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That's precisely what Platt tries to do, and as a result, he looks askance at anyone who believes that he should use his muscle to help other Coloradans enter the limelight. He has a Denver songwriter in his stable--Anthony Mance, who contributed a ditty to the latest Brian McKnight album and co-wrote "One Wish," the title track of the next Deborah Cox disc, with Savage--but he swears that the signing had nothing to do with Mance's state of birth. "He's not with me because he's from Denver," Platt says. "He's with me because he had good music. The bottom line is, I've seen people lose their jobs by doing favors, and I really feel like I have a responsibility to myself first. I feel that if I do a good job taking advantage of these opportunities, I'll put Denver on the map. And I didn't close the door behind me when I opened it. It's still open, but you've got to walk your ass down the path yourself.
"Some people say I haven't helped people in Colorado enough, but I don't trip on it, because it comes with the program. Besides, if I give people something, I'm not helping them; I'm hurting them. They've got to go through the process so that if something goes wrong, they can troubleshoot and go back and fix the problem so they can keep going."
At the same time, Platt is one of the few big wheels who listens to unsolicited tapes personally--and actually invites interested parties to send him their efforts. (Address promo packs to EMI Music Publishing, attention Big Jon Platt, 2700 Colorado Avenue, Suite 100, Santa Monica, CA 90404.) "I've got to reach out to people," he says. "I'm in the big chair now."
Reid, for one, believes that Platt's chair will grow even larger in the not-too-distant future. "Big Jon's absolutely going to run a label one day," says the executive, who's using Platt's expertise to help him find material for the next Toni Braxton long-player. "It's definitely a dream of his, and he has the talent to do it. In my opinion, the best person to run a label is a creative person, and Big Jon's a song man. That's what it takes. The name of the game is songs and artists, and he has a great understanding of both."
For his part, Platt won't come right out and say that he wants to follow Reid into the big-label boardroom--but he does everything but. "I don't know what I'll be doing in five years," he insists. "I could tell you something today, and tomorrow it could be totally different. But I go 110 percent every day and keep my faith in God, and because of that, I know that in five years, whatever I need to do, I'll be doing. And it's going to be a fun ride. People who are jealous about where I'm at can talk all they want, but they should save it for a little while. Because I'm not finished.