Laurence Myers is currently writing his autobiography, in which he details his exploits in the music, theatre and film world.
A selection of excerpts:
‘I became an accountant at the insistence of my mother, who gave me the ‘Jewish mother’s list’ of acceptable jobs.’
‘In 1964, when I was the accountant to The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger told me that he had considered going into the insurance industry when he was a student at the LSE and was interested in pensions. “After all Laurence, I’m not going to be singing Rock and Roll when I’m sixty.” We roared at the thought.’
Of the 1960’s Laurence says: ‘It was a great time to be involved in the music business, which was going through a worldwide revolution starting out in England, and I was lucky enough to be involved at the heart of it.’
On meeting legendary Music Promoter Don Arden (father to Sharon Osbourne) in 1964, to try to claw back money he owed Laurence’s clients ‘The Animals’:
Me: ‘Excuse me Mr. Arden’.
Don: ‘Who are you?’
Me: ‘I am Laurence Myers and I formally represent The Animals in this matter.’ (Thus far, I was quite impressed with myself.)
‘You owe my clients money arising from their last tour.’
Don: ‘Do I now?’
Me: (Smugly giving Don a pristine copy of the accounting I had prepared.) ‘Yes you do Mr. Arden. Six thousand three hundred and seventy pounds.’
Me: ‘So you have to pay them.’ (I looked at Mickie, sure that he was impressed).
Don: (Without a glance at them, tossed my beautifully presented accounts into his waste bin.) ‘Fuck off.’
On the set of ‘Ready, Steady, Go’, Laurence remembers: ‘I was in the dressing room with The Animals, who were sharing the room with The Stones. When The Stones went on to perform, Eric Burdon grabbed Bill Wyman’s camera, dropped his trousers and had Chas Chandler take a photograph of his own not inconsiderable appendage. Eric then put the camera back exactly where he had found it. In those days one sent one’s films off to be developed, and God knows what problems Eric’s prank caused Bill Wyman.’
When working as Accountant to The Rolling Stones: ‘The bank account for the tour had all of The Stones as signatories. In those days, banks returned cheques that had been issued on the account. Once I completed the audit there was no need to keep them so, in accordance with standard practice, I threw them out. Can you imagine what a cheque signed by all of The Rolling Stones would fetch at a memorabilia auction today? Who knew?’
‘I signed David Bowie for recording and management to my company Gem in 1972. In 1974 I sold my ownership of his recording rights – including Hunky Dory and the Ziggy Stardust albums – for five hundred thousand pounds. Not a bad deal at that time. In 1997, when he launched his Bowie Bonds, his future royalty income was valued at fifty five million dollars.’
‘The amazing thing to me was that in the seventies, when I was in L.A., Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller would pitch their latest compositions to me to see if they would be of interest to any of the artists that I was involved with in the UK. Jerry Leiber with Mike Stoller at the piano, singing and playing their songs, hoping they would please me. It was like me auditioning Shakespeare for a new play.’