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Laura SturzaNot every passenger in a Music...

Laura Sturza

Not every passenger in a Music Express Limousines car is a star, but

each one is likely to be a player that keeps the industry moving.

"[Our business is] 75 to 80% Hollywood-related,” said Burbank

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resident Craig Friedemann, the company’s director of special events.

Clients include industry executives, lawyers and behind-the-scenes

staff, Friedemann said.

The company was started in 1972 by Harold Berkman, who worked as a

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music promoter for 25 years for stars including Frank Zappa and

Herman’s Hermits. It has grown to be one of the top five limousine

companies in Los Angeles, with offices in Burbank, New York, San

Francisco and Washington, D.C., Friedemann said.

When Berkman died in 1997, his wife Rita and daughter Cheryl took

over the business, which has 200 employees in Burbank. The company is

one of the few operators to employ its 100 chauffeurs full-time and

owns its 30,000-square-foot building.

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“My father picked Burbank because of its central location to [the

airports and industry],” Executive Vice President Cheryl Berkman

said. "[The city] has always been good to us.”

Customer requests range from a map to asking that a helicopter be

made available to them, because, “whatever they need, we’ll give it

to them,” Friedemann said.

The Academy of Country Music, based in Burbank, has been a Music

Express client for about 20 years. It is loyal to the limousine

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company because its services include keeping industry publications in

the backseat, providing professional drivers who arrive early and

respond to last-minute schedule changes, said David Young, an Academy

executive assistant.


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