Film producer, Starpower Management CEO, and Hollywood Sentinel publisher and writer Bruce Edwin is interviewed here by writer Moira Cue in this new, exclusive interview for News Blaze.
Moira Cue For people who don’t know, will you tell us about the history of subnormal?
Bruce Edwin: subnormal magazine is a rock and human rights publication I started when I was around 20 with a friend at that time named Zadge. I have heard Zadge is still around, but he avoids the internet and cell phones, and kind of dropped off the grid I’ve heard. The purpose of subnormal for me was to self publish my poetry, interview my favorite bands, and write about things in the world that I felt need to be changed.
Moira Cue And how did you manage to get the self-published magazine distributed by Tower Records?
Tower Records and subnormal magazine
Bruce Edwin: I just called up the corporate office of the world-wide record store at the time – Tower Records, and told them about it, and they said “It sounds cool, send us a copy, and we will let you know.” Then they called me back and told me they loved it, that is was their new favorite magazine, and they told me that they would carry it in every major city in the U.S. plus 15 countries, and they named off all of the countries it was going to. And then they sent me a nice check. So it was very exciting for me when this happened. I had bands I would later interview telling me things like, “Hey, I bought your magazine in Japan.” That was really cool.
Moira Cue And I heard you got David Geffen, the founder of Geffen records to call you when you were, what, 21 years old? How did you do that?
Bruce Edwin: I started working with David’s label at the time, DGC, which was the David Geffen Corporation, thanks to Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley who I had just met at that time, who asked them to send me their music. That started me working with Geffen Records, who was always very good to me, and one day I called them up and said, “I want to talk with David Geffen please.” One of the publicists there I knew at the time said, “No Bruce, I’m sorry, you can’t do that.” And I said, “Why not?” She said, “No one talks to him.” I said, “That’s ridiculous, why not?” And she said, “He’s the president and CEO of the record company, he just doesn’t get on the phone like that and talk to the press or just anyone.”
I think I then went on giving a speech about how I was not just anyone, and how he has to talk to somebody, and it should be me and all of this, and then she put me on hold, and then she came back on the phone and I heard a lot of talking and laughing on the line. Then she said she she would see what she could do and we said goodbye.
Anything is Possible
A short while later, I got another call from New York, and it was a young woman on the phone, and she verified it was me, I said yes, and then David got on the phone. He was a very nice man and just spoke with me very briefly which was all I wanted, and he acknowledged me and said something in reference to my determination, and he that he very much liked what I was doing, and any way they could help me to let him know. I was very happy about the call that day it validated for me what I wanted to prove to myself, which is that I could communicate with anyone and that I could do anything I wanted, and that no one could stop me from doing any thing I wanted within reason, except me.
I got that attitude from the punk scene, DIY, do it yourself motto, and also from studying Andy Warhol. Andy loved actors and artists and personalities, and he made goals to meet certain famous people, and made a game out of doing it. Aside from that, I was just young and clueless about some things, and sometimes, ignorance of the rules are the best way to break them and get away with it, because then you have no self created, mental obstacle telling you that you can’t.
Moira Cue: You’ve interviewed literally hundreds of stars and major power players. Who are the first ten you can name from memory?
Bruce Edwin: Jewel will always be someone I remember. I had the pleasure to interview her twice before she became known, and I told her that I predicted she would be a world wide pop star on the cover of Time magazine, which was a big mag at that time. She laughed and said, “Gosh, do you think so? I don’t know, but that sure would be nice!” She was the sweetest person, and one of the most amazing talents and voices I have ever met. I drove over 500 miles within two weeks to interview her those first two times. Then, within a year, the third time I interviewed her, she was dating Sean Penn, and had been on the cover of Time. She was like, “How did you know?!” It was funny. And I was like, “How could you not know? Don’t you know how great you are?!”
Another was Sarah McLachlan. I love female vocalists. The female voice is so angelic and beautiful and healing when it is is a quality voice. When I first heard Sarah McLachlan, it was one of her concerts broadcast from Canada on television on a station called PBS. I was so incredibly blown away by the quality of her voice, her dynamic range, and her physical and spiritual beauty. She was other worldly. So when I interviewed her for her first Lilith Faire tour, I was next to this guy from the newspaper called ‘The Chicago Tribune,’ and I have to say that I was happy that my question was better than his and I feel Sarah would agree with that statement. (Laughs).
