Posts Tagged ‘Regency Artists’

Joan Baez and Elvis Costello

Last week, I was at a benefit for pancreatic cancer research, organized by my former boss at Regency Artists, Triad Artists and Wiliam Morris Agency, Peter Grosslight.  It was a bit of a trip down memory lane, running in to a lot of concert promoters I’m particularly fond of like Jim Koplik, Melissa Miller Ormond, Larry Vallon, Rick Franks and Mark Campana, to name a few from my days as an agent.  I have really great memories of those days.  I also saw Larry Magid (fmr Electric Factory Concerts in Philadelphia) and Ron Delsener, New York concert impresario, both of whom tried unsuccessfully to get me fired because I was selling shows to their competitors.  No hard feelings, I did a lot of business with both after that.  Interestingly, Larry ended up buying the concert business of Stephen Starr, then his biggest competitor, now a successful restauranteur.  

 

One of the artists performing at the benefit was Joan Baez, an artist I worked with when I was an agent.  I remembered trying to convince her to sing some Elvis Costello songs.  At the time, Joan was looking to broaden her repertoire with some contemporary artists.  It seemed like a natural match to me that an artist like Joan, who was so closely aligned with Bob Dylan, master lyricist, would embrace another credible artist like Elvis Costello, another brilliant wordsmith. Unfortunately, I don’t believe Joan ever did sing any Elvis Costello songs; maybe because Linda Ronstadt had already done it, who knows.  I still think that Joan covering a song like “Pills and Soap,” or “Brilliant Mistake” would have been great.  It did get me thinking, who of today’s credible artists would be an interesting discovery for Joan Baez?

 

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Introduction, part 2

While I was in college at UC Davis, continuing my interest in film, I ran the Entertainment Council Film Program – a series of classic films, forgotten gems, and other films that we could rent.  When I graduated, I returned to LA, and tried to plot how I’d get in to the entertainment business.  A guy I’d worked with on the Entertainment Council told me that a great way to start was in the mailroom at a talent agency.  I’d heard stories about people getting their start in the mailroom (I think I’d heard about David Geffen starting at WMA), and that sounded good, so that’s what I set out to do.

I interviewed at all the big talent agencies, William Morris, ICM, CAA.  I still have those interviews vividly in my mind.  At my CAA interview, they told me they’d just hired someone, and it would probably be two or three months before they would have an opening.  In the meantime, through a family friend, I had an interview at a small music agency called Regency Artists.  They were mostly in the adult contemporary business, representing artists like Julie Andrews, Johnny Mathis and Glen Campbell, but knew they were headed into contemporary music.  They made me an offer to start the following Monday.  Just out of college, I was weighing “Monday” with “two or three months,” and “Monday” won.  In retrospect, it was a “Sliding Doors” moment, the other path would have led me to a totally different career path.

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