Photo Credit: Bernie Horowitz
A Rock & Roll Life
I was just thinking about the Beatles Movie, which opens next week. My dad was in the book publishing business in NYC in the 50s and 60s. He was a bit of a loner and my beautiful mother was a social butterfly. He was a pretty anti-semitic guy, at a time when if you told someone they were anti-semitic they’d look back at you in complete disbelief. Who me?
For some reason one of his best friends was a gentleman by the name of Abel Green, legendary editor of Variety for nearly 40 years. I believe Abel was the only Jew my father ever had as a close friend. What the two saw in each other I’ll never know, but in the 60s Abel Green became my rock and roll ticket connection.
You see, Abel Green was old school and while at the time Variety was one of the few major entertainment magazines in the US, there was no way rock and roll was going to be covered by Variety as long as Abel Green was the editor.
But the promoters, managers and record labels kept sending Variety tickets. And that is how I ended up with box seats for the Beatles on the third base line at Shea Stadium and tickets to the Rolling Stones in 1966 with Brian Jones and 1969 at Madison Square Garden with Mick Taylor, in the third row, no less. The list of legendary performances goes on, but you get the idea.
Those early shows, courtesy of Abel Green and Variety, were the beginning of an incredible twenty year run. From 1965 into the late eighties when I saw most of the greatest rock & roll musicians and performances of all time. At the Fillmore East, Boston Tea Party and eventually out to SF and Winterland. Not only had I seen many of the greatest shows, but many of them were produced by Bill Graham, a legend in his own right.
So when people ask me today, why I’m fighting for a world where artists are fairly compensated for their work, I know the answer right away. Music has been my life, it’s payback time.