Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pheaturing Danny Goldberg


It's December and I am dreaming of a white Christmas. Actually, I'm dreaming of a melty turquoise Christmas. And sugar plums are fighting lesbian dragons in my head. This LSD-nog is fantastic. Okay, now that I got that off my chest, welcome to the Peverett Phile. Thanks for stopping by. I have a really good entry for you this week, with the Peverett Phile Book Club author Danny Goldberg. Barbara Walters list of “10 Most Fascinating People” has come out. This year, it’s Tiger Woods and nine women he’s sleeping with. By the way, Tiger Woods has changed his name. It's now Cheetah Woods. Police in Texas seized thousands of ecstasy tablets with pictures of Obama’s face on them. The drug dealers chose Obama because the pills make you feel hope and change, and then send you off to a far-away place. If you live in New York, chances are you watched the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. I don’t know why they make such a big deal about it — in California, we light the whole forest. This year, the lights will be partly lit by the sun, in an effort to pretend to care about the environment. Here’s an idea — if you really care about the environment, don’t chop down a giant, 70-year-old tree.
The one positive outcome of the suffering economy is seven million fewer people than last year will be subjected to an office Christmas party. There was some good news today. The unemployment rate actually went down slightly. I guess they hired a bunch of people to work at the unemployment office. Over the weekend a man dressed as Santa Claus robbed a bank. Police described him as armed and merry. Witnesses say the man walked into the bank and said, “Ho, ho, hold up your hands.” Police say that in an unrelated incident a man robbed another bank wearing a Richard Nixon mask. That’s funny — I thought presidents were supposed to rob us and give money to the banks. Have you seen how Obama is looking lately? I think the stress of being President is getting to him, or he is getting dumber. Take a look at this recent picture of him.
The last few weeks I have been showing you some Christmas gift ideas if you are having problems shopping for your loved ones. I found this DVD, and if you have a Twilight fan in your family, and they can't wait for Half Moon to come out, they might like this.

Okay, occasionally on the Phile I like to show you different motivational or inspirational posters that are out there, such as this one.

From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is this week's...

Top Ten Tiger Woods Jokes
10. The police asked Tiger's wife how many times she hit him. "I can't remember," Elin said, "just put me down for a 5."
9. Ping has a new set of irons called Elins. They're clubs you can beat Tiger with.
8. What does Tiger Woods have in common with a baby seal? They've both been clubbed by a Norwegian. (Of course, Elin is actually Swedish. But poetic license is allowed in jokes.)
7. Tiger's other women aren't misstresses. They're provisionals.
6. Did you hear Nike's new motto? Just do me.
5. Tiger crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. He couldn't decide between a wood and an iron.
4. What's the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a golf ball 400 yards.
3. Tiger Woods is so rich that he owns lots of expensive cars. Now he has a hole-in-one.
2. Tiger has a new movie coming out. It's called Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hydrant.
And the number one Tiger Woods joke...
1. One of the women who claims she slept with Tiger Woods says he never talked about golf during sex. Yeah, however, he did keep his head down and his left arm straight.

Pius IX promulgates the doctrine of Immaculate Conception, that the Virgin Mary is free from original sin. Later, she achieves permanent fame when despite of her marriage, she gets knocked up by God.
The day after Pearl Harbor, the 4th Interceptor Command reports two formations of enemy planes approaching Los Angeles, spotted in the San Francisco area. Fortunately, the seagulls do not bomb the city.
Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He was set free four days later. It was discovered that Sinatra, Jr. cooperated with his abductors in their plot. Dad was not proud, nor pleased. Frank Jr. went on to conduct the big band for Frank Sr. and all was well.
Beatle John Lennon shot by a lunatic, Mark David Chapman, outside Lennon's apartment in New York City mere hours after receiving the Beatle's autograph. The National Enquirer is roundly criticized for publishing a fuzzy photograph of Lennon in his coffin, much as they did for Elvis Presley.
Norman D. Mayer barricades himself inside the Washington Monument with hostages and declares that he will blow it up unless all nuclear weapons are dismantled. He is shot by police after 10 hours.
The top elected official in Maricopa County, AZ, declines to resign after a remark that "homosexuals ought to be used instead of animals" for medical experimentation.
Intifada begins in Palestine.
The cities of Leninakan and Spitak are totally destroyed in a massive Armenian earthquake that kills over 50,000.
Actor Robert Downey Jr. sentenced to six months in prison for probation violations related to drug charges.

Today's guest is the President of Gold Village Entertainment (GVE). He has worked in the music business as a personal manager, record company president, public relations man and journalist since the late 1960s. He is the author of the book "Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business", published by Gotham Books (a division of Penguin US) in September 2008, which is the third book in the Peverett Phile Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile... Mister Danny Goldberg.

