Standup Comedy "Your Host and MC"

Dick Bright: Musician, Producer, Author Show #202

April 21, 2024 Scott Edwards Season 5 Episode 202
Dick Bright: Musician, Producer, Author Show #202
Standup Comedy "Your Host and MC"
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Standup Comedy "Your Host and MC"
Dick Bright: Musician, Producer, Author Show #202
Apr 21, 2024 Season 5 Episode 202
Scott Edwards

Send us a Text Message.

Another solid interview; but this time on the fringe of Comedy as I interview Musician/Producer/Author Dick Bright. From his stories about music of Ella Fitzgerald, BB King, Joel Grey, & Huey Lewis to his comedy connection with Jack Gallagher, Bruce Baum, and Robin Williams; Dick has worked with the best! He also started the "Bammies" in the Bay Area, and acted in the movie "Mrs Doubtfire". His new Book "Work'n For A Livin" is out and a solid guide for musicians of all ages.

Dick Bright, a world-class violinist and music producer, has a music career deeply entrenched in his family background, as he learned his craft from his father, a music teacher. Dick's perception of his career in music is one filled with enjoyment, meaningful relationships, and life-changing experiences such as introducing Huey Lewis to Ella Fitzgerald. He maintains that working in the music industry should be not just profitable but also pleasurable and fulfilling. His background and experiences, including co-leading a rock band and co-creating a music award show, have led him to value the importance of a supportive and positive environment in the music industry. Through his book, "Working for a Living: How to Make It in the Music Business," he passes on these beliefs to aspiring musicians, emphasizing the significance of fun and decent earnings in pursuing a music career.

Book: "Work'n for a Living, Making it in the Music Business"
by Dick Bright is available on Amazon!

(00:01:14) Musical Journey of Dick Bright

(00:05:30) Navigating the Music Business with Dick Bright

(00:14:27) Musical Collaboration with Comedic Artists

(00:21:49) Multi-Talented Journey: Dick Bright's Television Ventures

(00:25:50) Versatile Musicianship Through Cover Band Experience

(00:31:49) "Success Through Music and Production Synergy"

(00:34:07) Harmonious Blend: Music and Comedy Entertainment

(00:45:45) Authenticity and Humility in Entertainment Success

Support the Show.

Standup Comedy Podcast Network.co www.StandupComedyPodcastNetwork.com
Free APP on all Apple & Android phones....check it out, podcast, jokes, blogs, and More!

For short-form standup comedy sets, listen to: "Comedy Appeteasers" , available on all platforms.

New YouTube site: https://www.youtube.com/@standupcomedyyourhostandmc/videos
Videos of comics live on stage from back in the day.

Please Write a Review: in-depth walk-through for leaving a review.

Interested in Standup Comedy? Check out my books on Amazon...
"20 Questions Answered about Being a Standup Comic"
"Be a Standup Comic...or just look like one"

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Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Another solid interview; but this time on the fringe of Comedy as I interview Musician/Producer/Author Dick Bright. From his stories about music of Ella Fitzgerald, BB King, Joel Grey, & Huey Lewis to his comedy connection with Jack Gallagher, Bruce Baum, and Robin Williams; Dick has worked with the best! He also started the "Bammies" in the Bay Area, and acted in the movie "Mrs Doubtfire". His new Book "Work'n For A Livin" is out and a solid guide for musicians of all ages.

Dick Bright, a world-class violinist and music producer, has a music career deeply entrenched in his family background, as he learned his craft from his father, a music teacher. Dick's perception of his career in music is one filled with enjoyment, meaningful relationships, and life-changing experiences such as introducing Huey Lewis to Ella Fitzgerald. He maintains that working in the music industry should be not just profitable but also pleasurable and fulfilling. His background and experiences, including co-leading a rock band and co-creating a music award show, have led him to value the importance of a supportive and positive environment in the music industry. Through his book, "Working for a Living: How to Make It in the Music Business," he passes on these beliefs to aspiring musicians, emphasizing the significance of fun and decent earnings in pursuing a music career.

Book: "Work'n for a Living, Making it in the Music Business"
by Dick Bright is available on Amazon!

(00:01:14) Musical Journey of Dick Bright

(00:05:30) Navigating the Music Business with Dick Bright

(00:14:27) Musical Collaboration with Comedic Artists

(00:21:49) Multi-Talented Journey: Dick Bright's Television Ventures

(00:25:50) Versatile Musicianship Through Cover Band Experience

(00:31:49) "Success Through Music and Production Synergy"

(00:34:07) Harmonious Blend: Music and Comedy Entertainment

(00:45:45) Authenticity and Humility in Entertainment Success

Support the Show.

Standup Comedy Podcast Network.co www.StandupComedyPodcastNetwork.com
Free APP on all Apple & Android phones....check it out, podcast, jokes, blogs, and More!

For short-form standup comedy sets, listen to: "Comedy Appeteasers" , available on all platforms.

New YouTube site: https://www.youtube.com/@standupcomedyyourhostandmc/videos
Videos of comics live on stage from back in the day.

Please Write a Review: in-depth walk-through for leaving a review.

