IN THE NEWS / JOHN DOTE' MUSIC MAKER WITH HITS ON HIS HANDS
John Dote' is always looking for new talent. He says youth have the new ideas. They start the trends that fuel America's music industry. By Michael D. Bates/ Front Page/ Tampa Bay Tribune.
The next time you hear the theme song from "Hawaii Five-0", pay particular attention to the drummer. The man playing the sticks is John Dote' who traded the flood lights of Hollywood for the serenity of Spring Hill. Dote' and his wife Linda packed up their belongings, including a roomful of recording equipment and made the cross country trip in October with a mission. Dote' wants to put Spring Hill on the musical map by finding the next Britney Spears or Rob Thomas in his own backyard. The composer-arranger-producer has rubbed shoulders with some of music's biggest names including Michael and Janet Jackson, Santana and Liberace. He has produced music for movies, TV and radio. His living room walls are lined with 10 gold records. A color picture of Joan Collins bears the personal inscription, "Thanks for making "Dynasty" a hit.
The show's producers rewarded Dote' by giving him a 1955 Rolls Royce Bentley that he keeps in his driveway. It's not only "Dynasty". Dote', has either played drums or arranged music on such television classics as "M*A*S*H", "The Rockford Files", "Barnaby Jones" and "Charlie's Angel's". He helped promote Spears' "Oops I Did It Again" and Santana's "Smooth". Record companies send him videos of new songs by unknown and established artists hoping Dote' will put his stamp of approval on them or suggest ways to pump up the songs. He launched his own TV show called "NightBeat In Las Vegas" on UPN. The program aired in Las Vegas and featured a hand-picked videos of songs Dote' believed would be hits. So what is this big name composer doing in Spring Hill? " Hernando County is a very warm place ", Dote' said. The most important thing is it doesn't have an outlet for talent and I want to change that he said. He plans to stick around until that goal is reached."I intend to leave Spring Hill someday with a hit and put it on the map", the Bronx native said.
When Dote' was four years old, his mother got him his first drum set. He was hooked. He would bang on pots and pans or anything that made noise. The defining moment in his life came when he was 14 years old and a tenth grader at Carlmont High School in Belmont, California. "I was thrown out of school because I told my music teacher that he was holding his stick the wrong way", Dote' said. "He was holding it like a jazz drummer". They kicked me out of school and I was expelled for it." Two years later, at 16 years old, I was playing "Hawaii Five-0" from the TV show theme. Two years after that, I drove back to the school and drove up in my Rolls Royce and took the teacher out to lunch". He never finished school but he did hone his craft in subsequent years. He went on to form his own bands, "Frozen Smoke" and "Stakeout" and landed drumming gigs on some of the biggest TV shows of the era. He now has his own record company Celebrity Records. Two years ago, his CD reached # 7 on the adult contemporary charts.
Dote' said he is looking for the next big trend in music. In the 60's, it was folk, then rock and roll. In the 70's and early 80's it was Disco. Then Punk. Today, teen dance music is hot. Music, he said, reflects the mood of the society and right now, the upbeat mood is mirrored by happy music. Every once in a while an artist will emerge with a new sound and take the music to a new level. "I'm looking for a different trend", Dote' said. "Right now there's a corporate mentality to today's records". And if there are any budding Britney's out there, he wants to know. He's looking for songwriters who can write clever hooks. For the most of his life, he has surrounded himself with young artists. Perhaps that is one reason why Dote' doesn't even look his age." Young talent is always going to be fresh, creative, with brand new idea's", he said. "Young is where it's at. They're the ones who buy the CD's. Young is good.