The Glorious Corner
BOWIE REMEMBERS — (Via Ultimate Classic Rock) David Bowie was in the mood to try something different as the early 80’s unfolded. He’d been listening to R&B and blues records while on vacation in the South Pacific from the likes of James Brown and Albert King, and that ended up forging his next musical path.
“I asked myself, ‘Why have I chosen this music?'” Bowie later mused. “It was very non-uptight music, and it comes from a sense of pleasure and happiness. There is enthusiasm and optimism on those recordings.”
In other words, something a world away from the Berlin Trilogy. Then he met Chic legend Nile Rodgers at a New York nightclub. They hit it off, and Bowie shared a few of his demos, including a folky number that would become the title track for his next LP.
Unfortunately, Rodgers was unimpressed. “I come from dance music,” he remembered telling Bowie. “You can’t call that thing you just played ‘Let’s Dance.'”
Engineer Bob Clearmountain and Rodgers went to work, basically making everything bigger: bigger drums, a bigger vocal, bigger chords, more delay. Bowie was with them, step for step. “I really wanted that same positive optimistic rock ‘n’ roll, big-band sound that was very impressionistic for me back when,” Bowie told Rolling Stone. “It’s got a hard cut – it sears through.”
Rodgers also shared an insider’s trick from his hit-making era with Chic. “For me, as a Black artist, it was very difficult for me to get hits because we had fewer radio stations to expose our music,” Rodgers told Yahoo. “So to get attention, a technique of mine was I always started my songs with the chorus: ‘Ahhh, freak out!’ and ‘We are family!’ – and then, of course, there’s ‘Let’s Dance.'”
So much of this was old hat for Rodgers but entirely new for Bowie. “When David gave me this award – for the ARChive of Contemporary Music – he said, ‘To my friend, Nile Rodgers: the only man who could make me start a song with a chorus,'” Rodgers added.
At the same time, however, Rodgers described himself as “persona non grata, when no one would work with me because of ‘disco sucks'” – so, in a way, “Let’s Dance” was a new start for both of them. “This guy, who was considered one of the great, innovative rockers, picked a disco guy who nobody wanted to work with to collaborate with,” Rodgers told Yahoo. “And we wound up making the biggest record of his career.”
It was Bowie’s idea to bring in a then-unknown named Stevie Ray Vaughan whom he’d tripped over at a recent Montreux Jazz Festival. He felt the Texas guitarist could “become midwife” to a new sound that kept a “European sensibility but owed its impact to the blues.”
The result was Bowie’s biggest hit, as “Let’s Dance” topped the singles charts in the U.S. and U.K. Bowie and Rodgers completed the album in just 17 days, and it went on to become Bowie’s first platinum seller.
Vaughan leveraged Let’s Dance to find a much wider audience. “Prior to that, when we made Let’s Dance, he was still working as a delivery guy or something,” Rodgers said in 2012. “He wasn’t even a full-time musician yet.” For Bowie, however, “Let’s Dance” and its parent album became handcuffs.
I’ve listened to him talk about it, and it really was uncomfortable for him – because it put him in a world that even he had never experienced before,” Rodgers told Yahoo. “And I get it: You go from being a very eclectic, avant-garde artist that people had tons of respect for, where you’re speaking to people on a higher level and – I don’t mean to sound elitist, but the appreciation of David Bowie’s music prior to Let’s Dance presupposes a certain amount of sophistication on behalf of the listener. He was very, very on the cutting edge.”
“Let’s Dance” was many things – new wave, post-disco, rock, dance, funk – but it was most certainly not cutting edge. “I tried passionately hard in the first part of the 80’s to fit in, and I had my first overground success,” Bowie later told Interview magazine. “I was suddenly no longer ‘the world’s biggest cult artist’ in popular music.”
His new label wanted another hit, and Bowie dutifully tried. But 1984’s Tonight and 1987’s Never Let Me Down didn’t have the same energy or sense of discovery.
“I went mainstream in a major way with the song ‘Let’s Dance,'” Bowie noted. “I pandered to that in my next few albums, and what I found I had done was put a box around myself. It was very hard for people to see me as anything other than the person in the suit who did ‘Let’s Dance’ – and it was driving me mad because it took all my passion for experimenting away.”
