Tag archives: producer

Remembering Michael Butler
By Richard Mineards   |   November 22, 2022

On a personal note, I remember Michael Butler, Tony-winning producer of Hair on Broadway, who has died in our Eden by the Beach aged 95. Butler was an international celebrity in the ‘60s and ‘70s with friendships with such global figures as the Shah of Iran and the Maharaja of Jaipur. Above all, Butler was […]

Reitman Was Righteous
By Les Firestein   |   February 22, 2022

I reconnected with showbiz vets James Widdoes and Tim Matheson on the passing of Ivan Reitman, the prolific director and producer and founder of the wildly successful production company The Montecito Picture Company. All four of us (including Reitman) are connected through the National Lampoon, a magazine where I was once editor but which has […]

Rest in Peace, Ivan
By Richard Mineards   |   February 22, 2022

On a personal note, I remember Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, who has died at the age of 75 at his Montecito home, formerly part of the legendary 70-acre El Mirador estate near Westmont College. Reitman first made his mark producing the irreverent college fraternity film National Lampoon’s Animal House with John Belushi in 1978. A […]

Love Letter to Montecito
By Richard Mineards   |   February 8, 2022

Montecito-based artist and Grammy winning producer Rich Jacques has written a “love letter” to our rarefied enclave. Rich has had more than 300 placements in film and TV such as Grey’s Anatomy and The Breakup, and his songs have been heard in many major commercials including Honda and Xbox. At the beginning of the pandemic […]

Celebrating a Different Red, White & Blue
By Richard Mineards   |   July 8, 2021

Santa Barbara music man Alan Parsons’ organic avocado ranch in the Goleta foothills turned into a colorful outpost of his native England when 150 guests turned out to celebrate his newly awarded OBE — Order of the British Empire — from Queen Elizabeth in her birthday honors list. The red, white, and blue of the […]

Santa Barbara Music Man Alan Parsons is Being Elevated — and How!
By Richard Mineards   |   June 24, 2021

Alan Parsons, 72, who lives and works from a multi-million dollar recording studio on an organic avocado ranch in the Goleta foothills with his wife, Lisa, has been awarded an OBE — Order of the British Empire — for his work over the decades in Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honors list. “I actually heard from the […]

Arts in Lockdown #21: Musician Brayell
By Joanne Calitri   |   March 4, 2021

Brayell is a multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, and music producer in the genres of rap, hip-hop, and alternative. He has recently explored a version of indie pop music in his just-released single titled, “Made Her Feel Good,” a heartfelt song reminiscent of a breakup. He began recording at age 15 and, in 2017, started releasing his […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 18: Producer and Director Steve Binder
By Joanne Calitri   |   January 28, 2021

As you are reading this, it’s the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birthday (January 8) and I’ve been talking to Steve Binder, an American producer and director born in Los Angeles. Steve, who just celebrated his 88th birthday last month, is currently working as a creative consultant on Baz Luhrmann’s film Elvis, where Dacre Montgomery is […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 15: Film Director and Producer Ivan Reitman
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 26, 2020

Epically known as the one director who can harvest the funniest talent for his movies, Ivan Reitman continues his film making legend during lockdown with eight screenplays in the works, a sequel to Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, and the next installment of the Ghostbuster series, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, to be released in theaters in June […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 15: Producer and Musician Brian Hardgroove
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 19, 2020

Music output is a good way to assess a society’s health, and right now we are unhealthy, so it’s a good time to talk about it.” – Brian Hardgroove Record producer, bassist, and former bandleader of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Public Enemy, Brian Hardgroove has been there, done that, and continues to […]

Near to Friends
By Richard Mineards   |   November 12, 2020

Music man David Foster and his pregnant wife, Katharine McPhee, are house hunting in Montecito to be near their friends Prince Harry and Meghan. Foster, 70, winner of 16 Grammys, and McPhee, 36, reportedly want their children to grow up alongside Archie, the 16-month-old son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Meghan, 39, and […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 8: J.J. Kandel, Stage to Screen, NYC to L.A.
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 24, 2020

Multi-talented millennial J.J. Kandel was born in Long Island, New York, and grew up on East Valley Road in Montecito, attended Montecito Union, and decided on acting, film, TV, and theatre for his life’s work. He attended a summer drama program at Yale University prior to his senior year at Santa Barbara High School, briefly […]

Riskin it All
By Richard Mineards   |   April 2, 2020

Award-winning writer and producer Vicki Riskin, who wrote a delightful book about her parents, Oscar winning screenwriter Robert Riskin and King Kong actress Fay Wray, has been nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best biography, 2019. The awards, which were scheduled to be announced later this month, have now been postponed until […]

In the Key of Joy
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 16, 2020

Sérgio Mendes just performed in Santa Barbara at Campbell Hall for UCSB A&L. Normally, we wouldn’t see someone of his stature – a three-time Grammy-winner whose nearly six-decades long career as a producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist places him among the most internationally successful Brazilian artists in history – back in town just two scant […]

Remembering Robert
By Richard Mineards   |   November 7, 2019

On a personal note, I remember the legendary Hollywood icon Robert Evans, who produced The Godfather and Chinatown. Bob, who died at his magnificent Beverly Hills mansion aged 89, was also thrown into the spotlight when his fifth wife Love Story actress Ali MacGraw left him for actor Steve McQueen. He was also married to […]

Rustling Through Rock: 3Qs with Pete Sears
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 21, 2019

The list of bands, records, and concerts that bassist-keyboardist Pete Sears has played with or on over a half-century-plus career contains some very well-known names and songs. He recorded the Rod Stewart albums Gasoline Alley, Every Picture Tells A Story, and Never a Dull Moment, including the hit singles “Maggie May” (Sears played the celeste) […]

Birthday Boy
By Richard Mineards   |   January 10, 2019

To the historic Union Hotel in Los Alamos when English rocker Alan Parsons, who has been nominated for 11 Grammys, celebrated the 20th anniversary of his half century with a heavenly host of friends and music stars. The songwriter and record producer, who worked on the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Let It Be albums, as […]

Par(sons) for the Course
By Richard Mineards   |   July 26, 2018

Rocker Alan Parsons was making waves, sound waves at a boffo bash at his rustic aerie in the Goleta foothills, when he celebrated the completion of his new multi-million-dollar recording studio, wittily dubbed ParSonics. Alan, 69, who worked with The Beatles and Pink Floyd, to name a few supergroups, and set up the Alan Parsons […]

Winthrop Ames, Santa Barbara’s Community Arts, and Fiesta
By Hattie Beresford   |   July 12, 2018

Renowned New York theater producer Winthrop Ames (1870-1937) significantly influenced the development of Santa Barbara’s community arts programs, the opening of the new Lobero Theatre, and, by extension, Old Spanish Days Fiesta. Ames was born into a prominent family in Easton, Massachusetts, whose wealth derived initially from the manufacture of shovels and expanded exponentially through […]

Sides Effect
By Richard Mineards   |   April 12, 2018

It was a double celebration for multi Grammy-winning record producer Allen Sides and his wife, Anne, when their 18,150-sq.-ft., 7.5-acre Montecito estate Graholm celebrated not only its centenary, but also, after seven years of residing there, its sale to dynamic duo Bruce Heavin and his wife, Lynda Weinman. The 8-bedroom, 12-bathroom property, the former Brooks […]