Slim Man’s Background
Slim Man was born a long time ago. How long? Real long. He started off as Slim Boy, and later became Slim Man.
But seriously, folks…Slim’s hometown is Baltimore, MD. His first musical memory? His Dad, the Slim Poppa, took him to see a movie “The Five Pennies”, starring Danny Kaye and…Louis Armstrong. When Young Slim saw Louis sing and play, Slim Boy decided, at the tender age of five, that that was his Life’s Calling.
Young Slim studied trumpet for ten years, and taught himself how to play piano and guitar as well. Slim Boy’s first gig? He was in fifth grade, and he played guitar and sang a few Beatles songs for the sixth grade graduation. Since that time, he has worked himself up from nothing, to a case of extreme poverty.
While in his teens, Slim Dude kept studying music, at Peabody (a school for mostly classical music, where Slim studied piano, theory, and harmony), and privately, studying singing, and jazz piano.
His First Big Break came when he went on a trip to NYC to meet a publisher who expressed some interest in Slim’s Songs. When Young Slim got to NYC, he found out that the publisher dude had other interests in mind, and left the meeting disgusted yet determined. He went to a phone booth and started calling publishers.
A few hours later, he was in the office of Roxanne Gordy, Motown publishing executive and niece of the famous Berry Gordy. Motown eventually signed Slim Man as a songwriter, and one of the first tunes he wrote made it onto Angela Bofill’s first CD, “Angie”.
Based on the success of that CD, Motown offered Slim Dude a recording contract. Slim Man spent the next year writing, arranging and producing a CD that is very similar in style and substance to his current material. Slim Man recorded the CD with legendary music producer Carl Griffin, a guy who has discovered artists from Evelyn “Champagne” King to Diana Krall.
With the album finished, Slim Man was waiting for a release date when he was invited to a party for Stevie Wonder’s new CD, “The Secret Life of Plants”. The party was at the Bronx Botanical Gardens, and it was a lavish affair. Slim Man actually met and conversed with Stevie, who had helped Young Slim on his Big Motown Debut.
Later on, while in the men’s room, a Motown executive informed Slim Man that the vice president in charge of Slim’s CD had been fired, and all of his projects (including Slim’s Debut Album) had been put on the
Undaunted, Slim decided to get out of his contract with Motown. He started writing rock songs, something Motown had no use for, and was later released by Motown. But, as luck would have it, there was a label downstairs from Motown’s NYC office, a label called “Stiff Records”. Stiff had Ian Dury, Lena Lovich, and a bunch of other eccentric artists on their roster, and Stiff expressed interest in the Slim Songs, and named the project…BootCamp.
BootCamp had considerable success. It was one of the first bands on MTV. They did shows with the B-52s, Squeeze, Split Enz, The Tubes, and a bunch of other bands. But most rock bands don’t stay together long. BootCamp was no exception, and they disbanded in 1986.
Enter the Marlboro Man.
After the break-up of BootCamp, Slim Man was asked by Carl Griffin, who was then working for Marlboro, to organize and MC nationwide country music talent contests sponsored by Marlboro. The contest was a Big Deal—$50,000.00 and a contract with producer Barry Beckett, a Big Shot who’d worked with Bob Dylan, Alabama, Hank Williams, Jr., and lots of others.
And during the Marlboro Country Music Contest, Slim Man got his name.
After one of the very first contests, at the end of the final night, Slim Man (who had been known as “Tim Camp”, a shortened version of his real name “Timothy Camponeschi”) announced the Big Winner. Well, much to everyone’s surprise, there were no fistfights or bar-room brawls, which is pretty incredible because the prize was so big, and lots of the bands were bitter rivals.
However, the next day, one of the losing bands tracked Slim Man back to his hotel and were waiting in the lobby. They were pissed off about losing. Slim Man explained to The Losers that he had nothing to do with the judging, just the MC-ing and organizing, and the band left.
So Tim Camp decided he needed a nickname, something country and something appropriate for a talent contest. The name? Slim Chance. And that’s what he called himself during the contest. Slim Chance. During the years it changed into Slim Man, and a Name Was Born.
Slim’s Big Discovery during the Marlboro contest? Ronnie Dunn, who later joined Kix Brooks to form the Dynamic Duo, Brooks and Dunn.
After the Marlboro Contest ran its course, Slim Man started writing and producing songs featuring a rock singer named Brian Jack. Slim wrote all the songs, produced all the songs, and brought in Brian to sing the songs. He put together a CD featuring Brian Jack, and, through Slim’s attorney, the CD got the attention of legendary manager Dee Anthony, a guy who had managed everyone from Peter Frampton, J. Geils Band, to Basia.
Dee Anthony’s two daughters were VPs of Epic and SONY records, and Brian got a contract with Epic. Except Brian told them that he had written all the songs, and basically cut Slim Man out of the deal. When SONY took Brian into the studio to write some songs, they were disappointed. Brian Jack was not a songwriter. After 4 tunes, they dropped him.
What now? Slim took some of the songs he had written for Brian, and kept the original Slim Man vocals (sung low and slow), added a few new tunes and…
End of the Rainbow was born. The very first Slim Man CD! Slim Man worked hard and long on the CD and the subsequent follow-up. Slim Man found a manufacturer to press the CD. Slim found a radio promoter, a guy out of Nashville, who took the first single “Faith in Us” to the Top Ten.
Slim Man found a nationwide distributor for the CD. And then Slim man started touring, recording, and producing and…he hasn’t stopped yet!