The Glorious Corner
ONLY IN MY DREAMS AT 35 — Could it really be 35 years since Debbie Gibson’s “Only In My Dreams” ruled the radio roost? Yes, it is and last week, Gibson hosted a Cameo-video event celebrating that fact. From her home base in Las Vegas, she welcomed a host of fans as well as Fred Zarr, who produced the song. Zarr, long removed from the music business was a welcomed presence. He said that originally, he was going to work with two other producers (the legendary M&M team), but when they became unavailable, he got the spot. He said he listened to all her demos and “Dreams” certainly stood out.
Gibson had the original demo and played it and it was surprisingly close to Zarr’s finished product. All things considered, Zarr’s work would mark a decisive moment in pop music, when other artists like Shannon, Tiffany, and Alicia would rule the charts – way before Britney, Taylor and Kelly. The difference with Gibson was the fact that she wrote it. She stills hold the record for the youngest artists ever to have written, performed and produced a #1 record.
Guitarist Ira Siegal who was on her first album Out Of The Blue, as well as her current album, The Body Remembers, also appeared as did one of her original dancers Buddy Casimano.
I well recall Gibson’s very first gig at the Limelight in NYC eons ago. After her performance, there was never any doubt that she would become a major, major presence in the music scene.
Her original PR-man David Salidor was also on hand and submitted this remembrance, “I had heard ‘Dreams’ as a demo in 1985 and was struck by its originality and brilliance. I knew it would be a massive hit. When it came out the following year -and, released twice, though that’s another story- its power was enormous. It established her as a major new artist in the business.”
Great time; great memories. Salidor submitted the attached photo of him and Gibson at the long-gone, much-missed club 4D. The late Chuck Pulin-snapped this. Thanks to Heather Moore for arranging this for us.
ZOOMIN WITH RINGO — (Via Rock Cellar) The life, career and legacy of Ringo Starr will be documented in great detail in a new coffee table book being made available exclusively via Julien’s Auctions, it was revealed this week.
Titled Lifted – Fab Images and Memories In My Life with the Beatles From Across The Universe, this expansive collection of images, tales and anecdotes from the man born Richard Starkey will begin shipping on Valentine’s Day and is up for pre-order now at Julien’s for $59. There is also a special limited-edition hardcover version of the book personally signed by Ringo and selling for $495 while supplies last.
The proceeds of the book will benefit The Lotus Foundation, whose mission funds supports, participates in and promotes charitable projects aimed at advancing social welfare in diverse areas including, but not limited to substance abuse, cerebral palsy, brain tumors, cancer, battered women and their children, homelessness, and animals in need.
Full details, per Julien’s Auctions site:
“I am not writing this book as a Beatle historian,” Starr explains with a laugh. “I’m writing this book as a Beatle — and there’s only a couple of us who can do that.” Asked about the origins of this new project, Starr explains, “I didn’t keep all these photos. These fantastic images came back to me in recent years from here, there and everywhere — online and off — and have somehow helped me get back to seeing my life with The Fab Four through fresh eyes. A lot of the photos in this book I spotted on my phone and on my computer and “lifted” them because they brought back so many fabulous memories. In recent years, I’d gather these Beatles photos that I sometimes barely remembered. After a while, I thought, how great it would be to “lift” these fantastic photos and some of my other favorites for charity and tell my true tales that they inspire about what the four of us — John, Paul, George and Ringo — went through back in the day. And the best thing is that it’s all for a good cause because the money is going to our Lotus Foundation.
According to Starr, “When people ask me about the Beatles, I often tell them, `You better ask Paul,’ because somehow he seems to remember everything. But along with great projects like Get Back, seeing so many of these amazing Beatles images has really brought back those days to me and all the love and friendship that we four shared back then. So this a book full of Beatle images that many people haven’t seen and stories that I’m sharing with a little help from my longtime writer friend David Wild. We’ve all been through a pretty tough time for a lot of people who’ve been locked down, and this book has really lifted my spirits and took me back to where I once belonged in a whole new way. And in the end, that’s why this new book is called Lifted. The Beatles changed my life forever. So it’s about getting back and giving back.”
