Saturday, May 19, 2012


At twenty years old I returned to America after making All I Want Is My Baby/Each And Every Day with Mick Jagger and Andrew Oldham in London, for which I wasn't paid a penny. I was also not paid for I'm So Lonely/I Wanna Love You on Talamo Records. My point is, I was flat broke. In 1965 I was wandering the streets of Hollywood alone trying to eat and find a place to sleep from day to day. It is in that context that I was introduced to Randy Wood at Mira Records by Pam Burns. Randy and his partner Betty Chiapetta were involved in launching a budget label, Surrey Records, in Europe, but they'd run into trouble with one of the albums scheduled as part of the deal. The album was called Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest and had been written and performed by an artist named Chris Ducey. Mira/Surrey had run into contractual problems with Ducey's other commitments with ABC, so the Ducey album could not be used, which in turn halted the entire launching of the Surrey label in Europe, and here's why.

It is important to note that Ducey was the writer as well as the artist, and that he was fully represented by counsel and management in the Mira/Surrey matter.

The cover of the Ducey album was actually a picture of Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones, not Chris Ducey. It was used because a lot of people just plain liked the photo, particularly the people in Europe who were involved in the Surrey deal with Mira/Surrey Records. When they were advised the album was no longer available they balked and told Wood/Chiapetta that without that album the entire deal was dead. Surrey was a budget label, as I said, which meant the Surrey albums would be sold in store bins that were visible to patrons at cut rate prices. The cover of the Ducey album was thought to be perfect for this purpose because of the photo, and without it the deal would not happen.

So there was Mira/Surrey at a standstill, trying to figure out how they could save their business expansion into Europe. The whole thing was on hold until the problem could be resolved. To make matters worse, the album jacket had the titles of ten Ducey songs printed on it, adding to the difficulty of trying to salvage the cover for any use at all. Here's what they did! The printer of the original Ducey cover said he could color out part of the D in Ducey and make it into and L, which would change the name to Lucey. OK! One problem solved, but how were they going to deal with the ten song titles printed on the jacket?

Wood and Chiapetta decided they would come up with ten new songs written to the already existing titles on the cover and that would solve another problem. Pretty clever, eh? Now they were faced with the difficulty of finding someone to write ten new songs, but also having to find an artist to record the ten new songs, which meant spending more money recording a brand new record. As you can see, this was a unique way of keeping this particular cover in play, but was the only way to save the entire  Mira/Surrey deal.

Marshall Leib, of Teddy Bears fame with Phil Spector, and a friend of Wood and Chiappetta, was rounded up to produce what would be the new album, now called Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest by an artist named Chris Lucey who didn't yet exist. This was their last and most difficult task to insure that the Surrey deal didn't fail. Find someone to write and record ten new songs, and do it now, because the time factor was breathing down their necks.

Randy Wood and Betty Chiapetta could not find anyone to do this job. They were hamstrung for a few reasons: Time, and the fact that nobody wanted to be someone called Chris Lucey on a budget album for Europe. Thirdly, Surrey wasn't offering anything monetarily to convince anybody to change their mind and take on the job. Remember! Surrey needed an artist and a writer. After a significant amount of time Wood and Chiapetta were desperate. It was then, and under those circumstances, that Randy Wood agreed to meet Bobby Jameson, who Pam Burns, Randy's secretary, had befriended on the streets of Hollywood. She was convinced that Jameson could do the job and had tried repeatedly to convey that to Randy Wood.

OK! Let me be clear as a bell here, and I am going to write this part in the third person for a reason. The circumstances in 1965, when Bobby Jameson first met with Randy Wood, were that Bobby Jameson was twenty years old, flat broke, and unrepresented by counsel or management. Now recall, if you will, that representation was significant with regards to Ducey's involvement and subsequent withdrawal from the project. Jameson didn't have more than five bucks to his name and no place to live. He was on the street. It is important to place in context the actual conditions of Bobby Jameson's life at the time this happened before embarking on the story of Wood's and Jameson's meeting.

Randy Wood knew full well that Bobby Jameson was broke, homeless, and sleeping on people's couches. His only interest in Jameson was whether or not this 20 year old kid could write a song and sing it in in the studio, and do it well enough to put it on vinyl for the purpose of saving Mira Record's ass with the Surrey Record's launch. That was it! That was Wood's position. He knew Bobby Jameson wasn't represented in any way by anyone other than Pam Burns, and he relished that fact after the Ducey problem, and used it to his own benefit. Randy Wood was the past president of Vee-Jay Records. He had a heavyweight reputation, and now owned Mira/Surrey. He was an experienced professional and had an office on Sunset Blvd. filled with people who worked for him and a cutthroat attorney named Abe Somer. Collectively the Surrey group knew every in and out there was to know about the business side of the music industry, while Jameson, on the other hand, was no more than a kid who knew little. The fact that Bobby Jameson had no manager or lawyer and was limited in his understanding of the business side of music, made it easy for Wood and Somer to control the situation in their favor, which they did. It was an unfair advantage in the favor of Randy Wood, Betty Chiapetta, and Abe Somer. All Bobby Jameson knew was he could write songs and sing them.

