The Third Chapter




If you are dumb enough to believe this story is true, please stop, shut off your computer and then go to the nearest mirror to repeatedly slap yourself back into reality. You'll thank yourself afterward, I assure you.

IF you are below the age of 18, please don't read the stories on here. Your presence jeopardizes those of us who do so legally.

Personal Disclaimer:

Many of you wrote to tell me how much you enjoyed the stories beginning. I appreciate those emails.

In my reply, I told you I'd received word from an attorney forbidding my continuing with the story. I'm sorry, but after a nice enjoyable vacation, I've come to the conclusion legal censorship of what I “might” write really pisses me off. So, with that said, I'm writing what I please and if it's not to their liking...fukem.


Chapter Three:

When we arrived at their house, we stepped inside and was promptly greeted with the smells of some really fine cooking.

Your mom cooked that fast?”

We have a cook, maid, and complete staff.”

Oh, I thought she was doing it all herself.”

Not likely. Mom will delegate things out and hire subcontractors, but for her to work, it means a lot of other people work.”

I was mistaken.”

He giggled and said, “Don't worry, she considers it work. Follow me.”

We went in through the living room and on up some stairs. He turned right and opened a double set of doors which he shut once I had entered.

This is my suite. Over here on the right is my guest bedroom and over on the left is my bedroom. Up on the right is my living area and on over on the far wall is my kitchenette.”

Man, it's like a whole apartment.”

Yeah, it's nice. I've spent a lot of time in here.”

He took me into his bedroom and I began looking at all his mementos.

You played sports?”


Who's the guy in the pictures with you.”

He was my best friend. He's dead now.”

Really! He'd be young.”

Car wreck. He got a new Porsche for his eighteenth birthday and the only reason I'm here is because he wanted to go for a ride and I chose to come home instead.”

Oh man.”

Yeah, he took a turn too fast on Topaga Canyon Drive and slammed into a wall.”

I'm sorry to hear that.”

“I'm sorry for all the time I wasted.”

Whoa, that sounded bitter.”

I came out to him. He instead wanted me to forget it and go riding with him.”

You loved him.”

I thought I loved him. I thought he was my best friend. I thought he cared. I thought he was the one. I was wrong.”

Choose to remember the good things and let the rest go.”

You don't know how many times I've heard that.”

Do you expect people to forgive you when you make a mistake?”


Then consider it he made a mistake and now is asking you to forgive.”

It's hard.”

What would you say to him if he was standing here begging for forgiveness.”

I'd tell him how disappointed I was in him and how I consider all the time we spent together wasted.”

What if he said he was sorry and didn't feel that way and he loved you too?”

I'd say it was a fucking funny way of showing it.”

Hey, people make mistakes. I bet he did love you just as much as you did him. Different people take different things different ways. He struck out at change instead of embracing it. It probably scared him the realm of your friendship was going to change.”

Just let it drop.”

Hey, it's a sticking point for me. I'll let it drop. I'll be going now.”

What the...”

Yeah, it takes someone able to forgive in order to love. It takes someone who's not so headstrong they can't see the other person's point of view in order to communicate. In order to have a relationship, you've got to have communication. I'll walk now. Give your family my condolences on having a son who apparently has no heart.”

I went out of the room and went to the door. Once I'd walked through it, I got to the bottom of the stairs.


Or what!” I yelled.

Bran came out of the kitchen and I held up my hand.


All you had to do was say three words. I...Forgive...Him... Was it so wrong what he did you'd wish him to eternity in limbo because you couldn't forgive?”

I loved him.”


He broke my heart.”

And you'd condemn him to perdition over his mistake?”

No.” he said in a small voice.

Then grow up and forgive.”

Would you stay?”

I'll stay, but we're going to speak down here.”

He came down the steps and walked over and into my arms.

Loving someone means forgiving them when they've messed up. It's not all going to be your way.”

I felt two arms hug us both.

Thank you” was whispered in my ear.


Yeah son, I heard everything. Your mother and I have told you time and time again we support you, but you've shut us out. Apparently, he's not going to let you go on it.”

I said, “It needed done. For me to be in a relationship, I need to know it's not going to be an ego and a lover but two loving.”

Was it ego?” Evan asked in a small voice.

It was hurt feelings blown up. In order to get beyond them, you have to have closure. His death didn't give you that, but you need to know I will love you in return for a total relationship.”

Brandon said, “Son, your mama and I have worked hard on our relationship. I love her unconditionally.

There have been times when she's been right and there've been times when she's been wrong. No matter what, we've stuck it out and worked through them.”

He's gone dad!”

Yes, and I know it broke your heart. I know something happened, but I'm damned thankful for you not being in that car.”

If I had been, he'd not been driving that fast.”

Son, you've heard me say it time and time again, when it's your time, it's your time. Nothing can stop it and no one shall. It's the good Lord's bidding you're here for the time you have. Enjoy it and be ready to go when he comes to get you.”

I am dad, but now I want to have a few more days if I can with Dennis.”

He's Blessing you. Treat Dennis like a Blessing all your days and you'll keep him.”

Is that how you and mom have lasted all this time?”

Even in the rough times, I still look at her as a Blessing from Heaven. It's hard because you know the good Lord tests us every now and then, and you know you've got to make it in order to grow with that person.

She's had times with me too, so don't think it's all my doings.”

I felt another set of arms wrap around us and D's voice say, “I heard. I'm sorry you had to go through what you did son, but what your dad just said should go double because I totally agree.”

I stepped back and Evan gave me a look of “Where you going?”

Ev, come over here. I'd love to see your mom and dad hug and us share it over here. What they've said about each other really is something I want.”

D hugged Brandon and said, “Guys, it's going to be easy to wonder where the time has gone, but at the same time, it's going to be hard on some points. Just remember you've got each other to help the other work through them and it gets easier.”

Bran said, “In our relationship, your mama took a down and out guy and made his day by accepting his request for a date.”

Oh bull! Down and out my foot! You were there standing and looking like a million dollars! I was picking you up before someone else did!”

He laughed and said, “Hon, you were the one looking so fine. I just knew you'd turn me down.”

Pffft! You think because someone's good looking they've got a social calendar full. What you don't know is my calendar was empty to the point dust mites had taken over.”

Well, it certainly filled with us getting together.”

Yes it did and I'm thankful it's been with you.”

She paused and said, “Boys, it's time to eat. Ev, go get your sister.”


Ev, she's not the hateful monster you make her out to be.”

Den, come this way. I want you to see her before her horns retract.”


Mom, I swear! She comes out here and it's like some angel took over the demon beyond those doors!”

Bran laughed and said, “She says the same about you, but not in those sorts of words.”

D laughed and said, “Supper is on. Get your sister!”

I went with Evan and we went back up the stairs. Instead of going right, we went across the catwalk to another set of doors.

Ev threw open the door and said, “Girl, grub is on. Come and get it!”

He closed the door and held it while it shook from behind. “She's going to be really mad when the door opens, you'll definitely see horns then!”


He let go of the door and ran behind me. A purse came swining around the corner and struck me up against the shoulder.


A younger girl came storming at me. Surprise caught in her eyes for a moment and she asked, “Who are you?”

Avon lady.”

She smiled and said, “My brother will need it to cover the bruises.”

Ok, well, in that case I'm the Dominos delivery guy. Supper is downstairs. Ev needs his teeth in order to chew.”

That still doesn't explain who you are!”

I'm Ev's boyfriend. You're my new sister in law.”

Wow! Really!”


Mom and dad know?”

Yeah, both like me, so it's left up to you to decide if I'm a keeper.”

Ev's dating the Avon lady who moonlights as a Dominos delivery driver! At least he's got his priorities in order.”

I laughed and said, “Ev, apologize to this angel for calling her to supper the way you did.”

Huh!” both of them said at the same time.

You heard me. Either apologize or I'll be forced to turn that lovely pizza into some baby back ribs and try eating them all myself.”

Ev took off running and said, “Sam, come on! He's going to try getting them all”

Sam took off and I followed suit.

We ran into the kitchen and D said, “Hey! No running!”


She laughed and said, “Ev, Sam, you get leftovers.”


She laughed and came over. “Sam treat you good?”

She's fine. Whatever she has in that purse is heavy enough to do serious damage.”


Mom, I didn't know!”

Ev said, “Mom, she swung that purse around the door like some crazed samurai warrior. The Aunt on Sanford and Son hasn't got anything on her.”

Bran laughed and said, “Ev, you need to watch it sucka!”

Everyone laughed and we all gathered hands for prayer.

After prayer, a huge slab of ribs were placed before me. I tucked the napkin under my chin and dug in. After I'd came up with sauce spread from ear to ear, I looked to see four other faces staring at me.


Bran said, “You know how to eat good ribs.”

Oh, you all eat them different?”

No, we were wondering if you did.” he said with a smile.

No, they're not good unless you're licking your face off afterwards.”

Ev laughed and said, “You'll make it here.”

D laughed and said, “Don't let them give you a hard time. The reason we laughed was because Sam had a friend over once who ate them with a knife and fork.”

I laughed and said, “You don't get as much that way.”

She laughed and said, “No, and you sure don't enjoy them as much. Do you want me to start saving bones for Brad?”

If you don't mind, you can.”

Sure. Ours don't need all these.”

Who's Brad?” Sam asked.

Brad Pitt, he's Dennis' bedmate.”

She looked at me and then at Evan. “I thought you were his boyfriend!”

Bran began laughing and said, “Who's Brad?”

His full name is Bradley Pitt Bull. He's my dog.”

Sam smiled and said, “Cool name.”

I can say I sleep with Brad Pitt every night and everyone thinks I'm lying.”

Ev started laughing and Bran laughed so hard he started to choke.

D snickered and said, “Den, you're going to make it here. The only problem is you've got her thinking to ask if she can have a dog now.”

Mom! Can I?”

Ask your dad when he recovers.”

Bran looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “That's a good one. Mine would have been Eartha Kitten, but instead I got better.”

D reached over and kissed him. “Thank you hon.”

He smiled and said, “See, it works like a charm.”

Sam said, “I'm still undecided what kind of dog I'd name Will Smith.”

Ev laughed and said, “That dog would be named so many things, it'd be confused by the time she's done naming it.”

He looked over at me and asked, “You have other dogs?”

D said, “Yeah, his other dog's name is cute too. Gypsy Rosalee.”

Mom knows all his dogs names!” Sam asked.

D smiled and said, “Hon, they're easy to remember with the names he gave them. Both of them are cute names.”

Sam asked, “How'd you meet Ev?”

I sold him some Jheri curl activator.”

She looked at Ev and said, “Mom let you have some!”

D laughed and said, “Hon, he bought it for your dad's business.”

Oh, I was wondering if we were going to be able to get some.”

Absolutely not!” D said. “You can go to a salon and get a treatment by a professional and I'll be happy, but you're not going to put chemicals on your body without training.”


I looked over at Sam and said, “Sam, I sold the stuff to him and not even I know what's in it. Your mom has a point.”

She just doesn't want me to have a good hair style.”

Bran said, “Hon, she told you to go to a salon. She didn't tell you she didn't want you to have a good hair style.”

But dad, in order to keep the style, I've got to be able to wash it and be able to do it myself afterwards.”

Bran smiled and said, “Well, either you can get a style which you can do, or you'll have to go to the salon a lot.”

D turned to Bran and said, “I didn't say that.”

Hon, you left a loophole in there big enough to have her going to the salon five times a week.”

Sam caught on and said, “Neat! I'll have to start making appointments.”

Ev started laughing and said, “It'd take more than that to get true beauty with your looks.”

I felt the kick under the table vibrate all the way through Evan's body sitting next to him.


Sam, I felt it clear over here. Stop it.”

You're not going to say anything to him!”

Evan be nicer to your sister. You know I'm going to have to pay for the salon treatments and we need her beautiful as fast as possible.”

Bran started snickering and said, “Sam, don't say anything. Hon, these ribs sure are good.”

Ev smiled and said, “Sam, I'd be willing to offer suggestions for a hair style.”

Ok, what do you think!”

One that goes forward. Covers everything from the nose down and the whole front.”


Ev.” D said with mild smile to her voice.

I stepped in and said, “Sam, you familiar with Rhianna?”


Get her style. It's what you'd look best in.”

You think?”

Yeah, you'd be a catch.”

Thank you Den” D said, “I'm glad you chose someone who likes to wear clothes.”

I like Rhianna.” Ev said.

You ever heard her other songs?”

Which ones?” Sam asked.

Go to YouTube and listen to Cory Lee. If it's not her singing, it's someone who sounds just like her.”

Which song?” Sam asked

The Naughty Song.”

D looked at me and said, “Is it something appropriate?”

It depends if she's listening to the censored version.”

D said, “Sam, we'll listen to it in the studio. If it's bad, we'll edit out the words.”

You have a studio?”

Yeah, I want to try that song later if you don't mind.”

Sure. It'd be neat.”

Bran asked, “Which one?”

You remember the song I used to sing when the kids wouldn't know what happened around here?”

That 'I dunno' song?” asked Sam

Yeah” Bran said.

He used an older song I did in the late seventies as background while I sang it over it. It was perfect.”

He smiled and said, “This going to be a part of an all night creative session?”

He's gave me a lot of neat ideas. Some of them are a definite go in my opinion.”

Really!” Evan said real excited.

She smiled and said, “Yeah, it's something we could do and get done real easily. He had no clue I have all the original tapes here when he mentioned it.”

I looked at her surprised. “You do!”