Ringo Starr’s LIFTED — Images and Memories In My Life with the Beatles From Across The Universe – is a beautifully designed hard cover with jacket, many rarely seen images overlaid with captions and quotes by Ringo Starr with help from best-selling author and award-winning TV writer-producer David Wild. In the Forward, Ringo will explain the origin and motivation for the exciting new book. Proceeds from LIFTED, including a Limited-Edition Signed Book, signed by Ringo Starr, Will Benefit The Lotus Foundation and will be Sold Exclusively Online at Julien’s Auction.
I’ve got to give Ringo and his team credit, as there’s always one more new product to promote from him. I well remember his Postcards book from years back, which from what I understand was simply postcards from the other Beatles and friends to him. I never saw the book and remember it was ridiculously priced. At least this one, at $59.00 is a lot more realistic.
My first thought when I read the release, which quickly claimed that the photos are not his – was whether the actual photographers would even get credit, or even paid. For the record, they should!
Ringo’s last album, or EP, registered nary a blink on the charts (even with a Diane Warren-song on it) and with his tours canceled, it’s been a pretty sketchy year. I still think Ringo should write his own story with Mark Bego … and, believe me, Bego’s tried. But hey, it’s Ringo, so all is forgiven.
SHORT TAKES –— On my away week, we managed to watch a few movies, including Aaron Sorkin’s Amazon-opus Being The Ricardos-which has received across-the-board industry praise. We loved it, especially Javier Bardem’s take on Ricky. Kidman was fine as Lucy, but her haired never seemed to be the right shade of red. JK Simmons, as Fred Mertz was just perfect. An Oscar-winning performance if there ever was once. In all, I was surprised at how serious and yes, even dark it was … Andrew Garfield’s performance in tick, tick Boom was just amazing. The last days of Rent’s Jonathan Larson was just brilliant in every way. As a huge Rent-fan, all of the music sounded pretty similar to what was ultimately in that play. Garfield’s been touted as a Best Actor nom and I would definitely agree … Micky Dolenz’s take on Michael Nesmith’s “Propinquity (I’ve Just Begun To Care)” was selected by Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield as one of the Top 20 songs of the year. We loved it. Congrats …
Also caught The Matrix-Resurrections, which for all the pomp and circumstance, was a love story between the characters Neo and Trinity. I loved how they wove scenes from the first movie in there and sincerely missed Lawrence Fishburne … but, his presence is felt throughout. Not a stone-cold classic, but we enjoyed it immensely …
And, also caught Mr. Saturday Night on Netflix, about the life and career of manager Robert Stigwood. Stiggie, whom I knew well, was responsible for the play, album and movie of Jesus Christ Superstar from the then-unheard of team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice; Grease; the Bee Gees; and, his most famous project of all, John Travolta and the movie Saturday Night Fever; which was adapted from a New York Magazine article by Nik Cohn titled The Tribal Rights of the New Saturday Night; it was shot with director John Badham; after original director John Avildsen was let go.
Suffice to say, it well exceeded everyone’s expectations. His master plan was releasing the 2-disc soundtrack album well before the movie, so everyone had a chance to hear it. Most of the voices heard on the film were people involved in his RSO Recordsand with Stigwood in particular. It also spoke to the fact that he was involved with Beatle-manager Brian Epstein early on and at one point was set to take over the management of the band, before the lads nixed it. In many ways, this was the best-yet music doc to come out as Stiggie’s success was enormous. If you get a chance, check this out. Must-see for sure … Ken Kragen who organized the brilliant “We Are The World” session in 1985, which included the likes of Bob Dylan; Michael Jackson; Hall & Oates; Kenny Rogers; Lionel Richie; Paul Simon; and so many others, passed at 85. That record and Kragen’s work on it will live on forever … And, HAPPY BDAY Jordan Runtaugh and Christine Nagy.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Fred Zarr; Abbie Rosenfeld; Elizabeth Neff; Lush Ice; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Craig Newman; Jane Blunkell; Bruce Grakal; Larry Yasgur; Doug Morris; Roger Friedman; Race Taylor; Eppy; Samantha Ryan; Kent and Laura Denmark; Mike Greenblatt; and ZIGGY!