Interested in Standup Comedy? Check out my books on Amazon...
"20 Questions Answered about Being a Standup Comic"
"Be a Standup Comic...or just look like one"

This is another episode of stand up comedy. Your host and MC celebrating 40 plus years on the fringe of show business. Stories, interviews and comedy sets from the famous and not so famous. Here's your host and MC, Scott Edwards. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the podcast. As always, I go out of my way to try to find interesting people to interview and share their story about the entertainment, entertainment biz, the comedy biz, and in this case, the music business. Now, you've heard him before. We did a nice promo late last year. He just came out with a book all about his history in the music business and teaching the next generation some of the ways to go as a musician. But I know him as a producer who has done a lot of comedy music. And that's the tie into this podcast. So we'll be talking about music, music production and comedy and how it all worked together with the star of today's interview, ladies and gentlemen, welcome the big fish in the Bay Area Pond, Dick Bright. Thank you. Thank you, dick. I prefer medium fish in a little pond, but I'll take big today. Well, I gotta tell you, we had so much fun at the book release party and learned so much about you. Uh, just to tell the audience, you've been a lifelong musician, you're a world class violinist. You have done a lot of music production and all kinds of different things, and we're going to talk about it all, Dick. But one of the benefits of being at your book release party was learning about your amazing life. Let's. Let's take the audience on a short journey of the young dick bright and how you ended up being a musician. My dad was a public school music teacher, so it was assumed that we would learn an instrument. My older brother got the piano, which I wanted to play, but, you know, you don't want to play the same thing. And Aunt Doris had left a violin in the garage, hence I got the violin. It was available. It's yours. Yeah. And the great thing was I was being groomed for that really square classical world. And at about age nine or ten, my parents, we'd go up to Lake Tahoe every summer and Harris had these headline shows. So as a kid, I'm seeing Sammy Davis and Mitzi Gaynor and Buddy Hackett, and they took us to see Jack Benny, who is to me the God of all comedy and music combined. And what I learned from that is, you know what? You can play violin, but it can be fun. So there's a lot of very serious fiddlers. I, from day one, love to laugh, love to make people laugh, which I know we're gonna get into it, but I've always loved combining comedy and music, and I relate it directly back to Jack Benny. Well, that's why you were on the podcast today. You and I have some mutual friends in the business, Jack Gallagher, Bruce Baum, Bobby Slayton, and I wanna get to that. But you've had such an interesting beginning. Can you tell the audience your Joel Gray story? I mean, Joel Gray is a legend. In the venetian room. I was lucky to be awarded the job of being the bandleader at the venetian room at the Fairman Hotel in 1983, and it was an old school supper club. And so here I am at 30 years old, backing Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, BB King, Tony Bennett, etcetera, and Joel Gray, the king of the Borscht belt and Broadway. It's a lesson in the book. One of the lessons I try to teach young musicians is what it means to be professional. And I will never forget. It was a Wednesday night at the venetian room, and there's about 20 people in the audience. It's the Late show. They bust in the blue hairs for the Wednesday night Late show, and here I'm at 30 years old, and Joel Gray looks out at the 20 people and says, dick, I'm not going on. And I was like, had been there a year at the Fairmont. I'm freaking out. I'm going to get fired because Joel Gray's not going on. I literally, I call my boss at his home at 1030 at night. Whoa, whoa, whoa. What do I do, mister Swig? And before he could answer, Joel turned to me and said, you know what? I'm going to go on. Forget it. Forget what I said and did one of the best shows I've ever seen. And that, to me, is what professional means. Wow. When you get somebody, if you're a. Comedian, if you're a comedian and there's ten people in the audience, what my mentors always said is, you know what? Those ten people paid the same amount of money, whether there's ten or a thousand people out there, so you owe it to them to do your best show. And that's exactly what Joel Gray did. That's a great story. And Joel Gray, one of the masters of acting and musical theater, sharing that at a young age for you, what a great way to get introduced to adding to your professional level as a musician. We passed over it. Please share the name of your book and how it's doing. Book is called working for a living with the blessings of my old pal Huey. Lewis the title, and it's doing great. It's a how to. My dad was a public school music teacher for 45 years and played weddings and bar mitzvahs on the weekend. He thought Leroy Brown was the heaviest rock tune and was thrilled when a bandleader would let him sing bad, bad Leroy Brown. He just taught me the whole work ethic about being a professional musician. It's a really hard life. You know, the genesis of the book is there's this whole generation that's grown up on YouTube and American Idol and the voice, and they think you can get up for 30 seconds whether you've ever rehearsed or practiced or, or know your shit or not, get up there and be a star. And you know what? They're right. You can, but your odds are about a zero, zero one. So I wrote this book for, you know, young cats coming out of Berkeley School of Music, or the truck driver that hates his job and kills a karaoke night. And it's the different path to make a living, to support yourself and a family and buy a home and have nice things and do that while you're playing music. Wow. Well, what a great gift to the next few generations. Making a living. Right by Dick Bright. Working for a living. Working for a living. I want to make sure we get. It right in the music business. Yeah. Making