Saturday, April 11, 2009

(part 1) A Day In The Life Of Bobby Jameson...I Just Liked Music, that's All



THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2007



I was born in Geneva Illinois in 1945. For the most part I grew up in Arizona and Calif. in the early fifties. I remember listening to the radio at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. I'd try and remember the words to all the songs I liked so I could sing them to myself. I didn't much care about anything else except maybe girls. They were a mystery. They always seem to pretend not to like me even though in the end I'd find out they did. I never did get that. I mean it seemed like a lot of trouble to go through considering it wasn't true anyway. Oh well, girls. Ladies. Women. It still hasn't changed all these years later.

By 1955 I was living in Tucson, Arizona and Rock N Roll was really getting going. My step father hated it, but my mom liked it. He blamed everything he didn't like about us on "that music" and "those people." Particularly the hair. He really hated the hair styles. You know, "duck tails" and the length. He used to tell us we looked like girls "always lookin at yourselves in the mirror."


                     my younger brother quentin, me, and bill in tucson, arizona

My brother and I started watching American Bandstand every day so we could see how everybody looked and danced and then we'd copy them. I remember starting to make up songs instead of learning someone else's, so I guess that was the beginning of my song writing days. My brother and I both got guitars from Sears and started learning how to play them. Nothing real elaborate, just chords, so we could play songs. I'd already worked out some doo wop tunes on my mom's piano, so adding guitars just expanded my horizons.

By 1957 my brother and I started playing at talent shows and at a place called Kal Rueben's Furniture City on Speedway Blvd., in Tucson. People seemed to like us and said we were like the Everly Brothers. This was a big building full of furniture deals and in the middle of the place was a one story pedestal, from where you could see the whole store. We had a couple of mics set up and would sing songs while people broused for furniture deals. Their kids would stand around and watch us play for an hour or so, and the store just kept having us back.

As I wrote earlier, my brother Bill and I were rock n rollers from an early age and I was convinced in about 1957 that I was destined to be a "teen idol" after watching the likes of Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry. Of course there were countless others, but I think you get the general idea of what I was inspired by. Some people liked science I liked rock n roll.

My mother and step father separated in 1958, and later divorced. It was the second failed marriage of my mother's and was a loss to me. What little adult supervision I'd had became at that point even more sparse. Like a boat without a rudder, I struggled to find my way, as did my brother Bill who, to make matters worse, suffered from mental and emotional problems. Looking back it's hard to believe that when you're living in that kind of confusion it almost gets to be normal. Of course later you can see clearly how difficult it made everything.

It wasn't all that long after my step father left that my mother moved us all to St. Johns AZ. where I was tossed into a small town environment of Mormons on one side and American Indians on the other. Man, what an unbelievable place to end up. Kinda like the deep south in the 50's. This town was split right down the middle and no one was going to give an inch. Of course my brother and I ended up on the line between the two warring parties and tilted a little bit towards the Indians. This pissed off the lily white Mormons to the bone.

We were immediate outcasts and wondered what kind of hell my mother had brought us to. She ended up marrying a Mormon named Francis Farr, who was also a quadriplegic. This town was in northern AZ west of Flagstaff and got bitter cold in the winter. We lived in an old house with no heat just a wood burning stove. You'd have to put wood in this thing the night before and then when you woke up in the morning you'd go light it and hall ass back into bed until the place warmed up enough to walk around in. No shit! It was so cold you could see your breath in the house in the morning.

(Part 2) St. Johns High School

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2007





I watched my brother get beaten in a fight in front of the entire student body of St. Johns High School. We'd played at a school assembly a couple of months earlier, for the first time, and the attitude toward us from then on was completely different. A lot of people liked it, but a lot of them hated our guts for becoming the center of attention. Some of the top guys in school now had to worry whether their girl friends had a new interest in us. Hell, we were like mini stars of a piss ant town and some of them were down right threatened by it, hence the fight.

It was just a matter of time before it happened and it happened at the school dance. My brother, who was a good fighter, got sucker punched by a football player and never had a chance. The Mormon principle of the school stood by and watched the whole thing happen and did nothing. I was beside myself screaming at him to stop it, but to no avail. The Indian kids knew what was going on, they'd seen that kind of shit all their lives. In the end it was them who picked my brother up off the ground and tried to clean him up. It was a beating, not a fight. It was a goddamned beating!

After that my brother just deteriorated mentally. Something inside him gave up and not too much later he ended up in the state mental hospital and was never the same. I vowed that from that day on no one would ever do that to me. It created a will in me that to this day I still possess. It has caused me great difficulty.

My mother moved to Mesa, the third biggest Mormon city in Arizona, to be closer to the state hospital in Phoenix where my brother Bill was. That is when she actually married Francis Farr, the Mormon in a wheel chair. That is where I learned to work like a Mexican field hand loading hay trucks in and around Phoenix in the summer when it was 120 degrees. He rarely paid me, but worked me like a dog. 18 tons of alfalfa a day. I worked with Indians, Mexicans, and poor whites. I gained their respect even though they knew I was the boss's son, because I worked harder than any of them, I had to. We unloaded box cars at night, because it was too hot to work inside them in the daytime.

I tried to prove myself to this asshole, but I never could. He made promises to me to get me to work, but he never kept one. Finally one afternoon I flipped out and blasted him with the rankest kind of language I could think up. I was 15 years old, going on 16, and had had enough. I told him I would never work for him again and from that day forward I never did.

For the next couple of years I got into trouble. I got thrown out of every school I went to and basically became a pain in the ass. It was because of this time that music, the only thing I really loved, began to appear as my only possible chance to escape the depressing conditions of my life. My mother's marriages and my brother's mental illness had taken their toll on me and at times I thought about killing myself to get away from the stark disappointment of my existence. But somehow I always managed to find a reason to keep going. I just kept thinking that music had the power to get me out of this mess. If I could just make a record, people might like it and I'd make some money and change my life.

                  artwork by bill jameson 1959 st. johns, az high school newspaper

(Part 3) They Just Laughed At Me

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2007



I didn't have many friends in Mesa, Az. as you might imagine. Let's face it, it was the early 60's like 1960 I'm talking about. John Kennedy was about to be president and the country was going to go through one of the biggest social revolutions in history, but I'm talking about the time that preceded it. The still lingering, black's didn't have the right to vote yet end of the 50's early 60's. A dark social fabric of middle america where husbands could slap their wife around and still beat their kids without being arrested. If I know anything, it was one of the root causes for the 60's social rebellion and I was part of it. The few friends I did have would laugh at me and say I was crazy when I'd try and tell them about my music. They'd look at me like I was from another planet and start to question whether they wanted to know me at all.

Because of this I didn't bring it up much until I had a few beers and got just high enough and brave enough to talk about it. They'd make fun of me and say things like, "Bobby thinks he's a rock n roll star, but he's really just an ass hole". Every now and then I'd have to fight one of these guys to keep from getting pushed around so much. Fighting was something I got better and better at as time went by. Remember, this was Mesa AZ. a town full of Mormon cowboys who went to church a lot and then drank and fought on the weekends. Very similar to the christian right in present time.

The more I had to endure this shit the more I made up my mind to get out. To get as far away from these kind of people as I could. I doubt I could have been more serious than I was and used it for motivation to succeed in doing just that. As luck would have it Francis Farr, the Mormon husband, and my mom weren't doing all that well which in the long run got her to leave Mesa and go to Glendale CA. where her brother Norm and his wife lived. God, I can't tell you what this meant to me. A glimmer of hope for the future. Away from the shit kickers and Mormon pricks who I'd learned to hate with a passion. There was a reason to hope. Something to hang on to. If I could just hold on long enough to get to California everything would get better.

