The Turtles and Managers

Michael Gerber
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Flo and Eddie

“Then he went to Mexico, with $40K and the bass player’s wife.”

Since we’ve been talking a lot lately about managers and agents and their role in the story of the Beatles, I thought I’d post this so-sad-it’s-funny video done in 1990 by Flo and Eddie, the founders of The Turtles.

As the Fabs discovered, this kind of thing makes it much, much harder to create, and no band — no matter how touched with genius — survives for long under these conditions. This is why I endlessly sing the praises of Mister Brian Epstein.

This from Flo and Eddie’s Wikipedia page: “After the Turtles dissolved, Volman and Kaylan first joined the Mothers of Invention as Phlorescent Leech & Eddie. Due to contractual restrictions made early in their career, Volman and Kaylan were prevented from using the name ‘the Turtles’, as well as their own names in a musical context.”

Unpronounceable symbols, guys! That’s the ticket.

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  1. Avatar Water Falls wrote:

    Have Mercy!!! So funny…so sad!

    So Unhappy Together!

  2. Avatar Hologram Sam wrote:

    I have nothing but sympathy for the fleeced (I have been fleeced a few times myself) but good god, watching Flo and Eddie in that video…so childlike! It’s like they had “cheat me please!” tattoos on their foreheads. The agents and managers must have been quivering with temptation.

    I had a head for numbers back when I was a cheerful ten year old and learning my multiplication tables, but I suspect I suffered some sort of subtle brain damage in adolescence-through-adulthood from the cumulative effects of familial abuse, clinical depression and controlled substance self-medication. Today, as a result, I couldn’t perform simple math or algebra if my life depended on it.

    Several years ago I played the lead comedy role at a real estate closing. As I slumped next to the fast-talking lawyers and agents, nodding and shyly signing every document pushed in front of me, I understood why Lennon got itchy, paranoid and restless when the smiling sharkskin suit men came around with contracts.

    When I emerged from the ordeal my head was swimming and there were expansive sweat stains under both armpits. Even my wife, the practical and level-headed member of our partnership, looked shaken and wall-eyed.

    I now realize that by offering my signature so mindlessly I could have been agreeing to anything. For all I know I could be contractually obligated to pilot a hot air balloon over my city, trailing an “I Am A Person Who Will Sign Anything” banner. Or I could have agreed to host and feed a family of ostriches. This is why I feel anxious every time I see the mailman on my porch, or when my phone rings.

    So I’m not one to criticize Flo and Eddie. But still! They should have asked more questions before signing on the dotted line.

    • Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

      You just made me laugh so hard, Sam. I am with you absolutely on the real estate closing situation. When my husband and I bought our first house, I could not believe how many papers we had to sign, and I definitely glazed over. I remember thinking “THIS is why you have to have a lawyer read everything and come to the closing, because I have no hope of actually understanding what is going on!”

      And yes, I can see why Lennon got paranoid and itchy around money men. I bet that was part of the attraction of both Allen Klein and Yoko — they seemed good at that sort of thing, and would keep him from having to do it.

  3. Avatar Hologram Sam wrote:

    1969 – Frank Zappa was convinced The Beatles were stealing from him and his band The Mothers:
    “Well, let me tell you of a few interesting coincidences that I’ve noticed, that lead me to suspect that we’re making more of an impact on the industry than the people in the industry would like to admit. I was mailed a picture of Paul McCartney many months ago, from a girl in Europe, with my mustache and my tie, with my earphones, conducting an orchestra. And this is about the time I was preparing an album for Capitol where I was conducting an orchestra … it looked like me in the studio and I really shit in my pants when I saw it. I’ve never met them. It was a bizarre coincidence … The way they’re doing “huffa-puffa, huffa-puffa” in the background? Yes, I do [think they’re ripping me off] as a matter of fact.”

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