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October 17, 2023 42 mins

To say that Irving Azoff makes being in the music business look easy would be an understatement. After relocating from his hometown, Danville, Illinois to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, it was only a few years before he was managing the Eagles. He’s since run companies including Ticketmaster and his own Full Stop Management, and has signed artists from Fleetwood Mac and U2 to Harry Styles and Lizzo. Despite the immediate success he achieved in the rock-and-roll era, though, Azoff thinks today—the age of streaming and social media—is the true musical gold rush. On this week’s episode of Table for Two, Azoff reflects on exactly why the modern entertainment industry is so compelling, and delves into the lessons he learned in his early career that he still calls upon all these years later.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, everybody, welcome back to Table for two. Today.

Speaker 2 (00:09):
I'm back at one of my favorite joints, the Sunset
Tower Hotel in Hollywood.

Speaker 3 (00:14):
This is so cute, right.

Speaker 2 (00:16):
And in this episode we are going to be turning
up the music loud. That's because we're having lunch with
someone who has been the manager for the Eagles since
nineteen seventy four, who also counts Jon bon Jovi, John Mayer,
Steely Dan, and Gwen Stefani among his clients. I could
go on and on, but he's more than just a

(00:38):
music manager. His influence in the industry has definitively changed
the way we listen to music.

Speaker 3 (00:44):
Can I have a Cobb salad?

Speaker 4 (00:46):
I have to do Beverly Hills ordering that you have
to change something right, I mean, you know, promoting, you know,
promoting restaurants in Beverly Hills. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (00:55):
If there's a popular song that you've loved over the years,
chances are that today's guest has his fingerprints on it.
So sit back, go grab a glass rose, and enjoy
our lunch with mister irving A's off. I'm Bruce Bosi
and this is my podcast Table for two. If you

(01:22):
pulled up at your.

Speaker 5 (01:22):
Today we're having lunch with Irving as off. Irving, thank
you for joining me today.

Speaker 3 (01:28):
This is a big deal. Sure, it's not a big deal.
I'm thrilled to be here. Irving. We know each other
like I associate you seeing you.

Speaker 5 (01:35):
We just talked about the Palm, having lunch at the
Bomb through people like Geffen, Alan Grudman, Sandy Gallen.

Speaker 4 (01:43):
We just sort of it just means we're all really old.
Maybe not you, but the rest of us.

Speaker 3 (01:49):
No, I'm really old. Irving.

Speaker 5 (01:53):
Yeah, we're here at the Tower Bar. Have you Is
this some place that's in your DNA here in La Yeah?

Speaker 1 (01:58):
Yeah, you like him come.

Speaker 4 (01:59):
Here a lot, but it's it's a fun place. I'll
meet with John Mayor here, my friend. And yeah when
you come here, do you have something like what you love?
Do you have something that you love to eat at
the I'm one of those people that tries to eat
healthy and half the time doesn't. I'll come in with
good intentions, like I just went going, yeah, what do

(02:22):
I want to have the cop salad? And then I
go down and go real cheese and to me, I
really should have chicken playard.

Speaker 3 (02:29):
Well, I mean it happens to be kind of a
cool day here in La. I think I'm in a
Cops salad. You go do a cobbt.

Speaker 4 (02:34):
Okay, So you probably know that my wife, Shelley, who's
your good friend, saved Nate new And I use the
word saved because there's no economic reality to why anybody
would own a deli and right. We also own the
Apple Pan because the family was wanted another family owner,

(02:55):
but it was time for them to move on the
illness and the family and so I understand the rest
of business. Yeah, although it's certainly more downscale from what
you ever did at the Palm.

Speaker 3 (03:05):
It is, I mean it is the Apple Pan.

Speaker 5 (03:08):
If you I's listening and you don't know what it is,
it serves maybe the best burger around.

Speaker 3 (03:13):
Like it's a really old school joint that is on Peaco.

Speaker 5 (03:19):
It's like you got if you're in La, you got
to check out. It's one of those places.

Speaker 3 (03:23):
It's seventy five years old.

Speaker 4 (03:25):
The history of it is with the family to sell
moms pies basically open the Sandwich Sharp, but it was
really really to sell the pies. We have a really
it's a really small building and you can't we can't
really took a house. Yeah, it's historic. Can't enlarge it,
so we're limited. We have the little pie room, and
we really don't want to cook the pies. Everybody gets
mad if you're changing anythings, So we don't want to

(03:46):
cook the pies off off campus round. So but you know,
but the tradition is you have to order the pies
in advance for Thanksgiving and then yeah we have a
big thing. Go down the alley and pick them up.
But we've gotten you know, like Thanksgiving Day we sell
twelve hundred pies.

Speaker 5 (04:02):
It's an amazing way. Yeah, I don't know why, but
I had to. I mean I think of it as
a burger because I had the best burger there.

Speaker 4 (04:09):
Burger is amazing. But there's also tune us out and
the fries are great. Yeah, there's other stuff and anyway,
just it was just relative to us talking about restaurants
in general and what it's.

Speaker 3 (04:20):
Really about the vibe.

Speaker 4 (04:21):
Yeah, so whether it's an eight nails vibe and food's
got to be great too. Writ but you know, Tower
Bar has always had a grade vibe. Yeah, Jeff knows
how to give it a great vibe, great vibe, and
it's about the vibe and then the vibe draws the
right crowd and then you got to take care of them. Yeah,
it's funny when you go to a restaurant, you lock
into one or two things. You rarely go to a restaurant,

(04:43):
you regularly go to and order eight different things eight
different times, and when you start to go, I'm gonna
be a venturesome, right, and my friend eat that's.

