What a lovely man he was. A few years ago I read his wonderful book, “Sid Bernstein Calling,” and thought it would be nice if I could get it signed. His publicist was kind enough to give me an address to send the book to. I wasn’t really worried when the book still hadn’t come back to me after several weeks. I was sure I would get it back eventually, but then one morning the phone rang. The voice on the other end said “Ken, this is Sid Bernstein.”
I’m still not sure how he got my number, but he was calling to tell me that he had signed the book and put it in the mailbox, but because of the post 9-11 rules about how much weight you could put in a mailbox it had been returned to him. He just wanted to let me know that it hadn’t gotten lost, and that it was going to the post office that very day.
So that was the reason for the call, and I was completely blown away to even be speaking to him. After all, this was the man who had changed the world by bringing the Beatles to America, and had managed one of my favorite bands, The Rascals. Somehow, we ended up speaking for an hour that morning, and every minute of that conversation was thrilling to me, although I have no recollection of what we spoke about.
Some time later Sid came to Asbury Park for a film screening and I had a chance to meet him. He was just as lovely in person.
Here’s what the perfectly Sid inscription says:
“Dear Ken, say ‘hello’ (big hello) to the next five people you meet! And be of assistance to one of them.”
Rest in peace kind sir, and thank you for everything.