One night in 1981 I listened to a tune called “Is it you?” on a German radio station. I scribbled down the name of the artist. Soon after that I went into a record store and was lucky to find the album. Rit by Lee Ritenour was the first record I ever bought. Who else in the world can claim that? I’d really like to get to know that person ;-)
This was the beginning of an addiction and a long standing love affair.
My addiction with records soon turned into full storm. We had a store in my hometown that could have served as the inspiration to Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. I became part of the scene and spent countless hour in the store. My allowance was twenty Deutschmarks and records sold for 19.99 – go figure. I ended up buying over 700 of them. My dad and I were often racing to get a new recording first. And then we ended up fighting over who actually owned the record.
Then came CD’s. Eventually I switched to all digital and my addiction was cured. I know of people who were left by their wifes because of their record addiction and I am glad that nothing like that ever happened to me. I just spent a small fortune.
A new love affair also started at that time. My passion for Lee Ritenour’s music continues hasn’t stopped in 28 years and will last for the rest of this life.
I’ve seen Mr. Ritenour life in action a few times:
- Golden Bear in Huntington Beach (1983) with Dave Grusin
- Santa Monica Pier, when his live recording took place (I’m clapping hands in the background)
- Hollywood Bowl – Twist of Jobim tour – El DeBarge made an amazing appearance that night
- Royce Hall at UCLA
- NewPort Beach
You put the dots together and you’ll see that all these concerts took place in the Greater LA area.
My first trip to Los Angeles was in 1983. I fell in love with the city. One of my reasons for it was that many of my favorite artists lived in town. I figured I could see them more often if I’d move to LA. Mr. Ritenour was on top of that list. In some remote sense he is partially accountable for me ending up in this country.
I ran into Lee Ritenour twice in Los Angeles. At Rocco’s in Bel Air (why did that place ever go away???) and at the Boathouse in Santa Monica. We spoke briefly and I told him that I appreciate his music. I didn’t go any further then that because he might have gotten a restraining order on me. I didn’t want to end up in the National Enquirer :-)
Unfortunately I never got to tell him that he has a terrible sense of fashion when it comes to picking his stage outfits;-)
Yes I still listen to his music. He recorded with many of my favorite artists. Some of them will be mentioned very soon on this blog.
If you are ever interested in some top of the line music then listen and watch his DVD Overtime. Again: Please ignore his outfits and focus on the music.
Thank you Lee Ritenour. You’ve done very very good.
I once met with a guy named Perry Ritenour. His wife’s name was Lee. They used it to get reservations at restaurants fairly easily;-)