Speaker 6 (04:52):
All that time.

Speaker 4 (04:53):
But you just kind of go back, like, I know,
I really like to I'm going to that. I really
like the chicken py r here.

Speaker 5 (04:59):
It's right, it's anything that's consistent, I'll do that. I'll
do like a steak freaks at night.

Speaker 3 (05:04):
See I feel guilty about that, I can.

Speaker 6 (05:07):
Yeah, yeah, because of.

Speaker 4 (05:08):
The freaks, not the steak, right, right, But then.

Speaker 3 (05:13):
Makes sense.

Speaker 4 (05:14):
I love two fries, but who talks with two fries?

Speaker 3 (05:26):
So Irving?

Speaker 5 (05:27):
You sitting with Irving, You know Irving for a multitude
of reasons, and we're going to talk about I'm glad
we're talking about the restaurants because I knew that, Like, yeah.

Speaker 3 (05:35):
Just an intro when you asked me about this.

Speaker 5 (05:38):
Yeah, I know, but and I love that, like one
of the things that I what I feel about, like
your whole life and the career you have and are
having is like you, you're open, like you.

Speaker 6 (05:48):
You know.

Speaker 3 (05:49):
So, yeah, I got a big mouth. You gotta usually
put my foot in it.

Speaker 4 (05:52):
Everybody goes, why don't you work at a public company? Why
do you know you did it twice?

Speaker 1 (05:56):
What?

Speaker 3 (05:56):
What's wrong with you in public companies? Said? I drive
the lawyers crazy.

Speaker 4 (06:00):
So I've had the fortunate good luck of having worked
for and with some of the great icons of the
media business.

Speaker 3 (06:12):
So we're sure, okay.

Speaker 4 (06:13):
So Stop one was with David Gevin, who I haven't
seen for forty eight hours.

Speaker 3 (06:19):
But it was a time in the business.

Speaker 4 (06:21):
So when you're when you're a major executive at like
one of the whether it's a public company or not.
But in those days, some of them are public, some
of them weren't. We're in Hollywood, so when you're going
to be in that job, it's an acting job, right,
So and you know, and and here are the characters

(06:43):
like when we when I started in the music business,
there was David and there was Amed Urtigan who was
a character, and there was Walter yet Nikoff, and there
was most so everybody had to be you know, one
guy is Tom Hanks and one guy's Johnny Depp, right,
So you know, so Walter was the craziest of all
of them, right right, and was the sweetest of all, right, and.

Speaker 3 (07:02):
Then everybody else's kind of characters in the middle.

Speaker 4 (07:05):
So you know, you know, And but you couldn't be
a shrinking Violet in those days and get anything done,
And especially if you represent talent, which is everything I've
ever done, or any companies I've started or bought or
sold and run talent representing talents men at the center, right,
you know, what I kind of learned, you know, And
and and what I kind of did was take what

(07:25):
David did, which is I will kill for my talent. Okay,
I kept that, but I also added every decision I make,
if it's right for the talent, it will eventually be
right for my career and my business.

Speaker 3 (07:36):
So that's kind of what I But David taught me
how to kill for talent.

Speaker 4 (07:39):
And you know, and and if you a someone you know,
and whether it's Brian or me, or if youre's somebody
in this town today or then that everybody says that
is the nicest guy I've ever dealt with. You've somehow
misrepresented your talent, because it's impossible a deal in this jungle, right,

(08:01):
whether it be TV, movies, music streamers whatever. Uh, and
and not have a difference of opinion at some point.

Speaker 5 (08:11):
Yeah, and then that makes complete sense.

Speaker 3 (08:14):
And somebody asked me.

Speaker 4 (08:15):
Yeah and again, and sometimes for me it's an active job, right,
Like I'm not really mad, but right, you got to
go in with the zest with zest to get it done.

Speaker 5 (08:28):
So you okay, So David taught you that. So we
go back now to the early seventies. You're working for David.

Speaker 1 (08:35):
You leave with the.

Speaker 3 (08:36):
Eagles, right, So yeah, well the Eagles leave with me.
The Eagles, Well, no, dragged me out, they dragged you out.

Speaker 6 (08:44):
What happens.

Speaker 4 (08:45):
First of all, David left left before that, David sold
Asylum Records. I sold Asylum Records and merged it with
Electra and he went cross town over on Los Ennaica
to run Electric Asylum Records, and his old management partner,
Elliott Roberts. I came in to help Elliott run what
was then Jeff and Roberts Management minus David. But David

(09:08):
was still our mentor and we had him available to us.
But you know, so, and and I was a kid
that moved out here from Illinois. I had three clients
I had. I was moonlighting as an agent so I
could try and get record deals and get started. And
the three were Dan Fogelberg, Ario Speedwagon, and Joe Walls.

Speaker 3 (09:27):
I mean just well we broke all three but but yeah,
but that was it.

Speaker 5 (09:32):
So when we were all got here, that was when
you were coming out from Illinois and moved from discover
those guys in Chicago.

Speaker 4 (09:39):
That it was from all from Illinois. Wow. And so
we come out we all kind of move out here
and then one thing, one thing leads another. But you know,
but so I had my my chapter with with with Elliott,
and therefore with David, learned a lot, met a lot
of people.

