Sex abuse was rampant in the 80’s music industry

Sex abuse was rampant in the 80’s music industry

Dorothy Carvello remembers the first time she was sexually battered by music-industry legend Ahmet Ertegun, the then-chairman and CEO of Atlantic Data, the firm he based in 1947.

The person who found Ray Charles, palled round with Mick Jagger and signed an rising Led Zeppelin had accompanied Carvello, who was 25, to a transformed curler rink in Allentown, Pa., in 1988. The 2 had been seeing the heavy-metal band Skid Row, hoping they might signal the group to a document deal.

Carvello dreamed that the inking would propel her from an entry-level job as Ertegun’s secretary to a coveted spot in the Arts & Repertoire division, the place she’d be scouting and securing expertise.

Ertegun, in his mid-60s at the time, was in a clamor to attain Skid Row as a result of his rival David Geffen had his eyes on them, too. Ertegun had a nickname for the mogul: “Jew motherf–ker.”

The piggish Ertegun — who handed away in 2006 at age 83 following a fall on his head backstage at a Rolling Stones live performance — was blasted on cocaine and vodka. As Skid Row performed, he jammed his hand between his secretary’s legs. “I was shocked,” Carvello, now 56, instructed The Publish from her ­Higher East Facet condominium.

This sordid story is featured in the new ebook “Something for a Hit” (Chicago Assessment Press), a memoir about her 23 years in the sex-and-drugs-filled music biz. “He was like an octopus with fingers throughout my physique. I began hitting him.”

After that preliminary incident, Carvello was promoted and have become Atlantic Data’ first feminine A&R government. In her time there, she dined with Jon Bon Jovi and frolicked with Steven Tyler. When Ertegun found that she had slept with Michael Hutchence, lead singer of INXS, the randy exec heaped reward on her.

Mick Jagger (left) smiles as he stands next to Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, while Jagger's wife Bianca (right) sits and lights a cigarette.
Mick Jagger (left) smiles as he stands subsequent to Atlantic Data co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, whereas Jagger’s spouse Bianca (proper) sits and lights a cigarette.Julian-Wasser/The LIFE Photos Assortment/Getty Photos

Even for a wild industry, Atlantic approximated the “Animal Home” of document labels. Ertegun — who, Carvello mentioned, used medicine on an virtually every day foundation — set the partying tempo.

One other time, when she was dispatched to a Manhattan recording studio to get a doc signed by Ertegun, she walked in on him along with his pants down, being serviced by a girl. “He checked out me, I checked out him and I walked over to get the signature,” mentioned Carvello, who grew up in Brooklyn. “At that second, I knew I ­both needed to go together with it or give up. I made a decision to go together with it.”

After Ertegun’s nights out on the city, Polaroids generally got here in, exhibiting the bald and spectacled icon taking part in intercourse acts. The senders meant to make use of the scandalous snaps to blackmail the CEO. “We might carry the photos to the vice chairman’s workplace, the place there was a secure full of money; the girls had been paid off from there and [made to sign] NDAs [nondisclosure agreements],” mentioned Carvello. “They’d get hundreds of {dollars}.”

Dorothy Carvello with White Lion's Vito Bratta (left) and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler (right) on tour in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1988.
Dorothy Carvello with White Lion’s Vito Bratta (left) and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler (proper) on tour in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1988.Dorothy Carvello

Generally the accidents Ertegun inflicted had been extra than simply emotional. Enraged at a rotten reside efficiency by the just-signed Skid Row, he grabbed Carvello’s arm and slammed it so arduous on a nightclub desk that she sustained a hairline fracture. “He by no means apologized and didn’t even ask if I had sufficient cash for the physician’s invoice,” Carvello mentioned.

Carvello lasted 4 years at ­Atlantic — she was fired in the wake of a tiff that originated when she rebuffed a superior who slapped his thighs and insisted that she sit on his lap — and went via a succession of jobs at labels resembling RCA, Large and Columbia. She held her final A&R gig in 2010, and now works as a publicist.

Regardless of Ertegun’s boorishness, Carvello and her former boss stayed in contact till his loss of life. She visited him a couple of months earlier than he handed. “He had two pretend hips, was blind in one eye and nonetheless mentioned, ‘Present me your p—y for previous time’s sake.’”

Earlier than Carvello left, Ertegun had a final request. “He requested me to tuck him into mattress. I mentioned, ‘No method.’ Ahmet was nonetheless an animal. Should you acquired too shut, he would seize you.”

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