Music: New Day at Black Rock

The mood was tense as Columbia Records' annual sales meeting got under way last September in San Francisco. Columbia had recently been rocked to its storage bins by the firing of its adroit, youthful (41) president, Clive Davis, on grounds of improperly diverting corporate funds to personal uses. Fears of a scandal concerning "drugola"—the alleged currying of favor by supplying acid, pot and cocaine to rock groups and disc jockeys—hung over the entire industry, Columbia included. When Davis' successor strode to the podium and began his remarks by quipping: "A funny thing happened...

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