Rock Journalist Joe Viglione

The Count and Blowfish, Paradise, Dec 2, 1978


Joe Viglione Talks to Harriet About the Film Biography Hollywood Town

We’re talking to Harriet Schock today about the documentary Hollywood Town

Harriet, when and how did the idea for this documentary come about?

A: Last year, I did a series of concerts in local clubs, one of which was The Coffee Gallery Backstage.  One of the audience members was Tom Solari, a filmmaker. He was aware of my work before that but at that concert, he started feeling strongly that he should make a film about my career, my life and my next album for which I have written the songs. He met with me and told me he wanted to make a short video to explain to the world why a film should be made about me. The promotional video is very amusing and some people watch it just for the enjoyment of it. Others watch it and actually contribute to the Indiegogo campaign. I’m grateful for either one of these outcomes.

Q:You’ve accomplished so much in your career, does the movie cover your book, teaching, catalogue and work with industry executives and producers?

A. I’m not sure exactly what he plans to cover but I assume he wants to include all of those things as well as my band, the recording of my new CD, the film and TV people I’ve provided songs and music for.

Q How is the world of, “Hollywood” as a town today as compared to the days you wrote the title song to that album?

A Good question! Quite different, Joe! In the seventies, I performed in a gay club in West Hollywood called “The Bitter End West.” It was one of the few places one could perform original music back then. My audience came week after week–and believe me, they weren’t coming to hear me–they were coming to interact with others. But eventually, they started coming to hear me and that’s where my first fan base came from. I was inspired to write “Hollywood Town” for them. It became the title song of my first album. Manfred Mann covered it and it also was used in a well-known parody called “The Hollywood Gown” by Fred Landau featuring the gowns of the Oscars and Tonys. So that song has had a life and I suppose Tom decided it was a natural to call the film “Hollywood Town – The Harriet Schock Story.” Yes, my story may have started in Dallas Texas, but my career started in Hollywood.

Q) “First Time On A Ferris Wheel” is a song of yours that became popular via film.  Are television shows, film, even – dare I say it – commercials the new way to expose music. 

A) That song has been sung by over forty artists either live or on recordings. Yes it started as the love theme song for the movie “Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon.” It is actually even featured in the video Tom Solari made for Indiegogo. The song is in a scene simulating the scene in “Forrest Gump.” There are very subtle but humorous things all through the video that will fly over the heads of some folks and be really appreciated by others.

Q ASCAP has a story about music publishing as the new ” A & R” – but I’ve felt it’s been that way for years.
But a documentary as you are doing is also a way for an artist to reach more people

A) It is Tom’s intention to bring my music to a wider audience. When people ask me what the genre is, I say updated seventies pop. A lot of very young people love that genre but may not know about my work. We hope this film will change that.

Q)We are in a surreal new reality today, Harriet.  It’s 7:46 pm on Monday the 23 of March, 2020, and the bus driver had one customer – me – while the store shelves and the entire shopping experience we are used to is more like a Twilight Zone episode.  Do you think there’s a way for music to ground people not used to an upside down world?

A) I do. I just finished a Zoom meeting of Women Who Write, an ever-growing group created by Vicki Abelson. At the end of it, they asked me to go to the piano and play/sing “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady.” From the computer I could hear them singing along. Yes, it’s a strange world but the desire for togetherness is strong and music can help that tremendously.

Q)What would you like to say about the movie that I haven’t asked?

A) Tom has great vision for this film. He has done award-winning work in the past so when people heard he was the filmmaker, he raised over $9,000 of the $13, 500 initial budget in the first few days. Considering the economic environment right now, I find that pretty amazing. But people who know his work–and hopefully people know mine–are supporting in a generous way. The perks he is offering are also a nice incentive. The perks start at $10 and every dollar is appreciated.

Thanks for your time, Harriet.


Harriet Schock is renowned in the music industry for decades of creativity–songs, albums, film scores, film appearances, live performances, creative collaborations. But there’s a generation of music lovers who might not know who she is. They’re missing out on the whole experience. How can this be remedied on a grand scale?

Being a professional Film/Video Producer and Screenwriter, it was obvious to me that a film had to be made that would capture the full essence of Harriet Schock and her work and release it in a form that has no bounds in terms of reaching a worldwide public.

