Friday, February 8, 2008
(part 25) "THE GLOVE" ANOTHER TV DISASTER
Brit's build up to their new release of Bobby Jameson on it's basically new label, was as much for their own self promotion as it was for me. They calculated that making me into a star all over again would do nothing but good for Brit itself. I think they determined, at least in their own minds, that they could succeed where Andrew Oldham and Decca had failed.
As I said, "The Glove" was now becoming a story unto itself. I had these custom made gloves with zippers on the back so I could get the thing on and off with out much trouble. The glove was long and ran about 3/4 of the way up to my elbow. That was so you couldn't see where it ended. It went under my shirt cuff and just kept going. It was jet black and the zipper was silver, so it stood out pretty good.
Everywhere I went people would look at this thing and wonder why I only had one, and was there something wrong with my hand so that I had to cover it. I gotta tell you that this was one of the stupidest things I ever did. It was a great gimmick, but I got tired of wearing it. I wanted to shit can it altogether, but the guys at Brit wouldn't let me. They kept saying how important it had become and that they were building a publicity campaign around not only me but "The Glove" too.
I wore one only on one hand, but every now and then I'd switch hands just to see if people were paying attention. Every now and again someone would ask me about it, in a kind of confused awkward way. "Didn't you wear that glove on your left hand"? "No man, I always wear it on my right hand." This was pretty entertaining for me, because it gave me a way to put up with my own bullshit creation that I was now trapped into continuing.
But I had to be careful and not end up saying what hand I wore it on to someone I'd previously said it to, just in case my answer was in conflict with what I'd stated earlier to them. Pretty damn confusing, but even that became part of "The Glove" game. "What hand does Bobby Jameson wear his mysterious black glove on?" This went on for months, if you can believe it, frankly I still don't know why.
Christmas and New Years came and went and I began to feel a sense of loss not being in America at Christmas. I guess it was that I'd never been away from America at Christmas until then. As the months wore on I moved again to Chelsea, and I don't think there was a reason for it other than I conned the Brit guys into believing it was necessary. I must have played "I'm your little shining star" on them and they reluctantly agreed to it.
Knightsbridge just wasn't where most of the "pop stars" were. A lot of them lived in Chelsea. So there I was in Chelsea, playing "I'm a pop star" once again. With a new record and a new label, there was only one problem, I didn't like the record and I didn't like my image. I was as phony as a three dollar bill. I was caught again by my own dreams and chained to the "Dream Makers." They, amongst other things, had booked me on one of the biggest television music shows in England and I was going to have to lip sync "Rum Pum" for all of Britain once more, as I had with "All I Want Is My Baby."
I think the first TV show that I originally said was "Thank Your Lucky Stars" was actually "Ready Steady Go," and that this second big TV shot was "Thank Your Lucky Stars," out of Brighton, England. The producers of the TV show had arranged with Brit, without my knowledge, to do some very elaborate stuff with me, but I wasn't let in on it until the day of the show when I arrived at the television station.
They showed me a 30 foot ladder that I would be climbing up with a mirror at the top of it. The TV camera was on the ground and focused on the mirror at the top of the ladder, so as I climbed up the ladder the TV screen shot, going out nation wide, would show my hands, "The Glove" coming toward the camera. In other words it would appear to the television audience that the camera was at the top of the ladder taking a picture of me climbing up.
These days with smaller lighter cameras they'd of just had a camera up there, but back then the cameras were big huge floor models, thus their mirror gimmick. (If I didn't make that clear enough I'm sorry.) I thought the whole idea was pretty lame, but agreed to do it none the less. I was then ushered back to a dressing room to wait for my turn on the show. When I got back there, I met another act from America, who was also on the same show with me, John Hammond Jr., the son of Hammond Sr., who'd discovered Bob Dylan.
John was strictly an authentic "Blues" guy and we hit it off from the gate. We were back in that room for at least an hour and a half and ended up loaded on "hash" and "whiskey" from a pint that John brought with him. We were talking about what they wanted me to do on this TV show and laughing our asses off at the whole thing. I believe Donavan was in there with us, but wanted no part of our party, even though we tried to get him to smoke some dope with us. At some point John and I decided the coolest thing I could do was not to wear "The Glove," because the whole appearance was built around it.
"Yeah" I said, "that's a good idea, I won't wear the glove." After a while someone came back to get me saying that my spot was coming up next. I made my way back to the main stage and readied myself for their cue. We'd already run through what they wanted me to do, so I just stood there waiting for the music to start. I kept my hands in my pockets so no one ever noticed that the glove was missing. The music started and I began climbing, lip syncing the lyrics as I headed up the ladder. I could see my reflection in the mirror as I continued on, putting one hand in front of the other.
About half way to the top I could hear voices hissing below saying "Where's The Glove? He hasn't got The Glove on." At the time, I thought this was pretty damn funny, but soon found out that no one shared that opinion with me. When the stunt and song had ended I went back down the ladder to the ground, where an incensed British TV producer greeted me with absolute scorn. He told me in no uncertain terms that I had destroyed his vision and that I would never be allowed to do that television show again.