Ramon Hervey has earned global recognition as a highly regarded entertainment manager, brand consultant & publicist who has represented Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Paul McCartney, the Bee Gees, Muhammad Ali, Caitlyn Jenner, Quincy Jones, Vanessa Williams, The Commodores with Lionel Richie, the Jacksons with Michael Jackson and a whole lot more A Listers. He is the author of the book…The Fame Game: An Insider’s Playbook for Earning Your 15 minutes.
After having invested 4 decades in playing the fame game, Ramon and I sat down to talk on The Motivation Show podcast.
Ramon, why do you call fame a “game” and why did you choose that word for your book title? “Fame is unpredictable, just as are the results in a game. Everyone has failures. You hope to win, but it is not guaranteed. Only .0065% of over 7 billion people in the world are famous. There are a lot of successful people in the world that never become famous. Fame and success don’t come with a warranty.”
What does Ramon feel about luck playing a role in success and fame? “I think there is a certain amount of luck in what I do. A lot of it is timing. Timing is a form of luck.” One example Ramon gives is when Starbucks started to introduce music in it’s cafes. The first one was Ray Charles, who died shortly thereafter, which skyrocketed sales of his music. That sales surge is what Ramon attributed to luck.
The pursuit of fame…is it mostly a positive goal? “Most people don’t know what fame is til they already become famous. A lot of stars change their mind about what they thought fame was going to be. A lot of people don’t like all the baggage that comes with being famous. The lack of privacy. In my time on the planet, it has definitely changed dramatically over the past ten years.” Ramon points to Social Media and it’s impact on more people having an opportunity to become famous in different ways than were available previously.
Why did Richard Pryor, at the height of his fame, attempt suicide & what was the famous incident which almost killed him that he later confessed to as a suicide attempt? “I managed all of Richard’s missteps. He was probably the #1 black entertainer in the world at that time. It’s not my fame. It’s their fame. I think Richard always felt guilty about his fame. He didn’t think he could live up to the level of fame that he achieved. That created an albatross around his neck. It made him rely on more substances to sedate him and calm himself. He reached the point that he did not want to become that person anymore. For the longest time he said that he didn’t (try to commit suicide), he said it was an accident. Richard always found a way to market his vulnerability. All of his comedy focused on all of his missteps. He had shot all four tires on his Mercedes and told his wife during a fight that you are not going to leave in that car. He put that into his comedy. He did it the exact opposite way of what we would advise which would be to put the incidences behind you. I don’t know anyone else that was as successful as him in marketing all of the things he did wrong.”
When asking Ramon about what type of confident personality one has to have to become famous he says, “I do believe you have to have a big ego and a certain amount of self confidence to be successful. Every famous person I met took a different path to get it and they all loss some level of fame at some point.”
Can you give us an example of someone you managed very well? “I am very proud of my relationship with Bette Midler. She helped to blossom my career. I was never her manager, but I was her publicist. I did work in a management capacity…she didn’t have a manager. I have a great appreciation and fondness for her. Also, working with my ex-wife Vanessa Williams on her crisis management. I did not know her at the time she was embroiled in the Miss America controversy. She resigned here title and I am glad she did. We got married and had three kids together and I managed her career. It took ten years for her to get her life back after she resigned from the Miss America pageant where she was just called Vanessa Williams without alluding to any prior controversy.”
In discussing his earlier years, Ramon shares two musical giants that helped shape his career. “In my book, I try to enlighten people about the trajectory of my own fame. My first client I got to work with was Paul McCartney. My initial task was to put together a press kit. That shaped my next 4 or 5 years when I got an opportunity to work with Quincy Jones who is the first client I brought to Rogers & Cowan who I was working with at the time. He was someone I treasured to be in his presence because he had so many great stories and so much great insight.”
Ramon muses in his book about fame, that the more you get, the harder it is to manage. I asked him if there are any other examples like that. “Probably the worst case scenario was Rick James. He had a very troubled childhood. For him, fame meant he put himself above people. He created a lot of bad blood. The way that he treated people. A lot of people did not want him to win. He always had a great fan base, but I think his fame was toxic for him. He self-destructed. He was obsessed with fame and all the hoopla and perks. He loved being the king of everything. He was very demanding. He did not know how to manage his fame.”
In closing, I ask Ramon, what he is most proud of. “I am proud of my reputation. I have never been sued. I’ve always approached business with a great deal of integrity. I’ve always worked really hard. I’ve always tried to be honest with my clients. Authentic and transparent. I think that is much better than being a yes man.”
So when I think of fame, I think of getting the best table in the best restaurants. I think about people idolizing me. I also think about people interrupting my conversation and my meal for photos and autographs. Do I really want that…or do I just want a nice, quiet, peaceful meal. Hmmm…some food for thought. How about you? Do you want to be part of the Fame Game?
