Industry Profile: Elaine Schock
— By Larry
This week in
the Hot Seat: Elaine Schock, president of Shock Ink.
As a major
figure in the music biz swirl, Elaine Schock gives importance and grace to
personalized public relations.
of Los Angeles-based Shock Ink, her strategized advice to her clients may be
discussed, analyzed, and agonized by them over and over; but the clarity, and
passion of her commitment to them inspires journalists the world over.
the best publicist in the world, Elaine Schock," Toby Keith bragged in
Billboard a few years back. "She kicks every other publicist's ass."
Now in its
second incarnation, Shock Ink has a roster that also includes Willie Nelson,
Fred Eaglesmith, David Lee Roth, Gabriel Iglesias,
Heart, and Johnny Gimble.
Among her past
clients are: Billy Joel, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Travis Tritt, Sinead O'Connor, Brooks & Dunn, Annie Lennox,
Roberta Flack, Genesis, Trisha Yearwood, Rhonda Vincent, Dierks
Bentley, Michael W. Smith, Phil Vassar, Melissa Ethridge,
Henry Rollins, Buddy Guy, Harry Connick Jr., Prefab
Sprouts, Lucinda Williams, Technotronic, the Stone
Roses, and the American Music Awards.
directed national media campaigns for the Bangles, Bob Dylan, Huey Lewis &
The News, and Billy Joel, among others. She booked an unknown Natalie Imbruglia on "Saturday Night Live" before her American
debut album shipped to stores; and her aggressive media work laid the
groundwork for the Dave Matthews Band's national breakthrough.
Schock's career began at Island Records in London in the '70s. This
was followed by jobs at Casablanca, ABC, MCA in Los Angeles; and at Columbia,
and Chrysalis in New York before setting up Shock Ink in 1987.
Schock put her business on hiatus to be Sr. VP/Media & Artist Relations at
RCA. She reopened Shock Ink in late 2000 after leaving RCA.
Angeles Daily News once hailed Schock as 'The Queen of Controversy
Schock deftly guided Toby Keith through his public spats with the Dixie Chicks,
and with the late newsman Peter Jennings; dampened the media frenzy surrounding
Billy Joel's divorce from Christie Brinkley; and tried to stick handle past the
media bloodbath that followed Sinead O'Connor's Pope photo shredding incident
on "Saturday Night Live."
You are a music industry lifer?
I am. I will
Can you imagine yourself doing anything else?
No. It is the
only thing I imagine myself doing.
Are you glad you are not handling John Mayer or Taylor
Yeah, I'm very
glad I'm not doing either one of them. Though, the fact is that I love
controversy. It invigorates you to figure out a way out (of a crisis). I've had
my share of controversy. It's heartbreaking because it takes on a life of its
own but also its energizing. You have to figure out a
way, if you can, to plug it up. It's hard with all of the (media) outlets and
everybody focusing on what's going on.
Has the media's handling of these events become more
circus-like in recent years?
I think that
it is much more difficult (to deal with) but (such stories) have always taken
on a life of their own. For example, I handled Sinead O'Connor, and she tore up
a picture of the Pope. She was one of my first clients at my company. I learned
a lot from that. I also learned that a lot of (the life span of a controversy)
is over with what the artist will or will not do. (That story) took on a life
of its own but Sinead also had a life of her own. She had her issues, and the
public certainly had their issues. It was never going to work out for her.
[Sinead O'Connor's career, particularly in the U.S.
nosedived when she appeared on "Saturday Night Live" on Oct.,
3 1992. She performed an a cappella version of Bob Marley's "War" and tore
up a photo of Pope John Paul II. This was apparently intended as a protest over
the sexual abuse of children in the Roman Catholic Church. The following week,
SNL host Joe Pesci held up the photo, explaining that
he had taped it back together, and said that if it had been his show, "I
would have gave her such a smack."]
Were you on the set?
Yes, I was on
the set. Nobody knew that it was going to happen. I had negotiated what she was
going to sing. Everything had to be approved. I had just had a baby, and I had
to go back home and bathe it (between the rehearsal and the show). I came back,
and Sinead had talked to G.E. Smith about changing songs.
He went out of
his way to make sure that she got the second song that she wanted even though
it had not been agreed to in advance. He was the one who went to Lorne Michaels
(executive producer of "Saturday Night Live"), and said, "She's an artist. Let
her change her song."
