The Spectropop Group Book Of Remembrance
Jamie LePage (1953-2002)
Founder of the Spectropop Group
Jamie LePage was born James Page Porrazzo, on December 11th, 1953 in Hollywood, California. His parents both had musical backgrounds. From an early age he was an aficionado of the kind of classic pop beloved by Spectropoppers.
While working at Ariola Records in the late '70s, he became interested in Japanese culture, and first went there on a language scholarship. From the early '80s he lived permanently in Japan.
Jamie worked at many of the big music publishing companies, including Sony, Virgin, EMI and Fujipacific. While at Virgin he produced the all girl Japanese rock band Shonen Knife.
He was known as a skilled business negotiator with an encyclopaedic knowledge of and love for popular music. He was also a fan of vintage scooters and the 'Tiki' culture of the '50s and '60s.
Jamie will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.
very much for your kind condolences.
Mayumi and Lisa Porrazzo
Page's only brother, Dino, and I, want to thank the people from The Spectropop Group for all the great things said about Page. And it's all true. He was a very special guy. Your comments brought tears to our eyes. Thank you so much for your input.
Thank God I got to see him last May for 11 days. We visited Steve (his good friend) and family. One evening, his wife Mayumi, daughter Lisa, Page and myself went to a karaoke place and we all sang. We sounded pretty good. Page sang "Under The Boardwalk" with lots of enthusiasm. Lisa's voice is incredible. We had a lot of fun that night.
The picture of Page sitting on his scooter brings back fond memories. In 1995 I got a call from Page asking me to look for a vintage Vespa scooter. That same day I bought a motorcycle trader mag, with only 3 scooters listed. One was (you guessed it) a vintage Vespa! I promptly went to see it, bought it, & shipped it by boat. When Page received it, he said, "Dad, how did you do that? I've been looking for months!" He was like a little kid in a candy store. Of course he spruced it up - added new lights, horn, directional signals, etc.
I made airline reservations to see him on March 12th, but my doctor said no - because of my health, so I had to cancel. Page will always be in my heart. I'm so glad I got the chance to tell him how much I loved him and how proud I was of all his achievements.
So...keep Spectropop alive, because that was what he wanted. Thank you....
David & Dino Porrazzo - San Diego, CA
When I heard the news about Jamie, I was crushed. He spoke very little about his illness that night, and I assumed that the worst part was over. I feel very lucky that I was able to meet Jamie, and I send my love and condolences to Mayumi and Lisa. Jamie, you are one of a kind and you will be missed.
We will always remember Page with that gleeful smile whenever we asked
him anything about his favourite subject, music. Most of all we will
remember our trips to Shibuya - going to a record store with him was like
opening a Pandora's box of delights, and we spent many an afternoon in
Wave shrieking with joy at our new discoveries, all thanks to Page. Always
keen to share his wealth of musical knowledge, his support and enthusiasm
have increasingly contributed to our work. Page will be greatly missed
by all of us lucky enough to have had him enter our lives. Our thoughts
are with Mayumi and Lisa, and all of his family and friends.
Corinne & Andy - Swing Out Sister
Though I never really knew Jamie on a personal level I've always had a warm spot in my heart for Spectropop. And people have told me how much Jamie enjoyed my recordings, particularly "Watch Out, Sally!", which has always been one of my personal favorites. I was very sorry to hear of his passing and I extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
I feel like I've been kicked in the teeth. Page and I had a long-standing email friendship. And we were both pretty sure we had met in the late 70's when he was working with Herman Brood, and I was at WBCN in Boston. We played the hell out of that record, and I'm pretty sure we did a broadcast of Herman and the Wild Romance. I'm deeply deeply saddened. He was one of the good guys.
Conversations with Jamie
12Feb01 - "I'm sitting in hospital feeling a bit like John Lennon
on the cover of 'Life With the Lions'. Dressed in all white, unshaven
and messed up hair falling about my face. The difference, of course,
is that I have needles stuck in me (forgive the atypical writing style,
it's hard to type)."
