Can You Fly was the album that put Freedy Johnston on the map and it set the tone for his future recordings. It was well received and made several critics “Best Of” list that year. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice called it a “perfect record.” In a way, I think Freedy attempted to return to the quality and mood of Can You Fly on his subsequent Belgium Consumer Phone List works, while trying to demonstrate his independence from it.
Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain!
Mark Zoltak was the man with a plan. He saw the big picture and had extensive musical knowledge. When listening to a demo, he’d hear its final mix instead. He preached Freedy’s work like Billy Graham cited scripture. Mark talked at a heart palpitating, mile-a-minute pace with motivational energy. His mind was five steps ahead of yours in a conversation. When we were airborne en route to Holland, he remembered that he left his car double parked, flashers blinking on a busy Hoboken street. That was just like him, as his passions sometimes rendered him absent-minded. He had an absolute panic attack on board the plane! Mark was consumed by Freedy’s career and was the perfect manager. In the not too distant future, Freedy would fire Mark.
Here’s The Real Deal. Mark was the kind of guy that, on first glance, few took seriously. Soon, however, he demonstrated qualities that few can only aspire to. He spoke his mind freely and often. He was politically incorrect. He’d say things with serious intent, but in a way that would generate laughter instead. The bottom line is that Mark knew his stuff and knew it better than anyone. The problem with Mark wasn’t his problem, but it was one of outside perception. It’s that he just said and did things in a manner that often did not command authority. He didn’t have much of a track record in the music business, nor did he play any instrument. At times he was personally volatile and unprofessional. So, it’s important you know this because Mark was not properly credited on the first edition of Can You Fly. This was ironic because Mark had been the behind the scenes Executive Producer, Producer, Arranger, Manager and Caterer. In truth, Mark was the one who had a clear vision of Freedy’s songs and single-handedly made this recording come b2c phone list to life. Yes, others (including Freedy of course) played an important role in the success of the project, but Mark laid out Freedy’s career, handing it to him. I believe that this realization may have tortured Freedy over time. How can the artist freely admit that someone else is responsible for realizing his work, perhaps better than he can, while solely accepting the credit for it’s brilliance? Later on, Mark had to kick and scream to get an Executive Producer credit, for which he duly deserved.