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Thread started 12/30/07 4:28am

fcukthepolice

WHAT RICK JAMES ACTUALLY DID TO THE WOMEN!

the devil in Rick James
Pamela Des Barres shares a cell with America's original Superfreak, who comes clean about his life of torture
Photography Adam Wolf

Buy Rick James' music
ONE HUNDRED DEGREES and climbing. Another blinding California heat-blast. On the long, sweaty drive out to the California Rehabilitation Center, I wonder about air conditioning facilities in jail. Am I wearing the right clothes? What do you wear to prison, anyway? I've never visited a prisoner before, and I'm one nervous chick. This particular prisoner gives me the willies, and the heat is making me feel light-headed and wary as I watch anxiously for the freeway exit that will lead me to CRC. It has taken weeks to set up this interview with the Superfreak king of funky stuff, Rick James, incarcerated for the assault and imprisonment of two Los Angeles women back in '91 and '92.

In his day Rick James was a brilliant, innovative singer/songwriter/producer: a swaggering, strutting, pompous picture of decadence and dastardly obsessions. When "Come And Get It", his debut album from Motown, went double platinum, he moved into a mansion once owned by William Randolph Hearst. "I was livin' large," he has said, "inside a Citizen Kane fantasy." "Superfreak", the song most closely associated with James ("She's a very kinky girl, the kind you don't bring home to mother..."), brought all shapes and sizes of adoring, kinky girls into his life. His partying down days are a large part of legendary rocklore. Nobody partied like Rick James.


AFTER WINDING MY WAY into the hills of Nowheresville, I finally find myself in front of a set of formidable high-ass gates where clumps of families are congregating - waiting for passes to visit their loved ones in CRC. As I drive my T-Bird round the barbed- wire parking lot in search of a space, steam rises in waves from the baking pavement. I have a one o'clock appointment. It's 12:58.

There were two separate cases brought against Rick James and his girlfriend, Tanya Ann Hijazi. In the first, in July of 1991, 26- year-old Frances Alley alleged that James burnt her leg and knee area with a crack pipe, applied alcohol, slapped her across the face with a gun, and burnt her groin and torso area with a hot knife.

According to court testimony about the night in question, Ms Alley alleged that James was "going to teach her a lesson" because he "couldn't find his eight-ball".

"He made me take my clothes off and sit in the chair," Alley testified. "He ordered Tanya to go to the kitchen and heat up the knife until it was red hot." James then allegedly tied her to the chair with neckties. "Rick poured alco- hol all over my knees. He started smoking crack. Every time he took a hit, he held part of the crack pipe to my knees," said Alley. According to her testimony, James slapped her across the face with a handgun, saying, "No-one fucks with Rick James in this house." She then testified that he burned her with a Bic lighter and kept reheating the knife with the lighter or a candle, burning her inner groin area, and from "the abdomen to the pubic line. He burnt Hijazi twice on the back for smoking out- side. I then went into the bathroom and put cold towels on my burns. We then went into Rick's room and smoked crack."

MY PHOTOGRAPHER, Adam, is waiting for me in the CRC lobby, wearing a pair of clownish orange balloon pants supplied by the prison because he had worn jeans. The inmates wear denim, but Adam found that out too late. He looks really dumb and he knows it. We show a weary security guard our ID, and wait on a sticky, brown Naugahyde couch for Lt Hissami to take us to her office where we will meet inmate N63609. It's way past one o'clock now, and sweat is running down my sides.

After spending over eight months in the CRC drug rehab programme while officials decided whether he should be formally admitted, James has just been ruled ineligible to complete the programme due to his assault conviction, and may have to do a five-year prison stint instead of being freed later this year. I'll bet he's seriously pissed off. The kind of sexdrugsrocknrollsuperfreak freedom Rick James had must have been oh-so-hard to give up. I read in the LA Times that his attorney, Mark Werksman, was baffled by the court's decision. "They just looked at the whole package and said, 'We don't like this guy."'

Rick's publicist has already told me that he won't discuss the case, and claims he is innocent of the charges. I had wanted to ask him about remorse and repentance. Oh well.

BESIDES THE TORTURE and mayhem accusations, Frances Alley testified that James had forced her to perform oral sex on his girl friend. "He told me to lay back and Tanya was going to take care of me," she said. "Then Tanya went down on me. He made me do the same to her. I was laying on my back, she got on top of me and kind of straddled me and started peeing on me, on my burns and stuff. It hurt real bad."

Q "Were you still afraid?"
A. "Of course I was afraid. I was grossed out. It was nasty."
Q "Then what happened?"
A. "Then he told me to put my fingers in her."
Q "Did you do that?"
A. "No. Every chance she and I got, we faked it. We faked giving each other head."
I'M SURPRISED TO SEE that Lt Hissami is a young, attractive woman in a pretty cool-looking suit. She leads us to her office through the penitentiary grounds, explaining why CRC, with its red-tiled roof and pink walls, looks more like a luxury hotel than a jailhouse. Back in the Thirties it had been the Lake Norconian Club, frequented by Hollywood celebrities and political bigwigs.

"The inmates do the gardening," says Lt Hissami proudly as we pass through perfectly manicured rose bushes. "This is a medium security prison," she emphasizes, and we settle into her office and wait for the inmate to be brought down from his cell. Lt Hissami graciously offers us a Pepsi. We accept. It's now two o'clock. She says I was lucky to get this interview, that James is going back to court next week.

