Herb Cohen managed seminal rock and pop acts of the 1960s and ’70s including Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Tom Waits, and Linda Ronstadt.
However Cohen’s wildest work may possibly have been his own, as a fireplug-shaped music-business eminence with a reputation for litigiousness.
Cohen, who died March 16 at age 78, was a progenitor of the Los Angeles folk-music scene in the 1950s. His Unicorn Coffee House, where clients could take a banjo from the wall and entertain the people, was reputedly the initial institution of its kind south of San Francisco.
In the 1960s Cohen began managing acts, beginning with the Modern Folk Quartet and then the Mothers. With Zappa, he founded record labels including Straight, Bizarre and DiscReet, which released albums by Captain Beefheart, Alice Cooper and the comic Lenny Bruce. He later ran a music-publishing company, Third Story Music.
Another music business expert Bob Krasnow put it, it was "a tough business, and you had to be tough. You had to be funny too, because everybody was tough. So, you could lighten up the slap on the hand when they didn’t pay you on time - because no one paid you on time". ‘Herbie’, as he was generally known, was tough, funny - and. it has to be said, a notoriously slow payer. He was a man who was deeply loved by virtually everyone except those he did business with - a number of whom ended up suing him.
He was married with his wife Dee and had a daughter, Lisa Cohen, who shown up on the cover of We're Only In It For The Money.
After a ten year relation, he and Zappa parted company amid litigation in 1976. Zappa believed that Cohen and his brother were profiting unduly from his revenue, and Cohen countersued, claiming that Zappa had taken his album Zoot Allures to a rival record label contrary to a contract between them.
Zappa's Manager:Herb Cohen-In It For The Money Reviewed by Klemen Hlupič on 08:37 Rating: