Kyrie Irving and the case of discontent

The question gnaws at Adam Silver. Terry Rozier feels like he went from the passenger seat to the trunk. Kyrie Irving is searching for balance. Why aren’t players happier in the NBA? – TOP

Celtics’ Irving, Horford ruled out for Nets game

Boston’s Kyrie Irving (back) and Al Horford (knee) played 35 minutes Friday night against the Pacers and will sit out Saturday’s game against the Nets. – NBA

Irving critical of Celtics’ implosion, D on Walker

After the Celtics blew a 112-94 lead to the Hornets, Kyrie Irving appeared to question the team’s defensive strategy against Kemba Walker, who he said “torches us every time we play him.” – NBA

Kyrie Irving learned from LeBron James not to lead comfortably

Kyrie Irving has been captain of what, at times, has been Team Turmoil. It has been one of his primary takeaways from his time with LeBron James. – NBA

Celtics’ Irving day-to-day with strained right knee

Kyrie Irving is expected to be on a day-to-day timetable after an MRI on the Celtics guard’s right knee revealed no damage. Irving suffered the knee sprain on Saturday night against the Clippers. – NBA

Irving: Don’t think Belinelli tried to hurt me

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said he doesn’t think Marco Belinelli tried to injure him. – NBA

The day Uncle Drew found out Kyrie Irving was traded

One year ago, in between playing one-on-one with his “Uncle Drew” body double and filming an epic dance scene in Atlanta, Kyrie Irving’s basketball future hung in the balance. – NBA

Celtics’ Irving set for procedure on ailing knee

Kyrie Irving is set for a “minimally invasive procedure” on the injured left knee that has kept him out for almost two weeks, the Celtics announced Friday. – TOP

Why did we get the Kyrie Irving trade so wrong?

Kevin Pelton had the Cavs acing the Kyrie Irving trade when it went down. What went wrong, and what happened to Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder? – TOP

Celtics’ Irving set for return from shoulder issue

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving says he’s “just ready to go back out there and play” after a shoulder injury kept him out of one game. He expects to return Sunday vs. Orlando. – NBA

New Year’s resolutions for James Harden, Kyrie Irving and more

What could make James Harden even more unguardable? What’s holding back Kyrie Irving? Here’s what five franchise players can improve upon to have a happier new year in 2018. – NBA

Isaiah who? Why Kyrie Irving is Boston’s new king of clutch time

It seemed improbable that anyone could rival Isaiah Thomas’ fourth-quarter production of last season, but Boston’s masked man has turned into a superhero in the clutch. – NBA

Irving: Was time for Celtics’ streak to end

The Celtics’ 16-game win streak is over, with Boston falling victim to the Heat in Miami on Wednesday night. – NBA

What Cavaliers questions linger after Kyrie Irving blockbuster?

What Cavaliers questions linger after Kyrie Irving blockbuster? – NBA

Woj: LeBron’s future affects Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving trade scenarios

Woj: LeBron’s future affects Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving trade scenarios – TOP

Report: Irving ‘not talking to anyone’ from Cavs (Yahoo Sports)

Kyrie Irving (AP)

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since Irving expressed his displeasure and asked to be traded.

Yahoo Sports – Top News


Get Great Deals at Expedia!

Report: Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland (Yahoo Sports)

Kyrie Irving

The All-Star point guard reportedly expressed to the Cavs that he no longer wants to play with LeBron James.

Yahoo Sports – Top News


Get Great Deals at Expedia!

Kyrie Irving on the Perks of Being a Grown-Up Sneakerhead

And why he feels like a kid in a candy store at the new Foot Locker in Times Square.

Style – Esquire


Fiction: It Takes a Commune: John Irving on a Novel About Growing Up Utopian

In Kevin Wilson’s “Perfect Little World,” a single mother joins a psychologist’s experiment in collective parenting.
NYT > Books


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Irving scores 57 in Cavs’ OT win over Spurs

Kyrie Irving had a career-high 57 points, and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied for a 128-125 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs in a physical and emotional game Thursday night.