After an initial warm welcome to Spectropop a year earlier, it wan't too long before we were exchanging emails about our favourite records and our shared passion for recording techniques, having both been studio hands at some time. Although we were both 'professionals', Jamie enjoyed nothing better than discussing tracks, exchanging information, and telling stories from a fan's perspective, which is essentially the forum he intended Spectropop to be. And was almost a child when presented with a rare, or obscure classic:
13Jun00 - "Will you believe me if I write I am right now listening
to 'Boys Town', a record I had heard only once and think about several
times a week because I wanted to add it to Spectropop Radio, and it
is literally giving me chills. Unbelievable!!!!!!!"
Things really took off when we discovered that we had each recorded (unreleased) versions of the demon "Paradise", the ultimate Phil Spector record, we concurred. Here was someone who truly knew the meaning of "..makes you want to climb into the loudspeakers..". In an attempt to introduce Jamie to all my favourite tunes, I bombarded him with CDRs of 'must haves', little realising that this was to be the "healing music" that helped him through his first major struggle:
24feb01 - "As you will know, I've returned from hospital. While I was there, I was cut off from the internet, save for my co-moderator who regularly brought me digests on floppy disc. It was these visits and your CD-Rs which got me through the most difficult experience of my life - so far."
Throughout the intervening months, Jamie was disarmingly light about his condition, concentrating his efforts on his beloved Spectropop, and reveling in the tide of 'celebrities' now swelling the membership, maintaining a sense of humour in the face of any setback:
19Apr01 - "The second round of treatment went very smoothly, much more
so than the first, even though the dosages and formulas were identical.
I've been home just three days and I feel nearly back to snuff. Thanks
again for all the support. Obviously, it ain't over till it's over,
and it ain't over yet, but for now I am beaming with victory and am
so glad to be back at home with my family, friends, music, garden, tiki
room and of course Spectropop.
14Jul01 - "I'm still not out of the woods - six weeks of radiation - my friends say I am beginning to glow! As sick as the treatment has made me, I am told the response is very good so maybe I will get to stick around a little longer after all!"
17Sep01 - "Sorry I've been out of the loop these last couple of weeks. I pulled a 'Spector' on everyone, I'm afraid! Have I mentioned before that I'm a motorscooter enthusiast? I own a 64 Lambretta TV 200 and a 63 Vespa GS, as well as a couple of Japanese scooters. OK, now picture the point in 'Leader Of The Pack' where Mary screams "Look out look out look out look out!" - I had a little accident. Nothing major - broken femoral bone (Let's Dance the Screw). I am at home recovering now. Should be up and about again in 6-8 weeks. Have I mentioned before that I *used to be* a motorscooter enthusiast:-)?"
Our last conversations were about the excesses of the Spectropop Christmas
Party, which Jamie regarded as a landmark achievement. Although he was
there in spirit, he desperately wanted to be there in person, and was
eagerly looking forward to many more.
Jamie may have lost the battle for life, but he will live on through Spectropop.
I still have your copy of "Smile".
Goddamn it I miss you, man.
I smashed my fist on my desk and cried
I meant to see you again the other day
And so it meant so much to me
You taught me so much about the music business
Who else could I talk to about Phil Spector, Joe Meek, Roger Ruskin-Spear, Mrs. Miller, Brian Wilson, The Fleetwoods, Arthur Lyman, Buddy Rich, Ash Ra Temple, Jeremy Spencer, Don the Beachcomber, the concept of prosody, and of course Spectropop, all in the course of a single evening?
And in your last months, I learned so much from you about bravery
I can see you mixing a drink
I still disagree with you about the producer and the production being the most
important elements of a record.
I want to thank you for your many acts of kindness.
The day after you died
You were a very private guy.
To know you was to love you.
The sadness I feel is surpassed only by the joy of having been your friend.
I now pass the mike over to Percy Bysshe Shelley:
He is made one with Nature: there is heard
I feel so blue. I enjoyed Jamie's insights and his sensitive views on music and music people.
