Wednesday, May 30, 2012


He will be forever known as "Chip Douglas", the third son of Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray) on the long running TV series "My Three Sons". But Stanley Livingston has accomplished much more in his long career that is still going strong. The multi faceted actor recently released a revolutionary DVD series " the Actor's Journey Project" , which he produced and directed, as an insider's guide to breaking into the industry. I had the great pleasure to speak with Stan about this and his amazing career...

MICK: How did you get the role of Chip on "My Three Sons"?
STAN: I'd been working for about five years in the industry by that time. At that point, I had a little bit of a reputation in the industry. I'd done a whole bunch of "Ozzie and Harriett" shows. I started my career there in 1955 as the neighborhood kid. Did a lot of TV shows back in those days and started doing movies too. I did "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" with Doris Day and David Niven, "Rally Round the Flag Boys" with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and a few other feature films. By that point in time, the producers asked to see me. I came in and was cast almost right on the spot! I was the first one hired besides Fred MacMurray. They had to put the rest of the cast together and that took another six months. They finally had William Frawley, Tim Considine, and Don Grady to complete the original cast.
MICK: When "My Three Sons" first went on the air in 1960, ABC got Fred MacMurray to play the dad Steve Douglas. He was a big movie star at that time. How did he adjust to TV work?
STAN: It probably doesn't resonate as much now but when Fred MacMurray came to do "My Three Sons", it was unprecedented, to be truthful about it, that a movie star of that caliber would actually come and do the daily grind of a TV series. Most of the big movie stars, if they did TV at all, would maybe do a Bob Hope special or an episode of Lucy. They weren't up to doing the 36 episodes we did in those days that would curtail their movie careers. Fred had just adopted twins, Katie and Laurie. They were pretty young then and he wanted to stick close to home and not go off for months doing a movie. It sounded like a good thing for him. He was half owner of the show with Don Fedderson. It was a nice little gig he had going!
MICK: How was veteran actor William Frawley on the set?
STAN: He was great! He was probably my favorite person/character on the set. We kind of bonded because I didn't have a grandfather and he never had any kids. I don't think he liked kids. I looked up to him because at that point in time I was a big fan of "I Love Lucy". I used to play hooky from school to watch "I Love Lucy" at 9:00am and then have a miraculous recovery at 9:30am! My parents got wise to that one! He was great. He was a crusty old guy, always cursing four letter words. Taught me every four letter word I know!
MICK: After William Frawley, there was William Demarest!
STAN: Yes, Demarest came in the fourth year. Frawley was having some health problems and the studio basically couldn't get him insured. They had to let him go and needed to replace that character. Fred MacMurray worked with William Demarest quite a bit. Somehow he came to their attention as he was so much like Frawley. So he was cast as Bub, the brother to the grandfather on the show. He continued with the cooking, cleaning and vacuuming. He made a great domestic maid! Wish I could find one of them myself!
MICK: Do you have a favorite episode?
STAN: I like the one with the lion [Season 6 Episode 5 There's a What in the Attic]. That was a cute episode. A circus is in town and a lion gets loose. Everybody has a near miss with the lion. We had another one called "Happy Birthday World" [1966 Season 7 Episode 9]. In that one, we had pie fights like the Keystone Kops. that was fun to shoot. My favorite episodes are the ones shot in black and white. There was a different style of writing for those. They were really heartfelt and portrayed the family values that struck a chord with American families.
MICK: You started out on "The Ozzie and Harriett Show". They were a real family. Was that different from working with a make believe family?
STAN: There really wasn't much difference from working with the surrogate family I had on "My Three Sons" except they were actually a real family. The Nelson kids were great. We came into the show when the Nelson boys were getting a little older. Ozzie, in his infinite wisdom, decided to get some younger people on the show as neighborhood kids. We did all kinds of episodes. Ozzie was a gentle director to work with. That fostered my interest in the business. I was pretty lucky there and I've worked with some monsters too. The movie "How The West Was Won" is another story. Henry Hathaway and John Ford, living legend directors of that era, were really tough guys.
MICK: They were tough to work for?
STAN: They were very temperamental, yelling and screaming at everybody. They had a pretty tense set going, not just for the actors but the entire crew. They didn't take any guff from anybody. They would scream and curse you out even if you were a six year old kid!
MICK: Your brother Barry Livingston was on the show with you. Do you have any other brothers or sisters in the business?
STAN: Barry and I actually did one episode of "Ozzie and Harriett" together. It was the very last episode I did because I found out I'd been hired for "My Three Sons". We actually worked together one time before that in the film "Rally Round The Flag Boys". Barry got fired from that because he wasn't paying attention. We were suppose to be watching TV when Paul Newman walked in and starts talking to us. My brother didn't look like he was looking at the TV set and by noon, the director was really frustrated with him. He said "This kid has crossed eyes!" and decided that no son of Paul Newman's was going to have crossed eyes. So by One O'clock, we had a new brother on the set and Barry was fired! My younger brother, who is ten years younger than me and my sister is thirteen years younger. When they were younger they did a few things. My sister did commercials and did a movie with Elliott Gould called "I Love My Wife". My younger brother did a few
"Waltons"episodes but he wasn't really cut out for it. At that point, my mom wasn't up to fostering another career!
MICK: Do you keep in touch with Don Grady?
STAN: Yes, we used to see each other a couple times each year. We email and phone each other. The same thing with Tim Considine, who played my older brother Mike. I see him quite often, maybe three or four times a year. He's older than me and he's like a real older brother. Don is like a real older brother too! And my younger brother on the show is my real younger brother!
MICK: Please tell me about The Actor's Journey Project!
