Hair Brush with Fame

My Della Femina Debut

 “From Those Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Pearl Harbor.”  – Tagline suggested by Jerry Della Femina for a prominent Japanese car company. Yes, you read it right. This was what Jerry had suggested in a meeting full of top executives from Japan. Or so the legend goes. This shocking verbiage was also the name of Jerry’s best-selling, […]

My Afternoon with Norman

” Give me the freedom of a tightly defined strategy.” – Norman Berry, Creative Genius and Ad Legend, Ogilvy & Mather. I quote him often. He was my big boss from 1986-89 in New York when I was a copywriter at Ogilvy. I frequently saw him dashing by atwitter, burgeoning with disruptive, brilliant ideas, clad in Omar Sharif collared shirts inspired by […]

Julie Newmar: Real-Life Super Hero

Over a Labor Day weekend a few years ago, I was visiting some old friends in LA. I decided to treat myself, as well as indulge in a little bittersweet remembrance of times past when I was lucky enough to have a per diem, where I wined and dined on the company dime in the […]

Malkovich Mash Up

The year was 1987. I was on a flight to New York’s JFK from Chicago. I don’t remember why I was in Chicago, but I suspect it was for work. It was probably for a focus group for potty training baby diapers, Pull-Ups. I believe I had connected in Chicago to go to Neenah, Wisconsin, […]

Olivia Newton-Johnson

During high school, the church was my second home. I lived, breathed and ate church. I was in the youth group and I also sang in the youth choir called The Variations, a clever name derived from the wide variety of musical numbers we would perform each year, as well as a neat little pun out of […]

Devolution

Mutato. This is the word I think of when I think of Devo. The word “mutato” (according to Mark Mothersbaugh, lead singer) is a mash up of “mutant” and “potato.” Thus the word, “Mutato,” which is the first part of the moniker for Devo’s commercial music venture, Mutato Muzika, and is the very place that […]

Cranston Christmas

When you work on ads for a retail company, your seasons are always all mixed up. Like crazy mixed up. During the spring we were writing ads for fall. During the summer we were creating campaigns for Christmas. Everywhere,  everything was freakin’ Christmas. Fluffy green plastic trees decked with festive shiny balls, frosty snowflakes on […]

Crowe’s Feet

In 1999, I was in LA on a job. I was producing a radio spot I had written for JCPenney. At the time, my mother was in the Russell Crowe fan club. She and her friends, both in the Crowe’s Nest and the Silver Crowes, were agog about all things Russell: his latest movie, where […]

Hair Brush with Fame

My dad did hair. Ladies came to him to get their hair “done.” My dad’s salon was called Preston Hairdressers and it was in the Park Cities, the Beverly Hills of Dallas. The heyday of this magical place was during the 1960s-70s, when big hair was big business in Texas. The customers included some of […]