Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The check was a vivid reminder of how deeply never getting paid for a single song had cut into my life. It was a bleeding gash in my psyche.
I was glad John Rhys got paid. I was miserable because Bobby Jameson never had. I was not part of that club in any way, and never had been.
No matter how many songs I wrote, or records I made, I'd never received a single dime in royalties from any record company, publisher, manager, or collection agency, such as BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, or Harry Fox Agency.
I was brutally aware of my lack of power in that capacity, and try as I may, and I tried a hundred times, I had not, and could not, get any of it straightened out.
My answer had always been to write another song, make another record, and hope that someday I would make it work. I had asked every person, in every new deal I'd been involved with for twenty years, to help me.
The truth was, nobody cared. They always said, "Let's hear what your new stuff sounds like, and if it's good, and you get a hit, then we can go back and straighten out your past, because then we'll have the leverage. So you gotta get a hit, Bobby."
I'd lived and died on that nonsense. I had watched my life and career disintegrate over two decades following that bullshit philosophy. The philosophy of future success, down the road happiness.
But now, the real facts were beating the crap out of me for the thousandth time. There had been no future happiness or cleaning up the past. The past was now present, and scrawled in blood on the walls of my future.
It was a circular hell I lived in. Whatever I had seen and done and managed to survive, was destined to reappear, at some point, to be relived again and again.
I could not convince anyone of any of this. No one gave a shit, they never had. No one knew what I was talking about, because no one but me had all of the facts and history.
People who knew me had no idea that I had ever done as many things in as many places as I had. They didn't know I went to England and recorded with Mick Jagger. They didn't know who Chris Lucey was, or that I was him, and they didn't care.
I was a multiple personality with multiple pasts, trying to pawn myself off as an individual, when in reality, I was a group of individuals splintered out of the life of someone called Bobby Jameson.
I was the only person in the world who knew all the parts in any cohesive way. I had not, and could not, make clear to anyone what this meant.
There were songs and records all over the place. There were starts and stops, and starts again, galore. It covered two continents, multiple countries, companies, and publishers, and had gone on for over two decades. But be that as it may, I had failed utterly to convey to anyone, at any time, the depth and complexity of the problem.
I had lived, and continued to live, in my own inability to stop the madness and get it straightened out. I stood at the crossroads of my life and knew it, as I sat alone in the dimming light at Carol's
All that I had done since 1963 was behind me, and what I would do now lay before me. I had no idea of what that would be or what it would mean.
I resolved in my mind to get Martin Cohen on the phone and see if I could get him to assist me in getting my money from ASCAP. I hadn't talked to him in years, and didn't have any idea if he would even speak to me, let alone agree to help me.
It had been Martin and his brother Herbie Cohen, in the 70's, who had been administering a publishing company of mine, and paying me a weekly salary.
I'd gotten into a beef with Herbie one night at the Troubador, which ended in a near fist fight, the end result being, I was cut off financially by the Cohen Brothers. Shortly thereafter, I attempted to kill myself by taking a masssive overdose of a hundred and twenty pills.
So this was the person, over a decade later, who I was now committed to asking for help.