Tuesday, April 22, 2008
(part 57) FRANK ZAPPA, TOM WILSON, AND "COLOR HIM IN"
© Charles Steiner/Retna Ltd.
Bob Dylan and Tom Wilson Photo by Don Hunstein
I have already said it was Frank Zappa who asked Tom Wilson at Verve Records to take a personal interest in the album "Color Him In." Tom pressed Verve to lease the master from Our Productions, who had produced the album, and to release it on Verve. In the original deal Tom got Verve to advance $10,000 to me personally in the form of a check. I was not aware of this at the time, because neither Tom or Frank ever told me about it.
When the contracts were sent to Steve Clark at Our Productions the check was in with the rest of the paper work. I never saw what was actually sent by Verve at the time. Steve brought the check to me and said there'd been a mistake and that Verve had accidently put my name on the check. He said it was not mine and told me it was money to pay for session costs. He asked me to endorse it so he could deposit it in the company account for use in paying studio costs.
Now get this. I believed him. I never questioned him for a moment. I trusted him. This is how I was treated from the beginning by Steve Clark. He was like a big brother to me from the first time I met him, and once again, as so many times before, I responded to how he treated me and not to what he was actually doing.
It was not until years later when I ran into Tom Wilson that he made me aware of the facts. "Oh, no, Bobby," he said, "that money was for you. I made sure that Verve sent you the check personally." This was Tom's response after hearing what I have just written here about Steve Clark and his lie to me regarding the check.
As if that were not enough Steve used the money to pay my weekly salary of a $100 a week for 2 years of writing songs for his publishing company Since Music. So, in essence, Steve ripped me off for the $10,000 and then turned around and used it to pay me to write songs for him. He got about 70 songs or so and it didn't cost him a penny to do it.
It's a little hard to get ahead when your friends are doing this sort of thing to you. Like I said, at the time I knew nothing about what had transpired between myself and my good buddy "Steve-o." I was just glad that the album was getting released and concentrated on that aspect of the Verve deal.
The fact was, that I'd brought the label deal to Steve Clark via Frank Zappa, written the songs, recorded them, and paid myself with my own money to do this for Steve Clark's companies Our Productions and Since Music.
In copyright law there is something known as the law of copyright reversion. It would seem apparent to me, in light of what I have told you here, that any publishing deal I signed in 1966 with Since Music and Steve Clark would be null and void on it's face based on these facts.
What Steve did constituted a fraud against me as well as a theft. He stole my money. It would seem that any claim by Since Music and Steve Clark of rights to my songs would be clearly and legally beyond the pale of common sense at this point.
I would be more than pleased to end up in a court of law and make my case for the rights to any and all of my songs that were, and/or are listed as property of Since Music. I, Robert Parker Jameson aka Bobby Jameson, do herein claim any and all rights to each of my works listed with Since Music and/or Our Productions. This would include any and all of "Color Him In."
As you have probably figured out by now, there was little in the way of fair play when it came to Bobby Jameson and the business of music. I was unfortunate to a fault when it came to matching up with unscrupulous persons in the music industry. These constant elements of trust and disappointment over many years were the ground work for a version of Bobby Jameson that was combative, forceful, and destructive, as well as creative. I in no way blame what I eventually did on others, but what I will do, and am doing, is to lay out the impossible nature of the task I had to contend with throughout the 60's.