Gregory J. Chamberlain

Gregory J. Chamberlain is a lifelong multi-sector serial entrepreneur, mostly in the music business where it intersects with TMT (technology, media & telecom), and hospitality & retail where it intersects with real estate development.

As a very out of the box thinker, he has been a long time confidant, advisor and strategist to multiple prominent individuals of varying backgrounds and their family offices. He has also managed and overseen management of a wide variety of business for some of the world's leading recording & theatrical artists, their companies, subsequent estates and related philanthropic efforts. 

He enjoys spending as much time as possible each year in mastermind sessions with exemplary emerging entrepreneurs, executives and inspired individuals across several industries.

Originally from Newport Beach and later emancipated from California, he presently resides in East Texas, with a love for summers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and throughout the Black Hills region of South Dakota.

Follow Greg on X at X.Com/GJChamberlain


Charlie Colin - RIP - November 22, 1966 - May 20, 2024

Charlie Colin at La CabaƱa in Venice, CA January 18, 2004 (photo by Gregory J. Chamberlain)

Just got the very sad news that one of my long time friends and fellow musicians, Charlie Colin, passed away at age 57. He had been living in Belgium for a while. I do not yet know the circumstances of how he died, but all I can say is I am devastated.

I first met Charlie when I was a senior in high school and he was a freshman. His sister was the one who introduced us, and she had hoped I could hang out with him and bring him up to speed on a musical level.

I was invited to their house to meet where we jammed and hit it off, immediately. At the time, his primary instrument was guitar and mine was the electric and upright bass, which Charlie also became interested in, so I taught him everything I could.

It was not long after that, when I had convinced Charlie's mom the virtues of soundproofing their garage and turning it into a rehearsal studio, that it became a reality almost overnight.

Charlie grew into a world class songwriter, guitarist and bassist, widely known for being a founding member of the rock band, Train. He had a great many other talents, including being a world class painter and sculptor.

I could easily write a few chapters on knowing Charlie and his family and wide circle of friends. But for now, I am a little too sad for words.

Rest in Peace ol' buddy! See you on the other side!

Charlie Colin at Gregory J. Chamberlain's Venice Beach music studio on March 14, 2004. #CharlieColin #GregoryJChamberlain
Charlie Colin in my Venice Beach music studio on March 14, 2004

Remebering Shorty Rogers - Born 100 years ago today, on April 14, 1924

Michael Rogers, Gregory J. Chamberlain and Shorty Rogers
(L-R) Michael Rogers, Gregory J. Chamberlain and Shorty Rogers

100 years ago today, April 24, 2024, Milton Rajonsky was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He later became known as Shorty Rogers, considered by many of his peers in the music industry to be the Godfather of West Coast Jazz.

I became friends with Shorty when I was in about the 3rd or 4th grade. My family had upgraded our boat from a Grand Banks 36 to a brand new Grand Banks Alaskan 49. We initially kept the boat in Marina Del Rey. We would drive from our home in Irvine, and later Balboa Island & Newport Beach to Marina Del Rey nearly every weekend to spend time on the boat. It was like a second home, only better. It was more fun than living at home, mostly because we had an interesting array of neighbors on the dock. Shorty Rogers and his family was on our port side. Their boat was named the Jolly Rogers, and it was nearly identical to my family's boat.

Our other neighbor on the dock was a pioneering comedic TV variety/talk show host of his era, Joey Bishop, along his wife Syliva and their skipper known as Captain Pat. Joey was part of the legendary "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and others. At what was perhaps the peak of his career, pre Johnny Carson, Joey helped get Regis Philbin started as Joey's sidekick on his variety show called The Joey Bishop Show. Joey and Sylvia's boat, Son Of A Gun II, was two slips to over from our starboard side and was a Grand Banks 42, which is one of my personal dream boats to this day.

The legendary music manager, talent agent, actor and film maker, Jerry Weintraub used to come down to the dock to hang out with Joey and he would always quiz me about what music the kids were listening to, which is a whole other story I could easily write few chapters about. He became a big influence in my life. But by far, the best thing about coming to Marina Del Rey every weekend was hanging out with Shorty and his family. We took a lot of trips to Catalina and up & down the California coast and into Mexico.