Me: Hello, Mr. Goldberg, welcome to the Phile. Your book "Bumping Into Geniuses" is the third in The Peverett Phile Book Club, so congrats. Anyway, how are you?

Danny: Good!

Me: I have to say, I loved your book, and couldn't put it down. A friend of mine was reading it and called me saying that my dad was mentioned in it, and a bunch of other names he heard my dad or myself mention over the years. This is actually your second book, right? What was your first book about?

Danny: My first book was called “How the Left Lost Teen Spirit”. And it was published in 2003. It was a rant bout how the political left (with which I agree ideologically had failed to reach out to young people and failed to communicate in a populist way.Of course Obama fixed a lot of that in 2008 but I still think the basic culture of the democrats and liberals is too elitist and that they allow conservatives to trick millions of angry frustrated people into blaming the wrong forces for their problems.

Me: "Bumping Into Geniuses" is a very fitting name for the book, sir. Where did you inspiration for the title come from?

Danny: It's a take off on a saying Ahmet Ertegun the late founder of Atlantic Records used to repeat that David Geffen recounted at Ahmet's funeral. Geffen asked Ahmet how to get rich and Ahmet said "Walk around till you bump into a genius and when you do - hold on and don't let go."

Me: When did you start to write it, and how long did it take? Did you have the idea to write the book for a long time?

Danny: I had the idea for a long time but I started seriously taking notes when Warren Zevon was dying and recording his last album. The Zeon chapter - the last one in the book is actually the first one I wrote. It took me a year or to to create a proposal and after I sold it another year to finish the book.

Me: You mention and tell stories about so many people in the book. Has anyone you talked about in the book read it, and what was the feedback like?

Danny: Zevon's son Jordan has been very sweet as have Patti Smith and Steve Earle as well as Krist Novoselick of Nirvana.

Me: I know my dad would of enjoyed it, but what do you think Kurt Cobain and Warren Zeven would of thought?

Danny: Both of those guys were amazingly supportive of me when they were alive. I hope and pray they would have liked it but you never know how people will or would feel about the way they are written about.

Me: Was it hard to get a book publisher to publish any of your books? I wrote one draft of a biography about my dad titled "Tonsils, Sneakers & Guitars" which I hope to get published one day. Any advice, sir?

Danny: It took some persistence each time. No secrets - the same elements are always useful... persistence, luck and talent. I found that every time I rewrite something it gets a bit better.

Me: Okay, I have to ask you about the Blues Benefit you helped my dad put together. First, can you explain to the readers what it was, and second, who did you first contact about it?

Danny: I had a PR company, one of my clients was Bearsville Records and their best selling artist at the time was Foghat. Foghat was a favorite of rock radio and an amazing live artist but had been pretty much ignored by the rock press and it was my job to remedy that. When I met your dad he talked about how much he loved the blues and it occurred to me that a blues tribute would be something he would really enjoy and I knew the press always covered the old blues guys favorably. I first discussed it with Bearsville President Paul Fishkin and Foghat manager Tony Outeda who liked it. I think the first blues guy we got was Otis Blackwell and we got him through Doc Pomum with whom I had a mutual friend. Doc's credibility was a big help. At that exact time Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker were not hard to get.

Me: My dad always was so proud of the Blues Benefit, sir, so thank you for everything for helping with it. It was shown on PBS, right?

Danny: Foghat The Blues Tribute was shown on "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert". He gave us the whole show. Later it came out in various ways.

Me: I did use one track from it ("I Ain't Got You") for the Foghat "Decades" CD I compiled a few years ago. Do you have anything from it?

Danny: No. Would love a copy.

Me: Were you at that show? My sister and I stayed with a babysitter at a hotel in New York City, so sad to say I wasn't there.

Danny: Yes, it was awesome and I got to shake Muddy Waters' hand.

Me: I was surprised there isn't any pictures in the book, just on the dust jacket. Was that your idea or your publishers?

Danny: It was my idea not to have photos. Every other book I've seen with music execs have lots of posed trade photos and I thought it might give mine a slightly different vibe to do it without that convention. It seemed like a good approach at the time.

Me: What made you choose Kurt Cobain as the cover?

Danny: Publisher's idea. I'd assume because he is the most famous person I wrote about and the chapter about Nirvana is the longest.

Me: You put so much in the book, a lot of info, but is there bits you wrote and took out that you regret, or parts you wanted to put in but forgot?

Danny: I could have written another 50 pages but this was the length the publisher wanted.

Me: When did you first meet my dad, and when was the last time you spoke to him?

Danny: I met him in the seventies about six months before the Blues Tribute took place and repped Bearsville and thus was in touch with him for a year or so. I dealt mostly with Tony Outeda but would say hi when I went to shows. I don't recall seeing him again after that period but there is a lot I don't recall.

