Elliot Mintz

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Elliot Mintz
Elliot Mintz Photograph by Jimmy Steinfeldt.jpg
Photo by Jimmy Steinfeldt
Born (1945-02-16) February 16, 1945 (age 70)
Bronx, New York
Nationality American
Occupation Publicist
Known for Radio interviewer in the 1960s and 1970s; and as spokesperson for John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Website
Elliot Mintz site

Elliot Mintz (born February 16, 1945) is an American media consultant and publicist. In the 1960s and early 1970s Mintz was an underground radio DJ and host. In the 1970s he became a spokesperson for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and took on other musicians and actors as clients as a publicist. He later became the publicist for Paris Hilton.

Early life[edit]

Mintz was born in the Bronx borough of New York City on February 16, 1945. In 1963 he moved to California to attend Los Angeles City College, partially inspired by the film The Misfits,[1] where he studied broadcasting and began to do radio interviews. Early interviews by Mintz included Jayne Mansfield and Jack Lemmon. His career was launched after the death of John F. Kennedy, when he discovered a classmate of his had known Lee Harvey Oswald while in the US Marines together. The interview was the first character and background interview done about Oswald in the US, and was picked up by the national and international radio broadcast networks. The New York Times wrote about Mintz that he soon became "a well-known ... underground radio D.J. in the 1960s".[2][3][4]

Mintz said of his time at City College that, "I studied everything having to do with broadcasting. I wanted to know how to broadcast. I wanted to learn how to do the weather, how to operate a camera, how to be an engineer, how to do news, how to do everything having to do with broadcast, to work on losing the New York accent, to work on losing the stutter and I gravitated to a particular area in broadcasting which was interviewing. I found myself all-consumed with the study of how to conduct a meaningful interview."[1]

Radio and television career[edit]

From 1966 to 1968,[4] Elliot Mintz had two shows on KPFK in Los Angeles, California, Looking In and Looking Out.[5] The shows provided a platform for community conversation as well as for interviews Mintz would do with public figures. Each show would begin with a series of rhetorical questions, which listeners could call in to respond to.[6] When he started with KPFK, Mintz was the youngest talkshow host in the US, at the age of 21, broadcasting a nightly radio show on the station.[1] In 1971 he hosted a Kaiser Broadcasting syndicated television show called Headshop that integrated musical guests with film clips shot in and around Southern California.[3][7]

From 1973 to 1974, Mintz was the entertainment correspondent for Eyewitness News on KABC television in Los Angeles. He also worked on-air at KLAC (1968-69), KMET (1969), and KLOS (1970-71). During this part of his career he frequently interviewed Hollywood actors and recording artists. He also notably lived next door to Timothy Leary.[4][8] In 1980 Mintz received a California Associated Press, Television, and Radio Association award for his November 30, 1979 radio interview of an Iranian student at the American Embassy in Tehran during the Iran Hostage Crisis.[9] Mintz interviewed more than two thousand individuals over his career, including Norman Mailer, Ray Bradbury, Alan Watts, Salvador Dali, Jack Lemmon, John Wayne, Groucho Marx,[1] Timothy Leary, Jack Nicholson,[10] Alan Ginsburg,[11] Jayne Mansfield, Raquel Welch, and musicians like John Lennon, Donna Summer, John Coltrane,[12] Stevie Wonder,[13] Ringo Starr, Alice Cooper, and Mick Jagger.[4]

Mintz was the host of the television interview show Head Shop, where he interviewed individuals including Baba Ram Dass and Kris Kristofferson.[14] He officially retired in 2014, upon which he released the website ElliotMintz.com, where a few hundred of his interviews with celebrities and public figures were made available.[12]

Public relations career[edit]

Elliot Mintz is a public relations person and spokesperson for celebrity and corporate clients. His first client was Bobby Sherman, a teen heart throb during the 1960s.[11] He also represented John Lennon and Yoko Ono, whom he befriended in 1971. He joined their entourage throughout the 1970s and remains a spokesperson for both the John Lennon Estate and Ono.[2] Other clients of Mintz's have included Christie Brinkley,[15] Crosby, Stills and Nash,[16] Diana Ross,[17] Don Johnson,[18][19] Janet Jones,[20] Melanie Griffith,[21] and Bob Dylan.[22][23] During the 2000s Mintz represented Paris Hilton,[24] and appeared on her television show The Simple Life.[7]

