CHAT TRANSCRIPT – GUY SHAPIRO
A true pioneer in the rock world,
Guy Shapiro has been managing bands and producing shows, musicals and
films since the early-sixties. Today he’s the head of his own
management company, with clients such as Broccoli Spears, Adam Sandwich
and of course, The Rotten Fruit. A few weeks ago, Guy took a few minutes
out of his busy schedule to sit and chat with Rotten Fruit fans. Here’s
what “went down” in the chat session. Enjoy!
MODERATOR: Mr. Shapiro, thanks for being
GUYSHAPIRO33: Not a problem. Not a problem at all. Before I start, some
of you may have noticed that my login name is “guyshapiro33.”
That’s because when I went to log in, the damn computer wouldn’t
let me have anything with my name in it, prior to 33. Which leads me
to believe that somewhere out there in cyberspace there’s 32 a-holes
using my name. If anyone reading this is one of them, your days are
numbered, pal. That’s all I have to say about that. So, first
FRUITLOVER: Mr. Shapiro, what’s it like hanging out with the Rotten
GUYSHAPIRO33: First of all, call me Guy. I hear “Mr. Shapiro,”
I turn around and look for my father. Secondly, in answer to your question,
working with the Rotten Fruit has been one of the most rewarding experiences
of my life. I mean, don’t get me wrong. They’re a handful.
But their raw talent balances out any problems I might have with them.
So, say, if they call me up in the middle of the night because they’ve
just accidentally killed a whore and they need me to get rid of the
corpse for them, I’m only too happy to help them out. And you
know why? Because I respect them. And respect is the bridge that allows
friendship to cross the river. Hmm, I like that. I gotta remember to
say that on Larry King next week.
FRUITASTIC99: In your book, “The Fruit Stays in the Picture,”
you almost make yourself out to be a baby-sitter for the guys in the
band. Is this really the case?
GUYSHAPIRO33: Well, yes and no. It’s like I said. These guys are
geniuses, you know? They think differently than you and me. Less, shall
we say, practically. But that’s okay. Artistic people like the
Rotten Fruit shouldn’t have to worry about things like personal
hygiene, the law, or anything else. If a guy like Simon Apple decides
he wants to shoot several dozen holes in the wall of a hotel room, you
gotta let him do it. You know why? Because if you stop him, if you go,
“No, that’s not what people do,” you’re just
gonna stifle his creativity. And where are you then? The answer is Nowheresville,
my friend, with a one way ticket. So I say let him shoot. Or let Shaggy
toss the television out the window or Linus fill the bathtub with leeches.
Whatever, as long they’re satisfied emotionally. That leads to
being satisfied artistically. I’m all for that. Now while all
this is going on, yes, I’m there to oversee things. Just to make
sure things don’t get too out of hand. I don’t know about
the term “baby-sitter,” but in a way, I guess I do keep
an eye on the guys, just to be safe. You know that dead whore reference
from the previous question? I didn’t just pull that out of my
TOTLYROTN: Are the Rotten Fruit your favorite clients?
GUYSHAPIRO33: You know what? I don’t have “clients.”
The only people who have “clients” are business people whose
only real interest is making a buck. They use the people they represent
as nothing more than a means of enhancing their own lifestyle, rather
than as a chance to make a connection with genuine artist whose career
you just happen to manage. People with “clients” never really
understand the people they represent. That’s why I don’t
have “clients.” I have friends. I don’t represent
my “clients,” I represent my friends, people I truly care
about. You dig?
TOTLYROTN: Okay, are the Rotten Fruit your favorite “friends?”
GUYSHAPIRO33: Ah… no. Next question.
LINUSFAN007: Any comment on your relationship with Daryl Hannah?
GUYSHAPIRO33: Oh, getting personal now, are we? Fine, Guy Shapiro’s
never been one to back away from a loaded question. Daryl’s a
close, personal friend of mine and I respect her very much.
FRUITON1: When you say friend, do you mean client?
