THREAD RESURRECTION for this excerpt from Leon Ware's RBMA talk:TORSTEN SCHMIDT
Well, speaking about another church that you worship, what’s your role in the church of Deep Throat?
Ooohohoho... [audience laughs]
You know, talking politics and stuff.
I can tell you this story because it’s OK, everybody has died. Me and a gentleman that I was writing with — actually he was my mentor as a lyric writer, his name was Bob Period — when I met him he lived on the top of the hills in Beverly Hills. Bentley, Rolls Royces, everything and then I walked in and I saw that jukebox and it’s as big as this and has a hundred hits. All of them were his. He wrote the lyrics to ‘Alice in Wonderland’. The man was in my estimation what you call a genius, he was a lyrical genius. He said to me that people were asking him, “Bob, how do you continue to come up with all these ideas?” The same thing I said before about making love, he always said, “I never try.” He said to me about the process in itself, “Leon, check any of my lyrics out and if you have to ask me what I meant, I didn’t write the story.” In other words, when you write a line, there are some writers that are really good at being clever and they have lines that are very colorful, poetic and some of them are brilliant, because they do say exactly what they mean. However, the most potent writers on this planet are writers, when they write a line, you don’t have to ask them what they meant. You get the meaning instantly. I think that’s what I was trying to address about that point. But I want to say something else to that because I didn’t start writing lyrics until he said to me one afternoon... I was singing something before he came in the room, and he actually had listened to it a bit, “You have a unique approach of how you say things.” Which is also a talent, you know. Because I think the best analogy for writing a lyric is when you listen to a song and you instantly say, “Damn, I follow the same thing.” Bingo! Because that’s the trick of what we do as lyricists – writing something that instantly most people can relate with. The rest is like, I like to have fun. And as I say, I’m a 100 percent instigator. I like playing with the do’s and the don’ts. Always in a good way, never malicious, never vicious. I do hope that I have said something that is useful, I do hope.
You totally did, especially on that one, but I’m somehow a little lost here because I think you started of explaining what your involvement with the Deep Throat soundtrack was and we got off on a little tangent.
Oh, I was trying to get out of it. However, the story goes that me and Bob were working on a movie before he passed away, and a year after he passed away a friend of mine called me up and says, “Leon, I’m down here in the Pussycat Theatre, I’ve just seen a movie called ‘Deep Throat.’ Man, you should come down here.” I said, “OK,” and I didn’t really have to be convinced, I wanted to see ‘Deep Throat’ anyway. I had heard about it. He says, “Come down here man because the second song in the movie, I could swear it’s your voice.” So I go down, I listen, and as soon as the second song comes up, I know it’s me because it’s an effect that I did. I took a straw, put it in a glass and then [blows] and you can hear the bubbles, right. But the next line is [sings]، “Bubbles! Great big magic, bubbles!” [laughs] Of course, the ladies are saying at the time, this is classic, before they come, “Do you mind if I smoke while you eat?” [laughs]
Anyway, I go back after the show, after the movies are off, I call the lady who is the wife of [Bob Period], I said, “You ought to come down to the theater because there is a couple of Bob’s songs.” It was one of mine and three of his, because what they did was they took three to five songs — we had about seven in the movie — and just took them. It turns out, four or five days later after we were trying to investigate who the people were and so forth, I’m sitting in her house and the phone rings and her being Caucasian, you know when you guys get upset, you get red. And the phone rings and she says, “Yes,” and her face gets a little red, and she says, “Yes” again and her face gets redder, and she says “Yes” one more time and the phone is shaking as she puts it down. I say, “Jackie, what’s wrong?” And she said, “Well, that was the guy on the phone that said [in a dangerous voice], ‘Are you Mrs. Elliot?’” She says, “Yes.” “We understand that you want to find out who owns the rights to ‘Deep Throat.’ She said, “Yes.” [in a dangerous voice] ”Mrs. Elliot, are you listening?” She said, “Yes.” [in a dangerous voice] “Forget it.” [laughs] Now, your laughter will be at this: 20 minutes to 40 minutes later the lawyer that we had investigating it, calls and says, “Jackie, you know about that picture ‘Deep Throat.’” She says, “Yes, but sure I want to...” “No, no, Jackie, let me tell you something: Forget it!” [laughs]
As it turns out, if you go online, because the story is there now, they are actually bold enough to tell the story, because it is online, my wife and me read it the other night — it’s the first time to see that — where they told the story that the Gambino family was [involved]. You have heard of those guys? They took it and they just, what’s typical of the mafia, they [hands out], “It’s yours this week, it’s yours this week, it’s yours next week.” And for the past 30 years it has been a lot of people’s ownership. But of course, the other issue was is, I have never stood up to say it was my voice because my knowledge of the mafia was very clear. [laughs] If you know the mafia, you don’t call to say, “Hey, I want what’s coming to me, man.” [laughs] Instead, on the other side they are like, [in a gangster voice] “Ey, Charlie, this guy Leon Ware wants what’s coming to him. Let’s take care of him. Oh, by the way Charlie, check out his cousins and all of his good friends because we don’t want to leave any grieving relatives, right?” [laughs] Now, 30 years later, I’m 65, even the lady that was the publisher died two or three days ago, so my wife and my sisters, don’t go crazy [in a female voice], “I’m not going to go crazy.” I had had some plans. I told Robin that I was going to disclose this information that maybe we should do a real intimate picture session so I could take off something, you know, maybe get fully erected and [looks down], “Uh, check this out!” [laughs] No, no, no, listen, because it’s the funny part because – the only thing I must say about the ‘Deep Throat’ movie is because, in leaving, Jackie had this one thing to say, she insisted – I’m not bragging or anything — but she said to me as we are walking along, “Leon, they actually cheated, you know because she hasn’t had what we call deep throat, has she?” [laughs / takes his arms up] It’s true. Proud. Touché my brother. Some questions, please.Funny as I'd been wondering about those German 45s and of course there's already a thread on the Strut from 15 years ago. They mis-transcribed Bob Hilliard's name though. This doesn't feel like the whole story, though, since where the hell did the hi-fidelity versions on the German 45s come from when the movie soundtrack/boots never had access to anything but really shaky recordings maybe straight off the film?