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The Musician... see you among the stars

Chapter 39 - Sell the House

House For Sale

Chapter 39 - Sell the House

My mother told me that she sold the house. I asked her if it was official. She told me that the people had put a deposit on the house, and that she was excited. I then called my friend Lawrence and told him that my mother´s house was sold so that he could prepare for me, but I needed a week or so just to be sure. Lawrence said OK!

In the meantime, my mother wanted to begin withdrawing her money in cash from the bank. I drove her to the bank and we went to the bank representative. The representative told my mother that if she withdrew more than $10,000.00 at one time that she would have to report the withdrawal to the IRS. The fucking IRS again! Therefore, my mother withdrew only $8,000.00. My mother and I would have to comeback every month to withdraw another, $8,000.00, and this would have to continue untill all was withdrawn. I drove my mother each month until all her money was withdrawn. I believe it was around six times. I never really paid that much attention, because I had no interest how much money she totally had.

My mother, thinking that the house was sold, was thanking my brother over the telephone. My brother falsely thinking like my sisters that I was dependent on my mothers house, asked my mother, What about your son Charles. My mother told him that she was going to pay me the Will money up front. $30,000.00.

Meanwhile, Lawrence stood by waiting for an answer from me, but it turned out that the people withdrew their deposit at the last moment. The house was not sold. Lawrence couldn´t wait any longer and decided to rent the apartment.

Without me knowing a thing, my brother then told his wife and my sisters about my mother giving me $30,000.00, and they began a secret campaign against me to try and prevent my mother from giving me the money. I would eventually learn about this later on.

I thought a lot about receiving $30,000.00. I wanted to spend it wisely. I finally thought thought about opening a recording studio business. This way I could be in music for the rest of my life. The owner of Unique Recording started his business as a rehearsal studio. He lived in the rehearsal studio as he made money for rental then he invested it back into buying more and more equipment. Finally after five years he had a great million dollar business. Many people started the same way. After careful thought, I had decided that I was going to do the same thing. I was going to find a store front and buy some rehearsal equipment. Fix it up comfortable so that the bands would enjoy it, I could live in it as an apartment, and I needed to figure how much I needed to do it all. I approached Lawrence and asked him if I could use the empty store front of his building for the studio. I explained to Lawrence what I wanted to do, and Lawrence didn´t think it would be a problem. He told me to go ahead with it and that I had his support and blessing. Lawrence then took me on a tour to see the store front. I liked it, but it needed a lot of work. I asked my buddy/brother Joey the bass player of The Van-Dells to come in from New Jersey to Manhattan and inspect it. He looked at it and told me that repair it for me for only $2000.00, which was excellent considering the amount of work and materials. I then checked into everything I needed and it totaled out as follows:

Building a Studio Budget

This gives me roughly about $5000.00 as a back-up in the bank. This sounds great! I could live in the studio and I will be very happy being in business in my field of music. With everything figured out I told my mother what I was going to do with the money when she sells the house. She wasn´t too thrilled that I was going to be in the music field, but she told me whatever I feel is going to make me happy. I knew that this business would be successful, because there were many bands looking for rehearsal studios in NYC. Maybe I won´t make a lot of money, but I know that it would sustain me for many, many years to come. Plus I had the know how and support of my music network.

My mothers house was not selling. She had dropped the price and still no one was interested. Very few people were coming to see the house. I didn´t know why, but I had learned shortly thereafter that my brother was playing a game with my mother using the house as bait. My brother told my mother that he would not be able to sell the house without her giving him a power-of-attorney. My mother did not want him to have it, because she felt that it was not necessary, but I stayed out of it and didn´t get involved. I overheard some of the things that my mother was saying to my brother over the telephone from downstairs in the basement. I wasn´t going to get involved in any of this shit, because I dislike my brother and sisters. I know the kind of poeple they are, but my mother is no fool. She´s old, but she still knows what is going on. My mother is a sharp being when it comes to money. So I felt confident that she didn't need my help.

I walked into Eddy Rivera´s apartment one night and he told me that he was the manager of a new hot group that will jump the charts to number one shortly. He told me to come into his room and he would play the video for me of the song. He explained that it was a rough copy. With Chris Ross and a few of the boys looking on Eddy rolled the video. I thought it was fantastic. I knew it was a hit. Then Eddy told me that they released 5000 copies to the stores without advertisements and they sold out in two days. The record company, Columbia Records, was pushing it full speed ahead. Eddy told me that his best friend Robert Civilles asked him and Chris to handle the management of the group. He told me that the group was called, C&C Music Factory. The vibes at Eddy´s place was at high excitement. Two days later, I started to hear the song on every pop radio station every half hour. I heard the famous hook line continuously, EVERYBODY DANCE NOW! Eddy once again is involved with a hit group.