She laughed and said, “Yeah, I've got the masters and the video already taken over to DVD. All I have to do is do the sit down part and editing.”

Bran asked, “What's the idea?”

One of them is using the vids and doing a compilation of them where I tell about the song and what we were doing at the time career wise. He said if I couldn't get it distributed, he could get it into stores.”

Evan said, “Mom, do you think you could get it distributed?”

It depends. I could call Clive and ask. If anyone would want to do it, I think he would.”

Would you tour again?” Bran asked.

No, that's the best part. He said I could do an infomercial of them and put it out that way. I like the idea because all it'd probably mean is doing an Oprah show and that's it.”

Bran smiled and said, “I'll support it.”

D smiled and said, “Hon, I wouldn't do it without your approval. I know how you don't like the touring aspect of it.”

It drags you down too much. After the last one, I got you back and told myself never again.”

I agree.”

You thought about doing Vegas for a limited run?”

She nodded and said, “There've been a lot of offers, but it can be as grueling as doing a tour.”

You wouldn't have to do any hoakie interviews.” said Bran.

No, it'd be something I could do and not have to worry about the next question being a bombshell.”

Do they do that?” I asked flabergasted.

Hon, I had drinking and driving charges. They threw all sorts of things out there after that which would have you thinking I was killing someone's kid.”

Oh man.”

She nodded and said, “Stardom has a price and it's a target aimed at your head when they get the goods on you. If they love you, it's great, but I've had both sides and I'm not willing to go through parts of it again at any cost.”

I think the best part is you doing the infomercial. We could distribute it and have control of the whole thing. Would you get the monies from it?”

It has a huge cost of getting air time on stations.”

Ok, so we pay that. Do you get the money?” I asked.

I'd pay the girls royalties, but the main part would be mine to keep.”

I asked, “How much are royalties. They're going to need to get a good chunk of change to remind themselves to be polite when the news rags come calling.”

She nodded and said, “Sadly, the last time, they got more than we made in our entire career together to be polite. They still chose to come out blasting.”

Did you get the money back?”

No, by that time, it was already gone. They lived it up and down and rode the train through all the stations.”

Ok, are you willing to endure that again?”

She said, “I'm willing because I think it will sell enough to give us more than enough to retire soundly.”

Bran said, “Hon, we have more than enough now.”

She nodded and said, “Yes, but all it would take is a devastating illness and full time care after that and we'd be through it in no time.”

Bran shook his head and said, “Hon, I'll support whatever you want, but I really would like to have you do it for the idea and not for the money.”

I'm for it too just because it makes sense. It'd probably start some good things for others, but the novelty of it would be enough to really make mine sell more.”

I asked, “Please tell me if it's none of my business, but do you receive royalties for them?”

She nodded her head and said, “You need to understand the business. First of all, the royalties go to Motown. Then, Motown decides if it's going to go bankrupt or not before they send out checks.

If they're in mind to keep them, they do. If they don't, we get checks where it's all disputable whether we got what we should have or not.”

Is that what the disagreements are between you and the girls?”

That and the feeling they think I got special treatment. I'll admit I probably did. I'll even tell you I definitely did, but had they chose to do what I did, they'd see themselves in my position and I'd be the one grumbling.”

Ok, that was honest.”

She smiled and said, “My kids know the past and they know it from my opinion. I knew they'd see the other's on television and I wanted them to know there are two sides to the stories before they got to thinking I was terrible.”

I'm not judging. I realize the press does what they want and more often than not, the slant is to get the worst on people.”

I'm glad you see it that way. All I want to say is it hurts when you see it about yourself.”

I imagine. I mean, I've never been in the position, but I have been through some of the same things.”

She looked shocked and said, “Like what?”

Being gay is a double edged sword. You see stars out there who are talented and praised when they're doing good, but when they get to a point, they're blackmailed by the rags to jump through hoops or be outed.

In high school, I was on the football team. We had a winning year and went all the way to state. Right before the final game at state...the big one...the coach called me in and blackmailed me. He asked me if I wanted to play. I said yes. Then, he asked me how badly and I told him I'd do anything. That's when he told me he knew I was gay and if I didn't do things for him, he'd out me to the team and throw me off it and not let me play.”

Oh dear Lord!” D said.

The thing about it is I did it. We played and won. Then, afterwards, the guys were all carrying me off the field and into the locker rooms. I told them and everyone got mad at him. His retribution was he attempted to get the scholarships all overturned.”

I hope you went to someone in authority.”

One of the guy's dad got told. He went to the school board. We had enough of the guys there standing behind me the school board investigated. It got nasty and I ended up getting beaten by my old man and thrown out. I ended up sleeping on a friend's floor the rest of my high school year.

As soon as I graduated, I took my car and started selling things for different companies. My first thing I sold was the Toastmaster Sandwich machines. Wal-Mart had a sale on them the previous year for nine dollars each, so I knew they could be gotten for a lot less. I went to the company and threw them the idea to let me sell them and they took it up. The only difference was they changed the name to their Sunbeam brand.”

Bran nodded. “I've bought a bunch of them.”

I probably sold them to your supplier. All of them which went out the door as Sunbeam until last year was my sales job.”

He looked surprised. “You made a ton of money from them.”

Let's just say I made enough over the Summer before college I never had to work again in my life. I made a dollar each on the things.”

He looked surprised and his eyes bugged out.”

I sold nearly a million of them!”

D smiled and said, “Hon, he's got some ideas for you too. Just wait and let him pitch them to you.”

He smiled and said, “Let him pitch them to Evan. He'll be the one running the company soon.”

Evan smiled and ducked his head.

I asked, “What's Sam going to do?”

Sam said, “I'm going to go to college to be a clothing designer.”

Ok, that'd be cool. Give your brother some good clothes to sell and he'd make you rich.”

You think!”

I know. The best thing you could do would be to get a lot of Summer weight short sets for both men and women.”


If you notice, I said set...not separates. The way it is now, they sell the shirts separate from the shorts. A whole unit costs fifteen bucks retail. What you don't know is the shirts sell and the shorts tend to stay on the rack.

What I think is you have a way better chance of getting both items out the door if you put them together. They do it with kids clothes and parents think it's a deal. Somewhere along the line, the idea of separates has gotten way out of whack. You'll have three times as many swim tops sold as bottoms.”

Bran looked surprised. “Really?”

Yeah, they can wear them with shorts.

The stores think they're going to make a load of money, but they end up biting it on the bottoms. What's bad is by then, they're into a different quarter and in some companies an entire fiscal year. They don't look at what their bottom line was on it.”

She smiled, “I'll do that.”

Get a good weight material where it feels good. Go with cotton blend and stay away from whites.”

She frowned and asked, “Why?”

Cotton washes better than synthetics. The numbers of jerseys stay on better and for some reason, the elastics don't give out as much. If you give a good value item like that at a way low price, you'll get what you could've made in bigger prices on volume and have your name out there in front of more people.”

D smiled and said, “Not one thing you said was wrong.”

Bran nodded and said, “I can't carry elastic over from one year to the next.”

You want a good pointer? Go with wider elastic bands at the top like the old Gold's Gym shorts. Starter has done it and the reason is because it tends to not curl and it holds together for a good long time. The unit manufacture cost per box of the stuff is like forty cents difference.”

Sam asked, “Would you help me with some of these ideas I have?”

Sure, but I'd like to have the whole family giving input. I can make calls and get them out the door, but it'd be nice to have the whole family giving input.”

She nodded and asked, “Would you all help me?”

Bran and D nodded. Ev said, “Sam, I'll help, but I don't know much about clothes.”

Ev, there's not much to know. If you can put it on and wear it and it feels comfortable and looks good immediately, it's a good product. If the thing will wash out in ten washings, then it's not a good product. I refuse to sell something unless I've put it in with a bunch of jeans and washed it ten times. You'd be amazed at how fast some stuff will look terrible afterwards.”

D said, “There's a low price store out now which I thought was a real good investment. It's two guys names. They wanted money and I took a look at the items they were going to sell. As soon as I saw some of the things they had, I decided not to invest. Now, they're going and doing good, but I wonder how many people are real happy with the clothes.” <Author's Note: Steve and Barry's has since went bankrupt.>

I know who you mean. I've been there to their stores and agree. They're doing good because Wal-Mart is so expensive on clothes. The problem with my trip there is the store was right next to a JC Penny's which I had just left. The difference in the quality was totally day and night.”

D asked, “Are the clothes good at Penny's?”

In my opinion, if you buy higher cost items, it's throwing your money away. What you have to do is you have to be careful there with colors. Penny's sells a lot of seasonal colors which are good this year, but next aren't going to be worth much. That's how they get their money is the repeat business.”

D said, “I've wondered about Penny's. My mama bought clothes there when we were little, but I never knew why.”

They wear well and their men's brands are some of the best.”

Bran's eyebrows raised. “They are?”

Yeah, Dockers pants and St. John's Bay shirts are awesome. Then for jeans, they've got Levi's. None of them are bad.”

I'll have to try them.”

That polo shirt you have on looks like one from them.”

D got this for me.”

It came from Neiman Marcus.”

Ooh, a store I can't go in without spending a fortune.”

She smiled and said, “Neither can I.”

What's interesting is I think the shirt is made by the same company as Penny's brand.”

Bran touched his arm and said, “You think?”

I'll ask, but I'm pretty sure of it. The price difference is probably a fortune difference, but at Penny's it's a fifteen dollar shirt.”

D looked surprised and said, “I paid a hundred and fifty for it!”

D, we'll have to go to Penny's. I know a store manager who will get you in so no one is going to say anything.”

She nodded and said, “I'll try them.”

We got through with dinner and got up. I carried my plate into the kitchen and then proceeded to clear the table.

Den, don't worry about that. Mary will be in to get them.”

Just the same, I'll do it. It's not something I wouldn't do at home.”

She smiled and said, “Are you going to need live in help at the house?”

Does Ev need it?”

He's probably going to.”

Ok, then we'll get him some people. Are there rooms for them?”

I've got them planned.”

Ok, when it's time to hire them, make sure they support us being together. If they don't, I don't want them working for me.”

Ev said, “I can pay.”

Ev, we'll pay shared cost if you want, but I'll tell you now I'm going to want a lot for them.”

What do you mean?”

High speed cable internet, cable television, a separate phone, and complete access to a car of their own on their off time. I'll provide the amenities because I know they'll be happier.”

Do you have live in help in your other houses?”

The way it goes with me, I have help in Paris, and Hong Kong. The reason is I'm there a lot more than other houses. In London, I tried it, but found I got there so rarely it didn't make sense, so all I did was left on some lights and left the furnace turned on and set at a comfortable temperature.”

D asked, “You have all these houses, who else stays there?”

No one. It's impractical, but you guys are welcome to stay there whenever you'd like.”

She smiled and asked, “Are they nice?”

Very nice. In Paris, I spent a fortune, but it's in a prestigious location and is an old town house from a wealthy family so it's been well cared for.”

Why'd you get them? Wouldn't living in a hotel be better?”

Hotels don't suddenly have nice rooms because I come into town. I've found myself running around in taxis from one place to another when I could have been sleeping or getting prepared for a presentation.”

We'll probably enjoy going and staying at some.”

Do you have the internet?”


Ok, I'll look up my file on Photobucket and get you photos of them. For insurance purposes, I've got photos of everything on file.”

That's smart.”

It was something I had to do. Unfortunately, my house in Malaysia burned. I had no idea what it was worth and no idea what some of it was because it was purchased with the house.”

Why there?”

Everywhere I have a house, I've got suppliers, customers, or both. I prefer to give them an address where it's known as a prestigious location so they see I can afford to do without their business.”

You must have made a fortune.”

It's a lot. My goal yet is to get a place in Brazil, Moscow, and South Africa. As soon as I have those, I'll be done buying unless it's to upgrade in New York.”

You already have a place there?”

It's a Carlisle apartment. It's nice, but I really want to get over to the Trump Towers.”


For what I spent for a unit at the Carlisle, I could have gotten a whole floor at the Trump. It's cramped and I just feel like I'm sitting with my chin on my knees there.”


Yeah, the living room is tiny. The bedroom is small and the other bedroom I won't even let a guest stay in because a queen sized bed leaves no walking area.”

Oh my!”

I bought a name there sight unseen. I won't do it again.”

I've always heard it's nice.”

It is, that's why I could get out of it what I have in it.”

Is the Trump as prestigious?”

Yeah, I hadn't thought so but it's because the suppliers are getting younger. In the past three years, most of them have retired for some reason and new younger people are getting the jobs.”

I bet you think the same thing about Evan taking over for Bran.”

I understand it's business. I'm not judging. It's just something I've noticed.”

What are you finding strange about it.”

Here's what you will find out about me. When I go into a company to sell, I do it and know how to sell to that client. Most of the time, I've dealt with them enough they know I'm not going to sell them junk.

With younger buyers, or suppliers, I'm finding what they bought the last time has no bearing on what the next sale will be. Their tastes change as fast as MTV songs, and sometimes, they're viewing me as being too old to sell them things.”

You're not that old!”

No, but I'm not wearing jeans and a t shirt. Some well known companies are now letting their buyers wear whatever they feel. They see me in a suit as being too formal.”


Yeah, it's something I refuse to do. I have multiple accounts and what I might get by with one isn't going to fly with the next appointment.”

You do well?”

If you're fishing for a dollar amount, I'll tell you it's very well. I won't tell you the numbers, and that's because what I make this year isn't what I'll make next year. I could do a lot worse or I could do a billion more...who knows?”

