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
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
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.
“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
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