I interviewed Marilyn Manson for their first tour, and he was a nice guy. I remember even then when no one outside of Florida had heard of him, he had these hot babes backstage flocking around him, and he shooed them away for us to talk. Then he was also nice to warn me that he was going to spit during his performance, and so I was advised where to stand if I did not want to get spat on. So, I guess some of his fans actually like to get spit on by him. That’s nasty, but anyway, he was a nice guy- very cordial. Oh wait, I didn’t say that, I don’t go around trying to ruin anyone’s reputation! (Laughs).
Peter Murphy- Bauhaus
Peter Murphy was an interview which was a dream come true for me, because he and Bauhaus were one of my favorite bands in the world then- still are, and so that one was pretty surreal. I was a broke punk rocker at the time, and I went from selling old CD’s and my magazine on the street for food money, to sitting backstage drinking a fine wine with Peter Murphy of Bauhaus – all on the same day. I had just written a college thesis on Islam, and then I read that Peter had become Muslim and had moved to Turkey, so, it was perfect timing. We had a lot to talk about, and he ended up asking me a lot of questions himself. I was supposed to send him a copy of the paper after the interview, but it was lost, so I couldn’t, and so that was unfortunate, but I will always have a great fondness for Peter Murphy. He has brought so much happiness and touched the hearts so deeply of so many I know. He is a magnificent artist.
Dweezil Zappa was another. I grew up listening to my Dad’s old record and 8 track tape collection- stuff like Eric Burden and the Animals, The Byrds, The Beatles, The Doors, Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jimi Hendrix, Tommy James and the Shondelles, and more. And one of the records I was told I could not listen to was Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. That and Black Sabbath would get hidden from me. But of course, you can’t tell a kid not to do something, especially when the parent is doing it, and them not want to do it, so, of course I would sneak and listen to Frank Zappa. And aside from him swearing a lot, it was just this kaleidoscope of sound, it was so wild. And then of course he became really important in fighting music censorship against the PMRC along with Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and all of that.
Dweezil, Moon Unit, and Frank Zappa
And MTV was getting pretty big and along comes these beautiful, hot two singers and VJ’s named Moon Unit and Dweezil, who were Frank Zappa’s kids. And I really liked them both- they were so cool. Moon Unit-she was so cute, and Dweezil was so cool, and man he could play the guitar! He was so amazing on that guitar. So when I had the chance to interview Dweezil and talk with him, he was sitting in his Dad’s house in the Hollywood Hills, and Moon was running around in her underwear and Frank was nearby, I was like- oh my Gosh- I was so blown away, and he was such a nice guy.
Any one that really knows me knows that Andy Warhol is my favorite artist, and that I have read nearly every book on him I could get my hands on. So when I got the chance to interview his talent and business manager Paul Morrissey, that was another dream come true for me. Paul gave me a couple of really nice quotes that I like to use about my work.
Joe Mantegna- Star of Criminal Minds
Joe Mantegna is a big star that I always loved watching in films growing up, who has been in some of my favorite films. And being from Chicago, he is someone very important to me for that too. So, it was a great thrill to interview Joe Mantegna, and I think he is such a talented and really cool guy.
Nancy Cartwright and The Simpsons
When it first came out, kids in punk scene including my friends and I used to watch The Simpsons. Of course, we never needed an excuse to have a party (laughs), but I remember sitting together a few great nights in Chicago watching it with a huge group of people up on the North Side, and it was just all so perfect. So of course, Nancy Cartwright was an icon to me, and so to have met her in person and then interviewed her was certainly a great, great thing to me. And Nancy is such a huge talent and sweet, cool person.
When I first discovered the work of Noam Chomsky in high school, and again later in college, I was so blown away. He is radical- yes, but he is also an intellectual heavy weight. His debate with William F. Buckley- who I also had respect for on an intellectual level- was legendary. And Noam is quite fearless. So to interview Noam Chomsky was quite a dream come true.
The first year I got to Hollywood, my favorite American filmmaker was scheduled to be in person at this DGA union member only event. Being media, I called and requested to attend the screening of his new film, Mulholland Drive, where the man himself- David Lynch was going to speak. The press person I spoke with was such a completely mean person, who I could tell really enjoyed her shred of power and telling me ‘no.’