DURING THE ASSAULT, Frances Alley alleged that James told her that "I needed to learn how they live in California. He said it was nothing. Everybody in California does that, and I was sexually ignorant and inexperienced." When James realized the extent of Alleys burns he sent her to a chemist. "The lady looked at my leg and said, 'Honey, honey, we can't do anything for that.' Then I went to the LA free Clinic, they said, 'We can't do anything. This is way too severe. You need a burn unit.' Then we went to Cedars [Cedars Sinai, a major Beverly Hills hospital]." After doc- tors examined Alley, the police were called. But she didn't want to press charges at that time. Apparently James wanted to apologize to Alley and she went back to his house. "It must have been the crack," he said, and allegedly gave her a cheque for $320 made to cash. "Here, take this," he told her. "Go buy yourself something nice. I will take care of you. I will buy you a ring as big as your head." She stayed a few more days, getting high, and James didn't bother her anymore.

"When everyone was asleep, I left without making a noise," she testified. "I came back the same night. Rick started calling me a slut, a whore, and a cheap nasty bitch for telling everybody that he did this to me, and I better backtrack, go back and tell all these people that I had supposedly told, that a pimp did it to me. Not Rick James. A pimp. He said he would rip out my tongue. He then said he'd pay $5,000 to have me killed. He also said he'd have acid thrown on my face on the street if I didn't clear his name. It was his girlfriend that opened her mouth, not me. All right. It was his girlfriend. It pissed me off so bad. The next day I went and pressed charges."

THERE'S A POWER SURGE in Lt Hissami's office while we wait for inmate N63609. No air conditioning for a while. She gets on the phone and 20 minutes later it's blessedly cool again. She keeps looking at her watch, wondering where the prisoner is. After a few calls, Lt Hissami finds he's been taken to the wrong place. Oh boy. This prisoner is going to be in a great mood for the interview. It's pushing three o'clock.

THE NOVEMBER 1992 assault allegedly took place at the St James Club, the swankpot hotel on Sunset Strip. Mary Sauget testified that she met Rick James and Tanya Hijazi to discuss James's new record label, and after they all got high on cocaine, Rick and Tanya began to argue. Sauger tried to leave and was supposedly slapped by Hijazi and James repeatedly, until she lost conscious- ness. They allegedly revived her by dowsing her with water, but continued to strike her. Then James choked her. She testified that she later received a phone message offering her money to "shut up ", but she too went to Cedars Sinai and police were called. James was arrested two weeks later.

Of all the charges brought against him - assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated mayhem, torture, false imprisonment by force, forced oral copulation, assault with a deadly weapon, sale or trans- portation of a controlled substance, terrorist threats - he was con- victed of only three: assault, imprisonment and furnishing cocaine. The jury deadlocked 11 to one on the other charges, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. Tanya Hijazi pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to four years.

THE PHONE RINGS in Lt Hissami's office. "He'll be right down," she smiles. She seems relieved. Adam turns on his lights and fiddles with the cameras, looking slightly embarrassed in his orange pantaloons. As Rick James strides through the door, I can see that he's not amused. I grin far too brightly. We shake hands. He's put on some weight, and of course the long braided dreads have gone the way of the studded knee-high boots and foot-long spliffs. He's wearing jailhouse blues, but looks healthy - and heartily pissed off. He sits down across from me, and I decide to use the irritation and ask about the court date next week.

"I've been excluded from this programme," he says matter-of- factly, his eyes spitting fire.

"Why?" I ask.

"Because of who I am. That's the real reason. They say, quote, if you're convicted of any violence, you're not allowed here. I have one charge of assault, and of giving cocaine. On my arrest sheet, of course, there were a lot of allegations and alleged reports of torture and mayhem, kidnapping and all that kind of shit. They say you're not allowed here with excessive violence. Me and my attorneys, we're going to debate that. Number one: I was never convicted of this excessive violence, and on the second hand, I'm going to show that there is biasness [sic] within the realms of this institution."

My eyebrows rise with indignation.

"There are people here with murder, mayhem, arsons. I know a guy that has been retained with an arson and a double murder. And he was convicted of these charges. The judge and the DA are aware of what went on in my trial. Payoffs to the woman and all the lies and false allegations that went on in my case. There are some set laws here that an institution has to follow. If they're going to retain some people and exclude others on the basis of their name, race, or..."

Celebrityhood?

"Right," he agrees, warming a bit. "Follow the law or don't follow the law. I've done everything that's required of me to be here. I'm a drug addict. My case revolves around drugs. I had maybe three or four months left to do here, so you can imagine how devastating it was to find out I was going to be excluded from the programme. Justice is justice. just because you're a drug addict it doesn't make you not human. Just because you're incarcerated, it doesn't make you a true prisoner. You know what I'm sayin'? Yes - incarcerate, but rehabilitate. We subpoenaed the warden and a lot of the records. I'm not gonna take this lying down. I've never laid down, I'm not gonna lay down and I never will lay down.

"It's gonna be top, top news. If I can get past OJ Simpson," he adds with sarcasm. "There have been a lot of people here with criminal records worse than Rick James. Especially because I was not convicted of a lot of these things."

The jury deadlocked, right?

"Yeah, somebody could testify - 'He made love to a pig, he brutally beat this pig, he brutally beat the woman who owned the pig, and he had sex with a horse' - in other words, a person could say outrageous things, then when you get to court, the judge finds you 'not guilty of all these things, but when you get to prison they say, 'We can't keep you here because it says you made love with the pig and beat the pig and beat the pig's owner.' If you're going to build your laws around allegations and fabrications, then what the hell's really goin' on?"

All this talk about farmyard animals and sex is freaking me out, considering what he's in here for. I look for a way to change the subject, but he's not finished.

"It looks like I came here and was a fuck-up. I find myself trying to defend myself. I've done everything a man can possibly do. I haven't gotten any write-ups. I haven't been in trouble. I graduated top of the CCP drug class. It doesn't make sense, and we're going to fight it."

