The Miracle! | Stories of Life

In 1974, we returned to Tehran from Geneva, Switzerland for only three years. I have such good memories of those days, mainly, because of my job. Besides, Iran for me – despite being an Armenian – at the time, represented home. I loved the friendly people, the warm and joyous atmosphere, the beautiful, high mountains, exotic trees and flowers, and much more… Moreover, my family and people lived there, which I missed during all those years we lived in different European countries.
In 1974, my husband was the head of the CBS Company. And, I, having studied for some years as a teenager, at Tehran Conservatory, and because of my love of music, I decided to apply for a job at CBS. To my great pleasure, they employed me for the position of “Assistant Art and Repertoire Manager.” By chance, the head of the recording department, happened to be a previous classmate of mine at the Conservatory. His name was ‘Marcel.’ Marcel – also an Armenian – had become a well-known pianist in 74. At CBS, my friend, or better to say, my boss – gave me full authority to take on any artist, lyricist, or musician I wished to hire. Also, he let me handle not only the recording, but the political aspects of the work, like dealing with censorship and so forth… I must stress that a few of the well-known, brave singers had been imprisoned for years for singing controversial songs. Later, these same individuals, joined the group of our artists.
There were certain official committees that controlled the works artists produced. Therefore, for the release of each album, I had to appear in front of a committee to demonstrate that certain verses – as they claimed – were not aimed at criticizing the Shah’s system of government. (I am providing such details on purpose, in order to acquaint you a tiny bit with the political atmosphere of the time.) In those days, it was such a pleasure for me to work with all those renowned singers, like: Marzieh, Darush, Andy, Faramarz, and many others. What makes me even happier now, is that I am still in touch with certain loved and famous artists like, Andy. I also am friends with Dariush on Facebook. Isn’t it wonderful that Andy has invited us to attend his upcoming concert in Manhattan? He never cuts contact with our family.
Going back, let me tell you a story about one of my recording experiences. This concerns a real big star, Marzieh, whom I had previously taken to the studio and recorded all the songs in her new album. However, the work was not complete. Marzieh had recorded the whole repertoire, except for the last song. I think, this was one of her special ploys to show us that she was in charge. Or, to let us know that she could do as she pleased. Unfortunately, I, as a young recording assistant manager, did not know much about such tactics and caprices. So, I kept begging her to go to the studio with me and the sound engineer to complete the last song and help us launch the new album. However, it took months before she finally agreed to go to the studio to finalize the work.
This is how the story goes. As I was struggling with the question of how to convince Marzieh to cooperate, it suddenly occurred to me that I should treat her with real respect. Therefore, I called and told her that I had rented a top model Mercedes Benz with a driver, and that we would be picking her up at her place around four in the afternoon, the next day. Well, I guess she liked the idea and accepted.
When I got to her house with the recording engineer, she insisted that we go in for some tea and treats. Of course, there was no choice, but to accept her invitation.
As we sat in her large, bright room overlooking a lush garden, I kept fidgeting in my seat nervously, wishing for her to get up and go with us to the studio, which I had booked for five o’clock. Unfortunately, she would not budge. Marizieh kept laughing and telling us stories. Naturally, I was very anxious. Each hour at the studio cost five hundred Tomans – which was like five hundred dollars US money for us in those days. Finally, she agreed to leave with us at six-thirty.
Guess what? Yes, you are right! When we arrived at the studio, she would not sing. No matter how much I begged her and reminded her that I was responsible for all the money paid for the wasted hours at the studio, Marzieh ignored me completely. Instead, she kept on talking and laughing with the sound engineer. At some point, she started massaging the guy’s neck, to help him relax. Well, I am not going to give you a headache by describing everything that capricious middle-aged, dark haired, good-tempered artist did. All I will tell you is that finally, at seven o’clock in the morning, our famous lady decided to sing. Yes, Marzieh finally sang. And it took her just five minutes to give us a perfect song… a masterpiece!
Meanwhile, the sound engineer and I were almost dead with exhaustion. So, as soon as the recording was complete, we took Marzieh home, and headed straight to work. As I stumbled into the office, like a dazed ghost, with my bloodshed eyes and disheveled hair, I was surprised to see all the employees, and my husband, lined up by the entrance; applauding the two of us loudly and treating us like heroes. We had accomplished the impossible! Indeed, the famous album was finally complete!

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