Article by Lori Porter New Music Weekly January 26, 2007
Talented guitarist, prolific songwriter, and down-to earth human being. These are just a few terms to describe Marc Platt, a Los Angeles-based, singer-songwriter who is making a difference in the lives of other musicians.
Platt’s experience in the music business goes back to the early 80s, first as an artist and then as an employee of Rhino Records, back when the record label was in its infant stages. By the mid 80s, Platt had returned to performing full-time and formed the band, The Real Impossibles. Their 1986 EP, “Play Loud” was produced by Plimsouls’ (“Million Miles Away”) front-man, Peter Case and The Real Impossibles video, “Turn My World” was featured on MTV that same year.
“When I was starting out in the 80s, I was a huge fan of the Plimsouls,” Platt said. “I hung out with Peter Case who took me under his wings and introduced me to people such as Elvis Costello, Peter Buck (REM), John Hiatt, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Earle, and T-Bone Burnett. “I really got an education watching these amazing artists work. I was a very lucky guy for getting to hang out with my idols at an impressionable age.”
Platt went on to play in a few bands, but his real success has been in songwriting. He wrote songs for Universal’s 1993 A Taste for Killing and 1994 The Raffle in which two of the songs were featured on the soundtrack. His music has also been featured on ESPN.
“I got lucky enough to get some songs in movies in the 90s,” said Platt. “They weren’t hit movies, but I found that getting to the producers was much more beneficial than music supervisors. I still make money off cable and DVDs from those projects.”
More recently, Platt’s songs have been featured on TV shows such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, E-News True Hollywood, and Passions. He continues to write music for a variety of TV shows.
“It’s easy to write for TV if you stay focused on the craft of songwriting,” says Platt who works with Maureen Davis, his songwriting partner. “She and I have written together for 10 years and we focus on what is going on in our relationships. We write and record them quickly and get a lot of TV shows.”
In addition to his songwriting career, Platt performs on a regular basis at various venues throughout Los Angeles and Hollywood. Although he has a huge catalog of his original tunes, he also performs covers and is perhaps one of the best around at doing just that. Platt is very versatile, performing tunes by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Leonard Bernstein, Neil Young and Joan Osborne to name a few. Platt released a CD of covers last year titled “Undercovermen” which includes “Moon River” “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (The Who), “Love” (John Lennon) among others. He believes the secret in performing covers well is the performer’s ability to make the song his or her own, without trying to imitate the style and sound of the artist they are covering.
This is the sort of advice Platt gives to students at his performance workshop.The workshop is held every Sunday evening at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood.
“I truly believe it is important to give back.” Platt said. “I was lucky enough to have a great teacher back in the early 80s in Bud Dashiell (Bud and Travis).” Platt stresses the importance of communication for performers and says that artists need to find a way to get their message across without relying on what they think people want to hear.
Platt’s style is acoustic eclectic and echoes influences such as the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, the Beach Boys. His beautiful wife Deanna Pino is also a fabulous singer-songwriter. His recent releases include his 2004 CD, “Reinventing the Wheel,” “Just Like Me” and “Undercovermen” were both released in 2006. He has an upcoming release (March 2007) called “I’m So Awesome.”
Platt is a huge fan of music and says he can detect when an artist is sincere or not. He loves helping other artists perfect not only their music, but also their ability to communicate and connect with their audience, which he does by encouraging artists to be themselves when they perform.
“As for me, I just want to keep expressing myself and not worry about the outcome,” says Platt. “If I put myself out there, it will affect people who need to be affected and others will just go about their business.” Platt acknowledges that there is a lot of good, bad, and ugly out there in terms of people and their music. He said, “I would like to be known as one of the good ones.”