Judy had called me on the phone, and told me that she met a famous retired basketball star, Purdy. I had heard the name. She told me that she met him at the health spa that she worked at. He invited her to record some demo´s and liked the way she sang and that he wanted to talk to me. I said, Did you say that you recorded some demo songs for him? She said yes. I replied, Didn´t I talk to you about doing demo songs without signing a release. She replied, He wanted to see how I sounded. I gave you a copy of our recordings. Isn´t that a good representation of your voice? She replied, Yea, but he wanted to see what I sounded like on his stuff. Without telling me, right, I replied. She told me not to worry and that he wanted to talk with me. I was pissed off at this irresponsible girl, and I told her to give him my number. She told me that she did, and wanted to know if he called. I told her that he didn´t call, and most likely he is not going to call, because you´re under contract, and he just wants to get something for nothing. Maybe even a piece of ass you stupid fool. Judy refused to believe that. I told her to give me his number. She did. I asked her if he was in his office. She told me that she just spoke with him. I told her that I will call him, but I guarantee you he wont answer me. I´ll call you right back. Sure enough, I called and they said that he wasn´t in. I left my number in case he wanted to call me back. I then called Judy. I said, See, he´s not answering. He got you on his demos for nothing fool. You keep doing things without me, why? I told you over and over that I will guide you for nothing. I´ll be your manager for nothing. What more can you ask for. Judy apologized to me and told me that it would not happen again. Now I know what managers and A&R people have to go through day after day.

I told Juan Colon at AMA the trouble I was having with Judy and her irresponsibility. Juan asked me to bring her to AMA and he would help me by talking with her. I then contacted Judy and asked her to come to AMA after her work, about 9:00PM on Monday night. Judy arrived at AMA and the end of he session. We were all going to the restaurant on the corner to eat as usual, and talk. We all sat down at a large table. We placed our orders for food and Juan began talking with Judy. Suddenly, Judy jumped up to greet a man she hadn´t seen for a long time who was about to exit the restaurant. She jumped up off the table and threw her arms around this big tall good looking blond guy and hugged him fearlessly. Everyone was in shock from her actions. Juan looked at me and I was very embarrassed. She kept on talking to this guy continuously and forgetting her meal that had been waiting. She completely ignored that fact that she was here for a purpose and that these (AMA people) are the people who were going to help me help her. Judy asked this guy to join us and the evening was ruined. Everyone ignored her talking to this man.

We all then left the restaurant and I told Judy I would speak to her tomorrow. I had enough with her this night. I´m just going to concentrate on the record.

The next day I called Judy. I started to speak with her and she told me that she now acquired lawyer. She had this strong confident attitude. She told me that she did not want to speak with me. She told me that if I wanted to speak with her it had to be through her new lawyer from now on. I told her that if that is the case then I didn´t need to speak with her. She wanted to give me her lawyers number, but I wasn´t interested. What Judy didn´t know was I had her under an iron-clad contract. The same contracts that Madonna and Bruce Springsteen signed with the labels. My contract came from the best lawyers in the business. Therefore I wasn´t worried one bit. It freaked Judy out when I told her that I didn´t want her lawyers number. The fucking bitch tried to fuck me every time with all her nonsense. Now it´s time for her to fuck herself back. I won't have to do anything. Now all I care about is the record so all this free work I promissed her will make me free.

