ASCAP Pop Music Awards

32nd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards - Show
ASCAP Pop Awards Honors St. Vincent, Doobie Brothers and KISS

Plus – An Interview With KISS


The event: The ASCAP Pop Music Awards honored St. Vincent, the Doobie Brothers and rock icons Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, while recognizing this year’s top pop songwriters and publishers. ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

The scene: In the ballroom of the Loews Hollywood Hotel Apr. 29. following a poolside dinner, ASCAP president Paul Williams told the by-invitation only audience of music creators, “You are the true innovators.”

Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities stepped onto the stage to sing “Safe and Sound,” after which songwriter Maureen “MoZella” McDonald performed her Miley Cyrus hit, “Wrecking Ball.”

The musical salutes: Guitarists Richie Sambora and Orianthi paired up for a tribute to the Doobie Brothers… Click here to read my entire story in the Los Angeles Times and scroll down the page to see more pictures.


As an aside, before the awards, I had the opportunity to talk with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS.

A quote from the interview is in my Los Angeles Times story. Here’s more …



EO: Why the makeup?

“The world is a stage,” said Simmons. “Shakespeare figured all that stuff out. People go to concerts and pay more money than they used to pay for records and CDs. Why shouldn’t they get something to look at? Why should it only be an audio experience? Why shouldn’t it be audio visual?”

EO: How about the prospects for young musicians? Is it harder or easier today?

“It’s impossible” said Simmons. “When we started we had an advantage. There was a record industry, and the record industry paid you in some cases millions of dollars that you never had to pay back even though your record bombed. They put point of purchase material, posters, in record stores. They gave you tour support. They were your mom and dad. They were there for you.

“A new band today doesn’t have a chance. Not a chance. What are their choices? Avid fans download and fileshare their stuff for free, which means they don’t get paid. What are they going to do? Put their music on the internet and try to give it away for free?”

Said Stanley, “I think unfortunately now, if you were fortunate enough to succeed, the industry now has become so close to taking its last breath that it sucks the life and blood and money out of all the artists.

“Some kid who just came off ‘American Idol’ is going to be serving fries in 6 months, because those shows are more about the judges than they are about the talent.”



Top photo: Gene Simmons, left, and Paul Stanley accept the ASCAP Founders Award at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards (photo, Frank Micelotta/ PictureGroup)

Second photo: St Vincent accepts the Vanguard Award during the ASCAP Pop Music Awards (photo,


Third photo: The Doobie Brothers from left, Michael McDonald, Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and John McFee at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards (photo, courtesy of the ASCAP Pop Music Awards)

Fourth photo: Actress Katherine McNamara and noted voice coach Eric Vetro , among notables in the by-invitation crowd at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards (photo,

Fifth photo: Australian guitarist Orianthi performed in the tribute to the Doobie Brothers (photo, courtesy of the ASCAP Pop Music Awards)



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ASCAP Pop Music Awards

Published May 5, 2015 – Ellen Olivier,