You can listen to Eli’s podcast The Motivation Show on any podcast listening app or use this Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3NVmTDAvGbzooN8TCW7tuN. To contact Eli or to have him speak at your event, email email@example.com.
The Glorious Corner
A CHER STEAL — This year’s 97th edition of the Macy’s Day Parade was a rather underwhelming one, save for Chicago – inexplicably singing “Your My Inspiration” – and the always, indefatigable Cher, singing a track “DJ Play a Christmas Song” off her new holiday-themed album. The first few bars will terribly auto-tuned, but that seemed to disappear and Cher’s vocals rang full and bold.
She was, typically, a pro. Mixing effortlessly and emotionally with the dancers in a terrific set. Some pundits reported the clip was shot days earlier, but she was live and, just sensational. I wish more of today’s performers possessed her vigor and skills. That’s why most of the current acts, here today, will be gone tomorrow.
As we went to press, we learned that this parade was Macy’s most-watched edition ever! Congrats.
HALL VS. OATES — Some terrible news appeared in Wednesday’s media that Daryl Hall had taken out a TRO against partner-John Oates. I’ve loved what these two have done for decades and I loved Hall’s solo albums; especially the one he did with Robert Fripp in 1977 Sacred Songs. His record company at the time (RCA) hated it so much, they held up its release for three years.
I also well remember them in the 80’s when it seemed you could’t turn on a radio without hearing their music. 29 of their 33 singles were major chart hits on Billboard. But I do go back to them even in the 70’s, with their terrific “She’s Gone” which basically launched them. And, my favorite album of their War Babies, produced by Todd Rundgren. Quick note: That album sounds as good and relevant as it did when it came out in 1974.
The problem seems to arise from Oates wanting to sell his portion of certain songs to Primary Wave Artists – which ironically owns several of their songs already. It’s a small point, but that seems to be the issue. In all actuality, it’s another case of a classic-rocker selling his music.
In Oates’ book several years ago (Change of Seasons: A Memoir), he hardly mentioned Hall and regrettably that animus has apparently reared its angry head. They’re Philly boys, I’m from Philly and it’s just an awful coda to what was one of music’s major success stories. Sad all around.
SHORT TAKES — Terrific article in this week’s Closer on Micky Dolenz. Check it out here: https://www.closerweekly.com/posts/micky-dolenz-on-telling-stories-on-stage-and-in-his-book/
btw: Dolenz tapes KTLA’s Countdown To 2024 this week in LA …
I first met Phil Quartararo in the lobby of the old Mondrian Hotel in LA with John Sykes and we struck up a friendship that lasted until he passed last week. He was at Virgin for a time and worked with the artists there including The Spice Girls and Paul Abdul. In these fast-changing-times in the music business, he remained somewhat behind the scenes of late, but admitted he missed working with the artists. Phil was a guy you never ever heard a bad word about. Huge loss. Here’s Billboard’s take on Phil:
… As you’ve not doubt read, there is trouble in the Marvel-comic kingdom. The latest Captain Marvel movie (The Marvels) didn’t perform nearly as well as everyone hoped for and their newest star, Jonathan Majors as Kang, is tied up in several court matters.
So, we hear that Kang is out and Doctor Doom is in. Stay tuned …
And Forbes’ James M. Clash has released Amplified; culled from his terrific interviews with the icons of rock ‘n roll; including Grace Slick; Art Garfunkel; Ginger Baker; Micky Dolenz; and Roger Daltry. Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CNJZYW2J?ref_=cm_sw_r_apan_dp_WKCSH7AC0ZTK18RZF4ED&language=en-US NAMES IN THE NEWS — Steve Leeds; Kate Hyman; Bono; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Peter Abraham; Bobby Bank; Dina Pitenis; Frank DiLella; Donnie Kehr; Steve Leber; Don Wardell; Anne Adams; Billy Smith; John Boulos; Kimberly Cornell; Sam Rubin; Nexstar; and ZIGGY!
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Michael Urie and Ethan Slater
With the holidays, my caricature of Spamalot is taking time, so I decided to highlight the two performers who for me stood out.
I have drawn Michael Urie several times, but I love this picture with him and my drawing of him in Buyer and Seller. Urie as Sir Robin, shows a new side of him that is truly funny.
Ethan Slater should have won a Tony for Sponge Bob Square Pants. My guess is he will be nominated again for his multiple roles in Spamalot.
Up next my caricature of Spamalot
The Glorious Corner
NINA CHASE LIVES! — (Via Deadline) Shantal VanSanten is moving from FBI to FBI: Most Wanted for the latter show’s fifth season. She will reprise the role of Special Agent Nina Chase.