My super kind Armenian friend at the time convinced me that I had to go anyway and try to get in. I had lost hope, but he convinced me that I could do it. So he drove me, as I did not have a car at the time, and he waited nearly three hours for me in a dark parking lot by himself, as I saw the film and met David. What a great person this guy is- my dear friend at the time Arlen. And so I managed to get in and met David and that was such a dream come true.
Then I made the mistake of going back and telling the same woman who told me ‘no,’ thanks anyway, that I had gotten in on my own, and she was so absolutely furious that I had gone over her head and gotten what I wanted. She then made some lame threats against me, so if she is still around, I hope she has evolved from her misery. I went on to meet David Lynch twice more after that, and each time- it was just magical, and so memorable and profound to me.
Moira Cue: There’s a rumor that even the editors of the Wall Street Journal look at the Hollywood Sentinel. From what I hear, you have to be somebody or know somebody to get ‘complete’ access to this website. Is that true?
Moira Cue: Can you tell me about your Kungfu hobby?
Bruce Edwin: I started training about a year ago privately. Now I train part time in a class with Jin Wu Kung Fu. I am definitely just a beginner, but I love it, and love to learn. It helps balance my energy, and is a great work out. Martial arts helps the body, mind, and spirit. I love it.
Moira Cue: What makes you happy?
Bruce Edwin: Good times with my loved ones and family, Kung fu, the ocean, a great film, a great concert, a fun party with great music, closing a deal, having a success for one of my clients and hearing their happiness about it, writing something I feel good about, growing spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, getting a great new book to read. Many, many things make me happy, I am happy to be alive.
Moira Cue: You have a unique ability to personally connect to the worlds’ most wealthy individuals effortlessly and quickly. How do you do it?
Bruce Edwin: I am a good researcher and I am good on the phone. In addition to that, it’s willpower. I set the intention and I work on manifesting it, and if I want something enough, I do not quit until I get it.
Moira Cue: Can you teach others?
Bruce Edwin: Yes, it actually is teachable.
Moira Cue: Is there a class somewhere?
Bruce Edwin: I thought about giving a class on doing this, but the value of it to me is exceedingly high, it could make someone very, very wealthy if they simply just do what I instruct. So I am going to start teaching this- yes, but it will be for a very elite group that can afford it.
Moira Cue: I also heard you’ve been cited as a marketing expert. Can you tell us about that?
Bruce Edwin: There is a confusion about sales, marketing, and public relations. In my view, they are three different things. Some wrongly consider marketing to be sales or public relations. It is not. Exchanging goods or services for cash or credit is sales, which is not marketing. Public Relations is the act of attempting to influence how a person, place, thing, or things are perceived in the marketplace, and also getting a specific message or messages across to that marketplace, audience, or public. Marketing is like public relations except on a micrological level- a direct personal contact and interaction with a member of the public, whether it be via a postcard, a phone call, or a knock on the door. Public relations is like the shotgun- a wide spread number of shots, with some hopefully hitting the bulls eye, and marketing is like the rifle- with one concentrated shot that must hit each target to be effective. You need both. Sales is what you do after the marketing and the P.R.
I am an expert in these three areas, based on my training in college, in the work force, and also due to my personal study and training in these areas for two decades. The creation of fame is simply all of these things combined on a massive, world wide level, along with the product which in the case of the star- is hopefully a talented and also ideally- beautiful human being.
Moira Cue: If a corporation wanted to hire you as a freelance consultant, speaker, or salesman, how would they do that?
Moira Cue: How much do you charge?
Bruce Edwin: My corporate rates vary depending on what is wanted, where I speak at, how long, how many in the group, and what sector of industry. All of that is discussed confidentially with the client by phone and in writing.
Moira Cue: You’re also known as a master at the art of persuasion. What can you tell us about that?
Bruce Edwin: I don’t try to persuade any one to do anything that I do not fully believe in myself, and only that which I feel will be of benefit to them. Any good salesperson, talent manager, or producer- and both of those titles require being a sales person by the way, any one good at any of those jobs have to be persuasive. When a person knows what they want and knows what they believe in, then they can communicate that with authenticity and power if they know how to communicate.
For more information on Bruce Edwin, visit his official website at www.BruceEdwin.com or contact him at 310-226-7176.
Visit Starpower Management at www.StarpowerManagementLLC.com