it in the music business is the subtitle. Well, you're on Amazon and in all around the Bay Area bookstores. Wow. Well, I know it's going to do really well. And your coming up party for the book was amazing. Congrats on that. Now, you've done more than be a musician. You've done a lot of production work. You got involved in the Bammies, which for those outside of the Bay Area is a huge get together once a year. Of all the musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area, where some of the best musicians in rock and in other types of music have come from, share a little bit about the bammies and your involvement. Well, I had a, I was a co leader with my, my dear friend Roger Clark. We had a rock band in the late seventies called Little Roger and the Goosebumps. And we were in the Berkeley area hanging out with bands like the Rubinoos, Earthquake, Greg Ken, Jonathan Richmond. And there was a wonderful spirit in the Bay Area. It was kind of the we hate la thing because of all the glitz and glam. And we started Bam magazine was this really cool local magazine, and they were. Bear and music for everybody out there. Beer music, shortened to bam. It was, I'm in northern California, and I was well aware of all that. It's amazing. It was really cool. So they came to Roger and me because we just had a hit with Stairway to Gilligan's island, our novelty record, Doctor Demento classic. And Roger and I, along with Bam magazine, created the Bammies, the Bay Area alternative to the Grammys. And it was like, let's be silly and stupid and have fun and have artists sing songs they don't normally sing. I had a 30 piece orchestra, so for 13 years, it was really, the idea was to make it a celebration. If you're brought up right as an artist, whether you're a comedian or actor musician, you learn you're only in competition with yourself. So I kind of have always not liked award shows, pitting artist against artist. And so the Grammys was let's get together. You walk into Slim's nightclub, and there'd be some groovy new act, and in the audience it would be me, Huey Lewis, Santana, some other blue collar wedding band guys, and we were all pals. There was no, I'm a star, you're not. It was such a good vibe, and that was the genesis of the Bammies. Well, it was a hugely successful set of shows that really brought together all the talented musicians for the northern California, San Francisco Bay area genre of music. And I'm up in Sacramento, and yet we heard amazing stories. And of all the success over all those many years. So congratulations on that. You know, highlights included, I got Taj Mahal to sing disco Inferno. Okay, that says it all. Yeah. Well, you know, one of the things that's interesting, and you've had such a variety of experiences in your life, and I'm gonna pick on a few, but let's bring it back to comedy a little bit. You have a terrific sense of humor, and I think that that's done you well in your lifetime, because you're already a talented musician. You were kind of raised that way. You found Jack Benny. You were able to bring comedy into your life. Then you have this kind of obtuse view of music where you could do different things, like the bammies or starting the goosebumps and doing stairway to heaven with the Gilligan's island. To such success. You did the born to be raised album for Bruce Baum, and I think that that's been a real gift to you. Now, we name dropped Bruce Baum, Bruce baby, man bomb. You worked with Jack Gallagher, but also Bobby Slayton, Robin Williams, Bob Saget, some of the biggest names in stand up comedy. Did you ever, like, make that a choice, or did it just kind of happen and because of your personality, you had a gift for it? Well, here's the story. I always love to laugh and make people laugh. In college at UC Davis, I sat next to this crazy guy that looked like David Crosby named Bruce Baum. To this day, we smoke so much weed. Back then, we could not agree on what class we took together. So fast forward seven, eight years after college, I'm playing at the old Waldorf, this cool nightclub, sitting in with the great Kin band, and Bruce is doing stand up at the punchline. Now, the two clubs shared the kitchen. So on our break, I'm in the kitchen, and it was like, bruce, dick, what the. You know what it's like. We just hit it off. Like we. We hadn't missed a day. And then I started hanging out with Bruce, and he played the other cafe in 1980. And there on the lineup would be Saget, Kevin Meaney, Danny, Dana Carvey, Jeremy Kramer, Bobby Slayton. And I just. I love these people, and we all just hit it off. And that became my comedy family along with a musical family. It's like a family. So that's my other family from the music business, and it's very near and dear to me. And, you know, people like Jack and Bruce are, to this day, family. They're some of the greatest people on earth and my closest friends. Well, I think it's interesting, Dick, that you bring this up again. You've mentioned it a couple times, and you mentioned it several times at your book launching. And I think it's so important that people understand that when you're an artist, whether it's comedy, acting, or music or magicians, there is a kind of built in community that, like you said, in some, you know, there are people that are competitive and, you know, fight relationships that they might create in that community, but the vast majority of us really, you know, use the term family. That's taking it even another level emotionally. But even for me, falling into stand up comedy in late 1970, 919 80, when I opened my first comedy club, I'm not even an act. I'm not even as creatively talented as all the people you're mentioning and yourself. Yet I was part of the community. So much. So did it affect my life that now I'm doing this podcast, you know, 50 years later? It's wonderful. It's your legacy. And you know, what they. What those comedians get is that you were basically supporting them. You were putting food on their table by doing what you did, and artists appreciate that. Well, and you and I, that's where you and I connect. We've both been producers and as you just pointed out, producers provide an income and a venue for talented people to showcase