Legend has it that the very first $100 that Richard Foos put into the music business, he doubled his money. He founded and sold Rhino Records, to the tune of probably $20 M and he also has built up Shout! Factory to something comparable. He and his brother Garson Foos and Harold Bronson.
I was writing a letter* to some blog about some Shout! Factory release, and was searching my email for Richard Foos’ address and came upon the above photo. I guess it is Richard and Harold and somebody famous, like a Ramone.
In about two hours I am calling down to Culver City to Arcana books to try to buy a signed copy, from November of Harold’s book about Rhino Records the early days.
Richard’s parents and mine were friends, and traveled together to India, of all things. Not great friends, but hand some things in common. I think it started with concern for the Jewish community and Israel. (Maybe they met on a trip to Israel, organized by The Federation). Richard is maybe 10 years older than me. He certainly got into music before me.
Meanwhile, I am celebrating 20 years in the biz. Let’s just say I do this at a break-even. It’s taking me the long way home before every hundred bucks I put in I can double my money.
At first I was planning to only produce shows for unsigned bands, but Foos suggested this was stupid. He was right. Last we spoke, he told me they were back in the A&R for new bands biz, and working with Airborne Toxic Event. Did I read somewhere like the Stanford Daily that that band has a Stanford connection?
If I do buy this book — and my credit card which is pretty maxed, actually works — maybe I will post again about the book per se and not just word of a book.
When I met Foos, or the last time I saw him, his daughter was a new born and she’s probably in college by now. Named after another classic brand, but not a record label. Something with a unique sound, by the way.
* my letter, to Back Road Bound the blog:
I found this by putting “blues” into your internal search function. I do like Steve Earle, I saw him in Santa Fe. I might have caught some of his act in SF, HSB.
There’s an interesting Steve Earle chestnut on the David Byrne “Imelda Marcos” tribute. I think it’s written from the perspective of young Ferdinand Marcos perhaps before he was corrupted, wanting to protect his creed and land from outsiders.
And since i entered Jay’s blog via Sherman Alexie, I wonder about the artwork on this Shout Factory release. Is it real native maerican or tribute? If you permit me one more perhaps gratuitous asides, the fonder of Shout Factory, Richard Foos is a mensch, goo d guy.
and1: my computer suggests he open a hot dog stand: richard food.
andand: okeh, i admit it took me 16 days to figure out, because I am writing about CBGB w. CBDG that those are 3 Ramones and 0 Foos/Bronsons, in front of Rhino. I’ve been to that Rhino exactly once, for an in-store i forget Who.