By Jeremy Hallock
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By Observer Staff
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Years later, I saw Dorn, wild-eyed in his claustrophobic New York apartment, surrounded by boxes of tapes and pot-headed mixes cramping his life. He'd summoned me to a meeting for some TV brainstorm. I brought along my brother Drew, who was supposed to bring a friend who was a scholar of old movie posters. At 35 years old, the friend was living at home with his parents, and didn't show. Reached by phone, he said that he wasn't allowed to come, that he was being "punished." Then Dorn was summoned to a hospital by a friend having a heart attack. Meeting and TV show ended right there.
But Dorn's visionary hoarding paid off in the '90s, as he "reinvented" himself. Rhino/Atlantic CD boxed sets revolutionized the biz, and Dorn repackages lots of his old productions.
Lifton moved Regent to the Brill Building. He died of lung cancer around '86. Four packs of Marlboros daily. Regent's space is now part of a famous art gallery building.
I still see those tapes in my dreams, just out of grasp, a week off from completion. I ran into Regent's beloved janitor, Jesus Rojas, many years later. "What happened to all the tapes -- my tapes?"
"Thrown out, I theenk," said Jesus. "Years ago."