Thursday, June 16, 2011
Your Stories: KISS' Attorney, Raymond E. Scott
By Abby Ham
Up in Tellico Village lives an attorney, but not just any attorney. This one has an interesting resume that rivals many hot shot Hollywood lawyers.
Many know the music and style of the band KISS. Most importantly you know their faces. Raymond E. Scott is more familiar with those faces than most. After all, he did trademark them.
"No one had ever registered the face of an entertainer before. As a matter of fact, the trademark office said you can't do that," said Scott.
However, the trademark office went through with it after Scott's argument. He is an attorney, afterall.
"I actually had somebody sit in for Peter Criss, the drummer, and wear the same make-up and nobody knew," explained Scott.
It wasn't just the famous KISS make-up. Scott helped Gene Simmons and his bandmates make millions of dollars starting with their first album.
KISS' manager called on Raymond to set up a recording of a live show.
"As an attorney who is more than willing to b.s. if necessary. Of course I know how to set up a recording. Well, I had no clue," said Scott. "I had a friend in the business and he said, 'Oh, you ought to talk to Bob Segar's manager because he records in Detroit.'
And so KISS Live was born.
"The album went gold in three weeks. It went platinum in five. And that began KISS," said Scott.
After this he became their attorney and took the band even further with trademarks of all kinds. T-shirts, more albums, the list goes on.
"They started out they were making less than $50,000. I said I can do better and that's why I was hired. And my first year, I think we did $15 million," explained Scott.
He also made millions off another famous face, Farrah Fawcett. You might know the famous picture of Fawcett in a red bathing suit. He copyrighted that image as well.
"We sold 11 and a half million posters in nine months. We sold 8 and a half million in t-shirts in nine months," explained Scott. "Bedding, sheets, pillow cases, lamps. Young boys were very much in love with Farrah Fawcett."
Raymond didn't exactly choose this field "I got into entertainment law as I said by accident," said Scott.
He actually followed his dad's wishes and started out as an engineer. "He made me on his death bed promise that I would be an engineer so I went to engineering school at the University of Wisconsin," explained Scott.
However, he just couldn't help himself, patent law was calling his name.
"I've done work for Boston. I've done work for the Eagles," said Scott.
KISS, Farrah, the world of Hollywood. So, why East Tennessee?
"As a kid I used to camp in the Smokies and fell in love with Tennessee. My wife has a little sign up there that says, 'I wasn't born in Tennessee, but I got there as soon as I could,'" explained Scott.
Raymond E. Scott, a patent attorney with a flair for the fabulous, but also just a regular guy who loves his wife and loves his life in East Tennessee.
"I'm a very, very lucky man," said Scott.
One of Your Stories. There's no place like this one.