Goffin and King : Great Chemistry
      Excerpts from a previously published interview with Gerry Goffin published 
      by LA Daily News, 9/96.
      OF ALL the songwriting teams that churned out hits during the Brill 
      Building era, Gerry Goffin and Carole King were among the most prolific 
      and successful. Goffin wrote lyrics and King wrote music, and from 1960 to 
      '65 the married couple achieved more than 100 substantial hit records, 
      including "Up on the Roof," "Some Kind of Wonderful," "One Fine Day," 
      "Take Good Care of My Baby" and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"

      After their marriage ended, they continued to work together 
      professionally, and Goffin contributed some of the lyrics to King's 1971 
      solo album, "Tapestry."
      His songwriting career continued with hits like "Do You Know Where You're 
      Going To?" (the theme from "Mahogany") for Diana Ross, and "Tonight I 
      Celebrate My Love" for Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson, and he has been 
      inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of 
      Goffin, 57, has just released a rock and blues album of politically 
      oriented songs called "Back Room Blood" on Adelphi Records.
      For the new movie "Grace of My Heart," filmmaker Allison Anders 
      commissioned Goffin to contribute several new songs that recalled the 
      Brill Building sound. That led to the following question-and-answer 

      Q: How did you and Carole King get together?
      A: I was introduced to her in the lounge at Queens College, New York, 
      where she was studying to be a teacher and I was studying to be a chemist. 
      She had a piano in her house, and we wrote our first song together, a 
      novelty song called "Kid Brother" that - beginner's luck - was recorded by 
      Mickey and Sylvia as a B side on one of their singles. We made about $150 
      apiece. Her parents were very proud. We got married about six months 
      later, and we kept on writing together. 

      Q. Did success come easily?
      A. Not at first. Of the next 50 songs we wrote, none got recorded. They 
      all sounded contrived and phony. Then this song "Will You Love Me 
      Tomorrow?" came out of nowhere. Carole wrote a beautiful melody, and I 
      wrote a good lyric, and it worked together. Donny (music publisher Don 
      Kirshner) had told us he needed a song for the Shirelles, and that's what 
      we came up with.

      Q. Were you working for Don at the Brill Building then?
      A. We never actually worked at the Brill Building. His office was at 1650 
      Broadway, which was right around the corner, but it was all considered 
      part of the same music publishing scene. There were about 20 music 
      companies in the Brill Building and about 10 companies in ours. In the 
      early days, we lived in this little basement apartment - I was working as 
      a chemist and Carole had a job as a secretary - and we used to come in and 
      write songs in Donny's office. The little rooms weren't soundproof, so you 
      could always hear what was going on next door. It was a cacophony of 
      sound. Sometimes another team would finish the song you had started.

      Q. How much was Don paying you then?
      A. He gave us the grand figure of $1,000 a year - $500 apiece - but it was 
      understandable, because Donny didn't have any money either when he 
      started. Fortunately for us, because Carole was seven months' pregnant 
      with our daughter, Louise, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" became a gigantic 
      hit. It was No. 1 for 13 weeks.

      Q. How did you get the news?
      A. I was still working at the chemistry lab, because with that $75 a we 
      ek, and the money from Donny, we were able to get by. Then one day Donny 
      drove up in a limousine with Carole, and they walked in, both holding 
      their noses from the smell, and Carole said, "Gerry, Donny's gonna give us 
      a $10,000 advance on our song - you don't have to work anymore." I took 
      off my lab coat and walked out for good.

      Q. Is it true that the only person who made money on all this was Don 
      A. Well, the songwriter makes very little money compared to the artist and 
      the record company. In those days, the rate was 2 cents for every record 
      sold, and out of that, Don kept 1 cent. So if a record sold a million, he 
      made $10,000, and Carole and I would make $5,000 apiece. In the '80s, the 
      rate went up from 2 cents to 6 1/4 cents, so I make more money today on 
      those songs than I did back then. Of course, we didn't get any of the 
      publishing, because we didn't know anything about it. Most of us were glad 
      to get any deal we could. But I think we were treated fairly by Don 
      Kirshner. I don't begrudge him anything.

      Q. Some people say you wrote songs like "Up on the Roof" to appeal to 
      black street kids. Is that who you were writing for?
      A. I never tried to write for black street kids. I wrote for an urban 
      audience because I grew up in New York, and it would have been phony for 
      me to pretend otherwise. "Up on the Roof" was a bigger hit in New York 
      than anyplace else, because they have rows and rows of tall buildings, and 
      people used to go up on the roof to get away from it all or to make out. 
      That would appeal to an urban kid. I'm sure it sold just as much to white 
      kids as black kids.

