I’ve always found fascinating, in the now defunct music industry (RIP), this type of “creative” characters working with the bands: producers, sound engineers, A&R people, scouts, and the like. For the most part their work goes unnoticed by the fans, but sometimes they reach stardom on their own. It is usually a combination of making great albums with great bands, and having a colourful personality.
As I’ve said before (and will probably repeat in the future) John Kalodner is one of such people that I find the most fascinating. Just read his bio and drop dead.
I first discovered John Kalodner through the “The Making Of Pump” video (and that tape deserves a post of its own). “Pump” is one of my favourite Aerosmith albums, and by that I mean it fucking blew my mind when I first heard it. That’s why it shocks me that he got to be known as the man who ruined Aerosmith.
Quoted from an interview for Melody Rock:
MR: Would you prefer a more public recognition of the work you’ve done? Would you prefer a bigger legacy on that side of things?
JK: No. I always wanted to have the legacy within the music business. I appreciate it when the public knows I do things, but the public tends to be a little more unreasonable…. meaning that my web site gets a lot of negative mail that I ruined Aerosmith or… I mean Miss Storm [Site web-mistress] gets a lot of negative mail because obviously they can’t get to Aerosmith or Steve Perry or Journey. They’re not available to them so they take their frustrations out on me. I’m not sure how much I’d want to be known to the public. I prefer it within the record business. I don’t really enjoy a lot of the beating I take from a lot of the public who for instance take out a lot of things on me that aren’t necessarily related to me.
MR: I understand. You’re only one person caught in the middle…
JK: It’s not the thing. I mean for instance, I get a lot of negative things about that I ruined Aerosmith. Well if people knew Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, first of all no one tells them what to do. You know they do the music that they want to do. They wanted to make commercial music, their lives have changed since they wrote ‘Sweet Emotion’ and ‘Walk This Way’ and that’s just sort of how it goes. I constantly get hate mail about that and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m supposed to make the best record that Aerosmith can at that particular time. That’s all.
No love from the fans, and no love from the bands…
MR: I know a lot of bands have spent years doing nothing when they really need somebody behind them kicking them in the ass all the time.
JK: Yes, but bands don’t want that and they do resent that. Even the famous bands but you just have to do your best. You’re really not the artists’ friend; you’re their A&R person.
Well, I guess the haters were right because since John Kalodner finished working with them, after “Nine Lives”, Aerosmith have gone to make fantastic albums, right? (That was sarcasm).
John Kalodner appeared on several Aerosmith videos, for instance in “Dude looks like a lady” (around 1:45) you can see him in a wedding dress, which was apparently a joke about the fact that he mostly dressed exclusively in white clothes.