STAN: After "My Three Sons", I got involved in production. I started producing small stuff like industrial educational films and I worked my way up to producing a feature. Having been in the industry for most of my life, I recognized that many people went to acting school and tried to get in the business. The fact is that there's over a 99% failure rate of people who are trained. What happens is that you graduate and then try to get a job in the business and within a year or two, most of these people are gone! There's this thing called the business that's in show business and that's not taught to you in acting class. So we put this program together. I'm the guy who organized this whole thing and brought 100 people together from within the industry that includes actors, directors, producers, executive producers, casting directors, talent managers. It also included the president of the Screen Actors Guild and the Screen Directors Guild at that time. This
program was put to together for actors that is totally dedicated to getting them into the industry and teaching the business skills that they need to know to actually facilitate a career. It was no small task. It took around three years to get the entire thing shot and another couple years to edit. There are two different programs because we realize there wasn't one program that fits all. There's one program for the adults 18 years and older. This is people who come into the industry just after they graduate and they're usually doing it for themselves. It's pretty easy to get lost in this industry. Nothing happens and there's nobody there to help you. You may get a job or two but it's how you sustain the whole thing is another story. There's no information out there, not even on the internet. This program is a ten hour program called "The Actor's Journey". At the same time, we shot another program for parents who want to involve their children in the
industry. That's for children from infancy to seventeen years old. The parents really need to know what's going on to stay in the business. The child may have the talent but it's the parents who are fostering the career. They need to know what they're involved in.
We have cottage industry of scam artists in this industry. They recognize your desire to get in but they also recognize that you are pretty naive on the business side of it and they exploit that. The second project is called "The Actor's Journey For Kids" and it's not really for kids, it's for the parents of children and teens who want to get in the business.
One of the criteria's for people involved with the project is that they must be in the industry for at least twenty years or more. They all have huge credits. The information they share is something you can't find anywhere else. I produced and directed the project. It was done through my company "First Team Productions". The information we have here is timeless and it doesn't matter where you live.
MICK: Where is "The Actor's Journey Project" available?
STAN: If you go to the, that will send you to the two websites, one is "" for adults and the other is"" for children 17 and under. On the website, you can read about the project and see the 100 people involved with it. Their list of credits is unbelievable. We involved and engaged people of the highest level to make sure this information is more than accurate. You are getting it straight from the horse's mouth instead of the junk that's on thInternetet.
MICK: You are also an accomplished glass artist. How did that come about for you?
STAN: That resulted from spending a lot of years on a sound stage and trying to entertain myself while not making a lot of noise. I was always interested in art. I certainly had the time to do it! Oils, watercolors, pen and pencil, ink, I did it all. I eventually got interested in stained glass. You're not only working on a canvas, you're working on a glass canvas which means you're working with light as well. I have a website for my art "". I really haven't done anything in a while because I've been busy with production. You can see when I've already done and hopefully may do iagainan in the future. Tiffany glass has always been a favorite of mine. When you see that, you realize what actually can be done or the degree to which glass can emulate paint. They were amazing at putting these windows together with the highlights and the shadows. It's not like what most people think of stained glass. Around 1980, I had some time off and
decided to do my art for a while. That's when I got into glass art. I wasn't really looking to sell anything but I was starting to get commissions to create some pieces.
MICK: Do you still paint?
STAN: I haven't had time. I went back into production about ten years ago. We did a feature, a TV series that I directed, and the Actor's Journey thing that took up a good chunk of my life. I thought it would be a four or five year thing but it took much longer. The economy slowed things down. I have a production company that I'm involved as a producer and director. I'm doing a project right now with a guy named Steve Railsback. He's the guy that played Charles Manson in the movie "Helter Skelter". I'm producing a movie that he is directing. We are hoping it goes into production later this year. I have another script that I've been working on for over a year that deals with the Beatles.
MICK: "My Three Sons" ended in 1972. Your character had got married at that point. As the character of Chip, what do you think would have happened to him?
STAN: I probablwouldn'tnt have stayed married to Polly! I think everybody got a divorce in those days. I think Chip might have become a photographer or something creative. It's funny because we actually talked about that at one point of time. We decided Ernie would have become an engineer, Don would have definitely become a musician either with a rock band or writing jingles for commercials.
MICK: Is your daughter in the entertainment business?
STAN: No she's not.
MICK: What are your future plans?
STAN: My future is getting shorter and shorter! I will be 62 this year. I wanted to do this project for the acting community. I wanted to put something back into the industry along with the 100 other people that helped me. If this is the last thing I do, I can say I did at least two great things to be remembered by. Not matter what I do, I will always be remembered from "My Three Sons". And this other thing, I'd like to think it has some merit. Everybody that has seen it has been blown away. I'm really proud that I did this and took the time off to do it. My main indenture right now is to push ahead with production work, either as a producer or a director. I have about four or five different things on my plate right now. Hopefully, that is what I hope to be doing until I fall over! I don't want to be locked up somewhere doing nothing so I hope I'm on a movie!