He discarded it all, starting over with a new band of collaborators Bowie called Tin Machine. “He said to me at one session in the early ’90s that he needed to get back to his essence,” late-era collaborator Mike Garson later remembered. “‘Let’s Dance’ was such a big hit, it threw him and he lost his center. For an artist like David, that was very disturbing.”
Bowie had become “something I never wanted to be,” he admitted in Bowie on Bowie. “I had started appealing to people who bought Phil Collins albums.”
Personally, I loved the Let’s Dance album. Having gotten to know Rodgers, I thought it was a really interesting pairing and the fact that Bowie returned to work with him down the road, showed he did too.
Let’s Dance was released in 1983 and Rodger’s work with Madonna (Like A Virgin) was in 1984. Face it, the Chic-man was on a roll. Rodgers to this day remains one of music’s prime innovators. No question.
Here’s the official “Let’s Dance” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbD_kBJc_gI
LISTING THE BEATLES — Most people have a favorite Beatles song. In fact, most people grew up having a favorite Beatle.
Favorites are a big part of the just-released book, The Book of Top 10 Beatles Lists, which is very different from the hundreds of Beatles titles that have come out before. It contains 64 Top 10 Lists of favorite songs, albums, films, appearances, and a whole lot of memories and insights from music legends, actors, athletes, authors, disc jockeys, and many friends and relatives of The Beatles…including two former Beatles.
The book’s author, Charles F. Rosenay is best known to Beatles fans for all his promotional efforts and productions over the past four decades. Since 1978, he has presented Beatles conventions and festivals across the U.S., including events in his home state of Connecticut and as far away as Tokyo, Japan. Along with musical productions, for almost 20 years he was the editor and publisher of the world-famous magazine on The Beatles called Good Day Sunshine.
Since 1983, he has organized and hosted the “Magical Mystery Tour,” an annual Beatles Fans Tour in association with Cavern City Tours, that brings travelers to Liverpool and London during Beatleweek on the ultimate fan experience. Charles has the honor of being one of the few non-musicians in the Cavern Hall of Fame, and he has been recognized and cited by the Mayor of Liverpool on numerous occasions.
For as long as he can remember, Charles has been asked to write a book on The Beatles, or on his adventures through the years as a Beatles aficionado, expert, collector, archivist, and promoter. Having edited or contributed to countless Beatles books in the past, and after issuing two non-Beatles volumes, Charles has finally released his own Beatles book that is unlike any other out there.
After years of contacting celebrities, as well as notables who were closely connected to The Beatles’ history, here is a treasury for pop-culture enthusiasts, music lovers, collectors, and fans of the greatest rock and roll band in history. Officially titled Celebrities, Actors, Authors, Mods & Rockers: The Book of Top 10 Beatles Lists, the long-awaited book has been released by Kiwi Publishing in softcover.
Charles called on many of his long-time friends in The Beatles universe to be part of this special book. Included in this unique collection are such people as original Beatles drummer Pete Best; John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, who contributed the Foreword; Beatles friend and author Tony Bramwell; radio personality “Cousin” Brucie; Angie McCartney, who was married to Paul’s Dad; Paul’s half-sister Ruth McCartney; two members of The Quarrymen, the band that later became The Beatles; four members of Badfinger/The Iveys; journalists-turned-authors Larry Kane and Ivor Davis, each of whom accompanied The Beatles on their U.S. tours; Mark Hudson; who was Ringo’s producer; R&B singer Clarence “Frogman” Henry, who opened for The Beatles on tour; Paul McCartney & Wings’ guitarist Laurence Juber: Ringo’s touring drummer Gregg Bissonette; Brute Force, who recorded on The Beatles’ Apple label; singer Frank Ifield, who was a label-mate of The Beatles on Vee-Jay Records; Chas Newby, who was actually The Beatles first left-handed bassist; and Mersey Beat editor Bill Harry, a friend and supporter of The Beatles from the beginning, who wrote the book’s Afterword.
