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"Irving Azoff proved that PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. After Irving left, things were never the same."
——onetime MCA head of promotion Steve Meyer

THE E-MAIL BAG

Here’s Irrefutable Proof That No Less Than Three People Actually Look at the Site!

Hi Roy:
Just read the MCA article you wrote online re: a look back at label's history. For what it's worth, I was the one tapped as head of promotion in 1983, not Richard Palmese. I was hired as VP of Promotion at MCA (I was previously National Promotion Director at Capitol Records from 1976 until joining MCA) in March of 1983, and Richard came in about six months later. Richard was boss, but I was the promotion head and ran the entire department, independents, etc. (In fact, it was me, not Richard, that had to testify before two Grand Jury's in 1986 about promotion when NBC broke the story about alleged payola in the business.) I was subsequently promoted to Sr. VP of Promotion in 1985. If there's any doubt about what I'm saying, I'm sure both Richard and Irving [Azoff] (with whom I still keep in touch regularly) will verify my claims.

I know it doesn't matter much in the big picture or in the story, but had to reply because under my promotion tenure at MCA from 1983-92, we became one of the industry's most potent promotion teams and secured #1 label share at radio in several formats.

When Irving left, he left MCA Records in great condition. Profits were way up, we were #1 in label marketshare, had scored the top three albums at retail in Billboard (Bobby Brown, Tom Petty, Fine Young Cannibals), had established a strong sales and promotion field staff and more. What happened at MCA is a tragedy of immense proportions. Irving Azoff proved that PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. After Irving left, things were never the same, and most of the talented people who worked there under Irving left one by one. I opted to do that in December of 1991.

Steve Meyer
MGM/Mirage's Primm Valley Resorts
 Primm, NV

Dear Simon:
I'm not typically compelled to write 'letters-to-editor' or anything like that, but your comments about Native Tongues and hip hop in general [Weakend Planner, 6/13] made me smile. That music is very important to me (Tribe Called Quest still rocks). That kind of hip hop inspired me as a kid to listen beyond the samples those songs used, and totally get into Hendrix, Zeppelin, James Brown and all the other records I “borrowed” from my parents' collection. The Native Tongues era was a great time in hip hop and alt rock. I'm with you, "hoping the next wave of hip-hop heads retreats to its laboratories with these two discs in hand."  As long as OutKast stays on point, there's always hope. Have a great weekend, and thanks for reminding me how much fun Digital Underground music still is.

Best,
Juliana Bolden

Bud:
Really enjoyed your Radiohead review [Weakend Planner, 6/13].

Best,
Brian Sirgutz
NYC

Thanks, Brian. Good to know people are reading the actual MUSIC stuff on the site.

Bud

It is one of the better reviews that I have read about the record thus far. I am in the biz and enjoy the funny commentary and plugs for executives who want to be more famous then the artists they sign…but yes, I read the music reviews, too.

Brian

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