Shorty was the definition of cool and humble, to a fault.

His main instruments for which he became famous, was the trumpet and the flugelhorn, but he really rose to prominence as a band leader and as a leading composer and arranger for a long list of film scores such as Frank Sinatra's Man With The Golden Arm and Marlon Brando's The Wild One, as well as for his compositions and arrangements a long list of other band leaders including Stan Kenton and Woody Herman and later Herb Alpert, just to name a few. He was well known on the West Coast for his appearances as a member of the Lighthouse All-Stars, the house band for the Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach, a leading West Coast jazz venue of it's time.

The best thing about hanging out with Shorty was he taught about what it meant to groove. His music was in the jazz/swing genre, but when I got to know him, he was all about teaching me what it meant to find "the groove". We would go fishing for sanddabs off the East End of Catalina or just outside of Cat Harbor on the other side of the island, and he would play tapes and tell stories about artists like Miles Davis and Chet Baker. By the time I was in about the 5th grade, I was pretty well versed in a wide multitude of jazz and it really inspired me, early on.

Between Shorty and Jerry Weintraub, I was on an early trajectory of thinking about a career in the music industry. I decided to pick up the bass beginning in the 7th grade, I joined the school band and by the 8th grade, was in the advanced band and school jazz ensemble, which I attribute mostly to Shorty's influence and from seeing young kids ahead of me who were on the jazz fast track: Drummer Steve DiStanislao and saxophonist Brian Dennigan.

By the summer at the end of the 8th grade, Shorty hooked me up with an audition to study under legendary band leader Stan Kenton, composer & arranger Hank Levy and North Texas State jazz educator, Leon Breeden at the Stan Kenton Jazz Clinics, which toured around the country. I did both summer sessions at Orange Coast College that year and ended up in the second heaviest band after my first audition, not because I had amazing skills (I did not), but because I had honed my sight reading skills better than the other kids who were auditioning.

It was quite a learning experience to be amongst emerging talent who later became major cats in the music industry, such as Chad Wackerman and his brother Bob. Shorty arranged for me to take a few upright bass lessons from Ray Brown while I was in high school.

During my senior year in high school, Shorty was working on an album on the (Charlie) Chaplin stage at A&M records, for one of Herb Alpert's albums. He invited me to come up to A&M to watch the session. I drove up from Newport Beach in my 66 Volkswagen Bug known as the Stonemobile, with one of the most beautiful girls in my school. She was hotter than Pamela Anderson in her prime. We were barely there for 10 minutes and a sharp dressed guy in a suit and tie walks into the studio, looks around and beelines it straight over to me and my wing girl. Shorty walked over and introduced us to Charlie Minor, who was considered to be the greatest record industry promo guy, ever. Little did I know, this would be a life changing event.

Charlie took us for a tour of the A&M Records lot, and took us back to his office to listen to some music and asked us to join him at Le Dome, a fancy restaurant on the Sunset Strip. We partied all night with Charlie. My wing girl and I didn't make it home that night and I had to write a fake note from my mom to get me back into school the following day, since my parents were out of town in Catalina. I got caught, and the school practically made a federal case out of the incident! lol

By 1984/85, Shorty convinced me to enroll at Dick Grove School of Music, personally introducing me to Dick Grove himself. I began driving back & forth from Emerald Bay where I lived in Laguna Beach to Sherman Oaks for school. I remember my audition with Dick in this little room at a school which later became a Flair Cleaners, across the street from the Sportsman Lodge and walking distance to Shorty's house in Sherman Oaks. The school was filled with Frank Zappaesque prodigies, who all had a certain virtuosity and high level of "chops" as they were called, for their ability to impress.