According to Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman; billionaire David Geffen got married . Congrats David! …
On a promo-visit for Apple TV’s Ted Lasso, Jason Sudeikis was asked what his go-to music was and he replied “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe and “Into The Mystic” from Van Morrison. Great choices … We just watched the third-season debut of the show entitled Smells Like Mean Spirit and it was great as it opened with a scene of Lasso and his son (Henry) saying goodbye. They covered a lot of material from the first two seasons and set up what should be a thrilling -and possibly last- season … RIP Manhattan-born Bobby Caldwell at 71 (https://variety.com/2023/music/news/bobby-caldwell-dead-what-you-wont-do-for-love-1235555106/
and, via the BBC: Vinyl record sales outperformed CDs in the US for the first time since 1987, according to a new report. Just over 41 million vinyl records were sold in 2022. Only 33 million CDs were sold, amounting to $483m. It was the 16th consecutive year of growth for record sales, about 71% of physical format revenues. Recorded music revenue in the US grew for the seventh consecutive year. So much for people saying that CDs and vinyl don’t sell anymore. Wake up people! … Happy BDay Tony King, Phil Lesh and Billy Crystal!NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tate Donovan; Greg Geller; Jane Berk; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Wayne Avers; Dan Mapp; Plastic EP; Julie Gurivitsch; Vinny Napolitano; Emily Bitt; Melissa Davis; Andy Fuhrman; Bruce Haring; Divaland; Jane Blunkell; Jacqueline Boyd; William Schill; Keith Girard; Mark Alpert; Chris Norris; A.D. Amorosi; Peter Bart; Jeff Smith; Kevin Mazur; Pablo Guzman; and BELLA!
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!
The Glorious Corner
TODD’S AWATS — (from World Cafe) Fifty years ago, Todd Rundgren released his album A Wizard, a True Star, and it sounded like nothing else. World Cafe correspondent John Morrison says Rundgren was pushing boundaries, both in the technical creation of the music but also on a higher level. “Really, the entire approach to sound in this record is exploration of the mind, the spirit, the nature of sound itself,” Morrison says. “Like, the whole album is a trip.” In this session, Morrison takes us on a journey through Rundgren’s A Wizard, a True Star, exploring what the album meant when it came out and how its influence continues to reverberate.
Currently he’s touring with Daryl Hall and there’s a bunch of sessions with Hall that are on Daryl’s House. The way their two voices blend is simply amazing. One of my all-time favorite albums is War Babies, from Hall & Oates in 1974. Just amazing songs and the production, courtesy of Todd, is equally compelling. Stunning!
SHORT TAKES — Joe Pantoliano (Joey Pants) is essaying Morris Levy in the forthcoming play Rock & Roll Man about Alan Freed. Freed is played by Constantine Maroulis. Also coming is the movie Spinning Gold; the story of record exec-Neil Bogart. Both should be something to see … Am reading and reading nothing but rave reviews of Sunday’s Succession on HBO; the first of ten episodes which will wrap up the story. In all the reviews, the writing emerges the star. Jesse Armstrong, a genius for sure. Can’t wait. Check out Roger Friedman’s take from his Showbiz 411: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/03/22/succession-returns-for-finale-season-sit-down-have-a-drink-or-two-its-intense-as-ever … 79 year old Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer: “Don Simpson (Bruckheimer’s late-producing partner) used to say we’re in the transportation business: we transport you from one place to another” …
Terrific Accused episode this week, starring Jason Ritter in Jack’s Story. Jason, John Ritter’s son was just excellent; the show was just renewed by Fox … Steve Miller, out on the road, has some interesting openers for his upcoming tour: Dave Mason and Joe Bonamassa. Mason’s book (Only You Know and I Know) is out in May … Dennis Scott hosted a special invitation-only Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers event in Nashville for media, TV, radio and music industry professionals, with support from ASCAP, this past Monday.
The event featured special musical performances given by country singer-songwriter Teea Goans, singer-songwriter & guitar virtuoso Parker Hastings, who put a Chet Atkins-like spin on the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood theme song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” and studio vocalist Gary Janney. Here’s the cake prepared for the event … Happy Bday William Shatner ; Chaka Khan; Reese Witherspoon; and Anthony Pomes!
Tech2 years ago
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Business2 years ago
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
Entertainment2 years ago
A Star is Born – Barvina Takes Entertainment World by Storm
Events3 months ago
New Year’s Eve Traditions In The US and Around The World
Film9 months ago
Elvis and The Mob Connection
Broadway2 years ago
Broadway Reopening: The Theatre Listings
Events2 years ago
The Question On Everyone’s Mind Should Be How Did The Haitians Get To Mexico
Spiritual2 years ago
The History of Numerology
Family2 years ago
Who Is Justine Ang Fonte and Why Are We Letting Her Near Children?
Broadway11 months ago
Funny Girl Makes Julie Benko a Star