Lou Alder Is Missing: The Strange Story of the Kidnapped Music Mogul
MUSIC legend, Lou Adler, is an inductee of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and responsible for a frightening amount of hits and given the world so much music that he should be beatified.
Adler founded and co-owned Dunhill Records (Jimmy Buffett, Solomon Burke, Thelma Houston, Steppenwolf, Joe Walsh, Van Der Graaf Generator, Dusty Springfield and more) and was the producer on the label.
After selling Dunhill, he founded Ode Records (Spirit, Carole King, Merry Clayton, Cheech & Chong, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and others) and helped to produce the Woodstock precursor, the Monterey International Pop Festival (where Hendrix famously set fire to his guitar during his version of ‘Wild Thing’).
He also managed surfer boys Jan & Dean, produced Sam Cooke and bagged two Grammy Awards in ’72 for his production skills on ‘It’s Too Late’ by Carole King and the ‘Tapestry’ LP. He’s the owner of the legendary Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. He is best remembered for discovering The Mamas & Papas.
It is little wonder he got himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and can often be seen courtside with Jack Nicholson at LA Lakers games.
The Roxy Theatre with his son Nic, who operates the historic music venue on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California.
If Adler’s story wasn’t interesting enough – which it really, really is – there’s something else remarkable about his past. On this day, in 1976, something happened to Adler which doesn’t occur to your average record man,
Lou Adler and employee Neil Silver were kidnapped at Adler’s house in Malibu.
Can you imagine John Leckie or Pete Waterman being considered notable enough for someone to take them hostage? LA was already jumpy enough in the fallout from the Manson Murders, which was when Hollywood stopped being a love-in and the stars started buying giant fences to put around their houses.
Adler and Silver were eventually released after paying a $25,000 ransom and a week later, a California couple were charged with the crime, but a third accomplice got away.
Adler is still in Hollywood and his impact on West Coast American music is undeniable. However, one day, he might just bump into that third accomplice who was never caught, and sock them in the mouth.
Until then, let us enjoy his music and the fact nothing more nefarious happened in September ’76. Here’s a fabulous garage punk track that Adler was responsible for, from The Woolies.