You're that rich?”

Yeah, but I won't be once I get what I want in Brazil and South Africa.”


I want some huge pieces of land. I'd love to have some places down there where you see it from the air and you think it's awesome, but once you land, you think I'm some sort of king.”


It's an ego thing. Down there, I know they are my suppliers and they make their livings from breaking the backs of kids, but they also expect to be treated like royalty for me to buy from them.

Over in South Africa, a lot of the wild life isn't protected. I figure if I put up a fence which can't be cut through with wire cutters, and is clustered with alarms, the wild life I have inside is going to be protected.”

It's corrupt over there, isn't it?”

Yes, but at the same time, the man with the money speaks rather loudly. You need to know that going in because it costs a lot just to get a driver's license there. It costs a lot to land a Hummer there and it takes a whole lot to get red tape cut through.

I'll do it because they've made me very wealthy. I'll do it because I know once I've done it, I can have that wild life and protect it even if I have to hire an army to do so.”

So it's not about the ego.”

Yeah, it is, because the average Joe over here doesn't really care what happens over there. Over there, they don't even care really because they know they're only going to make x amount of dollars and it takes a lot more to make it.”

So you'll bribe people over there?”

In a heartbeat. For me to save a rhino might not mean much to someone, but to me it means I've saved one. One means a lot because once it's gone, it's gone.”

Aren't they gone now?”

Yeah, but there's a captive breeding program which is going well. I've spoken with the people who run it and for ten million, I can get six flown back over there. Returning them to the wild means they're back in the wild.”

She smiled and shook her head. “Does Evan know this?”

No, he'll have his things he wants to do too and I'll support them unless it's hunting my animals. If it's a direct conflict, I'll have to put my foot down, but I'm easy to live with otherwise.”

She laughed and said, “The thought of Evan with a hunting rifle and being in a safari cap reminds me too much of Elmer Fudd. He definitely isn't going to want to do that!”

After I was through putting the dishes into the kitchen, she and I went into the studio. I was a bit taken back because it was so nice.

This is nice.”

I designed it. I wanted it to feel like a living room. In a normal studio, they put sound proofing on the walls to absorb sound and not get echos. I learned furniture will absorb just as good as padding on walls.”

You're correct there. I've got a house where you and I would attempt to speak with each other and we'd end up yelling in the living room because of the furniture.”

Then something's wrong.”

Yeah, but it's comfortable. It's my favorite house, so I'm not going to redo it.”

What makes it your favorite?”

It's my gramma's old house. It's right off the beach in Beaufort, and it's probably worth a fortune.”

Oh, that's a nice little town.”

Yes, it is. They've got a good thing going there because they want it to be kept that way.

On towards Savannah, they're expanding a lot and have a lot of private gated communities. The houses are beautiful, but unless you're wanting to build or buy a ten million dollar house, you're not going to get something nice.”


Yeah, a house built by a famous golfer down there went up for sale and got priced ridiculously low in the mid threes. The real estate man who showed it to me told me it must have roaches to be so cheap. He didn't even want to sell it.”

Did they sell it?”

Yeah, to an out of state guy. I have not idea if it had them or not, but what I do know is he got the real estate guy fired.”


The guy came prepared. He asked a lot of questions and he got treated like dirt. He'd also spoke on the phone with the golfer and had already made a deal if he liked the house. The real estate man got into it with him and refused to sell him the house! He called the golfer and suddenly, he had the owner of the real estate firm there. In the meanwhile, the real estate man had called the police on the guy and attempted to have him arrested. Fortunately, the guy ended up dating the town Marshall.”

She giggled and said, “Small town politics. I played some which were like that in the South.”

It's not changed much. The names don't even change. A Sheriff's son gets the job and he's just as corrupt as the daddy was.”

I see why you ran away from there.”

It's not where you want to be gay. I choose to do my living there gorilla style. I'm in and out before they realize I'm there.”

That's not a way to live.”

Not there.”

She spooled up the digital master. “When I'm in there, give it a press to start and I'll start doing it.”

Sam stood behind me and Bran stood next to me.

I've not said anything because there's not been any time, but Thank you.”


For being yourself and fitting in so smooth to our family.”

Hey, I'm not doing anything I'd not normally do. There's no need for thanks.”

He chuckled and said, “It's rather humorous now that I know you're from South Carolina how I can hear the Southern inflections in your speech.”

I giggled and said, “I tried a long time to get it gone.”

You failed miserably, but you did have me convinced you were from another country with your brogue.”

Good, I like that brogue.”

D spoke into the mic. “I'm ready.”

I spoke through mine. “I'm sorry. I was thinking of something I want to try in a moment.”


I pressed play and the older song began playing. Bran instantly started snapping his fingers. “This is one of my favorites.” he said smiling.

Because she really belted it out on it. She's going to shoot me when I ask her to try something different.”

I doubt it.”

She began singing the “I dunno” song over it and Bran's intake of breath was accompanied by Ev's “Oh yeah!”

Sam's hands came down on my shoulders and I could tell she was really focusing on the way it was done. What's interesting is I began hearing her doing backup for D and the voices were near identical.

When D was finished, she said, “Yeah!”

I said, “D, hang on there a moment because we're going to do some backgrounds. Sam's coming in.”

Sam said, “What?”

I heard you singing, the voice is the same. Your mama will shit herself when she realizes it carried through to you.”


Sam, Ev's going to go in in a moment and he's going to do something which is going to make you amazed.”

Have him do it first.”

Ok, let me tell your mama to come out.”

I got on the mic and said, “D, come out for a moment. We're having Ev come in.”


I turned to Ev and he smiled shyly. “Don't dare tell me I can sing.”

Go in and I'll direct you.”

Ok, I'm trusting you.”

If it doesn't work, we can take it out.”

I looked up at Bran and said, “You're on deck.”


He's going in and I'm going for him to do some “Oh and do them on scales. You're going to be doing the baritone backs for him. It'll sound soulful and will give it depth.”


Yeah, Sam's over here singing the highs so clear it's sending chills down my spine. When she started getting it so it was just putting me in overload, I heard the song change. It had to have some guys voices.”

Ev went in and clowned around at the mic.

D came out and said, “It's good.”

Babe, he's going to do some tweaking. I just heard what he's got planned and it's going to be over the top.”

The song started and I said, “Ev, when she hits that first I dunno, you start and all you have to do is give it an oh whoa whoa whoa.”


You heard of the old railroad gang songs?”

A long time ago.”

They had beat. They had a clang to it and they had you stomping your feet. Always someplace in the background, they had someone who was singing alto to the others. Your job is to do that alto part.”

Come here and show me.”

Ok, I'll do it but it's got to be you doing it.”

I stood up and D had a tear stain on her cheek. “Seeing him in there has me misty.”

Press play but only cue his mic. I'll sing over to the side on a dummy.”


I went in and said, “Ok, we're going to do it with me over here. You listen and I'll show you what I'm hearing.”

The song started and D's voice came through so high and melodic, it sounded like she did back in the sixties. As soon as the first I dunno happened, I sang the back. A smile hit his face and I winked. He pulled in and started.

At the next one, I started doing it in scales downward. He looked at me strangely and I nodded. He came in and we did it in chorus together. He smiled real hug and started bobbing at his knees. It was neat to see him getting the rhythm of the back song.

When we were done, I said, “D, send in Sam.”


Sam came in and I said, “Little sister, you do the highs like you did in there. You pull it for me and we'll figure out a lower rap which is going to go underneath.”

She looked surprised and I said, “Think of what Little Mama did on that Girlfriend song by Avril Lavine.”

Oh Ok!”

What we need right now is those highs and the back up singing you did in there.”

She nodded and said, “this makes me self conscious.”

Close your eyes and think about watching your mama doing the hard part.”

The song started and as soon as I heard the sound exit her throat, I was getting the chills. I left the room and went into the control booth.

As soon as I entered, D was in my arms with a huge hug. Bran was over there with his eyes closed and facing the ceiling.

What's neat was somewhere along the way, Sam started doing some vocal gymnastics like Mariah Carey and going soul on it.

I went over to Bran and started doing the bass baritone part which was the “whump” of the rail gang. He started getting it and came out with an Al Franklin growl which went high.

I nodded to Ev and D and held my thumb up. Tears were streaming down her face and she clasped her hand onto mine.

At the end, Sam came out and I said, “Bran, you're on.”

Ok, but we need some clangs.”

We're going to do them, but it's going to be different. Think of what the other people will be doing when they're listening to the song and the only thing they'll have available to them.”

Finger snaps!” D said with excitement.

Yeah, what we're doing here is we're giving a multi depth version in which anyone with a voice can sing a part.”

I'm getting it now. It's a new version of the Wall of Sound.” D said more to herself.

In a large way.”

Brilliant. You know you could be a producer.”

In a moment, I'm going to push you to your limits and have you reaching parts of yourself you'd not think possible.”

Ok, but have Sam do it.”

Sam's going to be in there in a moment showing skills and talents she's not got a clue she possesses.”


Yeah, it's another singer's song, but her voice will have her doing it better than Kelly Clarkson.”

I've not heard of her.”

She's a white Mariah Carey, mom. She belts out a song and hits highs.”


She's going to find she's got a talent and I bet you it's going to awaken a sleeping giant within her.”

I can hear it. It sends chills through me.”

She was doing it behind me while you were singing. It was like having you in stereo with the highs more crisp and clear than a Bose sound system can even give.”

I bet.”

Bran did his part and by the time he was through, he was exhausted. He reached parts of himself and growled his way better than the best.

He went over and slumped onto the sofa. D took off running and Ev hugged me. “He's crying.”

He's knowing it's better than good.”

It if hit the airwaves raw, it'd sell out in a week. I'll tell you now your mama's been through it enough it's nothing to her anymore.”

Sixty number ones.”

In four decades.”

Only three.”

This one is going to make it four. What's special about it is each of you have a part in it.”

You need to do something.”

I'm planning on it. It's going to seem strange, but it's going to be serpentine. If I can't get it to work, we can pull it out and send it back in with digital warping. She's singing about a bad child and no where in what you've done is there a petulant child. I'm going to hit that part.”


What you're not hearing yet Ev is the tinkling sound of a child's music box gone disco. Throw in some violin scratches and it'll be a overwhelming sound.”

You can hear this in your head?”

Yeah, when you've heard as much music as I have on flights and at home, you can easily transplant a sound heard from one song onto another and try to figure out what it'd sound like.”

What's the child's music box from?”

If I told you, you'd think it was creepy.”

Ok, try me.”

It's a song done for a slash flick a long time ago. I can hear it but I can't tell you which movie. It was an instumental.”

I probably can tell you which one...let me think on it.”

Do you realize your voice is going to really have some controversy on this song?”


It's going to be mistaken for Michael Jackson's.”


Yeah, think about when he sings lower and gets more soul into his voice. Yours is a dead ringer.”

I wondered why you put it on there like that.”

People are going to hear her out there and they're going to mentally go through her whole career...all the way from Motown on up until now.”

Mom's worried about not being able to get it out there.”

If no one will produce it, I'll have her start her own label and get it out there by footing the bills for it.”

You sure?”

Diva Records. She's known as one, it's time to get something from it.”

No, do it David with the D's backwards. It's Diva D.”

Ok, we'll run it by her. I'm not going to mention it until Clive doesn't want it.”

If Clive doesn't want it, she'll go to Quincy Jones.”

It must be nice to have friends like that.”

Both of them are like members of the family.”

Oh man, hon, you've got to do a song for me here.”

You just heard my voice on a song?”

Yeah, but if we released it, you'd be a sex symbol for sure.”

I don't want that.”

Hey, this album isn't going to be toured. It's strickly studio. What people think is their own concern.”

He laughed and said, “I come home to you at night. You're not going to be laying in bed alone having me think I'm out with someone else.”

Is that what he thought?”

I don't think so, but the rumor was out there she was with someone else.”

That had to hurt.”

What hurt was having a friend of mine's parents believing the rumors and not letting him hang around me anymore.”

That's crap.”

D and Bran came in. “We're going to do that one for you Den and then, we're going on up to bed.”

Ok, but please don't do it just because I want it. It's going to pull you in a different direction than you've been ever before and I know it's going to be rough on you.”

Hey, we're playing around here. I'm not afraid to go a different direction.”

It's rock, but it's going to tax your voice.”

Ok, let's throw it on and I'll go in.”

You're being a real trooper here.”

She smiled and said, “This song here is damned good.”

I know, it's going to be totally scary when you hear what's in my head that finishes it. You're going to up that a few notches.”

A huge smile broke out on her face. “I don't doubt it one bit.”

She went into the studio and said, “Ok, I'm ready.”

I went to YouTube and pulled up Billy Squire's “Everybody Wants You” and downloaded it.

As soon as it finished, Ev said, “Man, that's going to be rough.”

Yeah, but she's going to do it and wonder why she never did it before.”

She said, “I'm ready.”

I said, “It's about to hit your ears. On the monitor in front of you is the lyrics coming up.”

She took a look and I flashed them. I hit the play and she heard the first few bits and I heard a yowl come from her.

She started singing and I got the master pulled on. I was busy looking at the console when Ev tapped my shoulder. I looked up and saw her doing an air guitar. The shock of it was enough to really give me goosebumps.

She started hitting her highs on the chorus and I turned to Ev and said, “It's damned good.”

She's making it her own.”

Yeah, it's something everyone is going to be amazed at her thinking about doing, but it works.”

I'm anxious to see what you're going to have me do.”

When the song finished, she said, “That was fun.”

She came running and into the booth and I said, “D, Bran, I'm going to ask you to stay for a moment and listen to Sam for a moment.”

Bran said, “Ok”

Sam, you've heard of Kelly Clarkson?”

Yeah, I've got her cd.”

Ok, Miss independent is where we're going with this.”

You sure?”

Throw in that voice with those highs you're doing and you'll own it.”

She went running into the booth.

I pulled up the lyrics and then the song from YouTube. When it started, Sam started throwing her voice in the highs and taking it to a low sultry hum.

Oh my God!” D said in the background.

Sam sang and when she hit the part where she needed to belt it out, she was there and throwing those highs to a point I had to look at the console to see if they were registering. They were. I pointed at the console and D said, “Ummm hmmm, I'm worried about dogs howling when they hear her though. She's hitting a range where it's like a dog whistle.”


We'll put it through and if it does, we'll tone it out. That song is something she really likes and it shows.”

She's got talent.”

I know.” said Bran. “It's a surefire career for her if she wanted to go that direction.”

When it was over, D said, “Over there is the save button for everything we've done. What I'll do is I'll wait until three days has passed and if it's still sounding good to me, I'll call Clive.”

Ok, Good night guys.”

You guys don't stay up too late.”

Don't worry, I've got to be on the phone with Osaka, Berlin, and New York. Have you had Black Forest Ham?”

Yeah, it's excellent.”

I've got a bunch coming.”

They're expensive!”

We've got a canner here who bought it by the ton. They got it for a steal and offered me as much as I want gratis. I'll get thirty of them.”

What are you going to do with thirty of them?”

Put them with some Alpine Swiss and do a record promotion party. We'll save a few back for Christmas, but I figure if we do it where we have the heads of Story and Clear Channel here, we'll get that air play.”

She smiled and said, “You've done this before!”

No, not for a record. I've done it for a commercial, and now it's the most famous lizard on the planet.'

She laughed and said, “You're serious about this!”

D, I'll throw every cent needed on this. You just go to bed and think about this. If Clive doesn't bite and Quincy doesn't either, you're going to be asked to head Diva D records for me because I'll start it.

Ev thinks it should be named David with backwards D's.”

Can you get me a computer generated version of that where the Diva D flips over into the David name?”

I'll get it. A friend of mine is a whiz with that sort of thing on animation.”

I'd like to see it.”

Ok, I'll get it in multi colors so you can see the different ones.”

She giggled and said, “I'm ready Bran.”

Go ahead, I'd like to speak with the boys.”

She left the room and Bran went over to the control panel. “Den, Ev, tonight has been momentous. Somewhere I sang to the point I heard rocks breaking. Not one time have I ever thought I could hold a note and Ev will tell you he's never heard me open my mouth but to speak. Tonight, I did because of the love I have for her.

Use that music and do what you can to get her this released.”

I'm planning on it.”

When it comes out, we're going to agree to do a week's worth of promotion. We'll hit the morning shows and Oprah. We'll hit Jet and do it so BET will get it on. I'm willing to pull the strings because I know that song there is way over the top of what she's done in at least twenty years.”

Ok, consider it done.”

When we're through, we're going to be through. I want us retired in all caps with bold print. Not one more contract gets signed by us and the only thing I want to think about is if the sand is too hot on that tropical beach and I need to put some more suntan lotion on her.”

I smiled and said, “Ok, that's a deal.”

He turned and walked out of the room.

Ev came over and sat next to me with his butt against the console.

Den, for my dad to say what he did, it's the best compliment he's ever given. He's been asked a lot of times to even sing Happy Birthday and refused to do it. He knows and all of us here know when this hits, it's going to be viewed as weakness and a quaking of our resolve to have mom retired. They're going to offer millions for performances and that's why my dad is drawing a line in the sand now.”

I understand. I'm honored we got the time we did.”

He smiled faintly and said, “Sam's damned good.”

I know. It's scary because she's got a voice which can take out the school of phiranha which think they're going to get a piece with a sledgehammer.”

We need to get her in there to get that rap sung on the bottom of “I dunno”.”

I haven't a clue what I want there. All I know is I can hear a low rap done in that style and it's her voice.”

I'll listen to the words again and get the rap wrote.”

You know how to do that?”

Don't tell anyone.”


Sam came in and said, “I want to hear it.”

Ok, then what we'll do is get Ev to hand you the rap part of “I dunno” and have you do that.”

We started to play “Miss Independent” and as she listened to it, she said, “Oh man, that's good.”

Yeah, can you think of anything you'd like to add on it?”

Pull up some back drums if you can.”

I'll try. It's a bit weird when we're pulling from YouTube. What their recording is, we're tied to.”

You managed to get the vocals removed fine.”

Her vocals are a separate layer on the song. It's like a layover. They can be removed easy. It's the other parts which are hard.”

You know this board pretty good.”

It's a bit more complex than what I do commercials on.”

You do commercials?”

When a product needs a commercial, I'll do one so the buyer will have something to promote it with.”


Sam listened intently to the song and said, “I'd love to have a saxophone on it.”

Ok, we'll hire one and get it laid over on it when we have the musicians in.”

You're serious, aren't you!”

Yeah. You're damned good Sam.”

I know, that's what has me worried.”


Mom's the singer in the family.”

Your mom's blown away by you.”

She said that!”

Ev said, “You started to sing and she started off with “Oh My God” and then started to really complimenting you.”


Yeah.” he said putting his head back down.

What's he doing?”

Writing your rap for “I dunno”.”


He said for me not to tell. I've done broke my word.”

Ev smiled at me. “She doesn't count.”

Why don't I count!” she said indignantly.

You're family. Soon, you'll be a famous star and I'll be asked to do more for you, but I don't want to be doing it for everyone.”

You think I'm going to be a star?”

Sam, you're up there in talent with some of the best. You discount yourself as being your mother's daughter, but I'll tell you Whitney Houston was a younger relative to a lot of talented people.”

Can I do “Queen of the Night”?”

I'd love you to, but hon, let's find something better for you to sing.”


Are you aware of what the words to that song say?”

No, I know it's sexy.”

It's sexy if you think about it, but if you think about it being someone with a reputation nearly ruined by drugs, you've got to really think it's more.”


Ev said, “Mom nor Dad would approve you singing it. You know they've wanted us to never hang around people who do drugs and for you to sing a song saying you've got the stuff someone wants and you're the queen of it would have you really hurting their feelings.”

Ok, but find me a song which I can do like she does that one.”

Sam, can I give a suggestion?”


If you totally discount everything I ever tell you, please remember this bit of advice.

Whenever these stars are going up, they sing songs which fill dance floors and then, suddenly they all feel like they've got to be serious and not sing those sorts of songs. I'll tell you their sales go down. I'll tell you if they're lucky they reconnect with those roots and get another trek going with a good producer who will tell them the truth. If they're lucky, they'll stay up there some more.

Just think of it and you can point at a star who has stayed and they did it that way. Think of what happened to them and you see their songs are all trash until they get to the point they're back in doing something which will get it going again.”

Ok, so sing songs which fill dance floors.”

Madonna did it. Whitney did it. Mariah did it and all of them made it. Your mom was before the disco boom, but ask me and I'll tell you she went out there and released that song we're using tonight and owned the dance floors. She'll own them again and she'll probably make more from this one tonight than she did in all of her career.”

You think?”

Hon, the key to making money isn't giving it away. Your mom is willing to speak to some who made their money by taking huge chunks of other people's money recording. Yeah, it's a price to pay for fame, but it's also a bit to be eating soup when they're making steak from you.”

What do you think I should do?”

Make a record cheaply here in this studio. Then, we'll do some spot video filming which isn't going to cost a quarter of a million to do and then, we'll release it so it's on MTV and BET. And then, after it's played a week, we'll have curiosity up as to where they can buy it and pop that puppy on the television with commercials and reap the money.”


Because out of a cd you sell for fourteen dollars, you'll only see a dollar of it if you do it their way. If you do it this way, you're selling the thing and you're paying to promote it. You'll see probably half the money and you'll be a lot better off.”

Will that work?”

Commercials work. Direct mail works. I can show you facts and I can show you figures.”

Would you manage me?”

No, and I'll tell you why. First of all, a manager better be in the business and know a lot of people. I don't. Your mom would be a better person to tell you who is reputable and tell you what to look for in a contract.

Whatever you do, don't pay that person more than ten percent. If they're hungry when you're hungry, then they'll get out there and get you billed.”

How hard is it?”

Hard? Not hard. You could probably manage yourself better than most of them out there.”


Let me give you a clue. You take a calendar and you open it. You say to yourself, On this day, I want to be here in L.A. I know I'll sell out a stadium three days, so I better book one for three days. You call them and you do it.

Then, you need to get backup musicians. You hire them and you tell them they work for a flat fee per night performed...not per day. You give them a good salary so they're making more than what they would anywhere else. Let's say they make a thousand a night performed. The key word there is PERFORMED...That way, if you book for a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, you're not paying for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. If they work, they make money just like you.”


When you go stay in a city, you don't book a whole floor of a hotel. If you do, I'll tell you now you're getting screwed. They're going to charge you five times what those rooms cost and they're going to really charge you for the food. Then, they'll offer to get you limo service and a whole lot of other stuff and you'll be thinking they're great. I'll tell you now if you're dumb enough to pay me twelve hundred dollars a night for a two hundred dollar room, I'll get you a limo for free. They'll do it for a thousand when you can call a limo service and get it for two hundred.”

They do that?!”

What you see is how they do it. You'll see people singing their guts out and not making money because they're giving it away out the back door to their help.

Your mama sold her soul to Motown and got screwed to the point they told her she owed them money. It took getting a different manager with balls enough to tell them to prove it for them to back off her.”


Ev looked up and said, “Sam, he's telling you the truth.”

I never knew that.”

Hon, those people were sucking the life blood from their stars. They got rich and they had people world famous who were broke when they were done. They had to go elsewhere to get better deals because Motown was so corrupt.”

I didn't know that.”

Smokey Robinson is one to ask outside of your mama. He'll tell you because the man is still performing and still telling it like it is. Motown made him, but Smokey made himself money because they sure didn't.”

Are they all like that?”

For a large part, yes. They'll still do it.

Take a look at Prince. They owned his name to the point he was forbidden to use it in public. He went to the “Artist Formerly known As” and that label went in and bought the company just to own that name too. He came back and sued while switching to a symbol which they couldn't print so he could mess with them. Finally, he got the suit through and now has his name back.”

He's rich, right?”

Yeah, he's got money, but if you really got a truthful answer as to what he made and what you think he made because they put out a figure so blown up it's crazy, then you'll hear a lot less was actually made.”

What do you mean?”

Here's what they do. They call a shoe company and they ask if it's interested in you promoting the shoes. The shoe company says if you'll do commercials, they'll do it. So, that's a part of the contract.

They book you studio time. You go in to record and some dumb ass forgets to book the musicians to play behind you. Do they pay for that mistake, or you?”


You will even though it's their mistake. But, they're saying they gave it to you in the contract. The way it's written is if you record, it's paid for by them. If not, then you pay for every single person working that booth that day. You pay for the booth and you probably will pay for other booths because they choose to sneak it in.”

Is that legal?”

No, but hey, if I put it under incidentals and don't itemize what those are, are you going to know?”

They do that!”

Hon, it's what they do. It's how they play. That's why your dad refuses to play on their turf unless it's to your mom's benefit.

Do you have a clue what she grossed and actually made on her last tour?”


Gross, it was twenty six million for the year. It sounds like a lot, but I bet for that year, she didn't bring home a million of it.”

Ev leaned over and said, “Three hundred and thirty nine thousand.”

Sam looked ill. “My God!”

I heard dad screaming that one night. He said it wasn't even a thousand a day.”

Oh man, that's worse than I thought.”

I turned to Sam and said, “Sam, they'll insist on you wearing brand new clothes they provide for you to have an interview. Then, they'll see you pay fifteen thousand dollars for a pair of jeans. They'll charge you forty for a leopard print vest.”


And remember you don't have a choice. It's what they make you wear. You're their property and they tell you what to do, when to do it, and how long to do it.

Now you know why Mariah slit her wrists. Now you know why Britney is going the mental breakdown way out of her contract.”

I don't want to do it.”

Hon, I'm not saying not to do it. What I'm saying is if you do it, never trust another person out there who you haven't checked out and got verified several different ways.”

Ev said, “Sam, another thing you do is you ALWAYS insist upon having a full accounting of your income and outgo each month. They'll try to tell you they'll get it to you at the end of the year, but amazingly, at the end of the year, they're backed up and they just don't get it to you.

You have no idea what to pay for taxes and when you're worried about it, they'll tell you they had Accounting do it for you. You'll not remember you signed the forms and they'll tell you it was there and signed by you with all the other checks that month.

What you don't know is they didn't file the taxes and they kept the money for themselves they took from you to do it. When you're sued by the I.R.S., for the back taxes, they drop you for “unfavorable publicity” and refuse to help your lawyer because that would prove they robbed you.”

They do that?”

All to often. Look at that one singer your mom sang with? She had problems with the I.R.S., but only after she left the group.”

Mom never said anything about that.”

Your mom was probably kept busy when it hit the news stands. Her asking questions and being suspicious would have her leave before they were done robbing her blind too.”

So you're saying mom never made money with them.”

Your mom made money after them. Your mom made money doing other projects like that movie. Your mom made money with Quincy and she made money with Clive. She didn't make money with some others after them...and now, I hear her best year was less than a thousand a day.”