Nina is a well-seasoned FBI agent who is strong-willed, sharp and used to working undercover. The character was first introduced on the mothership series toward the end of Season 4 and she continued her recurring role in various episodes of Season 5 which concluded in May. Nina remains in a relationship with FBI’s Stuart Scola (John Boyd) as they raise their infant son Douglas together.
VanSanten is joining the cast following Alexa Davalos’ exit from FBI: Most Wanted, which Deadline reported exclusively in August. Their new season will debut on Tuesday, February 13.
The show is part of the massive Dick Wolff-empire and is actually a rather brilliant move; as the character has established itself on the other show and should fit nicely with Dylan McDermott and cast. The Wolff-machine just lost Jeffrey Donovan from Law & Order and recently installed their fifth showrunner on the much-troubled Law & Order: Organized Crime with Christopher Meloni; which is due to start their fourth season next year.
VanSanten also portrayed Karen Baldwin in the Apple TV+ show For All Mankind and was just terrific. Never heard of her before that show, but just a stunningly good performance, Nina Chase.
SHORT TAKES — Always read the posts. Loved this one: I was so confused! In Australia the show is called Morning Wars. And, yes, they were talking about Apple TV+’s Morning Show. That would be a more apt title … Looks like the NYC-launch for Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker-tome will be Tuesday, January 9 at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room. And Bego does an 11-city radio tour next week for Premiere Radio … Micky Dolenz’s R.E.M. cover of “Shiny Happy People hit #5 of the Heritage Chart in the U.K. … Every six months or so I read something about how The Starship’s “We Built This City” is the worst record of all time. Being home-bound for a time, I began hearing it regularly on my iHeart Hits of the 80’s and began to like it. Here’s a terrific summary of the song by Rob Tannenbaum. It’s actually hilarious: https://www.gq.com/story/oral-history-we-built-this-city-worst-song-of-all-time …
Deadline reported that NBC’s La Brea will end with a six-episode season next year. This is the show about a massive sinkhole in Hollywood that tuns into a time-travel escapade. Crazy writing, but somehow addictive. I found it a guilty-pleasure. Here’s the story: https://deadline.com/2023/11/la-brea-canceled-season-3-1235630123/ …
Sad that CBS’ Blue Bloods is ending after a spectacular 14-season run. I watched it when it started, then was out for a few seasons, but came back after Steve Schirripa joined the cast. Costs indeed did the show in, but you have to admit those family dinners which closed out each episode were sensational. Selleck, an icon. There’s not another show like this on TV right now; smart writing and brilliant acting. Treat Williams had a re-occurring role as an old mate of Selleck’s. Hope they do a proper tribute to him as he was stellar. Will be missed for sure … A 16-date Rolling Stones tour was announced Tuesday. Sponsored by AARP no less. Stones Tour 24 …
NY-Nightlife-Mayor Eric Adams seems to walking a tightrope – what with the ongoing FBI probe and city budget-cuts … Wintercon’s Frank Patz is interviewed for Medium today. It’s December 2 and 3 … Happy Thanksgiving!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Richard Johnson; Ian Mohr; Harvey Levin; Kimberly Cornell; Plastic EP; Jane Blunkell; Tony King; Dave Mason; Michael McDonald; Kenny Loggins; Fortune Benatar; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Race Taylor; Jim Kerr; Ken Dashow; Plastic EP; Brad Balfour; Frank Patz; and ZIGGY!
The Mayor of Times Square Interviews actress Sean Young on The Motivation Show Podcast
Sean Young was one of Hollywood’s leading actresses in the 1980’s. She starred in iconic movies like Blade Runner, No Way Out, Wall Street, Fatal Instinct and showed her comedic chops in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
She is now starring in the four act Play Ode to the Wasp Woman playing at the Actor’s Temple Theatre at 339 West 47 Street. Here are some excerpts from The Mayor of Times Square’s interview with Sean on The Motivation Show podcast:
Eli Marcus: When did you decide you actually wanted to be an actress and why?
Sean Young: I grew up primarily in Ohio, in Cleveland Heights, and we had this Black and White TV and after school they used to screen all the MGM musicals and I fell in love with Singin’ in the Rain and I had a massive crush on Gene Kelly like a lot of people. I became a bit of a retro movie buff. I even actually wrote to Gene Kelly and I have a signed autograph. I wanted to be the female version of Gene Kelly. That’s what started it. The number in Singin’ in the Rain called Moses Supposes, oh man, that used to blow my mind. Every time I saw it, I was just like…oh my god! And then I went to Interlochen Academy for my last two years in high school and then right after high school I came to New York City.
Eli Marcus: Why did you think you could make it in a profession where most people don’t? Is it self-confidence or something else that drove you?
Sean Young: I really don’t know the answer to that question. I do know that I have a lot of energy, at certain times quite bit of courage. You do need those two things. I’d probably be great in the army if I was wanting to be in the army, which I’m not.