When I got
there G.E. came to me and said, "This is what we are going to do." I was like,
"'Scarlet Ribbons' is such a beautiful song. Why change it?" That was the song
that she was going to sing originally. G.E. was like, "You don't get it. You
are not an artist" and blew me off. Sinead played me the Bob Marley song, and
it was very nice but it didn't grab me as one of her songs. It certainly wasn't
off the album ["Am I Not Your Girl"]. But, you go with what the artist wants.
Two weeks after "Saturday Night Live" Sinead performed at
the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary tribute concert at Madison Square Garden and was
greeted by a mixture of cheers and jeers. She left the stage in tears.
really unfortunate. That stemmed from "Saturday Night Live."
Did that appearance torpedo her career in America?
helped to torpedo her career. If she had come back with a great record after that,
it would have all changed. The public will forgive you if you are talented, and
if you come back with something that they love.
After her apparent public melt-down,
Britney Spears returned to public favor with a decent album ("Circus") and a
successful international tour. R. Kelly's career appears to be unscathed as
I would have
thought R. Kelly wouldn't have gotten away with it but he did. He came back
with "Ignition" (which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100), and it was
brilliant. R. Kelly's (alleged) video went everywhere, and it wasn't nice. But
he's so talented that he came back (with a hit). People will forgive you for
anything if you can bring them some pleasure.
[After a video of a man purported to be R. Kelly having sex
with an underage girl was released, he was indicted on several counts of child
pornography in 2002. The case went to trial in 2008, with the jury ruling Kelly
not guilty on all 14 counts.]
News cycles seem endless today, and controversies seem to
get ramped up.
there was always the National Enquirer. Everything is bigger today. (A
controversy) does take on a life of its own but it's shorter. I think with John
Mayer that whole problem is going to be over before Playboy is off the stands.
[John Mayer's raunchy Interview in the March,
2010 issue of Playboy has been covered by over 1,500 media outlets. In the
interview, he appears as being racist, and homophobic; and he talks about sex
with Jessica Simpson and about his sexual habits in graphic terms.]
In the Feb. 4 (2010) issue of Rolling Stone, Mayer provided
far too much information about his self-pleasuring habits. Maybe he shouldn't
be doing interviews.
But he can't
Well, he's still young.
young; he's 33. Being 33, you are not that young. He should know better. He has
gotten away with (past comments) because he tweets all of the time. He is used
to giving out information. But he really should stop. He should just play
guitar for awhile. John Mayer is a musician and he
should act like one. He should act like he's got loads
of talent. All of this other stuff, this unfiltered nonsense, doesn't help his
career. At this point, it has hurt him it but that can change easily.
Taylor Swift is big on Facebook and Twitter.
That's part of
her allure. And she does connect (with fans).
Tweeting is like having no filter to the public. When an
artist is being interviewed, there's usually a publicist or manager involved.
With Twitter, that filter is taken away.
taken away, and because (artists) are used to it, it becomes a habit. Some are
addicted to it. It is one of those things where there's no filter. John Mayer
doesn't have a filter. A lot of people don't have filters. I was reading (an
interview with) Sandra Bullock where she's talking about her surprise for
husband which was having her pubic hair made into a
heart. I'm thinking, "Where's her filter?" She's an Oscar nominee. Don't tell
people this. It is unnecessary.
[This year Sandra Bullock garnered her first Oscar
nomination for her portrayal of real-life Good Samaritan Leigh Anne Tuohy in "The Blind Side"].
It was initially reported that the moonshine and marijuana
bust of Willie Nelson's band members involved him.
anywhere near there.
You've worked for Willie for 6 years. How do you work with
Willie when everybody wants to interview him?
do (all interview requests) anymore. Willie does a few interviews. Because I
know he will do, maybe, a few interviews, it's the ones with the most bang for the buck.
Would you take TV over print?
necessarily. It depends. We do really well with print, and it really works for
Willie. The TV stuff we will do, but it's time consuming so I'm really
selective. This really works for Willie. He sells a lot of records.
Everybody wants Toby Keith as well.
is different. What Toby will give me is a lot more than what Willie will give
me. Willie, however, is giving me a lot more now than he did, say, a year ago. It really depends on what Willie is doing.
Willie records all of the time; he tours all of the time. He wants to golf and
have a family. He is the busiest artist I've ever met. Toby will give me a
couple of weeks, but he will work non-stop.
Johnny Gimble's new album,
"Celebrating With Friends." was released Feb. 16th on CMH Record. It features
Willie, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, and Garrison Keillor as well as the album’s
producer Ray Benson.
