Music & Sound Retailer April 2020, Vol 37 No 4

Page 54

THE FINAL NOTE

LARRY MORTON

President, Hal Leonard

Larry Morton with John Williams of “Star Wars” fame.

By Brian Berk The Music & Sound Retailer: Who was your greatest influence or mentor and why? Larr y Morton: My father set the example of honesty, hard work, loyalty, kindness, positive attitude, humor and lifelong learning. He was the perfect role model for me. The Retailer: What(continued was the best advice on page 51) you ever received? Morton: Don’t be afraid to show your passion and follow your passion into a career. Life’s too short to spend it doing something you don’t love doing. The Retailer: What was your first experience with a musical instrument? Morton: I took up piano at five years old, mainly to annoy my older sister, who was already taking piano lessons. My earliest memories were plunking out melodies that I would hear on TV or the radio. The Retailer: What instrument do you most enjoy playing? Morton: Piano has been my lifelong muse! I play nearly every day. I also played trumpet, bass guitar and other instruments over the years, but piano is the only instrument I love. I can barely walk by a piano without being drawn to it. It is an endlessly fascinating and challenging instrument. 54

The Retailer: Tell us something about yourself that others do not know or would be surprised to learn. Morton: Probably that I took up triathlons just before my 52nd birthday, and I have now done over 30 triathlons, including a full Ironman in 2016! The Retailer: What’s your favorite activity to do when you’re not at work? Morton: Piano, time with my family, drinking wine, and, of course, swimming, biking and running. The Retailer: What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Morton: Paul McCartney, whom I’ve seen several times. Such a total musician and songwriter! The Retailer: If you could see any musician, alive or deceased, play a concert for one night, who would it be and why? Morton: It would be Chopin, playing piano in a Parisian salon, mid-1800s! The Retailer: What musician are you hoping to see play in the near future? Morton: Bruno Mars … soon! The Retailer: What are your favorite

songs on your smartphone/iPod? Morton: I listen to a huge variety of music, for my job and for fun. Some of my go-to music is Steely Dan, Oscar Peterson, Chopin, Yes and a lot of southern rock. I’m very eclectic.

The Retailer: What’s the most fun thing you saw/did at a NAMM Show? Morton: Hanging out with Quincy Jones at the Hal Leonard booth. One of my biggest musical heroes! The Retailer: If you had to select three people, past or present, to have dinner with, who would they be and what would you ask them? Morton: President Grant (I’m a direct descendant) about winning the Civil War, holding the country together after the assassination of Lincoln, etc. Mozart: How did so much genius reside in one person? Michael Jordan: We’d talk about jazz, competitiveness and life after being a champion. The Retailer: Tell us about your most memorable experience with an MI retailer (without naming them). Morton: I recently bought a new Steinway Model B piano. The retailer nurtured the relationship with me for years and cultivated the (continued on page 48) APRIL 2020