Eli Marcus: What motivates you and drives you TODAY to continue to do what you do?
Sean Young: I’m not as motivated today because I love being at home and petting my cat and all of of that kind of thing. When my agent brought that to me it is pretty true that most actors like to work and I read it and I thought I would be a good fit for the Susan Cabot character. It’s a challenge, it’s a big challenge, but I am having a lot of fun with it. I always liked being in a group with other actors which is the case here. We cover four different tragic ends. One is Alfalfa, Carl Switzer, another is George Reeves, the Superman on TV. Then Susan Cabot. I guess you would call her a B movie actress and didn’t have a pleasant end in life. Then Barbara Payton who was also an actress and had a rough road. These are the four characters that are covered in the four acts.
Eli Marcus: What really intrigued you about this Play, what made you really sold on this, what really sung to you?
Sean Young: I felt I could do a really good job with it, let’s call it I felt like I could be of service to the director.
Eli Marcus: That’s another kind of twist. Most people are self-centered and you are like you could be of service to the Director, wow!
Sean Young: Self-centeredness is one of those qualities that show up quite a lot in show business. I have reached some enlightenment in life. I have a pretty much blissful life every single day I wake up. I appreciate things. I learned a lot. I’ve become very wise. I am capable of humility. I really like people in general unless they prove to me I shouldn’t. So it’s a good group, and I am having a lot of fun and I am enjoying working.
Eli Marcus is the host of The Motivation Show podcast. Listen to his full interview with Sean Young on any podcast platform like Apple Podcasts, Amazon Radio, Google Podcast, IHeart or use this Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0NeDa0PqwteXf0UnfinyEU?si=3d286784e1154b2c. Contact Eli at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Eli on Facebook at TheMotivationShow, Instagram at EliMarcusPodcast and Twitter at TheEliMarcus.
The Glorious Corner
HACKETT’S 48 — (Via PROG) Steve Hackett returns to the world of concept albums for the first time in 48 years with the release of his latest studio album, The Circus And The Nightwhale, which will be released through InsideOutMusic on February 16.
“The Circus And The Nightwhale is an album with a difference,” states Hackett. “This time it is a story, based both literally and metaphorically on my life… It’s both faction and fiction, beginning in a gritty world of harsh reality, spinning off into a colourful and dark, weird metaphorical universe of wonder turned to terror, with an ultimately beautiful resolve.
“It spans the musical range from the heaviest to the heavenly, with musical influences, instruments and artists from several countries around the world. I’m hugely proud of this new album which I see as intensely personal, yet totally universal at the same time… If ever there was a film for the ear, this is it!”
The Circus And The Nightwhale was recorded at the UK’s Siren Studios in between tours in 2022 and 2023. The album features Hackett’s touring band as well as a raft of guests including Amanda Lehmann and Big Big Train’s Nick D’Virgilio, Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, Benedict Fenner features on keyboards and Malik Mansurov on tar, with Hackett’s brother John once more on flute.
The Circus And The Nightwhale will be available on several different formats, including a limited edition CD and Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound and 24-bit high resolution stereo mixes), standard CD jewelcase, gatefold 180g vinyl LP and as digital album. All feature a cover painting by Denise Marsh.
Pre-orders for the album will open soon.
SHORT TAKES —Alert! Keane at Radio City Music Hall on September 24. Book now! … The Peter Jackson “Now & Then” melee continues. From Slate: https://slate.com/culture/2023/11/beatles-now-and-then-new-song-video-peter-jackson.html?via=rss_socialflow_facebook&fbclid=IwAR03vS0PqYuWjhWSjphms7JAi4wFb0hfvAcq5WqwN59jcqq1-lwTUtfW7hQ
… Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker-bio jumped on the Amazon charts last week at #28. Congrats …
NY1’s Roger Clark (aka sweet knees) was on the anchor desk this weekend. Great job Sir …
Not to date myself, but I watched and just loved the Albert Brooks-doc (Defending My Life) directed by Rob Reiner on HBO MAX. I’ve loved Brooks for as long as I can remember and his dialogue with Reiner is just sensational. I think the one thing that shocked me was the revelation that all of Brook’s routines were never, ever tried out beforehand in a club. As Chris Rock says in the doc, these days everyone tries out their routines in a club -at least once- before going public. The doc is not for everyone, but sensational …
Don’t miss David Letterman guesting on tonight’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Amazingly, his first visit there ever …
Roger Friedman posted last night that the Rolling Stones may be the next guests-in-residence at The Sphere in Las Vegas and that they are quietly planning their final tour … And we haven’t heard anything about the Madonna-bio pic since January when Universal scrapped plans. Is the deal gone? …RIP Rosalynn Carter; Joss Ackland and Dex Carvey.
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