×

Harry Abrams Recalls His Early Start with Dr. Jules C. Stein

Harry Abrams keeps a small model replica of a silver Mercedes 300 SL two-seater on his desk to remind him of a day at the very beginning of his career, when his future at MCA looked less than rosy thanks to an encounter with Dr. Jules C. Stein, the founder of the agency.

“I had been in the mailroom at MCA for two weeks at most. The other five guys in the mail room were all out on deliveries. The phone rang and it was a gruff voice I recognized. It was Dr. Stein. He said ‘Abrams. Get my car and drive it up to my house on Angelo Drive.’ He had a house way in up the hills where the roads go round and round and he had a Mercedes 300 SL with gullwings and I’d been checked out and cleared to drive for him.

“But there was one problem. I’d never driven his SL and when I ran out and climbed in, I quickly realized I didn’t know how to make the gullwings go down and if I didn’t figure it out I was going to be out of a job. None of the other guys were around. There was no one to ask. So I started looking everywhere for a button or switch. I looked in the glove box and I looked under the dashboard, under the seat. No luck.

“So I took off from MCA, slowly driving up Benedict Canyon to Angelo Drive, with the gullwings up the whole way. Round and round, up the windy road, praying I wouldn’t run into anything and I wouldn’t get caught.  I was lucky enough to make it all the way to Dr. Stein’s house, but that’s when my luck ran out. He was standing on the balcony watching as I pulled into the courtyard. I don’t remember everything he screamed at me, but it ended with him telling me to get away from his car and to walk back to work. Immediately. Which I didn’t mind, because it meant he wasn’t going to fire me.”

 

More Biz

  • Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists

    Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists Are Owed by PledgeMusic

    For eight years, PledgeMusic was a success story: A direct-to-fan platform where artists worked directly with their audiences to fund their albums, tours and all stripes of merchandise, with fans able to purchase everything from custom guitar picks to private concerts. Yet last June, Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay [...]

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up CEO Resigned After Son Was Accused of Sexual Assault

    Time’s Up has announced in a statement posted to Instagram that its former president and CEO Lisa Borders, who resigned Feb. 18, did so after her son was accused of sexual assault in a “private forum.” “Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up and we agreed [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    Louis Tomlinson Signs With Arista (EXCLUSIVE)

    One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson has signed with Arista, sources tell Variety. While the singer was formerly linked with Epic Records in 2017, he is signed directly to Simon Cowell’s Syco label and will move within the Sony Music family to Arista. Tomlinson teased a new single on Feb. 2, posting on Twitter, “Just heard the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett's Bail Set at $100,000, Must Surrender Passport

    UPDATED: A Chicago judge set a $100,000 bond for Jussie Smollett on Thursday, as the “Empire” actor made his first court appearance. Smollett faces one felony count of filing a false police report. Police allege that Smollett staged a Jan. 29 attack, telling detectives that he was accosted by two men who used racial and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content