Irving torches Blazers for 55, clutch 3 in win

Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 55 points, breaking the arena record while LeBron James watched from the bench and leading the Cavaliers to their eighth straight win, 99-94 over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. – NBA

Irving torches Blazers for 55, clutch 3 in win

Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 55 points, breaking the arena record while LeBron James watched from the bench and leading the Cavaliers to their eighth straight win, 99-94 over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Cavs’ Irving to return after 2-game absence

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving confirmed that he’ll return to action on Tuesday night after missing two games with a bruised left knee. – NBA

From Eagles to Jersey Boys: Interviews with Irving Azoff and Bob Gaudio, Plus a John Mark Nelson Exclusive

Eagles Soar Past $ 145 Million Worldwide

photo credit: James Glader

Having been in existence for almost five decades, the iconic American band the Eagles continue to surprise and mesmerize, selling out multi-night runs at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, Inglewood’s Forum and other high profile venues. Over the past year, the group has taken in over $ 145 million dollars in ticket sales, a staggeringly high number and testament to the impact this California group had not only on pop and FM radio, but also the music scene of the ’70s and even pop culture.

Though the Eagles left their own impressive mark as a musical tour de force, their camaraderie with contemporaries such as Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, the late Dan Fogelberg, J.D. Souther, Jack Tempchin, Randy Newman, Andrew Gold, Karla Bonoff, and the late, great Warren Zevon created what came to be known as the Southern California sound.

Collectively, these acts immortalized the idyllic SoCal lifestyle that spread across the San Fernando Valley, weaved its way through artist-friendly Laurel Canyon, and partied at beach towns such as Venice and Santa Monica. Scores of bands and singer-songwriters block vocal’d their own backgrounds to mimic Eagles harmonies; try finding a country record over the last thirty-five years without at least a hint of ol’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey layering. And though most don’t make the association, their fallout also can be found in youth culture films like Fast Times At Ridgemont High whose classic soundtrack ranged from taking an Eagles approach (even featuring Don Henley on “Love Rules”) to New Wave.

The current “History of the Eagles'” tour–via music and anecdotes–traces the various chapters of this important American band, journaling its climb from salad days to huge international success. Considering that history includes worldwide album sales of over 120 million, five #1 singles, six Grammy® awards, and the biggest selling album of all time–Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975–these Rock & Roll Hall of Famers have left more than a footprint on music history; the Eagles totally kicked its ass.

A Conversation with Eagles’ Manager, Irving Azoff

Mike Ragogna: Hey Irving. What do you think it is about the Eagles that is so iconic that they can just keep going decade after decade?

Irving Azoff: Timeless songs, consistent live delivery and picking the right times and places to do things.

MR: And the Eagles became pretty popular worldwide as well.

IA: That’s a tribute to how all through their career, they were willing to go overseas and work it. But also, these songs translate. They were kings in a day when you could appeal to everyone. I think the difference now is that it’s hard for anybody to get that big because everybody appeals to a certain segment of the audience. Back in the old days when we had hits, you’d hear a Stevie Wonder and then you’d hear a Marvin Gaye and then you’d hear an Eagles. They were the beneficiaries. The songs have stood the test of time, and that, to me, explains the worldwide popularity. We just put Australia and New Zealand tickets on sale and it’s just f**king mammoth. It’s incredible.

MR: You’ve been there right from the beginning with the Eagles and artists such as the late Dan Fogelberg. What did you originally see in them?

IA: Glenn Frey arrived after we met, he handed me a T-shirt that said “Phone Power” and he was wearing a T-shirt that said “Song Power.” To me, that just summed up from the beginning what would set them apart from every other rock band. They also made a conscious effort to not be who they weren’t, in everything from the way they dressed on stage to the way we didn’t put pictures of the guys on the album cover because it was a band. Things like that.

MR: And you also made some very strategic and creative moves like adding artists such as Joe Walsh and Timothy B Schmit to the Eagles’ roster.

IA: Well, yeah. The band took its natural turn towards rock ‘n’ roll. The obvious addition of Walsh was the big rock ‘n’ roll turn.

MR: These guys also have causes that they support. Don Henley immediately comes to mind, who is very socially conscious.

IA: They all are. Walsh supports the Santa Monica Conservancy in a big way, Glenn Frey has several–mostly kids in urban city-type stuff, he teaches at NYU–Henley focuses on his conservation stuff especially through the Walden Woods Project but he has other things like Caddo Lake. They deliver in all ways.

MR: Having been with these guys from the beginning, you’ve also seen their evolution as a live act. What are your thoughts on their show these days?

IA: To me, this is the best live show we’ve ever done. Again, we still can’t put everything in the show that we want to. The fact that they’re able to dip back and tell the entire story from beginning to end; it’s the story of the Eagles. They walk out on stage with just Glenn and Don and two guitars and play “Saturday Night” from the Desperado album. We’re able to go deeper into their repertoire. To me, this show they put together–from their performance to the production–is the most satisfying of all Eagles shows. People had better see it quickly because the three hour and fifteen minute set is coming to an end. I’m not saying they’re coming to an end, but this version of their live performance is. This show was written to go around once, not twice. That’s how it’ll be.

MR: Over the years, people have loved hearing new material from the Eagles. Do they do that still? Do they still get together and write?

IA: No, mostly because I told them don’t bother, because there’s no appreciation for it anymore. Neil Diamond once said to me that he puts four new songs all together in the set because he knows they’re going to get up and go to the bathroom when he plays new songs. I’ve actually discouraged them from doing anything new because there’s such a lack of respect these days for icons of our business doing any new material. Their audience wants to hear the body of work that they live with at home, not new material.

MR: It’s amazing how millions and millions of people love and know most of the material by the Eagles, with “Hotel California” seeming to be the most revered. Irving, what advice do you have for new artists?

IA: Be born thirty years earlier. The business as it exists now is not the opportunity that it was when we all started.

MR: With the Eagles having been as influential as they were, I believe they effected music way beyond the period when they had hit singles. And they were the door opener for so many other artists.

IA: They took their friends on, whether it was Jackson or J.D. or Linda or Dan. They took an interest in their friends’ careers and they took talented friends. They don’t get nearly enough credit for all the good that they do for society and for others.

MR: And you helped put all this in motion, Irving.

IA: Thank you very much.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne

Upcoming History of the Eagles 2014 / 2015 Tour Dates:

Mon 8/25/14 Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome
Wed 8/27/14 Portland, OR MODA Center
Fri 8/29/14 Stateline, NV Lake Tahoe’s Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Sat 8/30/14 Stateline, NV Lake Tahoe’s Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Tue 9/02/14 Salt Lake City, UT Energy Solutions Arena
Fri 9/05/14 Omaha, NE CenturyLink Center
Sat 9/06/14 Des Moines, IA Iowa Events Center
Mon 9/08/14 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
Wed 9/10/14 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
Fri 9/12/14 Allentown, PA PPL Center
Sat 9/13/14 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Mon 9/15/14 Boston, MA TD Garden
Thurs 9/18/14 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Wed 10/1/14 Phoenix, AZ Arena
Fri 10/3/14 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
Sat 10/4/14 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl
Sat 10/11/14 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Wed 2/18/15 Perth, AUS Perth Arena
Thurs 2/19/15 Perth, AUS Perth Arena
Sun 2/22/15 Melbourne, AUS Rod Laver Arena
Tue 2/24/15 Melbourne, AUS Rod Laver Arena
Sat 2/28/15 Macedon Ranges, AUS Hanging Rock Reserve
Mon 3/2/15 Sydney, AUS Qantas Credit Union Arena
Wed 3/4/15 Sydney, AUS All Phones Arena
Sat 3/7/15 Hunter Valley , AUS Hope Estate Winery
Tue 3/10/15 Boondall, AUS Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Wed 3/11/15 Boondall, AUS Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Sat 3/14/15 Auckland, NZ Mt Smart Stadium
Sun 3/15/15 Auckland, NZ Mt Smart Stadium


photo credit: Nick Fay

According to the artist…

“It’s a song about searching for joy and fulfillment, and pouring yourself into something, only to realize that what you are looking for is woven into the fabric of everyday life, and not just over the next hill.”


A Conversation with Jersey Boys’ Bob Gaudio

Mike Ragogna: Okay, pretend someone is hearing the story for the very first time. Where does the story start with Bob Gaudio and Franki Valli & The Four Seasons?

Bob Gaudio: Wow. You’re testing my memory, that’s for sure. I might have to go see the Broadway show again to refresh it. [laughs] Actually, in truth, there are many things in that show that have brought my memory back. As you might expect there were lots of stories told and from four different viewpoints. Everybody had a different angle on what I was about and I have a different view of what Frankie’s about, et cetera. That’s an interesting place in itself. When I was fifteen, I started in a group called The Royal Teens. Fast forwarding, I found myself in the middle of nowhere as a one-hit wonder. I got a job in a printing factory, thought, “Oh, this is not good, I could lose my fingers so I should do something else.” I dabbled back in, ran into some people, actually Joe Pesci–some liberties taken in the Broadway show–but essentially, I hooked up with Joe and Mike Petrillo and Louis Eppolito and we started a little jazz quartet. We played around starving and Joey said, “You should meet this guy, he’s got an amazing voice, you’re a songwriter, and this could make some sense.” Long story short, we met up and Frankie said, “We’re looking for a keyboard player. I’ve been trying to get a keyboard player in the band since we’ve basically been guitars.” That audition thing and meeting Tommy [DeVito] and Nicky [Massi] and cutting to the quick, off we went.

MR: What do you think it was about Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons that really resonated to you?

BG: That’s somebody who creates the music business. Certainly, the key here is Frankie. Frankie’s voice is beyond anybody’s that I’ve ever heard, and probably most people would say that including most singers. He’s pretty unique. I had a musical palette there that I could pretty much do anything I wanted to as a writer. Having the range he has, having the musical knowledge to be able to handle something non-rock ‘n’ roll and stretch that and meld that together with other music… I came form a classical jazz background when I was a kid and I was able to dip into that. Frankie was able to sing it and the combination with Bob Crewe and his expertise and flamboyance was just a great combination at the time. Marriages made in heaven, so to speak. We got on great. I don’t care who you are, if I structure the harmonies exactly thge way The Four Seasons did them and Frankie wasn’t on top, we’d sound like The Beach Boys. I’m stretching this obviously, but you get the point. His voice on top is the group.

MR: I see the lineage of folks that followed, like Billy Joel, especially on “Uptown Girl.”

BG: That’s true, I met Billy and this is again a stretch but he surprised me because he looked like a deer in the headlights when I met him. It was like, “How could you still be alive?” [laughs] This is my impression of the meeting, okay? He obviously has been a big fan, with “Uptown Girl,” and oddly enough, I was a huge fan of his because when I got off the road, I went to work with Motown and had a publishing deal and I remember getting a demo of this guy that just blew me away. It wasn’t right for what I was up to but it was a demo of “New York State Of Mind.” I wish I could find it. I know it’s somewhere in storage, and if I could find it, I’d get him to sign it for me. He had an amazing talent. To be even in his wildest dreams somebody, as the group or as a songwriter on my own, he’d listen to is a great honor. He has such an amazing talent.

MR: You wrote “Sherry,” and that’s the song that really broke The Four Seasons, I think. There’s something that was really captured in the studio during the recording process. Was there anything you did that was a little different during the sessions?

BG: Well, the idea of the doubling voices. I’ve said this a few times when comparing us to The Beach Boys and people always seem to bring that card out. We weren’t brothers, we didn’t have any relation vocally. We just didn’t have the typical vocal group blend. We were four individual different voices that somehow got thrown in the room and what came of it had to do with the way songs were written. Of course, there was Frankie’s voice, not to play Nicky and Tommy down. They had a unique sound as well. The four of us together was something radio hadn’t heard before, and the combination with Bob Crewe and his expertise in the studio… We developed that sound. When we doubled vocals, we sounded like no other group. I don’t know, it’s slightly out of tune, maybe. Something resonates, some buzz… We always referred to that when we were rehearsing as, “This is not buzzing.” There’s just something about when chords come together and when doubling parts come together and one’s a little louder than the other, a little more energy on the first take than on the second. These combinations all had to do with our personal preference in finalizing the product. When “Sherry” was done, I think there wasn’t anybody in the studio that didn’t know it was done. It was ready for radio. Fortunately, we were right.

MR: As a prodcuer and songwriter, you’ve worked with many artists, including Nancy Sinatra, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Eric Carmen… And then you produced Neil Diamond projects and Little Shop Of Horrors. Do you envision yourself early on as a producer?

BG: Yeah, that’s when I left the group. Fortunately, Frankie had survived, but it could just as well not, because leaving the group was a blow to Frankie but it was something that I just had to do. I’m not a performer. I don’t know how I wound up in the group and travelled with them anyway. That was just not my thing, so when the opportunity came, I thought, “It’s time, It’s time to get behind the board and work with other people.” Frankie was fine with it eventually, and that’s what happened. I’ve always felt I’m behind the scenes. I’m quite comfortable there and I think that’s where I do my best.

MR: Behind the scenes, you were also responsible for one of the most memorable hits ever, Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond’s “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” There’s a story behind that, how it started in one camp, moved to the other, and then a radio DJ blended both versions, right?

BG: That was the original mash-up, I think. I recorded that with Neil, we loved it and thought it was one of the better songs that he was doing. Nobody really seemed to pick up on it as as a single, maybe it was too easy listening, a little too ballady, but a DJ somewhere came up with this little combination and coincidentally it happeend to be in the same key, so that made it real easy. The phone started lighting up locally and I guess people started picking up on it, Neil got a call, “Hey, do you think we could get you guys on the same label, same song?” Barbara obviously recorded it differently and then it was a simple matter of–not so simple, by the way, the big job was getting it done, not that it wouldn’t work. We went in with about as many loaded guns as we could in case they decided, “Let’s do it live.” We opted for doing it face to face with a piano and singing from the heart, no strings, no anything, and that’s the way it was done. I pieced it together with, I don’t know, twenty-one takes vocally, and it was a reasonably easy job to do and then after the fact, the orchestration went on. Bingo.

MR: You were behind two of the most off the beaten path albums, one being the soundtrack album of TV special Watertown with Frank Sinatra.

BG: The TV special that never happened. Watertown. And I might add I’m proud to say it was the least-selling album Sinatra ever did. I hold the award for that one.

MR: What was the deal behind that? Why didn’t they ever air it?

BG: I’ve read some very astute reviews in The Paris Review about that album and the fact that it was a time when men just didn’t take care of the children. It wasn’t the kind of situation that’s happening more now with women working. I don’t want to sound like I’m into anything in particular. I’m just giving you things I read critiquing the album, that’s it’s way ahead of its time, et cetera, et cetera. But back to what you asked originally, Frank felt he wasn’t in good voice on the album and that was that. It went out without any fanfare. It was totally off-the-wall, if you will, for any Sinatra album. It is what it is. It’s a guy taking care of the kids because his wife leaves him and he sounds like that. It’s from the heart and there’s no polish, it’s the real deal. I don’t know that people wanted to hear Frank that way.

MR: Well it’s interesting because he did do the movie High Hopes which has a hint of that, the guy taking care of his son.

BG: Well if you’re doing a special you’re not totally live, but doing a special is a big burden. You’d better be singing like you’re playing Caesar’s Palace, you’d better be up to par. There isn’t somebody clipping film together. He felt the way he felt and, of course, you don’t say, “Oh, gee, would you reconsider?” So that’s what happened.

MR: Speaking of that and being socially conscious, you did The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette album with The Four Seasons. You got together with Jake Holmes to take a swing at the culture.

BG: Yeah, when I met Jake he was performing at The Bitter End, I used to hang there a lot when I was younger, I’d go see him all the time and he’s just knock my socks off lyrically. We started to talk and hang out a bit and the next thing I know we were writing an album. We wrote the Sinatra album, also, so we worked on two projects that I’m very proud of them. Neither one of them were hugely successful but Jake went on and had a great career, had a hit record and did tons and tons of commercials. We had a good time doing that, we just locked ourselves away for weeks when I lived in Montclair, he’d come out and stay with us and this is what came out of it. We were both in that same place at the same time.

MR: His song, the title track of the album should have been a top ten hit. I don’t understand what happened.

BG: As I remember it was a pretty good sized hit. I don’t remember if it went top ten, but he was a major talent. He’s written some great lyrics. “Genuine Imitation Life,” that whole song just killed me. That’s the only song on the album I think that we didn’t cowrite. It was just so good that I had to have it, so we did it.

MR: You wrote “Who Loves You” and “December 1963” that became the new sound of Frankie Valli. How did you do it?

BG: Those were my Motown days. When I left the group, I went with Berry [Gordy] and he got me there. Speaking of The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette album, when I first met him, he said, “I’ve got to tell you, there’s a song that you did that was never a hit called ‘Saturday’s Father.’ Once a month when I have my morning meetings with my creative, that’s one of my all-time favorite Four Seasons songs and it was never a hit but there is something about it.” Obviously, I love hearing that, so I went with Motown and during the time with Motown it just didn’t work. They weren’t hearing what we were doing or I was doing and Frankie Valli was there. Bob Crewe eventually came in for a bit and it didn’t work, so I asked to get out and Berry graciously said, “Okay,” and we worked out a nice deal for everyone. Mike Curb, who was a big fan, I can’t remember how or why or what, came into the picture. “Who Loves You” was in the wings at the time and we went with Curb Records recorded the Who Loves You album with “Oh What A Night.” It was just one of those moments where things worked perfectly, the timing was great and Mike was all over it once we left Motown.

