Self-Proclaimed "Egomaniac" David Foster is a New Man 'Off The Record' On Netflix

July 2, 2020
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-Brad Blanks/Scott Shannon in the Morning

I first heard of David Foster when I was a 10-year-old kid in Australia. My cousin Danny, who was 21, was visiting from Canada. He was telling me how a close family friend would return to his town in Canada and bring pop stars with him. That family friend was David Foster. Since then I’ve been following his crazy career, from his producing of The Bodyguard record with Whitney Houston, to Celine Dion’s first English record, discovering Michael Buble and turning a young opera singing Josh Groban into a mainstream star.

I once made it to David Foster’s house in Malibu in 2005, for a party, his step-son’s Brodie and Brandon Jenner were throwing, for their new reality show, The Princes of Malibu on FOX. It was a crazy night and I drank a full beer out of the Grammy he won for "I Will Always Love You." But I never got to meet David until this interview!

The party was rocking in @davidfoster 's recording studio in Malibu back in May 2005. He wasn't there! I found the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and tipped a beer into it. Then proceeded to drink. Young, stupid and happy days. Awesome party though! As you can see on the second photo it was for Whitney Houston's Bodyguard hit, I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. David Foster produced the song, which was originally written by the great @dollyparton You can see how David produced the song in his new doco Off The Record on @netflix . As for the party..... it was to celebrate the reality show Princes of Malibu which aired on @foxtv in July 2005 - this show featured the Jenner brothers, @spencerpratt and Foster getting angry a lot. They were ahead of their time considering all those young guys went on to feature in some huge reality shows of the last 15 years.... The Hills and The Kardashians! @brodyjenner @brandonjenner @recordingacademy #grammys #whitney #whitneyhouston #princesofmalibu #malibu #party #recordingstudio #jennerbrothers #iwillalwaysloveyou #throwbackthursday

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I zoomed into his creative space, dominated by 30 Grammy Awards sitting on a piano, to chat about a documentary on his career and life on Netflix; OFF THE RECORD. I opened up asking him about the level of arrogance he had when he made the big move to Hollywood as a young man with stars in his eyes. David replied, “It's kind of in reverse, right? Because you should be humble when you're starting out and then you grow into being arrogant. Right? And I'm probably still a little bit arrogant, but I sort of started hard. And then as the success came, I lightened up on myself, which made me sort of an easier person to deal with.”

If you love music and the behind-the-scenes stories of musicians you will enjoy this documentary. His ability to combine his own ego and arrogance but be so giving to his talent while seeking perfection is amazing. To have him back you, as he did with a 17-year-old Josh Groban, was to have a music god on your side. David said about Josh, “I willed him to be a star. I willed it. Every single thing I did every day, I manipulated whoever I was around to take a shot on him, put him on a TV show, put him on the commercial, do this, do that. The record company. I willed it. Now I call it Grobaning somebody. I Grobaned him.”

To come up with his own verb, to be “Grobaned”, underlines the showmanship and sense of humor Foster has. However, his attempts at joking could be misconstrued when aimed at some of the superstars that he worked with while seeking perfection. I asked him if he hurt the feelings of Celine Dion and he quickly replied, “I did hurt her feelings. I really did. And I didn't mean to, it was just that aggressive ambush sort of ambush humor that I use. You mean when I said like, "Hey if you can't get this, know Whitney's down the hall. She'll do it worse." And Whitney was down the hall. Of course, she wouldn't have done the note for us, but it was just humor.”

The documentary also explores his 5 marriages, his 5 daughters, and the fallout from him playing a part in the breakup of the band CHICAGO.

I asked him, “Has your humor got you in a bit of trouble over the years?”

He bluntly replied, “It certainly has, Brad.”

OFF THE RECORD: David Foster is now on NETFLIX.