If I'm not going to do it, I don't want to do it.”

Hon, can I give you a suggestion?”


Do it the way I said. Do it by commercials and get your name out there. You're wanting to design clothes, it'll help you get your name recognized. It'll help you if you choose to go into acting or whatever.”

So do it that way and have people who can be trusted?”

Yeah. Make your music here. Buy the songs and don't pay someone else royalties, and don't pay stupid prices for things they insist upon you having. If they insist, then you make sure they're paying for it. If they insist on you going to the Oscars, you make sure if it goes on your body, it's kept by you. You insist on the rights to all film footage and you insist upon all the masters of all your recordings.”

Can I do that?”

It's your name. You can and will do it, or they'll figure out you can be screwed and you'll suddenly have all sorts of people asking you to do things who are famous and you've always dreamt of performing with.”


Yeah, but I'll tell you when Mariah comes asking, you better hold firm and tell her people to get fucked because you get the masters of it instead of her. If not, then have the balls to stand there and tell them it's not happening for any amount of money.”


Because years later when you're older and Mariah has finally kicked the bucket, you're going to see that footage of you singing with her and not getting a dime for it.”

What if I want to do it?”

Then love doing it enough that Mariah's people probably snuck in a contract which states you're now owned by Mariah and all your money is going to her from now on.”


They'll sneak wording into contracts. They'll release records with you singing those songs and they'll pay you a flat rate when you're screaming it should have been a royalty bound contract.”

Evan said, “Sam, mom performed on a lot of shows. Not one dime was made from it. She was told to do it because it would sell records and she'd make the money from it then. She did it and then, they apologized because they didn't sell as many as they thought they would.

Mom doesn't want us with drugs and she doesn't want chemicals because she saw what it did to her and what it did to others. They get you the drugs and then get you stoned so they can sneak in a contract for you to sign.

Another thing they'll do is they'll have you go out and perform a concert for fifteen grand. They'll pay a lot of money for a whole floor of a hotel and limos and singers and musicians and have it to the point where you're owing them money for you performing that concert.

And, they'll also tell you you're going to make forty million performing in Las Vegas for three months. You'll think that's great until you realize they've got a theater holding four thousand people and they're charging ticket prices so high that the theater doesn't fill. Since the theater didn't fill, you're docked for those seats that weren't filled. By the end of the run, you've only seen two million, but you're taxed for the whole thing.”


In order to get people in the seats, they gave them away. You're not told you can write it off, but you're sure taxed for what the company told you they received for that seat.”

It's all too complex.”

Get a good manager. Do what you want to do and don't trust people. And most importantly, get an entertainment lawyer who isn't afraid to sue and win.”

How much do they cost?”

A manager will cost you ten percent of what you make. If you make a dime, he gets a penny. He'll work to make you a dollar so he's then getting a dime.

An entertainment lawyer is going to be more. An average lawyer costs about two grand, he'll probably cost you five.”

That's not bad.”

That's an hour hon and his daily fee will probably be with a minimum of two hours.”


Yeah, but he's going to save you time and time again.”

Is there any way I can get it done cheaper?”

Yeah, go to a law school and find one who just graduated. Marry him and then he might not charge you the full fee.”

She laughed and said, “Forget that!”

Hon, the man will save you more money than that in the long run.”


Ok, let's say we record here and you've got an album which sells four million records. You'll want to do another because you got five bucks a piece.”

I thought you said the other guy was giving me a dollar.”

Yeah, and then, they're charging you for the rooms, and all those fees.”

Oh...forget it.”

Yeah, so you've got twenty million.”

Who gets the rest?”

Your mom and dad get a dollar for studio time. That's what the company would get.”

Your producer gets a dollar.”

Who's that?”

If I put the money up, that's me. I'll tell you now I'm not going to charge you that...but a company would.”

That's four million to mom and four to you!”

Yeah, your manager gets two from you...so don't forget that.”


To film the commercial, it's going to cost some, but don't worry, I'll get Randy to come and do it and it'll be good.”

Who's Randy?”

A friend of a friend of mine. I got introduced to him at a rock concert as he was filming the video there. We shook hands and he gave me his card. Since then, I've done a lot of commercials and he's filmed them all.”

How much?”

To do a minute long commercial, it's probably going to be ten thousand dollars.”

Man! That's a lot!”

Not really. He'll be here all day and he'll film a lot of stuff and you'll see after he leaves, he'll be editing and doing all sorts of things to it.”

Ok, so for that, I get a finished commercial?”

Yeah. In a lot of places, that commercial could cost you a lot more than that.”

Ok, so what else?”

Clothes for the shots.”

I have them.”

No, these have to be things which look good but can never be worn again.”


Let's say you film a video. You wear an outfit and it becomes the “Miss Independent” outfit. It gets wrote off to that shot, but if you wear it for something else, it can't be wrote off and it makes you look like you wear the same thing all the time.”


So we've got to get you ten different outfits.”

Ten! Why?”

Because you need to offer more than what other stars give their customers. You'll want to see them pop it in and find out it's a DVD with videos of all the songs. You'll want them to have video of you being interviewed, and you'll want lyrics so they can either see them like you saw them in there, or so they roll up over another video so it's like Karioki.”

That's cool.”

You'll also want a print out coupon for five dollars off for your concert.”

Oh kay...I thought I wasn't doing concerts.”

You'll do them, but you'll foot the bills and do them on your terms to where you make money.”


There are stadiums and arenas which aren't contracted with Ticketmaster or the other ticket outlets. They run all inclusive packages and that will be the way you tour.”


Ticketmaster and the other guys are out there to work for the record company to make their stars money...not you.”

What if I want them?”

Then what you'll see is Ticketmaster being in a contract to give the company a reduced percentage of five dollars a ticket. They charge that star twenty dollars a ticket, so in the contract they have an agreement if anyone else wants them to do tickets, that person has to pay them fifty dollars a ticket.”


Yeah, in order to break even, you'll have to charge that. My advice is to go elsewhere and get stadiums which don't have them.”

Where's those located?”

Military bases. Malls. Small town ball fields. Tents in fields, streets in towns on semi trailers. You can throw a concert anywhere when you think about it.”

Ok, so we do it that way?”

Yeah, but don't forget amusement parks, state fairs, race car tracks, hotels, and other countries.”

So what I'll have to do is do the songs in other languages.”

If you can, but it doesn't have to be that way if you don't know those languages.”

I know French, German, and Spanish.”

Ok, then that opens a lot of other doors.”

Good.” She said smiling.

Ev said, “Sam, if you want to do it, I'll help you as much as I can.”

Ok, I think I'd like to do it.”

I said, “What we'll do is we'll get your mom and dad's permission.”


Normally, they'd be asked to sign a contract. Then, they'd not get a say-so in your direction, but what I want from you is them to allow use of the studio and us to record the songs so they can listen to them. If they agree you have talent, then we'll have a demo which can get you managed.”

What if all the managers are contracted to companies?”

Not all of them are. You'll be amazed at who some managers are.”


Yeah, a person I've got in mind is the sister of a star who just retired. I figure if she can manage someone big, then she'll be able to manage you. I imagine you'll get her easily.”

How can you say that when you don't know if she's already managing someone?”

If she was managing someone, I'd know it, you'd know it, and it'd be out there.”

Who is it?”

Cher's sister, Georganne.”

Oh man!”

Yeah, she managed Cher for all those years. We'd know if she was managing someone else.”

Ok, call her.”

I'll call her when we've got a product to play her..and only after your mom and dad approve. I'm not getting into trouble with them by doing it behind their backs.”

What songs do you want to do?”

Let me think on it and let me ask your mom for permission to use one of hers.”

Oh, I don't know.” she said in a hushed tone of voice.

Hon, what we'll do is we'll ask. If your mom sees it's done really well, we'll probably get a green light. If not, then she'll say no and do something different.”

So we're going for ten songs?”

No, we're going for thirty songs.”

Why thirty?”

Hon, touring is tiring and grueling work. You're fresh now and won't be even wanting to perform any others or think about writing them.”

I can't write a song!”

Don't underestimate yourself. It's not that hard.”

Ok, then lets sit down and write some.”

Give me a few days and I'll have some music pulled up we can throw words on.”

She smiled and said, “You think it can be done that easy?”

Hon, I'm doing it all the time. I'll land in a different city and I'll start playing with the name of the place. Then, I'll hear a song on the radio I like the melody of and throw the words on the melody and before long, I'm doing it a whole different way which is totally new and different.”

Man, you make it sound easy.”

You'll find it to be easy too. Heck, I even made up a song for Charmin toilet paper once!”


Yeah, Charmin is squeazably soft, it's fun when you jump from a loft. You'll want to hold it near so when it's done it's to the rear. It won't rub you wrong and it's not ever going to be less than strong. One thing you'll never do is poke a finger through, so that's why I love you Charmin, Charmin true!”

She laughed.

One guess what I was doing when I made that up!”

She laughed and said, “It's catchy.”

Won't hurt if I throw it at you it's so catchy.”

She said, “You really run with them don't you.”

Hon, here's a project for you. Tomorrow night, I'll be back. In the mean time, I want you to write a song you'd sing to Will Smith.”

Oh man!”

He's someone you like and you know a lot about, so it should be easy.”

Ok, I'll try.”

Evan said, “Sam, here's the rap for the song.”

She read it and asked, “Ok, how do I sing it?”

He started singing it and she caught on. He stopped and she walked to the studio with the paper in her hand.

He came over and hugged me. “Thank you.”

Hon, your whole family has thanked me tonight, it's me who should be thanking all of you.”

He smiled and said, “No, you don't realize it but tonight was the first night in a long time mom and dad didn't hear she and I bickering at each other.”


I don't know why. I love her and she loves me, but we do it non-stop.”

Well, now we've got one night of doing without it, let's go for two.”

What's on deck for tomorrow?”

I've got to make calls. What I'll be doing is I'll be contacting suppliers to see if I can do a lot of negotiating with them over the phone and signing by fax instead of going there directly. I'll also have to all those three and do some business, but then afterwards, I've got to contact my buyers and ask them if I can start doing those accounts by phone too.

If they don't want to do it that way, I'll either decide their account is big enough to go, or too small and let them drop.”

You're going to give up business for us?”

Hon, I'm going to work on our relationship. You'll have your job, but I'll have mine during the time you're gone to work. When you're home, then we'll be done for the day, so we'll have our time together.”

How many do you think you'll have to go to?”

I'm not sure. No matter what, I'm going to go out on the road about three months out of a year at least. If I don't, I'll lose the feel of the customer and I sure don't want that.”

How many do you have?”

Oh man, I'll have to get back with you on that number. I'll tell you now the suppliers are more than my IPhone can hold and their files fill up several pages on my computer.”

That's a lot.”

Yeah, but there are big ones and small ones there. My customers are a lot more than that. I've got Rolodexes full of them at my grannie's house.”

You planning on moving out here permanently?”

No, but I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll consider this my home base.”

What's that mean?”

It means I'll be in here and out on my way to other places. I'll stop here and stay more than I probably will any other house on the planet, but what I won't promise is I'll move my banking account here.”

Ok, that's fine.”

What I will do is I'll open an account here so I can transfer funds here and pay bills. I'll have it so I can deposit here and move funds there.”

Why are you so secret about money?”

Hon, let me tell you and then you'll understand. My dad is an asshole. He heard me talk about money and he stole money from me. He talked with the banker there and because I was under age, he took money from my account. Since then, I've made it a point of never trusting people to know what I make or where it's located.

What I will say is I'll get a Will made up so you're given what I have should I die.”


Because one of the planes which crashed on 9/11 I was supposed to be on. Instead of me being dead, I got detained due to a customer wanting to ask another question about some ceiling fans.”

Oh man.”

Yeah, but here's how my old man was. He saw I was supposed to be on that plane and he had the insurance company called to get money before he even knew I was dead. It totally pissed him off when he found out I was alive.”

What an asshole!”

Yeah, but that's also the day my bank account got drained by him and that's the day I got ahold of a lawyer and sued a banker for giving my funds to him. That's also the day I shut that account and moved it to a place out in the middle of bumfuck so he'd have no idea where it's located.”

And they do all of it through transfers?”

Hon, for the amount of money I have in that bank, they better! The way I see it, if I took all the money out, they'd be collapsed in a heartbeat.”


Let's just say I get called Mister a lot when I go there and the President of the Bank has begged me to be on his board more than he probably should have.”


I've got about three times more money in there than anyone else and that's even the people who own the bank.”

Oh. You should be on that board.”

That's not what I'm after. To me, it's a service I use. They treat me good and keep the secret of what I'm worth.”

You ever going to tell me where it's located?”

Yeah, I'll have to because you'll be on that signature card in case I die.”

Don't think like that.”

You'll also be on the deed to all my houses.”

He looked at me and I said, “Ev, I have to talk that way. I want you to know you're the only one for me and I definitely want you to know you're going to have to fight my old man for every damned dime because he's going to think because I'm gay, I can't give it to you instead of him.”

He asked, “He was mean to you, wasn't he.”


Care to talk about it?”

I am. You're being told more than I've ever told anyone else.”


Ev, I'm settling down. Today is the eighteenth of the month. That tells me I've been home exactly one day in the past two months. That tells me I've been to London once, to Paris for eight days, and to Hong Kong for seventeen. I've gone to Russia four days and I've been to South Africa one. In Sydney a day and Malaysia nine.”

In the past two months?”

