Midnight Call To Bel Air

“It was a pleasure chatting with you on your program. You are a skilled interviewer….but more importantly, a gentleman who creates a sonic mood of trust which is the cornerstone of revelation. I look forward to sharing a glass or two with you when you visit Los Angeles” Elliot Mintz. April 2011. http://www.elliotmintz.com/
 

So, the legendary Larry King was to be replaced by the English ex-News of the World and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan (or Piers Stefan O’Meara, as he was born) who began his own show with CNN on 17th January 2011. A couple of weeks ago Morgan was preparing to welcome fellow reality judge Simon Cowell as his guest when it was decided that the broadcast should cover the unravelling nightmare that was developing in Japan. At short notice Yoko Ono stepped into the breach accompanied by her long-time friend and publicist Elliot Mintz.  Afterwards, Yoko and Elliot were driven back to Elliot’s home in Bel Air for something to eat and a glass or two of Chardonnay. It was a Monday night (14th March 2011) in Los Angeles and at around 11.50 Elliot told Yoko that he had a telephone interview to do with radio presenter Richard Oliff  from the UK who’d be calling at midnight (8am in England, Tuesday 15th March 2011) for which he had to prepare. They said their goodbyes and Yoko was whisked away into the warm air around Beverly Glen Circle. I’d asked him to supply me with a couple of songs of his choice that would ‘top and tail’ the broadcast piece nicely. His list didn’t really surprise me, given he’s represented most of them in a professional capacity at some time or another including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, Don Johnson, Melanie Griffith, Paris Hilton, Chris Brown, Christie Brinkley, Crosby, Stills and Nash, lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan and a whole host of others. After seeing his list I plumped for Yoko’s ‘Walking on Thin Ice’ and the original screen version of ‘As Time Goes By’ from the 1942 film Casablanca, performed by Dooley Wilson. I’d first become aware of Elliot following his 1973 interview with John Lennon as the two of them strolled on a Malibu beach.

Elliot Mintz with John Lennon 1980. pic. Bob Gruen

'Imagine' indeed Elliot! Signed 11th April 2011

His relationship with the Lennon’s had blossomed over the years and as he moved from hosting his own radio shows to public relations and celebrity representation one of his natural first clients would be John and Yoko. Even after John’s death he continued to represent the John Lennon Estate. Today he says that Yoko is, and has been for many years, his dearest and closest friend. Our one hour conversation covered virtually every aspect of his life, private and professional, from his broadcasting career, his move to public relations, his hopes, aspirations, life, the universe and everything. He’s a deeply spiritual man who clearly thinks quite carefully before opening his mouth. Every answer to every question is well-considered and highly articulate. For my part I found it most refreshing to speak with someone like Elliot who seems to have his feet firmly on the ground especially given the circles in which he mixes. The whole experience was made that much easier given his extensive knowledge of the broadcasting industry. I was flattered to receive a message from him the following day which simply read, “Dear Richard, I enjoyed our conversation. You are a wonderful interviewer”.

Elliot’s prefered music selection:

Angel Baby – Rosie and the Originals
You Were Always on my Mind – Willie Nelson
Teach Your Children – Crosby Stills and Nash
Chimes of Freedom – Bob Dylan
Instant Karma – John
Walking on Thin Ice – Yoko
As Time Goes By – Original Version
Vincent – Don McLean
Whiter Shade of Pale – Procul Harum
Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding
Help – Tina Turner (live version)
The Masquerade is Over – Stevie Wonder
Some Enchanted Evening – Jane Olivor
Your Nobody Till Somebody Loves You – Dean Martin

Elliot with Sean Lennon

Elliot with sisters Nicky and Paris Hilton

 

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