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Don Ienner


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We all know how much Jimmy Ienner was involved in Eric’s career, but I’m wondering if his brother had an impact as well? My daughter showed me on Mariah Carey‘s latest record she gives credit to Don and then teases us with a comment that says thank you for not making me “lose control“. Does anyone know if there’s a connection with Don, Mariah, and Eric? Seems like there’s an inside joke somewhere.

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From Eric:

Somewhere along the way, Clive aquired a new head of promotion who might just be the greatest promotion man of all time. His name was Don Ienner. (Yep, Jimmy's little brother). Where Jimmy was all smiling, charming warmth, Donnie was screaming at the top of his lungs, threatening, cursing and scary. But boy was he effective. Without divulging the (ahem) ways that record companies get their top artists played, let's just say that you might be able to find some parallels in "waste management" if you catch my drift. Well, Arista was bouncing along and Clive was making a whole lotta money and then we reached the age of mergers and aquisitions. And big German powerhouse BMG bought Arista. Everything went well, for a while, but then Don Ienner left to go and head Columbia (now Sony) Records. Arista faltered a bit and the Germans OUSTED CLIVE FROM HIS OWN LABEL! Yep, they brought in L.A. Reid to head up Arista and forced Clive out. The industry was stunned....

From Marathon Man:

"Europe was a helluva lot of fun. I was the lead singer in a Cleveland band called Jynx and also did sound for Rainbow Canyon. Raspberries had just finished recording their second album and Eric asked me to do sound for their tour. Jimmy Ienner's brother Donnie came with us and acted as tour manager. We flew into Paris, switched planes and arrived in Nice, France. We drove to Cannes, checked into the hotel and went directly to the venue for the MIDEM (International Music Market) Festival where Raspberries played in front of 2,500 people. We had a girl assigned to us from EMI named Heidi Esser. Victor Benedetto, who ran CAM-U.S.A. (Raspberries' music publisher), met us there.

More from Eric:

Having said all this, I must tell you that, to this day, I LOVE Jimmy Ienner, and I give him ALL the credit for recognizing what the Raspberries could become in their very raw, juvenile state. And Donnie Ienner, who was probably fifteen years old when we began working with Jimmy, is probably, single-handedly responsible for all those Raspberries records' success. Donnie turned out to be the best promotion man in the history of the music business. I met some pretty incredible promo guys on my way up, but nobody, and I mean NOBODY, could hold a candle to Donnie. He was the best of the best. There will probably never be anyone ever again with that kind of power. ec

Eric on Make Me Lose Control:

When it came time to do the background vocals I pushed my way back into the session. I helped choose the vocalists (among them, Mark Hudson and Kip Lennon) and worked with them trying to get the sound and pronunciation I wanted. Jimmy was very upset and accused me of "usurping his session." There's a lot more to the story, but it wasn't the most fun I've ever had in a recording studio.

It became a VERY expensive single (at least $60,000 as I recall, the kind of money you can never recoup). Thank God (and/ or Donnie Ienner) it went to number #3. At least I saw some publishing and airplay royalties. ec

Pat, that ought to get you started...

 
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I met Mark Hudson at a Beatlefest many years ago and we struck up a long conversation later and he told me how much he admired Eric and then he began singing “go all the way”. He told me if I ever had any contact with Eric to tell him he said hello and he would love to work with him. I passed the info along to Eric. 

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