Bill Laswell

1955 (Salem, Ill.) –

Laswell’s significance is primarily as someone who makes things happen, a tirelessly energetic genre-crossing experimentalist. Individuals he has played with, produced or promoted (often all three) range from Anderson to Zorn, by way of Burroughs, Byrne, Brötzmann, Eno (who taught him about production), Hancock, Lydon, Kuti, Sanders, Shorter, Perry, Jagger and Ono — and a whole lot more, including noted hip-hop DJ’s and leading musicians from the US, Europe, Africa and Jamaica. Many of these became lasting friends. Bowles, exceptionally if understandably, asked Laswell to undo what he had done, but too late.

Bill Laswell knew…

Phil Spector

1939 (New York) –

Spector was one of the most inventive and influential of record producers, and remains notorious for his anti-social behaviour. He learned on the job with Leiber and Stoller (co-writing ‘Spanish Harlem’ with Leiber) and then with Ertegun. As a writer he collaborated with Goffin and King and with Greenwich and Barry, the latter two providing him with the raw material for a string of hit singles. He took the young Wilson under his wing; Jagger and Richards also hung around profitably. He supposedly threatened both Lennon and Cohen at pistol-point, and attempted to exclude Cohen and Turner from work in hand.

Phil Spector knew…

Eddie Barclay

1921 (Paris) – 2005 (Paris)

Barclay’s club in occupied WWll Paris was where friends like Vian and Reinhardt could go and listen to forbidden American jazz (he was a great fan of Reinhardt’s, who dedicated a composition to him.) Aznavour had been a friend for years before they collaborated on song-writing and made records that established Aznavour’s career. Vian edited a magazine Barclay started, and sometimes played in his band. Jones worked for him as artistic director. Both Brel and Gréco left another label for the sake of joining Barclay (he had to release Johnny Hallyday, one of his roster of popular artists, in exchange).

Eddie Barclay knew…