There are times when one comes across some amazing talent,
I was lucky to have known and met such a rare talent..
I was watching television one night and suddenly noticed
a very young singer on opportunity knocks..a young child singing
Country road..i was truly amazed..being in the music industry as
a writer producer,i knew instantly that this young girl would become
a star,but better still... little did i know that one day i would be working
This young girl was of course Lena Zavaroni.
I was signed to AZ music puplishers who owned a recording studio
"Vineyard"in Santuary street..Borough south London which was later to become PWL
I was working with Peter Shelley who is a record producer and a writer.
Pete wrote ..produced and sang on the first three hits of Shane Fenton..known as Alvin Stardust
and he also started the Magnet record label with Mike Levy.
It was in the very early eighties and we had a session with Lena who came with her uncle and manager
who was a ..woman..Vineyard is very old listed building which used to be a dungeon in the very old
days and being quite near the tower of London..when the tower had no room for prisoners they used to be sent to
the building in Sanctuary street to be tortured..i certainly do not have to tell you of some strange things happening there
as the manager of Lena found out.. i can swear that myself and many stars have encountered several things in that place
It was also used as a power centre by the elecricity board after the war...and later it became a photographic studio
on the first floor which was used by lord Snowdown..where the late princess Margaret used to meet him.
When Pete Waterman took over from my friend Dave Meyers he said that the place was lucky for him..well.......i think that he was right
Coming back to Lena Zavaroni..i must say that she was a real pro...we had no trouble recording her as she did two takes and the job was done.
But to my amazement and that of Peter Shelley...her uncle sent her home by the underground and British rail to her home in Brighton.
We never got over that.. she was a star... I kept in touch with Lena and we became good friends...but as i had to go to Los Angeles we sort of lost touch
as we were both busy working.
Sadly i later learned that she died and i was deeply shocked...she was a great talent that will be missed for decades to come.
A very sad story of a girl who found fame too soon and that ..maybe ..if she was lead into the right direction would still be with us now.
I can still see her in front of a microphone doing what she used to do best.......R.I.P Lena.....We all loved you
Jean marc Mariole