There has been a lot of tacky talk over at “The Judy Garland Experience” against the late Scott Schechter. Most of it dealing with an incident that happened 10 years ago this month, when Scott went to see Judy Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft premier her new show “Songs My Mother Taught Me”.
The people talking about it today have selective memory. There has been a claim that neither Lorna nor her husband Colin cared what Scott thought of her show at the time. But, in going back to the old Judy List archives, we find out that’s not true at all.
The Judy List was a “listserve” email discussion group that was the first of it’s kind on the web for fans of Judy Garland, dating back to 1994. It ran for quite a few years before going off line. The list’s original owner passed away in 2002 or 2003 (I can’t recall the exact year at this moment), and a new incarnation of it has been running over at Google Groups since then. At the time this “incident” happened in 1999, The Judy List was THE place for Garland fans to connect and talk about Judy and her art, and to get information about upcoming events and products and the like. Sometimes the discussions became very heated, to say the least!
In this instance, Scott Schechter was promoting Lorna’s upcoming show “Songs My Mother Taught Me”. He went to the premier of the show, and unwisely tried to sell his magazine “Garlands For Judy” to the audience members. Depending on who’s telling the story, he was thrown out either by Lorna & Co. or by the management of the casino, or both. And, depending on who’s telling the story, he was supposedly also trying to sell bootleg audio CDs of Lorna’s shows and of a Guide to the bingo promotion for new customers or some such nonsense.
That last bit is hard for me to believe. In working with Scott on the Liza website, he was certainly not tech savvy enough to take recordings and reformat them to burn on CDs and sell via eBay or any other outlets. I don’t mean that in a negative way. He just wasn’t interested in that. Scott has recently been accused of “stealing” audio files from a Yahoo Group and reselling them, and also for using this group to promote his bootlegs under various other email “aliases”. I doubt this. Not only was he, like I said, not tech savvy enough to do that, but I seriously doubt he had the time to go to all that trouble. He was too busy with legitimate work like the upcoming DVD re-releases of Judy’s series, or Liza’s complete Capitol and A&M catalogs on CD, or the now aborted (again!) “Judy & Liza at the Palladium” CD.
At the time this all happened 10 years ago, Scott himself admitted that he was wrong to try and sell his magazine at Lorna’s show. In his excitement over all of it, I think he just got carried away a bit. Well, we all learn from our mistakes.
In reading all of this recent slamming of Scott, I decided to go back to The Judy List Archives and see if I could find out what happened and was said at the time. I remember when it all happened, but I wasn’t involved. In the few times I spoke to Scott and the subject came up, all I remember him telling me me was that he was wrong to try and sell his magazine, and that he learned from his mistake.
It’s a shame that after his death a few weeks ago, people can’t leave well enough alone. It’s also a shame (and very telling) that the two “experts” out there who are the most vocal against him, and the most vocal against the release of the Palladium CD, are also the two “experts” who had nothing to say when he died a few weeks back. Very interesting indeed. Everyone, even those who didn’t get along with Scott or perhaps had a “run in” with him in the past, sent condolences – out of common courtesy and respect. They were able to rise above their petty (and let’s face it, it’s petty) carping and bickering. But not these two. Sad, very sad indeed.
So – here is a link to a file of the posts to The Judy List from way back in June of 1999 that tell the story of what happened.
CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the posts from 10 years ago and read what happened.