I'd be closer to the magic city of Hollywood. A place where people thought and talked about the things I wanted to talk about. A place where they actually made records and movies and... My head exploded like a pumpkin being hit with a baseball bat. I had transferred myself into a dream world and clung to it like a starving animal. For the first time in a long time I felt as though there was really something to believe in. I understand looking back on it now how incredibly important it was for me to have something to dream of, live for, something to keep myself moving toward. I had to have a goal and I had found one. I knew for sure that if I could just get to California everything would be OK and I would get the chance to make my dreams come true.

(Part 4) The Slowness Of Dreams

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2007


I had no idea how long it was gonna take to get out of Mesa AZ. I guess when you're in a hurry things that take a long time take even longer. My brother Bill had gotten out of Arizona state hospital, but was never the same. Once a powerful force in my life he now appeared to have been stripped of all dignity. He was timid and unsure of himself like a dog who'd been abused too much. It was the worst thing I remember about being a kid the day I watched through the wire mesh glass on the iron door at the state hospital. Two orderly's dressed in white hauled him away like a sack of potatoes from my view.

He was altered there, too many shock treatments. It was the old days of mental hospitals much worse then now. They didn't use much care in the application of electric shock therapy back then. They just wired you up and turned on the juice and bingo you were half a vegetable. I hated my mother for doing this to him I hated her for a long time. I just couldn't understand how you allowed that to happen to someone you loved. But over time I have learned that she was a victim as well of those times. She lived in the era when women barely had rights, hell they had to have a husband just to get credit and even then it wasn't their own. So over the years I have understood more clearly how that event troubled her as well.

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Hoover High In Glendale, California

By 1962 I was enrolled as a junior at Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale California. The only persons I knew in Glendale, other than my family, was a girl I'd met and her brother who lived across the street from us. I was a fish out of water and knew it. The lingering southwestern cowboy environment I'd come from hung on like an ill fitting jacket. It was obvious to people as soon as I started talking. This became my training ground for reinventing myself lock, stock, and barrel. I learned to talk different, walk different, and look different than I had when I'd first arrived. I wanted to fit in and I was ashamed that I didn't. The last thing I wanted was for anyone to associate me with any redneck background so I dressed like a surfer.

You may be surprised to know that the first record I ever made was called "LET'S SURF" on Jolum Records in 1963. In my days at Hoover High the biggest thing going was surf music. like Dick Dale And The Deltones. Shortly thereafter it was The Beach Boys, Jan And Dean, and some Chubby Checker. Two years later I would be the opening act for all three of these artists. But in the meantime I had a lot of crap to go through.

Like every other teenager I thought I knew everything right then and there. I was just 17 years old and barely starting my life, but in my mind I had already been through the ringer. Family mental illness, failed marriages, and harsh surroundings had done their damage. Coupled with forced down your throat religion, multiple schools, towns, and fathers and I was kind of confused to say the least. Once again in my own mind music was the only thing that offered any hope to me of ever making my life any better than it had been in the past. It had been and still was the only thing I believed that I could do well.

(Part 5) The Mystery Of Hollywood

MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2007


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I started drifting over to Hollywood in 1962. Whenever I got the chance I would go. I'd ride the bus over there from Glendale or if I got lucky hitch a ride with someone. It didn't matter how I got there just as long as I got there. The place in my mind, was the ultimate turn on. It was where all the magic happened. People who actually got paid to do stuff I'd do for free. I couldn't imagine how people like that lived so I wanted to find out. I just wanted to get the chance to meet someone like that and talk to them about how they got there and what it was like to live there. Everything I did and thought was geared to ending up in that town. I belonged there I thought, and nothing was going to keep me from being there.

Looking back on it now, I can see how the power of ones thinking can actually make things happen whether in the long run they're any good for you or not. To this day, I'm not sure I had any other choices, but the ones I made in the matter. It was more than a desire with me it was my obsession. Maybe if my life had of been better and our family wasn't so screwed up things could have gone in a different direction for me. But the way it was was the way it was, and I was just using the only thing I had at the time to solve my problem. I believed that I had the power and ability to end up where I saw myself in my own mind. I had a picture so clear in my head that nothing else could penetrate. No threat of any kind could or did sway me from my path once it got started.

I had seen where I was going back in Arizona and knew then what my path was to be. Time passed and here I was, standing on Hollywood Blvd. in total awe of my surroundings. I can also see looking back now how naive I was about the town, which I now know through my own experience, can be a snake pit. I guess when you're trying to blot out bad memories from earlier times anything looks better to you than the past, so it can fool you into thinking it's OK and safe. There was nothing safe about what I was doing at the time and I always had the feeling that if my mother knew where I was she'd be angry and try to stop me. I was 17 and roaming around the streets alone. I was a sucker for a complement and my judgement about people was piss poor. You could have sold me a bill of goods about anything.

Back in Glendale I'd go to school and pretend I was like everybody else, but inside I knew I was different. I think most of the kids knew I was different too. Even though I'd become pretty popular it was all a show to hide where I'd come from. I still had that feeling of being damaged goods from the past and it drove me to over compensate in everything I did. It was like if I could just keep moving no one would ever see who I really was. The guy with the mentally ill brother and the mother who couldn't stay married which in my mind meant I was screwed up too. I was always on. Like a performance every single minute of my life. Dancing and weaving trying to keep you off guard so you wouldn't get a good look at me. It was exhausting and sooner or later I'd crash and become deeply depressed and combative.

It was those episodes that separated me from others more than anything else. Whereas something that might have been a joke when I was in a good mood was now seen by me as a reason to go to war with someone. In that mood I was not afraid of anything and because of it I nurtured that part of myself for that very reason. I didn't like being afraid and when I was I was humiliated inside and wanted to escape. So that feeling of not being afraid, that came from depression and anger, was in my mind, a friend I could depend on.

(Part 6) I Couldn't Have Done Any Better...Or Any Worse

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2007


Even though the real story of Bobby Jameson/Chris Lucey is one big controversy from the beginning I continue to encounter an attitude of "Gee, why are you complaining you're kinda famous and people are rereleasing your records?" This particular take on my life is, at best, a staggeringly myopic view of what happened and what's happening now.

It appears that people want to know the story, but are afraid that I might say something negative about the record business and some people in and around it. This is an impossible straightjacket I'm being asked to wear should I attempt to be mindful of their fears.

The factual realities of the story run the gamut between incredible to tragic and are in fact impossible to relate without some, if not a lot of negative texture. I am 62 years old and I am trying to portray, in real terms, the true history of this person which just so happens to be me.

I am not trying to get into "People Magazine". Either your interest is in facts or fantasies. If it is a fantasy story about the 60's and only how wonderful it was then I suggest you find that somewhere else. The list of my dead friends and compatriots is too long for me to sell out now and attempt to please the god awful sensitivities some seem to demand.

Bobby Jameson/Chris Lucey Nov 7, 2007

Prior to the beginning of my story in 1964 I made a single record in 1963 in Hollywood. Below are both sides of that single on Jolum Records. Let's Surf/Please Little Girl Take This Lollipop. Elliot Engber is playing "Surf" guitar on "Let's Surf."




                             




                             


(part 6-a) I Couldn't Have Done Any Better Or Any Worse

The first time I ever used pills to perform was in 1964 when Tony Alamo was flying me around the country to do live gigs that he never paid me for. He used to tell me they were for promotion, but he was getting paid for what I was doing. We were promoting my record "I'm So Lonely/I Wanna Love You" on his record label TALAMO RECORDS.