There was no agreement with Mira/Surrey Records entered into by Bobby Jameson at anytime, verbally, or in writing. Bobby Jameson never agreed to write songs and knowingly give up his rights to them. Nor did Bobby Jameson ever knowingly give up his rights to his performance as the artist, Chris Lucey. If anything, these issues were proposed unexpectedly after the fact by Mira/Surrey in a lengthy exclusive artist/writer contract in Randy Wood's office in the presence of Abe Somer, Randy's attorney. The contract they proposed would have tied Jameson up for seven years without a penny, and make it impossible for him to seek work elsewhere. Bobby Jameson refused to sign that contract because it offered nothing to him, and because he felt incapable of understanding, without counsel, all that was was actually said in the contract. Randy Wood, incensed that Jameson refused to immediately sign the contract, physically threw Bobby against an office wall, demanding that Jameson sign it, which Jameson again refused to do. Bobby said he needed to get someone to read the contract before he signed it, to which Wood's angrily replied, "There's no time for that. This album is already released!" Wood was referring to his Mira/Surrey deadline deal with Europe.

Jameson's need, and verbal request, for some form of legal representation at the time, and help in understanding the Abe Somer penned document, was disregarded completely. That fact alone should have legally put the entire album on hold until it was sorted out, in the same way the Ducey version had been withheld from release for similar reasons. But Bobby Jameson didn't have what protected Ducey in his dealings with Mira/Surrey. Bobby had no lawyer or manager who could negotiate for him. Bobby Jameson was by himself in that office at twenty years old with no representation at all, so he refused to sign the agreement for good cause.

Almost immediately thereafter, in what can only be considered a criminal act of theft and fraud, as well as a conspiracy to defraud and harm an individual (Bobby Jameson), Mira/Surrey knowingly and with purposeful intent released Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest anyway. Without any sort of agreement with Bobby Jameson as writer, or artist, Mira/Surrey acted in it's own self-interest and released the record as a means of fulfilling it's own jeopardized agreement with the European expansion of Mira/Surrey Records. The album contained the ten stolen songs written by Jameson that were registered as belonging to Mirwood Music, an act which had been done in secret without Jameson's knowledge or approval. The master recording of Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest by Chris Lucey is evidence of a crime. The album has been treated by the owners of Mira/Surrey Records, Mirwood Music, and all those persons involved in those companies, and their successors, as their own private and personal property to do with as they please, with a callous and criminal disregard for the harm done to one Robert Parker Jameson, aka Bobby Jameson, aka Chris Lucey, who created the work in good faith.

To put it bluntly, Bobby Jameson saved the Surrey Record's launch into Europe. He made Randy Wood, Betty Chiapetta, and Abe Somer look good. Without Bobby Jameson's songs and voice as Chris Lucey, Surrey Records would not have expanded into Europe. As a result of his work on the Songs Of Protest project Jameson was given $200. His songs were stolen by Wood, Chiapetta, and Somer and registered to Mirwood Music without his knowledge or permission. He has never received a single royalty as the artist or writer for any of that work. As well, Girl From The East, which came from Songs Of Protest by Jameson/Lucey, was used as the b side of Mira Record's single release and album Hey Joe, by The Leaves, where again Jameson received no royalty as the writer.

The album, Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest, should not have been released by Mira/Surrey in 1965 until the rights of Bobby Jameson were legally sorted out. But Mira/Surrey chose to ignore and hide this fact at the time in pursuit of their own needs, in spite of knowing the harm that would be done to Bobby Jameson. They were unmoved and unafraid of Jameson, because they knew he was a kid without anyone speaking for him and without having legal protections of any kind. They were, and are, convinced that his version of the facts and events were and are forever hidden from legal scrutiny with regards to the choices and decisions they (Mira/Surrey and Mirwood Music) made in 1965. To release the album, knowing what they knew, for the purpose of benefitting themselves financially and defrauding the creator of the works, is criminal. It is knowingly criminal and comes with the knowledge built into it that someone (Bobby Jameson) would be harmed. It is a conspiracy to harm for profit by criminal and deceptive means.

The continuance of the conspiracy has occurred and reoccurred for decades, with each successive release of the album, and collection of revenue from the stolen copyrights and sales of the record. This again was done without any revenue whatsoever going to Bobby Jameson. In recent years (2002) Betty Chiapeta again advanced this criminal endeavor by selling the master to ACE Records UK, who subsequently leased it to Rev-Ola/Cherry Red Records UK for the purpose of manufacturing, distribution and sale for profit. Again this was done by cutting out Bobby Jameson from any and all revenue created by his work known as Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest. Wittingly or not, these new partners in crime are just that, because they have furthered the original intent of the conspiracy by joining it for the same purpose: To defraud Bobby Jameson out of any and all revenue from his own original work. In spite of the fact that Jameson has informed and and made clear all of these facts to all of the parties, they continue to malign his character and refuse to cooperate in the rectification of this serious matter, making them all co-conspirators under the law. In time this fact alone will make any settlement harsher for them with regards to punitive damages, which accrue with the passage of time, and their intentional refusal to end the harm to Bobby Jameson, aka Robert Parker Jameson, aka Chris Lucey. They are guilty of an intentional and knowing obstruction of justice.

1 comment:

  1. This story was told on your earlier blog over four or five posts. It is a remarkable part of the story that starts here:

    It is interesting how clear and precise this new version of your story is; it contains the same details as the previous telling, but it now offers a more specific legal perspective. It is a welcome recapping of the ongoing issues, and it makes sense to reiterate it here after the recent coups in earning song credit and in persuading iTunes to remove the illegally obtained songs.

    Keep fighting the good fight, my friend!