I moved to New York from Philadelphia when I was 19. I auditioned for several Broadway bound musicals and quickly realized that being in front of the footlights was not in the cards. I filled out an application to become an agent at the William Morris Agency, arguable the biggest, most powerful force in the entertainment industry then and now.
I began in the infamous mailroom in 1961, working side by side with such other notables as David Geffen (Geffen Records/DreamWorks Films), Bernie Brillstein (Manager to Larry Sanders, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Martin Short, David Spade, etc. Irwin Winkler, film producer of "They Shoot Horses, Don't They","The Mechanic", all the "Rocky" films, "Raging Bull","The Juror","The Net","Goodfellas", and more than a dozen other award-winning films.
Armed with perseverance, an endearing personality and a lot of youthful exuberance, I was plucked out of the mailroom where I was running errands, filling soap dispensers, delivering scripts and contracts, and was promoted to assistant agent under the supervision of two senior agents who handled Bill Cosby, rock, folk and lounge acts, and a new funny sounding named duo ....SIMON & GARFUNKEL. Within a year my hard work, long hours and determination was paying off. A new West Coast band was just breaking out. They heard about me 3000 miles away and asked that I be their main agent. That band is the BEACHBOYS!
About the same time, the British invasion was taking place and I booked part of the first U.S. tour for the ROLLING STONES, as well as THE ANIMALS with Eric Burdon.
One of the most exciting days in my early career was when I convinced my bosses to let me rent a limo to pick up a new unknown British artist named DAVID BOWIE. I picked up DAVID and his manager at JFK Airport and the first thing he said was "I want to see Carnegie Hall." By that time I knew almost all the stage door managers in town and they let us walk the stage. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to work out a deal for his representation. You can't win 'em all.
I capitalized on the success of my clients by doing the best job that could be done, understanding that the reputation I built was going to be the cornerstone to my success.
By the mid 70's, I was representing the lion's share of every major Jazz, R&B and POP group touring, as well as comedians. Some of those clients include Diana Ross,Todd Rundgren,The Temptations,Donna Summer, Peter,Paul &Mary,Al Jarreau,George Benson,The Lettermen, The Association, Teddy Pendergrass,Ashford & Simpson, Miles Davis,B.J.Thomas, Roberta Flack, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick, Barry White,Freddie Prinze, George Wallace, Richard Belzer, Gregory Hines, Robert Klein, "National Lampoon's Lemmings Show" featuring Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, John Beluschi and many other top recording artists and touring attractions of the day. I also booked the first U.S. tour of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and the Bee Gees.
By the 80's, I put together the 1985 re-united tour of CROSBY, STILLS & NASH which parlayed into a five year event. About the same time I also co-represented and booked Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jew Boys, as well as other artists pre-breakout.
I viewed packaging as critical to maximize the artist's audience exposure and all but guarantee a box office success. Putting the TEMPTATIONS & THE O'JAY'S together paid off big time in all the major outdoor summer venues as well as in Vegas, Tahoe/Reno and Atlantic City.
Before I decided to take my knowledge and expertise to the most powerful media of all time, I pumped new life into the careers if Melissa Manchester, Michael Feinstein, David Sanborn, Anne Murray, Three Dog Night, The Moody Blues, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, etc., etc.
I feel strongly that I can guide and direct the careers of hundreds, maybe thousands, by sharing my expertise on the internet. "What an amazingly wonderful time I live in". "Being able to share my wealth of knowledge to the world -- seems to me to be the next natural step in my evolution." "I feel like I can start all over again without the distractions of working for a big talent agency and all the internal problems that go with it--- and that is very stimulating and exciting to me."
If you remember nothing else, remember this....TALENT WILL ALWAYS WIN OUT. "I told that to "The Ohio Players" and in 3 years they headlined at New York's Radio City Music Hall doing 3 nights (21,000 tickets). Years later they reminded me of what I told them. That was a wonderful moment for me. They validated what I've always believed with all my heart....
TALENT WILL ALWAYS WIN OUT.
Here's to your success!