This interview was previously posted on: http//

For more information on Stanley Livingston:

Monday, May 14, 2012

VONDA SHEPARD Comes to New York!

Long before Ally McBeal, Vonda Shepard was making a splash in the musical world with her raw talent and sheer determination to succeed. Once she was signed to appear as a regular on "Ally McBeal", millions more soon found out about Vonda as she recorded over 500 songs for the show. Today, she continues to record and add to her amazing resume! Her new CD "Solo" has just been released and Vonda is touring to support the CD. I had the greatest pleasure to talk with Vonda the other evening from her California home...

MICK: Your new CD "Solo" sounds awesome. When and why did you decide to record a CD with just you and your piano?
VONDA: Several months ago, I was talking to my European record label and they said "Let's do an interim solo project". I'm still writing my next album and it's taking a while. We could do this in between. He wanted to do this and rerecord some previous stuff. As I thought about it, there are so many fans out there who have requested this of me, including playing a tour solo. I had been too intimidated and vulnerable to go on the road by myself on stage but I did it! I did the record, went to Europe and toured. It was very exciting and powerful!
MICK: Did it take long to record?
VONDA: Not long at all. We did around 3 songs a day so it took about four days to record. Then it took a few days to mix it.
MICK: Your rendition of "Walk Away Renee" is great! Has anybody from The Left Banke heard it yet?
VONDA: No they have not heard this yet! If they have, I would be shocked!
I love that song and I remember hearing their rendition of it and Riki Lee Jones did it also. That song and "You Belong To Me" are the only covers on the album because those are songs I identify with.
MICK: "Solo" is your fifth collaboration with your husband, producer Mitchell Froom. How is he different from other producers you've worked with?
VONDA: Before I ever met Mitchell or worked with him, I was a big fan of his. His records were my favorite records, especially Crowded House. I used to study his production and tried to emulate his style when I recorded. On the album "It's Good, Eve"[1996], I would ask myself "What would Mitchell Froom do here?". When I started to work with him, I really saw why his records sounded so good and unique. He really is the master of deconstructing and adding space where it needs it. The changing of one chord that will make the whole song go to another dimension that the artist would never have thought of. It could be just a passing chord or a bass note change. I'm very lucky to be able to work with him!
MICK: On your current tour that comes to BB Kings in NYC on May 21, are there other musicians with you?
VONDA: Yes there are! I was going to come solo because that's what I've been doing. But I thought it would be fun to do a little run with the guys. We have a lot more fun with the three of us! We have James Ralston on guitar. He was with Tina Turner for 22 years! A fantastic rhythm guitar player and he sings like a lead singer. On bass is Jim Hanson. We've been playing together for over 14 years now. He has played with Johnny Cash, Bruce Springstein, Rodney Crowley...some great people! We do anything from very intimate, where we just have acoustic guitar and bass, then just build it up to the big soul section!
MICK: Growing up, who did you admire?
VONDA: I admired the hardcore singer/songwriters of the 70's...Carole King, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor. I was hugely influenced by Candi Staton, Chaka Kahn and Stevie Wonder.
MICK: You've met most of them, right?
VONDA: I've met Chaka and Stevie; I've worked with Jackson Browne and I've been on the road with James Taylor. I've met Carole King. I still haven't met Aretha Franklin!
MICK: Do you keep in touch with Calista Flockhart [from their work together on Ally McBeal]?
VONDA: Calista is one of those friendships where if I ran into her today on the street, we would give each other a huge hug and it would seem like
yesterday! She and I had this kind of connection. We don't really stay in touch. We speak maybe twice a year and attempt to have dinner, but we are both very busy with our children and our careers. We both live in LA where everybody is busy!
MICK: When you write a song, what comes first for you...the words or the music?