The Glorious Corner
HERE’S BEKKA — (from Rolling Stone) Bekka Bramlett grew up around John Lennon and George Harrison, but nothing could prepare her for joining Fleetwood Mac in 1994, during one of the rockiest periods in the band’s history.
The Bekka Bramlett incarnation of Fleetwood Mac released a single album, 1995’s Time, before dissolving the next year to make way for a lucrative Hells Freezes Over-style reunion album and tour by the classic Rumours lineup. This period of the band may seem like little more than a footnote to some rock fans, but it was a pivotal time for Bramlett, and she looks back on it without any regrets.
“I knew my job was to get Stevie back,” she tells Rolling Stone from her home in Nashville. “I wasn’t a moron. I also knew this was a dangerous job when I took it. I knew I was facing tomatoes. But I didn’t want to wear a top hat. I didn’t want to twirl around. I wanted to be me. I even dyed my hair brown just so people in the cheap seats would know that Stevie wasn’t going to be here. I didn’t want anyone to be discouraged or let down.”
Joining Fleetwood Mac at 26 would have been a shock to the system of most singers, but Bramlett had been living in close proximity to rock stars her entire life. When she was very young, her parents toured and recorded with George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and many other A-list rock stars, winning renown as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Those artists also spent a lot of time at her mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
Bramlett didn’t realize any of this was unusual until she boarded the school bus one morning gripping her Disney Princess lunchbox. “This other little girl had a Beatles lunchbox,” she says. “I said to her, ‘I know him. He’s on our couch right now.’ I pointed to George Harrison. ‘I know him too.’ I pointed to John. She started hitting me since she thought I was lying. I was petrified and confused. I thought they were just Daddy’s friends that had accents.”
When she was just four years old, her father recruited Bekka and her sister Suzanne to sing background vocals on his song “California Rain.” “My mom had to get some gaffer tape to keep the headphones on my head since I was so little,” she says. “I used to hate the way it sounds, and now I love it so much. It’s so endearing.”
Right around this time, her parents split up, and she went to live with her father and grandmother. “It was weird, since mostly the moms got the babies back then,” she says. “But my parents were alcoholics. My grandmother never even smoked cigarettes or said cuss words. She brought us to church every Sunday, Wednesday, and Monday. We were in safe hands with our grandmother. I think both of my parents trusted that.”
Delaney and Bonnie both struggled to find solo success in the Seventies, and they dealt with significant substance abuse issues, but Bekka inherited their talents, and she knew from a young age that she’d devote her life to music. “I briefly thought I’d be a lawyer, but I thought I’d be a singing lawyer,” she says. “Then I wanted to be a jockey since I love horses, but I thought I’d be a singing jockey. Music is just what I’m good at.”
As a teenager with a fake ID in the early Eighties, Bramlett spent many nights checking out bands on the Sunset Strip. “I remember standing on the side of the stage as Guns N’ Roses played,” she says. “Seeing it up close, I was like, ‘This is why you never try heroin.’ But then I’d go into the audience and be like, ‘This is why you join a rock & roll band!’”
SUCCESSION — (via Deadline) The Roys are back with a vengeance. The Season 4 premiere of Succession drew an audience of 2.3M on Sunday across HBO Max and linear telecasts, which is a series high for same-day viewers. Total viewing for Sunday night was up 62% compared to Season 3’s premiere viewership of 1.4M in October 2021. At the time, that marked the best premiere night performance of any HBO original series since HBO Max launched in May 2020. Sunday’s viewership is also up about 33% from the Season 3 finale’s 1.7M. Season 3 averaged about 7.2M viewers per episode, according to HBO.HBO also says that all previous seasons of succession saw a 4x increase in viewership in the week leading up to the Season 4 premiere, compared to the week prior.
