

Copyright 2006 by Artie Wayne

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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/