Joined: Nov 04, 2011
|As we continue...
In the late 1960s, I was often given access to the A&M ' lot '
Every few months, I would call E.L.W. in Publicity / Promotion and asked for any photos, bios, slicks, etc from any new acts that might have signed with the label.
She ( and A&M ) were always very gracious when it came to assisting me, and would often ask me if I would like to come down and " pick them up "
I would do so, and although my vehicle was not permitted entry, I would park elsewhere and walk up to the gate guard and he would call somebody out to escort me on to the lot ( usually E.L.W. )
By 1976, most of the material was left at the gate, and access became somewhat limited.
During one such visit, E.L.W. asked me if I knew of Alan Freed ( do I know where the top of my head is ? )
She then said " His son works here, over there " as she pointed to the building.
I asked if there was any way I could meet him and she replied that she would see what she could do, if I would wait at the gate.
She returned and said " He can see you Monday, about 10 okay ? "
" Just come to the gate, and they'll let you through "
When I think about the many times that Lew Bedell (rn: Bedinsky ) of Dore Records tried to arrange for me to meet Herb Alpert ( at A&M ) but never succeeded...
" He ( Alpert ) was here ( Dore ) with Lou Adler, they were a team, and they'd do deals with me, and some other labels like the Siamas brothers " ( Keen Records )
" They did a big hit for me " Baby Talk " you know, Jan & Dean, it used to be Arnie, but Jan dumped him before they came here "
" Herbie's a pretty busy guy now, but it's Jerry Moss who runs things over there "
" He's ( Moss ) pretty guarded about his personal life and what goes on at A&M, that's why I suggested Herbie to you, and I have called him, he probably thinks I'm looking for money " ( laughter )
A&M Records ( Lot )
1358 North La Brea
Office of: Almo / Irving / Rondor Music
" It seems to me that they went after your father like no-other, and were bent on making sure his career was ruined "
" Thanks for the thought, but I wouldn't say he was singled-out, because at first they had a long list of who was going to appear, the men they'd subpoenaed "
" I won't say my dad was a saint, he was human, he had flaws, but I will say he took on some really bad legal advice "
" Still, your father suffered the most didn't he ? "
" I don't know about suffering, but after most of them had been slapped on the wrist for their business conduct, they called my dad back there, all the way back from out here, he had to go back in front of them again "
" After that, they tried to say that as a result his excessive drinking ( he ) damaged his liver, and general health "
" In 1953 or so, he'd had a terrible car accident in Cleveland, that almost killed him "
" There weren't even lap-belts then, so he took the brunt of the steering wheel "
" Doctors said he'd done major damage to his liver and spleen, and THAT is what initially took him down, of course the drinking should have been curtailed "
" But I still don't understand, other people took money and gifts, why did they come down on your father like that ? "
" The main thing is he would not admit any guilt or wrong-doing "
" They wanted HIM above all to say he'd accepted what he'd done, they probably would have fined him, then sent him on his way, but he refused to give in to them "
" He always insisted he did not need to take any money to play the records if he liked them "
" On Sunday evenings, at our house in Connecticut, my father would take a few dozen records and play about ten seconds of each one, just a quick sample "
" If he liked it, that week he played it, if he didn't, I used to get 25 cents to cart them out to the trash, there were hundreds of them every week "
" My sister and I would fly them around like Frisbees and we all had a great time "
" He just never thought there was anything wrong in choosing your own records to play "
" Let's put it this way, a lot of the better-established companies took the easy way out "
" ATLANTIC was one of them, what they did was sign what they call a ' Consent Judgement " and what that means is that you're not admitting anything, you just promise not to do it again! "
" Believe me, they found enough in their files ( Atlantic ) to burn them even worse than Freed, but they signed the papers "
" I had the investigation team in my office too, they were everywhere "
" I still don't know how Dick Clark came out of that, I know they liked his clean-cut look and style, and they let him sell-off his holdings, they let him keep that money, but when he's got a partner like Tony Mammerella, how in the heck did Clark get back out there unscathed ? "
To be continued...
The best part of the day...is the night...