WORLD GONE WILD
|Sometimes things just happen. That’s true. Other times you have to make things happen, or would they happen anyway? I don’t know, I tend to believe that to make something happen takes a combination of luck, timing and follow through. One of my favorite examples of this happened about six years ago. I was throwing a bunch of old newspapers into the recycling bin when I came across a Sunday Calendar section. Before tossing it out onto the heap with the others, I leafed through it. Something caught my eye. There was a small announcement, about an inch of copy space, that told of a film that was being shot in Arizona, by Apollo pictures. The name of the movie was “World Gone Wild”. What a coincidence! It just so happened that a few years back LJ was involved in a band called Chequered Past, and he had co-written a song called “World Gone Wild”. The band had a cool line up. There was Michael Des Barres, who, along with being a rather fine actor, had been in an influential glam-rock type band called Detective, Steve Jones from Sex Pistols fame, the rhythm section from Blondie, Nigel Harrison and Clem Burke and Tony Sales who subsequently joined Bowie’s Tin Machine. LJ had a great time adding some guitar to this project, as well as co-writing some of the material. The project was being produced by Michael James Jackson, who has a knack of bringing out and recognizing great things in people, probably because he’s a very fine guy, himself.One day Laurence was messing about on a session, playing his electric (Les Paul) and he played a cool riff. Immediately Michael James’ ears perked up. He grabbed a tape, stuck it in the machine, and told LJ to “play that again” . He did, Michael got it on tape, handed it to Laurence and said “Take this and go write a song around it with Michael Des Barres. The result was “World Gone Wild” which became the first track on the Chequered Past album. The album was a critical favorite, especially in Europe, but didn’t do much business here. Shortly after, the band fell apart, as bands tend to do. Oh well, end of story, right? Yeah, that is until I had to throw out the recycling.
My mind started to work on the possibilities. What if this “World Gone Wild” movie needs a song? Hey, maybe I could help get it to them. Apollo Pictures. How do I get in touch with somebody there? I did what I usually do in a situation like this. I called my brother. My brother Lloyd somehow seems to know, or know somebody else who does know, just about anybody. “Apollo Pictures? Sure. The president of Apollo pictures is a guy named Robert Rosen, just so happens he co-produced “Gilligan’s Island” about twenty years ago with Dad.” Lloyd said.
That easy, huh? I called Dad. “You still in touch with Bob Rosen?” Dad said he hadn’t spoken to him in a while, but last time he had been on very good terms. I called Apollo Pictures main office. Bob Rosen was in Arizona where they were still shooting the picture. I got the number. My call to Arizona got me through to the production office, then finally onto the set where an anxious Robert Rosen picked up the phone.
He assumed something must have happened to my dad. “No, he’s fine. I’m sorry if I alarmed you.” I apologized. “I know I haven’t seen you since I was about seven years old,” I began. ” But since then I’ve grown up, I got married and my husband is a musician. I noticed that the title of the movie you are currently producing is “World Gone Wild” . It just so happens that my husband wrote a song by that same name, I thought you might be interested in listening to the song, in case it could be appropriate for the movie.”
It was about this time that LJ returned home and I filled him in briefly on what I was up to. Bob Rosen responded “Well, I really appreciate all of your effort in locating me and your offer of your husband’s song, but we already have a song we are interested in using for this movie. It is also called “World Gone Wild” and was on an album by a group called “Chequered Past”. Same group, same song! I put Laurence on the phone to talk to Bob. He in turn, put on the writer of the movie, who it seems was inspired to write the movie after listening to the song. They sent a script which started on page one with the lyrics of the song.
LJ took it from there. They set up a meeting for about a week later, when everyone was going to be back from Arizona. Laurence spent some time doing a synth-orchestral version of the song “World Gone Wild”. He brought it with him to the meeting, they put it on as temp score when they showed the footage, and it matched perfectly, hitting all the beats. They offered him the score to the movie, which became his first Motion Picture Soundtrack credit. So, timing? Luck? Follow through? I don’t know, it just happened.