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The Musician... see you among the stars

Chapter 38 - Eddy and Chris

Eddie Rivera

Chapter 38 - Eddy and Chris

Juan Colon, when I asked him if he would take me to meet Eddy Rivera said no problem. After AMA was over we went to Eddy place which was about 10 blocks south of AMA. We went inside and it was top notch. Juan then introduced me to Eddy Rivera and his partner Chris Ross. Juan told Eddy, Eddy, I want you to meet a very talented musician/producer, Chuck Harris. Eddy said that it was nice to meet you. Juan then told Eddy, He has a female artist and he would like to attend your Artist Night every week. Eddy said fine. Then I was introduced to Eddy´s other half Chris Ross. Chris was a very friendly, slightly older black man with a very charming personality. Chris welcomes me very much. The place was packed.

Eddie Rivera (DJ and record pool founder) Eddie is the founder of the International Disco Record Center (IDRC) record pool in New York. It appears that Eddy had the biggest and famous DJ record-pool in New York City. A record-pool is a place where the DJ´s of the local clubs in New York get there free records from the labels. It actually isn´t really free. They must prove they are working DJ´s and they have to pay a membership fee of $75.00 every two months for administration. Then all the new releases of records arrive to Eddy´s place and he distributes them to the DJ´s. Every Monday night, Eddy holds an artist night where record labels introduce their new artists to the DJ´s. The artists perform their records. This Monday night event attracted many label execs, many artists, many DJ´s, producers, writers and everyone involved in the music business. Mostly everyone there was very important in the music business. It was the place to be. However, It was closed to the average person and you needed to know someone to get in.

After a couple of weeks attending Eddy´s place, I became a good friend with everyone. Then Eddy lost his lease to his place. He had found a gigantic loft for rent downtown. I tag along to see the place and offered my help. I was gladly received in my offer. So I along with many of the guys who worked there all helped move the massive amount of stuff to the new loft. It took two days and I was there promptly. I then made good friends with Eddy and Chris. It appeared that Eddy was gay and didn´t hide it. This I liked very much. I hate when a gay person make-believe that he is not gay. Therefore, Eddy gained my full respect. After Eddy had completely moved in to his new loft, I would drop by every night I was driving a Yellow Taxi. They knew that I drove a taxi and they never objected to me for dropping by unexpected. This was very good for me. It gave me the opportunity to get very close to Eddy and Chris. After awhile of doing this, they were glad to see me, because I only stayed for a short time. I eventually became one of the boys.

I especially became a close friend with Chris Ross. I gave him a ride home almost every night I drove a cab. Eddy´s place was on 14th Street and 9th Ave. Chris lived on 72nd and Broadway. We would discuss many things on the ride to Chris´s place. I told Chris that my record was ready to roll for the radio station. Chris then gave me this inside magazine called, Black Radio Weekly. It contained all the addresses and names of the program directors of all the black radio stations in the country. This was great and I thanked Chris tremendously. He told me that he liked me very much and that he wanted to see me make it. He told me that he would do anything for me to make it. What a wonderful guy.

Eddy however, was not like that. Eddy was a wonderful guy, but he was very careful not to give out contacts or information. He had a big personal ego. He was very well known in the record business and all the labels honored him. Eddy could, if he wanted to, get you a deal. This I knew from the many important people he knew and the many gold records he had all over his walls. He received these gold records from helping these top artists in one way or another. Although I had a great personal relationship with Eddy, he was never eager to help like Chris. I was hoping someday for Eddy, who had the main word and say in things, to somehow help me. Anyway, I knew I was in the right place with Eddy Rivera and Chris Ross.

With the black radio magazine and all the address, I began typing the mailing labels. I bought a $200.00 type writer wit memory and it took me three long weeks to type the 300 labels. Then I had to put the labels on the cartons and wrap a record in each carton. The whole process took two months. How I need to make the money to mail them all out. I figured it would cost around $300.00. I´m going to have to drive real hard to make the money.

My mother was getting very old and difficult to handle. For the past two years, she would often call-out to me for some kind of help late at night during the morning hours. She did this for one kind of thing or another. One time she fell from her bed, but could not get up. The next time she was feeling very ill and I had to drive her to the hospital. It happened often and usually during the hours from 2:00 to 4:00AM. It was very difficult, especially that I drove three nights a week and wasn´t there. I loved my mother and I hated her. It was a love, hate relationship. She would do wonderful things for me and she would be very helpful. However, she was a control-freak and wanted to control me constantly. She hated me being in the music business, and she often yelled at me for one thing or another. She was also a very negative person. I had never heard her talk positive about anything. If she could get her way through control, then she would become your enemy. She would use guilt-trips and say bad nasty remarks to purposely make you feel bad or inferior. It was a great technique that she used, but it never worked on me. If her guilt-trips or bad remarks wouldn´t work, then she would try the sympathy-guilt trip. She would cry and tell me how bad she was feeling, and beg me to follow her direction. It´s a whole process in getting me to be controlled by her. It taught me how hard a woman would work on you to get you to follow her will.

One day a long time ago, I had put it to the test. When my mother was trying to control me and nothing seemed to work. She would then go into tears and beg me. I usually would fall for it when I was young, but this time I was going to refuse. My mother was in heavy tears. When I refused and she realized that I wasn´t going to accept it. She stopped crying immediately and looked as thought she had never cried, and called me a bastard. It was then that I knew of the sympathy-guilt trip. It was then that I was able to recognize it in life with girlfriends and my friends wives and girlfriends. With my mother, if none of the above worked to get you for control, then my mother would turn to violence. She either throws something at me, try to hit me with a stick, or try and hit me with her hands. It was the same technique that she used on my father. I remember seeing that when I was a kid. My brother and sisters fell for it all. I was the youngest and I saw it all at an early age. I had no choice, but to build a defense against it to prevent myself from getting into the same trap. I guess that is why know one in my family really liked me anymore when I got to be at a certain age. They had eventually come to realize that I was uncontrollable. That I was going to be independent.

I have no gay or homosexual tendencies at all. I love women very much and I especially love their bodies. I thank God that he has made them for men. However, I sometimes don't enjoy working with one, or having one as a supervisor. I dislike dealing with one in business. In the U.S., I didn´t like walking into a store and dealing with them as sales people. In general, I sometimes don´t like dealing with women in business at all, but some women are wonderful to work for and I have worked with some professional women that were simply wonderful. I guess it's the woman lib thing. I feel that they try to be obsessively overbearing towards men and I know many men share my thoughts and feelings. I heard that many countries do not have women act the way they do in the U.S. I heard the woman in Asia are wonderful and treat a man very graceful. I'll have to go there some day maybe Thailand. I heard the women are just wonderful to deal or be with. The Bible makes many references to women and their place in the world. However, no one really follows the Bible or Gods word.

And, I don´t want to hear, Oh, I would have never made it without the help and support of my wife or girlfriend. That is nothing more than a bunch of bullshit. Maybe she keeps you dick warm and wet. Women do things for men only to profit from. A man who says something like this is definitely insecure or has been worked on by his mother like my mother tried to work on me. I know the story, but many would say that I am wrong, and in this day maybe, sexist. I would say to an employer of a corporation that if you want to hire people to usurp the citizens of you country, then hire women. They´re good at that.

Anyway, my mother, the woman who partly brought me into this world and then regretted it, was getting old a very difficult to handle. She worked on me for months, to try to get me to be her nurse, by the use of her techniques. When she saw her techniques weren´t working, she turned to my brother and sisters who were living in Florida. I didn´t realize what was happening, because I was very busy with my record, artist, music industry, and taxi driving. Then one day, my mother wanted to talk with me. She told me that she was going to sell the house and move to Florida. I thought it was a great idea. I could not handle her anymore because of her increasing age and deteriorating body. My mother had arthritis. My mother then asked me what and where was I going to go if she sold the house. I told her not to worry that I´ll find some place to go. It was a very bad thing for me if she sold the house, because I wasn´t paying any rent or food. However, I was only concerned about my mothers welfare and not for myself. It was important that she is happy, and I told her that. Then my mother said, When I sell the house, I decided to give you your money up front. I told my mother that it wasn´t necessary for her to give me anything, and that I would be all right. She said that she had already decided. I asked her, What money. The money you would receive in my Will when I die. I said, Really. She said yes. How much is that, I was curious. She replied, $30.000.00. Wow, $30.000.00? I said. She replied, Yes, but don´t tell your brother or sisters. Don´t tell them anything, because they don´t want you to have the money. They feel that you don´t deserve it. You mean that they deserve it instead? I replied in honesty. My mother did not reply. Then she said that it was her gift to me for taking care of her all these years. Besides, I want you to have a fresh start in life. What are you going to do with the money, she said. I replied that I did not know. I going to have to think about it., but I´ll let you know what I decide.

I went back to the basement apartment to think about this. I couldn´t believe it. $30.000.00. Wow. It´s a lot of money for me, but it isn´t really a lot of money in this world. My mother often threatened me that she was going to sell the house to pressure. She thought I was dependent on it. I wasn´t really dependent on it, but in a way I was. I used the situation to stay in the music industry. Since I didn´t have to pay rent or food and gas or electricity I could use all the money I earned on the music. I had to pay the price of living with my mother and taking care of her and watching over her. I had to give up having a live-in girlfriend and a great deal of independence. In the same vein, I gained independence by doing what I love, and that is music. However, I know that my brother and sisters think that I am totally dependent on my mother, and that isn´t true. I´ll survive where ever I go. If I don´t survive then I´m dead, and then it really doesn´t matter. This time I believe that my mother is really selling the house.

In the meantime, I have the money now to send these records out, and I need to do that tomorrow. The next day, with the records ready to roll, I loaded up my trunk with the 350 records in their cartons. There were so many I couldn´t close the trunk. I drove to my neighborhood Post Office and carried them into the post office. The customers were looking at me like I was nuts. I was piling the records all over the place. To my surprise it didn´t cost that much. The postman suggested that I send them at book-rate, as though they were books, and the outcome was under $100.00. It was all done and I had money left over. About $250.00. Great!

It didn´t take long for my brother to call me on the phone from Florida. My brother with his big-shot authoritative, dominate, attitude began talking, Chuck, I´m selling the house for your mother. It´s important that I get her down here in Florida. I know you work late at night and you sleep part of the daytime. I need you to let the people see the house when they come. Don´t tell your mother you are sleeping. Let the people see the basement. Don´t interfere with the sale of the house. She told me to sell it for her and I´m going to do it. OK. I replied, Tommy, don´t worry about a thing. I agree that she needs to be where you guys could watch her. There is never a problem with me. They can see the house at anytime. My brother doesn´t trust anyone because he´s a crook. So he comes back with, I´m counting on you to not fail me. I need them to see the house. Then I have to come back and assure him as if my word isn´t good enough, Don´t worry, they could see the basement any time they want. Thank you, he says. My mother/brother put the house up for sale at $145,000.00.

Judy called me and told me that she got a new job in a health spa. I thought it was great. I told her that it was important that she worked and made money until I get the ball rolling. She told me that she really liked the job. I told her that there was going to be a birthday party for Eddy Rivera and we are invited. I told her that there would be a lot of executives there and that I needed to get with her for about two hours before hand to teach you strategy for this event. I told her that we will go out to dinner. Judy was excited and told me to call her back when this event was taking place.

