If Ringo Wants to Be in Our Magazine

Steech

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Are landline long-distance calls still expensive? In August of 2010 my phone and wallet were stolen in Las Vegas. Calling to get the cards cancelled and to let my folks in Texas know what happened resulted in a $100+ phone bill from Caesars.
There may have been a bit of a markup.
 

jansara

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Would she not have written off the call as a business expense?
 

Dumpy

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It was a business call -- a tax-deductible expense. Is that better?
Sure, unless the magazine was on a shoestring budget. Even then, I would think sales would have outstripped the cost of the phone call; just a hunch. :D
 

5stroke

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starr_ringo.jpg


SKF NOTE: Memories of Modern Drummer magazine co-founder Isabel Spagnardi make me smile. Isabel was MD publisher Ron Spagnardi's wife. I don't, and didn't, know the specifics of Isabel's work at MD. My impression is, and was, that she, as wives often do, took care of the nuts-and-bolts of MD's business while Ron focused on creating each MD issue.

Isabel was something. I liked her very much. She, I think, liked me and my work. But I think I puzzled her. I was a bit of a riddle, even though I never meant to be. Isabel, in turn, sometimes surprised me with her reactions to my actions.

Take the night I set up the Dec. 1981/Jan. 1982 Modern Drummer interview with Ringo Starr.

My managing editor salary was $12,000 a year. I lived in one room with no cooking facilities in a New Jersey rooming house. The other tenants were mostly transients, guys working temporary jobs, who needed a place to stay only for their job's duration.

I called Ringo at his Los Angeles home from the black wall payphone in the rooming house hallway. In those days I could charge after-hours business phone calls from that payphone to MD. This was the early 1980s. Pre-smartphones. I was calling Ringo at the time I was asked to call.

A gentleman answered the phone in LA. I identified myself and explained my reason for calling. The gentleman asked me to please hold.

A moment later Ringo came to the phone. I think I did okay trying to sound normal. In truth, I felt out-of-place speaking to the guy who, by his Ed Sullivan Show appearances and Beatles records, was a major influence on my life starting when I was age 12.

Ringo and I had a short, cordial talk. I focused on the task. I was just doing my MD managing editor job, making sure interviewer Robyn Flans would be all set for her exclusive Ringo interview.

Days later, when Isabel received MD's monthly phone bill, she asked me why I'd placed that night call to Los Angeles.

I explained I was arranging Ringo's interview. After my explanation, I half expected some show of understanding, if not appreciation, for my initiative. After all, there was no overtime pay, no comp time. It was just me doing what needed doing to secure Ringo's interview.

But, after I finished speaking, Isabel stared at me in silence, then said, "If Ringo Starr wants to be in our magazine he can call us during normal business hours."

SKFBlog - Life Beyond the Cymbals - https://scottkfish.com/2022/01/25/if-ringo-wants-to-be-in-our-magazine/
Loved that MD interview!
 

Scott K Fish

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I think Isabel’s issue was that I made a call outside office hours and charged it to the office. I merely confirmed with Ringo the interview schedule. I’d be surprised if it was a 3 minute call.

Here’s something I found on pay phone rates circa 1981:

Long-distance rates were high then — probably subsidizing local rates? In 1980 the weekday rate for a call across the US was 54 cents for the first minute, 38 cents for each following minute or fraction thereof. That's for calls between 8 AM and 5 PM — 35% cheaper in the evening, and 60% cheaper 11 PM to 8 AM.
 

Dumpy

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I think Isabel’s issue was that I made a call outside office hours and charged it to the office. I merely confirmed with Ringo the interview schedule. I’d be surprised if it was a 3 minute call.

Here’s something I found on pay phone rates circa 1981:

Long-distance rates were high then — probably subsidizing local rates? In 1980 the weekday rate for a call across the US was 54 cents for the first minute, 38 cents for each following minute or fraction thereof. That's for calls between 8 AM and 5 PM — 35% cheaper in the evening, and 60% cheaper 11 PM to 8 AM.

$1.34 is $1.34!!!

:p
 

Supernoodle

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In the 90s I received a $10 cheque signed by Isabel for a letter/tip that was published. I was very happy with that and didn't know whether I should just frame it, but after a while cashed it in...

Also in those days you could order Diamond Tip sticks that were personally sent out by the Porcaros
 

Tornado

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I was so sheltered .
MD was my Bible and everyone on the staff was akin to a disciple in my eyes .

Wasn't it kind of better back in those days? When stars were stars, and so were the magazine writers? I don't get nostalgic over much except for the mystery. Nowadays, everyone is just a normal person.
 

Houndog

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Wasn't it kind of better back in those days? When stars were stars, and so were the magazine writers? I don't get nostalgic over much except for the mystery. Nowadays, everyone is just a normal person.
I don’t know if it was better or not .
 


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