From bobby jameson


I was exhausted and he had lined up another personal appearance for me to do in Cleveland or Detroit and I told him I was too damn tired. He pulled a small bottle out of his pocket and tapped a couple of light yellow tablets into my hand and said, "Take one of these now and save one for later."

This was to be my first experience with dexedrine. I went on stage and got a standing ovation. A drug addict was born! From that time on I began depending on drugs, booze, and pot to alter my condition. Pills to get up and booze and pot to get down, like a human yo-yo on a string, with Tony always providing the demand to work and the means for me to work it.

Later I wouldn't need anyone but myself to provide what ever I needed to stay high. My demand for the adoration of the crowd and to feel like I was finally important was all I needed to supply myself with anything and everything to keep it going. It was a dual sickness that fed on itself and just got progressively worse.

I'm sure that Tony Alamo, who is now a born again christian, will never admit to his part in the beginnings of my eventual demise, but I've come to know that the world is full of Tony Alamo's. I once spoke to Tony's brother and asked why Tony didn't pay me for what I had done, because Tony was now a millionaire. His bother said, "All that stuff happened in the past and was before Tony met the Lord."

What a load of crap! The only thing Tony met was Susan, and together they created one of the worst cults anyone has ever seen in America. Alamo did this in part with money he made off of me and "I'm So Lonely/I Wanna Love You" the part I never got paid for doing, and that is what I am going to write about here.

(Part 7) Tony Alamo

MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2007






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Tony and Susan Alamo a few years after I met Tony

I met Tony in Hollywood in 1964, probably at the Carolina Pines, a local coffee shop hangout for struggling musicians, writers and actors. He was just another of the long list of "I'm gonna be somebody someday" people like myself, who scouted the streets, rumor mills, and hangouts for any info on the bizz. He owned a mail order company company called Mr. Maestro Records that sold boot legged oldies through the mail, and I always figured that's how he got by.

I don't recall exactly when it started, but when I would see him he'd say things like, "I'm gonna make you a star." I just figured he was mouthing off, but part of me wanted to believe this guy. I mean I was so hungry for fame I think I would have believed damn near anyone if they said anything good about me. That's part of the trouble with show business. People are in such need of being approved of that they trust others, who looking back at it now, shouldn't have been allowed to take out the trash.

Anyway, Tony pretty much had the magic touch when it came to bullshit, so I began inching my way closer to him, the more candy he dropped in my ears. Again, looking back on it now I guess he was practicing for the Tony And Susan Alamo Christian Foundation, which came about a couple of years later. When I knew Tony he was a pot smoking hustler from Hollywood via Montana. I was living in an apartment of his in Hollywood in 1964 when 2 Federal Postal Inspectors showed up at the door, with guns drawn, looking for him regarding an alleged mail fraud scheme concerning his mail order record business which he ran out of that address.

He must have worked it out, because it never came to anything while I knew him. It was just another example of how knowing him was like, "What's next?" He used to keep plenty of pot around so me and a few friends Danny Whitten, Bruce Hines, Billy Talbot, and Ralph Molina could stay high and work on songs. In those days everybody smoked grass so we were just glad to have it. Hell it was free. Danny, Ralph, Billy, and Bruce were guys I'd met in Hollywood when I'd first gotten there and we started living together so everybody would have a place to stay.

We lived in an apartment on Franklin Ave. near Highland and used to talk about when we would "make it" a term relating to "making it in show business." Strangely enough Billy, Ralph, and Danny went on to become the band "Crazy Horse" and Bruce was their roadie. The three of them had come from Ohio and were a doo-wop vocal group called Danny And The Memories, and they were damn good, I mean really good. And me, the scared kid from Arizona with a dream, I too went on to survive one of the strangest voyages anyone could ever imagine.

From the streets of Hollywood to London and back. From the nobody bottom to the nobody top and back again. I was still the human yo-yo on a string. Never sure of who I was, who I had been, or who I was becoming. From country to country and style to style I was Bobby Jameson the goddamned quick change artist always ready with another song, another look, and even another name.

(Part 8) Tony's Plan

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2007


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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.

(Part 9) The Billboard Ads And Tony Alamo

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2007




For the next 6 weeks the ads kept coming out. I think it was the 3rd or 4th week when Tony dropped Cashbox and just kept the ads coming in Billboard. The 3rd week was a three quarter page ad. The 4th week a full page and so on. They went from black and white to three color and then to a full color four page pullout in the 8th week. No one had ever done this before so the whole world wide music industry was watching it. People were waiting to see how far it was going to go. Each week they'd check out Billboard to see if a new and bigger ad was in it and there was. It became kind of a game that everybody was playing.








I was blown away by the whole thing. You've got to understand that I was just some punk kid from nowhere that nobody had ever heard of and all of a sudden I was the subject of a lot of the industry. No one knew where the ads were coming from or who was doing this. People would speculate that it was a major label doing it from America as a response to Beatlemania which had taken over the US along with the rest of the world. The Beatles were the phenomenon so Tony named me "The World's Next Phenomenon". I had nothing to do with it. I just stood around trying to comprehend what was happening in and to my life.


In fact for quite awhile nobody knew that I was Bobby Jameson and when they found out they basically said "Well who the hell are you?" I didn't know how to respond so Tony responded for me. At first this was great, because he wouldn't let anyone screw with me, but later I found my own voice and trouble between Tony and I soon followed. We had no contract. To this day there is no contract. We had no record. I had to go in the studio (Nashville West) on Melrose Ave. in LA and cut one. We didn't even have muscians on most of the recordings. I wrote, arranged, played, and sang everything. I basically produced 4 songs that are now the only 2 Talamo Records that exist.

MY RECORD 1964





"I'm So Lonely/I wanna Love You" and "Okey Fanokey Baby/ Meadow Green". There aren't any others, because I didn't have any other songs at the time. People think there are more secret Tony Alamo tapes of Bobby Jameson, there aren't. The 9th week Billboard ad was a black and white full page with my face shown for the first time. It also had the record listed "I'm So Lonely/I Wanna Love You" for the first time. There was no planning. Everything was done in a rush. The whole damn thing from beginning to finally having a record took 9 weeks. My whole life changed forever in 9 weeks. I went from dreaming it to being it.

I had no way of knowing what I was supposed to do next so I kept waiting for Tony to tell me and he told me. Do this, go here, go there, dress like this, act like that. Everything he told me to do I did, because I didn't know what else to do. He once looked at me and said "You are a star, you need to be convinced of that. Right now," he said, "you just want to be a star, but I'm telling you Bobby that you are already a star, now believe it and don't ever doubt it again." In the amount of time it took him to say those words to me was the amount of time it took me to accept them as the absolute truth. Bullshit or not, I was utterly changed forever by those words, you are a star. "Right!" I thought, "My name is Bobby Jameson and I am a star." I was forever doomed by that belief. Forever separated from others because of it. I have lived to regret it to this very day. Even now there is a part of me that still believes My name is Bobby Jameson and I am a star. I am also alone.

(Part 10) Me, Tony, Peter, and Gordon Gessler

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2007



Peter Caine was a good guy. He was also a photographer who got hustled by Tony into taking most of the later photos for the Billboard ad campaign. Peter ended up being my only friend and helped me finally break away from Tony and go to England, but I'm getting ahead of myself. To this day there is still an unpaid bill at Billboard for most of the ads that were run. Somewhere between $13,000 and $14,000 I believe. You see Tony either couldn't or wouldn't pay for the ads. But what he did do was find someone else to guarantee to Billboard that the account would be paid for.