My taxi buddy Lawrence told me a nice thing that happened to him. I met him at work one day and while we were waiting for the cab he told me that he was renting this artist studio in the East Village. Actually, It was a four story building with the landlord occupying the second and third floor. The top floor was separated into two art studios. He told me that a gay artist was occupying the other half of the top floor studio. He then continued to say that the gay artist had move out and the landlord offered him the whole top floor for $400.00 a month. He was very happy to be living downtown and away from the crazy upper East-side.

Judy and I went out for dinner two hours before Eddy Rivera´s party. I advised Judy how we were going to handle this party. I told her that it was going to be a big gathering. There will be many people there. The loft should be packed. I told her that she looked very sexy and beautiful and I anticipated that the vultures (A&R Execs.) will be all over you. I am not going to be by your side. I´m going to walk in with you, and you will stay by my side for the first half hour. This will keep the vultures at bay. Then I´m going to turn you loose. I will not be anywhere near you. Then the vultures will then begin to circle around you. When they strike, they are going to come on very strong. They´ll probably promise you the world, but don´t buy it. It´s a game they play. What ever they say you reply yes in a positive manner. Talk to then for ten minutes only. Then tell them you have a manager. If their reaction is positive bring them over to meet me. Find me where ever you are. At this time do not talk with them anymore. Introduce them to me, stay a few moments, then leave to pursue another vulture. I´ll then pick their brain and find out if their full of shit or not. If you do this my way, we will be able to hit all the vultures in one night who is there. We then finished dinner and headed out.

We arrived at Eddy´s and before we walked in I went over it again. Judy said she was ready and we entered. Sure enough the place was packed. I greeted Eddy and Chris Ross, and introduced Judy. Eddy had all kinds of food and Judy and I indulged. We hung out together eating and I could see all the eyes on Judy. I told her quietly that they are waiting for chance. After eating, we made a circle around the room so everyone would get a good look. Then I told Judy that she was on her own. I am going to neatly slip away which I did. I went around the loft bullshiting and saying hello to everyone. Twenty minutes had past and there was no Judy. I was wondering what had happened with her. I saw her talking with someone after three minutes of leaving her solo. Then Chris Ross came over to me with the A&R rep from Polydor records and introduced me to him. Chris said that he was telling him about my artist. I told him that she´s probably around somewhere. Give me a moment and I´ll fetch her. Polygram records are a great record label because they are not as rigged as the other labels. I was excited, but disappointed in Judy. She should have come back by now. I went searching for her and found her in the back of the loft in a dark corner with some guy. I walked over to Judy and said, Judy, could I see you for a moment. She replied by telling me to wait. I immediately got pissed. This guy whom I didn´t know was talking to her with a very aggressive attitude talking a mile a minute. He reminded me of someone who was on Cocaine. I interrupted her again. Judy said, Robert, I want you to me my manager, Chuck How you do, he said, I´m with Columbia Records and I was telling your artist Judy about a party I´m having. He gave me no title. Usually someone says, I´m and A&R rep, I´m a manager, I´m promotion manager. I know from my experience if they don´t use a title they are nothing. I grabbed Judy´s arm and told out loud that I wanted her to meet the A&R rep from Polygram. Robert was fast and said, You don´t wanna deal with Polygram. Judy then took my hand off her arm and told me that she would be over in a moment. I walked back to the guy from Polygram and told him that she will be along in a moment. The guy from Polygram was leaving and Chris Ross wanted him to meet my vocalist before he left. Judy never showed, and the A&R rep from Polygram left. Finally, Judy shows up too late followed by this guy Robert on her tail. I turned to Robert and said, Robert, I have other people I want to introduce Judy to. We´ll catch up with you later on. Robert´s big mouth would not cease, and I walked away from him with Judy´s arm. I took Judy on the side and told her that she fucked up big time. I asked Judy what they were talking about for such a long time. Judy told me about the Columbia Record party, but that was it. I felt that Judy wasn´t telling me the truth by holding back information. She was suckered in and fell for it. It is apparent that he wants to fuck her and use her, and he´s telling her everything she wants to hear. Judy likes this guy and she´s not communicating with me because she´s pissed off at me from pulling her away. I could feel her vibes and attitude.

