STORIES

“All By Myself” with Eric Carmen

I loved the group The Raspberries growing up. Great power pop music. Mt favorite songs of theirs are “Go All The Way”, “Overnight Sensation” and “Tonight” and that’s just to name a few. Eric Carmen, was their lead singer and main songwriter. When the group disbanded he went on to a very successful solo career, …

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Meeting George Harrison

In 1988, I was fortunate to have two Top-Ten songs on the Billboard charts: Tell It to My Heart and Prove Your Love, both sung by Taylor Dayne. At the time, I was a staff songwriter with Warner Chappell Music Publishing, but my contract was up and the top brass, looking to sign me up …

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Ari Fleischer’s Bookcase

In 2001, I received a call from a friend who said, “Do you know that you’re latest book “Every Pitcher Tells A Story” was mentioned in Barron’s magazine?” Barron’s Magazine is the financial magazine that every investor reads religiously on Sundays, so I immediately wondered what I was doing in it. I bought a copy …

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Buzz and “Jeannie”

My third book on baseball had just come out (“Something to Write Home About,” Crown Books, 2003). One of the contributors (via, a handwritten letter) was Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon. I wanted to give him the finished, just-released book, personally. Somehow, I was invited to his apartment on Wilshire …

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My First Cover

My First “Cover” Record

Timing is so much in life. It certainly was in recounting the very first time a song of mine was recorded by a major artist.  I was working in the tape room at the venerable music publishing company, Chappell Music, splicing the latest songs sent to the company by its vast stable of songwriters, (which …

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Meeting The Mick

In the fall of 1994, I went to my first baseball memorabilia show in San Francisco. One of the reasons that I was compelled to go was that Mickey Mantle would be signing autographs. I loved “The Mick” growing up, even though he  was at the end of his stellar career. Despite this fact, I …

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Clyde, The Pearl and Me

My first album, Instant Pleasure, came out in 2004.  I was booked to play a song from the album — “It’s Still Love”— live on a new show on new ESPN show called “Cold Pizza”. It was their version of “Good Morning America”. Just before I went on, and they announced me, the hosts, Jay …

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Fonda Said, Fonda said

In the summer of 2004, I was at LAX, about 40 minutes from boarding a plane to Paris when I spotted the actor Peter Fonda. I remembered reading something he had said that inspired John Lennon to write one of my favorite songs, She Said, She Said from the Revolver album (1966). I approached him and asked …

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Making The Times Crossword Puzzle

For years when I lived in New York City, I did The New York Times crossword puzzle everyday (except Sundays!). Some days were harder than others, but I always seemed to “conquer” most of them. One day, my mother Joan called me one particular day to ask if I had seen the puzzle that day. …

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Comrade Putin and Me

The day after 9/11/2001, Russian President Vladmir Putin issued a statement condemning the attacks in an attempt to calm fears that perhaps Russia had been involved in them. The next day, I wrote him a letter saying how much I––and, I suggested, many American citizens––appreciated his gesture during those scary first hours after the attack. …

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Lunch at The White House

In July, 2006, I was asked write political and cultural articles for The Huffington Post. One of the first pieces I wrote, entitled “Why I Left the Left”, was picked up by Realclearpolitics.com as well and  caught the eye of the Undersecretary of Commerce, Frank Lavin. The day the article appeared, Frank wrote me an …

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Wearing Donn Clendenon’s M.V.P. 1969 World Series Ring

In 1999, I was in a Green Room getting ready to be interviewed by Carolyn Gusoff on News 12 Long Island as part of the book tour for my second book, Every Pitcher Tells Story. Unexpectedly, Donn Clendenon, former Miracle Mets team member and the Most Valuable Player of the 1969 World Series, walked in. He …

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Warren Buffett and Me

Soon after my first book, Baseball Letters, became a bestseller, in 1996, I received a call from a woman named Debbie Bosanek who said that she was calling on behalf of  the world-renowned stock-picking living legend (and second wealthiest man in America at the time) Warren Buffet.  She said that he was having his annual …

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Thank You, Clive!

