- Hardcover: 310 pages
- Publisher: Backbeat (October 6, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0879309822
- ISBN-13: 978-0879309824
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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And Party Every Day: The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records Hardcover – November 30, 2009
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Neil Bogart died in 1982 and, though there has been talk of a biopic for years (it was rumored in 2001 that Gene Simmons wanted to produce it as a Mike Myers vehicle), the actual story of the Los Angeles label he masterminded remained just a series of tall tales and exaggerated drug gossip until now. Larry Harris has emerged from his music-industry semiretirement to pen And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records.... Harris says, We came out with a New York attitude, trying to change things and made a little noise in the process. The book conveys this sense of excitement, as this ambitious, wild bunch from [New York] lands in the supposedly chill, post-hippie L.A. of the Eagles, CSNY and the long-haired ladies of the canyons.... The book contains detailed evidence of the chaotic manipulation of the music charts in the wild days before computer scanning. This fell mostly under Harris purview, and he offers fascinating insight on what these legendary promo men did back in the day. --LA Weekly
A delightful new memoir pulls back the veil on an almost-forgotten era.... Larry Harris was front and center--from Woodstock and the discovery of KISS, to the founding of Casablanca, Studio 54 and the origin of Disco. He relates each story with a refreshing humility, often sharing the recall of his own overwhelmed surprise.... And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records is not just an insider account of a major portion of American rock n' roll history--it's a work of cultural anthropology. Those dreams, those experiences, those trips and those days, may well be gone forever...but thanks to Larry Harris we've been blessed with an unabashed look back into our most fantastic and frivolous past. --Blurt.com<br /><br />The rise and fall of the world s most debauched label. The home of Donna Summer and The Village People during their 70s heyday, flamboyant mogul Neil Bogart s Casablanca Records had a license to print money which they promptly blew on drugs, bribes, and outrageous promotional stunts. As cofounder and Bogart s cousin Harris had a front-seat view of the madness. It s all in here, from the drug-fueled meetings to flying a birthday cake first class to Donna Summer, though there s the inescapable sense that it was always going to end in tears. --Q Magazine
All this is detailed in no-holds-barred fashion in Harris new memoir, And Party Every Day: The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records, co-written with Curt Gooch and Jeff Suhs. The most dirt-filled music book since MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e s The Dirt, And Party Every Day is always entertaining and frequently jaw-dropping, from Harris description of acting as runner for an enormous amount of cocaine for Curtis Mayfield and several female hotel guests during the Buddah days to tales of calling his own positions on the Billboard charts. --The Onion AV Club<br /><br />Casablanca Records, whose roster included Donna Summer and the Village People, symbolized the excesses of the era better than any other label. Harris, cofounder of Casablanca, with Gooch and Suhs (coauthors, Kiss Alive Forever), tells the insider s story of Casablanca, from its 1973 founding through corporate struggles (and lots of sex and drugs) to its 1980s disintegration under the conglomerate PolyGram. Harris details the early career and the breakthrough of Kiss as well as Parliament Funkadelic. He also corrects the story of Casablanca as told in Fredric Dannen s Hit Men. Verdict While the graphic details may make even adult readers uncomfortable; anyone open to finding out what the disco era at Casablanca was really like will love this. --Library Journal Xpress Review
Home to Kiss, Donna Summer, and the Village People, Casablanca was the quintessential 1970s record label, run by hype-crazed promo men who believed the best way to make money was to spend mountains of it. Former Casablanca VP Harris tells jaw-dropping tales of chart manipulation, desks piled with drugs...label execs throwing Frisbees out office windows at hookers, and Rodney Dangerfield, who was signed to the label, carrying a Noxzema jar of cocaine. --Rolling Stone Magazine
Casablanca Records, whose roster included Donna Summer and the Village People, symbolized the excesses of the era better than any other label. Harris, cofounder of Casablanca, with Gooch and Suhs (coauthors, Kiss Alive Forever), tells the insider s story of Casablanca, from its 1973 founding through corporate struggles (and lots of sex and drugs) to its 1980s disintegration under the conglomerate PolyGram. Harris details the early career and the breakthrough of Kiss as well as Parliament Funkadelic. He also corrects the story of Casablanca as told in Fredric Dannen s Hit Men. Verdict While the graphic details may make even adult readers uncomfortable; anyone open to finding out what the disco era at Casablanca was really like will love this. --Library Journal Xpress Review
About the Author
About the Author
Larry Harris began working for Buddah/Kama Sutra Records in the summer of 1971 as the local New York promotions man, and in 1973 joined his cousin Neil Bogart in founding Casablanca Records. He became senior vice president and managing director of the company in 1976 and left Casablanca in the fall of 1980. Larry was born in New York and now lives and works in Seattle.
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While there are plenty of anecdotal stories about Casablanca's biggest stars, like initial signing Kiss and superstars Donna Summer and The Village People, the bulk of "And Party Every Day" focuses on how a young Neil Bogart took his idea for an artist driven record company and built his empire from the ground up. Larry starts the story with a reminiscence of being at Woodstock and realizing he's found his place in the world, then joining Neil in his dream. Along the way the two of them make millions of dollars, spend even more, give the world Kiss, Parliament,Angel and cover the globe with Disco.
But there's also the seamier side of egos, drugs, industry politics and manipulations. The decision to release the four solo albums by the members of Kiss and ship over a million copies of each that started the beginning of the end of Casablanca and the behind the scenes battles that caused it. The fudging of figures and the turf wars. Greed, excess and flamboyance. The world of Casablanca Records and Filmworks was both magic and the crazy tale of the man behind the curtain, and Harris does a terrific job in making it readable. Casablanca not only was a record and entertainment company, it was a universe unto itself. "And Party Every Day" takes you on a time machine when music people not only made and sold the music, they sold the dream along with it. It makes me miss the dream, miss the people that built it, makes me wish they were my friends. And I wasn't even there.
To be fair, the book does state it's the "inside story" of Casablanca, so maybe I shouldn't have expected to learn much about the artists who recorded for the label. And the other part of the title, "And Party Every Day," aptly describes much of what this insider writes about even though, in the last chapter of the book, he expresses his displeasure about another author whom he claims overplayed the drug dealing/taking aspect at Casablanca.
So, given my fascination with the man, the music, and the company, I was predisposed to love this book. And it is engaging reading. Larry Harris was a distant relation to Bogart and he joined the company at its inception and stayed through mid-1979, when the wheels started to come off the cart. What a ride it was, though. This was the label that broke out and made stars of Kiss, Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, and the Village People. For the acts that did not reach superstar status on the label (D. C. Larue, Pattie Brooks, Rare Gems Odyssey, Love and Kisses), they created music that stands up to this day. And the company revived the recording careers of Cher and the Captain and Tennille. "Do That To Me One More Time" was number one on the charts the day Neil Bogart left the label.
The straws that broke the camel's back (no pun intended) were Polygram buying a controlling interest in the company and the commercial failures of the Kiss solo albums that led people to peer behind the smoke and mirrors. For a company with such a commanding presence on the charts, Harris claims it was never profitable. Myths are hard to sustain over time, especially in a dollars and cents world, and the party couldn't last forever. But what a party it was.
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A must read for any serious music fan !