Rick James is full of heated charisma and badassed attitude that nine months in prison hasn't even slightly dented. "Don't get me wrong," he continues, "I'm very bitter about how I've been treated, there are some things I want to bring into the light, I'm glad I came here. This is the longest time I've been straight and sober. But if I wanted to get high tomorrow - my drug of choice - I could do it in this penitentiary. It comes with the territory. But I fight the feeling."

Are you treated like a celebrity by the other inmates?

"When I first got here it was pretty hectic," he sighs, "signing a lot of autographs for people. After they got used to me it became sec- ond nature that I was here. I be- came just another inmate." Rick James, king of superfunk, just an- other inmate. Has it given him humil- ity? "Oh, I was humbled when I was at LA County sleeping in in a six-by-six cell with rats and roaches. Humbility [sic] became quite easy."

By now, James is relaxing, calling me by name. "When I lost my mother in 1991 of cancer, Pamela," he says, "that was a very traumatic experience for me. When one loses his best friend, that's a humbling, humiliating experience. You start to question your spirituality, you question God. Even with my addiction, there was this layer of humbility. When I was acting out the Rick James persona, one of the things about him, he was not a humble cat! That was a facade, Pamela, you have to understand."

Why did he need a facade?

"I chose to create that persona. I read about the Masai warriors in Africa and put braids in my hair. They used to weave horse and lion hair into their braids. They believed if you wore the hair of powerful animals, you would gain their power and spirit. After I saw Kiss on stage, I wanted my show to look like the fourth of July. The persona of Rick James was wild and crazy, sex, drugs and rock and roll...

"I relinquished Rick James," he announces with relish. "I set him free and buried him. He nearly killed me! I've always third- personned him. It was always strange to hear my mother say 'Rick'. My name is James Johnson. Rick never sat with me right. It was always uncomfortable."

Do you consider yourself a violent man?

He shakes his head. "If anything I consider myself non- violent, I'm from the hippy era, peace-love, groovy. You know where I'm coming from. I found the violence coming out of me later, after my mother passed away. Not so much violent, but angry... There were a lot of things left unsaid and undone," he says sadly, leaning closer "My cocaine addiction was running so rampant, I didn't know how to stop it. I didn't understand the sickness. And if I was sick, everybody around me was. Everybody did it. You can't have rock and roll without drugs, you can't have rock and roll without sex. It's a vicious circle and I became angry. I was angry when I was young. I was mad about living in a white tenement slum, run off from school by Polish people. I was mad about my mother being in the numbers rackets, working for the Mafia. I was angry about the fact that my father would beat my mother on a daily basis, that my mother would take it in turn and beat on me. I was an abused child. I was mad about all those things, very bitter and very angry."

Are you still in touch with Tanya?

"Yes. She's incarcerated, and God knows she's having her share of problems. There's a lot of jealousy with those women up there. They're like really tripped out - you know? - that we have a relationship. Tanya's my best friend. We've been able to elevate past the bullshit. Plus, we've got this son, he's being taken care of by a nanny. His name is Tasmin, like a Tasmanian devil," he smiles. "We call him the Tas Man. "If anybody needs help with drug addiction, it's me. If OJ Simpson would have gotten help with his drug addiction, maybe that terrible thing wouldn't have happened to Nicole."

Big news. Does Rick know OJ Simpson?

"I know him very well. OJ had a very bad drug addiction and it started coming out. He was free-basing or snorting and I'm not going to sit here and tell you that he wasn't because I know he was. It might not have happened if his drug addiction had been dealt with, and here I am trying to do the best I can to deal with it and they won't let me.

"I started smoking Mary Jane when I was 15. And I was snorting an ounce a day when I was recording albums in the Seventies and Eighties. I sat with a bottle of Black Jack, a bottle of Quaa- ludes and an ounce a day.

"It seemed like the way to make a record!" he laughs ruefully. "Everybody did it. Some of them took that extra hit, that extra pill and died. Jimi, Janis, a few others. A lot of us died inside. When I was smoking five or six thousand dollars of dope a week, I think subconsciously I was looking to die. I was too chickenshit to take a gun to my head or jump off a building.

"'Sucking on the Devil's dick', that's the way I looked at it. Id look at the fire and the insanity, and the fact that I hadn't left my room in three or four weeks. I'd look at the deviants around me, how low I had sunk. The room was my gloom. I supported everybody who came around me. I had millions of dollars in the bank, Rolls Royces up the ying-yang, houses all over the place. I bought cars for everybody, clothes and Lear jets. I was very sick. That was my way of showing love. If I did these things, maybe everybody would forget about Rick James and see who was really me. Maybe they would put this fake, false image aside, forget the braids, forget what colour I was, thc way I looked, forget what I wrote about and see some other person. Maybe theyd like him better. It was all an illusion. It was all bullshit, but it sounded good at the time."

When did he see that it was bullshit?

"Somewhere in the Eighties," he says, after a moment of pondering. "Me and Steve Tyler [Aerosmith's lead singer] were in rehab together. We've been in rehab twice together, and I'm so pissed! He's staying sober and I've relapsed left and right. Finally I got some therapy. Finally I let a person look inside of me."

Does he accept responsibility for all the fuck-ups?

"I accept responsibility for everything that has happened to me. But I know, and most people who know me know, that without the drugs, most of these things wouldn't have happened. I was dancin' with the devil, Pamela, we were doin' the cha-cha-cha. We were doin' the slow drag." But it's over now, right? Now he lives one day at a time? He laughs heartily. "I live one millimetre of a second at a time!"

THE GUARD COMES to collect the prisoner and take him back to his cell, but while Lt Hissami is on the phone, looking the other way, I jump up on James's lap and Adam snaps a photo. I don't know what's possessed me.