How do you work an album by a legend who
is now in his 80s and was a member of Bob Wills' famous swing band, the Texas
You push it
where you can. You push it country because Johnny does have that. You push it
Texas because he's there. Then you shoot for mainstream (media) and hope for
the best. It's been a fight. All of the (media) things I wanted initially I got
a lot of them. But a lot of times people just ignore that it's Johnny Gimble. I think he deserves better, but everybody is
getting involved in other things, and they don't do as much on him as they
should. He is available for interviews, and I have made that perfectly clear.
The media overlooks so many iconic figures today.
And they won't
always be here. Because they won't always be here, this is really the time to
take the opportunity (to do an interview). When it's too late, it's too late.
They have missed an enormous opportunity to talk to a legend. It is beyond me
why everybody wouldn't say, "I need this interview." It's history. You only get
to talk to these historical people for so long.
Alan Jackson's new album "Freight Train" will be released
March 30th. The title track was written by Fred Eaglesmith. Not bad for a Canadian singer/songwriter
who is supposedly flying below the radar.
I think Fred
would tell everyone that he's flying under the radar but I don't think he
really is. He had the Miranda Lambert cover ("Time to Get a Gun") and Toby had
a cover of his (with "White Rose"). I love Fred. He's a brilliant artist. He's so much fun to watch. I steal all of his jokes. If you
haven't seen 10 Fred Eaglesmith shows then you are
selling yourself short. He's everything you want an artist to be. He's very
sweet, funny, and he's very smart. I'm dying to post his new songs. They are so
There is a lack of music trade press today.
There is no
trade press, really. You do get straight-ahead trade press but it's all straight-ahead.
It's all the news that fits. Only a small group of people read. Billboard, Even
when it was big, only a small group of people read it. (Freelance journalist)
Melinda Newman will do (music industry-related stories) sporadically (in
newspapers) like the Washington Post but she doesn't often have the normal
(big) outlets. And, Phyllis Stark just started her (industry) newsletter (Stark
In the '70s Robert Christgau wrote
that there were five powerful American music critics critical to a new artist's
career. You can't say that today.
No, you can't.
If you didn't have those five important writers agreeing on an artist, you were
basically screwed. They all loved Tom Petty, for instance, but not everybody
likes Tom Petty. So it's better (today). Instead of having those important
writers, there's something for everyone.
You worked with Billy Joel for years.
I was his
publicist for 14 years. I took him on when I was working with Howard Bloom (the
Howard Bloom Organization). I didn't want to. In those days, I was so punk.
Howard wanted me to do Billy Joel. I ended up liking Billy a lot.
You handled his media when he and Christie Brinkley divorced
in 1994. You deliberately broke that story.
We broke it
where we thought it would do the least damage. We also broke it soon so nobody
else could get it. I knew well ahead of time that (the divorce) was coming. So
we had figured out how to do it with (the divorce) not being scandalous.
Billy Joel is an artist still largely misunderstood by the
I think a lot
of it has to do with the fact that he didn't have filters either (years ago). I
had to talk to him at length about this. He would get hurt (by media
criticism). I would have these long conversations with him, and say to him, "If
you start feeling angry, just call me. I will talk you down. Don't call anyone
without calling me first." It took a long time before that took. It could be an
interview with a publication that had 3,000 readers and, at the same time, he
would be on the cover of Rolling Stone. He would only think of how
misunderstood he was by that journalist who only had 3,000 readers.
How does an artist handle bad reviews?
I tell all of
the artists--and they all get taken aback by this--but
I say, "Don't read your reviews. For one, you are never as good as they say you
are; and second, you are never as bad. The good reviews will say that you are a
God." That kind of thing messes (artists) up forever. It is among the worst
things that can happen to artist when they start believing that.
Rod Stewart has been vilified by
music journalists for years; he's had numerous mediocre albums; but all the
bad media kept him alive in the public's eye.
It is one
thing for media to keep you alive; it is another thing to want respect. Rod
Stewart was never as respected as he should have been. And he's even less
respected today. He's much better than that.
His recent R&B album "Soulbook"
And he won't
get the respect (from the media) because he lost it long ago.
Artists often say that many newspaper concert reviews are
I have seen
reviewers leave a show and report on it like they were there the entire time. I
have complained to editors. If I knew the editor pretty well, I would say that
this is a pretty bad review but the (reviewer) didn't see the whole show. The
fact is that the reviewer went to the show disliking the artist--fair
enough—but, at least stay, for the whole show.
