December 16, 2012
Here’s the tribute to my longtime friend, Allan Rinde, who passed away on friday. He was a former publicist, the west coast editor of Cashbox magazine, head of West Coast A&R at Columbia Records, (who was behind Billy Joel’s first hit “Piano Man”), the man who helped to break “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and owner of “Genghis Cohen”, one of Hollywood’s top restaurants, which I named and hosted for many years.
(i’m still not able to use my hands or even type with one finger so i’m reposting articles from my blog and chapters from my autobiography in which allan appears. it is followed by comments, stories, and pictures from other friends of his.)
“In the fall of 1968 I wrote a special press release for my new album as “Shadow” Mann, on the label my partner Kelli Ross and I co – own with the nefarious Morris Levy! I walk up Broadway to 57thstreet to Cashbox magazine. I give my three page release to the new guy who’s just started to work there, a former publicist, Allan Rinde. He glances at it as I hype him on all the excitement going on at my company and how Morris Levy is going to make me the new Tommy James! When he hands it back to me it has a C- at the top with a few grammatical errors circled, I realize this asshole has actually graded my paper! I hold my tongue and tell him I’ll bring it back “corrected” before his deadline.
The next morning I bring in the revised press release. Allan finds it acceptable and puts it in the magazine. Through gritted teeth I thank him for his suggestions and invite him to have dinner that night with my producer Ronnie Haffkine and me at the Roundtable, a hot night club that Morris Levy owns. On our way downstairs to be seated, a belligerent drunk sees me in my Black Suede Shadow outfit with a giant red eagle on the back, then pushes me out of the way! When he makes a nasty comment. Two tough guys suddenly appear, throw him down the stairs, and ask, “Are you all right, Mr. Shadow?” I brush myself off, pick up my black floppy Shadow hat from the floor; compose myself as the tough guys ask what should they do with him? I benevolently say, “Let ‘em go…this time,”. As soon as they eject him from the club, a somewhat impressed Allan and I join Ronnie at my usual table.”
copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
top -L – R “Shadow” Mann, Ron Haffkine, Kelli Ross, and Morris Levy photo by Stephen Paley
middle photo of Allan Rinde by Pete Senoff
When my friend, the Father Of Woodstock, Artie Kornfeld invited me to the festival in 1969, I thought it was going to be a great picnic, I wasn’t expecting a life changing experience! Back in 1967 my wife Sheilah was working at Mercury records as a secretary to Artie Kornfield (“Pied Piper”, “Dead Man’s Curve”) We hung out a lot with Artie and his wife Linda. When we got divorced I got the dog and she got the Kornfelds!
Then one day Sheilah calls me up to tell me that she’s working with Artie again. It seems that he and his partner Michael Lang are putting on a music and art festival at the end of August in upstate NY at a place called Woodstock, and she’s his personal assistant. It sounds a bit disorganized, but I don’t say anything, if anyone can pull it together, they can. It’s 3 hours before Allan Rinde and Rick Bolsom, from Mercury Records, Lita Eliscu a freelance writer (Rolling Stone), Cookie the groupie, and I are scheduled to go up to the Woodstock Music and Art festival. Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang, are having serious troubles getting permits and have to change locations to Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, NY, at the last minute.
Unfortunately, I’m having serious problems of my own, I can’t score any grass to take to the event! As a last resort I call my friend Heather MacRae, who’s currently starring in the smash hit, “Hair” On Broadway. She must know someone in the “Hippie” cast who can help us out. She leaves our names at the backstage door with a note to go upstairs to see her friends, James Rado and Gerome Ragni, who co-wrote the musical.
When we walk into Rado and Ragni’s dressing room, they look at Allan and me suspiciously, with cameras hanging around our necks, and tape recorders dangling from our shoulders. I laugh and nervously explain that we’re not cops or from the press trying to get a story, and show them our Woodstock press pass. Fortunately they believe us and when we tell them our “predicament”, they sell us a “lid” from their personal stash (at cost) and hand us a couple of capsules of mescaline for free, in the spirit of “Peace and Love”. We thank them and go to the garage to pick up Allan’s Oldsmobile Cutlass, and our friends, then we head off for our weekend adventure.”
“Let The Sun Shine…Let The Sun Shine In…The Sun Shine In!”