We shake hands again, and I ask one more question; does he feel he has people to make amends to? Rick James bellows, "Hell no!" Then James Johnson continues, "Yeah, there are people. That's so far off I've got to get myself together first, Pamela. I gotta wake up to the sunshine, throw my son up and down, live my life like none of this happened. I just needed a period of time to get this stuff out of my system. It took this incarceration to do that, and I'm thankful, I'm back in touch with God, my God, my Lord. I thank him for bringing me here." Then Rick James is back. "Where else can you learn how to make bombs out of toothpaste and machine guns out of toothbrushes?"
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Reply #1 posted 12/30/07 4:36am

Cloudbuster

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Charmer.
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Reply #2 posted 12/30/07 7:15am

Harlepolis

Let the motherfucker rest in peace already rolleyes

No use of peeling a goat's skin after you slaughter it. Leave the man be and move on.
[Edited 12/30/07 7:16am]
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Reply #3 posted 12/30/07 8:08am

fcukthepolice

Harlepolis said:

Let the motherfucker rest in peace already rolleyes

No use of peeling a goat's skin after you slaughter it. Leave the man be and move on.
[Edited 12/30/07 7:16am]



poor rick
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Reply #4 posted 12/30/07 8:56am

sosgemini

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OJ was a druggie? Did this make the news during his trial?
Space for sale...
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Reply #5 posted 12/30/07 8:57am

prettymansson

hmmmm... confused
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Reply #6 posted 12/30/07 9:10am

lastdecember

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sosgemini said:

OJ was a druggie? Did this make the news during his trial?


OJ did PCP, i think Kato used to get it for him. But he did drugs alot after he retired.

"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #7 posted 12/30/07 10:32am

Dance

OJ and Nicole were both heavy users, but let other people tell it Nicole was in church every other day.

I don't buy all that crap. I mean, yeah Rick was drugged out and probably slapped her around or got really rough, but how are you going to be brutalized like that and then go back to have tea and crumpets? confused

I'm not defending him or any celeb, but there are a lot of people who devote their lives to getting close to these people so they can come up or there are those that are enjoying the ride and when they get cut off here come the accusations.
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Reply #8 posted 12/30/07 11:21am

babynoz

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I read his book and it was very interesting. I was surprised because his writing's not bad for someone who's not a writer.

It made me think about the whole delusional "rock star" lifestyle and how come it's so attractive to people. Hell in a guilded cage is still hell. The best I can figure is everybody must be thinking, "it won't happen to me", but more often than not it does.

Still, I have to say that Rick sure wasn't one to put on airs and pretend to be something he wasn't. Even though he gave up dirt on plenty of folks he didn't spare himself either.

Yeah, I know it's tempting to judge and all but more than anything it just makes me wonder about the things people do to themselves and each other. At the end I hope he was reconciled and is resting in peace.
"Information is abundant, but wisdom is scarce."
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Reply #9 posted 12/30/07 11:34am

babynoz

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Dance said:

OJ and Nicole were both heavy users, but let other people tell it Nicole was in church every other day.

I don't buy all that crap. I mean, yeah Rick was drugged out and probably slapped her around or got really rough, but how are you going to be brutalized like that and then go back to have tea and crumpets? confused

I'm not defending him or any celeb, but there are a lot of people who devote their lives to getting close to these people so they can come up or there are those that are enjoying the ride and when they get cut off here come the accusations.


It sounds crazy, but I did DV counseling for three years and it happens all the time. Crackheads will get high, beat the crap out of each other and get high together again the next day. OJ and the sainted Nicole did it for years.

That's not to say that there aren't people who try to make a career out of leeching off of rock stars...that happens too. The party's on till the drugs get cut off and/or somebody almost dies.
"Information is abundant, but wisdom is scarce."
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Reply #10 posted 12/30/07 1:04pm

fcukthepolice

babynoz said:

Dance said:

OJ and Nicole were both heavy users, but let other people tell it Nicole was in church every other day.

I don't buy all that crap. I mean, yeah Rick was drugged out and probably slapped her around or got really rough, but how are you going to be brutalized like that and then go back to have tea and crumpets? confused

I'm not defending him or any celeb, but there are a lot of people who devote their lives to getting close to these people so they can come up or there are those that are enjoying the ride and when they get cut off here come the accusations.


It sounds crazy, but I did DV counseling for three years and it happens all the time. Crackheads will get high, beat the crap out of each other and get high together again the next day. OJ and the sainted Nicole did it for years.

That's not to say that there aren't people who try to make a career out of leeching off of rock stars...that happens too. The party's on till the drugs get cut off and/or somebody almost dies.



what?
OJ beat the hell out of nicole for awhile.

so what if she did drugs. She didn't beat anyone or slice their throat.
Your comments about rick were very ignorant.

He beat the shit out of at least one of them. The pictures of her face are horrific and she had burns. The pics have been shown on e true hollywood stories from the court too. I've hardly seen any boxer with a face like that after 12 rounds even.
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Reply #11 posted 12/30/07 1:30pm

babynoz

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fcukthepolice said:

babynoz said:



It sounds crazy, but I did DV counseling for three years and it happens all the time. Crackheads will get high, beat the crap out of each other and get high together again the next day. OJ and the sainted Nicole did it for years.

That's not to say that there aren't people who try to make a career out of leeching off of rock stars...that happens too. The party's on till the drugs get cut off and/or somebody almost dies.



what?
OJ beat the hell out of nicole for awhile.

so what if she did drugs. She didn't beat anyone or slice their throat.
Your comments about rick were very ignorant.

He beat the shit out of at least one of them. The pictures of her face are horrific and she had burns. The pics have been shown on e true hollywood stories from the court too. I've hardly seen any boxer with a face like that after 12 rounds even.




Who you callin' ignorant, boy? lol

Please show me where I said that OJ didn't beat Nicole? Then show me where I said that Rick was a saint who never laid a hand on anyone???