Me: I was surprised that you founded Modern Records, which released the last studio album my dad was on, 94's "Return of the Boogie Men". You had sold your share of Modern before then though, right? Do you remember who you sold your half to?

Danny: I sold my half to Atlantic Records. After the second Stevie Nicks album I felt it wasn't a vehicle where I could do that much. Fishkin and I weren't getting along and although we later re-cemented our friendship and I wanted some cash so I sold my half and started Gold Mountain.

Me: By the way, do you remember Nick Jameson? What about Susan DeLeon from Bearsville? I am gonna interview them both for the Phile.

Danny: I remember Nick Jameson vaguley. He had a great reputation creatively but I didn't know him well. There was a woman named Susan Lee who later married a lawyer named Pater Hoffman who worked for Bearsville who I recall but I have not been in touch with for many years. I do not remember anyone named Susan DeLeon.

Me: Mr. Goldberg, your present company is called Gold Village Entertainment? When did you form that company, and what bands do you represent?

Danny: I stared Gold Village three years ago. Our website Goldve.com has an up to date client list. Current clients include The Hives, Steve Earle, The Cranberries, The Old 97s, Rhett Miller, Rickie Lee Jones, Allison Moorer, Tom Morello, School of Seven Bells, Stars, Care Bears on Fire, David Broza, The Grates, Ben lee, Ian Hunter, Joseph Arthur, and A-Camp.

Me: So, do you think any of those bands would like to be interviewed on the Phile?

Danny: Ou clients media is handled by Brady Brock. Will depend on their schedule of course.

Me: What about new bands are out there that you are a fan of, but do not represent? What music do you listen to mostly?

Danny: There are many great new bands but is is band form to covet another manager's clients. At home when I'm not listening to new music to try to stay up to date or to my clients I revert to my taste I had in high school. Bob Dylan, John Lennon, the blues, etc.

Me: You met so many musicians and stars over the years, sir. Is there anybody you met that you were star-struck? Anybody you didn't meet that you would love to?

Danny: I was totally star struck when I met Bob Dylan and even though we released a Pretenders record when I ran Artemis and I met her many times I always got star struck by Chrissie Hynde. I wish I had met John Lennon and Dave Van Ronk.

Me: One person I was star-struck in meeting was Warren Zevon. My dad and I met him at a show in Orlando on his acoustic tour. He was so polite to me, I never for get that. So, reading your book, I was surprised to know you put out his last few albums and that amazing documentary for VH1 which I purchased. That must of been a very hard time, sir. I cried when he was on Letterman for the last time. It must of been very sad for everybody around him. Boy, I wish I had a question here. Do you get emotional when people you worked with pass away, such as Kurt, Warren and even my dad?

Danny: I didn't know your dad as well as I knew Warren and Kurt. Kurt's death was the worst because it was suicide. Warren went like a bodhisatva but miss him a lot. I miss my own dad, Victor, a lot as well who was not a musician but was an amazing dad who had passed away two years ago. I find that sometimes these people visit in dreams and I am very grateful for that.

Me: How do you get over that? You must of been very angry at Kurt, sir. I would of been.

Danny: I was never angry at Kurt - just incredibly sad and for a long time I kept replaying conversations I had with him in my mind wishing I had tried different sentences.

Me: I saw Nirvana in concert a few months before Kurt passed away, which I am happy about. Do you think if Kurt was still alive Nirvana would still be making records and touring?

Danny: Yes.

Me: I have to ask you about the No Nukes movie. That must of been one crazy time for you. When was the last time you watched it, and is it available on DVD? If it is, I have to get it.

Danny: I don't think it's out on DVD. Again I don't own it. I haven't watched it for a decade or so. I am very proud of it. Working with Jackson Browne and the other changed my life for the better.

Me: By the way, what did you think of the documentary Kurt and Courtney?

Danny: Dogshit.

Me: You are a busy man, sir, so I really appreciate you taking time out to do this interview. With your company, being a board member of the NYCLU and everything, this means so much to me you being here. Are you planning on writing a third book? I bet you have lots of stories since the last one, right?

Danny: I hope to write other books but it takes a lot of work and I do better when someone wants to publish one. Fingers crossed.

Me: Please thank Laura for me for helping with this interview, and thank you for everything you done for us music fans over the years. You need to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, sir. Please let me know if I can interview any of the bands you represent, and I wish you and your family well. Thanks again, and hope to talk to you again soon.

Danny: My pleasure.


There you go, that was a long and very good interview. Thanks to Laura Benanchietti for helping out with getting it done, and of course to Danny Goldberg for his time. Also, thanks to Wikipedia. The Phile will be back next Tuesday with Ben Ferris, writer, producer and keyboardist for the cool band The Van Allen Belt. I will also announce what the fourth book is in the Book Club, and announce a joint agreement between this blog and a website. So, have a good week, spread the word, not the turd. Bye, love you, bye.

No comments: