I was ready for Waronker. Perry Watts-Russell had prepared me well. He ran Warner Bros during their heyday in the 60's and 70's, ran Reprise Records in the '80s and DreamWorks Music AKA SKG Music Group before selling it to Universal in 2003.
He ran the labels for the artists he worked with producing classics like The Everly Brothers, Harpers Bizarre, The Doobie Brothers, R.E.M, Curtis Mayfield, Rufus Wainwright and Nelly Furtado. He had a billion dollor ear and was famed for his communication skills with artists on their level. Waronker was a pro from the old skool…
We were invited to do the interview in his house, which was built in glass with shiny stainless steel girders protruding at modernist angles, amazing lighting. Waronker showed me his digs, took me to his bedroom where I find a rather gorgeous 20 something russian girl checking her Facebook on his bed while stroking her teeny yappie white LA lapdog.
To repeat. Unless I was very much mistaken I was standing in the bedroom of the President of Warner Bros with his 20 something year old Russian girlfriend checking her Facebook while stroking her teeny yappie white LA lapdog.
If he was trying to impress me, it was flattering and confusing. If he wasn't then what was I doing standing in the bedroom of the President of Warner Bros with his 20 something year old Russian girlfriend checking her Facebook while stroking her teeny yappie white LA lapdog.
I put the thought to one side as I sat down for the interview with Waronker by his grand piano. Waronker was not as forthcoming as some participants but gave me a whistle stop rundown of a career that started when his father, Sy Waronker founded Liberty Records in the '50s and gave his son a job. From then on Waronker grew a reputation that reflected the appraisal of Watts-Russell, a man who understood artists and knew how to build long standing relationships with them.
He told me about his point of view of the Prince / Slave scandal, and after further executive level namedropping, the interview was over.