I initially found out about the existence of Spectropop when I did a web search to find sites dedicated primarily to oldies music of the 60s. I posted a message on its bulletin board about live-by-phone interview shows on the internet that I was planning to do with 60s recording acts Janie Grant and Diane Renay.
Jamie noticed my post and it was he who personally had suggested that I join Spectropop and then welcomed me with a most flattering letter. When I was having some problems with my initial setup he most graciously took extra time to help me overcome them. He was extremely nice to me.
And, as a total surprise and without telling me anything about it until after it was done, he posted in the members area a picture of Janie Grant. A few days later he surprised me a second time by posting one of Diane Renay.
Jamie and I didn't communicate personally too often but when we did he always treated me with kindness and respect. I truly wish I had gotten to know him better.
On March 23rd, exactly three weeks before he died, he sent me an e-mail telling me how much he had listening to the rebroadcast of a three-hour interview show I did with Bobby Vee and how much he was looking forward to my future interview shows on the internet. I would like everybody to know how very saddened I was to find out Jamie's passing and to publicly extend my sincere condolences to his family, friends and associates.
Jamie will be sadly missed. Even though he generally preferred to maintain a low-key presence on Spectropop, his characteristic affability, humour and professionalism permeated the whole site. It's evident in the way that his passing has affected so many who knew him only via his web presence. His communications to me always radiated genuine friendliness, and even the most routine of e-mails were never signed off without a "hope things are well" or "good to hear from you". It's easy to see why he was held in such high regard by so many. I, like many other members, feel sad that the opportunity to get to know him better has now been denied.
To all who loved him, sincere condolences during this difficult time.
I have recently learned of Jamie LePage's sad passing. My condolences to his family, and to those who knew him either in person or via the list. I fall into the latter category, but he was always friendly, courteous, and helpful, professional and knowledgeable. One could tell just by touring Spectropop's site and reading the posts that this monumental resource, the source of joy and knowledge was a labor of love which, thankfully, will live on in his memory. And should there be any doubt about just how good Spectropop is, check out almost any other music list and compare: Spectropop is all the courses I wish I could have taken in college as a music major - and much more fun.
Incidentally, I never knew the extent of Jamie's professional involvement, but knowing what I know now, I'm glad to say that I helped make Herman Brood's Jamie-produced "Saturday Night" a heavy airplay item in Hartford. I'm delighted that Spectropop continues as his living monument, and I'm grateful to be part of it.
'Country Paul' Payton
I was so sorry to hear of Jamie's passing. He graciously offered me the page for my Girl Groups book, which has helped raise awareness of my work. He surely will be missed.
I was saddened to read this morning of the passing of our Spectropop
leader.....a friend that I never met face-to-face. Jamie invited me
into this group after our initial meeting in the Pet Sounds Mailing
List. We solidified our friendship in '98 when Jamie was compiling a
Robin Ward custom disc and I happened to have a cut he hadn't heard
(imagine!) nor could get his hands on. I gladly sent the track off to
Japan, and in return received a wonderful disc of Robin Ward treasures
that I cherish. Jamie was a generous, open-hearted man...such a rarity
nowadays in the music biz. I, too, am now listening to Walking In The
Rain. Somehow it helps.
After reading the many tributes to Jamie, I wished that I had saved certain e-mails of his so that I, too, could quote from them and be able to tell more of his life story in the process. Like Mick, I bought Jamie's earliest records by Needles and Pins, Denny Ward, and MnMs - and, much later, the Shonen Knife catalog, when they were new, little realizing that I'd one day befriend the guy behind them all. I remember in particular the Knife's Christmas single and its sleeve, which brilliantly paid tribute to Phil Spector's 1963 Christmas EP.
