Tuesday, February 28, 2012
(273) HELL...WHAT COULD GO WRONG
It may seem odd to some to read what I write here about my reaction to this telephone call in 2003, but you have to try to understand it from my point of view, if possible. First of all the Chris Lucey album, in my mind, had always been regarded by me as a complete dud. It was something I had done in the 60's with little or no fanfare. It had someone else's picture, Brian Jones, on the cover, it wasn't my name, and all the songs were written to someone else's (Chris Ducey's) song titles. It was a discount album created for cheap record bins in Europe, and nothing more. I had no knowledge whatsoever that anyone even knew that it existed or that I had written and recorded it. So my initial reaction to being told it had been released again was, "Why?"
Trying to fit my reaction and feelings into Steve Stanley's exuberance over finding me and talking to me about this album, was just plain difficult. He'd found me alright, but at the same time I didn't know I was being looked for. It was similar to somebody taking a walk and running into a person who said, "Oh my god, I found you," to which the response of the person found was, "I didn't know I was lost." The beliefs and opinions of others about this subject have little or no bearing at all on what my beliefs were at the time. So much of what I say here is in conflict with what others thought or think about it from their standpoint.
As I said, my initial reaction to the call was somewhat negative, but changed as I continued to talk to Steve.
"Well," said Steve, "I can see how strange this must be for you Bobby, because you obviously didn't know anything about it, and then some complete stranger calls up out of the blue and tells you."
"Yeah." I chuckled, "It was not in my plans for the day."
"Well, sorry," said Steve, "but there wasn't really any other way to do it. I guess I could have written you a letter, but once I got the telephone number from the private detective, I couldn't wait. I had to call and see if it really was you. If you want to stop I understand, but it is exciting to know you're alive and to get to talk to you."
"No, it's OK," I replied, "I'm kinda over the initial shock of it all, so I'll keep talking with you for awhile."
My willingness to continue the phone call with Steve Stanley is something I look back on now with mixed emotions. Had I just said goodbye after a minute or so, I could have possibly chalked it up to a telephone call I got one day and had forgotten about. But it was my choice to continue talking to him, so all that has transpired as the result of my own decision, is on me. It was my curiosity about the album and what he was saying that sparked my imagination. The old me had been aroused by the possibility that something I'd once done was actually being noticed by a new generation of listeners.
As we continued to talk about the album and Rev-Ola Records, Steve told me, in good faith I believe, that I would be getting royalties for the CD's release.
"No shit," I said, "That'd be a first for me, I've never gotten royalties in my life."
"Well you're gonna get them now, Bobby," said Steve, "you can count on it."
My reaction to his remarks about royalties caused me to open up more about the subject. In the mind of someone who had never gotten a single royalty check in his life for any record he'd ever made, this was of critical importance to me. I could feel the old hole in my gut begin to fill in immediately. I do not believe Steve Stanley had any real idea about what a deep wound I had lived with regarding this particular fact. My opinion was, and still is, that he told me what he actually believed was true, and that was that I would get royalties for the release of the CD.
If you think about it, my decision to embrace the subject at that point was not at all odd, even though I didn't know the person who told me these things. I was willing to believe that what he had said about Songs Of Protest was true and I also became thoroughly hooked when he told me I was gonna get paid for it. My own need to hear those words, for the first time in my life, was all that was necessary to keep me engaged in the conversation.
In my mind it felt like the old nightmare of yesterday had suddenly come to an end. I was standing in a new place with a new piece of the puzzle in my hand. What had started off in a rather defensive stance by me, now gave way to an openness on my part, to talk freely and enthusiastically about my experiences in the music business. Throwing caution to the wind, I embarked on a two hour detailed discussion about the history of Bobby Jameson and Chris Lucey and held back little. It was as if my need to unload the burden of my past superseded any reluctance that might have been wise at the time. I'd been told the album was released, doing pretty well, and that I was gonna get paid, "Hell! What could go wrong?"