All For Nothing, Nothing For All!!!!!!!
July 24, 2005
Yep. Not supposed to go that way but someone hasn’t told mother nature. Oh, i got an email from an interesting lady from Canada asking if Love was gonna ever make it up there and if ‘our kid’ was ok. i told her that ‘our kid’ was not allowed in Canada (or Japan, for that matter) so she wouldn’t see him there. I told her that it depended on what her definition of ‘ok’ was. But i asked her to stay tuned and that Johnny Echols (she was shocked to hear he was alive!) was back in the fold and that collectively, we had decided to ‘plug the holes’ after we were left to tour recently without him. However, i did give her some hope about ‘our kid’, in that i told her there’s a gang (not crips!) of people who are not detered by things like Cafe Du Nord and The Coach House or BB KINGS in LA or Benecasissan in Spain and would swear on a holy stack they’ll see their hero again, saving the day, waving and telling them to ‘Do me a favor and Love one another…’ before you know it. I hope that ‘our kid’ actually gets it together to do something with some good musicians so he doesn’t have that SF show be the last thing people remember him by. And if you’re into being called a bitch or a niggah after a 45 minute version of Signed DC, i told her, then it don’t get much better than that. Of course, Rusty won’t be there to feed the words and the Love band won’t be there to cover -up the missed chorus or double-back verse.
Now, the New Guy was over here and he posted that really funny sh*t about the guitar. THAT was very very funny! I only wish someone had a boot of the SF show. THEN you would get the whole idea of it all. The true story is so conviluted and shrouded in mystery. I’d give my left tit for anything CLOSE to the truth. But TNG is probably right; there’s probably loads of hints in one of those SF rants. All i remember about those shows is that I couldn’t wait to get off the stage and go drink some beers with the fans. But people said we rocked it and sounded tight, albeit, a bit on the anxiety side. (by contrast, Herzberg was much more looser and relaxed and fun; who woodathunkthat?) SF was like the Benecaissan show in slow motion but twice as long. The spring tour we did was fun and pretty good i thought. The Zombies tour was great too. But at the end of each of these tours (actually, the end of EVERY tour), things get WAY wacky and man, if you’ve got a family and want happiness or things to make sense, well, you were not gonna get it in this regime. And I can totally see the P.O.V. from the outside, like how come Mike you don’t appreciate what you got. But I do. But that doesn;t mean everything has to be unprofessional and it certainly doesn’t mean we can allow the music and shows to start to suck, which they were starting to head towards.
I’ve had some wonderful great times with our kid. As a matter of fact (and i just shared this story with Tina – yep, she’s one of the bedrock fans of this brigade and i say that because she did an entire tour with us. her and Lizzy. They filmed it. They were great.), when Rusty and myself had written the music to Rainbow In The Storm, we worked it up with the band and us four arranged it so it sounded as good as humanly possible. I then worked out a bridge and we fit it all together. See, our point was to make it as good and have a charm about it. We weren’t (still aren’t) sold on the tune as that good but hey, if THIS is what it took to get our kid on form, what the hey, right? He came in and it was MAGICAL. He’d been inspired by what we were doing (thats my guess and thats what it appeared like) and had gone to his car and re-wrote all the lyrics. The lyrics went from being ‘bad’ to ‘ok.’ We had a bonafide collaboration and i grinned, thinking, wow, i just finished writing with Arthur Lee. Boy was I WRONG.
now TRY not to laugh. ok? sit down, make yourself a cuppa tea. Imagine someone comes to you with a bit of a melody and a few lyrics but no music or arrangement WHATSOEVER. Are you imagining that? Now, you go over his house and work on the damn thing, twice a week, along with about 6 other songs, In the same way. You really can’t stand the lyrics or the melodies and can barely listen to your own music you’ve composed but, shit, you are DOING YOUR BEST. Whoever said ‘ya can’t shine shit’ didn’t know our kid. So, after one of the rehearsals doing RAINBOW he was just happy as pie. Had Don Conca tape it (oh, Don taped about 90% of our reheasals from 2002 on…), shook EVERYBODY’S hand and then asked me to give him the cassette from my 4 track recorder ( i taped all the rehearsals with stereo mics into the first 2 channels on my recorder….hey, what about ebay???? 🙂 i was so happy, man. Because it was a break through. jay Donnellan had warned me that, man, he’s gonna use you to co-write the stuff and then he’s gonna f*ck you over. watch out. i told Jay thanks and that i had it covered. i mean, who would do something so blantly dishonest as to deny that you wrote music to a song you wrote music to? ESPECIALLY when YOU can play the music and the other person can’t. to me , this was open and shut and the times had changed and as a song writer i had nothing to worry about. i actually had the first songwriting get-togethers on tape, before the music was even written and it was just his ideas being sang and discussed. i mean, i wasn’t worried about a thing. Until our accountant called sometime 2003.
We were being offered a ‘buy out’ for our ‘contributions’ to said songs and that it was a ‘take it or leave it deal.’ $1,000 a song. Total (split 4 ways). No song credit, no royalties. nada f*ckin thing!!!!! I was beside myself…i was speechless. it wasn’t even the money. i thought the songs were sh*t and weren’t worth much more than that amount anyway. it was the audacity and ego and greed that blindsided us. Rusty and me couldn;t believe it. This guy actually thought he had some hit songs and all he could think about was cutting us out of it. In most languanges, this is called STONE COLD BACKSTABBING but in LOVE, this is just an average day in the office. I told our accountant i’d call him back. i rang ‘our kid.’ he was calm and sober (which, by the way, shows me that drugs and alcohol are NOT his problem…they don;t help but they aren’t the foundation of this man’s troubles) and asked me how i was. Before i could say a word he struct pre-emptively. he said, “you know, i want to look out for you guys so ahm gonna give you guys a grand a song for helping me arrange my stuff.” gee…THANKS DAD! Needless to say, we got into an arguement so heated and so nasty that we didn’t speak for nearly…….2 hours!