Jamie knew his stuff, all right, and sometimes my head would spin as I read messages (on list and off) detailing minutiae about recording techniques, performance rights, contract negotiations, residuals, and such. But in the end, it's not his résumé for which I'll remember and forever appreciate him. It's his heart. Indeed, Jamie was a modest fellow, never keen to talk about himself. This doesn't mean that he was self-deprecating; on the contrary, he was justifiably proud of his accomplishments, but you had to drag that kind of information out of him. He created Spectropop for the community it serves, not as a forum for his own ego-tripping. It was, and will continue to be, about the music and the relationships, not about him or any other individual or group. Although it wasn't really a secret that he was the founder/moderator, more than once I noticed that he'd edited his name out of a post if someone was referring to him in that capacity, replacing it simply with 'the list moderator' and taking the spotlight off himself. I remember how thrilled he was when membership reached 300 and his gushing about the quality of the members and their posts.
Sometimes when I felt the boundless, childlike enthusiasm he exuded through his e-mails when I turned him on to some rare track he didn't know about or he finally got me to understand a fine legal point, I found it difficult to believe how sick he was. His passion for Spectropop and the subjects it covers, his love for and dedication to the group and its members, gave his life meaning and joy when he was in great pain and barely able to move. Our correspondence frequently took on deeper topics than those covered on the list, and I can tell you that Jamie had a vibrant inner life that I like to believe continues in some form. He wrote at length about the spiritual aspects of his illness, and, especially, how he chose to respond to it. I am comfortable saying that he would appreciate your keeping Mayumi and Lisa in your thoughts and prayers. I am grateful for Jamie's life, friendship, example, and legacy. He will live on in Spectropop's pages and in my heart. May his thoughtful, generous, positive, and indomitable spirit touch and stay with you too.
David A Young
It was with sadness that I read the tribute. Indeed, Jamie LePage sounded like someone I would have liked to have met. I have been a member of the Spectropop Newsletter for a while now and I did enjoy reading the post from many of the other readers. Like Jamie, I too am fan of Phil Spector as I am sure many here are. I would just like to say that I am glad that he started something he really liked and stuck with it. He will be missed.
Gary P. Spector
My thoughts go out to Jamie's friends and family at this time...
I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jamie LePage. Although I never met Jamie, the news of his death really shook me, I felt that I actually knew him, such is the power of cyberspace and the Spectropop forum. His unrelenting passion for the music of Phil Spector has made the Spectropop website such an incredible encyclopaedia of information. His enthusiasm has made the forum such a lively and informative group, of which I am one of many who will be always be truly grateful to Jamie LePage.
Such bad news. I didn't know Jamie very well, but his knowledge about Spector recordings and passion for the types of music we all love made a big impression on me. Even by simply reading his posts I can tell what a special person he was, and I'm very sad to see that he passed away at such a young age. I send my sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone on the Spectropop mailing list (many of whom obviously knew Jamie much better than me). I truly hope he went peacefully and without suffering for too long.
I didn't even know Jamie was the force behind the group. A few years ago, after leaving a message somewhere about an obscure Spector record, I got a post from Spectropop inviting me to join, and have been learning and enjoying ever since. I've often mused about why this group is unique, wondering how in the world it got to be so very special. Now I know. Thank you Jamie - many blessings to you.
S. J. Taqi (Ted T)
I was very saddened to hear of Jamie's passing. I found in him a kind, modest and supportive friend who I shall miss very much. The Spectropop site is a fine testament to the kind of man he was.
The following paragraph shows his feelings towards the group and why
I'm sure it will continue:-
Wow, there's definitely a lot I didn't know about him! What I do know is that he was "for real", not an egotistical stuffed shirt, he cared about the music and about the group. And he was probably as big a fan of Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich as me! He certainly wasn't a snob. I usually steer clear of mailing lists, but I joined at Jamie's insistence. I'll miss his presence, and his kindness.
I did not know Jamie well, but very much did enjoy the contacts I did have with him. Through his efforts I feel part of an intelligent group of friends for whom the bond is music and the love and harmony that it brings. That in itself is a wonderful thing to have left behind - let us continue in his name with a smile on our faces...
Kingsley Abbott - Norfolk, England
My sincere condolences to Jamie's family and friends. God bless them.
