My friend Paul Brownstein and I have been friends for better than 35 years. He was the first of the ‘gang’ to go to Los Angeles. He came to Helaine and my wedding late… not having been fit for his tux… and wearing a fur coat!
Our mutual friend Howard used to say, “Some people go to the seashore. Some go to the mountains. We go to the Hotel Brownstein.”
It was because of this we often referred to Paul simply as, “The Hotel.”.
A trip to Paul and Sue’s teeny little house on Stanley Hill, above Laurel Canyon, would be guaranteed to have a touch of Hollywood. You’d always run into someone you’d heard of. And Paul always had stories to tell.
The house was packed to the gills with memorabilia. In this age of EBay, Paul’s sitting on a fortune.
Just being with Paul was entertaining. I’m not sure how else to explain to. Something was always going on, or seemed to be, even when it wasn’t.
Over time Paul became involved with artists who owned the rights to their own shows. He was pivotal in getting the old Smothers Brothers Show and Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour on “E”.
As DVDs of old TV shows grew in stature, Paul moved there. He is a charming guy – the perfect schmoozer. That made him the perfect person to produce special features for DVDs.
Paul’s the guy who finds old commercials to go with old shows, or gets that classic interview with the stars. He has been dubbed, “Raider of the Lost Archives.” It’s a great name, it fits, and I suspect he enjoys hearing it said by others.
Paul has dropped more names of more actors of the 50s, 60s and 70s than anyone in the world. Why not? He’s been with them and listened as they told their stories (sometimes for the last time).
Recently, Paul has been the guy newspapers and magazines go to for quotes about the DVD business. He is now a respected expert.
In Hollywood, your friend’s success often breeds envy. I live in Connecticut. I don’t need that. My friend’s success breeds pride. I am very proud of what Paul has accomplished.
Now he is profiled in the current issue of United Airlines’ in-flight magazine. Just in case you’re not flying any time soon, here’s the link.
My only regret is, it’s for February – the shortest month. Paul deserves a 31 day month at the very least.