Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960’s Music Ring, Famous Songwriters and THE BEAVER!

Submitted by Allee Willis November 15th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

I’m so NOT the type to wear a ring with a G-clef on it or have one of those cheesy license plates like GR8T BEAT. My gold records don’t hang in the living room so they’re the first things you see when you walk in and my clothes aren’t Bedazzled with musical notes. But this ring is so stone cold handtooled 1960s my finger had to have it.

I bought the ring about 10 years ago on eBay from someone in Memphis. I can feel a heavy barbecue-grease-guitar-picking vibe every time I slip it on. It also weighs a ton, quite a surprise as it looked like a cheap plastic gum ball machine prize ring in the photo online. So I end up wearing it a lot. Like I did Saturday night when I went out with my friend, Stan Zimmerman, though the hand I’m holding up in this photo unfortunately isn’t the one my fabulous music ring was on.

As unlikely as I am to have musical notes pasted all over my personal accouterments I’m just as unlikely to show up at a party where singers and songwriters take turns singing their own songs. I’m around music and singing all day; I don’t want to be around music and singing all night. Plus, despite my musical proclivities I don’t play an instrument so the possibility of me even being able to plunk the opening note of one of my songs at a party like this is nil. But there were the ring and I and Stan at a party that featured just that, thrown by voice coach to the stars, Eric Vetro, and songwriter/producer to the stars, Desmond Child. So many of my friends were there though that me, Stan and the ring had a great time despite not participating in the main event.

I go wayyyyyyy back with the first folks I saw, from (L-R) Rick Nowels, Maria Vidal, (me), Toni Basil, and Desmond Child.

Soooooo far back that I was practically in diapers when we met. Desmond and Maria were in a group called Desmond Child & Rouge who, in the mid 1970’s, sang at Reno Sweeney, a cabaret in Manhattan where I was the person who walked around the city by day nailing up fliers of upcoming performances. I saw them sing every night because in addition to my $20 a day salary I got to eat at Reno’s for free. Maria married Rick in the late 80’s. Between me, Desmond and Rick we’ve sold somewhere around 500,000,000 records and have had just about as many great times together. What we all had in common was also Bette Midler, the biggest thing to come out of the New York cabaret scene and the biggest jewel in our show biz clique. Even back in the 70’s Toni Basil was Bette’s choreographer. She was also one of my first friends and collaborators when I moved to LA in 1976. Here were are in 1982 at a party I threw for her when “Mickey” went #1.

Here we are Saturday night with singer Sarah Hudson and X-Factor’s Storm Lee thrown in.

Maria and I also spent a lot of time in a corner chatting with Frances Fisher.

Another friend from my 1970’s NY days at the party Saturday night was Allan Rich, who sang at Catch A Rising Star, the big comedy club where I was the hatcheck girl at the time. Allan got his big break when he was a shoe salesman and gave Barry Manilow a tape of his songs when he sold him some shoes.

I spent a lot of time talking to Michael Orland, the Music Director at American Idol and with whom I’m about to start writing tomorrow.

I’m completely sick of not being able to sing my own songs at parties like this so, just like an American Idol, I’m also going to rehearse a little medley of my hits with Michael so when Eric and Desmond throw this party again next year I can get up and sing instead of chatting through everyone’s songs because so many of my friends are there. Like songwriter extraordinaire, Diane Warren.

But despite how much musical talent was at the party there was clearly one star that shone brighter for me than any other and that was THE BEAVER!!!

Jerry Mathers, The Beaver, who I watched incessantly as a kid…

The same Beaver whose memorabilia I’ve faithfully collected all these years…

The same Beaver who’s going to come over in a few weeks and autograph all that memorabilia!! If I collected memorabilia from anything as recent as Desperate Housewives I would also invite Marc Cherry, seen here waiting for his car with me, Stan and The Beav.

All in all, it was a great night for me, Stan and my funky l’il music ring!