In early 2002, we talked to Bill Lazerus at his home in Van Nuys, down what seemed a rural road, no sidewalks, just dirt and gullies to catch the water. His home was small, well lived in with a gun and sword collection on the wall, books and magazines on every surface. He was a comfortable, friendly guy, eager to talk about his tenure at Crown records and willing to do anything to help in the making of the documentary. Not that he knew who we were or what we had produced, just that he thought it was an important story about the record business that no one had heard or cared about. Bill had left Crown to work on a slew of hit records with major artists on major labels, but he always had affection for his days at Crown and especially for Jules Bihari who he thought a price of man.
Bill agreed to dig through his archives for any photos from the Crown days at 5810 S Normandie Ave so we ended up asking him questions on his back porch. His archives, mostly photos & negatives from his long career, was a gold mine rotting away in cardboard boxes, stored on shelves and in a shed open to the elements. This wasn’t our formal interview with Bill that we would conduct months later in his small recording studio, but I ran the camera anyway, just to record his stories for reference. The sound is terrible and the lighting disappears but here are a couple moments of our conversation.
It’s sad that I lost touch with Bill and he never saw the completed story on the Crown Record story that he (and others) played a big part in telling.
These clips do not appear in the completed documentary about Crown Records.