BRUCE’S MIRACLE — I’ve always been a song man. Play me a great song and I can immediately recognize it. As Sirius’ indefatigable Steve Leeds always says, it starts with the song. A good song is timeless. I was doing some shopping yesterday when on came “Wedding Bell Blues” by The Fifth Dimension from 1969. Sure, it’s a tad corny hearing it now, but I was mesmerized again by the production (thank you Bones Howe), the arrangement and was startled to realize how well it’s held up for all these years.
I still haven’t received the new Bruce Springsteen, and am hearing it in bits and pieces here and there. When news broke about this new album (Western Stars), Bruce himself said it was inspired by the likes of Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell and it was akin to driving through the hills of Laurel Canyon in the 60’s. The first single, the title track is great, but it’s more classic Bruce than anything else I’ve yet heard. I heard another track yesterday, “There Goes My Miracle” which is everything Bruce described the album to be. An amazingly anthemic song; to me it’s more Burt Bacharach than anything else. And, the strings just blew me away. It’s like nothing else out right now and that a plus, but the more I listened to it –and, yes, I did play it a lot- I heard the work of a true artist. Brilliant!
It’s like that great line from Steve Martin movie LA Story, where he says in a voice over at a classic point in the film: How come you don’t know when love begins, but you sure know when it ends.
I’m a Bruce-fan from day one, but this could be among the best things he’s ever written. Just a tremendous effort. Among the best I’ve heard this year. Here’s the lyric video: thingshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbDKBcPsmoQ
ELLIOT ROBERTS PASSES — The kids today may not know the name Elliot Roberts, but back in the 60’s this guy (with a partner named David Geffen, managed the likes of Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young, David Blue, and countless other).
Roberts, always a most affable chap, passed last week. Now, everyone today knows the name of former-Elton John manager John Reid, who clearly always had a huge question mark attached to his name. Roberts, with Geffen, was exactly what a manager is supposed to be. Quality control for everything. Of late, he was also managing some guy named Bob Dylan … ever hear of him? Not to date myself, but he was always one of the good guys and I’m sad he’s gone.
Here’s what Neil Young wrote on his website about Roberts:
My friend for over 50 years, Elliot Roberts, has passed away. We are all heartbroken, but want to share what a great human being Elliot has been. Never one to think about himself, he put everyone else first. That’s what he did for me for over fifty years of friendship love and laughter, managing my life, protecting our art in the business of music. That’s what he did.
He was devoted to each of his kids from the very beginning. He would fly half way around the world just to see his family for one day. That’s just the way he loved them. He was so happy with his soul-mate Dana.
No matter where I was in the world, no matter his other obligations, he was always by the side of the stage as much as he could be.
Elliot was the funniest human being on earth with his uncanny wit and a heart filled with love. You never knew what he was going to say, but almost always a laugh was coming.
Elliot never thought of himself, always someone else. He was my best friend in the world for so many years, and he was so happy for me and the life I had found, with Daryl, my wonderful wife and soul sharer.
All the words in the world could not express my sense of love and thanks to Elliot Rabinowitz and his beautiful family, who adored him. He was there for all of us.
When it came to our business, Elliot guided me through every move. We talked every day. Often I would call him multiple times in a day, arguing, discussing, planning and sharing. He was there for me and protected my music with a fierceness. He loved music and managed over the years many greats, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, David Blue, Tracey Chapman, Tegan and Sara, Crosby Stills and Nash, Tom Petty, The Eagles, among others.
Elliot loved making deals for all of us, saving our publishing rights, ensuring we were treated well, helping book our concerts, as well as booking the Bridge Concert with Marsha Vlassic from the very beginning for over 30 years. He made it happen. This world is forever changed for me, for all who knew him and loved him. His memory shines with love.
Elliot Roberts was the greatest manager of all time.
SHORT TAKES — What pop/jazz group that had a #1 album in Billboard last July, has a new album out next Friday? Can you name the group? The album? Boy, talk about needing management … Monkee-Micky Dolenz wasn’t in Jacob Dylan’s recent curated movie Echo In The Canyon; but, Jacob and his group The Wallflowers cover The Monkees’ “She” on their latest album. Odd, right? How can you do a movie about the Laurel Canyon-sound and not include Dolenz? … Speaking of Micky Dolenz; catch him this Friday on Good Day LA (Fox) … Monday is the album launch for Broadway Records’ Kjersti Long at The Bitter End in NYC. we’ll be on hand a have a full report Wednesday … Looks like the infamous Neil Bogart – who ran Casablanca Records in the madcap-disco 80’s, is next up for a biopic. I knew Neil and if they authentically portray everything that went down, it’ll be a hell of a movie. Interestingly, his son is going to produce the movie; which made me blink maybe once or twice. here’s the official story from Deadline: https://deadline.com/2019/06/neil-bogart-casablanca-records-spinning-gold-samuel-jackson-donna-summer-kiss-gladys-knight-village-people-1202634917/ … Happy Bday Larry Bryant, late of Palm-West.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Vinny Rich; Anthony Pomes; Tony Seidl; Jeff Smith; Jeremy Long; Greg Messel; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; William Schill; Tarzana More; Lance Henriksen; Sigourney Weaver; Ridley Scott; Jim Yukich; and CHIP.