More than 30 years have gone since he first came to attention and his aura is more alive than ever. Could it be that this man happened to be the best producer of the world? At least, his countless pieces of music (or should I say art) remain among the most sought after to date reaching incredible peaks on the second hand market, having him been nominated as the “Uncrowned King Of Disco” by US publication Record World Magazine. His name is associated to some of the most glorious pages in the history of modern production and the list of people he’s been working with looks like A Guinness Book Of… Records on its own. Ladies & Gents, let’s welcome Patrick Adams!
“Right now it seems like every person on the planet thinks they are qualified to create music. Everyone has a computer and software. Push a button and get rich. Right now kids are creating a lot of noise. The feeling has gone. There is a lot of rage and unbrideled sexuality. Music has become very tribal and self-centered…”
Hi Patrick, let me first tell you how blessed we feel to have you on board. So many things to tell about your contributions, so many questions that come to mind, such a long period to cover. How d’you feel as compared to back in the days? Still the same thirst, the same will, the same kind of dreams which, correct me if I’m wrong – are the key things for creativity?
“Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts with your readers. For me, music is a very important part of my being. I create music because I am compelled to do so. Music has always been therapeutic for me. When I was a teenager, it helped me through the ups and downs of puppy love, the moments of rejection and the thrill of discovery. It was always a caring companion. From the time I was about 13, I hated sleeping and drank music every chance I got. I must say that the 60’s and 70’s were a golden age. In any one week, there would be a flood of new and exciting Rock, Pop, R&B, Jazz, Funk and on and on. We could never get tired. We were always amazed. The whole environment was very rich and it was a given that before you started to create music – you needed some sort of foundation. It was also understood that everyone was not born to do music.
Right now it seems like every person on the planet thinks they are qualified to create music. Everyone has a computer and software. Push a button and get rich. Right now kids are creating a lot of noise. The feeling has gone. There is a lot of rage and unbrideled sexuality. Music has become very tribal and self-centered.”
Patrick Adams = best seller!
You went to the NYC Music Seminar back in 2005. Anything that you’ve learnt from there?
“I remember doin’ one panel with Tom Moulton and Paul Simpson. It was really great to meet fans who were very open and hungry to exchange informations. I guess I learned that there are still some real music lovers out there. They know their history and they cherish the gift of music.”
How do you see the state of the current production?
“There are a few people who have a natural talent, who have studied the art and are creating fantastic new music. I love some of the new things I have been hearing. Sampling doesn’t bother me when its creative and repectful. Creative people are about the beauty of the art. A great number of people out here are just trying to make a quick Buck. God bless ’em. In the end the best stuff, the stuff that makes you feel good – the stuff that lasts for years will always be done by the real creative, inventive souls.”
What does inspire you this current trend seing yesteryears music being revamped either via remixes, reedits or reissues?
“Re-visiting music because there has been nothing fresh is a bad sign. Sure, everything is cyclic in nature but where is the new stuff??? A record company will always go with the tried and true hits. It cuts their exposure to failure. It’s cheaper to re-issue ten artists than to break a new one!”
How do you feel about knowing that your name is considered as a key word for second hand records sellers on eBay? And I’m not even talking about the amount of money reached by auctions on some of your productions (ie. Clyde Alexander’s ‘Got To Have Your Love’ original pressing going up to US$ 500)?
“Of course, I am flattered that some of my work has lasted this long. I am happy that some artists think it worthy of digging for the less popular pieces. Most of all, I feel honored that people like my work that much. The only time I get pissed is when someone profits off a bootleg. In that case, I don’t get paid twice. I don’t mind the legitimate sale of a record that I got paid for already. The greater the price – the more valuable people think my work is worth. In time that can only raise my stock in the present.”
“Let’s have a clearer idea about who you are while evoking names, periods, labels, places or pieces of music, beginning with New York City…”
“I was born and raised in New York. I have travelled all over the world, Lived in different cities. My center and my life energy is here, and this is where I will always return. While I have absorbed a lot of good vibes from other places, I feel that I can walk these streets 24/7. This is my home.”
“The United States are a work in progress. There are a lot of things that need fixing. Over all, I am glad I grew up here. In other countries, I may have been respected more as an artist. I might even have been taken care of for life. I wouldn’t trade my life for ten seconds.”
Patrick Adams: That was then…
“Freedom and independence. P&P was my outlet for my non-commercial experiments. My real artistic, free flowing work was done here. I never worried about fitting in the mainstream.”
“The best time for music. It was a time when we all wanted to be amazed and entertained. It was a time of reaching for excellence and then going for the next plateau. We existed in a constant state of Wow!”
“Peter is my knight in shining armor. When no one would listen to my music, he provided an outlet for my silliness. ‘Atmosphere Strutt’ by Cloud One was a radical departure. We sold several hundred thousand albums as an independent label. Peter has always believed in helping the underdog. that has always been the guiding force behind P&P Records…”
“Another Guardian Angel – Greg and I first met in the early 70’s. It was a mutual admiration society. Working with him brought out another side of me. Once again it was the quest for indepedence that prompted a lot of what we did. We often looked at each other and asked “WHY NOT?” We revealed in free thinking about possibilities. Only mistake was not fighting harder to make the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ deal. Al Coury wanted ‘Dance And Shake’ for the movie. Greg thought the advance money wasn’t big enough for a record which was in the Pop 100 chart. For sure that would have changed my life!”
The Paradise Garage…
“As much as it may surprise you, I only visited the Paradise Garage once. I didn’t need to hang out. Music was the food that sustained my life. During the height of it all, I was too busy creating to enjoy participating in the madness. I will add that I am forever endebted to Larry Levan and the other DJ’s who raised my music to the level of ‘National Anthems’, by the way they worked their magic night after night.”
“Well… If Atlantic Records was smart, they would re-release the Herbie Mann ‘Super Mann’ LP. Of Course that is asking a lot of today’s record company executives. Back in the days, companies were run by real marketing pros who could sell ice cubes to Eskimos… Considering that they probably don’t even know that they have the album and that it was the Best album of the month in Stereo Review magazine in Novenber 1978, I guess we won’t be seeing or hearing that…”