MR: How did you get Jersey Boys from the La Jolla to Broadway?

BG: How much time do you have? That’s a Des McAnuff story.

MR: Do it!

BG: I wrote a show with Jerry Leitchling and Arlene Sarner, a new musical called Peggy Sue Got Married, which is based on the movie. It eventually opened in London. During the process of looking for a director, I ran into Des McAnuff and had lunch with him. He would do four or five films after that. He said, “I’m going into film land, but I’ll tell you. If you ever decdie to do a show or anything with your music…the first record I ever bought was called Sherry & Eleven Others,” which was our first album. He said, “That got me into the music business and theater.” That stayed in my brain. The years go by and so on and so forth and what started the idea of doing Jersey Boys–although that wasn’t the name at the time. The Deer Hunter had this famous pool hall scene where they’re singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” after five or six beers, totally out of tune, but it was a great moment. When I saw that there was such an impact on my creative juices and the fact that, “Hey, our music has been on radio, but it’s never really had a visual attached to it,” that was the beginning for me. But that’s a long while before. Cutting to the quick, one thing or another came about and eventually, I ran into Rick Ellis and we talked in LA to Frankie and I and we went back and forth on the idea of doing something like this and then Marshall Brickman got on board and that started to develop. Coincidentally, the Dodgers’ Michael David got interested as a producer. Michael David and Des McAnuff had been partners in the Dodger Theatricals group, so you can see how this all develops. Now the next step is Des McAnuff, artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse, so when things got rolling we went there for four weeks to see how good the possibilities were and wound up running for four months and then it was off to Broadway.

MR: Did you think it was going to be that successful? With that team you probably had an idea.

BG: Well, you never know with anything where it’s going. You choose the best company you can and you just hope. It’s almost like a blind date. You can hear a lot about the person but you never really know until you walk out and you say, “Yeah, I want to come back.” It’s that kind of a thing I think. The ingredients came together in La Jolla. They did a magnificient job, the spark was there, the writing and the production and the sets and the sound, the whole nine yards, it just came together beautifully. Did we know? Well if you sat in the audience on opening night in La Jolla I think you’d have a clue, because it was Beach Boy territory and the place came apart. So your assumption would have to be, “What happens if we get to Broadway, New York, our world, our territory, what happens then?” I was a betting man, because we did take it further. Like I told someone who invested in the show, “You’d better be careful, because if you put money into this after seeing it in La Jolla, this might be considered insider trading.” It was so obvious, the electricity was so overwhelming, it was hard to believe it wouldn’t work on Broadway. Of course, you never know. We crossed our fingers every night, but it worked.

MR: Many hit Broadway musicals naturally evolve into films, so seeing Jersey Boys become a film wasn’t a reach, right? In fact, I’d bet the second it hit Broadway, you knew this was going to be a film.

BG: We had lots and lots of early action when the Broadway show first hit. Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese and Graham King who stayed attached as producer… It’s gone through a major evolution and, by the way, so did Jersey Boys, initially. I made it sound really simple but the whole thing took place over seven or eight years. It was not an overnight, “Wow.” It was really a long process, as was the case with the film. Even though we were Tony winners, it was a long process. Creative opinions went back and forth. Frankie and I have been partners for fifty years but there are many times we’re on different pages. The process took a long time and where it finally wound up was with Clint Eastwood who we both considered debateably one of the top ten directors of all time. I said before with Jersey Boys when we went to La Jolla, you put yourself in the hands of people at the time who you think can do the best job and who you’re most comfortable with and are great talents. But it takes a while to get there. The film took a pretty large circle to wind up where it wound up. Nothing is that simple. It seems to be but it takes a lot of thought and a lot of work and a lot of luck.

MR: Do you have anything else up your sleeve?

BG: Right now, my shirt is sleeveless. [laughs] I’m just kind of sitting in Nashville and hoping the humidity goes down. The last project I did was still connected to what I’m doing. There’s a movement to get Peggy Sue Got Married to Broadway, but the soundtrack for the movie was the last big project and I’ve been sitting here in Nashville doing everything out of that little Box I told you about earlier.

MR: Bob, you’ve lived in Nashville over twenty years, right? You think it might work out for you someday?

