The Lost Tapes
During a move, I made a rare discovery. I found the last box of original cassette tapes that had been recorded for sale on Venice Beach of music recorded live at Venice Beach CA. These are the originals. Many have copied and repacked this music, but here it is, the actual cassettes as passed out to fans and music lovers by the Ted himself. Now you can own an authentic piece of this history but act fast because there are only More…
I first met Ted Hawkins in May 1985 while he was singing for tips on Venice Beach in California. For a big towering guy at 6' 5" and 265 pounds, his voice was smooth as silk. I was always amazed by the people who stopped to listen to him sing.
It didn't matter if they were black, white, young, old, rich or poor. Everybody loved him. I knew instantly that Ted was someone special. After observing him perform for several months, I decided I had to get him into a recording studio. I had a fraternity buddy, Hollis Halford from college who was a recording engineer and convinced him to record Ted. I was able to get a $5000 loan in 36 hours from Huntington National Bank in Columbus Ohio. Once I got the dough, the first thing I did was to buy Ted a Martin guitar.
In September 1985, less than two weeks after our recording session we were selling cassettes on Venice Beach. Ted would sing and I'd sell. In January 1986, I was hired at William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills to work in the mail room. My co-workers laughed at me because I was "wasting" my time with a guy who was singing for tips on the beach. I was working seven days a week. I'd work Monday through Friday at the agency and Saturday and Sunday with Ted. Each week I'd drive to Ted's Inglewood apartment to pick him up and head to Venice.
In mid July 1986, I was called into the HR office at William Morris and fired. They said "You're taking up space". My last day at the agency was August 1, 1986. The following two months were the most intense and exhilarating days of my life. I was working 18 hours a day, seven days a week. I was able to negotiate two record distribution contracts for both the UK and continental Europe. We finished all the artwork on both albums and our tour dates in Europe were coming on line. Six weeks before our departure date, Ted developed nodules on his vocal cords and he didn't have medical insurance. I was able to take additional loans for $10,000 to pay for the required surgery. I didn't have the heart to tell the loan officer I was unemployed.
By now we are getting good press from Daily Variety, Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone magazine. All the guys in the agency mailroom who were snickering at me before, now treated me with respect. On October 1, 1986 Ted and I boarded a Boeing 747 heading from Los Angles to London for a two and a half month stay. We landed at Heathrow Airport with only $100 each in our pockets. Our first night in England we were on Andy Kershaw's BBC radio show reaching the entire United Kingdom. The following night we opened to a standing room only crowd. I found it amusing that at age 27, as Ted's manager, people from the audience were asking for my autograph.
Own A Copy of Ted Hawkins Lost Music