In this case that someone was Gordon Gessler the son of some wealthy diamond dealers in Beverly Hills. Gordon was kind of a goofy guy with a pretty good heart and Tony used him to accomplish Tony's goal which was to get the ads in Billboard. Tony succeeded as Tony was prone to do and then had a falling out with Gordon once the goal was accomplished. I am by no means blameless in all of this, because I ended up moving in with Gordon's soon to be ex wife Lois Johnston who was 29 and I was 19, wow was she hot. Part of the star game is beautiful women and I was sure I'd made it when I moved into Lois's house in Benedict Canyon.

As the ad campaign moved forward into it's climax my record "I'm So Lonely" began getting heavy airplay throughout the mid-west and Canada and started climbing the charts in places like Detroit and Cleveland, Ohio. There was a huge 50.000 watt station in Windsor, Canada called CKLW across from Detroit where a DJ named Terry Knight took it upon himself to single handedly break my record and make it a hit, which he succeeded in doing. CKLW was heard in a wide spread area of the mid-west and the record climbed into the top 5 and I believe made it to # 1 in a number of places. Whatever, the point of this is that now I was in demand so Tony could go to work on some more people, using the record's success as leverage to bend them to his will.

First was Dick Clark at American Bandstand who Tony convinced to put me on the show. Following that, a number of other more regional music shows became willing to put me on, because Bandstand had. Tony was no fool. He knew how to use one success to accomplish another. He did a lot of things right it was just that he always managed to do something that was so outlandish and make the earlier successes almost null and void. An example of this would be, I was out touring around the country and Tony sent me with some other people to Denver, Colorado and said we were booked into the Denver Hilton and that we were expected.

So all we had to do was go there and we'd be welcomed with open arms. All of this was true. We were greeted by the hotel manager and staff and taken to a suite of rooms. About five o-clock in the morning we were awakened by security and removed from the hotel for fraud. Here's what happened. Tony had telegraphed the Denver Hilton and told them we were coming and to treat us with care, because we were important friends of, Tony signed the telegram, Conrad Hilton. Well when the manager of the hotel in Denver, who I believe was a Hilton himself, found out he had been bull-crapped by some Hollywood con man he was a little bit pissed off.

So when I say that Tony did a lot of things right, but always managed to screw it up, this is what I was talking about. These kinds of off the wall scenarios continued throughout my time with Tony and I will discuss some of them throughout these writings. As you may well imagine I had a tough time trying to understand this man who on the one hand was making my dreams come true and on the other was scaring the crap out of me by doing things like The Denver Hilton fiasco. For a long time he was able to convince me that this stuff was just a mix up and not to let it bother me. My job, he said, "Was to concentrate on the music," and he would take care of the business.

All the while Tony was continuing to smoke pot and began having episodes where he'd say, "God was talking to him and telling him to except Jesus as his Lord or die." This too was bewildering to me, because it came out of nowhere and then would vanish as if it had never happened. Tony used to say, "It was just the pot talking and that he'd just gotten too high." The real trouble for me was that whether it was the pot talking or not I began to feel uneasy with Tony's explanations for why these things kept occurring. Looking back on it now I can see that these outbursts were the beginnings of Tony's eventual conversion into some dangerous cult like form of christianity.

Part 11 I Wanna Love You/I'm So Loney Bobby Jameson 1964






(Part 12) Take The Money And Run

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2007



                                                          1964 promotional photo

My record "I'm So Lonely" was a full blown hit in Cleveland and Detroit. So naturally Tony started booking me as the guest star at some big shows. I opened for The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and Chubby Checker who at the time were all successful acts. I was never paid one penny for any of the live shows I did. Tony always told me they were just promotion and I was doing them for the exposure and to push record sales. Hell the record was in the top 5 all over the midwest why did I have to do free promotional gigs.

Of course looking back on it now I realize Tony was getting paid he just wasn't paying me. Once again I believed what Tony told me. I was 19 years old and this man had changed my life. It is far easier now to see the truth than it was back then. It was during this period of working hard that Tony first introduced me to dexedrine, which I have already mentioned. The point was to keep me going no matter what. Keep the train moving. Don't let a little thing like being exhausted get in the way.

I was flying around on airplanes and riding in limos. I barely knew what city I was in most of the time. The haze began to be my everyday life and the use of pills to get up and pot and booze to come down had become routine. Not only was I doing these live shows and not getting paid, butTony was booking me all over the country and parts of Europe with no intention of ever having me show up. He'd book me get the front money and that was that. I did not find out about this till sometime later.

One of the giveaways to this was when I was doing a live interview by telephone with a Cincinnati, Ohio radio station where people called in to talk to me. The trouble was that everybody was pissed off at me and finally I asked, "Why?" "Are you kidding me," the DJ asked, "No. Why are you people so mad at me?" The DJ said, "Because a couple of weeks ago the mayor of Cincinnati and 1100 kids waited at the airport for you in the rain with the key to the city and you never showed up."

It was like being slapped with a rope across the face. "I gotta tell you man," I said, "this is the first time I've even heard about it." there was silence for a moment at the other end of the line. "Are you telling us, because there's a lot of people listening to this show Bobby," he said, "Are you saying that right now is the first you've heard about this airport thing?" "Yes, that's what I'm saying. I didn't know anything about it or I would have been there, period. I feel awful, I don't know what else to tell you. I just wouldn't do that If I knew, I just wouldn't do that."

The interview ended and I could not believe what had just happened actually happened. What the hell was Tony doing? It was my name getting trashed, but it was Tony Alamo's plan. I began wondering how much of this was going on. If I didn't know about Cincinnati what else didn't I know? I begged Tony to get me a band to work with me on the road. I told him how hard it was just to go out on stage by myself and perform over and over again without backup. "They love you," he said, "You don't need a band. You're better when you're alone. A band would just take the focus off of you and you're the star. You don't need a band."

On and on it went. I could never get what I needed. I'd just show up and play until I started screwing up. That was a big deal! That was different! Tony had never seen me foul up while playing. It just hadn't happened, ever, until it happened. He changed his tune a bit. "Well maybe a band is not such a bad idea let me work on it." I never got a band. What Tony did was to start asking guys from other bands who were playing at the same shows to play with me. A lot of them were glad to do it and that's how it went. Tony always avoiding laying out money for anything. Always getting someone else to do the work and he collected the money.

In case the point hasn't been made enough let me be absolutely clear here. I was not paid one red cent for doing any of the things I have discussed here. "I'm So Lonely" sold a lot of records. I was told by the distributor in Detroit that the only record that he'd seen do better was Del Shannon's "Run Away". I am not saying "I'm So Lonely" was a mega hit, I'm saying it sold a lot of records. There were other people who did more shows than I did, but I imagine they were paid something at least I hope so. But I am still of the belief that Tony Alamo owes me money for what I did. Do I believe I will ever get it? No! I know Tony too well.

(Part 13) The Tale Of Two Cities

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2007



I am doing my best to write factually about the events in the life of Bobby Jameson. There has been and continues to be enormous contradictions regarding what Tony Alamo has said about these events and what Bobby Jameson's (my) position is. There is widespread interest it appears from followers and ex-followers of Tony Alamo.

Some will not believe what is said here, because they won't ever believe anyone but Tony. Others will want to believe what is written here simply because anything that negatively portrays Tony Alamo fits into their way of thinking. I am not interested in either side's position. I have my own side to represent and it can only be represented honestly with facts known only to Bobby Jameson and Tony Alamo.

In the end there will be two different versions of the same events as described by the two individuals who were originally involved. While Tony has spent decades representing his version of these events it is only after 43 years that Bobby Jameson's side of this story comes to light.

