Everly label executive on Polygram, Mr. Bas Hartong7972
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|Preston private msg quote post Address this user|
|I have long known about Bas Hartong, the record executive who signed and managed the Everly relationship with Polygram. He is that plus an ace record producer and packager for dozens of acts, including Dusty Springfield, Barry White, Donna Summer, the fabulous J.J. Cale, Rod Stewart, BTO, so many more. He's from Holland, a hotbed of Everly admiration, as is England, of course. I became aware that he lived 2 towns over from me in Connecticut and I invited him to lunch. This took some time to arrange, but we did it a few days ago. Upon request, I will provide a review of what we ordered(kidding). I realized we had been in the same room together several times, probably 10 feet apart, including the first Rock Hall dinner where the Everlys were inducted, and at Everly performances at the Bottom Line and Bitter End in NY and some others. Don introduced him from the stage more than once, and the name stuck in my head all these years, so I sought to locate him. Wait, there's more.
Mr. Hartong had many clear memories of sessions and performances and discussions with Don & Phil, and of course being their key contact at the label. And then he recounted a time when Lindsey Buckingham, you all know who he is, very much wanted to meet "the boys", so Bas arranged and attended a lunch. Don & Phil asked their parents to join them. I'd love to see a video of THAT, right? Margaret Everly has a better memory than most people half her age, but she doesn't remember the lunch and is not familiar with Fleetwood Mac(I asked her recently). Don and Lindsey have been close friends for years now, playing together a few times, as many of you will know.
This man is a gracious gentleman and a scholar(music-wise) of the highest order and I am very glad to have met him. That's me on the left Mr. Hartong on the right, in Greenwich, CT.
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|Fascinating stuff Preston Thank you for sharing your memories and about that momentous meeting with Mr Hartong! There must be so many fascinating things he could tell you about the Everlys and others he has spent time with and got to know over the years Is there any footage anywhere of Don playing with Lyndsey Buckingham? That is an interesting fact I did not know, and it would be great to hear what they sounded like together!|
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|Preston private msg quote post Address this user|
|I think there's footage, you'd have to look on youtube. But here's an interview, below, from 2009 where he talks about Don. And it would appear that the lunch I mentioned was not in fact meeting Don and Phil, but catching up with them since he refers here to touring with him and having dinner at their house in the '70s. So I learned something by you asking that question because I've not seen this interview before.
There’s one thing in your early career that’s often mentioned, but only in passing. And it’s very intriguing: you touring with Don Everly in the '70s, singing Phil’s parts. What was that like?
It was ... you know ... an honour, for one thing. It was memorable for a couple of reasons. The thing that I actually remember the most had nothing to do with the tour. It’s that when we were in ... I guess it was Nashville, I’m not even sure now ... wherever it was, one of the cities we went to where his mom and dad lived, the whole band went over to their house for dinner. How quaint is that? And his father, Ike, was probably in his '70s by then. He’s not that well-known, but he’s the guitarist who taught Merle Travis to play. So we got to sit around with Ike Everly and play tunes. And he asked me to play something, and I played Maria Elena or something, and he really dug that. So that’s something I will always remember.
As far as the Don Everly tour in general, it was sort of heartbreaking. The Everly Brothers were one of my idols, and Don, at the time – this was probably late '74, I’m guessing – had a solo album he was putting out on A & M Records, which was quite a departure from what people had come to expect from the Everly Brothers. We were playing very small clubs, and what happened was that everywhere we went, people were not accepting of what he was trying to do. So he’d get up there and try to basically play all this stuff that was pretty alien to the audience – and they’d start yelling out “Bye Bye Love!” It happened in every place we went. And after about three or four cities, he just got really discouraged. And he called off the tour. And it was a drag to watch that happen to someone I admired so much. It was tough.
Do you face that from time to time when you’re on a solo tour like this, with audience expectations?
No, I really don’t. It’s a completely different context. I don’t know what Don was doing, but it was definitely way different. And maybe the times were different. Maybe he had not built up enough of a context for himself.
What I have somehow been able to do is remain part of a mainstream band, which is well-known, and can go out and tour arenas. But I’m also this more cultish kind of boutique artist who can go out and play smaller places and will draw the people who appreciate that – and that’s been well-established.
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|Redhead1966 private msg quote post Address this user|
|That is heartbreaking, I agree with him. Don's solo music is some of my favorite Everly music but the audiences refused to let him grow.|
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|Back then I saw Don and the Dead Cowboys in Caerphilly town, Wales. The audience that night loved Don's performance but there were only a hundred or so in the place. The other shows that week were sadly canceled.
What I have always wanted to know is, do Polygram have any recording of Don and Phil that have never been released??
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