Yeah. All the rest, I've been here in the states on the road out serving customers and getting orders. That might sound like a lot, but it's not. It's only like eight days.”

You service a lot of customers in one day then.”

Yeah, look at how I did it today. I go see one and I make calls. Tomorrow, I'll make calls and probably should be up in San Francisco to see a buyer.”


He's got a new store. He's ordering hand made items which not even I can describe to you. I sold these things to him and have no clue if he's happy, or not.”

What's he say on the phone?”

He says he's happy, but is he really? Is he selling them? How many does he have left? And which ones sold so I can know what to order of them in the future?”

Oh, I'm understanding more now.”

Ev, my pride in my work is being there and letting them know I care. You don't know it, but here's how this works.

Today, you bought a hundred and twenty thousand jars of product. I made a hundred and twenty grand. If those products don't move, you're going to be worried about buying in the future.

What I'll probably do even though our contract states otherwise is I'll probably do a buy back of what's not sold in a year.”


Because I don't want you saddled with junk. I don't want you thinking each time I came to you with an item, I was unloading it just to have it gotten rid of.”

You do that with all your clients?”

Yeah, ever last one of them. I make it good even though the contract states otherwise because it's a pleasant surprise and it shows you I'm legit and not going to screw you on any deals.”

How much does that cost you and what do you do with them?”

Each year, I probably spend a million on buy backs. What I do with them varies. With this, I'll probably find a church who gives out food pantry items and get them in to them. They'll give them away and I can write it off.”

Oh, so it's making you look good to us and them.”

Yeah, but it's not that. You normally wouldn't know where I gave the stuff away. All you would know is I showed up and bought the stuff back. That in turn makes you want to do business on other levels. It also gives me priority when I call you because other suppliers won't do that.”

I'm understanding it now.”

I write it off and it makes it more convenient for me in the future. That's the whole jest of it.”

What is it mom said you wanted to talk with dad about?”

Not much, some dog food.”


It boosts your sales.”

Ok, can you make time tomorrow?”

Yeah, I'll be using your satellite center to make my calls, so I'll be there.”

He smiled and said, “Sam's ready.”

Ok, let's get her rolling.”

I pushed play and record. The console lit up and I saw all the charts start jumping.

You know, you're really talented.” he said hugging me from behind.

Thanks, but you'll be gaining these talents.”

You sure?”

Yeah, because what you don't know is I'm going to push you to be allowed to produce Sam's album.”

Why not you?””

I'm putting up the money. You'll be making the calls to get the things made, pressed, and a warehouse bought to hold them.”

Why thirty songs?”

“If you bought her album and wanted to go see her in concert, how pissed off would you be if she came out and played ten songs and that's it?”

Oh man.”

Yeah, so what we do is we'll have her make three and when they leave the warehouse, we'll wait two weeks and send them information on her fan club.”


Marketting. We'll have hats, shirts, sweats, jackets, purses, and all sorts of other things with her on them.”

Oh man.”

Yeah, but here's the sneak peak of concerts.”

What's that?”

The customers who order will already be telling us where to book concerts.”


Fifty fans from Oxnard order her album. Three hundred order from Manchester, Missouri. Which place is going to see her?”


Yeah but we might pop into Oxnard one night too.”

That doesn't sound like many.”

No, it doesn't, but it's a long way to go. I imagine we'll have no problem selling them. What we'll do is we'll get that first album out there and then, when she's touring, we'll pop out the other two albums for sale at the concerts. After the tour, we'll put the other two albums out there right before Christmas of next year.”


Christmas sales, but what I want is for her to be on the charts over the turn of 2009 to 2010 so she has number ones in two decades. She'll pick up where your mom left off.”

You're sure she's going to be good?”

Hon, Sam's led a life under your mom. She's aware your mom didn't make as much money as was thought. She'll also be aware of how crooked some of them are in the business. She'll also see how much money she's made and really want to push that direction because the follow up to those three albums will be her releasing her clothing and perfume lines.”

He smiled and said, “It's marketing to you.”

It's marketing her and getting her an income which she'll never have to be out there HOPING she'll make it selling her clothes. I can push buttons and make calls, but in the end, it's up to her how far she goes.”

She's going to do it. Mom didn't hide from us how tired she was after touring.”

No, and I like that in your parents. They raised you guys right. Neither one of you think you've got silver spoons and neither one of you think it was all done easy.

What's interesting is some of the kids of stars are led to believe it's easy. What we'll have with her is a very similar situation with another star out there.”

Who's that?”

Jamie Lee Curtis. There's a woman who made a career her way, but was also quite aware of what her parents went through with their careers.”

Did they get screwed over?”

Yeah, they were in the old studio contract system. That studio contract system was quite like the recording studio contract system done now.”

SO they got screwed bad.”

Oh yeah, they made money and they were treated good by their companies, but it's because they were so visible. The studios put them up in houses which happened to be on tours because they wanted everyone to believe they were prosperous.”

They weren't?”

Hon, if I put you up in a house which appreciates in value for a million bucks and then give you a pay check which is fifty grand while I'm making five million off you, is it a good deal for me?”

Oh man!”

Yeah, they got screwed. Now stars are doing it the way we're doing it with your sister...not as below the board, but still, we're going to have her out there making money being able to call her own shots with them when they come with a contract in hand.”

You think she should sign?”

Eventually, she'll have a track record which shows she's able to fill stadiums and sell records. They'll want any piece of that action they can get. If they offer the terms she's getting with us, I'd say sign.”


Their contacts and abilities to get her into stores are going to be where it will make both her and them richer. What we will do however is do it on a one record term like the movie stars do now and for a flat rate. If they pay twenty million up front and they get her. If they don't, they don't get her and she puts out another album which makes her the twenty million no matter what.

What we'll end up doing is have them salivating of how she's done it. They'll come with that contract in hand and we'll have it ran through the lawyer with a fine toothed comb so she's not screwed and only benefits.”

They won't do it.”

Hon, they'll do it, but unfortunately, the other side of the coin is they'll do it by screwing some of their own contractors.”

So they'll keep her happy but will screw their own a little harder.”

Yeah, but here's the deal. Other stars are going to see her career and they're going to wake up to the fact they don't need a contract with a company to make it.”

You sound sure it's going to be that way.”

Hon, other stars are doing it now. Tom Petty went public after he never made a dime on a contract. He negotiated his own terms and started publicizing himself. Madonna followed suit and I do know Prince did the same. It's been done, but not on the production side of things in this manner.”

Will MTV sign on?”

Yeah, they're not bound to any one certain company, however they are owned by a mega giant corporation which is primarily trying to push their own.”

Oh, so what we're seeing when we watch it is a great big giant commercial.”

Yeah, in a way, you are. It's all designed to sell records and push stars out there. We'll be using it for the same, so I'm not complaining about it.”

How do you know about MTV?”

Here's a little secret. A cousin of mine is a VJ for them over in Asia. His career has been amazing because even with them, he's handled his own contracts and once again, he went to Prince for advice.”


He knew from experience they worked their VJ's like dogs and had them out there doing personal appearances on contract without making a dime. He negotiated it into his contract he got to negotiate his personal appearance deals and keep all the money. Now, he's opening stores for ten thousand and going into amusement parks over there making a hundred grand a day.”

Oh man, that's nice.”

Yeah, because if you knew how his first year was over there, you'd be sick.”

What do you mean?”

“The kid on paper was making a million a year. Try buying an apartment over there for that and you'll see his first year was spent on television working for a place to live. He lived in my place and saved up only to take money for his personal appearances.”

That's cool.”

Now, he's got a place in my building and he did very well, he's now got it in his contract to retire in three years and they're throwing him a contract which if he accepts will make him paid more than over here for each year he's staying on.”


Yeah, five million a year with a night time talk show sort of like The Tonight Show put on which will gain him fifteen a year after that one year.”


It all came from not trusting the system.”

Sam finished recording the rap segment and I got it ready to play back for her. She came in and said, “Man, that one was tough.”

It's excellent though.”

One thing I don't want to do is rap. Trying to keep the pace and remember the rhyme is hard.” She said smiling.

We did playback and she was listening intently.

She scrunched up her face and said, “It's getting a bit dark.”

I'm going in and you'll see how we throw it back to the middle so it's not so deep.”

What are you going to do?”

Think of this as an orchestra. Whenever there's a dark section, it's lightened up by an oboe or some real tiny little instrument which makes it really become the focus.”

Oh, that's cool.”

I stood up and said, “Now, it's my turn.”

I rubbed my palms on my pants and said, “Until now, I wasn't nervous.”

They laughed and said, “See how it feels!”

Yeah, you guys did this thing in one takes. I'm up and don't know.”

We'll put you over on tracks so it can be redone if you need it.” Ev said.

I went into the studio and Ev said, “You're not using a lyric sheet?”

It's pure ad-lib.”


Ev started the playback and listening, I started to think about where I needed the words and how to get my voice to go up and down in order to intertwine with the other parts.

I hit high and I hit low and the words flowed. When it was over, I came out and said, “It's done with the exception of that computerized music box.”

How are you going to do that?”

I'll call Randy and have him put it in over the phone.”

I pulled out my cell and called Randy. He answered, “Denny!”

Hey bud, how's it going?”

Awesome. What do you need?”

I've got a song I'm getting ready to shoot at you. What I want is a synthesized music box which has gone disco.”


You heard me. You're going to shit yourself when you hear who it is, but believe me, you'll get a credit on the song.”

This better be damned good.”

Let me play it to you and you'll get a picture.”

No, go ahead and shoot it to me. If you say it's good, I know you're about to make me famous.”

What I want you to do is hang up and call this studio phone. As soon as you get done, I want you to lose the number though.”


It's in her private home. I don't want her to think I'm giving out her personal numbers to anyone.”

Oh, what's up?”

I turned to Evan and asked, “Is it ok if I tell him?”


Ran, I've got a lover.”

Ok, that's new.”

Yeah, but how many have you known me to ever have.”

One?” he said guessing

Yeah, but you know as well as I that I struck out there. This one is a lifetime thing. I can just feel it.”

Cool. I'm happy for you.”

Here's the number.”

I gave him the number and then hung up. A moment later, the computer registered the incoming call. As soon as it answered, I said, “Ok, here it comes, you ready?”


I pushed the send button to get the file to him and he said, “Is this name right?”


Oh man! She coming out of retirement?”

What we're doing is we're doing a studio album where she doesn't have to tour. You'll be shooting a DVD of her where she's presenting all her old videos from the beginning on forward and telling the story of them.”

Oh man, we selling it?”

That's the plan.”

Order ten million because that thing is going to sell faster than anything I've ever seen.”

Glad you think so too.”

I've got it. I'm going to do a playback here and listen.”

I heard the playback start and for about three seconds, there was silence and then he said, “Oh man....”

More silence ensued and he was like, “oh man... oh man...this is awesome.”

When it was done, he said, “Den, I'll call you back. You can't see me and thank God for that because you got a fat man who has no emotions to bawl.”

Ok, give me a call when you're recovered. Your secret's safe with us.”

She there?”

She went up to bed. Her kids are here.”

Are they on this too?”

Ev's voice is the one which sounds like Michael Jackson.”

Oh man, I thought it was him.”

No, it's Ev's voice. Sam's voice is the highs and the low rap.”

Who's the other voice?”

Her husband's.”

Oh man, I thought it was that one preacher dude.”

No, what's amazing is he went into it going to do the bass and just unleashed with that.”

I bet you were over there shittin' golden bricks.”

This started over a conversation at the house they're giving Ev and I. You'll see me more now because I'll be living here in the city.”


Over in Bel Aire.”

Nice digs.”

Awesome place. When she's got it done, you'll be begging her to do yours next.”


Hon, let me tell you now, the woman is an interior designer and then a singer. I'll tell you it's in that order because she'll blow you away.”


I met Ev and he took me to their corporate headquarters. As soon as I saw it, I was impressed. I met Ev's dad and then found out she did the interior there. After doing business, Ev took me over to a house she was doing and as soon as I saw it, I knew...”

So you bought it!”

No, she and her husband gave it to us.”


Let's just say I turned the man onto making a lot of money.”

Oh, so he gave it to you for that?”

I'm not going to say that. What I'm going to say is I think it was because he loves his kid and I happen to be falling for him.”

Oh man, to hear you talk that way, he has to be awesome.”

He is. Well, the whole family is.”

Will I get to meet her?”

Duh, I said you were filming her to do the DVD.”

Oh man...I've got to lose some weight and shave this beard and get a hair cut.”

Sam started snickering.

Who's laughing!”

We all are. You turned into a great big old girl with that.”

Well! I want to look good man!”

You're fine Randy. Treat her like family and leave the star envy out at the curb.”

You sound like you didn't do it when I know you worship that woman.”

Hon, I told her. She sang this song and instantly I told her what I heard. What you now have to do your magic with is what has happened since.”

You threw this together!”

It's all be done in one takes. We started about seven tonight and in that time, we recorded this and Sam singing another song.”

Shoot that to me. Her voice is so much like her mom's it's got me amazed.”

What I'll do is I'll send you two. I'll send you Sam's and then another which is going to knock you on your ass.”

You're shittin' me! You did another that's going to take me out like this one?”

Just let me send it and you tell me what you think. What I do need is you to get the back tracks from your sources and get it put on in behind their voices.”

What did you use to record them on?”

You'll kill me, but I downloaded from YouTube and used that as the master to record voice tracks.”


That song you have, I got to use the master of it, so it's better quality.”

Man, I've got to shoot you.”