The festival gets off to a great start with a set by Ritchie Havens, and then it starts to rain … and rain … and rain. There’s a buzz already that this is going to be a historic event. The press tent is alive with anticipation of seeing the artists and people behind the scenes. I’m skeptical when I hear that a lawyer is taking over as head of Columbia Records, until I meet Clive Davis awash in the rain, the mud, and the good vibrations. How cool it is for the head of a record company to be out here “roughing it” like this with his artists! Although my friends and I have warm, dry accommodations, food, water, and plenty of intoxicants, a half a million other people who are also here have to rough it in the mud and the rain!
We run into a completely soaked (and delightfully stoned) Artie Kornfeld, The Father Of Woodstock, who tells us that thousands of people are crashing the gates, and Woodstock has become a free concert! Starry eyed and drooling, he turns around and melts back into the crowd. Thousands of people are still pouring in after midnight and I warn my friends that we were probably going to be in the middle of a riot between the “haves” and the “have nots!” I knew that this whole “Peace and Love” thing could blowup in a minute … but no one is listening to me as they slowly pass the bong around. I don’t know if it’s 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 decide to hitchhike back to the city.
I’m 27 yeas old but, hitchhiking 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 … Damn! 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 Rado and Ragni, had given me.
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 beach … twice as many as there was at Woodstock … but now … somehow I don’t care!”
Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne
“Forty years ago, I was general professional manager of Warner Bros. Music, living in Hollywood, when my friend Don Williams, who held a similar position at MCA music, played me an acetate of “Jesus Christ Superstar”and I freaked out!!! My instinct told me …this was going to be a phenomenon!!! I asked Don to play it for Allan Rinde, the beloved head of Columbia records A+R dept….he was as excited as we were and proceded to hold listening parties…that included all of the underground tastemakers of the time. MCA credits us with breaking the album. I hope Tim and Andy have forgiven me for trying to talk them out of writing “Evita”…..Who would go to see a show about an ex-dictators wife anyway?”
“If it sounds like I’m dropping names…I am! Bruce Willis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Will Smith, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Depp, Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Sean Penn, Jodie Foster, and Forrest Whitaker were just a few of our customers. On any given night, I could walk into Genghis Cohen, the Hollywood hot spot I named and hosted, and feel like I was walking onto a movie set. While my friend Allan Rinde, who owned the restaurant, was making sure every customer was having a wonderful Chinese dining experience, I was paying a little extra attention to the stars. It was about this time that I had begun working with 3- dimensional acrylic fabric paint to create a new look for myself. I started enhancing old Hawaiian Shirts with 3-dimensional acrylic paint…which patrons bought right off my back! It wasn’t long before I had a profitable little sideline.
I remember while recording across the street at Cherokee studios, Bruce Willis and his producer, Robert Kraft would come in for egg rolls during breaks. This was during the end of the run of his hit TV show “Moonlighting” when Bruce was also performing around town with his blues band doing vocals and playing harmonica. From the conversations I had with him, I found out he liked blues and early Rock And Roll singers, so I made a special shirt for him of his favorites who passed away. It was called the “Rock and Roll Heaven” Shirt, based on the classic song my friend Alan Day wrote with the late Johnny Stevenson. It was a black T-shirt, ripped a bit here and there, with with a stenciled “Heaven” on the front, with hand painted signatures of his favorite artists. I happened to give it to him on the same night he signed a 7 million dollar endorsement for Seagrams Whiskey. To be perfectly honest, later when he thanked me and said goodnight, I don’t think that the patented smirk he was wearing on his face was for the shirt!
Another actor/ musician who would drop in from time to time, was Johnny Depp. He owned a club up on the Sunset Strip, “The Viper Room”, and whenever he had yen for Chinese food he’d come down to Genghis. The first night I met him, we talked about music. Then I asked if he would mind if I asked him a personal question? “Can I see the tattoo?” The tattoo I was talking about was a hot topic in all the tabloids. When Johnny broke up with Wynonna Ryder, he altered a tattoo he had on his arm that said “Wynonna Forever” to say “Wino Forever”. When he rolled up his sleeve and showed me, I knew he was cool!
