Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Soap Tunes” Musical Hand Soap and the ASCAP Love Fest
The concept of this “Foaming Musical Hand Soap for Kids!” is really crazy. Theoretically kids can “wash & learn” at the same time. But the biggest thing they’re going to learn is that the quality of the speaker in this thing is so poor that the only one who could possibly hear the music clearly is an insect who somehow slipped through one of the speaker holes and got trapped in the goo, forced to listen to the nearly inaudible and annoying little gremlin voice singing something about washing around your face and continuously spelling S-O–A.–P.
Honestly, you have to hover so close to the bottle to hear anything that all most kids are going to get is a big squirt of soap in their mouths. In this case, it’s berry scented so perhaps there’s some nutritional value to it.
Not having kids perhaps this isn’t as novel of product as I think it is. What’s really novel these days though is having a hit in the music industry. I have a big fat hit right now, “Jungle Animal” by Pomplamoose and Allee Willis, but we made and released it independently so relatively few coins will accompany the constant viewing of the song on YouTube or listening to it on itunes or playing the game on my site. This is because I “washed my hands” of the music industry long ago.
I was much happier making music on my own so total creative control stayed with me and whoever I wrote with. The practice of getting songs on the radio often felt too “dirty” for my tastes, not to mention I thought most people in the industry were deaf, dumb and blind to the Internet throughout much of the 90′s, during which time had they not been so arrogant and clueless they would’ve had a chance to help define the medium and figure out how to derive income from it as the public more and more obtained their music for free. No one should ever turn their back on technology.
This was a big topic of discussion last night as I attended the ASCAP Love Fest, an annual party thrown to celebrate the ASCAP songwriters, of which I’m not one – I’m BMI – but have been lucky enough to be included in on the festivities every year as I write with so many ASCAP writers and love a lot of the people who work there.
I had an incredible time at the party because I go so far back with so many people there. The first person I bumped into was the first singer who ever heard a song of mine. In 1972, Bette Midler came to my apartment in Manhattan to hear the first two songs I ever wrote, “Childstar” and “Ain’t No Man Worth It”. She actually rehearsed both of them for her show but it wasn’t until years later with a song called “One More Round” that I finally got on one of her albums. I totally associate my first baby steps into show business with Bette. She was the first big global star that came out of my first show biz clique and that made it very exciting for all the rest of us as we struggled along to fame.
I know that photo’s a little blurry but I liked it better than this one:
I go as far back with Allan and Marsha as I do Bette. By night I was the hat check girl at Catch a Rising Star which, along with the Improv, was the biggest comedy club in NY. By day, I slapped posters on telephone poles for the acts at Reno Sweeney, the most popular cabaret at the time. Allan sang at both clubs and Marsha played piano. When I moved to LA in 1976 I left my hat checking gig to Marsha. A few years later when Allan finally moved to LA he got his big break when he sold a pair of shoes to Barry Manilow, who we all knew from when he played for Bette, and slipped him a cassette with some of his songs on it.
I’m very proud of my technique of being able to take a photo with three people in it without having to ask someone I don’t know to take the photo. It works a little better with two people in it though as I can hold my arms a little lower:
Having seen so many old friends I’m really glad that before I left the house I smacked the top of my Soap Tunes – not because I got to hear the annoying, barely audible song again but to make sure I was clean and smelling nice. The part about using the soap is true but the part about smelling nice isn’t. As many people as I hugged last night I was completely aware that I smelled like a car air freshener the whole time. Thank God they all knew me for decades and know that a) I can write a good song and b) I’m capable of not smelling like a fruit orchard.
Categories: Bathroom, Celebrity, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, Products, Songwriting
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