their, you know, their talents. I guess it's talented people sharing their talents. I'm very well spoken. I'm there. I'm all the people I mentioned. I think I'm like one of their biggest fans. And that's where it starts, you know? Yeah, you're a fan, so that, and then you, but you bring your business acumen to it in putting together shows, for example, haven't you? Well, you produced the Goosebumps, which had some successful songs. You produced Bruce's album what joy, or what did you learn by getting on the production side with comics and mixing that with your love, which is music. Well, I think it's, I appreciate you giving me the accolade of producer, but I'm more of a co worker, co creator. I don't have the patience in the studio. There's like a musical producer. I'm more in on the creative end. I have put on productions that's more entrepreneur to me. But, you know, just semantics. It's just, it's fun. I always, I want on my tombstone that it's going to say fun is highly underrated. I got in the music business because it's fun. And a lot of musicians take themselves too seriously. A lot of artists, a lot of actors take themselves too seriously. Most comedians don't. And so I was always attracted to the comedy community because what is sense of humor but the ability to laugh at yourself when you get down to it? So people like Bruce and Jeremy and Bobby are like the best hang ever? No. Jeremy Kramer is such an unusual guy and so, so funny. Hey, you mentioned acting and it's true that actors are a different breed all together when it comes to entertainment and talent. But you've done some acting, you've been in a few movies, like misses doubtfire. You've done some television work, maybe share with the audience how being a musician somehow got you on the screen. Well, actually I was a drama music double major and I did a lot of theater in high school. And it, I think where the music helped, the acting is just being comfortable on stage. You can tell when somebody's uncomfortable in front of the camera. So I've been gigging in front of my, you know, at Christmas, playing with my dad and my brother. Since I'm seven years old, I've been on stage. So I think that, that where it helped. My acting was a comfort level. And also all the principles that apply to music kind of apply to acting. Be generous, be a good listener. I put in my book, Larry King said I never learned anything while I was talking. So I really like great acting and great music. When you're jamming with a band or you're on stage with improvising with comedians or playing a character, be a good listener. So those kind of skills, team player listening, part of an ensemble, discipline, patience, all the stuff I learned learning music helped me with my acting. Interesting. And it didn't hurt that I look like Richard Deacon. I look like Mel Cooley. Bald, glasses, great reference. A lot of comedy, just a Nat, there's a natural Phil Silvers natural comedy thing I had going. You really do. And then you add the violin and the Jack Benny reference and it all comes together well in misses doubtfire, you were actually acting right alongside a good friend of yours, Robin Williams. Tell us, tell the audience how it, the acting with him in the movie was one thing, but you did other shows with Robin. Correct. Robin came in, sang at the Bammies. He came, we were all knocking around the clubs. There was this great band called the Tubes. I don't know if you remember the tubes. T Weybill White punk's on dope and they had a gigantic show called the Tubes Talent Hunt. And all the young pups like myself and Slayton and Robin went and auditioned and we all kind of got to know each other. I credit the tubes for my relationship with Robin, just meeting him way back and truly one of the most generous, kindest souls on earth. So the bammies, Robin, you want to come do something? He did Elmer Fudd singing Fudd on the hill, wound and wound. He did pointer sisters fire like Elmer Fu. I can't do it, but he was brilliant. So, and then I, you know, it's a small town. I'd be playing the opening of the SF opera gala Ball, and Robin was there and he'd jump up and jam with the band. So we'd always hung out. I'd go to the Holy City Zoo after work and it'd be Robin jamming with Michael Pritchard and Kevin Meaney and Paula Poundstone. It was just, it was just a great creative time. So, community, family. Fast forward to misses doubtfire. I auditioned with my agent just like everybody else, but the word came down that if you were as good as any actor in LA, Robin, you know, Ty went to the runner all, if you notice, many of the small parts went to Robin's friends. Jeff Bolt, wonderful comedian, was the other. The other waiter in the scene that I'm in at Bridges Restaurant. Dan Spencer was the sous chef, the cook, wonderful comedian. So a lot of those roles were thanks to Robin and his kindness. Yeah, he was a giving guy. And it's so fascinating that you share the story, because besides being an amazing comic and a big supporter of everybody in that entertainment community, but I don't think even I knew that he was that involved and interested in music and saying, so new news here that he. Must have just funny, you know, it's like every. Every musician wants to. Wants to be a sports star, like Huey Lewis in sports, and every sports star wants to be a musician, and every comedian wants to play music, and every musician wants to be, you know, everybody wants to do something that they admire. So comedians can be very competitive. So I go to the Holy City zoo, late night jam, and they're a little competitive, but because I played music, I got along with everybody. So we get up there, and there'd be five comedians doing an improv scene, and they go, Dick, bring your fiddle up here. And I would, for example, play. I just go on my violin, the zero zero seven theme. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun. And Robin would just do Sean Connery for ten minutes. So I would give him, like, a bounce pass from Curry to Clay Thompson. I would give Robin something to work with through the music. Oh, man, that had to have been so much fun. I'm envious to share the stage. I've been on stage a couple times with Robin, but I was just the mere mc, and it still felt like a gift having that experience with all those comics. At that time, there was so much creative energy happening in the Bay Area, not only comedically, but musically. But getting back to your acting in television, you actually were on the dating game, weren't you? Okay, this interview is over. Well, I gotta tell you, when I heard you were on the dating game, I. I think my jaw fell open. But tell us how somebody that looks like Mel Cooley ends up on the dating game. Well, speaking of comedy and music, I have a dear, dear friend known as the fabulous Buddy Love. I don't know if you've seen the buddy love show, but before he was Buddy love, he was Bubbalu and Bubbalu and I had a crazy top 40 lounge band right after little Roger and the Goosebumps. It's in my book. I couldn't make a living playing original music. So Bubba, who was also in the goosebumps we broke for the lounge to make a steady living, to get paid to play other people's music. So turns out Buddy had a dear friend that was one of the head writers of the dating game. And he said, hey, for a lark, you want to go down to LA? And just as a goof, go down and audition. You have to audition. They play a mock game, and I'll never forget, in the waiting room, it's like half the people were there. No, a third were there because it was a lark. It was just fun. A third were there were out of work actors getting their after check, and a third of the dudes were trying to meet someone. And that was really sad. So Buddy and I, we passed the audition and we were on the show together, and it was like total goosebumps. You're sitting in the chair and then here they are, and it's on that turntable. And it was just like a flash from. And that show had been on for years. I watched that, like in high school. And my favorite one was, I remember Kareem Abdul Jabbar when he was Lou Alcinder was on that. And the first thing I thought of when I sat in that chair and came around was, I'm sitting in the chair that Lou Alcindor sat in. That's all I remember from the beginning. Now fast forward. I actually win. No. And we go on the date. And I think I'm probably the only contestant that didn't get laid on a date on the dating game. Oh, that is just hilarious. And the dating game was such a standard of tv entertainment in the sixties, seventies and eighties. I mean, especially going back to early game show tv, the dating game was just infamous. Iconic. Jim Lang was a DJ at KSFO before he was a radio jock in the Bay Area. And I didn't. You never meet him, but I just thought that was kind of cool. That is very, very cool. And just to have that as you're in your repertoire of experiences is cool. Now, you, one of the things that really, I took away from your book signing and spending more time with you, and as I mentioned, you and I have crossed paths a few times in history, but I got to know you just recently at this book launch and hanging with you and talking with you. And two things struck me. One is there's such a great variety of music genres that you have been a part of and can play in that I think makes it as a musician, I'd like you to explain. You know, it's like a comic being able to do every type of audience and be able to pivot on the spot. Musician, we're talking, you know, weddings and special events and jazz and rock and roll and all these, all this great variety, and still you're able to pull your talent through. And part of that is you did a lot of weddings. How do you, how does a musician, in short, we don't want to give away the book, but how do you find the capability of playing everything from rock and roll to symphony? Well, I'm going to backtrack a little. What I talk about in the beginning is there are basically two kinds of artists. There's people that are original artists who write their own music, and that's the most important thing to them. And if playing YMCA and sweet Caroline is going to kill your love for music, don't do it. Get a day job. Go play open mic, try to sell your song. I was never bit with the original songwriter chip. So growing up, I loved Mozart. I loved the Ramones, I loved the Beatles, I loved Neil Diamond. I just, by the luck of the draw, have always loved all the, you know, I love all music. So being in cover bands was fun for me. I get to play a wide variety of music. I think it was either Basie or Ellington said there's only two kinds of music, good and bad. And so to me, it's been a blessing. The other thing I tell young, original artists, if you can get behind it, it's very helpful and educational to play in a cover band. You're going to learn why that Madonna song was the hit. Maybe it's the guitar lick, maybe it's the drum pattern, maybe it's that tabla on the beginning of the song is the hook. You will be a better songwriter, a better original artist, if you can handle playing in cover bands for a while. I mean, heck, the San Francisco Symphony is a cover band. They're playing Mozart. Mozart is top 40. It just happens to be 300 years old. But it's still, you're still in a cover band when you play in a symphony. Right. But can you speak briefly to what it's like for you as a musician to be on stage and doing something symphonic and then doing maybe musical theater, and then the next day or the next week, you're doing, you're backing a rock band. I mean, you've even done jazz, country. I mean, you've really touched all the music genres. Well, it's, part of your job is to be good at every genre, so you educate yourself. It's all about doing your homework. And I talk a lot in the book. I was a really good, I was a little kiss assay student in junior high and high school, and I really think it really helped me in my career. It's all about being prepared. I've had gigs where I have to play something from Pippin tomorrow, or I will go in and listen to it, study it, write it down, teach it to the band, send out charts to the band and say, listen to measure twelve. It's really just about doing your homework. Because I'm not a musician. It might be simpler than I'm making it sound, but I think you just touched on it. If you can read music, it doesn't matter what genre. If you can read the music, you can play it. Is that true? Well, it's, it's, that's