I've worked in the justice system for 20 years son...I know the difference between an unwilling victim and someone actively participating in their own destruction from first hand experience rather than reactionary hysteria such as you are displaying here. Not to mention your inability to converse using common courtesy. I hope you don't kiss your loved ones with that mouth!

You best slow your roll fcuk...I got kids your age. no no no!
"Information is abundant, but wisdom is scarce."
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Reply #12 posted 12/30/07 1:32pm

fcukthepolice

babynoz said:

fcukthepolice said:




what?
OJ beat the hell out of nicole for awhile.

so what if she did drugs. She didn't beat anyone or slice their throat.
Your comments about rick were very ignorant.

He beat the shit out of at least one of them. The pictures of her face are horrific and she had burns. The pics have been shown on e true hollywood stories from the court too. I've hardly seen any boxer with a face like that after 12 rounds even.




Who you callin' ignorant, boy? lol

Please show me where I said that OJ didn't beat Nicole? Then show me where I said that Rick was a saint who never laid a hand on anyone???

I've worked in the justice system for 20 years son...I know the difference between an unwilling victim and someone actively participating in their own destruction from first hand experience rather than reactionary hysteria such as you are displaying here. Not to mention your inability to converse using common courtesy. I hope you don't kiss your loved ones with that mouth!

You best slow your roll fcuk...I got kids your age. no no no!


You work for the injustice system?

I now have no respect at all for you now

Just blame the victims why don't you.
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Reply #13 posted 12/30/07 1:57pm

babynoz

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fcukthepolice said:

babynoz said:





Who you callin' ignorant, boy? lol

Please show me where I said that OJ didn't beat Nicole? Then show me where I said that Rick was a saint who never laid a hand on anyone???

I've worked in the justice system for 20 years son...I know the difference between an unwilling victim and someone actively participating in their own destruction from first hand experience rather than reactionary hysteria such as you are displaying here. Not to mention your inability to converse using common courtesy. I hope you don't kiss your loved ones with that mouth!

You best slow your roll fcuk...I got kids your age. no no no!


You work for the injustice system?

I now have no respect at all for you now

Just blame the victims why don't you.



Be quiet and listen...

You have no respect for me??? Somehow I think I'll live, lol.

So you can tell it to the dozens of clueless young brothas that come through my courtroom, where I pull 'em to the side and tell them not to plea-bargain their rights away.

Then you can tell it to the old folks and immigrants that I help track down the sleazy car dealer who sold them a lemon.

After that, you can talk to the victims of abuse that I find space for in shelters. My worst day at work was the the day I issued a restraining order (the last one that day), and begged the woman for half an hour to go to a shelter. By the time I got home and turned on the news she was dead. True story.

Finally, tell it to my co-workers. I'm a union organizer and steward who shows them how to proceed when they have a beef with the "system".

I don't just sit on a message board running off at the mouth son...I actually help victims. I walk the walk every day...boy.

You still want a piece of me? bitchfight
"Information is abundant, but wisdom is scarce."
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Reply #14 posted 12/30/07 6:23pm

johnnyreeferse
ed

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I'm Rick James bitch!
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Reply #15 posted 12/30/07 6:34pm

lastdecember

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At the end of the day some people just do bad shit to people, i think whats forgotten. I dont care how much money you got, or your chart positions or what you own it doesnt take away doing right and doing wrong, and it also doesnt cure anything either. Im tired of hearing, "oh how could he do drugs, hes got all that money and he throws it away" well the answer is that 99.9% of addicts would do it whether or not they had the means to do it, fame doesnt make you an addict, its inside of each of these individuals, so whether Rick had money or didnt he would still have gone this route, just like many others.

"We went where our music was appreciated, and that was everywhere but the USA, we knew we had fans, but there is only so much of the world you can play at once" Magne F
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Reply #16 posted 12/31/07 4:55am

Rightly

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they should re-bury his dead ass..... in Prison!!
small circles, big wheels!
I've got a pretty firm grip on the obvious!
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Reply #17 posted 12/31/07 5:19am

Dance

It's hard to buy someone's story when they have crack residue on their hands or are shopping a book deal.

She's a 90 pound crackhead and Rick was a thousand pound hardcore addict who valued women as much as he did toilet paper and that was no secret. Of course she'll walk away with more bruises, but what kind of ass even puts themself in that situation? She wasn't over there for bible study. She was at RICK JAMES' place, getting high, fuckin(probably for tracks), and hanging around despite the other bad times she had there.
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Reply #18 posted 12/31/07 5:52am

laurarichardso
n

What is your point? We all know what Rick did to this woman. He writes about at length in his book and he did jail time for the assualt.
In addtion, she sued him for damages and he lost the suit.

I am not a hugh Rick James fan but,let's be real they were both high on crack at the time. Rick paid for his actions and he is dead and gone.

Move on.

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fcukthepolice said:

the devil in Rick James
Pamela Des Barres shares a cell with America's original Superfreak, who comes clean about his life of torture
Photography Adam Wolf

Buy Rick James' music
ONE HUNDRED DEGREES and climbing. Another blinding California heat-blast. On the long, sweaty drive out to the California Rehabilitation Center, I wonder about air conditioning facilities in jail. Am I wearing the right clothes? What do you wear to prison, anyway? I've never visited a prisoner before, and I'm one nervous chick. This particular prisoner gives me the willies, and the heat is making me feel light-headed and wary as I watch anxiously for the freeway exit that will lead me to CRC. It has taken weeks to set up this interview with the Superfreak king of funky stuff, Rick James, incarcerated for the assault and imprisonment of two Los Angeles women back in '91 and '92.

In his day Rick James was a brilliant, innovative singer/songwriter/producer: a swaggering, strutting, pompous picture of decadence and dastardly obsessions. When "Come And Get It", his debut album from Motown, went double platinum, he moved into a mansion once owned by William Randolph Hearst. "I was livin' large," he has said, "inside a Citizen Kane fantasy." "Superfreak", the song most closely associated with James ("She's a very kinky girl, the kind you don't bring home to mother..."), brought all shapes and sizes of adoring, kinky girls into his life. His partying down days are a large part of legendary rocklore. Nobody partied like Rick James.


AFTER WINDING MY WAY into the hills of Nowheresville, I finally find myself in front of a set of formidable high-ass gates where clumps of families are congregating - waiting for passes to visit their loved ones in CRC. As I drive my T-Bird round the barbed- wire parking lot in search of a space, steam rises in waves from the baking pavement. I have a one o'clock appointment. It's 12:58.

There were two separate cases brought against Rick James and his girlfriend, Tanya Ann Hijazi. In the first, in July of 1991, 26- year-old Frances Alley alleged that James burnt her leg and knee area with a crack pipe, applied alcohol, slapped her across the face with a gun, and burnt her groin and torso area with a hot knife.

According to court testimony about the night in question, Ms Alley alleged that James was "going to teach her a lesson" because he "couldn't find his eight-ball".

"He made me take my clothes off and sit in the chair," Alley testified. "He ordered Tanya to go to the kitchen and heat up the knife until it was red hot." James then allegedly tied her to the chair with neckties. "Rick poured alco- hol all over my knees. He started smoking crack. Every time he took a hit, he held part of the crack pipe to my knees," said Alley. According to her testimony, James slapped her across the face with a handgun, saying, "No-one fucks with Rick James in this house." She then testified that he burned her with a Bic lighter and kept reheating the knife with the lighter or a candle, burning her inner groin area, and from "the abdomen to the pubic line. He burnt Hijazi twice on the back for smoking out- side. I then went into the bathroom and put cold towels on my burns. We then went into Rick's room and smoked crack."

MY PHOTOGRAPHER, Adam, is waiting for me in the CRC lobby, wearing a pair of clownish orange balloon pants supplied by the prison because he had worn jeans. The inmates wear denim, but Adam found that out too late. He looks really dumb and he knows it. We show a weary security guard our ID, and wait on a sticky, brown Naugahyde couch for Lt Hissami to take us to her office where we will meet inmate N63609. It's way past one o'clock now, and sweat is running down my sides.

After spending over eight months in the CRC drug rehab programme while officials decided whether he should be formally admitted, James has just been ruled ineligible to complete the programme due to his assault conviction, and may have to do a five-year prison stint instead of being freed later this year. I'll bet he's seriously pissed off. The kind of sexdrugsrocknrollsuperfreak freedom Rick James had must have been oh-so-hard to give up. I read in the LA Times that his attorney, Mark Werksman, was baffled by the court's decision. "They just looked at the whole package and said, 'We don't like this guy."'

Rick's publicist has already told me that he won't discuss the case, and claims he is innocent of the charges. I had wanted to ask him about remorse and repentance. Oh well.

BESIDES THE TORTURE and mayhem accusations, Frances Alley testified that James had forced her to perform oral sex on his girl friend. "He told me to lay back and Tanya was going to take care of me," she said. "Then Tanya went down on me. He made me do the same to her. I was laying on my back, she got on top of me and kind of straddled me and started peeing on me, on my burns and stuff. It hurt real bad."

Q "Were you still afraid?"
A. "Of course I was afraid. I was grossed out. It was nasty."
Q "Then what happened?"
A. "Then he told me to put my fingers in her."
Q "Did you do that?"
A. "No. Every chance she and I got, we faked it. We faked giving each other head."
I'M SURPRISED TO SEE that Lt Hissami is a young, attractive woman in a pretty cool-looking suit. She leads us to her office through the penitentiary grounds, explaining why CRC, with its red-tiled roof and pink walls, looks more like a luxury hotel than a jailhouse. Back in the Thirties it had been the Lake Norconian Club, frequented by Hollywood celebrities and political bigwigs.

"The inmates do the gardening," says Lt Hissami proudly as we pass through perfectly manicured rose bushes. "This is a medium security prison," she emphasizes, and we settle into her office and wait for the inmate to be brought down from his cell. Lt Hissami graciously offers us a Pepsi. We accept. It's now two o'clock. She says I was lucky to get this interview, that James is going back to court next week.

DURING THE ASSAULT, Frances Alley alleged that James told her that "I needed to learn how they live in California. He said it was nothing. Everybody in California does that, and I was sexually ignorant and inexperienced." When James realized the extent of Alleys burns he sent her to a chemist. "The lady looked at my leg and said, 'Honey, honey, we can't do anything for that.' Then I went to the LA free Clinic, they said, 'We can't do anything. This is way too severe. You need a burn unit.' Then we went to Cedars [Cedars Sinai, a major Beverly Hills hospital]." After doc- tors examined Alley, the police were called. But she didn't want to press charges at that time. Apparently James wanted to apologize to Alley and she went back to his house. "It must have been the crack," he said, and allegedly gave her a cheque for $320 made to cash. "Here, take this," he told her. "Go buy yourself something nice. I will take care of you. I will buy you a ring as big as your head." She stayed a few more days, getting high, and James didn't bother her anymore.

"When everyone was asleep, I left without making a noise," she testified. "I came back the same night. Rick started calling me a slut, a whore, and a cheap nasty bitch for telling everybody that he did this to me, and I better backtrack, go back and tell all these people that I had supposedly told, that a pimp did it to me. Not Rick James. A pimp. He said he would rip out my tongue. He then said he'd pay $5,000 to have me killed. He also said he'd have acid thrown on my face on the street if I didn't clear his name. It was his girlfriend that opened her mouth, not me. All right. It was his girlfriend. It pissed me off so bad. The next day I went and pressed charges."