VONDA: Usually is kind of gibberish and the melody with a couple chord changes. I have to interpret and edit the gibberish and try to discover what my sub conscience is trying to say and what feels good to sing. Usually there is one word or one sentence that defines the song. Sometimes it's a really bad sentence but it sounds good and I keep going over and over it. Try to make it something that is well written and also sounds good to sing!
MICK: When you are writing, what inspires you?
VONDA: Relationships are a big subject for me and most people. Working out problems with people that you can't necessarily communicate to the person. Nature inspires me a lot. Many of my songs have images of the beach or the rain in some way. Sitting in a cafe and watching the people and make up stories about their lives is something I like to do. I miss that because now I have a little boy and I don't have the liberty to sit for two hours!
MICK: What are some of your favorite venues to play?
VONDA: There's a place in Paris called La Cigale. I've played Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado and adore it! I love playing outside, especially when the sun is setting. I also love a gorgeous theater like The Beacon in NYC. I've played Royal Albert Hall in London and it's gorgeous.
MICK: Do you have any relatives still living here in New York?
VONDA: My father still lives there. My cousins also. We will probably catch a Broadway show, after my show, which will be fun!
MICK: What do you do to unwind?
VONDA: I love to read! I also like to cook a lot. My new thing is gardening. I just planted a vegetable and herb garden!
MICK: Is there anybody in particular that you would like to work with?
VONDA: I think it would be great to work with Seal. I think our voices would really do well together. Some of the others ones like Bono would be awesome. I've produced a lot of amazing artists when I was on Ally McBeal. People like Sting, Randy Newman, Bon Jovi. But I really love Seal's rich voice.
MICK: What is your next project?
VONDA: I am working on my next album and also writing it. I've finally found a couple of great songs that are close to being done. I'm very excited about those! I still play a lot of the songs from my last band album which is called "From The Sun". At the show, I will be playing 3 or 4 from that album. They are not getting old to me yet but I'm ready for something new and I might play one of the new ones at the show!

Vonda Shepard and her piano will be performing at BB King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd Street, in New York City, on May 21, at 8 PM.
Opening is singer-songwriter Jann Klose (
Tickets are $28. in advance, and $32. day of show
The venue phone is 212-997-4144
The web site is
Vonda will have her new CD at the show and will autograph them after the show.
The only place you can purchase them is through Vonda's website:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Left Banke's Tom Finn

In 1965, a new rock group emerged from New York City called The Left Banke. Less than a year later, they scored a huge hit with "Walk Away Renee" and secured their place in pop history. Other hits followed but never reached the heights of "Walk Away Renee". Tom Finn is the original founding member and bass player in the band, which has recently reunited to the thrill of it's longtime fans. I recently had the great pleasure to speak with Tom about his amazing career in the Left Banke and his work as one of the top DJs in the world...

MICK: How did the band get it's name "The Left Banke"?
TOM: Michael Brown was an assistant working at his father's recording studio on Broadway and he would let us in. We used to go into the studio and we would plug in and jam there almost every night. There was an office downstairs and I was sleeping on the couch in the office. Steve Martin and Mike Brown came in and said "We've got the name!". I was half asleep and asked what it was. They said "The Left Banke". I remember after hearing that I had a picture in my mind of a bunch of guys dressed in Edwardian suits with hair parted in the middle, much like the Kinks. I thought that was a good name and very classy! They had gone out to eat with a guy named Scott English, who was a song writer ("Bend Me, Shape Me", "Mandy"). He thought the band should have an exotic name and suggested The Left Banke and they both went for it. We were playing Baroque music and just put an "E" on the end of "Bank". That worked out great because today, with the Internet, if was
just "Bank", it wouldn't be special. But the the "E" added for 'Banke", we get millions of hits online!