part of reading. There are a lot of great musicians that don't read. I don't recommend that. It's like having a smaller vocabulary, but more than that, it's, it's really becoming familiar with playing it. As we say, play the shit right. So if you're going to do a Hank Williams song on a wedding for a first dance, you're going to do crazy by Patsy Klein. You better listen to the original and listen to the bass and listen to the drums. And either, if you have to write it down, write it down. That goes for every musician in the band. So it's all the same thing. If you do your homework, you get into it, so to speak, and you break down. Why is this such a great record? Why does this sound so good? And if you can, you know, it's like critical thinking, if you can figure that out. And then I will literally sit down with the YouTube of Patsy Klein and pull out my violin and play through the song five times. Yeah, well, it kind of goes to what you were talking about, the connection with other entertainment, like a magician, an actor even, and a musician. It's all about rehearsal and being prepared. In comedy, there's much less rehearsing because every time you get on stage, it's, it's a new situation, you know, number of audience, type of audience. And yet getting on stage is a rehearsal that gets you to be better at what your art form. So rehearse, rehearse. In comedy we call it stage time. Stage time. Stage time. Well, that's part of it. But I'm talking more about not on stage and preparation. And our dear friend Jack Gallagher, who I am truly, I gotta think, I am one of, if not his biggest fan, he's brilliant. He's brilliant. Stand up Jack had a one man show at the Sofia, all about his careers being a stand up comic. And he talked a lot about, in the early days, he would, on cassette, record every performance, every night, whether it was a ten minute set at a coffee house. And he would listen back and go, oh, I need to, like, wait two more beats before I say the punchline on that joke. So, yes, there's no substitute for what I call flight time. It's like a pilot. You got to put in your. Your flying hours. But preparation, to me, is as much as actual on stage time. Well, that. That's great advice in any art form or any, really, any job. But, you know, DiMaggio said, make the. Make the. Make the hard plays look easy. That's why they said Joe DiMaggio was great. He and I think the artist is the same thing. Whether you're Jack or you're a San Francisco symphony and you're playing, you know, Stravinsky or I'm playing some complicated, you know, jazz song by, you know, the Mahavishnu Orchestra. It's my job to prepare so well that the audience, when they watch you, it seems easy. You never want to sit in the audience and go, wow, he really struggled to get through that song. Right, right. You want it to look like you've been doing it a thousand times. Exactly. Well, that's a great advice, Dick. Thanks for sharing that. Now, pivoting back to comedy now, you did some production work. How did what you learned transform into, for example, producing born to be raised for Bruce Baum and the goosebumps and their success with Gilligan's island to stairway to heaven? What. What would you say as a musician and as a producer helped you be able to make those two things happen, you know, how did you. A lot of weed? Well, that probably didn't hurt. Opens the creative juices. No, I'm kidding. I'm totally. Well, I'm half kidding. Back in those days, I mean, in my twenties, everybody smoked a ton of weed. And in some ways, like, the Gilligan thing was born out of a, you know, everyone was high and, like, wouldn't that be funny? But that's kind of luck. I don't know. That's a really good question. I think it's just I like to laugh, and I find a lot of musicians, like the classical world, the ballet world, the opera world. It's very serious. I had a choice of either being a professional actor or playing music, and this is the God's truth. I chose music because I just enjoyed the hang. I hope I'm not offending any actors out there. The hang was just so much fun with musicians, whereas actors and opera singers, it was so serious and indeed, my whole upbringing. My violin teacher studied with Yasha Haiff. I was being groomed for the La Philharmonic to play probably there's 40 violins in a symphony. I probably could have been 35th, certainly not the last, but nowhere near the top, but good enough to be in the La Phil. And I was doing five, 6 hours a day in high school, practicing. And I get to college, and my roommate, to me, when I got to college, rock and roll was the carpenters and the Tijuana brass. And my roommate, day one, turned me on to girls, pot and Pink Floyd. My classical career was over. It opened your eyes to this whole other experience. So when I'm working with Bruce or the goosebumps, it was just so much damn fun. And I think when you're in a good space, that's when you're the most creative. Unless you're like Billie Eilish and writing bummer songs all day, then that works for you. Well, I think there's also something to. What you're saying is that something that could be very serious, like playing in a symphony and adding comedy can kind of give your psyche a break. It's kind of like funeral directors love telling jokes and. Yes, exactly. That's it. What are you saying about funeral directors in my career? I'm sorry, what? Well, you did kill on stage. It's funny. You should go there, my friend. It's just. I was just making the connection that there is a emotional and really a release when you're dealing with something serious. Comedy of any form can help break that cycle. So for funeral directors, it's, you know, they deal with a lot of. No, I get you. Negativity. I'm not saying that it's negative to be in a symphony, but if you're a symphonic violinist and then all of a sudden you're introduced to comedy and potential, it's not a big leap to see that it might have been fun. I got the bug early. And I'll tell you another kind of interesting thing, and again, I'm going to refer to our friend Jack Gallagher, who I think is so brilliant, and we do a show probably every other year at the Sophia. I think we're going to do one in 2024. Jack loves music and he loves to sing, and