I worked with John writing big band arrangements for Columbia Screen Gems and the Belwin Mills Company.
As my children had this habit of getting hungry everyday, I was also “SELLING STEAKS” door to door in Los Angeles full time to pay the bills.
Every morning I would get up very early, drive out to Gardena, pick up a load of steaks and then go out and sell them door to door in office buildings, factories, residential areas,retail stores and anywhere else meat eaters would congregate. Selling steaks door to door in LA was quite an experience.
On “Kojak” scoring days I would park my meat truck where no one could see it, go to the black tower at Universal Studios, get my pass and then go to the Sound Stage for the scoring session.
I lived for those “Kojak” scoring session days . Some of the best musicians in the world were playing in the orchestra. There was a full string section, legendary brass players as well as keyboard players, like Artie Kane and percussionists like, Joe Porcaro.
It was like this alternative reality where music was the only thing that existed.
I remember one session in particular when I was talking to John and Lalo Schifrin, one of my favorite composers, walked over to us. John introduced me to Lalo and said,
“Lalo, this is Gary Michaels, he’s a young composer I’m working with.”
Mr. Schifrin was very gracious and I was excited to meet him and a little full of myself as I left the sound stage. I was walking on air as I made my way through the lot at Universal and then it hit me square in the face.
REALITY… I had a whole truck full of steaks I had to sell.
Gary Michaels is the Founder/Executive Producer of MTI Studios and Gary Michaels Online. Since entering the Brand Syndication field in 1980 he has produced Syndicated Branding Campaigns for over 5,000 local and regional advertisers throughout the US, Canada,New Zealand and Australia. (Photos by Paul Landry)
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