Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2008


Our apartment was on Horn Ave at 1211, directly across the street from the Shoreham Towers where Diane Linkletter lived. Both Nancy and I became friends with her and used to say she was one of the least screwed up people we knew in Hollywood. Timmy Rooney was the other one who seemed to have his head on straight in a Town where just about everyone and everything was bent to one degree or another.

Diane used to talk to me about her father Art Linkletter quite a lot. Her main problem with him, according to Diane, was that he was always trying to control her life and who was in it. Every time she'd get involved with somebody Art would show up and give the guy money to leave and then say to Diane, "See, he just wanted money and I proved it to you by giving him some and now he's gone, see honey that's all they want from you, your money and your name". Diane would get really depressed about this and say if he would only stop and let me live my own life everything would be ok, "If he would just let me pick my own friends and have a boy friend."

As 1969 rolled along and "Working" finished being cut, there was not much hint of what label was going to release it. Bob Ross had pretty much fronted the entire cost of the recording and had also been paying me the $100 a week, ever since I'd moved over to TERESA MUSIC from SINCE MUSIC. Physically we hadn't gone anywhere different, it was just a change on paper and a matter of who signed the check. Bob wasn't rich or anything, but I guess he was comfortable at his age, even though there was still the need to get things wrapped up and signed to a label, so he could hope to recoup some or all of his investment. Bob Ross Music was a music copying service that had been in Hollywood for decades. He had a good reputation and a good business that was next door to the Vine Tower, where Steve Clark's office was, at Vine and Sunset Blvd.

Bob's business was in a old Hollywood frame house, that had been on that lot for a long time. It was the old verses the new. The little frame house and a 25 or 30 story highrise next to it. It symbolized the ever changing nature of old Hollywood and the new go getter bullshit artists, like Steve, in the new Hollywood. Where once your word was your bond, like with Bob Ross, your word now became a matter of convenience for the moment, like with Steve, who was the king of bullshit and one liners. Steve was a master of deception and always stayed one foot in front of everybody, in the end this would prove to be fatal for him.

"WORKING" was acquired by GENERAL RECORDED TAPE or GRT Records as it was called. The head cheese ball on the west coast was another murky individual named Ron Cramer, who was one of the worst record company executives I ever met. Steve and Ron worked out some sort of deal in the dark about "WORKING" and to this day I have no idea what actually transpired. I do know that on the day I found out the deal was being done, at the 9000 Building on Sunset Blvd., I raced up to West Hollywood and caught Steve just as he was leaving the building with his "bookie". I told him if he didn't pay me this time, for cutting the goddamn album, "I was gonna kill him."

Right there in broad daylight, on the steps of the 9000 building, I told him to his face, while he and Tony, the bookie, stared at me in disbelief. We all just stood there for a minute looking at each other and I said, "I'm not kidding you Steve, I'm tired of getting fucked by you and working for free!" I was not moving from my spot and Steve seemed to be confused by my direct assault on his integrity. "Well how much do you want?" he asked. I said, "A $1000 and he agreed. We went back in the building, where there was a bank, and we walked out minutes later buddies. From there, Steve, Tony, and I all went to HOLLYWOOD PARK race track together.

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