THERE'S A POWER SURGE in Lt Hissami's office while we wait for inmate N63609. No air conditioning for a while. She gets on the phone and 20 minutes later it's blessedly cool again. She keeps looking at her watch, wondering where the prisoner is. After a few calls, Lt Hissami finds he's been taken to the wrong place. Oh boy. This prisoner is going to be in a great mood for the interview. It's pushing three o'clock.

THE NOVEMBER 1992 assault allegedly took place at the St James Club, the swankpot hotel on Sunset Strip. Mary Sauget testified that she met Rick James and Tanya Hijazi to discuss James's new record label, and after they all got high on cocaine, Rick and Tanya began to argue. Sauger tried to leave and was supposedly slapped by Hijazi and James repeatedly, until she lost conscious- ness. They allegedly revived her by dowsing her with water, but continued to strike her. Then James choked her. She testified that she later received a phone message offering her money to "shut up ", but she too went to Cedars Sinai and police were called. James was arrested two weeks later.

Of all the charges brought against him - assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated mayhem, torture, false imprisonment by force, forced oral copulation, assault with a deadly weapon, sale or trans- portation of a controlled substance, terrorist threats - he was con- victed of only three: assault, imprisonment and furnishing cocaine. The jury deadlocked 11 to one on the other charges, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. Tanya Hijazi pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to four years.

THE PHONE RINGS in Lt Hissami's office. "He'll be right down," she smiles. She seems relieved. Adam turns on his lights and fiddles with the cameras, looking slightly embarrassed in his orange pantaloons. As Rick James strides through the door, I can see that he's not amused. I grin far too brightly. We shake hands. He's put on some weight, and of course the long braided dreads have gone the way of the studded knee-high boots and foot-long spliffs. He's wearing jailhouse blues, but looks healthy - and heartily pissed off. He sits down across from me, and I decide to use the irritation and ask about the court date next week.

"I've been excluded from this programme," he says matter-of- factly, his eyes spitting fire.

"Why?" I ask.

"Because of who I am. That's the real reason. They say, quote, if you're convicted of any violence, you're not allowed here. I have one charge of assault, and of giving cocaine. On my arrest sheet, of course, there were a lot of allegations and alleged reports of torture and mayhem, kidnapping and all that kind of shit. They say you're not allowed here with excessive violence. Me and my attorneys, we're going to debate that. Number one: I was never convicted of this excessive violence, and on the second hand, I'm going to show that there is biasness [sic] within the realms of this institution."

My eyebrows rise with indignation.

"There are people here with murder, mayhem, arsons. I know a guy that has been retained with an arson and a double murder. And he was convicted of these charges. The judge and the DA are aware of what went on in my trial. Payoffs to the woman and all the lies and false allegations that went on in my case. There are some set laws here that an institution has to follow. If they're going to retain some people and exclude others on the basis of their name, race, or..."

Celebrityhood?

"Right," he agrees, warming a bit. "Follow the law or don't follow the law. I've done everything that's required of me to be here. I'm a drug addict. My case revolves around drugs. I had maybe three or four months left to do here, so you can imagine how devastating it was to find out I was going to be excluded from the programme. Justice is justice. just because you're a drug addict it doesn't make you not human. Just because you're incarcerated, it doesn't make you a true prisoner. You know what I'm sayin'? Yes - incarcerate, but rehabilitate. We subpoenaed the warden and a lot of the records. I'm not gonna take this lying down. I've never laid down, I'm not gonna lay down and I never will lay down.

"It's gonna be top, top news. If I can get past OJ Simpson," he adds with sarcasm. "There have been a lot of people here with criminal records worse than Rick James. Especially because I was not convicted of a lot of these things."

The jury deadlocked, right?

"Yeah, somebody could testify - 'He made love to a pig, he brutally beat this pig, he brutally beat the woman who owned the pig, and he had sex with a horse' - in other words, a person could say outrageous things, then when you get to court, the judge finds you 'not guilty of all these things, but when you get to prison they say, 'We can't keep you here because it says you made love with the pig and beat the pig and beat the pig's owner.' If you're going to build your laws around allegations and fabrications, then what the hell's really goin' on?"

All this talk about farmyard animals and sex is freaking me out, considering what he's in here for. I look for a way to change the subject, but he's not finished.

"It looks like I came here and was a fuck-up. I find myself trying to defend myself. I've done everything a man can possibly do. I haven't gotten any write-ups. I haven't been in trouble. I graduated top of the CCP drug class. It doesn't make sense, and we're going to fight it."

Rick James is full of heated charisma and badassed attitude that nine months in prison hasn't even slightly dented. "Don't get me wrong," he continues, "I'm very bitter about how I've been treated, there are some things I want to bring into the light, I'm glad I came here. This is the longest time I've been straight and sober. But if I wanted to get high tomorrow - my drug of choice - I could do it in this penitentiary. It comes with the territory. But I fight the feeling."

Are you treated like a celebrity by the other inmates?

"When I first got here it was pretty hectic," he sighs, "signing a lot of autographs for people. After they got used to me it became sec- ond nature that I was here. I be- came just another inmate." Rick James, king of superfunk, just an- other inmate. Has it given him humil- ity? "Oh, I was humbled when I was at LA County sleeping in in a six-by-six cell with rats and roaches. Humbility [sic] became quite easy."

By now, James is relaxing, calling me by name. "When I lost my mother in 1991 of cancer, Pamela," he says, "that was a very traumatic experience for me. When one loses his best friend, that's a humbling, humiliating experience. You start to question your spirituality, you question God. Even with my addiction, there was this layer of humbility. When I was acting out the Rick James persona, one of the things about him, he was not a humble cat! That was a facade, Pamela, you have to understand."

Why did he need a facade?

