outside

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

THEN I WENT ON THE INTERNET AND FOUND THIS INFO ABOUT THE LEGENDARY CLUB.

1957

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

1964

  • 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.

1965

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

1966

  • Buffalo Springfield make their live debut.

1968

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

1969

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

1970

  • 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.

1971

  • 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.

1972

  • 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”.

1973

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

1974

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.
September
  • 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 http://www.troubadourfamilyreunion.com/

To Reach “Lezlie Sokol” paintedcloud@fastmail.fm

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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.  https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/the-troubadour-family-reunion/ 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 life.life 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- https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

To find out more about THE TROUBADOUR FAMILY REUNION click on to www.troubadourfamilyreunion.com/

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MY BOOK, “I DID IT FOR A SONG http://artiewayne.com/book.html

Picture at top Doug Weston outside The Troubadour Remastered, colored and redesigned by “Lezlie Sokol” ~ at Painted Cloud Photography © 2010 http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1581289451558&set=a.1461857505834.64834.1215335979#!/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.

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