John Lennon and Yoko Ono[edit]

Mintz's longest client relationship has been with the late John Lennon and Yoko Ono.[2] Though he was a friend and not employee of the couple, since the death of Lennon, Mintz has acted as a spokesperson for the Lennon estate. While sifting through Lennon's belongings, he discovered hundreds of unreleased tape recordings including half-finished new songs, early versions of famous hits, telephone conversations and idle thoughts. Beginning in 1988, he hosted a weekly syndicated radio series based upon these recordings called The Lost Lennon Tapes, was broadcast for about four years. After the show came to an end, Mintz began hosting the spinoff radio program The Beatle Years. According to the Los Angeles Times, the show was heard on over 100 American radio stations and in seven countries by an estimated weekly audience of about seven million.[8]

Mintz has appeared in feature documentaries about Lennon and Yoko Ono, including The U.S. vs. John Lennon , Imagine: John Lennon and The Real Yoko Ono. In 1985 he was a technical advisor on the television film John and Yoko: A Love Story.[7] He also authored an essay about his relationship with them published in 2005 in a book entitled Memories of John Lennon.[25]

Political stances[edit]

Mintz was critical of attempts to commercially restrict musical and cultural festivals during the 1960s.[26] During the early 1990s, Mintz made statements against police brutality, especially following the Rodney King incident. He stated that the treatment of minorities by the police was akin to the police suppression of social activists during the 1960s.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Paul Leslie. "Elliot Mintz: Media Consultant, Former Radio & Television Personality". 89.1 WBCX. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Marie-Joëlle Parent (October 30, 2008). "In the shadow of stars". Canoe. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Kyle Pope (August 27, 2006). "Walking Miss Hilton". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Harvey Kubernik (2009). Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon. Sterling Publishing Company. p. 286. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.pacificaradioarchives.org/projects/folios/6801kpfk/pdfs/6801kpfk.pdf , see schedule for the 27th at 10PM.
  6. ^ Matthew Lasar (2000). Pacifica Radio 2E. Temple University Press. p. 222. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c "Elliot Mintz: Miscellaneous Crew". IMDB. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Claudia Puig (March 11, 1992). "'Lennon Tapes' Hits Its Last Reel : Radio: What began as a 2-year project ends four years later as host Elliot Mintz finishes his final 'Lost Lennon Tapes' show.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Phone call to the occupied American embassy in Iran / by Elliot Mintz and Roy Tuckman". Pacifica Radio Archives. Retrieved July 23, 2013. 
  10. ^ "People: Mintz offering free access to celeb talks". The Spokesman-Review. May 19, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Valerie Milano (September 29, 2014). "Elliot Mintz Media Consultant and Broadcaster". The Hollywood Times. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Sandy Cohen (May 21, 2014). "Retiring host Elliot Mintz shares interviews free online". Associated Press. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  13. ^ "'Inner View' Now Offering Part 2 Stevie Wonder". Billboard Magazine. p. 20. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  14. ^ Michael Walker (2010). Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll's Legendary Neighborhood. Macmillan. p. 76. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Model Christie Brinkley, Husband Separate". Fox News Channel. July 12, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Crosby gets new liver". Syracuse Herald-Journal. November 19, 1994. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Diana Ross gives birth to fifth child". The Telegraph-Herald. August 26, 1988. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Don Johnson, wife expecting a baby". USA Today. December 26, 2005. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Don Johnson ends holdout". The Vindicator. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  20. ^ "HOCKEY; Lawyers Say Neither Gretzky Nor His Wife Will Be Charged". New York Times. February 17, 2006. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Melanie Griffith faints at home". Gainesville Sun. May 28, 1993. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Dylan's Change of Tune Riles Fans". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. October 17, 1996. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  23. ^ WILLIAM E. SCHMIDT (November 4, 1988). "Hibbing Journal; No Honor for the Home Of a Famed Native Son". New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  24. ^ Bryan Alexander (May 6, 2007). "Paris Hilton & Longtime Rep Part Ways". People Magazine. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  25. ^ Yoko Ono (2005). Memories of John Lennon. Harper Collins. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ Rachel Lee Rubin (2012). Well Met: Renaissance Faires and the American Counterculture. NYU Press. p. 61. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ William Deverell and Greg Hise (2010). A Companion to Los Angeles. John Wiley & Sons. p. 337. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 

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