Friday, July 4, 2008
(part 86) NANCY, ME, AND THE ALBUM
As I fought through the making of "Working," Nancy Harwood and I ended up subletting an apartment from Timmy Rooney, one of Mickey Rooney's sons. It was located across the street from the Shoreham Towers, where Diane Linkletter lived on the 6th floor.
I'd moved out of Howard Gilliam's house after he found out he couldn't make me do what he wanted. I had argued with him about performing solo at the Whiskey A Go Go, and he'd lost his patience with me over my final position. I told him that if he'd help me put a band together I'd do it. Howard's position was I didn't need a band, which had also been the position of Tony Alamo, and one that I'd rejected.
Anyway, that led to a break between Howard and me, so Nancy and I moved on. We ended up with a roommate in the new place, because he already lived in the apartment. His named was Ed Durston. I didn't want another roommate, but it was the only way Nancy and I could afford to live there.
The apartment was on the second floor of the building. Below us lived another musician named Jimmy George. Over the next few months I would get to know these people pretty well, plus a number of others, and they would all play a major role in another turning point in my life.
Ed Durston was a shady dude to say the least, but he was highly intelligent and quick witted, so if nothing else, he was fun to spar with mentally and verbally. I had to keep an eye on him though, because his interest in Nancy was obvious. Along with just about everybody else during those times, Ed was a loady, and to some extent that was more of a convenience than a problem. Ed always knew where to get drugs, so he did serve a purpose in the long run.
Both Timmy Rooney, and his brother Mickey Jr, were always dropping by the apartment to see how we were doing. They were well acquainted with Diane Linkletter, and within a short period of time, Nancy and I would get to know Diane as well.
As far as the album went, parts of "Working" had been heavily affected by the constant drugging and drinking that had become synonymous with the personality of Bobby Jameson. Some of the album's odder points are the vocals which were perfomed by me while drunk.
"Singin The Blues," "Ain't That Lovin You Baby," and "Norwegian Wood" are the most notable choices. There is no other way to say it except that I was "fucked up" when I recorded these songs. As well, "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" and "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" were affected as well.
This may all seem repetitive and boring to some, but it is indicative of the physical and psychological slide I was on. There is, and was, a reason for everything, and what I am relating here is important, as fact, to the overall story as it truly unfolded at the time.
Each successive decline contributed to the next decline, etc. So the making of "Working," it's strengths and weaknesses, became a reflection of my life and visa versa. As the album went, so went I, and as I went, so went the album. They were never separate from each other. They were one thing.
This is why I ultimately crashed and burned as a human being. I had no ability to put each in it's own place. If one failed the other failed right along with it, and that was the case with "Working."
Both "Palo Alto" and "Bout Being Young" were solid performances, which is not to say you should like them or not, they were just handled with a lot more care than some of the others. If in fact the whole album was a piece of garbage, as some seem to think it was, and is, then I would have crashed even sooner than I ultimately did.
It was my hope that there was enough good about the album to override it's apparent weaknesses, and that is what kept me hanging on by a long thin thread. Nancy was always by my side during these times, reenforcing my value as an artist, and person, even when I was not capable of doing the same for myself.
She knew how important she was to me, and I knew how important I was to her. We were connected together by some invisible bond that was impenetrable by the world around us. Nancy saw the absolute best in me, no matter what anyone else said or thought, it was absolute.
There was no question for her about me, and likewise was my reliance on her. We walked through some very heavy shit together, and to this day I have nothing but the highest of praise to offer her. If the world had more people like Nancy Harwood it would just be a far better place for everyone, period.
She gave far more to me than she ever tried to get for herself, and I was extremely lucky to have known her and to have had her with me during those times. When the world came crashing down on top of me, and it always did and still does, Nancy was there to help scoop me up off the pavement, that's just the way it was then, and it never changed.