GUYSHAPIRO33: No, she’s an actual friend. She’s always been
very kind to me and in fact she practically saved my life when my marriage
broke up a few years ago. I had hit bottom and I had nothing to show
for myself, save for my eight houses and the several million I had in
the bank. But other than that, we’re talking rock bottom, baby.
My wife had left me for her tennis pro and I locked myself in my house
with a gross of “Fig Newtons” and just wanted to die. Along
comes Daryl and she just says, “Guy, I won’t let you do
this to yourself.” She forced me out of the house and back into
the world. She also had lots and lots of sex with me. That helped a
lot. Next question?
IG88-22: Any comment on your brief foray into the world of Broadway?
GUYSHAPIRO33: Oh, boy. I guess I should have known that someone was
going to ask me about that. What can I say, sometimes you make mistakes.
It’s all timing, you know? I really felt the world was ready for
a musical version of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
But apparently I was wrong. I thought we had lightning in a bottle.
Everything was lining up on that show. The songs, the sets, the actors.
I mean can you imagine what a coup it was to actually get Butch Patrick
to play Butch Cassidy? Now that’s casting. I mean here’s
a guy who grew up on “The Munsters” playing a vampire or
a frankenstein or whatever the hell he was and now he’s back,
playing this dangerous outlaw. Talk about coming full circle. And he
was good. The pipes on that kid, you’d never believe it. And getting
Billy Mumy to play Sundance was also inspired, in my opinion. Everyone
still tends to think of Billy as the little kid from “Lost in
Space,” but believe you me, when he took the stage, he was The
Sundance Kid. He made us all call him Sundance and everything. It was
actually a little scary. Anyhow, when the show was canceled in the middle
of the second performance, it hit us all hard. I vowed I’d never
go back to Broadway, ever.
FRUITFULL1: And yet just one year later you produced a musical version
of “The Sting,” which was also a huge flop.
GUY SHAPIRO33: What can I say. I thought I’d get right back on
the horse, you know? Boy, the critics really tore me a new ass on that
one. Setting the whole thing 200 years in the future seemed like a great
idea at the time, but it just didn’t play well on stage. The robots
looked fake, the jetpacks didn’t work and the laser pistols actually
worked too well. One of the grips got shot with a laser and lost an
arm. Did he sue? Well let’s just put it this way; I didn’t
give up my beach house because I got tired of it, you know? Oh and I’d
like to point out that that particular production was actually a musical
version of “The Sting II,” you know, the one that starred
Jackie Gleason and Mac Davis? A lot of people warned me about adapting
a film that was a huge flop in the first place, but once I got the idea
into my head, I couldn’t be stopped. Guy Shapiro likes a challenge
and “The Sting II – The Musical” became that challenge.
But it wasn’t all bad. We actually got Mac Davis back for the
stage version. And of course everyone knows that the Jackie Gleason
role went to the late, great James Coco, God rest his soul. Make ‘em
laugh up there, Jimmy!
JJMCFRUIT: Why didn’t the Rotten Fruit do “Altamont ’99?”
GUYSHAPIRO33: Well, it’s all timing, my friend. At that point,
I felt the band was overexposed, so I pulled them out of the show. I
didn’t want the public to O.D. on them, like they do on so many
other hot bands. So I used a little strategy to make sure that didn’t
happen and took them out of the show. And that’s all it was. It
has nothing to do at all with the fact that at the time of the show,
two of the band members were in rehab, one was in a coma and one had
disappeared entirely. That’s just a coincidence.
FRUITICUS: I know you don’t like to talk about this publicly,
but what’s the status of your relationship with Susan Dey?
GUYSHAPIRO33: All I’ll say on that is that Ms. Dey is one dynamite
lady and I respect her more than words can say.
LAZLO119: Guy, have you ever refused to manage an act and then later
GUYSHAPIRO33: Sure, that’s the nature of the beast. Let me see,
who did I turn down… well, I remember meeting with Hall and Oates
and telling them they had no chance of making it big. I mean who knew
I’d be wrong. That one Canadian guy was okay, but the other one,
the short one with the big mustache? I mean he looked like a 1970’s
porno star, am I right? You know, I saw him recently without the mustache
and somehow he actually looks more like a ‘70’s porno star
than he does with it. Go figure. Also, I remember seeing “Grand
Funk Railroad” and telling them not to give up their day jobs.