Tony Alamo made millions of dollars with his brand of honesty and hurt countless human beings in the process. Bobby Jameson made nothing and has struggled for over 4 decades to make ends meet, while obtaining and maintaining 31 years of sobriety. It is only because of the internet's creation and growth that this opportunity to tell his (my) story became possible. Prior to the internet Bobby jameson was no more than an obscure fact of history.

Part 14 Tony Sent Me...I Went

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2007


Toward the end of me being Tony's boy I was flown alone to a city I believe on the east coast. It could have been New Jersey or New york, but frankly I'm not sure. As much as I was moving around It could have been anywhere. The plane landed and I was met by a limo. The driver had been directed to take me to a lower middle class home in the suburban part of whatever city I was in. I had zero information about what was transpiring, but didn't think it was any different than what I'd been doing until we pulled up to a small house on a residential street.

There were a lot of people out in the street and on the sidewalks and in yards. The whole area was loaded with cops and a bunch of press. Flash bulbs were going off and police were trying to keep some kind of order as the crowd moved in on the limo. I asked the limo driver where the hell we were and what was going on, because this obviously was completely different than anything I'd expected. He could only say that he had been directed to pick me up at the airport and bring me to this address and that was all he knew.

At this point someone was tapping on the window and motioning for me to get out of the car. Without knowing what to expect I reluctantly did so. I was greeted by a number of very official looking people in suits who appeared to be very happy to see me which was somewhat of a relief. "Hi Bobby," came a voice from one of the greeters, "very glad to see you and thank you so much for coming. This will mean everything to the parents." Now I was really confused. What parents? What was this guy talking about? I was completely in the dark and tried unsuccessfully to obtain some info as to what the hell was going on.

"Bobby this is his honor the mayor," of wherever we were, "and he has been looking forward to meeting you personally." I reached out and shook his hand and could barely make out what he said to me. The crowd had begun to push it's way closer to us and I was keeping one eye on them and the other on all my new buddies. I'd been in crowds before that just all of a sudden got out of control, so I was none too comfortable being out in the middle of the street with these guys. A helicopter kept flying in circles above us making a hell of a lot of noise and this just added to my anxiety.

At last we made it to the house and in the front door where even more people were waiting. They were all trying to thank me at once for coming and I was just getting more and more uncomfortable and kind of angry, because no one was bothering to fill me in on any of what they all seemed to know about why I was there. Everybody was trying to touch me and shake my hand as I was escorted down the narrow hallway of this small house. We got to the doorway of a back bedroom and all of the noise around me suddenly grew quiet as I entered the room. Inside were more people and what appeared to be the parents of a sick boy who was lying on his back on a hospital bed in the very center of the room.

There was a priest and a couple of nuns or sisters holding what looked like rosary beads and they were all staring at me with a look that I find difficult to explain. Kind of like OK do something. I just stood there looking back at them not knowing what they wanted from me. I heard a voice begin to talk and it was the mother of the sick boy telling him that I was there in his bedroom. I looked over at the kid who had not moved a muscle since I'd arrived. The soft voice of his mother seemed to awaken him to the fact that I was in his room standing by his bed. He turned his head toward me and asked, "Are you Bobby Jameson?" "Yes," I said, "I'm Bobby Jameson."

All of a sudden out of nowhere this kid sits straight up in bed as if some invisible chord had yanked him upright. I was somewhat startled by this, because he had not moved at all since I'd arrived. His mother started speaking again telling him I was there to autograph his copy of "I'm So Lonely." God I thought! Why didn't someone just tell me that that was why I was here to autograph this sick kids record. For a moment I was relieved that I now knew what the big fuss had been about. But then the kid got even more animated and stood up on his bed and as he did there was kind of a gasp from those in the room.

He began jumping up and down on the bed yelling "Bobby Jameson's here, Bobby Jameson's here." I just stared at the kid jumping up and down not knowing what I should do at that moment and feeling extremely awkward and wanting to leave. Simultaneously the parents and a few others burst into tears and fell to their knees muttering words of thanks and I'm not really sure. I quickly signed the record and began my retreat to the door leaving them behind me and heard them still crying as I went. I did not stop or speak to anyone on my way out of that house. If they spoke to me I didn't hear them. I heard nothing. I was angry and confused that I had been brought there without being made aware of the circumstances.

I hit the street and again I spoke to no one. I saw the limo driver and motioned to him that I wanted in the car and out of this place now. He seemed to know exactly what I was thinking and opened the door to the limo which was still parked in the middle of the street. He drove me straight to the airport and on the way I learned from him the circumstances of the boy which he had learned from talking to people outside the house while waiting for me.

The kid was gravely ill and not expected to live and had not walked for 6 months until I showed up in his bedroom. I did not want to hear anymore and closed myself off to the world as we drove on to the airport. Before I knew it I was back on the airplane and was headed to, God I didn't know. I didn't know anything except that I was ready to tear Tony's head off for sending me there at all. Why in god's name did he send me there? And why didn't he tell me about the sick kid? What was he going to do next and how was I supposed to be ready for it whatever it was going to be? I didn't know the answer to that and it scared me. I had a terrible sense of uneasiness about Tony and I knew that I would not go on forever doing what he told me to do.


(Part 15) Each Time I Hear The Name Tony Alamo

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2007



There is no explanation for this story. There is no hidden meaning. It was just one more confusing day in my life with Tony. The reason I posted this is, because for 43 years I have not forgotten it. Like a mental tattoo it is just there in my mind brought to life each time I hear the name Tony Alamo. I still do not know why he sent me there.

I was promoting a record and then out of nowhere this turned up. It is of primary importance to me in that it preceded the eventual collapse of my relationship with Tony Alamo. This episode signaled to me in the deepest way possible that Tony was thinking in completely different terms than I was. He now appeared to be using me for some other purpose of his which I could only guess about, based on what I knew.

The ill child and my unwitting part in it caught me completely off guard and placed me in a no win battle with myself. What did it mean? I didn't and still don't know, but I know it meant something to Tony. It caused me to change in some final way my entire view of what I was doing with him. I began questioning deeply whether I should continue to do anything with this man who had single handedly put me in the life I was living.

This kind of cross purposes split me in half and left me with two completely different options to choose from. A crossroad! What was I going to do? How at 19 years old was I supposed to figure this damn mess out. Part of me still needed Tony and part of me was sure I had to get away from him before more weird things occurred. I knew for sure that Tony had been on some sort of God trip, but now I had to consider what that really meant.

I had been kind of ignoring it as best I could hoping that it was just some trip he got on when he smoked pot. But in light of the kid in the bedroom incident I began looking closer a lot closer at Tony's ranting about God. There had been spooky overtones about religion in that house and I had felt like a captured rat in that room with the priest and people falling to their knees. Hell I could have easily just assumed that the kid was excited to see me and was jumping up and down on an adrenaline rush. But those people seemed to take it to the next level whatever that was. They appeared to me to be assigning some greater meaning to it all. Anyway, that's why I pretty much just ran out of the place and didn't talk to anyone. I did not want to discuss what had happened. I was 19. I was a damn pop star not anything else. I was still that kid from nowhere who wanted to be famous.

(Part 16) The Tide Turned

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2007


After the sick kid incident I rebelled against anymore of Tony's I'm in charge of everything without question. I began to openly disagree with Tony's ideas regarding my future. For example. I refused to let him book me into shows unless I got a band which I never did. I flat out refused to go and told him if he booked me I wouldn't show up. I brought up the long list of odd things he had done and confronted him for the first time. I had changed since he first met me from the hungry little kid to a more seasoned performer who'd been out on the road a bit and had learned a few things.

