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Spectropop - Digest Number 442

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                        Jamie LePage (1953-2002)

There are 3 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Jamie LePage (1953-2002)
           From: Spectropop Admin Team 

      2. Jamie
           From: Mick Patrick 


Message: 1
   Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 17:58:45 +0100
   From: Spectropop Admin Team 
Subject: Jamie LePage (1953-2002)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Jamie LePage, 
founder and moderator of The Spectropop Group. 
Jamie passed away early Saturday morning, April 13th, 
after a long and brave struggle against cancer. 
A tribute to his life and work will be presented on Spectropop soon.

-------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 11:11:18 +0100 From: Mick Patrick Subject: Jamie 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 everything - Bacharach, ABKCO, Mother Bertha, Leiber & Stoller, Windswept and everything 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. MICK PATRICK [Admin note: All Spectropop members are welcome to submit their own personal tributes. These messages will be placed in an online Book Of Remembrance which has been opened at It was Jamie's express wish that the group continue as normal.] -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------

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