Carter’s Pick: Larry Harris – “And Party Every Day – The Inside Story of Casablanca Records”
This brand new book takes a look back at the 70’s – a decade of excess by any standards. Larry Harris was Vice President, co-founder and co-owner of Casablanca Records, the most successful independent label in history and the one which made KISS a platinum act. Also, as THE major disco label in the country, Casablanca broke DONNA SUMMER and dozens of other dance acts including the multi-million-selling VILLAGE PEOPLE. Even though Casablanca was wildly successful they always spent more than they made – no matter how much they made. Lots of that money went into drugs, sex and more drugs.
This is the behind-the-scenes look at the madness that was the 70’s at America’s hardest partying record company from one who saw it all. The story is a tribute to label president Neal Bogart who ran it all with uncanny vision and gall. Nothing was too big for Neal to attempt – he even took Harris to task once for not spending ENOUGH money on a promotion. In the offices on Sunset in L.A., everyone had a stash in their desk and no one lost their job because of it. In fact, your boss might hit you up for some!
Larry Harris not only tells stories of incredible excess, but offers rare glimpses behind the scenes – especially of how he and Neal signed the young and raw band known as Kiss, helped refine and guide their look and sound, then stuck with them over three years of no hits until they broke wide open on the “Alive!” album. Then there’s the 1978 Kiss solo albums disaster and the incredible bad-time timing of the label’s dance movie “Thank God It’s Friday.” He relates hilarious and also poignant tales of the Casablanca stable of artists including Angel, Donna Summer, the Village People, Paul Jabara and many more. A great read, this book is informative and often hilarious. It’s an incredible snapshot into a wild time and place when the ‘anything goes’ Studio 54-like attitude fueled a culture, and a business, out of control (and loving it).