Speaker 6 (09:55):
And then and after that went on my own.

Speaker 3 (10:01):
Okay.

Speaker 5 (10:02):
And and when you go on your own, are you
now going out to music venues to sort of say who.

Speaker 3 (10:06):
Like is are you an A and R? Doing that?

Speaker 6 (10:09):
Now?

Speaker 3 (10:09):
I'm a manager, manager, straight manager, right, you know.

Speaker 4 (10:12):
And I started a little record company and some other
stuff from but you know, but from.

Speaker 6 (10:16):
There, you know, I go on my own and then
you know, at about age I must have been.

Speaker 4 (10:22):
Thirty four thirty five Lou Osserman and Sid Scheimberg come
to me.

Speaker 6 (10:27):
Wow, and I had been one of the yah.

Speaker 4 (10:31):
Yeah, so one. So I daved David first and then
I'd lose said yeah, okay, and uh you know, and
I had, you know, many many breakfasts with Low and
Casey at eight thirty at every Saturday or Sunday morning
at Nate.

Speaker 3 (10:43):
Now, so that's that's kind of how far back I
went with Nate.

Speaker 4 (10:46):
Well, yeah, but and and what happens, uh there is
you know, I had a client, Steely Dan, that had
gotten into a beef with m c A.

Speaker 6 (10:56):
And and so I sued, uh, m c A.

Speaker 4 (10:59):
They had this guy running it and decided that Steely
Dan was worth more than any other artists. So like
the records in those days where I think seven ninety
eight and he made Steely Dan the first record ever
eight ninety eight or nine ninety eight, I can't remember.
So this publicity stunt, I got Mickey Rudin, who was
for those were so who was the big the big

(11:20):
concho lawyer in town represented Steve Ross and Warner Communications
and Frank Sinatra and E Liza Minelli and all this,
and we sued MCA under the grounds that they're they're
not a record company because no record company would charge
that much for records. As basically the publicity stunt for
Steely Dan to show that that that it wasn't their

(11:42):
idea to raise the tell their fund raiser prices.

Speaker 3 (11:45):
And I took sid Scheiberg's deposition Mickey and I took
said Scheimberg's deposition.

Speaker 4 (11:50):
And he thought this was hysterical, so you know, and
then I did an interview about because we were in
the fight with MC I just want him lower the prices,
right and we're in the fight and the guy that
wouldn't do it and said, you know, can get real
coet it about stuff. And so I did an interview
where I called MCA Records that joke of a record
cut me in the valley that nobody wants to side

(12:12):
with them.

Speaker 6 (12:14):
So then I get this call come have lunch, so LEU.

Speaker 3 (12:19):
And said, and they go, why don't you come run
universal They saw the genius but you know, but that
really was how we met.

Speaker 6 (12:26):
And then uh and I produced a movie there.

Speaker 4 (12:30):
I'd done a movie with well I take my name
off a movie that I produced FM. I negotiated the
right in the beginning, I said they came into we
want you to produce this movie because you'll bring all
this great music. And the soundtrack did great, and I said, yeah,
but I don't like the script and I don't like this,
so if the movie comes out bad, I don't know.

Speaker 3 (12:49):
They said, Okay, if you don't like the movie, just
do the soundtrack. You take your name off.

Speaker 1 (12:53):
So I took my name off. And they couldn't believe
that anybody.

Speaker 4 (12:56):
Everybody's fighting for credits, I take my name, you know,
it's just, you know, probably something David would have done.

Speaker 3 (13:02):
I think. But I think that's a that's a that's
a that's a power movie. It really is. There's a move.
I thought it was a credibility move.

Speaker 4 (13:10):
I didn't want my name on it.

Speaker 5 (13:13):
Because you know, and you also have fast times at
Richmond High, which also goes down as like an iconic
and the music as well, like the whole thing.

Speaker 1 (13:22):
Yeah, welcome back to Table for two.

Speaker 2 (13:45):
Today, we're having lunch with Irving as Off, a music
industry veteran with five decades of experience. At any given time,
he's been a manager, an agent, a promoter, a record
label owner, who a music publisher, and the CEO of
a record company. I mean, honestly, when you've done that

(14:09):
many jobs in the business, the question is where did
his love of music start?

Speaker 5 (14:17):
Has that always been who you've been since you were young?
Sort of like I mean, it seems like a fan of.

Speaker 4 (14:22):
Media, a fan of media, you know, and a lot
of people that represent talent basically go oh, this is
really a shitty job.

Speaker 6 (14:30):
I really like it, you know.

Speaker 3 (14:31):
I like these people.

Speaker 4 (14:33):
I like what makes them tick. I understand the trials
and tribulations they go through, and I just see positive
in all of them, you know, so very few of them.
It's kind of it's a much more lonely thing to
be a rock star that you might see.

Speaker 1 (14:48):
Yeah, you know, and you go.

Speaker 3 (14:49):
From getting out on that stage.

Speaker 4 (14:51):
The most powerful thing any I think anybody entertainment can
do is be an entertainer standing on that stage with
tens of thousands of people, calmbs your hand, and then
thirty minutes later you're alone and you're a loan and energy.
You're alone in a hotel room with complete adrenaline. How
am I ever going to sleep tonight?

Speaker 5 (15:08):
There's a quote that you said at one point the
moment music got ahold of me and never let go.

Speaker 3 (15:12):
Could you talk to what was that moment?