On another night when I came into work, I saw Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey, Jr. sitting at a tiny table for 2 in the middle of an empty restaurant! When they finished dinner, I sat with them and told them how much I enjoyed Sarah in “Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun” and Robert in “Weird Science”. They told me that they appreciated how they were treated at Genghis Cohen. Other restaurants, wanted them to get in and out because they weren’t of drinking age and could only spend so much. I told them whenever you or your friends wanted to come in just call me. I assured them that “At Genghis Cohen, your wish…Is your problem!” They laughed and not only became restaurant regulars, but became enthusiastic supporters of my wearable art. One night Sarah was trying on one of my creations in the wine room at Genghis Cohen. She dresses and flicks off the light switch but it’s NOT the switch for the closet it’s the switch for the ENTIRE restaurant! Allan throws open the door, turns the darkened restaurant lights back on and GLARES at me. Sarah confesses and Allan smiles…after all who can stay mad at Sarah Jessica Parker?
Copyright 2007 by Artie Wayne
To read an article on Barbra Streisand and Richard Baskin at Genghis Cohen https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/08/04/barbra-streisand-and-the-price-of-egg-rolls/
for more Glowing Memories Of Genghis Cohen https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/07/29/glowing-memories-of-genghis-cohen/
Peaking In A Chinese Restaurant https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/peaking-in-a-chinese-restaurant/
copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne
Mike Melvoin at the piano “When I first moved to California thirty years ago and worked for Warner Brothers Music, I wanted to give back to the music community, so I joined the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences, where an enthusiastic active member, Mike Melvoin took me under his wing. I never worked with him in the studio, but as a music fan, I knew that he was considered one of the best keyboardists in Los Angeles. In addition to being one of the best Jazz players in the business, he played on such Pop classics as Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life,” Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable,” the Jackson 5′s “ABC,” and “Pet Sounds” and “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys as well as Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman,” John Lennon’s “Stand By Me,” Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen” and Quincy Jones’ all-star collective, “We Are the World.” Although I was a New Yorker and considered an outsider to the closely knit LA music scene, Mike helped me gain a foothold in the creative community.
At the time, NARAS, was criticized for having an aging membership, being out of touch with contemporary music and accused of giving out Grammys to the wrong people. Mike supported me in an effort to attract younger voters and helped me, producer Nik Venet (“The Beach Boys), Columbia Records A&R Man, Allan Rinde, and songwriter Van Dyke Parks (“Heroes and Villans”) form listening sessions around the country to play new recordings and artists for our members, so they could vote more knowledgably. It wasn’t long before NARAS was respected again as the premier music organization and rivaled the new kid on the block, THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS in the TV ratings!
Soon after Mike Melvoin and I were elected to the Board Of Governors, we traveled around the country, New York, Atlanta and Nashville on behalf of NARAS. It was right after the Civil Rights Movement and while traveling through the south there were times when Mike had to soothe my hurt feelings whenever I encountered the stinging barbs of racism…which I never forgot. Mike went on to become the first musician to become President of the Academy and through the years remained active in the organization. The LA TIMES reported. In 2011, when the Academy made changes in the Grammy awards structure. Melvoin was in the vanguard of the movement to rescind the category changes. As a pianist whose career had touched every stylistic era, he was especially bothered by the effect of the changes upon instrumentalists. “Everyone who has ever played an instrument,” he said in a public statement, “has had the possibility of receiving recognition from the Grammys gutted. That cannot and will not stand!”
copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne.
January 23, 2011
to Pete Senoff for the photo of Maureen Donaldson and Sandee Lewis Ochs. Richard Kimball, Michael Ochs, Allan Rinde, Pete Senoff and Bobbi Cowan http://www.twitter.com/petesenoff
to George Steele for the photo of billy James and Penny Nichols
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. . Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne- https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/ for those might not have recognized me at the reunion with my beard…I shaved
copyright 2011 by artie wayne
The first time I met songwriter Toni Wine (“Candida”, “Tonight You’re Gonna’ Fall In Love With Me”) she was only 14 years old and we were both staff writers for Don Kirshner at ALDON MUSIC. Over the years we remained friends and occasionally worked together.
Back in 1966, when I was writing songs and producing for Scepter Records, my friend Stanley Greenberg who was head of A+R asked me to rehearse a new act he was producing, Diane and Anita. Although we went into the studio with my song, “One By One” as the A-Side, the song that Toni Wine brought Stanley, “A Groovy Kind of Love”, which she co-wrote with Carol Bayer Sager came out of the studio clearly the winner! I’m proud to say that ours was the first recording of the classic, which was followed by two number one records, one by the Mindbenders the other by Phil Collins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsC_SARyPzk
WHY IS TONI WINE IN THIS STORY? BECAUSE I INTRODUCED HER TO ALLAN RINDE WHO SHE MARRIED! .