You get retractions but editors don't always believe you.
For example, I handle David Lee Roth. Two years, there was a fake David Lee
Roth in Canada. I told (journalists) that it was a fake David Lee Roth and they
didn't believe me because the police had said, "No. We have David Lee Roth. We
saved him from his peanut allergy." David Lee Roth doesn't have a peanut
allergy, and guy doesn't even look like David Lee Roth. I was insulted for
The fake David Lee Roth, dressed in flashy rock-star duds,
bought drinks for people in a bar, and got up and sang.
Finally, I said (to the journalists) "You guys are
wrong. I don't care what the police say. David Lee Roth was singing in front of
20,000 people at Madison Square Garden that night." Finally, they checked that
out. But they didn't believe me when I first called. They thought I was lying.
[A wire service story reported that two Ontario Provincial
Police officers had stopped David Lee Roth in a rented car for erratic driving
near Oakland, a hamlet south of Brantford, Ontario. The story said the officers
saved Roth after he suffered a severe allergic reaction to nuts while driving.
A follow-up article reported that Roth, after spending the
evening in Brantford General Hospital, left with two nurses and strutted to the
nearby Liquid Lounge, where he performed with a local band.
The two officers, hospital employees, and club patrons all
thought they had spent some quality time with Diamond Dave. However, on May 23,
2008, the day the accident happened, Roth was performing at Madison Square
Garden with Van Halen.]
What media would you try to attract for a debut album by a
new pop band with members in their mid-20s? Not young kids.
You take it to
the same places you have always taken it. The New York Times,
the Los Angeles Times, and where (a story will be) syndicated. You still
go to Rolling Stone. You go to the places that you have always gone. And, you
do that with even younger acts. You still want to be legitimate. That's
important. For someone new, they need to be legitimate. They can't just be a
How about a music project by a new young teen artist?
You start with
the Disney Channel if you can. You do whatever you can with Nickelodeon. Try
and get those choice awards (Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and Fox's Teen Choice
Awards). You meet with all of the teen magazines. You give them everything you
can beauty-wise because, for teens, that matters more than anything. Then you
try and get the legitimate (mainstream) publications.
The way that Taylor Swift broke was going to her base which is country.
She's so cute
that it was hard not to like her. She could also go to the glamour magazines,
Seventeen and Teen Vogue.
When you were growing up in the Valley (San Fernando Valley)
in North Hollywood, did you have much music in the house?
We did have
music in the house, but we had to blast it loud because my parents were so hard
of hearing. My mom liked the Beatles, and Johnny Mathis as well as (the
soundtracks) "West Side Story" and "South Pacific."
You worked in London in the '70s?
I went to
London from Los Angeles after high school. I wasn't even 18. I graduated from
high school early. I went over there on a fluke because in those days (young)
people went over to Europe. It took me no time at all to get a job. I knew
people in the record business, and I worked at Rolling Stone for about a week,
and then at Island Records for the rest of the time I was there.
Rolling Stone then had a British version.
I was the
receptionist for a couple of days but I ended up having a roommate who worked
there. William Burroughs would come over for dinner, and so would John Paul
Getty (III), the kid who lost his ear (during a kidnapping in 1973).
Then you got a job as a file clerk at island Records.
I was just a
kid; I worked cheap; and I was bright. It was so impressive to me that all of
these artists that I'd known about would come in including Traffic and Sandy
Denny. I loved Sandy Denny. I loved all of those (Island artists) because they
hung out (at the office).
And I learned
a lot because it was a roundtable system. That's how Chris (owner Chris
Blackwell) wanted everything. So you always knew what was going on.
got fired, I was put in as a junior publicist. They paid me $100 a week and I
took newspaper articles, pasted them on regular paper and filed them. Brian
Blevins was the chief press officer, and there was Nick Hepburn and Vivien
Goldman and me in the press office. Vivien gave me her
apartment on Bonchurch Road (in London) which she had taken over from Chrissie Hynde.
Being so young and American, British music journalists and
artists would have loved you.
I was the "in
girl." Everybody loved me. The artists loved me. Having a teenager who had an
American accent was different than anyone had known. It made me extremely
You got kicked out of Britain by the government?
I didn't have
a work permit. So after three years (the Home Office) came down on me. I was
told that I had 48 hours to leave the country. I wasn't even 20. So leaving the
country meant nothing to me. Okay fine, so my adventure is over. I left Bonchurch Road. It was easy to leave. I had nothing. It
took some time before they really came after me. I knew they were going to come
after me, but I wasn't deported. I have been able to go back there.
