The alums are coming out of the woodwork here at JayDay Central. This time it's Robert Chandler!
I was a copywriter and co-group head in the L.A. office from '77 to '81.
I was partnered first with Bob Dion, whom I had known back in my Interpublic days when he was a bigshot CD serving down in South America for part of his tenure. Main client with Bob was Pioneer Electronics, National Semiconductor, and Suntory.
Then I was partnered with Yvonne Smith. She and I have stayed friends to this day. We worked on Mitsubishi electronics, Midori, Allstate Savings, and a buncha others stuff.
In the mid 80s we worked together on Apple at BBDO/LA, Steve Hayden having recruited us. (Steve and I were good friends at Chiat, both starting there about the same time.) First thing we did, though, was pitch Northrop. Which we won, and I stayed on to run, eventually becoming CD on Apple.
Jay had hired me directly, originally on a retainer basis because I had been on my own for several years when he and I met. Mal Sharpe, (the droll radio real-people-interview-commercials guy) referred me to Jay in '77 when Jay was looking for someone to do movie campaigns.
Ray Stark had approached Chiat to do some cmpgns for him. Which project Jay immediately accepted. Then asked, who the hell do we know who knows how to do movie ads? That, it turned out, was me.
Later, when I was on staff, Jay would always come to me with all the oddball things like political campaigns. And movies, of course, including the ridiculous, but thanks to us very successful, The Blue Lagoon. Of Brooke Shields almost naked but it was somebody else fame.
Anyway, there are a lot more adventures to tell, naturally. But, I'm going to skip forward to many years later.
I have my own agency (www.robertchandler.com) which has been medium size sometimes and small at others, but we've always accepted subcontracts from our large agency brethren.
In early 2002, because I had so much tech in my b.g. (Apple, Microsoft, IBM, etc) Lee brought me in to head up the Cisco pitch for him and also do some self-promotion work for the agency. (My outsider-insider status being useful for perspective on such tasks.)
I had last seen Jay the previous December when a tribute dinner was thrown for him by Lee at a gallery--I believe LA Louver-- in Venice.
All his friends knew Jay was ill and I was afraid this would be the last time my wife, Wendi, and I would see him.
And so, as circumstances (and to me, fate) would have it, when Jay died in April, I was in the L.A. office in the midst of a four-month project.
Because I was one of the few in the office from the old days, Lee asked me to write a memorial piece for the man who had been such a great influence on so many people. (In every conceivable way, of course--love, hate, fear, adventure, laughs, parties, or all of the above, depending on who it is you're asking).
It was meant to be a memorial ad to be run by the agency, and a short piece. (My standard was no longer than the Gettysburg address.)
I've never worked harder or more meticulously to get every word as right as I was capable of and stayed up all night to do so.
Lee approved it the next day with a few judicious and heart-felt edits.
Attached is a PDF of the ad. It ran in Ad Age and maybe AdWeek.
It should also have run in the New York Times, but you'll have to ask Omnicom about that. Times were tough in ad biz in 2002.
Take care, Steven. Excellent of you to be running this site.