The following day her lawyer called me and introduced herself. I said that it was nice to talk with her. She told me that Judy doesn´t want to talk with me anymore. She told me that Judy doesn´t like me and wants to get out of her contract. I told the lawyer to give me back the $30,000.00 I spent on her and I´ll set her free if she includes a couple of points in her future record companies royalty for getting her where she is now. The lawyer told me that Judy had no money. I replied, I guess there´s nothing to discuss here. I then hung-up the phone without saying goodbye. I had thought it was weird that she had a woman lawyer. The next day, a man called me and he was the real lawyer. He told me that the person who spoke with me was his assistant. I told him that he should have called me the first time... What can I do for you, I aasked him. He told me that Judy didn´t like me. I told him that she never said that to me before, but that I could care less who she likes. Let´s talk business! He told me that she has some other labels interested in her and she wanted to make a deal with you. I asked him what kind of deal are you talking about. He said that she is willing to pay you back for the money you spent on her. I said, The 30,000.00?" He then asked me how I came at that figure. I told him that it was not his business at this time to know. How is she going to pay me back if I show you it was $30,000.00. That´s the important point at this moment. He said that she is willing to pay you back a little at a time. I told him, OK, tell her to start sending me the money, and when she gets to $30,000.00 I´ll set her free. The lawyer said that she wants to be free now. I said no problem. Send me the thirty grand and a couple of points for making her attractive to suspecte3d compamies and I´ll be happy to set her free. The lawyer replied, She doesn´t like you. She doesn´t want to work for you anymore. Why would you want someone under contract that doesn´t like you? I told the lawyer:

Look, When I first found Judy she liked me very much. She was very happy that I believed in her voice. I trained her in how to project her inspiration in recording. Because I believed in her, I recorded a bunch of songs for her. I brought her into the top studios. I spent a great deal of money trying to get her sounding like a professional. She loved every minute of it. However, I did not release any copies of the recordings until she signed a contract with me. I gave her the contract to look at and go over with for one week. In response, she wanted two things, and I gave it to her. She liked me very much and felt that the money I was spending on her was good reason to sign the contract. When she signed the contract I released the copies of the recordings to her. She took these recordings and started to sell herself on her own. She then became defiant of the contract by recording for Purdy the basketball star. The lawyer jumped in and said, She didn´t tell me that. Yes, I continued, Now, all of a sudden, she doesn´t like me. She´s taking the tape that I gave her and trying to get a deal on her own. I say no problem. I´m willing to make a deal with anyone who will compensate me for my expenses and my efforts. If she has a label who is interested in her and they don´t want me... no problem. Tell them to contact me and I´ll give her to them. If they want her for free.. then no way. This girl is a Whitney Houston. She is not only beautiful, but a great singer. I´m in the process of releasing her record shortly. If her record makes it, and she hears it on the radio, I guarantee she´ll like me all over again. It´s my tape that she is selling herself with. I am not going to give her up for nothing. She is in direct breach of contract and I could sue her now, and she will never be able to record or sing in performance again.

The lawyer told me that he will talk with her and get back with me, but I never heard a word from the lawyer ever again.

I didn´t have direct proof of her recording for the basketball player. Therefore, I sent her, directly to her apartment, a registered letter, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, saying that I had scheduled her to record in the studio, and asked her to contact me for the time and date of the recording. She received the letter. I received the return receipt, but she never called as I expected. Now I have proof that she is in direct breach of contract. Two weeks later, I received a letter from her asking me to please release her. I ignored it, and I never heard from Judy again.

In the meantime, Eddy Rivera´s group C&C Music Factory is climbing the charts rapidly. I arrived at Eddy´s showcase on Monday night. The loft was packed as usual and I was bullshitting with everyone. I looked across the room and noticed a guy who looked familiar. He was looking at me also. We stared across the room at each other and I can see that we are both trying to think of where we know each other. I knew I knew him very well, but I just couldn´t place him. I then walked over to him and said hello. He asked my name, and I said Chazz, but he couldn´t place my name. I asked his name and he told me Freedom. I immediately recognized the name and told him that now I know, you worked on my songs at Quad Studio's. He then remembered and we shook hands with happiness of finally remembering. He asked how I was doing and I told him that I come to Eddy´s to try and promote the song and to get contacts. Then I asked him what he was doing. He told me that he was singing with C&C now. Then he asked if I saw the video. I stopped for a moment to think. I was confused. Then I said, Was that you on the video? He said yes. I then said, Holy shit! For some reason I didn´t know it was you. You seemed very different on the video, but now that you have me thinking about it, I´m making the connection. Man. You got the number one record. Freedom smiled. Then Freedom, knowing I knew who he was now, suddenly became a little cold and distant and turned away. I told him good luck, and that I will see him later. He nodded.

