I met Dennis O'Donnell sometime around 1978 in my favorite corner of a music bar in Los Angeles. I used to go into this place for a little while on my way home from the studio while making "Breakfast in America". He came in with an old pre-London days pal, Marty Walsh. I had known Marty from around town in Glendale in the hazy days of after high school but before going to London. He and Dennis were a songwriting team and were getting their tunes around town pretty well. I had a little. 8-trk studio going as a demo place just for me, and offered to help them out and save them some cash. They were both really funny guys and a blast to hang around with. Not only that, they were really good as well.
Dennis came from a very music biz background. His father was Dick Clarles announcer on American Bandstand and Dennis was bom in Philadelphia. He came west with his dad at some point, and his dad was a hugely popular D.J. in Los Angeles in the 60's.
Dennis has some tremendous stories to tell about some very famous people back then. Very inside stuff. Anyway, Dennis knocked around LA. like everyone else and even took a gig as a D.J. in Stockton, Calif. for a while. Songwriting is Denny's thing though and he was pulled back in. I needed a bit of help at one point finishing a couple of tunes for "Giants" and asked Denny to write some lyrics. No problem. It was a natural progression to continue writing with Dennis after that. We moved along and joined up to do the writing for the "Long Shot". We still have a couple of things in the bag that will surface pretty soon.
At the moment Dennis works for the legendary songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller. Dennis heads up the department of music for film, commercial, and TV. We still work and play together, and Denny is still a cool guy.