If you don’t know the work of Harriet Schock, let me refer you to what is considered by many to be the most romantic love song of all time, First Time on a Ferris Wheel. Co-written by Harriet Schock and Misha Segal, here is the Carl Anderson hit recording of it.

Review on from Joe Viglione AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione  [-]
Harriet Schock opens her sixth album with what is another landmark song from her catalog, “OK, You Win, I Give Up, You’re Right, I’m Gone.” The tune was released on her American Romance album, re-released on the follow-up, Rosebud, garnered intense A&R interest, and has been covered by other artists, including Lisa Jason with Gene Parsons of the Byrds, produced by Stuart “Dinky” Dawson (Dawson and Parsons having written a song on the Byrds’ Farther Along album). Almost instinctively, Schock opens the album with this tune and the only composition from her 1974 debut, Hollywood Town: the number one adult contemporary hit “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady.” The writer/singer’s mastery of the piano to tell her stories is commendable; it is hard to distinguish this from a studio performance except for the applause. Of the 15 tracks, 12 are songs (including a medley); four are vignettes, giving a glimpse of the personal side of the artist; and there are four never-released titles: “Starbucks,” “Think How Much You’ll Love Me,” “Mr. Green,” and “Hers,” for Schock’s sister, Sandra. When Rosebud was re-released, it came with an additional track, “I’m Gonna Hold You to That,” but it is virtually impossible for the general public to keep tabs on the output of every songwriter. A live album is one way of bringing attention to new work as well as old. The material is culled from American Romance and Rosebud, Schock’s fourth and fifth albums, with the exception of the unreleased material. The live version of “8 Seconds,” a song about going for the brass ring one final time, is all the more poignant having originally been recorded by the legendary Capitol A & R man just a few years before his passing. “You Are,” “Coyote,” and “Starbucks” make up the new “suite” here, the coyote being the name of Venet’s record label, Godsdog Records, and “Starbucks” the breakthrough after the writer’s block that was brought on when she and the world lost Venet. The double entendre of the coffee shop’s illuminated sign and wishing upon a star is an interesting statement; many a brokenhearted person finds solace making that transition out into the real world, where other people might not be able to read a mind, but certainly can feel the vibe. “Think How Much You’ll Love Me” is a standout, with the Herbie Katz harmonica and percussion by Danya all adding an eerie dimension to the work that bassist Joe Lamanno and the pianist/singer have crafted through the seven previous titles. This is the avenue Carole King needed to take right after Tapestry, a moody and moving song of question. “Worn Around the Edges,” one of the most important songs on Rosebud, co-written by Arthur Hamilton of “Cry Me a River” fame, comes across magnificently, with Gary Floyd and Corwyn Travers’ vocals adding that density that Venet put into the original version. Phil Appelbaum’s engineering and production are top-notch, putting Harriet Schock squarely in your living room or automobile; wherever you play this live disc, the singer is very present. That it has taken 27 years (actually, closer to 28) for a quality songwriter like Harriet Schock to release a live album is a major statement about the record industry, and Live From Fairfax to Pasadena better just be part one in a series of live performances by this artist on disc. What would really be a treat, in light of the first three 20th Century Fox albums’ unreleased status at the time of this CD’s publication, would be a “through the years with Harriet Schock”-type compilation of live performances — where she could re-create highlights from Hollywood Town, She’s Low Clouds, and You Don’t Know What You’re in For — focusing on titles other artists recorded from that collection and giving listeners her renditions of some of the soundtrack work she’s created, like 1985’s “First Time on a Ferris Wheel” from Berry Gordy’s Last Dragon. Live: From Fairfax to Pasadena has the country-ish “Mr. Green” and the lovely “Hers,” but four new titles every couple of years is not enough for the fans who have admired this songwriter’s work for over three decades. “Hers” is spun from the same magical spinning wheel that brought listeners “Hold Me,” “Let ‘Em Love,” “Mama,” and “All About Eve.” Live: From Fairfax to Pasadena is a great first step in bringing this important artist’s past and future works back into the public eye.
Veteran writer/singer Harriet Schock let Travis Allen produce these ten songs in the virtual world, including Schock’s own version of the terrific “You Just Don’t Get Me, Do You?” which was a Triple A radio hit for Jeannie Kendall of The Kendalls. It’s a warmer version of the song that gives the words and melody a different perspective. Seek out Kendall’s take on it as well, they both are magical. “When You Were Mine” sounds like classic Schock from her Hollywood Town days, the album on 20th Century that spawned “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady”, the mega hit for Helen Reddy.
Interesting that Harriet Schock was a labelmate with Genya Ravan on 20th Century Records and both have new albums in release with that independent spirit that record executive Russ Regan’s work at that storied imprint fostered. The title track is three minutes and eleven seconds of Harriet’s precise choice of words, ability to pull wonderful melodies out of thin air, and be able to wrap it all up in a story, as she did so well on Nik Venet’s productions of American Romance and Rosebud. “The Quietest Part of the Day” could have been a hit back in the day for French chanteuse Francoise Hardy while “Searching For You” would have been nice on Jodie Foster / Mel Gibson’s new film The Beaver, quite appropriate for it actually…maybe when the DVD comes out. Herb Katz on harmonica and backing vocals from Pam Maclean and Andrea Ross-Greene add to the atmosphere. If you are already familiar with Schock’s work, this is essential. If not, you’ll want to hear more if you have a breakdown on memory lane.
iTunes Breakdown on Memory Lane
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for, and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.