Speaker 4 (15:17):
You know, the first moment there was a kid. The
first shows I ever saw, and I grew up in Danville, Illinois.
I know, right after I got my driver's license, we
drove like ninety miles to a little place called Schaeffer Lake,
Indiana and saw the Beach Boys, the original Beach Boys
with Brian. That was like, wow, the first non local

(15:39):
act show I ever saw. Right, Okay, to see the
Beach Boys.

Speaker 3 (15:43):
Second one I ever go. I go back there a
couple of weeks later and I see the Yardbirds with
Jimmy Page.

Speaker 1 (15:47):
Okay.

Speaker 4 (15:50):
And then the next thing I remember is my dad
takes me to Komiskey Park in Chicago to see the Beatles.

Speaker 6 (15:55):
Wow.

Speaker 4 (15:56):
So high bar, high bar, really high bar. So I
don't know how you see that. And look, we were
all impacted. You know, you're obviously much younger, mean, but
all of us my age, you know, when we were
fourteen years old, thirteen years old and the Beatles come
on in Sullivan.

Speaker 3 (16:11):
Right, it's over, it's done, it's done.

Speaker 6 (16:15):
Right.

Speaker 3 (16:15):
Every one of us.

Speaker 4 (16:16):
Everybody's dream was I want to be in that business.

Speaker 3 (16:19):
Yeah, either as an inn. You know, he's an entertainer.
I was a shitty drummer, so I wasn't gonna be right, right.
I tried.

Speaker 4 (16:25):
I tried to learn saxophone and tried, but I wasn't
good enough.

Speaker 3 (16:28):
You were at a moment when it all changed.

Speaker 5 (16:31):
So like seeing the Beatles at Sullivan, that was like
a moment where music change, you know, like with Elvis Presley,
like the whole it went from one thing to another.

Speaker 3 (16:40):
So to be of that generation, to have that experience,
I think, is you know, luckiest thing a lot.

Speaker 4 (16:47):
Right, And then or in school when here comes the
Vietnam and right all that men and you know, riots
on campus, I mean, then Kennedy and the fascination and
Martin Luther. I mean, if you really look at America
over the last century, I was in those formative years,

(17:08):
late teens, early twenties when all that was going on.
You know, it just it sets a bass for the
rest of your life.

Speaker 6 (17:14):
You know.

Speaker 3 (17:15):
It's a romanticized moment as much as it is, you know,
was so filled with such conflict and age. I find
music movies. People gonna have an opinion.

Speaker 4 (17:26):
I like it. I don't like it. Hard to not
like music if you listen to something, regardless of it's
your style of music or not, if you listen to
it several times, huh grows on you and it's an emotion.

Speaker 3 (17:41):
I mean to me, it's you know a lot of
people go, I need I need a therapist. I just
need to sit in a room listen to listen to music.

Speaker 4 (17:51):
I agree, you know, and you pick the music based
on what you need, right And the great thing since
streaming and everything started is that like in the old
days when I grew up, it was like, you know,
the radio station had the best of every genre of music.
Right now, with streaming and everything, you pick what you like,
what you have, and so there are more things can
be important to you.

Speaker 1 (18:12):
And I do think.

Speaker 3 (18:13):
I mean, you know, when people you ask that question,
like what could you like live without? You know, music, books, movies, TV.

Speaker 5 (18:20):
Music is always the one that really hard with them,
no one can live without. They'd give up everything else.
Because music also cements like these chapters in your life.
So you hear a song, it's like when you smell
a smell, you go right back into like, oh this was.

Speaker 4 (18:36):
Where I was, what I was thinking, who I was with,
you know, good or bad? And it just stays with you,
it really does. What are the songs that have stayed
with you? If you had to just like free form, like.

Speaker 5 (18:47):
Songs that when irving a's office is okay when you
hear like, you know, it's kind of a blur.

Speaker 4 (18:54):
But I would say from the early days, you know,
definitely some of those early Beatle hits.

Speaker 1 (19:00):
Did you meet all the Beatles?

Speaker 4 (19:03):
Yeah?

Speaker 1 (19:04):
You did.

Speaker 3 (19:05):
You know, you're the coolest guy, you.

Speaker 6 (19:07):
Know, Yeah, you really are, you know.

Speaker 4 (19:09):
And I knew John the least, but I did hate him,
but he's been gone the longest.

Speaker 3 (19:14):
I mean, that's a moment where I remember exactly where
I was, you know, that moment.

Speaker 4 (19:19):
I remember when I started the new record company in
the you know, in the early nineties. Kenny Austin, my
Alostin's son, was an ein R guy for me, and
it was friendly and George Harrison came by to play
some stuff and hang out, and wow, I was in
a meeting listening to new music to see if because

(19:41):
he was looking for a new label with David Bowie
at h So I'm.

Speaker 3 (19:45):
Suddenly sitting there and I'm going, here's George Harrison.

Speaker 4 (19:51):
Sitting here listening with me to be critical of new
David Bowie, right, And I said, I'm done.

Speaker 1 (19:59):
Where do you go from here?

Speaker 3 (20:00):
But I love that with the career. And then only
there was another And take that for granted, you're like, wow,
and there there was another millment goes back.