I asserted myself and my position and Tony didn't like it. The fear of being disapproved of by Tony which had always been the case, began to crumble in the wake of my new found willingness to stand my own ground and claim my own selfhood. Tony's iron clad power over me had shifted to a we better work together or else. Or else what? Therein was the dilemma. Tony's position had always been, "I made Bobby Jameson." He believed, or at least he claimed to believe that without him I never would have gotten off the ground and in large part that's true. But then I became me and when that happened I reclaimed myself from Tony.

My new position had become, "Yeah you probably did make me Tony, but now that it's happened I am not the same willing little kid you could control with promises like before." It was a Mexican standoff and Tony knew it. Hell there was no way he could force me to do anything. It wasn't like he could refuse to pay me if I didn't go, because he wasn't paying me anyway. Everything he could have used for leverage didn't exist. You can't take away something if you never provided it in the first place. Tony had played himself into a corner with his own greed and lack of real fairness. So when it came time to use his chits he didn't have any and I damn well knew it.



(If you are reading this and have no real sense of a timeline, let me clarify briefly. Most of what I have discussed here only took about 6 months to occur. The beginning middle and eventual end to Tony and me was like a ride on a rocket ship in that it started and my life was forever changed in 9 weeks and then for 4 or 5 more months to a bizarre conclusion. Everything that occurred between us went extremely fast. No real plan at all. No time to consider anything before it was done. So in essence mistakes were common place.)

As I was saying, Tony was completely aware that the power he had had over me was now different. He could not command me like a dog any more without fear of getting bitten. He looked for new ways to gain control and one of them was a live performance in Los Angeles which I had never done other than American Bandstand and a few other local television music shows like Ninth Street West and Lloyd Thaxton. I knew that I would be performing by myself again, but Tony convinced me it was the last time I'd have to do it so I agreed.

He booked the old Ciro's night club on the Sunset Strip and put up a 35 foot black silhouette of me on the roof which said, "Bobby Jameson Here! One Day Only." I don't know how many people Ciro's (now the comedy store) holds, but it was full on the day I played there. It was invitation only and I did my job well. I played by myself for those people with my guitar and amplifier and a microphone. No band just me and I was good. That was the last time I ever went on stage alone again. It seemed to be a moment in time that just got stuck and hasn't moved since that day.

After I played I vaguely remember talking to people. I couldn't tell you who was there, but I remember leaving pretty quickly afterwards. I knew Tony would be making use of my work and make promises to people about my availability to perform somewhere. I knew he would get money in front from some of them and I knew too that he never intended for me to show up. He just made money by promising things, but the promises were only used to get the money. It was a quirk I discovered about him. He could have made so much more if he had done it right, but he seemed doomed to an addiction of always pulling something off on people. Like that was the point, when in fact that was the smallness of Tony.



 


He had big powerful ideas, but he always went for the chicken shit payoff. He had been offered a deal by just about every major record company there was for me, but he wouldn't take it. He wanted to be Col. Tom Parker who represented Elvis Presley. He wanted to be a big shot. The tragedy was that he damn near made it, but figured out a way to screw it up at the last minute. That was and I would guess still is Tony Alamo. It is easy for me to see this in Tony, because I have seen it in myself. Always getting so close to the dream coming true and then at the last minute doing something insane or just plain stupid to screw it up always with the tag they or he or something made me fail. This is classic alcoholic thinking I know because I am an alcoholic and I believe that Tony Alamo is too.

(Part 17) If You're Sure You See, You Can't See

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2007

(For the followers and ex-followers of Tony Alamo)

It would be wise to understand if you are a reader of this, to read only the words I am writing and try to grasp the simple meaning. I have waited 43 years to relay this story which altered my life forever and was a central cause in my radical behavior that followed my split from Tony Alamo.

I by no means am the only one who suffered from things done by Tony, but this is my story and the followers of the Alamo's did not materialize till well after these occurrences. It is too easy to read into this what you want to believe. I am going to great lengths to accurately lay out what transpired. I make no other claims than the ones I write.

There will be no hidden intentions to imply anything not stated clearly by me as I write this. There will be things that I say which will be difficult at best to grasp without supposing that something has been implied by the mere reporting of my recollections.

I realize there is great interest, by some, in the office meeting spoken of in the past by Tony Alamo. I have already said that there were only 3 people in that office. Tony, me, and an investor. There was no press, no movie stars, no nothing other than the three of us. My version of this precise moment in time will be so far removed from what has been stated by Tony that once you read it you might not be so glad to have to try and explain it to yourselves and each other.

Try and remember that I had to live with this moment which was not easy from then until now. It was the day that changed my life forever and caused me to reject outright anything and everything that came out of Tony Alamo's mouth from that day until now. What I did after that day probably only occurred, because of that day. I have been left to wonder for over 40 years what might of happened to me if that day had never happened.

(Part 18) The Office, The Meeting, The End

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2007


Tony's position was always "Let me do the dirty work and the business." He kept me away from everything by playing to my one true weakness, which was, "you are the star. You are untouchable. I'll deal with these people, because I know how they think and what they want." I pretty much went along with that, believing I was a star. He never told me anything about what he was doing when I wasn't around and I was too inexperienced at the time to demand that kind of cooperation from him. It was Tony and me for sure, but with Tony always taking the lead when it came to deals and money. But the day came, when one of Tony's deals required my willing participation with him to accomplish it.

Tony set up a meeting in Beverly Hills with an investor and he told me I had to go with him and meet the guy. I agreed to go not suspecting that my entire world would be turned upside down by the end of that particular day. Prior to the actual meeting I have no recollection of how I even got there. I don't remember whether I went with Tony or met him there. I recall vividly being with Tony as we entered the building where the meeting took place. It was on a corner, south of Wilshire Blvd., but I don't recall the exact streets. No one was with us when we went into the office and no one, but the person we were meeting was there when we met.

The three of us were the only ones in the meeting. The man was kind of short, a little overweight, and balding. He was friendly and smoking a cigar. He appeared to be jewish, and I don't mean this in a belittling way, he just appeared to be a jewish guy from Beverly Hills pretty typical. His office was pleasant but not lavish. It was one large room, maybe 40 by 25 feet. At the far end of the room was a desk and chair where the man sat down and faced us. I don't remember if the Billboard ads were up on the wall, but it's possible.

I stayed at the opposite end of the room and sat in a chair a few feet from where we came in. I didn't know what to do so I just sat there trying to look like a star. Tony stood in the middle of the room between the man's desk and my chair. I don't recall what was said, because Tony and the guy were talking back and forth for a while. During this exchange Tony took a particular stance in the middle of the room which is hard to explain without sounding like I'm joking, which I'm not, but it kind of looked like a bad impersonation of Elvis Presley.

Tony stretched out one arm and pointed at me and uttered out loud "That is Jesus Christ and if you, now pointing his other arm and finger at the guy do not give him $50,000 he will point his finger at you and you will die!" I looked over at the man just in time to see that his face looked frozen. His jaw fell open and his cigar just kind of rolled out of his mouth onto his desk. Other than that he didn't move a muscle, but stared at Tony in disbelief who was still standing with his arms stretched out in the middle of the room. I could not believe what was happening. I had no way of knowing this was coming and had no way of dealing with it now that it was there.

I remember staring at the floor trying to decide what to do. I just stood up, didn't say anything and walked out the door as fast as I could. I reached the sidewalk and kind of walked around in little circles hoping that Tony would come out and tell me it was all a joke and that everything was OK. In a few minutes Tony did come out the door and down the steps toward me. "Why did you say that Tony," I pleaded, and stood waiting for some rational explanation to what I had just witnessed. "Because it's the truth," he said, looking right at me. I stared at him in a second wave of disbelief and was devastated by his response, knowing fully at that moment my world had just ended, "No it isn't Tony, no it isn't."