Mark Farner started crying right then and there, but a year later he
was crying all the way to bank, you know what I mean? Oh and I met with
“Thinlizzy” and told them they had no shot in hell at hitting
the big time. Was I wrong? Let me put it like this: Can ants lift proportionately
twenty times that of a human? You better believe it. So yeah, there’s
been a few that got away. But you can’t dwell on that, or you’ll
be stuck in the past forever.
ROTTENMAN77: What’s your take on the “Saturday Night Live”
GUYSHAPIRO33: Oh, that. I’m getting so tired of talking about
that. They’re called penises, people. We all have them and if
one miss Sarah Michelle Gellar didn’t know that before, she sure
as heck does now. And to be honest, I’m not sure if the Rotten
Fruit even knew the show was live. It’s not as popular in Europe
as it is in the States.
RUDY11: Is it true your swimming pool is shaped like a pair of breasts?
GUYSHAPIRO33: Yes, that’s true. But what you have to understand
is that the pool came with the house. So you might want to blame Douglas
Fairbanks, Jr., because he had the house before I did. And from what
I hear, he was one sick puppy.
Guy, everyone knows that you manage some of the world’s most famous
bands. But I heard a rumor that you were once in a band. Any truth to
GUYSHAPIRO33: You heard right. Not only was I in a band, I was in several
bands before I finally realized that I’m better off behind the
scenes. I didn’t have the presence for it, you know? Like the
“Rotten Fruit,” they’re an entity, a force. I was
just a guy with some friends and a guitar. A guitar I couldn’t
even play, to be honest. Also, I couldn’t sing or do anything
else musically. I really did the performing just to meet women. Did
it work? You better believe it, mister. The ladies were on me like twentysomethings
on lame eighties nostalgia.
BIRDTROUBLE: Care to give us any names of the bands you were in?
GUYSHAPIRO33: Sure, why not. Okay, let’s see. First I was in this
little garage band called “Guy and the Gremlins,” which
was made up of me and three buddies from high school. Interestingly
enough, the “Guy” in the name wasn’t me, but my old
pal Guy McDougal. He went on to work in aerodynamics or something like
that. The other two guys in band were called, uh… Jimmy…
something… and… Ted. I think. Next I was in a band called
“Groby Mape,” which was pretty much just a “Moby Grape”
cover band. We did some “Mungo Jerry” songs too. That one
didn’t last long. Then I was in “Cosmic Experience,”
this really trippy band that was really just an excuse to sit around
and smoke this killer weed that my friend Ernie got from his cousin
Lalo’s farm in Canada. One interesting point about that band was
that one of the members actually went on to real fame in the music world.
I don’t want to say who, but let’s just say his name rhymes
with “Benny Scoggins.” Because it’s Kenny Loggins.
Okay, next I was in “Count Rockula vs. Dr. Funkenstein,”
this crazy band that had a real mod sound. We almost got signed by a
label, but the whole thing fell apart at the last second. That’s
the music biz. After that there was “The Terrapins,” then
there was “Los Supersonicos” and then I was in “God’s
Shepherds,” this rock band that I performed with for about six
months before I realized we were actually playing Christian rock. I
guess I never listened to the lyrics too closely, you know? All that
“Jesus” this and “savior” that. I just thought
we were being edgy. After that, I pretty much gave up my singing career
in favor of managing people who actually had talent. Oh, there was one
other album, a solo disc I released under my stage name, Victor Spoils.
I think it was called, “To the Victor, Goes the Spoils,”
or something like that. If anyone out there actually has a copy, I’ll
give you a thousand bucks for it right here and now.
MODERATOR: This will be the last question for Mr. Shapiro. Thanks to
all who participated!
PALPATINE220: What advice would you give to young people trying to break
into the music business?
GUYSHAPIRO33: Oh, that’s easy. Don’t try. Thanks everyone!
CHAT SESSION CLOSED