When a human passes away it takes three days for the spirit to leave the earth and make a transition to the other side. When a pet passes away the process takes the same amount of time. The pet is more confused at first, but becomes more accepting of what’s going on when they are reunited with their animal friends on the other side, who are there to help with the crossover.
The pet is happy to go back “home”, unless they’ve formed an exceptionally strong bond with their earthly caretaker, which makes them want to stay on earth a little longer to make sure their “human” is going to be all right without them.
We can be assured, that these little spirits will be watching out for us for the rest of our lives. I can attest that many long gone animal friends have come back to me in dreams, meditations, and semi-darkened rooms, during times of stress or loneliness and helped me get through the agony of it all.
As I’m sitting on the patio by the hummingbird feeder my little pal, Larry, flies by and I can almost feel his wings sympathetically touch my knee as I weep for my little pal Streaker, who had to be put down a few days ago or face a long painful illness. When my friend, Allan Rinde moved to Nashville to get married to singer/songwriter Toni Wine, he asked me to take care of his little calico cat, Streaker and her boyfriend, a 23 lb. white tom called Whoppy, because his future wife was allergic.
For the past 14 years Allan has paid for their food, toys, and thousands of dollars in medical expenses. When Whoppy passed two and a half years ago, “Streak” and I became closer sharing my pillow, as well as a place at the dinner table. About a year ago, after Allan got a divorce he offered to rent me a couple of rooms in his house in Palm Springs, where we’ve lived ever since.
Although he hadn’t spent much with her over the last decade, Streaker loved Allan and when we all lived together “Streak” would sit in front of his computer, all night long acting as his assistant. While Allan spoiled her with gourmet cat food, exotic toys, and even a recirculating water fountain, I kept her paws on the ground by yelling, “ARE YOU CRAZY?”, and sentences ending in “ucker”, whenever she got out of line.
I close my eyes, visualize her and tell her that it’s time for her to go and I’m going to be alright. Whoppy, who’s come back to escort her “home”, looks contented, but Streaker give me one last look goodbye…then sadly walks away. I want to call out, “Don’t go!”, but the three day window of transition is closing fast and if they don’t leave now they could become trapped between here and the other side for eternity!
As I sit weeping, my little friends disappear into the morning…and a few minutes later Larry the hummingbird reappears to introduce me to his new girlfriend. He senses that this isn’t a good time, and they both bolt off into a sky full of fluffy white clouds. As I watch them leave, I gaze up, and for a few minutes watch the clouds change forms, as clouds are known to do.
I smile as I see likenesses of all the animal friends I’ve had in my life, Waldo, my parakeet in grade school, my aunt Wan’s dogs Fluffy and Queenie, who protected me from bullies, Chipper, the little spitz, who turned nasty and had his name changed to Al for Al Capone, then when he became nice again, changed it back to Chipper! There was Walter, who led my grandmother to safety through a fire, Duke, Harold, Pete, Tippy, and of course, my little Cairn Terrier Nookie, my companion for 12 years.
Even though I know Streaker’s in good company…it doesn’t mean I’m going to miss her any less….but seeing Whoppy and Streaker playing together again in the clouds, and in my medical marajuana tinted memories is inspiring and proof positive that true love lives forever.
Goodbye my monkey friends…until we meet again. Love Artie
Thank you Allan, you’ve done so much for so many…especially me…may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!
P.S. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE COMMENTS THAT HAVE COME IN FROM SOME OF ALLAN’S FRIENDS…
Thank you Artie, this trip across Memory Lane was very enjoyable. Too bad that it had to be prompted by the passing of one of the Nicest, Finest, Gentleman who ever graced the Halls that Hunter Thomson spoke so disparagingly of. Goodbye OUR friend you were simply “THA BEST” R.I.P.jerry heller
Ron Haffkine Very hard to get through reading this and realizing again that Allan is gone…Every time one of us passes away a piece of our history goes with him or her…Knowing the realities of life sure doesnt make it any easier to accept….