The Roy family saga picks up as the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) looms. The prospect of the seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys: patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four grown children, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Siobhan (Sarah Snook), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Connor (Alan Ruck). A hopefully Roy-esque power struggle will ensue as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is threatened.
Succession has 13 Emmys including Best Drama Series wins for its Season 2 and Season 3, the latter of which premiered in 2021.
We had mentioned earlier that most of the advance reviews said the writing was the star of the premiere episode and I definitely agree. Creator Jesse Armstrong wrote it and delivered just a stellar job. The episode began with a grumpy-Brian Cox at his birthday and took a few moments to develop into the powerhouse it has become, but it was very, very enjoyable.
Sure some of the dialogue and plot harked back to earlier episodes, but it’s so good, you hardly noticed. And the ending with Shiv and Tom, alone at at home and contemplating their futures, was just splendid and reeked of the amazing emotion the show almost always conjures up. A class act all around.
Variety confirmed this week, that the locale of the next White Lotus, from Mike White, will be Thailand. Now, if we could only get Jennifer Coolidge back … Congrats to New York Independenteditor Keith F. Girard on his second novel –
just out: The Curse of Northam Bay …PR-pasha David Salidor was interviewed by Charles Rosenay for Monkee Mania Radio … Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer open July 21 and it is indeed 3 hours.
It stars Cillian Murphy and the trailer looks rather stupendous. Check it out here:
The Mayor of Times Square Meets One of the World’s Oldest Holocaust Survivors
I arrived to a packed lecture room at a Library in South Florida. This lecture caught my eye weeks prior and I made sure to have it in my calendar. After all, how many more times will I get a chance to hear a 99 year old survivor tell his remarkable story of inconceivable hell, survival and ultimately impressive success? What I heard in the room that day was hard to fathom it wasn’t part of a Spielberg movie with some creative liberty thrown in to embellish an already unbelievable true story. This was the real deal. A vivid description of hell on earth. What I couldn’t understand is how did this survivor go on to create a vibrant family and a very successful business career and not be bitter every day of his life? Equally remarkable is how someone his age could tell a story from 85 years ago as if it happened yesterday and with energy and charisma of someone half his age. He spoke for 45 minutes without a break. Little did anyone in the audience know that, just prior to arriving at the Library, he fell and injured himself, making his perseverance in even making it to the Library even more heroic. This is no ordinary man. I approached the stage after the lecture, patiently awaited my turn to speak with him and asked if I could interview him for my podcast. I am pretty sure he knew little to nothing of what a podcast was, but he agreed as you are about to learn why telling his story over and over is his divine mission.
Sam Ron bears personal witness to the greatest atrocity in human history. He is one of the only remaining Holocaust Survivors his age who survived four concentration camps…and a Death March. He turns 99 in July. His story is remarkable…and he himself is equally as remarkable.
Here’s what you will learn when listening to this World Exclusive interview on The Motivation Show podcast:
-Where did Sam grow up and what was life like before the Germans invaded his country
-How life changed once the Germans invaded and how long did the changes take
-Why and when did Sam and his family decide to go into hiding and where did he hide
-How did Sam end up in the Krakow Ghetto, how was it different than the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, and what took place in the Ghetto
-When did Sam first realize that the Germans were not just transporting Jews to what they disguised as labor camps, but were actually killing them.
-How many times was Sam transported in cattle cars and what was that like
-Which concentration camps was Sam in & what were they like
-What was life like in the concentration camps and why did they move Sam around to different camps
-What is a Death March, why and how did that happen and how did Sam survive it
-What lessons should listeners take away from Sam’s experience
-What does Never Again mean to Sam and why is it so important for him to share this and other Holocaust lessons
You can listen to this interview on any podcast listening app or use this Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3KBPe9jhTdYw1iA9UN7UiK WARNING: This interview is GUARANTEED to move you to tears!!!