I am very sadden by the passing of Page...I just met him in the summer of 2000 while performing in Tokyo with Lee Mallory. Page came to the show and we had breakfast the following day. Ihave been in contact with him for the past 3 months and was to see him last month when Iwas in Tokyo, however he became too ill.
Page and I were very interested in the same music..he loved my group, The Millennium and The Blues Magoos ...I have been recently working with him on a production project that I am doing on a domestic Japanese girl artist Takako Kyo...I am so sorry the this guy didn't get the chance to play the last dance.
God Bless Page P. and his family
Joey Stec - The Millennium
My dear friend Page
We used to enjoy talking about 60's music and he sometimes gave me good advice on my work. We interviewed Jimmy Webb together, even visited Brian Wilson backstage. Those are truly fond memories of mine. His warm personality and charming smile made us all so happy. He will be missed by all those who knew him. Rest in peace.
Yoshi Nagato - Tokyo
He was a really good person who remained humble even though he had
accomplished many things.
He will definitely be missed.
Page and I first started corresponding so long ago that I can no longer determine the precise time, but it was at least six years ago on the Pet Sounds Mailing List. Our conversations started with Brian Wilson, then moved to Phil Spector, then gradually branched out to include Brill Building, Sloan & Barri, David Gates, Bob Crewe, Curt Boettcher, you name it. We'd discuss increasingly obscure sixties girl-group acts and soft-pop recordings that had disappeared ignominiously from US record store shelves over thirty years ago but which could inexplicably be found on compact disc in Japan. He must have had similar conversations with other friends along the way, because eventually, it occurred to Page that the interest he and I shared along with other likeminded colleagues just might indicate an even broader interest in the subject. And so was born the Spectropop website and mailing list.
As Spectropop grew, Page's and my private conversations about music gradually shifted to the public venue. Then, as the membership swelled with serious historians, music biz professionals and the actual artists who had created the masterpieces we so adored, the tone of discussion on the mailing list grew ever more profound and factually oriented. Even so, Page always pushed me to continue sending in my wide-eyed, fan-based musings. Probably because, even though he wanted to know as much as possible about the facts surrounding the production of those great pop recordings, he also had not lost his own enthusiasm for those recordings as great music. Thus, our mailing list has remained a haven for all unabashed lovers of spectacular retro pop. People can fondly recollect their favorite Shirelles 45 in one breath, and in the next breath debate whether one can hear the different LA studios' distinct echoes in the various sections of "Good Vibrations." Page made sure that Spectropop would be just such a place.
Consequently, Spectropop grew in his image. Spectropop is by far the most interesting, *nicest* mailing list I have ever participated in. Unlike other groups, there are no Spectropop members whose messages I skip when I see their name. Unlike other groups, I never delete Spectropop digests when my mailbox gets backed up. I read every single word, because it's all valuable. As for the web site, it has become an outstanding site for fans and historians alike with an interest in pop music ca. 1959-1969. And if it's not actually at Spectropop, then there's a link to the best specialty site. Even my one meager contribution to the web site, a general overview of sixties pop music, continues to net me a couple of emails a year from high school or college students who want to use my essay in a school project. That's my own small contribution, and it happened thanks to Page.
Meanwhile, with Spectropop serving as the focus for pop music discussions, our own correspondence shifted to other areas. We talked about current rock, the state of the music industry, Disneyland, Tiki lounges, motor scooters, classic movies and old television shows, the Rat Pack, bossa nova, singers of American standards. Talked a little about dads and kids.
Page was a formidable music professional and a well-versed historian of pop music. And yet he always treated my own opinions with respect. He listened and responded sincerely to my analyses and theories. He also encouraged my own musical ambitions, praising my amateur efforts and honoring me by treating me as an honest to goodness musician. In all of this, Page never gave even a hint of condescension. Never. He was kind and gentle, clever and succinct.
