Randy Spendlove: Movie Sound Genius
By MICHAEL VENTRE
When you're the frontman for a rock band, and a record company executive approaches you after a gig and says, “We both know you’re not going to be a rock star,” the danger is you’d get so deflated you’d collapse onto the floor and be swept up after hours by the club’s janitor.
Instead, that comment turned into a career-altering event for Randy Spendlove. True, the exec may not have spotted the next Bruce Springsteen, but he did see management potential and offered Spendlove a job as a promotions manager at A&M Records. Spendlove went on to become a noted record producer and served as head of music for Miramax Films for almost a decade.
Today, the 45-year-old former frontman is president of music for Paramount Pictures. He won a Grammy for producing the sound track for Chicago, and three songs from Dreamgirls earned Academy Award nominations under his aegis. A typical day for Spendlove involves playing guitar and other instruments in the studio while wearing a T-shirt and jeans, then switching into suit and tie for board meetings. Some rock stars don’t have that much fun. “It’s still shocking to me the career path I’ve had,” says the Beverly Hills resident.
Although he is now immersed in the film business, music remains at the core of Spendlove’s existence. As a teenager, he used to drive into San Francisco for band practice after a long day at his job picking garlic in his hometown of Gilroy, California. This is also a guy who once hooked up a mini stereo inside a gondola in Venice so he and his inamorata, model Alecia Guzman—now his wife of just more than seven years—could add the sound of opera to their romantic surroundings. “I love discovering new music,” he says. “When you live a musical life, it becomes your entire being.”