He was later responsible for the MC5 and The Stooges; music that he didn't really love, but realized that their success was more about volume and attitude, an attitude that effectively helped open the door to a new wave of music. Elektra merged with Warners in the early 70s but Holzman remained connected with the business, moving into the technical side of things because he knew nothing about it and wanted a challenge. Later in the 80s through his Pop Clips productions he and Mike Nesmith helped to formulate MTV.
On the night Jac spoke about funding the initial label "out of a cigar box', managing a then huge initial $90.000 dollar debt by only ever paying the first $300 of any bill. That way his debtors recognized a certain honor in his recognition of debt. His lateral thinking and instinct for survival saw him releasing the first ever sampler album and a million selling sound effects album; effects that can be famously heard in the intro of The Doors 'Riders on the Storm'. The competition was initially nervous but Holzman appeased them with the assurance that he 'only wanted to make the records that they wouldn't or couldn't make'. He clearly loved the early years, talking with great affection about the people who surrounded him: 14 employees was his max 'the perfect number to fit around the circular banqueting table at my favorite local Chinese restaurant."
Back in the Fest Restaurant for dinner and Howe Gelb had arrived in the company of Jim White and his friends from local band The De Soto Caucus: Anders Pedersen, Peter Dombernowsky, Nikolas Heyman and Thøger T. Lund although it seems that Thøger has recently been replaced by Henrik Poulsen by De Sotto on bass. Peter, Anders and Thøger are also members of Howe's ever evolving Giant Sand. These guys will be the backbone for Howe's musical presentation on Thursday night: "Way Too Much Light".
I left early to catch the 2nd of the Trio shows, again featuring Joe Henry and Rhiannon Giddens but this time joined by Billy Bragg and Grant Lee Phillips. It was another spellbinding set of performances.
Later at the bar Howe introduced me to Steve Shelley Sonic Youth's drummer who I have confess I know nothing about. I'm sure that it showed.
The night ended back at the hotel firstly in the company of a charming Irish dancer/singer Eofer (sp?) who was here to perform with Cormac Begley and an unusually chirpy Thøger enthusing about his house (and trees) in Tucson and regaling us with a near death experience he's just had with an Italian scorpion. I ended up in the smoking zone with the Trio ensemble who had clearly stuck a few Kroners on Folmer's Festival bar bill. Under the fog of cigar smoke Gustaf and I discussed our shared love of Boo Hewerdine's work whilst Rhiannon serenaded us with her raucous take on Italian opera. We lingered long until Joe and Rhiannon's taxi arrived at 4am to dispatch them for an early morning flight back to the States.
For a miserable Englishman I'm sure having a blast.
Here's Rhiannon with that 'Water Boy'.