(Part 19) Now What Do I Do

originally from december 2007 bobby jameson blog








Andrew Oldham

I'd already received a letter from Andrew Loog Oldham in England who was the producer of The Rolling Stones at that time in 1964, but I hadn't responded to it until after the last incident with Alamo. I'd grown wary of Tony over time, but now I was afraid of him. I thought he'd completely flipped out after what he'd said in the office and to me afterwards on the sidewalk outside. As I mentioned earlier, Peter Caine was the photographer on most of the later pictures used in Billboard. He had also become my close personal friend and I relied on him heavily, once I knew I had to get away from Tony.

The letter from England was an offer by Oldham of sorts that basically stated "If you ever get to London I'd be interested in working with you." My previous disregard to his invitation now looked like my chance to leave America and get as far away from Tony as I could. I believed and still do, that had I stayed, Tony would have tried and possibly succeeded in conning me into believing everything could be worked out and we could go on. I didn't want to stick around and find out so I implored Peter to find someway to get me to England.

I had no idea what to expect from Tony once he knew I wasn't going to talk to him. I avoided all contact with him and kept a constant eye out for him. I new Tony believed his golden egg was being stolen from him and he wasn't about to let that happen. His position was that I was his property, because he had made me into something of value, but after the office trip I was convinced that he was capable of just about anything. I had no money, but I was still living with Lois, the ex wife of Gordon Gessler, the guy Tony had conned into backing the Billboard campaign.

My life was like a hurricane and the only way to live in it was in the calm of the eye of the storm. Everything outside of that was madness. This meant that all my energy was directed at one goal. Get out of here, before something really bad happens. Tony had no contract with me another flaw in his thinking so he couldn't legally force me to do anything. This is why I was able to walk away from him in 1964 and there wasn't anything he could do about it. He had never paid me as I've stated so I wasn't suddenly going to be without money hell I never had any to begin with, again another flaw in the character of Tony Alamo.No leverage! He always managed to chase people away without having some sort of leverage to get them back.

As the weeks went by I kept hearing things about how Tony was not going to let people steal me away from him now that I was the star he'd made. The constant reports of these kinds of things just kept me on edge and I in return put pressure on everyone around me to get me the hell out of L A and away from this crazy bastard.

(Part 20) London...A Town Without Pity

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2007



Peter Caine finally came up with a guy named Lee Karsian who worked at Ashley Famous Artists. Lee was extremely interested in becoming involved and had contacts in London who he notified about the Andrew Loog Oldham offer. Once the people in London were satisfied the letter I had received was indeed legitimate they agreed to finance me coming to London. They arranged pretty much everything and I assume, because I have never known that they were in for some sort of a piece of the action believing it was a sure fire arrangement with a substantial benefit for them in the long run.

Once again, no one ever brought me a contract to sign or told me any of the details of the arrangement to get me to England. Honestly I never asked, because I just wanted away from Tony Alamo. It wasn't important to me at the time how I got there it was that I got out of California and as far from Tony as I could. That's why I went to England. Most people thought, and I guess still think, that it was a big opportunity for me to go there and record with Mick Jagger. But what they don't know, is that by me going to England at that time I killed my career in America.

My record "I'm So Lonely" was left to die when I vanished and I do mean vanished. No one knew where I went except the small number of people who were involved with getting me there. It wasn't until I released a record in England that anyone really knew what had happened to me possibly no one cared one way or another except for Tony. Peter Caine, Lee Karsian, and I borded a Plane at LAX and my life changed again. It was still the year 1964 and I had already gone from no one to someone and now I was on my way to England to do something I had never intended to do. It would have been one thing to go there, because my record was doing well, but that was not the case. I was basically starting from scratch in a foreign country and had no idea of what to expect when I got there.

I barely knew Lee and Peter kept assuring me that it would all be OK when I got to London and met Andrew Oldham. I remember it took a long time to fly to England a lot longer than I'd imagined. It was the middle of the night and I stared out the window at the lights on the wing and listened to the engines hum out over the Atlantic Ocean. It was an eery feeling being up there at 19 wondering how it was going to turn out. I thought about Tony and all that we had done together and wished he hadn't screwed it all up. I felt kind of scared and alone, but I was glad that Peter was with me, because I knew he wasn't going to let anything get out of hand along as he was there to keep an eye on things. He and Lee seemed to hit it off from the start and that made things run pretty smooth.

We started the landing approach and I gazed out the window at the yellow lights all over. Lee said that they used yellow lights, because of the fog in London and I said, "Oh yeah, the London fog. I remember that. They gotta lot of fog in England." I was like a tourist making comments. We were met at the airport by some people and there were no crowds and no cameras. Just a few of Lee's associates and a driver who took us in to Knightsbridge I believe and dumped us at what I remember as being an Inn or Bed And Breakfast kind of a place. It was dark, damp, and cold and everything looked old and tired. I wasn't too sure what I'd gotten myself into, but it was a long way from California and Tony Alamo and that made it tolerable.

The next day was like coming to, after a bad drunk. All that time on the airplane and the times were all changed around so I started off confused and stayed that way for quite a while. I knew I was going to meet Andrew Oldham and I didn't feel to good. The jet lag and different surrounding played havoc with my brain, but I used what I'd learned on the road and just moved forward through the day. Peter and Lee weren't doing that much better and I think that helped, because we started joking about how screwed up we all were and got a good laugh out of it.

(Part 21) London Bridge Is Falling?

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2007


Andrew Oldham

The day was grey and drizzling. I remember it being like that most of the time I was in England, just cold and damp. For a kid from Southern California and Arizona it was a big change and it colored everything I did there whether I knew it or not at the time. Peter, Lee and I ventured out into London in one of those famous black cabs that forever roam the streets there. We did a little sight seeing and tried our hand at English food which was a shock in itself. I finally learned about Whimpy Burgers, but not soon enough.

This was not like the US where you could always find some place that had something you liked. It was a whole new ball game and most of the time a poor experience. I don't remember exactly where we were when it happened maybe Picadilly Circus or something, but a brand new 1964 Chevrolet pulled up and everybody on the street stopped to stare at it. They were gawking at it like it was the rarest thing they'd ever seen. While they stared at the car we stared at them.

It seemed to me that who ever was driving just parked it damn near in the middle of the street and got out. He was a young guy maybe early 20's when all of a sudden I heard. "Bobby, Bobby Jameson is that you Mate?" I figured out quickly it was Andrew Oldham. "Yeah it's me you must be Andrew." I said, "what an accent," he replied. That was something I had to get used to. Every where I went people would comment on my accent which was really strange at first. "I didn't have an accent they did," I thought.

"Ok, well let's get you out of the road so we can get properly acquainted," said Andrew. We all piled in the Chevy and he headed out into to traffic. Everything was going the wrong way and it was just something else to get used to. "Where'd you get this Chevrolet Andrew?" I asked, "I'd of thought you'd be driving a Rolls Royce or something?" He said he used to have a British sedan, but then he got the Chevy and it was like nothing he'd ever imagined. "People go wild," he said, "Everywhere I go." Man did he like that car. I watched out the window at London zipping by while Peter and Lee talked to Andrew about the schedule and what to expect in the next few days.