Inside The PR Brain
For PR-guru David Salidor, late-February proved to be as hectic a week in his 40+-year career as ever. With client Micky Dolenz in tow; Monday night was The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon; Tuesday held four different interviews at SiriusXM; later that night was the premiere for actor Willem Dafoe’s new movie Inside; and, Wednesday held an early spot back at NBC for NY LIVE with host Sara Gore.
For the music industry veteran, it was the latest chapter in a career that was sealed back in 1967 at Long Island’s Lido Beach Club when he saw a new group, The Who: Says Salidor, “My father who worked for Decca Records asked if I wanted to accompany him and go see a new group the company had just signed. Believe it or not, it was The Who, playing around the club’s swimming pool. It was unlike anything I had ever seen; Keith Moon with day-glow drumsticks and Townshend literally destroying his guitar at the end of the set. For me, that was it, this business was for me.”
Salidor also worked for the legendary My Father’s Place club in Roslyn, New York, that launched everyone from Bruce Spingsteen, to Todd Rundgren and Hall & Oates. “If The Who whet my appetite, My Father’s Place solidified my journey,” Salidor adds.
His first job out of college (where he was music director the college-station) was for the much-missed London Records. “All of a sudden, I was working with the Rolling Stones and Moody Blues, Al Green and Gilbert O’Sullivan. I was the new kid in town, but learned about everything all at once. I was doing ad layouts, writing press releases and taking the artists to radio stations. It was a trial by fire for sure, but I loved it,” adds Salidor.
He went onto to work for other labels like Atlantic and the PR-firm the Howard Bloom Organization, which at the time was the hottest pr-firm in the country, with clients including Billy Joel; Prince; Genesis. Genesis stands out for him. “It was right when Peter Gabriel left the band and there was a tour which I went on. Imagine every night not only seeing a terrific show, but also a dazzling visual show. No question, they were the tops at that point,” he says.
He also formed a relationship with Tom Silverman – then running a very influential tip-sheet called Dance Music Report. He and Silverman, who was also his first and only partner for a spell, went onto create the New Music Seminar, which became a focal point for all the new labels and artists to network. Adds Salidor, “That first event was held at SIR Studios in NY and everyone who was anyone attended. It’s funny now to recall that we started it because we couldn’t get properly accredited for the Billboard Music Forum, which was then the featured industry event in the business; but really neglected the up-and-coming acts and labels.”
A two-year stint with indie ZE Records was also a fascinating run. “This was during the burgeoning new-wave/no-wave movement and I just loved it. Kid Creole & The Coconuts; Cristina; Material; Suicide ; james White and the Blacks and it introduced me to the The Mudd Club, which became an instant favorite.”
A life-long association with August Darnell and his Kid Creole & The Coconuts began as well. “August is without a doubt one of the most creative artists I’ve ever worked with, Totally unique.”
He decided to start his own firm in 1984. He adds, “I learned very quickly that working for someone else is a double-edge sword. If a good campaign happens, the head of the firm gets the credit; if the campaign doesn’t work, you get called on the carpet.”
His first success via his dis Company was with Profile Record’s Run-DMC. “Profile was an amazing label back then. Cory Robins was one of the premiere music guys and had a prescient nuance. Together we got Run-DMC on the cover of Rolling Stone and made them a major marquee attraction. They started the whole urban, hip-hop era. I know it was a long time ago, but they were the first along with Kurtis Blow. No question.”
The next big project to come his way was with a 15-year-old from Merrick, Long Island, named Debbie Gibson. “This was something I had never encountered before; a performer who wrote her own music; produced it and had just an engaging personality. Needless to say, she was a smash. Tours, videos, hit singles followed. Totally engaging and creative. I remember being in Bremen, Germany, when I sat with her at a piano and she played me her entire second album … that hadn’t even been recorded or released yet. Totally amazing talent,” adds Salidor.