Speaker 4 (20:09):
Joe Walsh's great wife, Marjorie is sisters to Catherine Back.
Who's Ringos and Ringo's birthday party out It is out
in the country in England and the Eagles. We were
all there because you know so. And there's this little
bandstand and kind of a guest house at Ringos and
they're celebrating the birthday. And suddenly there's David Gilmour, Eric Clapton,

(20:35):
Don Henley, Glen Fry, Joe Walsh, Paul McCartney, Uh and
Ringo all up on the stage play and Paul McCartney
grabs the mic and says, we're naming this band the Beagles, right,
And and I had my wife and some of the
kids with me, and my and my two sons were like,

(20:56):
I said, guys, you don't realize.

Speaker 3 (20:59):
Yeah, what what what what this is?

Speaker 1 (21:02):
What this moment is? Yeah?

Speaker 3 (21:04):
Yeah, it was just incredible.

Speaker 5 (21:18):
Each decade Irving seems to sort of define itself and
you don't know it till later.

Speaker 3 (21:24):
Yeah, when you're looking back, you're like, wow.

Speaker 4 (21:26):
Look, I'm I'm a product. And I also think it's
when you grew up and you're in your former years. Yeah,
if you I find myself if I'm like sitting around
and I'm just like, I'm in my closet and I'm sorry,
and I'm going, hey, Siri play whatever. If I don't
really want something specific, I'm going, hey, Siri play seventies
he plaxies, right.

Speaker 3 (21:47):
Okay, hey Siri play.

Speaker 4 (21:48):
You know.

Speaker 3 (21:49):
But but I'm you know, if I'm not going to
a specific thing. And now I'm sort of just recently
h series on it. But anyway, I I've just.

Speaker 4 (22:03):
Recently and I was running Universal Records in those days.
I'm starting to really appreciate the eighties. Yeah, I didn't
appreciate them then.

Speaker 3 (22:11):
Those were my formative views.

Speaker 6 (22:12):
So I didn't appreciate them.

Speaker 3 (22:13):
Then why what what did you appreciate it?

Speaker 4 (22:16):
I don't know. I think it's because I was just
in the snake pit trying to sign it all and
I was like, I didn't get that one.

Speaker 3 (22:21):
So I can't like it because, you know, because I
was running my record company.

Speaker 5 (22:25):
Then well, that's an interesting question because you bring it
up because you know, I think like you have arguably
had your thumb print on everything in.

Speaker 3 (22:33):
The music business, and when you do it for fifty years,
that's what happens, right.

Speaker 5 (22:36):
So who in those who in that time period when
you were like, oh, elicited that feeling like you didn't
have you didn't get or you were like, oh.

Speaker 3 (22:46):
I always tell my people are various companies. You know,
don't count other people's money. You just worry about what
you have, don't you don't have, So I don't really
go through and go, oh shit, I wish I could
have managed that, or I wish we could have signed that.

Speaker 4 (23:00):
I just go, hey, look, how fortunately was that. I mean,
I've worked with some of the greatest musicians and bands,
you know, to sit and said, you know I had
you know, well, you know I've had, you know, obviously
a continuing relationship with Don Henley and the Eagles, Steve
Donald Fagan and Steely Dane, you know, and we work

(23:21):
with Earth Wind and Fire, and we work with John
bon Jovi and we were you know.

Speaker 3 (23:25):
You just you go through that. Then we work with
the Doobie brothers still okay, so again the loyalty piece,
the old the family. Yeah, and then you cross that
into where, you know, when we start talking eighties some
of that.

Speaker 4 (23:36):
You know, we've represented Gwen Stefani for many, many, many years,
and you know, and it's just I don't know if
it's where you get to know them so well as people,
but you also get pulled into the music well and
all that, and then and then you know, and currently
you know, I mean, I find myself still playing Harry
styles over and over again.

Speaker 3 (23:54):
It's for everybody. Are you able, like let's say, going
from like the seventies to the eighties.

Speaker 5 (23:59):
Were you able to all did you just perk up
and say, oh, music's changing, the beat is changing, the
culture is changing. And like from the eighties that went
to rap, how are those times for you when you
start to like go oh and how did you change from.

Speaker 4 (24:15):
The early days I grew up and for me, it
was always about a distinctive vocal melody and a lyric.
So when I would represent people certainly back then and
you know, it changed through the years. But but somebody
that didn't know I was in this into the singer
songwriter band movement, but for me, it always started with

(24:39):
distinctive vocal.

Speaker 3 (24:40):
Okay, so give me that example. When you hear Ray Charles,
you know it's Ray Charles. When you hear Stevie Wonder,
you know it's Stevie Weber. When you hear Don Henley,
you know it's Don Hamley.

Speaker 4 (24:52):
Right. When you hear Steely Dan, you know it's bigger.
You know it's Bruce. You know it's Tom Petty, you
know it's bon Jovi. I mean, right now, somebody may
come you say, oh, he didn't sing.

Speaker 3 (25:02):
In pitch or he didn't hit the no. But it's
a distinctive low and then melody and lyric.

Speaker 4 (25:09):
A lot of people know how to put a record together,
but if you don't have distinctive ooke in the melody,
and then of course you have to tell everybody it's
the music. It's not just the music, it's the music business,
which goes back to the beginning of time. The guy
can make great music that he doesn't somewhat get his
business together, he may not happen. It isn't like you know,
water seeking.

Speaker 1 (25:27):
It's on the level.

Speaker 3 (25:28):
You just don't throw it out and go. You know
it's going to happen because it's in the grooves.

Speaker 6 (25:34):
You gotta work.

Speaker 5 (25:35):
Now, you got to put it together, did you use
so when all of a sudden we hit the eighties
and we were now in like the MTV generation, and
now it became important to sort of like package the visual,
will you like, how did that affect?