From Page, I learned about generosity and the culture of sharing on the Internet. Over the years he sent me tons of music--obscure stuff, unreleased stuff, stuff he had produced, stuff he just liked, stuff that would have no interest for anyone except him and me. From his example, I learned the paradoxical lesson that you discover the best stuff not from direct trades, but by being willing to send out your own best stuff to others without requiring anything in return--and then, as if by magic, someone somewhere will wind up sending you something even better. It was the practical application of the principle, "the smile you send out will come back to you."
These are melancholy days for me. So many things that I love make me think of Page right now. The music of Bacharach/David, Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, Bob Crewe, Shadow Morton. The Brill Building. Gold Star. Beehive hairdo's. Donna Loren, Harvey Lembeck and Deborah Walley. Liz Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Shonen Knife. Akira Kurosawa. Nineteen frigging sixtyfour.
Page was a friend to me, and I miss him.
Condolences from Boston, MA..
My friend Page
I met Page about 5 years ago in Los Angeles. He had ventured out from Japan to attend a pop festival here in his hometown. We became fast friends and spent many hours talking music - as much as we could with his busy schedule. It is possible that my colleague (and fellow Spectropopper) Brad Elliott might have even introduced us. I have to say, in person, Page's enthusiasm for that field of post-50s/pre-Woodstock music was matched only by the participants of Spectropop (the list which Page asked me to join as soon as we met).
Page also was quite an ally in my musical career and spent a good deal of time trying to help me navigate the inexplicable waters of the Japanese music business. He had a lot of soul.
The last time I saw Page was at the historic studio now known as Cello (but formerly known as Western, and then Oceanway). In his inimitable fashion he called me up Brian Wilson style and barked "Andrew, meet me at Western #3 right away!" We laughed and took pictures of the echo chamber (this lead to a discussion of creating a web page dedicated to the great echo chambers of the world - all of which we vowed to visit).
I am really sad that we didn't do more together, and that I didn't follow through on his hope of a Spectropop page dedicated to the Cyrkle (a group I helped Page get into via a custom made CD). He really was a sweet guy. My message to fellow Spectropopper's is don't wait too long to do that dream project - this important music and it must be remembered. Shoot for the moon - and make it mono.
Strange how the death of a person who I've never met has really touched me. He put his time and energy into a group which I have enjoyed for the last two and a half years. It became a daily source of discussion, information and friendship. My condolences to his wife and daughter.
I met my dear friend page in 1985 in tokyo. He was working for CBS/SONY music publishing, and I was composing and producing a 3-girl American group for JVC/VICTOR JAPAN called 'CHERRY CHERRY' (Page named the group). Page was in charge of A&R for the project. he came to LA for the recording and mixing...and I was immediately impressed with his knowledge and love of music. 'CHERRY CHERRY' weren't a hit...but Page's and my friendship was!
Right now, I am thinking about so many good times and conversations with him... dinner at my home in LA with my family and his, going to concerts and clubs in Tokyo, hanging out at his office and lots more. we compared notes all the time about the Japanese music biz, and Page was always like a walking encyclopaedia. Iremember how his entire face always lit up whenever I would mention Phil Spector or Brian Wilson. He became like a sweet, little kid! I remember how excited he was one day when Istopped by his office and he said "Joey! Joey! hey man ,,,you gotta check this out!" he played me a mix of the Beach Boys with the instruments deleted. He was giggling and freaking out over every song! I remember how excited he would always be whenever he talked about his daughter, Lisa. He was the perfect proud and loving papa! He always told me how much he loved his wife, Mayumi, and how lucky he was to be married to her. And vintage scooters! He LOVED those things! I have a great shot of him with a helmet on next to one of his scooters on the street in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Page.....dear buddy...my heart is broken right now, pal. I pray that you will rest in peace in God's love in heaven. and my thoughts and love and prayers for Mayumi san and Lisa chan. Life will be more difficult for you both without a sweet, kind and loving husband and father, but Iam sure that he will be watching over you from heaven. I'll miss 'ya page... but Iknow that one day we will meet again in heaven. rest in peace, Page. You will always be in my heart, and in my prayers.