Review by Charles Donovan

Interview with Charles Rosenay Here’s our interview with BEATexpo creator and organizer Charles Rosenay:

GEMMZINE Charles, did you start as a collector of horror films and music together or one before the other?

Charles Rosenay: My first memory in life was seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. At about the same time, I was building those old Aurora monster models. When other kids were bringing in their G.I. Joe and Barbie dolls to “show & tell,” my kindergarten class was exposed to my “She Loves You” 45 and a Frankenstein model. My mom was cool enough to let me keep everything, which is how my collections started.

GEMMZINE: When did you start with the Beatles events?

Charles Rosenay: The first convention I produced was in 1978 while I was still a student. A Beatles fan from BostonStrawberry Fields Forever.” He was my inspiration for putting on conventions in Connecticut and publishing a pro-zine called “Good Day Sunshine.” named Joe Pope was doing shows at the old Bradford Hotel, while putting out a self-xeroed zine called “

GEMMZINE: Did the tours branch out from that?

Charles Rosenay: Yes, the “Magical History Tour” started in 1983 as a way for fans to go to Liverpool with fellow fans. We stopped doing the magazine, took a break from the conventions, but have done the tour for 26 straight years. Next year, for the 50 anniversary of The Beatles playing in Germany, we’re including Hamburg along with our tour to Liverpool and London. (

GEMMZINE: What can the fans expect at BEATexpo in regards to merchandise?

Charles Rosenay: Everything imaginable from sealed Butcher covers and original autographs valued in the thousands to buttons and books and records for under a dollar. We have exhibitors from all over the country, and there should be everything for both the casual collector looking for a little souvenir and the die-hard enthusiast who has been collecting for 45 years. (

GEMMZINE: Is there any kind of “club” activities where fans buzz about upcoming events?

Charles Rosenay: We have \n This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ” rel=”nofollow”> , which is a free group for fans and friends to talk about everything, including the tours to Liverpool and the BEATexpo 2009 convention. We also publish a daily online newsletter for monster mavens, and that’s free too: Horror Happenings Examiner

GEMMZINE: What other events are in the works?

Charles Rosenay: We have very popular “Beatles dance parties” throughout the year in various clubs and venues in New England, where we bring in a Beatles tribute band and I DJ between sets. If the BEATexpo, which is our first convention in 12 years, is as successful as I think it will be, we’ll have another next year. As for the monsters world, we are doing so many things:

~our “Dracula Tour: Vampire Vacation to Transylvania,” where every Halloween, travelers spend a week in Transylvania (yes, really! in Romania) and celebrate Halloween night in Dracula’s Castle (

~”GHOSTour to Scotland” in May of 2011, a haunted vacation to the scariest places in Scotland

~”GHOSTour to England” may 2012, haunted vacation to Britain’s scariest places (

~”Weekend of the Witch” a witch-filled weekend getaway to Salem, Mass in July and November (

We’re always doing fun things for fans because I’m a fan first,a and this is all the stuff I enjoy!