Wednesday, January 13, 2016

1974: The Promotion Man NYC--a Book review

I would guess that during his life Dave Morrell would tell the stories of working as a promotion man in New York City in the mid 1970's and people would tell him that he should write a book.    Fortunately, Dave has written down the stories and his second book, 1974 The Promotion Man New York City , is all about Dave's experiences working as the PR guy for Warner Brothers Records in 1974.  Dave could have called this book "Smoking a joint with the stars."  Almost every story ended up with a joint being shared from Ronnie Wood to John Lennon and half a dozen people in between.

Dave got into the PR business at a good time in American radio history as the transition from AM stations to FM stations was in full swing.   This book really was a glimpse into the radio and record business in 1974.  Dave stood out among the other PR guys because he was young and a true fan of the music.    He found success with plenty of big named artists in 1974 including Maria Muldaur (Midnight at the Oasis), Jethro Tull and Gordon Lightfoot.    

What struck me was that no matter where Dave went, his love for the Beatles wasn't far behind.   Through his dealings with various artists for his job, he seemed to keep running into people from the Beatles world such as Derek Taylor and Neil Aspinall.    From these meetings he and his friend Ron got to experience amazing things such as seeing rare footage from the "Get Back" sessions that didn't make it into Let It Be.

The most exciting part of the book was the time Dave spent with John Lennon.    You know that flicker Elivs badge that you often see John Lennon wearing in photos?   Well Dave Morrell gave that badge to John himself as a birthday present in 1974!

John sporting the Elvis badge Dave gave him for his birthday 

Dave was able to sit in at the studio and hear some of the records for the "Rock n Roll" album and what makes this book worth reading is the story of how he went into John and May's apartment and watched the Beatles  Washington D.C. Coliseum concert with John Lennon AND what rare (at the time) song John played for him!    Totally worth reading this book----that story will knock you away!  

Dave also was in attendance during the famed Elton John Thanksgiving concert where John made a guest appearance and the George Harrison concert where John's guest appearance didn't happen. 

One thing he DIDN'T mention in the book, that I was expecting to read about was the first Beatlefest in New York that happened that year.   Surely Dave was there?    Maybe not because it isn't mentioned in the book.  

What I like the best about Dave's book is that when you read them, you feel like you are chatting with a friend who is just sharing amazing stories.    

1 comment:

  1. Ah, I've been waiting for this, as I thoroughly enjoyed his last book......which felt more like the first few chapters of a book! This probably feels like the middle, and eventually we'll get the end!

    I think it's FANTASTIC that Dave got to imbibe in some smokey smoke with the greats!!! Smoking a doobie and watching Washington '64 with J.L.......what could be better than that? I want to know what John said when Ringo stuck that microphone stand between his legs to sing "I Wanna Be Your Man while he smashed and bashed his drum kit.....if that ain't rock and roll, I don't know what is!

    I love that Dave got to smoke smokey smoke with these greats!