I was tired from the long flight and my sense of direction was nonexistent. I couldn't figure out where we were or where we were going. It always seemed like we were moving in circles. Andrew dropped us off at our hotel after an hour or so and we watched as the Chevy Belair drove out of sight. "Man he likes that car," we all said. and laughed as we went inside. Andrew was a tall lanky guy with longish curly hair and glasses. He looked like kind of a geek, but handled himself well and had an air of self assuredness about him that made you think he was on top of things.

From bobby jameson


He didn't hesitate when he spoke and had no shortage of opinions about everything. After the first meeting we all pretty much decided we liked him from what we had seen and we began to look forward to the coming events and meeting Mick Jagger. The jet lag was killing everyone so we thought we'd try and go to bed early and get ready for the next day. The trouble with that kind of jet lag is you're tired as hell, but your body won't go to sleep. This ended up in the long run as a major problem for me.

(Part 20) Shrimpton, Jameson, And Jagger

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2008


Jagger and Shrimpton

Meeting Mick Jagger was the agenda for the day. I was still wiped out by jet lag, but I pushed it aside as we rode the London taxi to our destination. It looked like an old warehouse when we got there, but then everything in England was old looking to me. I was used to California where something new popped up every day so London was an experience everywhere I went. Lee paid the cab and we found a doorway that appeared to be the way in as had been the instructions we were given for finding the place.

Peter, Lee and I walked inside and started guessing at how we were supposed to find anyone and finally reached a point in a hall that was blocked off by a metal fence of sorts with a gate or door for entering. Seated at a small wooden table on a chair was a very attractive girl with a notebook and a pencil, I guess taking names of visitors. It was Chrissy Shrimpton, Jaggers girl friend. She was the first one to greet us. "Hi," I said, "I'm Bob," "Bobby Jameson from America," she said, looking right at me. "We've been expecting you. My name is Chrissy." "Ah, well yeah, hello! This is Peter Caine and Lee Karsian and they came with me to England and." I felt like such a jerk.

I was mumbling and stumbling like some kind of dork. "Andrew's in the studio finishing up something, but he shouldn't be long. Would you like some tea or coffee?" she asked. We all gladly excepted are preferences. After she left we all looked at each other and Peter said, "God is she good looking." "Yeah," I said, "I think she's Jagger's girl friend. She's really pretty." I lit up a cigarette and dragged on it trying to look calm, but inside my nerves were on edge and the anticipation of what was coming next was beating my head in.

After a few minutes Shrimpton returned with a couple of cups and left to retrieve more. When she came back the second time Mick was with her. I stared at him for a moment trying to make sure it was him and just blurted out, "Hi Mick!" I reached my hand out and started walking toward him to shake his hand. Peter and Lee straightened up as if to appear at attention as Mick and I shook hands. Strangely enough he was really low key and kind of bashful it seemed. It surprised me, because the only picture I had in my head of him was The Rolling Stones playing "NOT FADE AWAY" with Micks vocal. So a low key Mick Jagger in person was pretty different than what I had expected.

After I introduced Peter and Lee Mick and I kind of moved off to the side to size one another up. After asking about our flight Mick moved directly to the subject of America where he'd never been with The Stones. He wanted to know as much as I could tell him in the short amount of time we would have to talk together. He asked about The Beatles and said, "They're really huge over there aren't they?" "Yeah," I said, "but you guys are just about as big." Then the strangest thing happened. Mick said, "No way man, no way." I said, "No, really Mick The Stones are just about as big there as The Beatles are."

He just stared at me as if he were trying to figure out whether I was bullshitting him or not. "You're having me on mate," he said smiling, "you're just having me on." I figured it was and English version of "you're putting me on." "No, I'm not," I insisted, "I'm telling you the truth." He now seemed to know I was telling him what I really believed. "Look," I said, "When I was in Cleveland, that's a big city in the US." I didn't know if he knew that or not, "they were running a contest on the biggest radio station there to see who was more popular The Rolling Stones or The Beatles and it was pretty much of a tie," I told him, "You guys are really big in America. Like it's The Beatles and you guys."

He just stared at me. He just seemed to be waiting for the punch line that never came. He could not believe what I was telling him, but then again he couldn't not believe it. I'll never forget how surprised I was to find out that day that he really didn't know at that time how incredibly huge The Rolling Stones were in America. The look on his face when I first told him will stay with me forever.

(Part 23) Me, Mick, And Andrew In The Studio

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 2008



After sometime everybody ended up in the studio with Andrew. I had not heard anything up until then about what he wanted to work on with me and it was a burning question in my mind. For a couple of months, before ever coming to England I'd wondered about what we would do and now was the time! I was about to be told what Andrew's ideas were and what my part in it would be. He said he was going to play me a track that he'd already recorded called "All I Want Is My Baby".

He signaled the engineer to roll the tape and I listened intently to what came out of the speakers. It sounded a bit like a Phil Spector track, but not as well organized. In the middle of the song was a guitar solo on fuzz tone that at that time was pretty off the wall. You gotta remember this was before Jimmy Hendrix and the feed back guitars of a year or so later. I liked the guitar thing, but the song didn't sound like anything remotely close to what I did. The tape came to an end and Andrew and Mick looked at me in anticipation of my reaction.

"Well whatta you think Bobby, is that fucking great or what man?" asked Andrew. I was stuck. I didn't want to say the wrong thing, but I didn't want to be forced to lie about my opinion either. "Yeah, well that's pretty cool Andrew and I really like that guitar part, but I don't know if it's my kind of song I mean something that I'd do." There was an uncomfortable moment. "Well let me play it again and show you how the vocals supposed to go so you can get a better idea of what I want." said Andrew. "Ok." I said reluctantly. I felt the world shifting again and I didn't know what to do except go along with him. I eyed Peter and Lee to look for support, but they seemed unaware of my growing discomfort with the song.

Andrew again signaled for the tape to roll and the song boomed out again through the studio. Andrew had the lyrics and started singing them for me and Mick was filling in with back up chorus stuff. It was quite a spectacle. I tried hard to concentrate on what Andrew wanted and eyed the lyric sheet trying to sing what he was singing. I felt like shit inside and that old "I don't want to do this" part of me was kicking my ass. I just kept baring down on the work in front of me trying to latch on to the feel of the song, but it was no good.

I waved at Andrew to stop the tape so I could talk to him and the studio went quiet. "What's wrong Bobby?" he asked, "Look Andrew," I said, "I don't think this is my kinda song. Can't I play you a couple of things I wrote so you can get an idea of how I sing?" He looked at me and said, "No. I'm not interested in hearing your songs right now. I need you to concentrate on this song and get the vocal right, because I know you can." He'd said no and challenged me at the same time. He was trying to get me to go along with him so I said, "Ok play it again." The song played over and over and over. It got better, but I never thought it was much good. My vocals were just disconnected. I was jet lagged and miserable. I was ready to walk out, but stayed.

Andrew suggested cutting my vocal with the track so I could get a better idea of what it sounded like by hearing it. I agreed and we pushed on. At one point Mick and Andrew teamed up on background vocals as I sang the lead. After hours of working Andrew finally said that was enough. What a relief I thought, I felt exhausted. Andrew seemed pleased about what we had done, but I was not. We had also worked on the b side for a while just to change the pace. The song was Mick's and was called "Each And Every Day" and was easier to learn and sing than "All I Want Is My Baby" which Keith Richards had written.

As we gathered our stuff together I shook everybody's hand and told Andrew that I was starting to get it and with a little more work we could probably record it. He smiled and agreed and I felt somewhat better as Peter, Lee, and I departed. I don't remember if I ever talked to Andrew again after that day, but the rough track I was told was just for rehearsal was released on Decca records, as is, with a whole crap load of publicity and there was nothing I could do about it.