Saturday, April 11, 2009

(Part 8) Tony's Plan



Danny Whitten, Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina, Bruce Hines, (Bruce Hines not pictured) and I were seated at a table in the "Carolina Pines" coffee shop one afternoon in 1964 when Tony Alamo approached us with copies of Billboard and Cashbox magazine in hand. He dropped them in front of us saying "take a look." Not knowing what he was referring to we began looking through both publications when we stumbled on black and white quarter page ads in both mags which stated "Bobby Jameson The World's Next Phenomenon."

These words were above a black silhouette of me. The ads were identical in both publications and purposely did not show my face. All of us pretty much lost it when we saw this, and were at a total loss for words or any other response. Since all of us had pretty much decided Tony was just a lot of hot air we were forced at that moment to admit we had been wrong about him. We asked him how he had done it and frankly why since none of us had a clue that this was coming.

Tony glared at us and then looked directly at me and said "I told you I was going to make you a star." He owned me right then and there. I was his to to with as he saw fit at that point and he knew it. Tony was a master at getting to your weakest point and using it to endear himself to you. Once accomplished, he could pretty much get you to do anything he wanted, and this is how Tony set me up to follow his every command. At that point he became the most important human being on earth to me, because he was actively making my dreams come true right in front of my very eyes.

I wanted to be a star and he was making it happen. He was God, or at least he had me believing it. The following week 2 more ads ran in Billboard and Cashbox, except this time they were half page black and white ads. The words on them stated "Bobby Jameson The Star Of The Century," and again topped a black silhouette of me not showing my face. The noose around my neck tightened as once again I was mesmerized by my own addiction to seeing my name in print. Tony, ever the one to take full advantage of his own work, reminded me constantly that he and he alone would get me where I wanted to go, and I didn't question that for an instant.

It was the most powerful addiction I have ever encountered, then until now. No drug, and I have used smack, pills, cocaine, and booze, has ever had any more control over me than that did at that point in my life.


  1. Wow! I've never heard of you until today while watching Mondo Hollywood. As a Born Again Christian, I'm saddened to see that once again, an idiot, who claims Christ changed him (speaking of Tony Alamo)...yet, he personafied the same characteristics while running his cult, was the very person who started you on your way. In any event, your story is fascinating (the little I've seen of it). Thanks for your candor.

  2. That's a pernicious and little spoken of addiction -- the addiction to the promise of another person. It's the foundation for every abusive relationship.

  3. I'm interested in Danny Whitten. I live in the town he was born in, Columbus, Ga. Little do the locals know of Danny's involvement in rock history. I'm trying to enlighten them. I'm working with a local newspaper columnist on a historic marker for Danny near where he lived here as a boy. they writer was familiar with 'Everybody Knows This is Nowhere', but had no clue Danny was from here. Any thing you can tell me about Danny's musical tastes, how they complimented Neil Young, what you personally think Danny's musical strengths were, and any thing else you could tell me about your friendship with Danny would be greatly appreciated.