he didn't know that. Oh, we do this show, and it's half his comedy and half music songs. He just loved with my friend Tommy Dunbar, who is in Sacramento, one of the best musicians on the planet. Tommy is in the rubinoose, best power pop band in the world. And Tommy and I put an all star band together to back up Jack. And we have so much fun. And Jack said to me when he goes, you know, when you're a stand up comic, you're on the road alone, you're in that condo alone, you know, and, like, it's so much fun to be in the band. It's a camaraderie. It's. It's a mini family. So it's interesting from a comedian's perspective. Jack is like, gee, that seems like so much fun being in a band. You know, that's interesting. I always thought that was kind of interesting. Yeah, that is. And it's so true that comics are a real soloist, and loners and musicians always travel. I mean, even if it's a duo or trio, there's usually, there's very few successful solo artists. They're always, yeah. Not knowing the individual, but it's got the road for comedians. Got to be a little bit of a lonely deal versus a band. No, definitely, definitely is now pulling all that together. What was with Lena and the Snakes? Leland the Snakes. Leela was this amazing actress comedian named Jane Doorknocker. I loved her, by the way, and got a chance. I'm so glad she was, she was part of the tubes. She was part of the tubes show and. But she had her own side band called Legal and the Snakes. It was an all girl band. This is 1976 77. And she also did stand up comedy at the other cafe and the Punchline. And she did wacky characters like Marge Bataglia, junk food expert. And we just hit it off and, oh, yeah, she would take hostess cupcakes and say, this is how you prevent radiation poisoning and spread, like, snowballs and cupcakes all over her body. She was freaking hilarious. She was also a brilliant actress. You can see her in the right stuff. She's the crotchety nurse, redheaded nurse. She's phenomenal. So I was the first male snake. She asked me to join her band. Well, that's what. I had a blast. I should have maybe set it up better, but I think that it's so. I knew you were going to get there. But what makes this band so unique is it's an all girl band that you are part of. Yeah, well, she made me go and drag, and this is 19, you know, talk about being woke up when you're 20 years old. I was not super comfortable. So I wore a nun's habit and smoked a cigar like Milton Berle just to make sure everyone knew I was straight. That is so funny. How long did that bant, did you tour for them? Very long. We never toured. We just did dates in town. But then Roger and I produced, and you can find it online, everybody. It was a record called rock and roll weirdos. And it's really cool. Oh, man. That, it just sounds. Again, Dick, you seem to find the funny. I mean, there's. There's all this music stuff going on which you're so talented at and production work, and here you end up working again with one of the strongest comedic minds in the Bay Area, much like Jeremy Kramer, kind of a little askew, but combining your music with comedy and performing with the snakes, I mean, that's amazing. It's really funny because necessity is the mother of invention. And I became a bandleader because who's going to hire a bald, 25 year old violin player? Nobody. So I became the leader in terms of my music career and ran. I've run society bands, you know, for 45 years, and I've done great. I kind of. I'd much rather be just part of the band and in Jane's band or in Rogers band. But I also wanted to make a good living and I wanted to buy a house and wanted to not worry about, like, paying the bills. So I made a very conscious choice, you know, to not go the original route. Right, right. And by being capable of playing all the genres you were available to, all the different gigs. Yeah, it served me well. And all the money. The other thing about the music thing in terms of weddings and parties, it's. It's like, it's a marketing thing. Know your audience, know your demographic. You know what song I have a whole chapter on? I put a sample song list. When you play a wedding, you know, you gotta play something for grandma, but you don't want the teenagers to think you're square. So you'll do something like at last, and then segue into Bruno Mars or Taylor Swift. You want to try to, you know, it's a marketing thing in terms of what songs you play. It's like, do your homework. Well, you're so smart at it, and you've really had a whole successful career of taking your brains and your musical talent and putting it to the best possible use. I have to ask another question that's going to seem a little off base, but my wife would disown me if I didn't ask. She is one of the world's biggest Oakland A's fans. And I got a chance to meet Ken. It's your event. Can you share briefly for my wife and for the sports fans in my audience, how you got this relationship with the, one of the best announcers with the Oakland A's? Well, to backtrack just a little, I'm a regular at the A's, warriors and giants. I play the national anthem once a year. I'm a total sports nut. I get out on the field and I'm like seven years old, and it's probably the only time I get nervous at a gig anymore. I'm out there in the mountain playing the anthem by myself. No drummer to cover up my intonation, you know. So that is one of my happy places, is playing the anthem every year. Backtrack. In fourth grade at Kenner Canyon Elementary School, one of my best buddies was little Kenny Korak, who went on later to be one of the best voices in baseball because he and I grew up on Vince Gully, so he grew up listening to the best fast forward. Ken did his time. He was working for the Los, he was working for UNLV. He was doing all their games. We really hadn't stayed in touch. He saw the goosebumps. We maybe talked maybe twice in 40 years. And all of a sudden I hear, is that my buddy little Kenny Korak? So I get the anthem, my yearly anthem with the A's. I get his email address. I say, ken Corak, it's little Ricky Bright. You may or may not remember me. And it has just been a love fest since I play every year. He's so kind. He gives up time after the game. We do a long hang, catch