Winding up a never ending Hollywood road to the hills, saddled by dads watering lawns, peering over white picket fences. Not for the first time we do a 3 point turn at the end of a snaking driveway leading to the wrong house.
We were in an exclusive part of town and the higher we climbed the more exclusive it became. As we walked from the car to his gate we were certain of one thing. Perry Watts-Russell had a big house on top of a hill.
Back home in England, success is not valued like in the States, Brits hide it, Yanks flaunt it. Boast about your Ferrari outside the pub and you're a twat in England, a hero in L.A. Perry Watts-Russell is a hero, but he is also a twat.
A modest, frank, rich English music exec living in LA in a massive house overlooking the hollywood sign (that's right, one of the 5 special people who look down on that sign).
Until late 2010 he headed up A&R for Warner Bros Music delivering big big big bands like Radiohead to the world. He had every boy's dream job, he was the man that every band in the world would unquestionably give their right testicle to meet. He was Josiah Leming's MIP, who before encountering Perry Watts-Russell was basically a nothing kid living in the back of his car canvassing open mic nights.
Watts-Russell rescued Leming. It was from Watts-Russell that i learned of the loss of Leming's mother to cancer. Watts-Russel nurtured Leming, not just as a business partner, but as a friend. So often music execs are reviled as corporate demons (not just by me), yet here was a man, who I learned was himself going through a painful divorce, offering hope to a hopeless kid. A crusader of gentlemanly music industry business.
Then, in late 2010, a few months after making this film, Perry Watts-Russell was fired from Warner Bros.
It's not just hypothesis to say that this loss was due to Watts-Russell not being a very good business man, anymore. I even asked him during our interview whether now was the dream time to have his dream job. It wasn't. Here was a man attempting to straddle the transition between the analogue and digital age in the music industry. That's not a crack in the pavement, it's a tectonic continental shift into a whole other ball game, a game that still hasn't been invented.