Dick Grove School of Music was a difficult place to go, at first, because I felt so inadequate compared to the other students. Shorty gave me the nickname of Groove Cat. He taught me that all the kids at Dick Grove with amazing chops and virtuosity didn't have what I had. They were not working, gigging, doing sessions and getting around like I was, and while they could musically masturbate in a chair all by themselves, they did not groove like Shorty taught me to groove, with a band. For all that, I am forever grateful. I can still hear his voice. He'd call me on the phone, before caller ID was a thing and he'd say "Heyyyyy, Groove Cat".

By the mid 80's, I moved to LA full time and was living on Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood with Charlie Colin, just a few blocks from A&M, where Charlie Minor began giving me little jobs as a "indie promoter" contractor, while I was simultaneously going to Dick Grove and doing some session work as a bassist, that Shorty and his son Michael Rogers (a music contractor for Universal Pictures and others) were lining me up with.

Shorty introduced me to a great bassist named Max Bennett, to take lessons while simultaneously attending Dick Grove. I became really good friends with Max and maintained his sail boat in exchange for lessons. Later, I filmed several several live shows for Max and his various jazz fusion bands, which were always on fire.

I was also busy doing booking/promotion/marketing & management work for an emerging band known as The Apostles that my roommate and former band mate Charlie Colin was playing in, which later morphed into the band Train. I booked The Apostles to be the headlining band when the legendary New York China Club opened it's doors for the first time to the general public at it's Hollywood location at Selma & Argyle. The event was so successful, thanks to Charlie Minor and a lot of stars that lined up to get in the club that night, that it turned out to be a most fateful event, which led to me being the official documentarian/videographer for the legendary China Club Pro Jams from 1988 through 1999/2000. That led to me shooting a lot of music videos and electronic press kits for emerging indie bands, helping director Steve Silver organize the story boards for a Van Halen video for their song dreams Dreams, which we filmed at The Whisky a GoGo, to shooting one of my first major label music videos for an act on Michael Jackson's MJJ Music label known as QUO, which I shot during a live performance at China Club that my editor Ronn Seidenglanz cleverly cut and synced up to the studio recording in post.

Not long after that, I met legendary drummer, Tris Imboden known for his work with Honk, Chicago and Kenny Loggins. He approached me during a China Club shoot night. After he saw my video wall set up and the work I was doing he asked me to shoot a live concert video for his wife, whose band, Cecilia Noel & The Wild Clams, had just been signed to Sony by Kenny Komisar, a super cool A&R guy who had signed Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. Kenny's uncle was the legendary label head and artist/band manager Jerry Greenberg, who I had the privilege of meeting during that period to screen my music video for MJJ Music, the label he ran for Michael Jackson and Sony.

None of these fateful events in my life would have worked out the way they did with out the magic hand of Shorty and people he introduced me to like Charlie Minor.

There is hardly a day that goes by when I don't think of Shorty and the many great fishing hangs, memories and important things he taught me. Thank you Shorty!

Remembering Malcolm Forbes

Gregory J Chamberlain and Malcolm Forbes

34 years ago today, the late great magazine publisher and adventurer, Malcolm S. Forbes, passed away at age 70. "WHILE ALIVE, HE LIVED", reads his tombstone.

Had the distinct privilege of getting to know Malcolm starting in 1987. First met him in Los Angeles after writing several letters asking for his advice on how to start a magazine.

After meeting him in LA, he called with an invitation to come out to New York, where he introduced to me members of the Forbes Magazine staff to learn as much as I could about their particular departments. At night, he took me to events his company organized at one of his townhouses, as well as on his yacht, The Highlander, where he wined and dined major advertising executives and guests that included foreign dignitaries, rock stars, supermodels and other news makers. He schooled me on the fine art of wooing more money out of advertisers without actually asking for it.

Several interesting things happened through knowing Malcolm Forbes, such as him introducing Henry Kissinger and I. At the time, my greatest asset was a comprehensive relational database of student leaders across the U.S. and abroad, which Kissinger was interested in tapping into for the World Economic Forum. The introduction and subsequent follow ups were monumental at the time. But in hindsight, I am glad I never shared my mailing list with Kissinger and his cohorts, for I am opposed to the globalist agenda of the Bilderberg Group and World Economic Forum of which Kissinger played a pivotal role while alive.