MICK: Is it true that "Walk Away Renee" was about your girlfriend Renee Fladen?
TOM: Yes, that is true. Renee was my girlfriend at the time and I'd bring her over to the studio. Michael Brown did have feelings for her and did write a few songs with her in mind.

MICK: Have you had any contact with Renee after all these years?
TOM: No, she doesn't like any attention to her because of the song. Renee is a very successful opera company leader in San Fransisco. She has her own opera company and became very successful with it. She doesn't want have anything to do with anyone from the past. But whenever she does something, they always throw in that she is the person that "Walk Away Renee" was written about. I think she got some mileage out of it but will not admit it!

MICK: What was it like for the band when "Walk Away Renee" became a big hit?
TOM: We were driving to Ohio in a station wagon with our road manager. When we left New York, we were starving and flat broke. I didn't even have a home at that time, sleeping in the office or at a friend's house. After about eight hours arriving in Ohio, I heard the song on the radio and they said "Tomorrow night, appearing live, with their top 5 hit "Walk away Renee", The Left Banke!" When we got arrived, there were girls waiting for us for autographs. It was a big deal! From nothing to famous!

MICK: Did The Left Banke ever do the American Bandstand TV show?
TOM: Yes, we did it once. We also did "Where The Action Is". That video is all over the Internet. I remember doing the one with Dick Clark as clear as day but I've never seen a copy of it.
MICK: After the Left Banke, you worked as an engineer at the Bell Sound Studio in NYC. Who were some of the great artists you worked with?
TOM: Wow, there were a lot. In the 50's and 60's, Bell Sound Studio was probably the most famous NY recording studio. Even Buddy Holley recorded there. I got there at the end of 1969. When I started there, I got to work with people like Roberta Flack, Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, Kiss before they were wearing makeup. There were so many famous people and hit records made there in the early 70's. I was the fly on the wall as I was learning to be an engineer as an assistant.
MICK: You also worked closely with the legendary Buddy Rich.
TOM: I met Buddy at Bell Sound. I was doing some horn overdubs with him in the studio and his manager, Stanley Kaye, asked me if I could come over to Buddy's Place Nightclub and help them set up their sound system as Buddy was unhappy with the sound on stage. I went over there as a onetime thing to show them how to run it and ended up staying there for about 5 years! He closed that club after about a year and opened up a new club. I designed the sound system and the lighting. While I was working with Buddy, we became close. I was also the master of ceremonies there and worked with people like Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Stan Getz, etc... This was on a weekly basis as they were booked into the club.
MICK: How did you get into becoming a DJ?
TOM: I was really disappointed after The Left Banke reunion in 1978 when we did our third album called "Strangers On A Train". We broke up and I was disappointed in the way the group members behaved. I remember I was invited to a party and some of Elvis Presley's musicians were guests at this party. I stood by and watched these guys jam and it hit me like a ton of lead what The Left Banke was missing. They were missing that rugged individual thing that the Beatles knew about, the Stones knew about. It was that roots of American rock that you stand on your own and play your instrument as an individual with other people too. That's what The Left Banke was missing. Everything had to be a group decision and it had to be politically this and that. I realized that you had to stand on your own two feet and then you talk about playing with other people. So I studied this 50's style of music. I bought records by the truckload of 50's music because I felt that I
missed it all. I would play this music day and night, blasting it in my apartment. I would also be playing guitar to learn all these songs. One day my neighbor knocks on the wall and says "Hey man, all my friends over here in my apartment tell me that you are playing the best music. My name is Pavese and I work at Studio 54. I'm opening a new club and want you to come down and talk to the DJ about the music you play". I said "You like my guitar?". He said "No we don't like the guitar, we like the records you play!". I go down to this club and spoke to this DJ, who was a female. I told her she should be playing 50's music. This new place was going to be a Disco. I told the owners to leave it just the way it is. It was a diner with a sword fish on the wall, neon clock, coke machine. It was perfect! This was 1982 and before the retro-craze hit. They listened to me. We created a night at this club called "Heartbreak" and was attended by every celebrity