Rusty and I had a chat with the Daves (since we all were responsible for the arrangements) and decided to go with $1500 on Rainbow. i know, this comes off as us throwing in the towel. But we gave it serious consideration; these songs are sh*t. is it even worth it? But then our kid did something even MORE greedy than i would have even imagined he was capable of doing. After we decided to ‘take the money and run’, he (are you still sitting down?) rufused to honor the deal that was the one that had replaced the first deal he refused to honor. And since he kept putting off signing the agreement our account had drawn up (“Ahmma sign it dude, don’t trip…), we got stuck in a bad sopt, as our manager at the time, Gene Kraut, was trying to sell Snapper music on new LOVE material and we didn’t want to slow the deal up. Yep, we was some ALL DAY SUCKAHZ. But, my bestest most incredibly and seriously hilarious moment was his reasons for not paying up on the other songs…..er HE WROTE EM BY HIMSELF! yep! That’s what the man told me, swear to God, ya’ll. (Now, i know some of you are bothered by this because you feel like i’m knocking him and you don’t want that cause he’s like a hero and stuff to you. i promise my intention isn’t in that direction. but so many people want to know WHY he does what he does and i think this story sheds a bit of light, in that drugs and stuff are NOT his problem.He’d be much better off w/o them but his demons go much deeper than that.)
What happened to that teamwork we all had so much pride in? What happened to those promises that were made at Ernie’s resteraunt (after being released) where you said you were not going to do things like you used to and that you could be trusted. What changed all that? it wasn’t drugs and it wasn’t drink. I had all those songs in various stages of writing on tape and could easily win in court but there was no way i’d even bother. I had integrity and my word is good. Money is of no value if you have no scruples and no conscience. Money means nothing when you cheat your friends.And there are people that will respect you no matter what so you better hope they don’t change their minds. At the end of the day, it’s yourself and your soul that you cheat. So we never got bent out of shape and the fact that the songs weren’t that good to begin with made it even more pointless to make it an issue. instead, and THIS is where EVERYTHING IN THE BAND TURNED BAD, all the way until the day he refused to board the plane; I told him that, under no circumstances was any of us were ever going to write or arrange any of his song ideas anymore. He told me ‘Good.’ He started getting bombed on a regular basis after that. part of me thinks it was out of guilt, like a battle with the good and bad.
The good really is peacful and hearty and the bad is greedy and spiteful. he tried one last trick. he scheduled a recording session and asked me and Rusty to attend to ‘watch the strings and stuff that he had ideas for.’ We immediately spotted the trick. After the work we did on Rainbow (where we worked up the strings and horns and he waltzed in and simply ‘switched’ the chorus idea with the verse idea and claimed credit for the string parts!), we knew better and avoided the session. well, accoring to one of the violinists at the session, to say it was a train wreck would be to candy-coat it. according to her, HE DIDN;T HAVE A CLUE WHAT THE FEK HE WAS DOING! And THAT’S why we were ‘invited down.’ But not this time, mate. And things got completely wacky after that and THAT’S when Arthur Lee, THE Arthur Lee decided he didn’t like me anymore. He started phoning people saying i was an asshole and how i thought it was my show and this and that and just sick nasty rage-like war on me and my reputation. Of course, NO ONE bought any of it but still, the fact that people i knew were afraid to stand up for me hurt my feelings i must admit. Now that’s he’s completely f*cked himself out of a total gravy train for himself (and keep in mind, in this business you need managers, agents and people to put up funds on your behalf for you to travel and play your music. if no one thinks you’ll turn up, you could be in a tight pickle.) the people he screwed over (and the line appears to go round the block) are venting a bit, and i don’t mean on the ‘net. i think people are calling saying, man, you f*cked up. Why did you f*ck it up so bad?
The stock answer from him is ‘F*ck those guys.’ but the REAL answer is, there was a point in time when all was fine. We were happy and we’d all worked together on a song. he had the choice to have something really wonderful. he had younger musicians who loved him and would do anything for him and stood by him no matter what and walked through hell for him when the band made $350 a show TOTAL. We all built that to $10,000 a show. Together, collectively. Fans got involved and we all made the great push and, just like that, with Glenn’s help and guidance, we were on tv and at festivals and Arthur was recieving awards. There was that neat little point when we could have had everything we wanted because we were a family that day. And he hugged and shook hands and you could see that creative glimmer that was missing for so long. it all should have worked out and maybe we could have gotten thru a mediocre record and then, with more of the bands’ influence, followed it up with a great album and really make LOVE a household name, not unlike Carlos Santana did with his comeback. But alas, it wasn’t to be cause, see, greed has always gotten the best of him. And if he so casually and naturally tried to rip us off, what do you think has been done in the past? It actually took me over a year to figure out that the whole ‘songwritting thing’ was a complete con. A scam no different than any other scam. And that’s sad, cause i really went to bed a few times believing Baby Lemonade would get the opportunity to make a LOVE record because, only then could anyone ever really speak of us in the same breath as the other LOVE, the original LOVE. And even then, i don;t think ANY band could compare to them. But at least we will get a chance to show what could have been cause the Love band WILL have new music out and when we say that you’ll know we aren’t conning you,
all the best,