Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Colonel's Half

When I grumble about Dick Clark and Clive Davis, keep in mind that there are crooks and hacks going back to way before my time. I don't much like them, either. Yeah, I'm very much aware that we might never have known about Elvis if the Colonel hadn't worked his magic, but 50%? If we're going to give awards for prescience here, shouldn't it go to Sam Phillips or Bob Neal or Dewey Phillips?
Young Mr. Presley and Bob Neal, His First Manager

By the time of Brian Epstein's death, the Beatles, as we were told, were bigger than Jesus Christ. He had done a fine job of putting the fab four in front of us. His real job was over by then. The lads really just needed to agree to a battery of attorneys and accountants by that time.

Sometimes it can be difficult putting up with a diva's attitude. We shouldn't have to suffer the manager's or the producer's or the publicist's as well. There's a reason that we call Ray Charles The Genius, not Ahmet Ertegun.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm a big fan of Leiber and Stoller's. I love almost everything that Huey Meaux recorded. Phil Spector made some masterpieces, as he will tell you. Jack Nitzsche claimed that he was responsible. Heck, even the hacks need hacks.

This land is, indeed, your land. This rock'n'roll is ours, too.

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