you can imagine. I was responsible for the music format and ended up being the DJ there just playing 50's music. The line of limos was three blocks long with celebrities..Diana Ross, David Bowie, tennis stars and movie stars. The place was packed almost every night of the week. Steve Rubell from Studio 54 came in and asked me to stop by Studio 54 and talk to his DJ. I did stop by and did a few guest spots. Steve wanted me to be the DJ at his new club called The Palladium. I took the DJ job and the Palladium was the biggest nightclub in NYC in the mid 80's. They packed in 5000 people a night! I was playing the new stuff by Madonna and Prince and also 60's music. It was perfect timing because all of the yuppies were going to the clubs now. I was the perfect DJ in the right place at the right time. Steve Rubell started to send me out to his wealthy, superstar friends for their parties on their yachts, in Europe, wherever. I became what you would call a
celebrity DJ working these amazing parties all over the world but mainly here in NYC. I was on the front cover of The New York Times Saturday edition in 2006 in a 1000 word article called "The DJ That Moves The Movers and Shakers". I had arrived!
MICK: Is it true that you found your band mate George Cameron on Facebook and that's how this reunion got started?
TOM: Yes, that's exactly right. I had just opened a Facebook account and I started getting hundreds of requests from people I didn't know from all over the world. They were all asking me about The Left Banke. I kept refusing their friendship because I didn't know them. I did this for almost a year. Then I started feeling guilty about it because these people were really nice. I decided to get someone who know a lot about the Internet and opened the official Left Banke fan page. Now I was able to answer questions that a lot of people were asking by making a post. I was telling George Cameron about how many people were asking about the group and how many stars were saying how the Left Banke influenced them. So George put a group together and it was like a heavy metal Left Banke. I went to one rehearsal that he invited me to and said "Good luck George but I'm not interested in playing in this type of band". He wanted me to produce the band but I only wanted
to do it if we sounded like the record.
So I brought in a lead singer and some other key people. That was in 2010. Now two years later, we have this big band together. Two other original members are coming back too..Michael Brown and Steve Martin.
MICK: Is The Left Banke recording anything new?
TOM: Yes. I've written 4-5 new songs that are damn good. Michael Brown has some great songs too. We are doing an album, a new Left Banke album, and hopefully it will be out by this time next year. It's not going to be an oldies thing at all. We were always an original band writing original music and we weren't into the entertainment aspect of it. We modeled ourselves after the Beatles and a few other bands back then. Today our show is pumped up. Now at least we can play because back then, we were only 17-18 years old when we first started.
MICK: I see on your itinerary that there's only a few shows coming up. Will there be more?
TOM: Yes, definitely! There's only a few shows on the schedule now because nobody can pay us because the band is too big. We just can't afford it. Right now we are planning on doing a TV show on PBS. We are trying to do some selected gigs.
MICK: As a bass guitar player, which bass players do you admire?
TOM: My favorite is James Jamerson, the famous Motown bass player. I like Paul McCartney and John Entwisle. There's a lot of unknown bass players that I like. There's a guy named Anthony Jackson who is a killer bass player.
MICK: In your illustrious career, what would you consider you greatest moment?
TOM: The most touching thing that ever happened to me was when I was invited by President and Mrs. Clinton to The White House to do their millennium gala on New Year's Eve 1999. I was the only entertainment at The White House that evening. I just kept thinking if my parents were alive, they would have been very proud. I remember calling my sister from the Oval Office. They had a phone out on the chaise lounge just outside the door and asked if I could use it. They said "Sure, you are a guest here!". Also, as a DJ, I did Whitney Houston's wedding to Bobby Brown. I did the first half of that party. I've done so many major things as a DJ that were just over the top. You can see some of them on my website. There were some special shows with the Left Banke. We did one show with The Mamas and Papas that was very nice. We did a Beach Boy tour that was great. Leonard Bernstein did a TV special called "The Rock Revolution" and he played "Pretty Ballerina" on the
piano and said 'This is an example of how good pop music can be". He said The Left Banke was one of the best music groups that he had heard! That was nice!
MICK: Did you ever meet any of the Beatles?
TOM: John Lennon was a neighbor of mine. I still live about five blocks away from The Dakota. I had heard on the news that fateful night that there was a shooting outside the Dakota. I decided to high tail it up there to see what was going on. There was blood all over the sidewalk and not many people were there yet. I heard it was him that was shot and heard later that he died at Roosevelt Hospital. I used to see him around the neighborhood. He used to go to this one bakery called "Café La Fortuna" and saw he there quite a few times. I wouldn't go up to him because I had been around celebrities and they don't want you to come up to them. They get that all the time. I never actually met Lennon. I did parties with Princess Diana as a DJ and had a chance to meet her on the greeting line but didn't want to do it. I could have met the Queen of England if I wanted to but choose not to.