During the 1960s the El Capitan theater on Vine St. in Hollywood was transformed to become...
THE JERRY LEWIS THEATER. ABC-TV invested a tremendous amount of money to create an environment that would fit the huge ego of Jerry Lewis. The entire theater had his initials inscribed everywhere. They were on the sidewalk outside the theater. They were on that glass doors in the entrance. They were in the carpeting. They were everywhere. The show lasted three painful weeks.
Out of the ruins of that debacle was born the Hollywood Palace which gained instant fame. Former choreographer, Nick Vanoff, and Producer, Bill Harbach who had produced The Steve Allen Show for NBC, partnered to produce the variety show which had rotating hosts. Beautiful Raquel Welch began her career wearing a billboard which announced each weeks guests. In 1964 I was assigned to the show as Stage Manager. The host was Dean Martin and one of the guests was a British blues band called the Rolling Stones. This was their first appearance in the United States and they were unknown.
During the show they were continuously ridiculed by Dean Martin and they were actually booed by the audience!
After the show was over, as I was exiting to the adjacent parking lot, the band came out of the door with me. I felt terrible for them. I turned to Mick Jagger and said," I really enjoyed your performance and I think Brian plays great harmonica." What had happened to the Rolling Stones that night on the Hollywood Palace was extraordinary. In all my years in network television I had never heard an audience boo a performance.
The next time I worked with the Rolling Stones was when they made an appearance on the highly rated show, SHINDIG. By this time they were famous and had a song on the number one hit list. When it was time for them to rehearse, Mick came on the stage and started arguing with the producer, Jack Good. The band had been booked when they were unknown but had now achieved fantastic success. Their concerts were sold out and they were being paid a great deal of money to perform. The problem was that when they were booked they were unknown and had agreed to be paid the minimum wage required by the union, and now they wanted to be paid more money or they would not do the show.
We were on a tight schedule and this argument was going on during their scheduled rehearsal time. As Mick separated from Jack Good and returned to his dressing room, I took him aside and said," Mick, I don't give a damn whether you do this show or not, but this is your rehearsal time and I suggest you use it wisely. You won't get another chance". Mick shrugged his shoulders and walked into the dressing room. A few moments later he returned to the stage with the band and said they were ready to rehearse. To my knowledge they were paid union scale. In all of my 42 years in television that is the only time I ever had to scold a performer.