BG: [laughs] I will admit we’re not here a hundred percent of the time, we’re in New York and we’ve been in L.A. and various other places, Australia and London, but Nashville’s a great town. It’s a humbling bunch of people here creatively. I mean really, you just walk out the door and go to any club and it’s, “Oh my God, they don’t have a deal?” It’s a great place to be.

MR: The whole concept of the old school “deal” is gone now.

BG: Yeah, it is a new world, but I’ve answered that question a few times, “What’s different in the music business?” and there’s not a whole lot difference from when we started. It’s still the same struggle, it’s still the same, “Hey, how can I make a living doing what I love?” That hasn’t changed, it’s just different now. But it’s still what it is, it’s all about the music. I can’t remember who said this, but the people who don’t make it in the music business that are truly talented are the ones that quit. That may be true.

MR: You’re getting into this territory, so I need to ask you right away: What advice do you have for new artists?

BG: I did a seminar a while ago with Eddy Arnold and Mike Curb and I told a little story that I won’t go into in too much detail. But I’ll start off with the advice as most people have heard many times–follow your dreams. An example of that is when I was doing The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond, I did the movie and I did the album. I was on MGM doing the final mixing of the film and I walked out into the lobby and I run into someone who I hadn’t seen in twenty-five years. We started talking and he said, “What are you doing?” I said, “Working with Neil Diamond,” “Oh yeah, right,” “What are you up to?” and he said, “I’m out here doing some little film but with some really talented people, great director, couple of great actors and I’m hoping… It’s been my first major role, but I’ve been trying to do this and I’m forty-two. I’m ready to get out of the business.” Guess what it was? It was Raging Bull and that was Joe Pesci. I hadn’t seen him in twenty years. There’s an example. At forty-two, forty-three years old, he stayed with it and bingo, it finally happened. That’s the advice. How long can you stand it? If you can stand it, stay with it.

MR: What was it like between the Dion DiMucci and the Frankie Valli camps back then?

BG: Dion I went to high school with for about six months, he went to Bergenfield High School, so I knew him–not well. I know him really well now. We talk reasonably often. I think Dion was actually pre-Four Seasons. I remember Dion & The Timberlanes, that’s how far back we go, and then it was The Belmonts. I loved his music. There was something chilling about the way he approached it. I loved the harmonies. I’d have to say they were something of an inspiration to me when I started. I don’t know about Frankie but from my point of view, maybe because we came from the same areas–I was born in the Bronx–it wasn’t a rivalry to my knowledge. But he and Frankie are really good friends now, they talk all the time.

MR: And you have all those album box sets that you participated in.

BG: Most of that stuff has been remastered and all, so I’m seeing it here with press releases and I know they’re doing what they call “Jersey Boys Summer” or “Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons” something or other. It’s the Summer Of The Four Seasons, as I see it. It’s thrilling to see all this product that’s being reissued because the truth is, obviously, if it wasn’t for the movie and the Broadway show, it wouldn’t be out there as vividly as it is. It’s a great thing, and it’s nice to know–no matter who you are, creative people like to know that people are hearing what they do, and I fall in that category as well as anyone else. I’m not one of those guys who says, “I don’t care if anybody doesn’t like the music, I’m just gonna do it.” Sure, I don’t know anything else I would do, but I still like to be recognized and this is a wonderful thing.

MR: And you sure are being recognized for it. So you’ve had the film, the musical, the swag… What’s next? A planet named Jersey Boys?

BG: [laughs] There is something that we’re talking about, and I wish I could say something about it, but I can’t.

MR: It’s a nation, isn’t it. You’re starting a new nation.

BG: [laughs] I can’t say it isn’t something somebody couldn’t figure out, it is something that would maybe take this to another level, although if we stopped with the movie and the Broadway show, we should all be quite happy with each other, and I am. I’m very proud of what’s happened and thrilled that people have come and said, “Hey, we’re going to make this more than you guys even dreamed.” I remember a good friend of mine who went to see the La Jolla production before I saw it. He called me during intermission and said, “My God, this might be bigger than you guys ever were.” I said, “Well that’s quite all right with me.”

MR: Bob, have fun collecting your Oscar.

BG: Well, from your lips. But whatever it is, we’re happy, we had a great producer and a great director…down the line, great directors on both projects. We just can’t ask for too much more except for that thing I can’t mention.

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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