In My Life
Recently, I watched all the games of the NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic. I usually dont watch basketball too often, but since these were the finals and the two teams were of particular interest to me, I tuned in and enjoyed every game. I actually watched for four reasons. Firstly, I wanted to see if Kobe Bryant could carry his team to victory. Secondly, I wanted to see if Phil Jackson would become the only NBA coach to win 10 NBA titles. Phil was a favorite player of mine when he played for the NY Knicks in the 70s. Thirdly, I wanted to see if the young players on the Magic were really that good and finally, I wanted to see the myriad amount of celebrities that come to watch Lakers basketball at the Staples Center in L.A.
All four of my reasons for watching were fulfilled. Firstly, Kobe confirmed to me that he is truly an elite player and that he has the ability to singlehandedly carry his team to the championship. And he probably will do it again before he retires. Secondly, Phil Jackson is now the only NBA coach to win 10 titles. I loved watching Phil as player with the Knicks. Although he could not have been considered an all-star during his playing days, his defense and hard work helped the team to many victories and a world title. Thirdly, the Orlando team was good, but no match for Kobe and the Lakers this year. Next year, may be a different story for those guys. And finally, yes the celebrities were out in full force. There was no lack of star power from stage, screen and recorded music in the stands watching, cheering and eating overpriced popcorn.
Perhaps the most vocal of all the celebrities and consistent in attendance to all the home Lakers games is actor, Jack Nicholson. He cheers, jumps up when a crucial score is made and makes his unhappiness apparent when the calls go against his favorite team. While everyone knows Jack, the guy always sitting next to him in those very expensive seats may not be as well known to everyone. Yet, much like Jack, this guy is always there. Not as vociferous as Jack, but he is always there. Hes the guy wearing the sunglasses and hat and in some way or another, he has touched virtually every music and film aficionado.
To me, there are only four people who have been and in some cases still are the quintessential record producers during the time that I have been listening to and collecting music over these past 40+ years. George Martin, Phil Spector, Phil Ramone and Lou Adler are their names. Currently, there is a current day record producer, a fifth person who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as these four and his name is Rick Rubin. But for now, I will concentrate on the aforementioned group and one in particular.
George Martin, the guiding force for the Beatles is pretty much retired. Phil Ramone, who has produced some of the greatest records of all time and whose name was used as the title of a great punk rock band is still around. Phil Spector is in jail and Lou Adler continues to work and sits next to Jack Nicholson at Lakers games. So, who is this guy in the sunglasses and funny hats?