up on life, and we are mutual fans. And he is top ten, one of the nicest human beings on earth and one of the best voices in baseball. So little Kenny Korak, I've only, I'm 70. I've only known him 62 years. Well, I gotta tell you, I got a selfie with him and my wife was so envious and sorry she missed out. Yeah, it was, you know, I, immediately after your event, introduced myself to him and told him about my bride and her love for the a's. And we had a nice little chat and got a picture and thanks to you, made my, I was. Is Ken Korach, is that her hall pass? Is that what you're saying? Well, I don't know about that, but she was quite envious and I looked like a sports fan for a minute, by the way, I'm not so. Okay. I did want one last question. Dick. If you've got time, you have had a chance. No, you know what? This interview is over. I don't. Well, I'm going to squeeze one in anyway. You bring it, baby. Bring it. You've worked with Robin Williams, Joel Gray, BB King, Ella Fitzgerald, some of the biggest names in entertainment. What? And this may or may not be in your book, but what piece of advice or takeaway did you gather from working with these professionals? The bigger the star, the more humble they are. A genuine star has nothing to prove. The person you see on stage of the true star is the person you meet off stage. They're the same person. Huey Lewis, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Oscar Peterson, Ken Korach. These are the nicest people I've met because they don't have anything to prove. It's the people either on the way up or on the way down that have what I call a baditude. And the best advice I can give anybody is just be yourself. That's what I learned from the great. Wow. And actually, that's a really good takeaway. And working with a lot of successful comics, I would say that that's true also in that industry. But thanks so much, Dick. Can I tell one Ellis story? And you can edit it if you. No, no, no. Ella Fitzgerald was. Is a hallmark of the music industry. What story do you have, Dick? So when I was. This sums up show business. Everything I love and people I love. So the venetian room was an old supper club. There was no dressing room. The artist would come down the service elevator from their suite, hang out in the kitchen with the waiters and the bartenders. This is now 19 whatever year, sports. Huey Lewis selling 18 million albums. Huey's the biggest thing in the country. Ella's playing the venetian room. He goes, Dick, can I meet in the band, can we meet Ella Fitzgerald? I say, hell, yes. She's so nice. She's just like your grandma. So they see the show, I take them back to the kitchen, and I introduce. This is one of the greatest moments of my life, getting to introduce Huey to Ella. And she goes, I go, Ella, this is my friend Huey Lewis. And I think she's going to be, like, all at Twitter. And she goes, oh, that's not. What do you do, dear? And Hughie goes, who's super humble? Goes, well, Ella, I'm a singer. And she goes, oh, good luck with that, dear. And two of the humblest people just being themselves. And it made Hughie's night. It made Ella's night and it made my night. And, you know, that's where it's at. Oh, that is such a great story. I got a chance to work with Huey a couple times and very down to earth. Like you said, the stars don't need to promote themselves. But bringing, I think it's so funny that you're bringing somebody like Ella Fitzgerald and Huey Lewis, who in each, in their own way, are huge successes in music, and yet because of the generations, they were connected by music. But yet she didn't care if he. Was a star or not, and he didn't care that she knew he was a star. It's all about, you know, I always say we don't make enough money to work with assholes in my business. And you know what? My brother, a very successful lawyer, you know, he can get hundreds of dollars an hour. You can put up with jerks. Our business. If it ain't fun, don't do it. You know, it's just got to be fun. That's what the job is. So for me, that was one of the most fun nights of my life, introducing two of my favorite people. Wow, that is a great story. Thanks so much for sharing it. Hey, ladies and gentlemen, that story and much, much more is available in Dick's book. Book dick. Give it one more good plug. It makes a great gift, too. So tell everybody about your book, working. For a living, how to make it in the music business. It's on Amazon. It's a very practical how to for young and aspiring musicians of all ages, how to make a decent living and have fun and make money at what you love. And that's a, it's a rare thing to do that for a lot of people. I'm trying to. There's a lot of life lessons that apply to any field, and they're fun stories and a lot of very practical information. And I'm having a blast. Never thought I'd write a book. And it's my way to pay it forward to all my musical buddies. Well, ladies and gentlemen, wherever you are in the world, go to Amazon, find working for a living and get this book. If you are an aspiring musician, it is the dummies guide to the music industry. And Dick Bright is the man to lead the way. Why? Because he's had all this great life experiences and he shares it in the book. And more importantly today, I love that. You bring in Dick bright and dummies in the same sentence. I really appreciate that, Scott. Thanks a lot. Well, I have met you, sir. All right, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for joining us on the podcast. Be sure to pick up Dick's book. Dick Bright, it was such an honor to have you on the show. Thank you so much, sir. Scott, thank you for all you do for artists, for all the support, and thanks for having me. And you know, it's all good. Thanks, man. Ladies and gentlemen, we'll be back next Sunday with another great show. Thanks for listening. Be sure to tell your friends bye. We hope you enjoyed this episode of stand up comedy. Your host and Mc for information on the show, merchandise and our sponsors, or to send comments to Scott, visit our website at www.standupyourhostandmc.com. Look for more episodes soon and enjoy the world of stand up comedy. Visit a comedy showroom near.

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