With love and respect,
I didn't know Jamie personally, but we became good email friends. It all started when I told him about the rare Spector music I had found. He was enthusiastic about it and I was more than glad to add my grain of sand to his immense music knowledge. I learned a lot from him and his humble and great approach to the 60s music that I love. Thanks Jamie for putting Spectropop together, a music resource that has proved priceless for so many good music lovers around the world. As I write this, I'm listening to "Walking In The Rain", a song that you loved so much. Rest in peace, my friend.
I am very sorry to hear about Jamie's passing... my condolences to all.
So many times people die, and you realize you never really thanked them for all they've done. This news group, this web site are remarkable acheivements that have added so much richness and wonderful music to my life. Although I never met Jamie, I 'heard' from him for years and am shocked to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family and friends. And Jamie, wherever you are, thank you.
J. Page Porrazzo
I will always remember Page as a kind and concerned man. Page didn't just promise to get something done. He got the job done. As long as it took.
I met Page in 1995 when he worked at EMI publishing Japan. A number of my compositions (including "I Love Rock 'n' Roll") are assigned to EMI Publishing. Page was my designated liason with EMI Music Publishing Japan, and he greeted me warmly. I still have, and use, some of the presents he sent to my hotel, which were there in my room on arrival. Thoughtful gifts: An international time-zone clock and calculator. Good for knowing the time for the calls home, and doing the foreign money exchange. We went to several lunches, and discussed music, about which he was very knowledgable and very passionate. He was so impressed that I had sung a recorded and released duet with Arthur Alexander. I was impressed that he knew of Arthur!! But then Page had vast musical knowledge, which I have come to realise in the past several years.
We did however have current business, and Page was very effective in sorting it out for me. An old album of mine from 1973, "Tokyo-New York" (by my band Vodka Collins) had been reissued on CD. It had won all sorts of awards as best reissue in 1990, and the old CD was selling so well over the next few years that the band actually reunited after over a 20 year hiatus to record another album. The hitch was that I had never had a royalty from my work with Vodka Collins. Not one yen since '73. I wrote every song on "Tokyo-New York", and had all the lead vocals save for one. There were three domestic market hit singles on the record, and a TV series theme song. No money had come my way at all. Page set out to make it right for me. He could not believe the injustice, but he also knew that he had to play by the rules of Japan show business to resolve this or it would drag on for years. Fortunately I also knew this, and that made Page's job easier, compared to his relationships with 'outsider' foreigners who didn't understand how to play the game in Japan. Page stayed on this case like a bulldog, and with the back-up help of Brenda Brooker of RAK-EMI in London, who I had originally assigned the songs to, the situation was resolved in 1997. I then actually got a royalty statement for "Tokyo-New York". Page made it happen. He was that kind of guy. He actually accomplished for me what was thought by many to be impossible.
My last contact with Page was about three weeks ago. I had sent him my newest albums at Christmas to EMI Publishing Japan, and they had been marked 'return to sender'. I emailed him, askig if EMI offices had moved, and he replied that he no longer worked at EMI due to health concerns. He gave me his home address to send the albums to, saying he was eager to hear the new stuff. I sent them off about two weeks ago. I had no idea his condition was so serious and he gave me no such indication. He must have been in a great deal of pain, and I feel honoured that I got an answer from, and had contact with Page, even right at the end. He was one of the good ones. Fair, brave, and honest people like this are too rare in this den of thieves we call a music business.
He will be missed.
It's strange and wonderful how the Internet can enable us to become friends with people we may never actually meet in person. I realized just how strong and real that feeling of friendship can be when I read the sad news of Jamie's death.
In sharing our love of music, we Spectropoppers inevitably share small pieces of ourselves, to the point where this forum is as much about kindred spirits as it is kindred musical tastes. We've all lost a friend.
We've also lost a person who, in creating, running, and contributing to this forum, has taught me more about popular music than I'd ever learn elsewhere. Thanks for everything, Jamie - and I'm sorry I never located a copy of "Little Red Scooter" by Red Sox outfielder Tony Conigliaro for you!