Also, a life-long association with celebrity-scribe Mark Bego began. Called the “prince of pop bios” by Publisher’s Weekly. 62-books later, their relationship continues to this day. Bego will be releasing a bio on Joe Cocker later this year via Yorkshire Publishing – also a client.
Bego would go on to pen several books on Salidor’s clients; including Debbie Gibson and Madonna. Also, Bego wrote the authorized bio on Micky Dolenz (I’m A Believer) in 1993 and Salidor set up a launch party at NYC Hard Rock Cafe. That was the first time Salidor met Dolenz,which foreshadowed a Dolenz/Salidor PR-connection down the road.
He was also involved with Madonna in her early stages. “Madonna was always a star. You could just feel it. Repping her then boyfriend and producer John Benitez was key. She and I would constantly discuss pr and together we accomplished a lot. Signing her to Seymour Stein’s Sire was a major move for her.”
Salidor also recalls repping a number of prominent DJs turned producers as well, including Jim Burgess; Arthur Baker; Shep Pettibone and Mark Berry. Remembering, “It was an interesting time; people today forget the amazing contributions they made to music. Pettibone’s production and writing of ‘Vogue’ is still a gem to this day.”
Amid so much success, Salidor also recalls the low-points of a career. “When a client leaves after so much success, there’s certainly a mourning period, but it’s also part of the business. Loyalty is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but is not as evident as one would assume in this business. I just read where a major music personality personally delivered tour bonuses to his road crew. In all my years, I’ve never heard of something like that happening … never. Loyalty and professionalism are rare, rare traits.”
Gibson and Profile would eventually leave his purview; although he worked for Gibson on many of her other endeavors.
In 2004 Salidor met Micky Dolenz and they began working together. “No shade to former clients, but Micky is the most professional client we’ve ever had. Certainly, growing up in the family business, as I had, had everything to do with it. Last year Dolenz did a sit-down with CBS Morning’s Anthony Mason which was sensational. Mason, a fan, did a no-holds barred interviews that was universally embraced by not only Dolenz’s huge fanbase, but by other PR-persons as well, which is always an interesting development – having other experts compliment you!” Salidor recalls.
“When you set a campaign up, three things can happen. #1, everything goes well and it’s a smash. #2: It doesn’t go well, and, #3. It happens, but there’s no feedback. The reality is that sometimes, even bad feedback is good. It’s a funny business, but your reputation, contacts and experience is key.”
Regrets … he’s had a few: “There was a jazz/rock/fusion band that made some terrific records, on SONY of all places and though they had a #1 jazz album, they just did not get the respect that they should have had. I love jazz and watching them perform live was just great. The powers-that-be there had their own ideas, which weren’t at all realistic.”
And, “When Debbie Gibson was a hit, every parent that had a child who they thought could sing called us. 99% of them didn’t have it. Talent, success, know-how … it’s something that I’ve always been able to recognize. We’ve worked with several young female-singers, but they just didn’t have the right people in place. One from New Jersey had her father paying for everything, but doing exactly what he wanted and he just didn’t have any idea about the business. He installed solar heating panels!”
Continues Salidor, “Management is key and finding the right one is often not easy; there are a lot of people who profess to be a manger and they’re clearly not. Organizing a campaign is a lot of meticulous work; knowing what the client is capable of is key too. Being a PR-person is akin in some ways to being a closet-psychiatrist – you’ve got to know your limitations. That NYC-week with Micky Dolenz was prodigious because I knew exactly what would work and I knew how well he’d perform.”
Salidor is also currently repping involved writer Terry Jastrow (Anne Archer’s husband); Donnie Kehr’s Rockers on Broadway and writer C.W. Hanes.
What does Salidor see in his future. “Certainly, more of the same. Identifying the talent and trying to develop it to the point of releasing it in the most effective way. Many of my peers say the music business has changed and not for the better. I disagree as there are more opportunities for music and musical artists than ever before. bring it on!
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