Freedom Williams

I then walked to a quiet corner to think, Holly shit, this little guy, a year later, is at the top of the charts. Un-fucking believable! What a stroke of luck. Then I went to Eddy and Chris, and told them that Freedom worked on my songs. They both said, "Really". Yea, I never made the connection when I saw the video. He looked so different. I was very excited. I wonder why Chris and Eddy didn´t become surprised. Then I realized, Oh shit, this guy Freedom is about to become a big star, and I could put his name on my record. Fantastic. Wait a second, Eddy and Chris weren´t excited. I realized there was a problem here. I´m going to have to think about this. This could mean walking on fire. I´m going to have to be real careful.

The next day I consulted Louie Valdes. Louie came to my house that night with the Dunkin Donuts and a joint. I told Louie the story, and then I asked him if I could put his name on the record. Louie said, Why not. He worked and mixed your song. You have the right to give him credit. I told Louie that it was exactly as I thought, but I can feel that Eddy doesn´t like it. He´s managing Freedom and therefore he has to protect Robert Chivilles as much as possible. Louie suggested that I do not tell them anything further. I told Louie that it was a good suggestion.

The next day, I exited the shower that was on the top floor of my mothers two story house. Not including the basement. I came downstairs and my mother was sitting on her rocking chair watching TV. As I started to pass my mother, she asked me if she could see my arms. I said, What. She continued again, Do you mind if I see your arms. I asked, What´s the matter? What do you mean you want to see my arms. That´s the most bizarre thing I ever heard you say. Why do you want to see my arms? She said, I just want to see them. I´m curious. I then pulled up my sleeve and showed her my arms. Are they OK? I said. She said, Thank you. I wanted to see something. I then went down to the basement to get dressed. I thought about it for a moment, and the I returned to her and asked, Do you think I´m a drug attic? No, she said. Someone said something to me and I didn´t think it was true so I wanted to make sure. I then asked her who said it to her. My mother refused to tell me. I pressured her to find out, but she still wouldn´t tell me. I told her that it was a pretty sick thing to ask me. I thought you knew me better than that.

I stopped by Eddy place during the week while I was driving. I wanted to see if Chris Ross wanted a ride home. C&C is the number one record in the country. When I went into Eddy´s place, Freedom was there and we talked. I asked Freedom how it was to be on the top of the world. Freedom negatively replied, It´s just a job. I said, What? He said again that it was just a job. I told him, He man, you got the number one record in the country, and possibly the world. I been struggling for forty years trying to get where you are, and you tell me that it´s just a job? He said, Yes. That´s all it is. I told him that he should change his attitude. Then I pulled him to the side and asked him if he would mind if I gave him credit on my record. He told me to go for it. Then I asked him if there was any doors he could open for me. He told me that he would try, and that he would get back with me. Wow. Here I am. I´m a great friend with Eddy Rivera and Chris Ross, and I´m a good friend with Freedom Williams. Here I am directly in the middle between them both. Freedom worked on, and mixed my record. What a position. Maybe after forty years something is going to happen. I then drove Chris Ross home.

After driving the taxi all night, I arrived home in Brooklyn about 8:00AM. I went to sleep and woke up around 2:00PM. I was having my usual coffee. I could here that my mother was on the phone talking with my brother. I sat there listening to my mother asking my brother why he needed the power-of-attorney to sell the house. I didn´t want to get involved. I was thinking of my wonderful position with Eddy, Chris, and Freedom. I heard a long moment of silence, and I wanted to use the phone. I picked up the receiver of the phone and heard my brother talking to my mother. My brother was saying, Don´t give him a dime. He has a Cocaine habit, and if you give him the money he going to blow it all on Cocaine. I was in a state of shock. I wanted to jump-in, but instead I listened. My mother told my brother, I checked his arms. I didn´t see a sign of anything. My brother then said, He´s not shooting it with a needle. He is taking it in his nose. Listen to me. If you give him the money it will all be wasted. You might as well throw it in the garbage. I then closed the receiver and sat there for a moment in shock. This mutherfucker is trying to stop the money. As soon as my mother hung the phone, I went upstairs to her. I told her what I had heard and that I couldn´t believe it. I told my mother that when I see him I´m going to fuck him up. I´m going to kill the son-of-a-bitch. I replied. My mother told me that she didn´t want any trouble. She wanted to sell the house. She told me not to worry, because she wasn´t stupid. She told me that she doesn´t listen to them. She asked me to trust her. She told me not to worry. You will get your money. I made the mistake of telling them, because I thought the house was sold. Promise me that you won´t start any trouble. I felt better that my mother was aware of the lies, and I promised her that I won´t start any trouble.

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