You then came home to Los Angeles and landed a job in the
publicity department at Casablanca Records.
I had learned (about publicity). Once you've learned, you can be anywhere.
Being at Casablanca was completely the opposite of island. Being young, I still
didn't get the respect. Susan Munao was the head
publicist and I worked as her head assistant.
Was LA then a tough town to break into the music business?
I never had
any trouble breaking into anything. I never had any trouble walking into the
music business. Being cute was really helpful. It helped me through my career
(in the music industry). People helped me along the way. If you were good at
what you did, and you were cute--and were not promiscuous—they will help.
(Male peers) have to want you, but they also have to admire you. Having all of
those things really worked in my favor.
That meant never dating musicians.
dated a musician. I would turn them down nicely. (A relationship with a
musician) is the fastest way to ruin a career. Even in
those early days, when I didn't think of this as a career, I knew better. I
knew from being at the label, and witnessing all of that (behavior). If I
wanted to be taken seriously, even for a short period of time, I had to behave
After Casablanca, you worked at ABC Records and MCA
In those days,
you could get job offers really easily. There were a lot of record companies.
If you kind of became a star at one record company another record company
At 21, you left MCA to head to New York.
MCA was so
dull. I did get to work the Rossington-Collins Band.
That was cool but they were totally crazy. I got to work Donnie Iris and a few
artists that were really good. But everything there was so stiff and corporate.
I was still single and I hadn't been (to New York) much before.
In New York, you worked for music industry publicist Howard
I had a lot of
friends at Rolling Stone, and (editor) Jim Henke got me that job. Howard had a
great client list. I also knew Paul Nelson (a pioneer of rock criticism who was
instrumental in launching and supporting the careers of Bob Dylan, the New York
Dolls, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne and Warren Zevon).
I could tell how legendary he was by being around him. He had that blond hair, the hat and he only smoked Sherman’s (Nat Sherman
cigarettes). The (veteran) New York music writers were all so crazy. Being
young, it was great to hang out with them. Working with Billy Joel kind of
changed my life. I married one of his consultants. Later, Billy became one of
my first clients when I opened my PR firm in New York.
As an associate director of publicity at Columbia Records,
you worked with the Bangles, Billy Joel, and Bob Dylan.
I did indeed.
I worked with all of them. Al Teller was my boss. He ran Columbia (as its
You were still pretty young.
When I worked
at Columbia, I didn't know how important (veteran producer) John Hammond was in
the music business. I found out much later. He had an office there. I knew him
because I would see him every day, but I didn't know him to work with. He was
much older at that point. He was very gentlemanly. I didn't know how important
he was or anything about a bunch of other people that were around. (Beat poet)
Allen Ginsberg would hang out at Columbia office every day. He would always be
in the office next to me talking to (Columbia A&R man/publicist) Arthur
Levy. He just looked like some schlump to me.
You worked briefly at Chrysalis Records in the late '80s.
I was at
Columbia when Chrysalis offered me this great job. I had wanted to be sole
director (of publicity), and they had offered that to me. I explained that I
was pregnant, and would take maternity leave. They were fine with that. By the
time I started at Chrysalis, the person who had hired me had left. The person
that had taken over his job did not want somebody like me. It was a bad situation.
But the artists really liked me.
You have represented numerous country acts like Trish
Yearwood, Brooks and Dunn, Dierks Bentley, and Phil
Vassar over the years. You work with Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and often with
Nashville is renowned for being a tight shop. Did you have
trouble breaking in there being a LA-based publicist?
Yes, I think I
did. But once you have a success, people kind of throw away whatever notions that they have. Success is everything. It changes
your world. The first country artist that I took on when I restarted my
(independent) career was Toby Keith. From there a lot of other artists hired me
even though I am from LA. It is always pointed out that I am from LA. But there
isn't a country publication I don't know or I don't have a relationship with or
I am not close to.
Nashville is a difficult world to break into.
When you worked at RCA Records did you handle country acts?
No. None because Joe Galante was the
president of RCA Records (in New York) before I got there. It was a
tough road for him to break into. RCA had had some terrible years. Joe kind of
paid the price for a lot of that. So when he had agreed to go to Nashville (as
head of RCA Nashville in 1982) the agreement was that the Nashville and the New
York companies would be fully separate. So I never worked with any country
people. We never communicated. If any of our artists went down to Nashville,
they had nothing to do with the Nashville RCA office.