Speaker 4 (25:47):
So if you really look back at the beginning of
the time of MTV, yeah, acts didn't break for a while.
It took a while before MTV broke as it broke
x through to the level of what we'd experienced before
with the Stones or or somebody like that.

Speaker 3 (26:05):
True, I didn't think about that right, And my contention
was why is because.

Speaker 4 (26:13):
Prior to MTV, you would sit and you would listen
to a record and you would go, I think this
is what so and so men that it was personal
to you because you could interpret the lyric and interpret
the song. So now suddenly people are making little movies
around their song. So they're telling you, so, now you're
gonna see the video and you're gonna go that really

(26:36):
wasn't what I thought when I first heard the song.
And I can turn on MTV and see them for free,
So why do I have to buy a ticket because
when MTV started tick.

Speaker 3 (26:48):
Sales drop, I did not know that. So people were
just getting satiated with I can see my own little
mini concert. Yeah, all day long, with different artists, really
and have them tell me what they were thinking about.
Not I don't think. And you know, in most situations,
the label would say here, here's five treatments from five
different video directors.

Speaker 1 (27:08):
Pick one.

Speaker 4 (27:09):
But it wasn't the act sitting down saying John Bunjob
saying down when I wrote that lyric, you know, this
was the story I was telling.

Speaker 3 (27:16):
And you know, and and Don Henley glen Fry.

Speaker 4 (27:20):
All this time we're saying, look when people are trying
to say this is what Hotel California, which is arguably
one of the most important songs ever written, right, and
they go, this is what we meant by it, right,
because it was symbolism for because I was sitting there
while they wrote it.

Speaker 5 (27:39):
You know, wow, there wasn't one meaning, which then makes
sense as a listener to put your meaning into it because.

Speaker 4 (27:47):
They wanted to leave room for the imagination. So MTV
and music video comes along and suddenly you're only telling
one story, So you're stealing Bruce's ability to to for
what it means to him exactly, and it has ended up.
If you said to me, do you think MTV helped
her hurt the business? I think it's a wash, really

(28:10):
a wash, because if it hadn't existed, we wouldn't have
had the drop off. And you know, but obviously we
entered the audio visual digital age, so you know, music video.

Speaker 3 (28:21):
Was coming no matter what.

Speaker 5 (28:22):
How important is that now for an artist to be successful,
to sort of have the whole package of look, face, voice, fashion, look.

Speaker 4 (28:33):
The good news now is I call it narrow casting.
If you're really good at what you do, will you
will attract your audience. So there's very few that break
through to b Taylor Swift that get everybody like she
does pretty much everybody. She's got a country fan, she's
got me, she's got an eight year old, she's got everybody.

Speaker 3 (28:52):
She really does.

Speaker 4 (28:53):
But then again, I would say without streaming and everything,
you know, one of the biggest events of the year
was Willie Nelson's ninetieth birthday at the Bowl this past
week and all those artists that showed up to honor
him and do all that, you know, and we did
a Beach Boys special recently the Grammy Beach Boys special
where all these young and upcoming and established artists showed

(29:15):
up to sing their songs and guys were there, you know,
and got a huge rating on CBS, and you know,
so you know, so it's just a it's just more
event driven. But but those are like you don't have
to win everybody like the seventies, right, That's why there's
so when I said to you, you know, i'd have
to name twenty five acts that are doing huge concert

(29:36):
business when in the old days there'd be three tours.

Speaker 3 (29:37):
On the road.

Speaker 4 (29:38):
Right exactly, it is it is, you know, if there
ever was such a thing as the gold rush in
the music businesses.

Speaker 3 (29:45):
Right now really the gold rush is now. Is it
going to continue?

Speaker 4 (29:50):
I certainly hope.

Speaker 1 (29:51):
So, yeah, thanks for joining us on Table for two.

Speaker 2 (30:13):
Because Irving's time in the music industry, which is back
to the nineteen seventies, he has obviously seen many changes
take place.

Speaker 1 (30:20):
How has it changed? What's an artist career look like now?

Speaker 5 (30:25):
Our careers, I mean, the careers have changed, like when
you were like I think for some reason, I'm just
a barber. Streison popped into my head right now of
like what a career how it began. Are those doable now?

Speaker 3 (30:36):
You know? Absolutely?

Speaker 1 (30:38):
Yeah?

Speaker 4 (30:38):
Yeah, I mean and the great thing that what streaming
and everything did people could happen quicker. I mean, how
quick did a Lady Gaga appear on the I mean
Lady Gaga was running around New York begging for a
record deal one day and maybe twelve months later was
the biggest act in the world.

Speaker 3 (30:52):
Yeah, so yeah, I mean, you're much luckier to start
now than in the seventies because you were going to work.

Speaker 4 (30:58):
Five, six, eight, ten years to happen back really you
had to go play everywhere and tour the world.

Speaker 3 (31:03):
John Bonjoby grounded out in the entire world, right exactly,
You're so dry. I didn't even think about that.

Speaker 5 (31:09):
And Gaga to me is just like, you know, I
could name ten of those twenty of those, right if
you get, if you have it and you get, I mean,
how many how many of these?

Speaker 4 (31:18):
Was what happened on basically your first real album? Right?

Speaker 3 (31:20):
She really did one direction their first album. Yeah, I mean,
these massive stadium sized tours are launched in a minute.
When do you know, like I think it's kind of
wrapped up. You had your time when when it's over.

