Monday, July 27, 2009

(part 185) MONEY...GOING EAST...AND DP

Even though money was coming in, it was also going out. The dollars I received from RCA, $16,000, was devoted to recording costs. The money from my girlfriend's father went to pay the salaries of his two daughters, at a cost of $1,000 a month for each of them.

That was $24,000 a year, which left $6,000 from the $30,000 he invested. I mention this for those who might think I was sitting on a pile of money.

We also rented a small office for RPJ Music and Step Three Productions in Hollywood, but the girls rarely went there, so it just cost money without serving much of a purpose.

Most of the work was done in my apartment and in the studio, the rest was for show. Because their father put up the money, I never complained about the cost of the office or the girls.

We were paying rent on three apartments in West Hollywood, at that point, and had to pay a music lawyer to go over the the RCA contract.

All in all, we were spending a lot of money on a regular basis, so whatever I got was spent on what I outlined here. The whole thing started with me and $15,000, and a desire to record some of my songs and pay my rent. It had now grown into something far different and far more costly.

As we flew back to the east coast at the end of 1977, I couldn't help feeling perplexed about the amount of responsibility in my life. There were too many things going on at once, and my emotional state was always susceptible to stress.

Now I was going to play family guy, business person, recording artist, and shut down DP as well. I had to stay sober, keep on believing the outcome would be positive, and a hundred other things having to do with interpersonal relationships between me and everybody else.

Part of my brain was handling it all, but another part was surveying the area for booby-traps and land mines. I'd seen too much in the past to just accept that everything was going to be fine.

Call it what you will, but I was still the kid from the streets banging up against the odds, in my mind, and I knew how things looked when they started to turn south.

Another concern of mine had to do with the promotion of "Stay With Me" and RCA's commitment to that process. Without promotion, the record would fail.

I'd been coming to the conclusion, in my own mind, that running a couple of ads in Billboard Magazine would help. This was something I planned to take up with my girlfriend's father and the label while in New York.

My reluctance in having to confront DP grew as the time drew closer to it actually happening. I went over it a hundred times in my head, but knew it wasn't going to work out to his satisfaction.

There was going to be a backlash, but I didn't know what it would be or how bad it would get. And at some point soon I was going to have to tell my girlfriend's father about DP, and try to explain how the mess came about in the first place.

I also knew I'd have to make a real commitment, and convince him I had no intentions of doing business with a cocaine dealer.

Finally the day came, and my girlfriend and I headed for New York city in her father's car. Our first stop was at RCA, where I got my picture taken, and we met some of the promo people.

Then it was on to a hotel where we contacted DP and arranged to meet with him that evening. I went over what I was going to say to him, one last time with my girlfriend, and prepared for the night ahead.

When we arrived at his place, we were greeted by DP and his lady friend, an aging, but extremely attractive actress. It was actually her apartment, I found out later, and by the looks of it it cost a bundle.

They were all smiles as we went through the necessary introductions, and DP gave me a big hug and said, "It's good to see you, Bobby, you look great." I thanked him and said it was all the clean living I'd been doing.

As we got to talking, I found out that DP's lady was friends with the president of RCA, Bob Summer, and figured DP had made his way to him through her.

What I didn't know was, if it was sex, drugs, love, or a combination of those things. What I did know was that DP was actually talking to the president, either directly, or through her.

When we finally got to the heart of the matter, I told DP that I was sober and clean, and had been that way for nearly two years, and was a lot different than I'd been when he last saw me. DP said that was good, but that I was still the old Bobby, too, and smiled.

"That's true in one way," I said, "but in other ways I'm completely different." I explained how my girlfriend's father had given me the money to record my songs, and that he was sober too, and that I could not see him and DP working together in a million years.

I said I'd had to make a choice about what I was going to do, and that I'd made it. I told him I planned to carry on with my girlfriend's father, and that because of it, I wouldn't be letting him, DP, manage me.

I said I was prepared to give him 10% of the money RCA paid for the songs, and that was it.

The song below is Rock-n-Roll Hotel and was recorded in the second group of songs referred to in the last couple posts.