Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Shelly Siegel

Continuing from yesterday's post and the post on Monday, I want to introduce you to Shelly Siegel. Shelly started Mushroom Records (with Mike Flicker and Howard Leese) in Vancouver around the time I was shooting there. I don't remember exactly how I met Shelly but I shot the pictures at the press event for him.

Here's a couple of him...

Shelly's on the left. The guy on the right looks really familiar but...anyone recognize him?

Same thing with this picture...

So, Mushroom Records signed a bunch of Canadian acts including Chilliwack (I think I have pictures of them) and Jerry Doucette. But the act that put Shelly and the company on the map was a band called Heart. They came up from Seattle to record a demo at Can-Base Studios in Vancouver (which was run by Flicker and Leese and became Mushroom Studios) and Shelly signed them and they recorded their first album, Dreamboat Annie, which became a massive hit.

I had moved to L.A. around that time but it wasn't long before Mushroom Records opened an office on Sunset Blvd in the building next to Tower Records. I would occasionally stop in and see Shelly. At the time there was trouble in paradise, with Heart wanting to leave the label.

Less than four years after I took these photographs, Shelly Siegel died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 32 on January 17, 1979. I went to his funeral and was impressed to see the Wilson sisters there, despite the legal battles, and Shelly releasing their second album Magazine after they had signed with another label.


Lily Bit said...

Thank you for sharing these stories. While I never had a chance to meet my Uncle Shelly, he is ever-present in my family's lives. It is nice to hear the impact he had on others and that his memory still lives on.

Lizzie Siegel

Blue Sky and Wind said...

Shelly was a genius with Heart and there are some of us still around who know the whole story. The people with Shelly in the pics are... top pic is Ritchie Yorke noted music writer and friend of John Lennon. The bottom pic is with Liam Mullan, promo guy extraordinaire for A&M Records in Vancouver and for a time, label manager for Island Records in Canada. He is also the guy who put together the Procul Harum gig with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra along with Wayne Bryant from CHED.

loren said...

Shelly Siegle was a great personal friend and a hero of mine. An amazing force and tireless individual with out whom, we might not have the wonderful work of Heart. The fact that Shelly could break this unknown band from nowhere (Seattle/Vancover B.C.) in the midst of monster releases like Frampton Comes Alive and Fleetwood Mac is a testament to not only the band, but to the amazing work , energy and vision of Mr. Siegle. Being near the center of the break up and legal fight with Heart, Shelly told me on more that one occasion that after this is over, you will see who really is Heart; not the democracy that Ann argued, but her self image first and foremost. It is sad that Ann & Nancy couldn't get over themselves and fully appreciate not only the other artists who made them famous, but the tireless, genius work of Mr. Siegle. I will always remember Shelly. What a great person and visionary.