Speaker 4 (31:34):
Yeah, like when someone I always say, once a star
are always a threat.

Speaker 3 (31:41):
Ah, it's never it's never over.

Speaker 4 (31:43):
Now.

Speaker 3 (31:43):
I can't tell you what goes on in the DNA.

Speaker 4 (31:46):
It seems like as writers and acts get older, they
hit where be goes. Oh the songs you're writing, the
melodies that aren't as good as the ones you wrote
when you were in your twenties and your thirties.

Speaker 3 (31:58):
Yeah, I think that's musical taste changing more than it is.
They're not writing as good as songs. Right, well said it,
He goes, Look, I don't want to living on a
prayer anymore. I'm writing this. But John has written some.

Speaker 4 (32:10):
Songs that beautiful songs that know that we're just as
much deserving as as some of his big hits.

Speaker 3 (32:16):
They just came out at a different time.

Speaker 4 (32:18):
If you listen to Long the other night, I don't
know why I pulled out Long Road out.

Speaker 3 (32:22):
Of Eating the Eagles album.

Speaker 1 (32:24):
Huh.

Speaker 3 (32:26):
And if that album would have come out in the
seventies or ten hits on it? Right? Is that funny? Yeah?

Speaker 5 (32:32):
It's And you know you talk about age too, like
you know we're living at a time where the stones
are rocking it.

Speaker 4 (32:37):
Out where you know people are and by the way
the Stones are in making a record right for their
core fan it is a hit exactly. You don't have
to play the shark game anymore, right, you don't have
to play the shark right exactly, which is so great
and refreshing. You know. I was listening to John can
build a big audience for a song without without ever
playing the chart gaming.

Speaker 5 (32:57):
Right, And I think as an artist, as he was
expressing like he doesn't you know the songs he wrote then,
were who even examined it?

Speaker 4 (33:04):
The song the Eagles closed with every Night is Desperado.
You think that was one of their five biggest hits,
ten biggest hits as a single?

Speaker 3 (33:13):
What do you think?

Speaker 6 (33:14):
Wow?

Speaker 3 (33:15):
I mean, I love it. It's always part of my thing.
I'm gonna say ten. How about it wasn't a hit
at all? Now it's a hit.

Speaker 4 (33:23):
It's a hit, but it wasn't there Just do the
nature of culture New Light by John Mayer. This his
most stream track, right, wasn't a hit? Okay, But you
tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people showing
up at his concerts, right, they don't know, they don't know.
They didn't hear it on iHeartRadio.

Speaker 3 (33:53):
You know, you've had so much greatness and you have
and you've built such a It's not my greatness, it's
their greatness. Yes, you put my name on a ticket,
nobody's showing up. Totally understood, Right, I get it.

Speaker 4 (34:06):
But the greatness I'm talking to some of the people
in my business forget that, right, that is true.

Speaker 3 (34:10):
People start to believe something that is.

Speaker 5 (34:13):
But the greatness I refer to is which I was
so respect of, It is your you know, your sense
of family.

Speaker 3 (34:21):
You know, you and Shelley been married a long time,
you have four kids, like forty five years, forty five years.
She's amazing. The the ensemble of artists that you protect.

Speaker 5 (34:31):
Stability, stability, do you has there ever been like the
time of like you're walking on glass and like what's
been like the hardest part of the journey to get
you here to this table?

Speaker 3 (34:45):
COVID was no fun. Yeah, And trying to.

Speaker 4 (34:49):
Keep all these people in their and their crews and
their bands and you know, nobody knew if music was
going to qualify for government help or anything. You know,
people got now for me, you know, it would have
been easy for me to my age and stuff to say,
you know what, I'm not going to do this anymore, right,
but it just made us want to hang in there more,
right because these people are friends and our family to

(35:11):
try and get it, you know.

Speaker 3 (35:12):
I guess because the COVID thing is the most recent.
You know, look when the Napster's.

Speaker 4 (35:17):
Thing hurt and it hit and it destroyed the economics
of recorded music, that didn't you know, that was you know,
that didn't really So every time there's been a change
in technology, it usually you know, we went from glass
records to vinyl records, to cassettes to eight tracks, which
of course you don't know what it is, but it

(35:40):
didn't have eight tracks. To CDs, okay, you know, then
to iTunes and then to streaming, and now the AI
thing is scary.

Speaker 3 (35:51):
The AI thing should be scary.

Speaker 5 (35:53):
I think a lot of people are scared of being
It's like even in politics or you know, all of
a sudden, I fail to.

Speaker 4 (36:00):
Believe that the laws aren't going to protect somebody. If
somebody basically wants to say, hey, this is a this
is a we made this song as if it were Drake. Well,
that word drake belongs to Drake. So I'm hoping the
courts would give Drake some release, right, I mean, there
will be a lot of lawsuits going on, and I

(36:21):
think it's inevitable. Yeah, it's just do you but you know,
I don't have great confidence. And it starts with the politician.

Speaker 5 (36:27):
Yeah, it seems like that. I was going to ask you, like,
what pisses you off? Because you're also known to have it.

Speaker 3 (36:32):
You're really pisses me off. Two things pissed me off.
The politicians think they're protecting fans, but they're not. They
don't get it.

Speaker 4 (36:43):
And too, the major record labels are showing a major
lack of respect for the for for you know, for
what you know, this was, this was this art belongs
to me, belongs to the creator, you know, and and
yeah there's a balance, you know, the balance has shifted too.

