Saturday, April 11, 2009

(Part 28) A New Company And A New Start


I left the "Ad Lib Club" that night with a changed mind about the current crisis I was living in. Even though I'd lost my connection with Andrew Oldham it had become immediately evident that there was and would be interest by others in me as an artist in London. I felt a bit more at ease, but vowed to stay on the job until I accomplished my task which was to secure a new deal with new people. I knew "The Pretty Things" people were serious and looking back on it now, that's where I should have gone. But at that point I was so scared I think that what I thought I needed were people who appeared more prominent and that's what I went looking for until I found it, and once again it turned out to be the wrong move.

"The Pretty Things" and their people were down to earth and straight forward. I incorrectly assumed that to be a negative at the time. I don't know why, but if I'm honest about it I was just wrong about them and have always regretted it. I foolishly believed that people in suits were somehow better than ones who didn't dress up to do business. It probably had to do with the appearance of money and since I didn't have any I wanted to be around what I thought were people who did. I was very insecure and it showed itself in many different ways now that I look back on it. Be that as it may, I finally was introduced, probably at the "Ad Lib Club", to a group of English business men who all wore suits and ties and talked all that high class bullshit I was searching for.

Chris Peers and Harry, I'm sorry I can't remember his last name, but they represented a new company at the time called Brit Records which turned out to be the forerunner of Island Records, Chris Blackwell's company. They had a hit with a girl named Millie Small called "My Boy Lollipop" and were out shopping for new artists. I was looking for a new company and they were looking for a new artist it was a match made in heaven or so we thought. They agreed to take me on and pay my rent and make sure I didn't starve to death. They agreed to give me a small allowance each month so I wouldn't walk around penniless. Now when I say a small allowance that's what I really mean. Probably 60 or 70 dollars a week. I never had any money. I was about to cut my 3rd record, for a 3rd company, on two different continents, in less than a year and I still hadn't made 10 cents,
so $60 or $70 dollars a week was like a windfall to me.

I ended up moving from Belgravia, where I was first located, kind of like Beverly Hills, to Knightbridge, still nice, just not as nice. I was seeing an English girl named Judy Foote(not sure of the spelling) who's father was in the House Of Commons, kinda like the House Of Congress here, anyway PJ Proby, who was an American from Texas and a big pop star in England when I got there, introduced me to her and we kept on seeing each other over the next few months. She had a thing for "American Pop Stars" as she called them and that was her interest in me an "American Pop Star". The story of the "one glove" I wore just kept getting bigger and bigger over time until it actually became part of my public persona as it were. I had thought that it was just some stupid thing I'd done, but people liked it and wouldn't let it go, weird. After getting moved and settling in a bit I began to work on songs that I wanted to record and believed I would have a chance to redeem my credibility with the English audience, this was not necessarily to be the case.

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