Was there the same separation when you were at Columbia
same separation. I didn't deal
with any country artists, except for Roseanne Cash who was not considered a
country artist there. We worked her at pop.
As an independent publicist you handled Mary Chapin
Carpenter while she was still signed with Columbia.
didn't really want to be a country artist but that was where she kind of
existed while at Columbia Records. So she hired me. My job was to get her out
of the country music area. That wasn't hard because she's from DC, and she had
such great songs.
When Toby Keith plans a major tour do you discuss a
publicity strategy together?
sure. But lot of things
Toby does take on a life of their own because Toby
hits a chord with certain people. They will blame him for the war, for example.
It's just one of those things.
He's a lightning rod for certain things.
He is and I
know that going in.
It's also part of his appeal.
It is but he's
bigger than that. He's a great artist -- a really great artist. A lot of that
gets overshadowed by how he is perceived I think.
Well, with "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," and
"American Soldier" Toby hit a nerve with non-conservatives.
Well the thing
is that Toby is not that right wing. But people will think he's a right wing
jerk. If you ask them why, they can't tell you because he's not. It is one of
those things that I fight against.
American society is heavily polarized today. The George W.
Bush years were very polarizing.
Yes, and I
think the Barack Obama years are as well. I think that the Bush years were
polarizing because of the war. Now there's the war but the war is kind of not
(America's) big priority. It's healthcare or the economy. So the war is in the
background, and it doesn't polarize this country. Everything else does.
The so-called feud between Toby and the Dixie Chicks was a
bit about nothing wasn't it?
It was one of
those things that we stepped away from almost as soon as it began. Obviously, I
paid a little more attention to their remarks. But Toby didn't participate much
in that fight. They did. They participated in that fight. They didn't really
want to let it go. Then it kind of bit them in the butt.
[Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks' lead singer Natalie Maines began trading jabs after the release of his song
"Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" in 2002. Maines
declared that Keith was making country music sound "ignorant."
Keith's response was to disparage Maines' songwriting
abilities. In Aug. 2003, Keith said he was done feuding with Maines because he "realized there are far more important
things to concentrate on."]
Toby recent swing through the UK, Norway, and Sweden,
coupled with Taylor Swift's recent success in the European market, gives hope
that Europe may be ready to embrace American country acts again.
His tour was
totally successful. He should go back there soon and work on that momentum. The
labels don't think that country works over there but they are wrong. Toby sold
out everywhere. There were lines around the block. And Toby Keith is country
music. There's no two ways about it. You cannot classify him as pop or anything
else. He is country music. He sold out everywhere. It was a huge. And Toby did
well with media there. So going back, the media will be even better.
There's the story that he was encouraged to play Europe
after meeting some fans from Norway in an airport.
His album was
platinum in Norway so it didn't come as a big surprise. But, I think him
getting that kind of feedback certainly inspired him to tour there. I was
really glad that he did. But he had the platinum record before that.
Few labels give tour support to country artists to tour
Europe or the UK anymore. After successes there in the
late 90's with Shania Twain, the Mavericks, and LeAnn Rimes. Nashville backed
away from trying to break acts over there.
away because some acts didn't happen there. So the record companies think
country doesn't mean anything there. That's why they aren't marketing country
over there. Now that Toby has happened, there will certainly be more artists
going over there.
Your husband, author/journalist Mikal
Gilmore is also a client.
I met Mikal when he was doing a Donna Summer story when I was at
Casablanca Records. I would help (journalists) find research material. He asked
me to look for some newspaper clippings. Then he and I became good friends. We
just clicked. He's my best friend forever. Whenever he releases a book-- he's
working on one now—I will set up his interviews.
[In 1977, Gilmore's brother Gary was executed by a firing
squad in Utah for shooting two young Mormons. Mikal
Gilmore's 1995 memoir, "Shot in the Heart," detailed his relationship with Gary
and their often troubled family, continuing through to Gary's execution and its
aftermath. In 2001, "Shot in the Heart" became an HBO film. In 2009 Gilmore
released another book, "Stories Done: Writings on the 1960's and its
I didn't read
"Shot In The Heart" until I helped Mikal work on it
for HBO. I knew enough about his life not to read it. Reading it was a huge
thing for me. But I have always loved his writing.
Larry LeBlanc was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard
from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a
co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on
music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, the
London Times and the New York Times.