Ev laughed and said, “Randy, you'll have to shoot me in the back because I'm not letting go of him.”

Sam laughed and said, “Randy, shoot low and make him sing high!”

He laughed and said, “She's got my personality!”

Ev laughed and said, “I like him.”

He's good people.”

I heard that! You're over there trying to give me a good reputation.”

I wouldn't do that. I admire only your talent, I swear.”

He laughed and said, “I'll tell you when I admire something about you.”

Sam laughed and said, “Man, I've got to meet this guy. He's got to teach me some to use against Ev.”

She single?”

She's single and she's fifteen years old. You're WAY too old for her.”

Oh man, that's just my luck.”

I'll get them over to meet you probably tomorrow.”

You sure?”

If you need to do more of Sam, I'll have to.”

Who's managing her?”

No one yet, but we're not going to a studio.”

What are you doing?”

I'm going to you and we're going to sell her on commercials.”

Let me hear her. I might know someone. You know her too.”

I've already brought her up. Give her a call as soon as you hear Sam's voice.”

Ok, I'll do that, but I'll tell you now the song hasn't impressed me. It seems anyone with a so-so voice chooses to do that song and slaughter it all to hell.”

She made it her own. You'll go huntin' Miss Clarkson after you hear her.”

You sound like a carnival barker.”

Listen to it and shut up.”

He laughed and said, “Oh man, I'll do it, but if I don't like it, I'm hanging up.”

I'll be waiting.”

The song began to play.

Hang on, I'm going to headphones. Did her voice just hit that high?”


I'll be back.”

Ev asked, “Is her for real?”

He's someone who tells it to you straight. If he hates it, he hates it. If it's good and he can make it better, he'll make it great. If it's damned good, he doesn't mention anything. You just heard him hear that last song and not mention anything. Now, he's hearing Sam and I'll tell you now he'll be coming back on stuttering he'll be trying to talk so fast.”

Is it that bad?” Sam asked.

Hon, no, it's not that bad.”

We waited in silence and then I heard him start playing “Everybody Wants You”. It played through and then silence.

Finally, Randy's voice came back on. He sounded really hoarse. “Where are you at right now?”

Their house.”

No, where is their house?”

Beverly Hills.”

I'm driving that way. The first thing I have to do is kill you and then I've got to get them signed. You, you son of a bitch have way more talent than you've EVER let me know you had and you've got more talent standing next to you than you even know how to handle.”

Randy, I'll call you tomorrow and bring her over.”

Are her parents going to sign her?”

We're going to let them listen and decide if they think she's good enough.”

You telling me you're letting them doubt her!”

Ran, this is going to be my family now. Whatever I do, I don't want to mess it up so they don't want a thing to do with me the rest of this life.”

Oh, man, you've got it bad.”

I hope.”

Let me say it then. That girls voice is going to make her a stratostar. I've heard the best and shining way brighter than all of them. She did her mama's music for chrissake and in my opinion toned it down so she could sing it.

You put her on a song which I've heard way bad by a lot of good people and you are right, she made it her own. If you want to know truth, she could probably sing anything and make it her own because she's that good.

What are you doing thinking of marketing her like that?”

Ran, cool off for a second and think about this. Where could I take her where they wouldn't exploit the shit out of her and rob her blind?”

Oh...ummm... let me think.”

He was silent and then said quietly, “I'm calling Georganne and playing her this tape. I want to know when you're going to be here because I'll be willing to bet you she'll be here begging you to get her to have her sign.”

I'm not doing a thing like that until her parents agree. She can meet her, but if the parents say it's a no go, then it's a no go.”

I'm begging you man.”

I know Ran. I'll tell you now I think they'll agree. It's just that after the way D was treated, we've got to offer more than the best which has ever been offered. The only way I can think to do it is to do it this way where we get her out there and make everyone else beg to her terms.”

Smart. That's damned smart, but I still have to kill you because you're way more talented than you ever let me know.” he said laughing.

You taught me, so either you've got amnesia or I need to get you to an alzheimer's unit.”

Oh man, remind me to double kill you.”

Sam laughed and said, “What's double kill?”

That's where you kill them fast to get over that anger and then, you kill them slow just to make it satisfying.”

She laughed and said, “Evan, you know what's in store for you now.”

Ev laughed and said, “Sis, you're going to be too busy being a star.”

I can only hope.”

Ran said, “Guys, I've got to get off the phone. I was doing a music video I thought was hot until I heard her voice. Now I've got to do what I was doing and act like I don't know there's someone way better than this person.”

Ran, when you get a chance, be thinking of some songs which we can do to put together thirty for her to sing.”

Why me?”

You know I'll do it, but I want you to think too because I might not know some of them you know.”

Ok, let me ask her a question?”


Sam, what is it you WANT to sing. He's got you singing stuff, but unless you want to sing it, I'm not going to think about anything else.”

She thought for a moment and said, “I don't want rap. It's too hard. What I do want is to know my songs are filling the dance floors and making people happy.”

Ok, I'll start shopping that way then.”

He paused and said, “Den, I need to ask you a question. Is it ok if I want to shop this over to JJ?”

You can shop it and let him do it, but there's no contract. You protect my ass because if you don't, I'll bar b que yours.”

That's understandable. You know his work and know he'll do way better than what we think is possible.”

Ok, but she has to approve it before it's a go.”

You're completely deferring to her.”

Hey, I have no contract with her either except I'll make her son happy.”

Oh man, Ev's her son?”

Yeah, I've been telling you man.”

And he's got a voice like that?”

Yeah, but he's not interested in recording at all.”

Why the hell not?”

He's making more money where he is.”


You heard me, I made their company a lot of money yesterday and let them in on how I did it. He'll be doing way more in sales than I could ever do for him in a booth.”

You sure.”

Ev tapped my hand and said, “See if he's interested in getting people to sing my songs?”

Randy said, “I heard that.”

Yeah, you heard it. Now, what I want you to do is to think of people who want a writer for them to sing rap.”


The rap on “I dunno” was wrote by him in about five minutes. He does that, but he doesn't want to sing.”

Ok, tell him to bring his stuff and be ready to record because without a demo, I can't do a thing for him.”

Ev nodded and I said, “Ok, he says that's good.”

When are you going to be here?”

Ev gets off work at four. Sam doesn't get out of school until about then, so we'll be over about seven or eight after dinner.”

That late!”

Yeah, anticipation is a bitch.”

I've got to sit on this until then?” he said in a begging tone of voice.

Ran, I love ya man and you need to know I've given you enough to do you'll be busy.”

Where we going to film that DVD of hers?”

I'm not sure. Be thinking, but also, be thinking where you're going to film Sam's videos for all those songs she's going to record.”


Every one of them is going to have a video on that CD/DVD she sells for us.”


If MTV won't play her, I want her buyers to have the videos no matter what.”

You're aware MTV will play her, right?”

They're so proprietary, I don't know what to expect.”

Ok, I'll talk to them. Your friggin' cousin is my best friend and you don't think they'll play it?”

Hey, he's over there and we're over here.”

I'll have him on the phone as soon as I get off with you. All he'll be doing is wanting to know when he will have something to take to them. Do you realize if he brings them the video to “I dunno”, they'll probably give him the Presidency of the company?”

Good for him, but I think you're over estimating them.”

You're really jaded, aren't you.”

I never trust a snake. To me, the whole industry is full of them.”

You're right there, but I think you're sort of not realizing how much they're screaming for her.”

If they are, then that will be great, but if not, then we'll have a path in which to follow.”

I like your plan. Let me see if we can make it work with them.”

Ok, I imagine if anyone would know, he would.”

They respect him. He's done good for them, so I think they'll listen.”

If so, we'll be better than I thought. If not, then I'll have assumed right.”

What's your day tomorrow?”

For a large part, I'll be down the street from you. You want lunch?”

What time?”

I looked at Ev and asked, “When do you break for lunch?”

About one, but dad will want to come.”

Ok, Ran, about one, but Ev and Bran will be with me. Keep it off business as I don't want Bran thinking I've not been honest with them. I definitely want them to know I'm not doing anything without their approval.”

This whole thing is built upon that. Aren't they going to suspect something when you present a whole package to them?”

I've mentioned going to you. I've sure not mentioned anything about shopping it to JJ.”

Ok, I'll not mention anything. It's all based upon their approval anyway. Can I shop Sam's song with him?”

You don't want to get the masters and put the voice tracks over them?”

I'll do that, but I'm still up in the air of how I'm going to get that other one done. It's damned good as it is, but I'm trying to figure out how we're going to do it.”

Be thinking and I'll let you go. Give Gar' my love.”

Will do that.”

I hung up and Sam asked, “Who's JJ?”

Jimmy Jam.”

Her face lit up and she said, “Mom's worked with them before.”

I imagine so, but I don't want your parents thinking I'm giving them my word on something and then going out and shopping this all over the place.”

So he thinks I'm good.”

He thinks you're great just as everyone here does. You might think about that because for him to say what he did, it means a lot.”

What do you mean?”

First of all, I'll tell you guys something. Until today, I've been awed by Randy's talent. He knows that and for him to even think I've got talent on a par with him is a mega compliment coming from him. I'll tell you now he doesn't think highly of anyone he works with.”

Oh, that must make you feel good.” Ev said.

Big time, but for him to go into the mode he did after hearing the songs, it means Sam's damned good and I'm trying to tone that down so Sam can make it through the doors of this house.”

Sam laughed and said, “I'm not that bad.”

Hon, he's not far off the mark with the talent you have. I'll also tell you for him to come up immediately batting for you and wanting to shop you means he's wanting you out there.”

Mom's going to tell you she doesn't want my schooling messed up.”

And I totally agree. I'll work with them on that and I'll tell you now your manager will too. She's not signed on yet, but I bet she'll lay black marks trying to get to his office faster than law allows.”

Ev chuckled and said, “You're trying to make us feel good.”

Yeah, but I'll tell you the most nervous moment I had tonight and that was having Ran listen to the tapes...not even me in there singing had me that nervous.”


Ran's not someone who varnishes shit and calls it a masterpiece. He calls it what it is and won't even begin trying to tell you how to tell you get it away from him. He shuts down and you know you've screwed up with him.”

He's done that before?”

Oh man, I had a product which was really stupid once. I took it to him and he looked at it and gave me a look of why was I wasting his time. I took it and left.

Another time, I saw him shooting a video up in San Francisco of some country singer who really had a good voice.

The problem was the girl was all for it, but her dad was a complete horse's ass. Ran would do a shot and then would set up another shot to find out the dad had taken the girl sight seeing. Finally, he loaded up his equipment and when they got back, he handed the man a bill and said, “Pay me now as I'm leaving. Your daughter won't work in this business with you as a manager.”

Oh man.”

Yeah, the man made a phone call to their record company to bitch and he got told to pay Ran and bring it on home because their career was over. The man saw the light and stepped back, the girl did the video, and she went on to being a star.”

I think I know who it was.” Ev said.

Yeah, I imagine you know.”

What happened to her?”

A big blow up with her dad. An engagement to cover the supposed boyfriend being gay and she was out.”

Why?” asked Sam.

In country music, there's no such thing as black singers or gay ones. Take a look and you won't see either. As soon as they look a little too tanned from the sun, they're told to stay inside and as soon as they come out of the closet, they're told to bring it on home because they're done.”

Ev looked shocked. “Ev, don't look shocked. It used to be the same for rock music. Ask your mom how many famous people are gay and then ask her how many got to come out of the closet and I'll bet she tells you a ton of them.”

She knows some?”

She's not told me, but I bet you she knows a bunch because there were a bunch of them at Motown.”

Ev smiled and said, “Now you've got me curious.”

I've got to go get checked into the hotel. I need to call a taxi.”

You're not staying?”

Absolutely not. It's not that I don't want to, but it's because I've not spoke with your parents about it. This is their house and I'm not disrespecting them in it.”

Sam looked at me seriously and said, “You mean that, don't you?”

Yeah Sam, I do. I feel like I'm a part of the family, but I'll also tell you guys I'm not going to mess that up.”

Sam looked at Ev and said, “He wants you to stay.”

I want to stay, but I'm not going to.”

Ev asked, “If I go up and ask mom and dad?”

Hey, here's a standing rule between us. In my granny's house, if I didn't bring someone home for dinner and ask then, they didn't get to stay all night. I knew that rule and even though she's gone, I'll follow it when I go to someone else's house.”

But what if they say it's ok?”

Ev, hon, let me do it this way. It's not like we're going to not see each other tomorrow and it's not like there won't be other nights. We've got the rest of our lives, but we've also got this one night to screw it up. I'd rather we be cautious and not do it and find out it was fine than to do it thinking it was fine and find out they don't want me back here.'

He came over and hugged me and said, “I want you to stay.”

I know. Now, let's do it this way and just make things better.”


Sam said, “Den, do you realize you're like a bigger brother to me already?”

I hope. You're sure like a little sister to me.”

She smiled and said, “YOU're going to be here for dinner tomorrow night?”

I don't know. I've not been invited by your parents. I'd like to make it so we can go over to the house some nights for dinner.”

Ev said, “I forgot to show you that bed!”

Hon, surprise me and have it in the room at the house. But whatever you do, don't make it be there until it's fine for us to be in it together.”

He smiled and said, “You mean that.”

Yeah, I mean it, but I want us to make love in it and add to our relationship.”

Can I ask something?”


Who was the other guy?”

His name was Fung. He was Malaysian. I met him over there and his family was some sort of royalty or something.