Ken Schaffer Director of West Coast A&R for Columbia, Allan got subsumed, perhaps too deeply, into the spirit of an office Christmas party and gently – lovingly, without a bone the balance – lobbed a cream pie in his secretary’s face. Apparently, she was less in the spirit… the creampuff got Allan got fired.
I flew into LA a couple of years after Allan got the ole’ CBS boot … happy to be going the next day to a big party at Don Williams’ fabulous but forever unfurnished estate in Encino.
“And Rinde is doing the cooking!” – people said that to me with all the pride that might befit a promise of Racquel Welch giving blow jobs. “Rinde?!!!” “Rinde cooking?!” I was incredulous.
As my roommate in New York for a couple of years before the creampuff incident, Allan had, like so many of our other music business friends [no names], defected to the West Coast; I even used to describe Los Angeles as the Badlands “… where everybody who blew it in New York moved to to start over again.”
The point though: when Allan lived with me, he couldn’t boil a freaking kettle of water without somehow melting the bottom of the kettle. we went through a lot of teapots.
They say if you are dealt lemons – make lemonade. To his credit, instead of grieving over the loss of his corner office, Allan had gone on – unbelievably – to take, of all things, WTF!, Chinese cooking lessons. By the time I arrived arrived for the party, his epicurean skills had become legendary in Hollywood and West LA. He’d even gone so far as to open a restaurant… the restaurant he opened became The spot in LA.
I’m broken up about Allan’s death. But lemons into lemonade: I’ll forever crack up reliving the look on Allan’s face (exasperated) every time (this went on for years) I referred to Genghis’ as “GENGHIS COHEN’S KOSHER CHINESE” — as only best friends can.
Pow, Allan! Love ya, man!
copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne
IN MEMORY OF ALLAN RINDE I’D LIKE TO GIVE A FREE COPY OF MY BOOK, “I DID IT FOR A SONG” TO ANYONE WHO KNEW HIM OR WOULD’VE LIKED TO HAVE KNOWN HIM. JUST E-MAIL ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org Above photo by Pamela Kath Soloman “i want to let you know about my friend allan rinde, who died this weekend. allan rinde was a wonderful, wonderful man who was way ahead of his time when it came to knowing his music, and knowing his food. when i first moved to los angeles for newsweek, we played volleyball together on the venice beach.but he really loved music. when i reported the cover story for newsweek on bruce springsteen, allan was a close advisor. (he also worked for columbia records) he and i both hung with billy joel before billy was on anyone’s radar. he fancied himself a chinese food expert, and then proved it by going to china, finding a chef and opening his restaurant — with a great name — ghengis cohen, on fairfax avenue in los angeles. i was one of the first ones in the door. and everyone in the music business was right there with me. artie wayne, who i knew from his days in music publishing (and volleyball) came in as the host. and every top musician and record company executive in town came there for dinner of crackerjack shrimp, mabu beef, and other specialties — and in one corner of the restaurant, if you listened closely, you were entertained. on one night you’d hear the familiar guitar riffs of taj mahal, or the distinct tone of joni mitchell. no, it wasn’t someone’s playlist. it WAS taj mahal or joni mitchell! so many solo artists and groups played there before anyone knew who they were. it was part of allan’s magic that the artists would come to the restaurant, and music executives would somehow discover them over a dinner of cold sesame noodles….last night, when i heard that allan had died, i went back to genghis cohen for dinner. many familiar faces were at the bar to toast his memory. it’s been thirty years since allan opened the restaurant, and last night, in the corner, there was another music group playing. i didn’t get their name, but if history is any indication, we’ll all know them soon. but i consider myself lucky…i knew allan rinde and he will be missed. Peter Greenberg Travel editor cbs news
Filed in "a boy named sue", Uncategorized
Tags: "Hair" the Musical, "JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, alan o'day, ALLAN RINDE R.I. P., ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, Artie Kornfeld, BARBRA STREISAND, BRUCE WILLIS, CAROL "COOKIE" TANDY, Don Williams, genghis cohen, GRAMMYS, JOHNNY DEPP, kelli ross, MIKE MELVOIN, morris levy, NARAS, RADO AND RAGNI, richard baskin, robert downey jr., ROBERT KRAFT, ron haffkine, ROUNDTABLE, shadow mann, Sheilah Kent, Tim Rice, Van Dyke Parks, VIPER ROOM, whoppy and streaker