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The Cocktail Hour

November - 2014 - Cocktail Hour with Josh Cohen


Midnight in Nantucket with muddled watermelon: Fresh basil

1 1/2 ounces Tito’s Handmade Vodka

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce fresh agave

Shake over ice; strain into rocks glass. Garnish with basil.

WHO: Record producer, recording engineer and Power Station Studios founder Tony Bongiovi

WHAT: Midnight in Nantucket cocktail with muddled watermelon, paired with Rick’s Lobster Roll (hand-pulled lobster, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, fresh green onions, Pascal celery, tarragon, twist of lemon, drizzled warm salt butter), and the lobster grilled cheese sandwich (grilled lobster tail, claw and knuckle on garlic baked in special Tuscan loaf, mascarpone cheese spread, yellow tomatoes, Wisconsin provolone and Colby Jack, topped with crème fraîche)

WHERE: Camelot | 114 S. Narcissus Ave., West Palm Beach | 561.318.7675

1. When I first assembled the band Bon Jovi I thought: that we would make a nice little record, but it was a tough time getting labels to listen. Jon is my little cousin, and my father told me to help him out. We entered a radio station “Battle of the Bands” contest with the song “Runaway,” and of course we won; I had half of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band playing on that record! ... I could have never imagined what [Bon Jovi] would go on to become.

2. My recording session with Frank Sinatra was: very brief; very succinct. He told me to call him Frank, and that he was going to sing it once. He walked directly into the recording studio, placed his lit cigarette on the music stand, sang one take perfectly, grabbed his cigarette, said goodbye and walked off to his waiting car.

3. The one recording session I will never forget was: working with Steven Tyler and Aerosmith. Admittedly, Steven was heavily into drugs at the time, which made recording very difficult. It was an expensive, tremendous waste of time. We were $600,000-plus into the record and only three-fourths of the way through it. I begged Columbia to let me off the record. ... Steven is still the best rock singer I have ever heard.

4. Among the more “difficult” artists to work with was: the Sex Pistols, who I had to turn down. A&M asked me to work with them, but I just couldn’t. They were incorrigible.

5. The brutal truth about the music business is: that it’s a very difficult business. Dealing with the artists themselves is the most difficult part. You just don’t know what might happen. The truth is, you never know what condition they’ll be in when they do show up, or even if they’ll show up at all.

6. The time I KNEW we had something special was: when I produced “Never Can Say Goodbye” with Gloria Gaynor. It was the energy; I could just tell. ... And of course, there was the “Star Wars” record, which I produced and Harold Wheeler arranged. It became the largest selling instrumental record of all time.

During a career of recording, engineering and producing music, Tony Bongiovi engineered sessions for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and The Supremes for Berry Gordy at Motown before returning to New York City to pioneer the “Tony Bongiovi sound” with artists such as Jimi Hendrix, the Talking Heads and the Ramones. In 1977 Bongiovi and partners founded and designed the world’s most famous music studios, Power Station Studios, located in Pompano Beach. Bongiovi is now a leading innovator and developer of new acoustic and audio reproduction technologies. He currently resides in Fort Lauderdale.