However, Malcolm was an amazing cat. He was the first to teach me the real virtues of the Libertarian Philosophy. And, for that, I am most forever grateful.

Remembering Gerry Rubin

Gerry Rubin - 1940-2023

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Gerry Rubin in late October 2023. Gerry was the co-founder of the legendary advertising agency Rubin Postaer and Associates, well known throughout the advertising world as RPA.

Had the great privilege of meeting his lovely daughter, Anne, during a period in my early twenties, when I was attempting to launch a print magazine for student leaders. 

Anne and I both attended a student leadership camp & conference in Northern California and when the event was over, Anne hitched a ride in my 1972 Volkswagen bus back to her family home in the Pacific Palisades where her father was waiting for her.

When Anne told her father I was starting a magazine for student leaders, he did not miss a beat in quizzing me about my concept and immediately offered to introduce me to potential advertisers, advertising executives and magazine publishers he personally knew, well, that included Robert (Bob) Peterson who owned Teen Magazine and Motor Trend and a large array of other magazines, along with introducing me to the publisher-in-chief of Architectural Digest and the founding publisher of USA Today, Al Neuharth.

Gerry was the ultimate connector and taught me the value of the importance of the human touch, which he was the master of.

Remebering Dick Stevens' Birthday on this 4th of July, 2023

One of my favorite friends and greatest mentors in my lifetime, was Richard S. Stevens.

In association with the Stevens family, I am in the process of organizing a timeline of Dick's life from his birth through to becoming a literal King of Hospitality & Leisure, at RichardSStevens.Com

Richard S. Stevens, widely known as Dick Stevens, celebrating his birthday on a past July 4. Dick

I have been a very fortunate recipient of having multiple amazing impactful mentors throughout my life, some long running and others more short lived, but important to me.

One of the early ones who I first met and became great friends with while still in high school was known as Richard S. Stevens, known famously in hospitality and leisure business circles as Dick Stevens. He has been gone for almost 13 years. He would have turned 93 today.

Dick dealt mostly in being the head of conglomerates with multiple subsidiaries that owned/managed hotels such as The Disneyland Hotel, resorts and mixed with condo developments such as Marina City Club in Marina Del Rey California, The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach, The Jockey Club in Miami and Fisher Island in Miami (the most expensive zip code in the United States).

Most of what he did was attached to world class marinas, and so it really made sense when he founded BellPort Group, a marina acquisitions & management to acquire thousands and thousands of boat slips and the related resorts and shore based real estate connected to those marinas in harbors around the world.

Perhaps his favorite idea which he loved to talk about before during after it happened, was his orchestrating the acquisition of The Queen Mary and The Spruce Goose in a separate deal, so he could put them together as a major Southern California tourist attraction. The Spruce Goose what put underneath the largest geodesic dome in the world.

Dick was definitely my most important mentor in terms of business deal-making. He has had even more of an impact on me later in life that I ever could have imagined. I often find myself focusing to channel my inner Dick Stevens and often ask myself, "What would Dick do in this situation?"

The best part of being friends with Dick, was that he knew how to enjoy life and instilled in me the idea of not chasing deals for money, but think big about deals doing things that one loves to do, as if one already had all the money in the world. He knew things worked out better that way.

The time between the summer of 1982 through the summer Olympics in 1984 were great years to be friends with the Stevens family. Dick was named to be the Commissioner for the Modern Pentathlon for the 1984 Olympics, which took place in Los Angeles. I happened to be next door neighbors with Peter Ueberroth & his family beginning in June 1982, the day it was publicly announced that he was the President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee.

I ended up booking musical acts to perform for corporate/social events that led up to the Olympics, for the both the Stevens' and the Ueberroth family, in addition to driving around a lot of corporate sponsors and diplomats passing through LA during the organizing process, some of whom I am still in contact with to this day.

Being around Dick Stevens was an exercise in thinking big on a multi-dimensional level, always with several projects running simultaneously, in different stages. With everything Dick had going, he still made time to have fun every day, have lots of dinners and parties with family and old & new friends.

Thank you Dick!