Tommy James, the legendary recording and performing artist, songwriter, record producer, and now author of the critically acclaimed book Me, the Mob, and the Music, will give a music seminar for students at New York University’s Clive Davis Department of Music, 194 Mercer Street (between Bleecker and Houston), New York City, on Friday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. The event is not open to the public.
With 24 gold singles, nine platinum albums, and over 100 million records sold worldwide, James’s songs are covered by over 300 artists globally, including Springsteen, REM, Prince, Broken Bells, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Cher, Dolly Parton, Kelly Clarkson, and even the Boston Pops. His music is in 26 films to date, as well as in current television shows and commercials, making him an integral part of rock-and-roll history and pop culture. Some of his hits include Crimson & Clover, I Think We're Alone Now, Crystal Blue Persuasion, Mony Mony, Draggin' the Line, Hanky Panky, Sweet Cherry Wine, Mirage, and the list goes on!
Because of his affiliation with Roulette Records and its mob-connected owner, Morris Levy, James was uniquely positioned to witness the behind-the-scenes activities having to do with the darker side of the record business. His book, Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James and The Shondells is a firsthand account of his experiences in the music industry.
In his NYU seminar with Recorded Music students, James will discuss his career, including the pressure to make hit records, the threats, his working in the studio and exploring new recording techniques, his exploits on the road, his battle with drugs and alcohol, and his recovery. A Q&A session will follow. He will also make himself available to sign books.
The Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts is the first of its kind to provide professional business and artistic training toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The undergraduate program is designed to provide professional training for students who aspire to succeed as creative entrepreneurs in the music industry. Since it opened its doors in 2003, the program has been a leader in training aspiring music entrepreneurs. It has been on the cutting edge of music education, offering innovative courses like “The History of Def Jam,” “Emerging Music Trends,” and “Branding.” The program bears the name of its chief patron and advisor, Clive Davis.