Tuesday, April 7, 2009



From bobby jameson

This has been a brutal day of pain for me. I have fought off being enraged that a human being should have to endure this kind of brutality inside their own body. You may wonder why I am posting this particular picture which is from London in 1964? This picture is what I looked like in London in 64 but it is also what I looked like in Cleveland in 64 when I was there with a number 1 record. As you may recall I said I had shaved my head before I'd left Los Angeles in 1970. When I got to Cleveland my hair was starting to grow out and I shaved off my beard as well. As I came out of the fog of a nasty downer addiction I realized I was in Cleveland Ohio where I had once been a hit artist.

In 1970 I was nobody but a has been. As my hair grew back I tried to recapture what I once had been. I called it the Bobby Sherman look and I thought if I could look like I did when I had a hit record it would imply something other than what I feared, that it was over. I came to Cleveland with ten tons of scar tissue from the previous 6 years and the most recent of catastrophes, 3 suicides. I cannot tell my story unless I tell you what was happening below the surface to me during my time in Cleveland with Rastus. I did not stay in Ohio so there was a reason I left eventually and that's what I am working toward as I continue.

I had no plan. I was just the same Bobby Jameson who didn't know where to go or where I belonged. I'd gone to Ohio by the same means I'd gone to London in 1964. I was trying to get away from Tony Alamo in L A so I went to London. I was trying to get away from the tragedy in L A in 1970 so I went to Ohio. In both cases I was offered an opportunity to leave a place by another person without really knowing what I would encounter when I got to the new place. In the case of London in 64 it was a letter from ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM. In the case of Cleveland it was an invitation from JOHN RHYS EDDINS.

Because I wanted away from where I was I went to other places, but had no real idea or knowledge about what would or wouldn't transpire once I got to the new place. This was true in spades regarding Cleveland. I was there for nearly a year and went from fellow musician songwriter to Jim Cantale's helper in carrying and setting up the Rastus equipment before and after their gigs. There was nothing wrong with this job except it wasn't my job, it became my job as a result of time spent with Rastus in Ohio.

The part of me who was a musician, singer, songwriter was beginning to resent where and what I had become from where and what I was when I'd started some 6 years earlier. I was no longer pursuing my own destiny, but that of others with similar dreams and ambitions as mine. Over time this began to weigh on my heart and mind deep down inside myself. I rejected this reality for as long as I could, but it was only a matter of time before BOBBY JAMESON would come blasting out of his sleep and begin to assert himself on the world at large.

I lived in 3 different houses in Cleveland while I was there. The first house I posted a picture of, the second was the road manager's mother's house, the 3rd was the second Rastus band house. The getting punched in the mouth by the lead singer of the band happened at the 3rd house which is where Bobby Jameson began to fully reemerge. It was in the kitchen of the 3rd house where I'd been up all night on uppers and wrote the lyrics to "JUNKIE JESUS" which was my way of stating "Hey Man, look what I can do." I always wrote when I didn't know how to accept my lot in life whatever it may have been at any given time.

"JUNKIE JESUS" was one of those signature moments for me when I created something that I didn't think anyone but me could create. It was my way of saying "This is me goddamn it, can't you see what I can do?" As important a moment as this was for me at the time it was a wedge that I drove between me and everybody else in Ohio. It was an angry frustrated writing of power, frustration, and independence asserted by me as a marker that I was turning away from Rastus and Ohio and back towards Bobby Jameson and L A. The picture I posted here is the beginning in 1964 the lyrics to "JUNKIE JESUS" was where I was headed in 1970-71.

The fact that I cannot post a single picture of myself with anyone in Ohio in 1970 is another telling point about this episode of my life. There may be a picture of me with Rastus or with John or Jim Cantale somewhere but I don't have it and no one else has come up with one yet. I have pictures of the band, of John and Jim and even the house, but strangely absent is a single picture of me in Ohio for almost a year of my life. If you think about it that says a whole lot about me in Ohio. I don't say this to make anyone feel bad I just noticed it myself. There aren't any pictures of me there even though I was there.

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