Then this guy Robert comes back and tells me with a fast mouth, in front of Judy, about the Columbia Record party that he´s throwing at Eddy´s place next Saturday night. He said, You and your artist Judy are invited. All the big shots will be there, and I´ll introduce you to everyone. Do you like that? I was waiting for the, But. I told him that it was very nice of him and I thanked him. Then he replied, I have a song that I want to put Judy on. Is that OK. I told him that Judy was under contract, but I was sure that we could work out something. He then asked what that was. I told him that he needed to sign a release agreement that the song would only be used as a demo and nothing else. He then replied, Why do I have to sign a release? I´m inviting you to this big party. I reiterated that Judy was under contract and a release is appropriate, and there would be no problem. He then said, You don´t trust me? I told him that it wasn´t a mater of trust, but a respectful guarantee to Judy and the contract she is on. The mutherfucker replied., Then I´m not inviting you to the party, forget about it. Judy freaked-out to that statement and immediately hated me for causing that. I told the mutherfucker, I don´t care about your party. If you're going to use that to disrespect my artist and her company then I don´t want anything to do with you. That´s it. I have other labels interested in her. Besides, her record will be released shortly. The man had no reply. Judy wasted all night with this Cocaine mutherfucker who use some pretty swift techniques against Judy toward me. We missed talking to a lot of important individuals because of this guy. It is going to be a lesson for Judy, but I´ve seen these mutherfucker game players all my life.

Judy and I left Eddy´s party. We had said goodnight to everyone, and Judy wanted to say good night to the mutherfucker, Robert, but I prevented it. Once Judy and I were outside I yelled at her that she fucked this evening up real good. I told you what to do and you didn´t follow my advice. What is wrong with you. I had great record people who wanted to meet you. Get you´re shit together, I said. Judy said nothing. A taxi pulled up and I put her in the cab to send her off. I returned home to Brooklyn.

The next day I had talked to Judy on the phone and explained what he was trying to do and how he used her against me. We discussed the situation in great detail, but I got the felling it wasn´t sinking in her head. I felt that she wanted to do her own thing. This girl is starting to become a problem.

The next evening during work, Lawrence told me that he went to pay the rent to his landlord and he had moved out and disappeared. His apartment was completely empty. I told him that it was very odd. He didn´t know who to pay the rent to. I asked him what he was going to do. He told me that he was going to contact the city.

Two nights later, I asked Lawrence if he found out where the landlord went. He told me that he had contacted the city and they gave him a lawyers number in New Jersey. It appeared that this lawyer was the actual landlord, and the guy who lived there for 18 years was acting as a landlord for this lawyer. The lawyer is the landlord. He told me that I could have the whole house for $700.00 a month. Wow, I said,

$700.00 a month for a whole house is incredible Lawrence. Lawrence asked me if I wanted to move-in with him and take the third floor. I told Lawrence that it sounds great, but the timing is off. My mother is selling her house and I need to be there. I wish I could. I asked Lawrence if I could think about it for a few days. Lawrence said yes.

I would be paying $350.00 a month for half of a house in Manhattan. What a deal. The only way I could do it is to pay the rent and not live there until my mother sells her house. How long will that be? I don´t know. What will I do? If I pat the rent, which I could, then I won´t be able to afford the music. It´s the music or the apartment, but I´m going to eventually need the apartment. What to do? I eventually told Lawrence that I could not do it at this time. Lawrence knew my story and understood.

I booked a show for Judy through Will Lee, the Chinese promoter. She would be appearing with many talented artists. We did the show and Judy went off great. Everyone loved her performance. It was a stepping stone for more to come. Judy was in great spirits.



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