Sunday, March 2, 2008
(part 35) FAST WAS NOT FAST ENOUGH FOR RANDY
Song in video written by Bill Jameson
I would like to say to the reader that if you sent a comment to me it is appreciated in a way that you may not understand. I am gratified by any comments, good or bad, because they indicate an interest in this subject which gives me strength on bad days to keep going. I am determined to see this through, but the comments really help. Thanks to each and every one of you. If you want to send a crappy comment, I accept those too. Bobby Jameson aka Chris Lucey 2008
As I began showing up at Mira/Surrey Records daily, I began to get a feel for the way things worked there. Randy Wood, who was a pretty good drinker, would spout off about business at the end of the day when he'd had a couple of cocktails in his office.
This became a time for me to pay attention to what he was saying. He did a lot of bragging about an attorney he worked with named Abe Somer. He said that Abe could write a contract that no one could get out of, and that no one could understand until it was too late. Meaning that by the time you signed an Abe Somer contract and figured out you shouldn't have signed it, it was too late because you already had. I took this seriously when I heard it and never forgot those words.
Abe was a studious looking fellow, kind of like Bill Gates, with the personality of an assassin. He used to eyeball me when ever I was around, and I quickly concluded that I did not trust him at all. He acquired a reputation for helping change the music business from a lot of small independent labels into a larger corporate structure, which bought out the independents thus creating a larger structure, whose sole goal was to own and control more and more publishing and master rights. Abe Somer was one of those who did as much damage to the L A music scene in the 60's as any human being I know of. I was there when this was occurring. I warned people about it, but they just laughed at me and said I didn't know what I was talking about. Looking back now, I knew exactly what I was talking about.
I wrote 2 or 3 more songs for the Chris Lucey album and Randy was even more pleased than before. He started telling everybody what a good writer I was and that he ought to get me signed up. I was putting the songs down on a 2-track tape recorder at night, that was in the office, so Randy could listen to them the next day. They were pretty rough, but it was a good way for Marshall Lieb to hear what he would be producing, and get charts written for the players he was going to use on the record.
I finally met Marshall and he was unimpressed by me or the songs, in fact he was down right obnoxious. He did not want to do the album at all, but was beholden to Randy for something, so he'd agreed, reluctantly, to do it. But he made no attempt whatsoever to cover his feelings about me, my songs, and the project overall. He was a good producer, but a pain in the ass to work with. He always acted like the whole thing was beneath him, and who knows maybe it was.
While I was writing the songs for the album, I enlisted my brother Bill (Jamie) and Bruce (Baby John) Hinds to take a whack at writing something for the record. I told them if Randy liked what they wrote, it would be on the album. My brother came up with "That's The Way The World Has Got To Be" (part 2) (Too Many Mornings) and he and Bruce Hinds came up with "I got The Blues." These two songs are stand outs on the record. I helped a bit on both songs, but Bill and Bruce, for the most part, wrote the them.
Bruce Hinds, if you don't recall, was a sidekick of Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot, and Ralph Molina's, and became their roadie, for both "The Rockets" and "Crazy Horse" bands. Randy Wood liked "I Got The Blues" so much that he had it recorded with a full orchestra in England when he went there. As I pushed on with the writing, I encountered difficulties with some of the titles that I was forced to use. Trying to write new songs to somebody else's titles can be a real challenge at times, and that was something I found out the hard way.
If I didn't have new stuff for Randy every time he asked, his personality would shift from I like you to I hate you. It seemed to be about the deadline in Randy's head regarding his overall Surrey agreement with Europe. So the Chris Lucey album getting finished was a priority and I, unfortunately, felt this pressure from Randy, to hurry up and get done, so we could go in the studio and cut the thing. Forget the fact that I had to accomplish this all in about two weeks, the writing that it. Randy was impatient and let me know it. I learned very quickly that Randy Wood could seem like your best friend one minute, and then turn on you the next. I was always ready for his personality shifts and they would always show up.