Jamie invited me to join this list. Like most of us I never met him, but I felt like I knew him. Although I'll miss him on this and other lists, I'm thankful he made my life a little richer. He is in my prayers.
Ohhhhh.....I'm so sorry to hear this. I knew he said he had cancer,
as my daughter is also
Sorry to hear the sad news - I never met Jamie in person, only through
Billy G. Spradlin
Hi, it's Bobster, I'm very sorry to hear about Jamie's death, & I hope
I hadn't known Jamie for very long. Under a year. I wish it had been longer because I am sure we would have gone on to become even better friends. Spectropop had existed for several years before I discovered it. Jamie was a modest fellow, never keen to talk about himself. I could tell, though, that he worked within the music biz, such was his obvious expertise on industry matters. A few months back I persuaded him to tell me a little about his career. Extracts from that conversation follow. It turns out that I actually bought the first records he ever produced when they were released in 1977.
"I was in a little L.A. group called Needles & Pins at the time. We played at the Whisky A Go-Go, Starwood and the Masque a lot, with bands like the Germs, the Dills and the Zippers. I also had a mail room job at Ariola. Then two things happened that changed my career aspirations. The band was presented with a management contract and I got promoted to A & R at Ariola. When I saw that the manager was bound to make more than me if we signed the deal, I decided I was better off on the other side of the biz and took the A & R position with great enthusiasm. The band broke up and blamed me for refusing the management agreement. End of my days as a wannabe rock star.
"A & R was great. I had my dream gig. I was in charge of mastering, taking care of the master tapes, acetates, test pressings, disco remixes, etc. That was the daytime. Night was in the punk rock clubs hanging with the Go Gos and like that.
"Then BMG bought Arista and fired everyone at Ariola, including me. I was working with Phoney & the Hardcore for BMG Holland at the time. So I kept working for them for a year or so on a freelance basis. I also did a few records with Herman Brood & the Wild Romance, another Dutch act. We got Darlene Love and Edna Wright to sing on it. I spent several days with them tracking. What professionals! I was in heaven. That was my little fling with punk.
"Fast forward to 1991 when I was working for Virgin Music Japan. I found Shonen Knife and signed them to a management and production deal. I spent the majority of my life with them for the next four years. When I first met them, they sort of wanted to be a punk/grunge group, each a dying form by then. I wanted them to be a Japanese Bananarama/B 52s/Ronettes. They asked me what artists I liked. I told them I didn't really care much for artists but more admired producers like Brian Wilson, Phil Spector and George Martin. Hah! They should have known what they were getting themselves into!
"It was a memorable time. I took them all over Europe and the USA several times. Toward the end, once sufficient tour support money was coming in, I declined to do all the tour manager stuff. But the early days touring around Europe on trains and vans were cool. I produced everything they recorded from Autumn 1991 through December 1994, although in the beginning I didn't take credit for it. I didn't want the press to say this Svengali white boy was manipulating the pure innocence of the band, so I gave them producer credit to boost their artistic credibility. Worked too, for a while!
"'Top Of The World' is my very favourite track I ever did with them, although I also like 'Paradise' and 'Heatwave' very much too. These were the last three tracks I cut with them.
"I now work for Fujipacific, the largest music publisher in Japan. I'm general manager of international affairs, which is a fancy name for a problem solver. I negotiate and draft publishing contracts and act as a consultant to the younger staff. We publish practically eveything - Bacharach, ABKCO, Mother Bertha, Leiber & Stoller, Windswept and evrything in the EMI catalog. It's amazing what we have."
Jamie knew that his days were numbered and wanted Spectropop to continue after he had gone. In accordance with his wishes, the reins are now in the safe hands of one of his Spectropop friends. He left several partially finished projects, which I promised him that I would try to complete. And I will.
I'm sure all Spectropop members will join me in sending our deepest condolences to Jamie's daughter, Lisa and his wife, Mayumi.