Speaker 3 (37:02):
Far to the labels.

Speaker 5 (37:03):
Yeah, it's astounding to me that people and that this
is actually an argument like that people don't understand the creator.

Speaker 3 (37:10):
It's just what's going on.

Speaker 6 (37:12):
Doesn't know shit.

Speaker 4 (37:12):
It's right, it's and by the way, that's the reason
we got to strike in Hollywood now with the writers exactly,
they're saying we created this stuff, like let's you know,
so it's a really it is.

Speaker 3 (37:21):
It is a fascinating time. Would you say this is well?

Speaker 1 (37:24):
You did?

Speaker 5 (37:25):
I mean, this is the gold rush, this is so,
this is sort of kind of one of the most
sounds like, according to Irving, is off one of the
most wonderful times in music.

Speaker 4 (37:35):
Yeah, you got to be a dummy not to do
well in music right now? I mean, merch is selling
at record rates, tickets are selling at record rates.

Speaker 3 (37:43):
Right streaming is it record record rates.

Speaker 2 (37:54):
I've really enjoyed hearing about Irving's time in the music
industry today. He has so many great stories about artist
he represents and where everything is headed. I've heard is
another big passion though, and I want to know a
little bit more about it.

Speaker 5 (38:10):
Well, I have another quessure because I've offered Brian Lords say.

Speaker 3 (38:14):
You need to talk to everything about golf. He's a
huge golf Are you golfing?

Speaker 5 (38:18):
I am not golfing, my appears Brian, Brian is not golfs.

Speaker 3 (38:23):
Why does he want us to talk to know what
golf meant to you? Is it about the game itself?
Is it about bringing people together?

Speaker 4 (38:30):
Is like?

Speaker 3 (38:31):
What is the drive with your passion for golf?

Speaker 4 (38:35):
Well, first of all, I didn't start playing golf until
my fifties, and my son's got me into him. So one,
it's safer than killing yourself skiing or carrying an achilles
playing tennis as you get older. But here's an addicting
thing about it. Yeah, then for people of all walks

(38:55):
of life, at all ages. Yeah, I mean, you're out there,
it's like it's it's a quiet moment. I mean, it's serene,
it's a quiet moment, it's green. You know, my wife
is an avid, incredible art collector, but you know, my
art collecting is studying our golf course architecture and landscaping

(39:18):
on golf courses and stuff like that. Uh. And my
best friend Eddie Q and I built our own golf course.
You did, Yeah, we're about to open in October. We
built it down and down near Lakinta, Thermal and Thermal California.
You are, But look, it's comraderie. I can't tell you
a number of deals that get down on a golf course.

(39:39):
And I'm a business deal junkie right too. And and
you know, and as we travel the world, you know,
it's you learn a lot about whether you're in Carolina
or you're in France or whatever.

Speaker 3 (39:50):
You learn a lot about the culture by by what
their golf course is. And I gotta say thank you
for a life of giving me incredible music.

Speaker 4 (39:59):
And I didn't record a note of it, no, right,
And I think that is music.

Speaker 3 (40:04):
It is the music business if we help him get
the business right.

Speaker 6 (40:08):
And I like that.

Speaker 3 (40:09):
There are some managers that you know, might be involved
in the Some managers are.

Speaker 4 (40:13):
Kind of producers too, you know. We're business people, you know,
and we choose to work with artists that are mostly
writers and help them, you know, paint, They paint the
picture and we help.

Speaker 6 (40:24):
Get it sold.

Speaker 3 (40:24):
Yeah, but you know, so I think, but we're supposed
to be their eyes and ears to get some sound
back to him.

Speaker 4 (40:31):
But you know, but look, you're around it, and you
look at it and you're just an awe and yeah,
there's just true genius here. So we're just fortunate to
be able to be part of it. I don't really
feel like working in the music businesses. It's not really
a job and it's.

Speaker 3 (40:44):
Not a grind.

Speaker 4 (40:45):
You have to travel, you have to go to great places.
You get to you know, when you ask about golf,
you know, Glenn Fry who passed away like almost feels
like seven years. You know, Don Henley would call and
say to me, I don't understand something. He says, why
are we staying at a hotel in Kiowa Island and
opening the tour with six shows in the Carolinas. He says,

(41:06):
that wouldn't be so you and Glenn could play all
these great golf courses there, would it?

Speaker 3 (41:11):
Of course it is well, that is a perfect way
to end up, say Ermie, thank you so much.

Speaker 6 (41:17):
Pleasure too.

Speaker 5 (41:19):
It was great and the company was great and absolutely
long time overdue, long time thanks Bruce.

Speaker 3 (41:24):
Thanks and thanks for everyone pulling up with your today.

Speaker 2 (41:35):
Table for two with Bruce Bosi is produced by iHeart
Radio seven three seven Park and Airmail. Our executive producers
are Bruce Bosi and Nathan King. Table for two is
researched and written by Bridget arsenalt. Our sound engineers are
Paul Bowman and Alyssa Midcalff. Table for two's la production
team is Danielle Romo and Lorraine Verrez. Our music supervisor

(41:57):
is Randall Poster Our talent booking by James Harkin. Special
thanks to Amy Sugarman, Uni Cher Kevin Euvane, Bobby Bauer,
Alison Kanter Graber, barbur and Jen and Jeff Klein, and
the staff at the Tower Bar in the world famous
Sunset Tower Hotel. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your

(42:20):
favorite shows.
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