I wrote a number of songs for Arista Records recording artists over the years. The head of Arista was the music business legend, Clive Davis. He was known for, amongst other things, his great ability to pick hit songs for his many artists, who included Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Air Supply, Whitney Houston and many …

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A Letter from Sir Paul

A Letter from Sir Paul

So one day––back in 2001––I go to my mailbox and there’s a regular envelope, no real markings, on the front. I open it and out pops a handwritten letter from…Paul McCartney!!! As in SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY of the, um, BEATLES! I had written to Sir Paul through his lawyer’s assistant and asked if she would …

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Jammin’ With Bob Weir

In the spring of 1998, I was on vacation in Mexico with my former wife Jody, staying at a nondescript hotel and just kicking back with some piña coladas and good books. When I went to the front desk to get another room key, I recognized a familiar face: Bob Weir, guitarist and co-founder of …

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A Warning From The National Security Advisor

In 1998, about two years after my first book, Baseball Letters, came out, I saw an interview on Meet The Press given by President Bill Clinton’s National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger. During the interview, Berger spoke of his love of baseball, so I decided to send him my book and I inscribed it to him personally. …

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Herman Cherry is a Very Tiny Man

In 2002, I was at a used bookstore (I love them!) and bought an old paperback called Conversations With Artists (1961). It was a compendium of interviews with famous and not-so famous artists of the first half of the 20th century, put together by Seldon Rodman. All the popular artists of the day had granted an interview with …

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Riding With The Champs!

In January of 1997, a 20-year reunion of the great 1977-1978 New York Yankees World Championship teams took place in Atlantic City. A lot of players from those teams would be at the event and I needed many of them — Reggie Jackson, Bucky Dent and Ron Guidry, to name a few— to sign many …

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My First Recording Session

My First Recording Session

I was not quite 16. It was 1976 and my Dad took me to Soundtek Recording Studio on 57th Street in New York City. He couldn’t figure out what all the buttons and lights were for on the recording console and I remember him asking the longtime recording engineer if a career in music was a …

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The Graduate House

The Graduate House

I’ve always loved the movie The Graduate (1967) with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. An iconic movie to say the least. I had just watched it for what must have been the 20th time. The next morning, I happened to be driving in Beverly Hills and took what I thought was a shortcut onto a …

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Dartmouth

Erich Segal, My First College Professor

It was so exciting to choose my first classes as a freshman at Dartmouth College, September of 1978. When I saw that Erich Segal was teaching a class I just had to take it. He was but a few years removed from writing the #1 bestselling book and movie of 1971, “Love Story.” Plus, he …

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Seth Swirsky and Art Garfunkel

Swirsky & Garfunkel

One of the best parts of making my documentary, Beatles Stories, occurred after the interviews. None was better than after I interviewed the singer/songwriter Art Garfunkel.  Of course, it was tremendously exciting to get the interview––I mean, Art Garfunkel was truly a big part of the fabric of the culture of the 1960s as a …

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Three Dog Nice

Three Dog Nice

I grew up with the greatest pop music as the background to my childhood––so many hit songs with such lifelong memorable melodies. It was wall-to-wall great tunes throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. One of the bands making those mega-hits was Three Dog Night, with their three lead vocalists. “I’ve never been to Spain,” “One is …

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David Pack

Writing with David Pack of Ambrosia

As a staff songwriter in the mid-1980s with Warner Chappell Music Company, I received a “Who’s Looking?” list every week––which consisted of many famous recording artists searching for new songs to record. I was in my mid-20s at the time, so when I saw the names of artists who I could try to write for, …

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Mickey Ball

The Mickey Ball

I loved to put together baseballs that had a theme. As an example, before I sold my collection, I had a baseball with men that played the game whose names had a color in them. Thus, the “color” ball was signed by Dick GREEN, Vida BLUE, Joe BLACK, RED Schoendienst and others…you get the picture. …

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Me, age 8, drawing the picture of Paul from the inside of the Sgt. Peppers album.

Meet The Beatle!

Dear Sir Paul, I thought you might enjoy a story of what it was when a very longtime fan of yours had the opportunity to meet you, unexpectedly. When I saw you running on the treadmill at my gym, it didn't register for a good long moment that it was you in the flesh. I couldn't

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