      Q. What brought that Brill Building songwriting era to an end?
      A. The Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the British invasion. All 
      of a sudden, artists were writing their own music, and it was different. 
      After Carole and I first went to see Bob Dylan at Carnegie Hall in '61, we 
      took all our old demos and broke them in half. We said, "We have to grow 
      up." But Donny didn't like the new style because he said it w asn't 
      commercial. It wasn't until the late '60s that we started writing more 
      adult songs like "Natural Woman."

      Q. How much do the characters in the movie "Grace of My Heart" resemble 
      you and Carole?
      A. I haven't seen the movie, and I think it's changed a lot from the 
      script I read. The character called Howard seemed to care a lot about the 
      people in Harlem, and I've written songs about social issues all my life. 
      But Carole was very content to write songs for other people, and it wasn't 
      until later that she thought of performing.

      Q. Was she a success right away as a recording artist, or did she have an 
      initial disappointment like the character in the movie?
      A. "The City" was Carole's first record after we split up. She felt she'd 
      do better performing with a group, so she used all these musicians. Then 
      she did a record that I produced called "Writer," which bombed. I used a 
      full band on that, too. Then (record producer) Lou Adler realized that 
      these records were hiding Carole's best quality, which was just playing 
      piano. That's when "Tapestry" came off, and it was a gigantic hit. I 
      thought it was great. It was completely original, and Carole really showed 
      me up as a lyricist. When we were together, she never contributed one 
      line, so I had no indication that she could do it.

      Guide to Goffin & King Songs on CD 

      "Going Back" and "Wasnít Born to Follow"óThe ByrdsThe Notorious Byrds 
      "I Will Walk Away" by Johnny Mathis (1996)All About Love
      "Up on the Roof" + "Some Kind of Wonderful" + "When My Baby is Smiling at 
      Me" /The DriftersGreatest Hits
      "Crying in the Rain" -Art Garfunkel w/JT ('93)Up Till Now
      "Up on the Roof"/James TaylorFlag
      "He Hit Me & It Felt Like a Kiss" /The MotelsAll for One
      "Hey Girl" / Billy Joel (1997)Greatest Hits Vol. III
      "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" The ShirellesBest of
      "Natural Woman" /Aretha Franklin (1967) 30 Greatest Hits
      "Natural Woman"/ Celine Dion (1996)Tapestry Revisited
      "No Easy Way Down" / "I Canít Make it Along" /"So Much Love"/" Hi-De-Ho / 
      Dusty SpringfieldDusty in Memphis
      "No Easy Way Down"/ Streisand (1970)Stoney End
      "Oh No Not My Baby"/ Linda RonstadtWinter Light
      "Chains"/The BeatlesPlease Please Me
      "Every Breath I Take"/Gene PitneyAnthology
      "Go Away Little Girl"/Donny Osmond25 Special Hits
      "Donít Bring Me Down"/The AnimalsInside Looking Out(1965-66) 
      "The Loco-Motion"/Grand Funk RailroadAt Their Best
      "The Loco-Motion"/ "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby --Litttle EvaBest Of
      "Hi-De-Ho"/Blood Sweat & TearsGreatest Hits
      "Pleasant Valley Sunday"/"Porpoise Song" -The MonkeesGreatest Hits
      "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" /Roberta Flack & Danny Hathaway (1971)Softly 
      With These Songs (Best of )
      "Someone Who Believes in You"/Martha Wash (1992)Martha Walsh
      "Natural Man"/Rod Stewart (1973)Smiler
      "One Fine Day"/ Natalie Merchant (1996)One Fine Day Motion Picture 
      "Smackwater Jack" / Quincy JonesSmackwater Jack (Import)
      "It Might as Well Rain Until September" Carole King (1962)Carole King Plus
      "Donít Say Nothing Bad About My Baby"/ The CookiesCarole King Plus
      "I'm IntoSomething Good" --Herman's HermitsGreatest Hits
      "Take Good Care of My Baby"/ "Run to Him"/Sharing You" -- Bobby 
      VeeGreatest Hits
      "Time Don't Run Out On Me" --Anne MurraySo Far..Greatest Hits
      "Goin' Back" --Nils LofgrenBest Of (A&M)