What I do know was I got a call one night that my house had burned down and when I got there, Fung was gone.”

What happened?”

I don't know. All I know was I was told nothing. All their lips were sealed and I was directed to the finance minister who told me I was welcome to do business in their country, but not to think about him ever again.”

Oh man.”

Yeah. So what I did was I got the insurance money I could and I boarded a flight. Since then, I've hired investigator after investigator and none have gotten anything.”

Do you still business there?”

I do business there but I don't cultivate it like I once did. What's interesting is I've since spoke with the finance minister and he told me their exports were down seventy percent without my extensive business dealings. All I told him was we both knew the reason for that and let it drop. I figured if he wanted his country to benefit, he could get me Fung back.”

What if they killed him?”

I imagine they did. What I do know is they can't prove he was even gay because we'd never even made love.”

Ev looked at me strangely and I said, “I just don't hop in the sack Ev. I make love and you should know that. If our relationship is based upon lust and sex, then let me know and I'll end it now. If you're wanting a relationship where we grow old together and love each other, I'll throw it all into it.”

I'll wait. I'm fine with it.”

Good, but believe me, we'll know when it's time.”

I came closer to him and kissed him. Our embrace was lasting. He put his head upon my chest and I put my cheek on his head.

Your heartbeat.”

Oh man, let me call Randy.”


A song for Sam.”


It's so obscure everyone's probably forgotten about it.”

I called Randy and he answered. “Ran, I've got one. Look up a group in the early seventies called the DeFranco family. They had a song which was out there competing against the Jackson Five and the Osmonds.”

I've never heard of them.”

He's producing or something. The sister is doing something in the business.”


I couldn't tell you her name. The song was called something about it's not a heartbeat, but a love beat and that love beat is a good vibration.”

I've never heard it.”

It's Pop. Look under 1971 or 1970.”

How in the hell do you know this stuff.”

I was in Cincinatti one day and they had a moldy oldies show and played it. As soon as I heard it, I was thinking of that other song, One Bad Apple. You know the sort...bubble gum pop.”

I remember the genre being referred to it, but your brain is a vault of this industry.”

What can I say, it goes in and I store it away.”

That's why I get blown away by you.”

Thanks and Ran, I didn't miss the compliment you gave me earlier. I love ya dude.”

Thanks. I meant it.”

Good night.”

I hung up and Ev was looking at me. “You got that from my saying heartbeat.”

The way you said it. Your voice does sound like Michael Jackson's in a way.”

Remind me to start talking different.”

Hon, I didn't mean it as a put down.”

Have you met him?”

No, and I choose not to believe all the bad press about him.”

Why not?”

Hey, no one was saying a thing when they were talking about how great he was. No one was assassinating his character until they decided he was rich enough to start trying to get the money.”

Do you think he did it?”

Do I know they cleared him in court? Yes. Do I think if they had a bit of evidence they would have put him in jail? Yes. So, whether they suspected him of doing things and that's all they can do, I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon.”

But he paid those people?”

Hey, listen to me. If someone came up to you and said your dad had another child someplace and they won't say anything or attempt to get your inheritance, would you pay them?”


Why not?”

I know my dad loves my mom.”

What if your dad said he'd been with the woman before your mom?”

Oh. Then I'd probably tell the person to come on forward and we'll bring them into the company.”

Nope. All they want to do is make your dad look bad and they say they're going to go to the National Enquirer.”

Oh man, then my mom gets drug into it.”

Yeah, and your company's business is at stake. Do you pay?”

How much?”

Since I know you probably do three times a year what he made off Thriller, I'll make it three times the amount...let's say sixty nine million.”

Oh man, that's a heckuva lot.”

What do you do? My hand's on the phone with the National Enquirer now.”

So I can't think about it?”

Nope, they probably gave him a day or so to get the money, but I bet they never gave him the option of waiting.”

If I pay, they go away forever?”

Yeah, until all your dad's other old girlfriends find out and suddenly you've got a lot of other supposed kids coming out of the woodwork to get paid.

Don't you see it? His career was at stake. His whole future and his fortune was at stake. Whether he did it or not, it didn't matter. He was guilty by associating and it might have been innocent, but what he did was he played into the blackmail.”

And it all got out anyways.”

Yeah, now, let me tell you how I would have handled it. I would have said, “My dad was an asshole. You want to claim your blood to the motherfucker, then you do so, but not one damned dime. You call whomever you want, but before you do, you better be ready to put your blood on the line for a DNA screen because I'll sue the shit out of you and the National Enquirer when this is over.”

Man! Wouldn't the National Enquirer go ahead and print it?”

The threat got made. You now know who the enemy is. You know to call your legal department and to get cease and desists slammed on them so if they dare want to think about character assassination, then they've got to go past the injunctions they're going to have.”

Won't they go ahead and print it?”

Won't they think about it before they get sued? You've got crackpots all over the place. They'll probably stand behind you and tell you to get the blood test and then, they'll probably step in to sue along side you.”

Why would they do that?”

They know as you do if they had printed it and it was false, they would have to pay you many many more millions than you would have ever had to pay that person.”

Why didn't he do that?”

He probably did have that kid in the bedroom. I'm not saying it was a little strange, but hey, thinking you're fucking Peter Pan and are playing with kids is strange to me. Maybe to him it's not, but it's a little out there for me.”

Me too.”

Don't get me wrong, I've got friends who have kids, and they're welcome to come over to my house to stay over. We'll probably have a good time and you'll probably be there too, but when it's time for bed, I'll build them a fort in their bedroom and they can play in there while we go to our room.”

That sounds more normal. They said he had an alarm on his door to tell him when the people in his house were walking down the hallway.”

Hon, I don't believe that went down that way. Listen to what I think and then see if you'd have alarms too.

In my business life, I make a lot of money. Say we hire house staff and once day, you walk into the hallway by my office and you see one of the staff listening at the door. What do you do?”

I fire them.”


That's rude.”

Yeah, but what happens if you find it happening again?”


Yeah, get an alarm put on the hallway and protect my business because the first guy probably heard me discussing lead based paint in some toys or some sort of shit.”

You don't do that do you?”

Did I have to recall a bunch of toys? Hell yeah. Did I pay for it? Not one dime. The company did or they'd be history with me and with all the other companies they do business with.”

Oh man, that's bad. Do you think we need alarms?”

Hon, here's how I do things. Preferably, I don't have house staff. It's something which bugs me. I understand why you guys have it, but to me, I can wash my own dishes and I can have Merry Maids come in once a week and know not to be there so I'm not coughing from the dusting.”

That sounds cool.”

We don't need a gardener or a pool man, or a driver on staff. We can hire grounds services, pool maintenance, and a limo when we need them. They can come at the same time Merry Maids are there and we'll be fine. For food, if we need a cook, we'll hire one of those services which prepares the food in their kitchen and delivers it.

I don't really like the thought of having people on staff. It says I've got too much money and like having people hanging around.”

He smiled and said, “Ours basically raised us.”

I understand and if we ever adopt, then we can get a nanny, but I'll tell you then I'll have my business out of the house.”

You're secretive about that sort of stuff.”

Ev, listen. I'm on the Fortune's list of wealthiest people for a reason.”

You are?”

Yeah, you can look there and see what they say I'm worth, but I'll tell you I don't know where they got their numbers because I sure can't figure it out.”


They say I'm worth a lot. Now, if you take a look at my houses, and my bank accounts, I'm probably up there, but the only way I'd say they got the numbers they did was to ask Donald Trump how much he could sell my houses for because they're several hundred million off of what I came up with.”


When we get you signed onto the accounts at the bank, I'll show you the numbers. Use the accounts like yours and I'll be fine with it, but let me know when you write a check over a million because I'll have to call them to tell them it's not fraud.”

They do that?”

Yeah, tomorrow, I'll be going to a car dealer to get a car. I imagine I won't spend that much, but if I see something I think would be cool for you while I'm there, I'll have to call them.”

You're planning on spending that much for a car!”

Listen, I'm loaded. Yeah, I admit it, but I'll also tell you when it's time to be frugal, I'll make a penny scream. When it's time to spend it, I'm probably irresponsible as you'd ever imagine.”


Nice things cost nice prices. If you wait, someone else will be there to snatch it up while you're deciding to spend the money.”

It's happened to you before, hasn't it.”

Yeah, Malaysia. I kick myself every time I think of it because the place I could have bought would have been more secure. Instead, I bought in a tower which had other units on that floor.”

Your apartment was one that burned in that high tower over there!”

Yeah, it made world headlines. Now you know the rest of the story.”

Oh man, I heard that was one of the nicest buildings in the world!”

Yeah, but on up in that tower, they have units which are an entire floor. I could have gotten one for seven million. I waited and they all sold out before I decided. Instead, I took one that cost two million on down. Ask me if Fung was worth more to me than eight million?”

He looked down and said, “You cared for him.”

I did. I really did.”

I leaned over and said, “I need to call a taxi.”

I'm already going to miss you when you go.”

I'll be there tomorrow sometime. Hopefully, I'll have a car you can see.”

You really getting a Ferrari convertible?”

I imagine. I like them.”

They don't cost that much.”

The Rolls limo will. I'll have to special order it.”

Why that?”

Hon, I'm not going to park a Ferrari at an airport and hope it's still there when I get back.”

I could drop you off.”

No, it could be so often that you begin feeling like you're a taxi service. Besides, for appearances, we're going to need the limo for a lot of functions.”

Like what?”

Business out here. Record business out here. Show business out here. Entertaining, and selling.”

A lot of people going to come to the house?”

Hopefully, I'll have a suite someplace.”

Dad owns the building there. He could get you one.”

That's a thought.”

I dialed the taxi and asked the address. They said they'd be there and I told them I'd be at the gate waiting.

Ev said, “I'll walk you down.”

Where are your dogs?”

Up in mom and dad's suite. When we have company, they get put there.”

See, I'm still company. When I'm family, I'll see the dogs.”

He looked down and said, “I'm sorry. I don't want you offended.”

Hon, if I stayed, I'm afraid they'd be offended. I know I made the right choice now.”

I took his hand and said, “Let's walk me on down.”

We went outside and walked hand in hand down to the gate. “This is a lovely piece of property, but that wall looks terrible.”

It wasn't here when we got it. It had to be built because the tour buses would stop and let people take pictures. Mom was afraid someone with a telephoto lens would get a photo of us kids and kidnap us.”

That's terrible, but I understand. I really wish I'd known her back then because I could show her how to have landscaped to not have to put up the wall.”


When we go to England, you'll see my place over there isn't that far from the road. Before I had Gypsy, I had another cocker spaniel named Lucky. Together, they were the Lucky Gypsy show.

I bought the place over there and thought Lucky was sane enough not to go play in traffic. I was wrong.”


Rather than have that happen to Gypsy, I called in a landscape company which made a tall hedge and put in a lot of trees. At first, it looked terrible, but they told me it'd take five years to have everything grow to the point it'd be nice. It's now looking a lot better.”

Is that why you don't go to London that often?”

Partly. Another reason is I was really broken up after he got killed and had a meeting. The man who I met with made a comment which totally pissed me off and hurt my feelings at the same time. Now, I could care less if I do another dime of business with him.”

He the only one you do business with?”

No, I've got a good number of suppliers there, but one thing you'll learn is those people sort of look at having to meet with someone as a put down. They are a lot more trusting than us and they tend to think if you've done business with them or not, you should trust them because they've been in business several hundred years.”

They have a point.”

Yeah, but at that time, I didn't have a bank account where I wouldn't miss seven million. Back then, for me to do seven million meant I'd drained every account and threw it all in one purchase. I definitely wanted to be there to hand them the check.”

I understand.”

Now, I have cash flowing all over the place way above that and don't think anything about it, but I also learned I don't have to be there to do business.”

Why not sell it?”

Lucky's buried there.”


When Gyp goes, I imagine she'll be buried there too.”

I need to meet them.”

Just as soon as your mom has a fence put up.”

Where are you going to have the fence put up?”

Out back. You know where the garage is?”


Ok, to the left is the pool and then, over beyond that is a bunch of trees. I imagine that's the property line, so we'll take it down there and then bring it in next to the house. We can put a gate across the driveway right next to the house and they can run all over that.”

That bunch of trees is the tennis court.”

Why'd they put it way out there?”

I don't know, but it's not like normal tennis courts. It's grass.”

Oh man, we've got to cut down those trees. I'm surprised it's not overgrown with moss.”

You play tennis?”

Man, I play tennis and the thought of having a court which is actual grass is just amazing me.”


Non grass courts are way different. Grass has better bounce, spin, and it's easier on your knees to run.”


Yeah, do you play?”

I used to, but not real often.”

Then play Randy. You and he can be on one side and I'll be on the other.”

You're that good?”

Do you know Jimmy Conners?”

No, who is he?”

He used to be a pro along time ago.”

Never heard of him.”

I played him and he thought I should go pro.”

Why didn't you?”

Lets see. Going pro costs money. Making money allows me to play tennis. Tennis doesn't allow me to make money.”

He laughed and said, “Ok, I get it.”

What I hate is having a business meeting on a tennis court. I have to let them win and it's totally against my grain to do so.”

You have to let them win?”

They get real pissed if you don't and all business deals are off after that.”

That's childish.”

You have to kiss a lot of asses in this business.”

The horn honked and I said, “How do we open the gate?”

Let me show you.”

He went over to a rock and lifted it. Underneath was a push button switch. The gate opened. He ran up and kissed me and I went walking out to the taxi.



From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,



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