Someone said “Getting old is not for sissies”. The worst part is saying goodbye to family and friends. I just learned that another member of my musical family passed away. I first met Skip Adams in the early ’80s. He was one of those “triple threat” talents: singer/songwriter/musician.
In 1984 my agent, Mike Gorfaine sent me out to meet the film-making team of Crawford and Lane. They had just had success with “Valley Girl” which was one of the first pictures to use contemporary records as a major part of the film score. They hired me to produce the music for their new film, “Night of the Comet”, a low budget sci-fi film that had a temporary music score loaded with hit records. Naturally, they wanted to license them all. By this time record companies and artists had “caught on” to the bonanza that existed for music in film and there were no deals like the ones that existed in “Valley Girl”. I knew when I tried to license the first of the hits and the price was $50,000 that the 18 or so titles in the film could surpass the entire $700,000 budget for the film.
Plan “B” was that we had to find 18 songs and artists to create what amounted to almost two albums and satisfy the producer that each song suitably replaced the hit song they fell in love with. I needed a lot of help from my friends and on a budget that was probably half of what a commercial album cost, we delivered. The picture became a cult classic and I still get questions about the availability of the songs to this day.
All this is to say that in spite of the budget I was able to count on people like Skip, Bob Summers, Thom Pace, Chris Farren, Amy Holland, John Townsend, Jocko Marcellino, Bobby Caldwell, Kenny Lee Lewis, Diane Steinberg, Diana DeWitt, Doug Kershaw and a few I’m sure I left out, to complete the project.
When I called Skip about the film, his first question was “What do you need?”…not “How much does it pay?”. He came up with two songs that fit the mood of the scenes and replaced the “hits” that were there. He co-wrote “Strong Heart” that was recorded by John Townsend and wrote and performed “Trouble” which helped make that scene come to life.
I called Skip many more times over the next 15 years…he never disappointed. He became a true friend and a true member of the musical family I worked with throughout my years in the business. We reconnected on facebook when I started writing my book. They said he passed away with his family reading to him, making him comfortable and surrounding him with love. You left us too soon, my friend…RIP