"I chose to create that persona. I read about the Masai warriors in Africa and put braids in my hair. They used to weave horse and lion hair into their braids. They believed if you wore the hair of powerful animals, you would gain their power and spirit. After I saw Kiss on stage, I wanted my show to look like the fourth of July. The persona of Rick James was wild and crazy, sex, drugs and rock and roll...

"I relinquished Rick James," he announces with relish. "I set him free and buried him. He nearly killed me! I've always third- personned him. It was always strange to hear my mother say 'Rick'. My name is James Johnson. Rick never sat with me right. It was always uncomfortable."

Do you consider yourself a violent man?

He shakes his head. "If anything I consider myself non- violent, I'm from the hippy era, peace-love, groovy. You know where I'm coming from. I found the violence coming out of me later, after my mother passed away. Not so much violent, but angry... There were a lot of things left unsaid and undone," he says sadly, leaning closer "My cocaine addiction was running so rampant, I didn't know how to stop it. I didn't understand the sickness. And if I was sick, everybody around me was. Everybody did it. You can't have rock and roll without drugs, you can't have rock and roll without sex. It's a vicious circle and I became angry. I was angry when I was young. I was mad about living in a white tenement slum, run off from school by Polish people. I was mad about my mother being in the numbers rackets, working for the Mafia. I was angry about the fact that my father would beat my mother on a daily basis, that my mother would take it in turn and beat on me. I was an abused child. I was mad about all those things, very bitter and very angry."

Are you still in touch with Tanya?

"Yes. She's incarcerated, and God knows she's having her share of problems. There's a lot of jealousy with those women up there. They're like really tripped out - you know? - that we have a relationship. Tanya's my best friend. We've been able to elevate past the bullshit. Plus, we've got this son, he's being taken care of by a nanny. His name is Tasmin, like a Tasmanian devil," he smiles. "We call him the Tas Man. "If anybody needs help with drug addiction, it's me. If OJ Simpson would have gotten help with his drug addiction, maybe that terrible thing wouldn't have happened to Nicole."

Big news. Does Rick know OJ Simpson?

"I know him very well. OJ had a very bad drug addiction and it started coming out. He was free-basing or snorting and I'm not going to sit here and tell you that he wasn't because I know he was. It might not have happened if his drug addiction had been dealt with, and here I am trying to do the best I can to deal with it and they won't let me.

"I started smoking Mary Jane when I was 15. And I was snorting an ounce a day when I was recording albums in the Seventies and Eighties. I sat with a bottle of Black Jack, a bottle of Quaa- ludes and an ounce a day.

"It seemed like the way to make a record!" he laughs ruefully. "Everybody did it. Some of them took that extra hit, that extra pill and died. Jimi, Janis, a few others. A lot of us died inside. When I was smoking five or six thousand dollars of dope a week, I think subconsciously I was looking to die. I was too chickenshit to take a gun to my head or jump off a building.

"'Sucking on the Devil's dick', that's the way I looked at it. Id look at the fire and the insanity, and the fact that I hadn't left my room in three or four weeks. I'd look at the deviants around me, how low I had sunk. The room was my gloom. I supported everybody who came around me. I had millions of dollars in the bank, Rolls Royces up the ying-yang, houses all over the place. I bought cars for everybody, clothes and Lear jets. I was very sick. That was my way of showing love. If I did these things, maybe everybody would forget about Rick James and see who was really me. Maybe they would put this fake, false image aside, forget the braids, forget what colour I was, thc way I looked, forget what I wrote about and see some other person. Maybe theyd like him better. It was all an illusion. It was all bullshit, but it sounded good at the time."

When did he see that it was bullshit?

"Somewhere in the Eighties," he says, after a moment of pondering. "Me and Steve Tyler [Aerosmith's lead singer] were in rehab together. We've been in rehab twice together, and I'm so pissed! He's staying sober and I've relapsed left and right. Finally I got some therapy. Finally I let a person look inside of me."

Does he accept responsibility for all the fuck-ups?

"I accept responsibility for everything that has happened to me. But I know, and most people who know me know, that without the drugs, most of these things wouldn't have happened. I was dancin' with the devil, Pamela, we were doin' the cha-cha-cha. We were doin' the slow drag." But it's over now, right? Now he lives one day at a time? He laughs heartily. "I live one millimetre of a second at a time!"

THE GUARD COMES to collect the prisoner and take him back to his cell, but while Lt Hissami is on the phone, looking the other way, I jump up on James's lap and Adam snaps a photo. I don't know what's possessed me.

We shake hands again, and I ask one more question; does he feel he has people to make amends to? Rick James bellows, "Hell no!" Then James Johnson continues, "Yeah, there are people. That's so far off I've got to get myself together first, Pamela. I gotta wake up to the sunshine, throw my son up and down, live my life like none of this happened. I just needed a period of time to get this stuff out of my system. It took this incarceration to do that, and I'm thankful, I'm back in touch with God, my God, my Lord. I thank him for bringing me here." Then Rick James is back. "Where else can you learn how to make bombs out of toothpaste and machine guns out of toothbrushes?"
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Reply #19 posted 12/31/07 12:41pm

fcukthepolice

^^^^WRONG!

rick lied and denied the abuse

He even said it in a song.

Listen to the song on his website
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Reply #20 posted 12/31/07 6:00pm

bboy87

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Ty James flips the bird at you
Punk Mistress Certified FAMF

"We may deify or demonize them but not ignore them. And we call them genius, because they are the people who change the world."

http://jaywonder.tumblr.com/
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Reply #21 posted 12/31/07 6:27pm

missfee

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sosgemini said:

OJ was a druggie? Did this make the news during his trial?

his whore wife Nicole was a user too. She wasn't all rosy and innocent like "people" want you to think.
Cause I'm fabulous and I live a fabulous life. batting eyes
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Reply #22 posted 01/01/08 3:59am

fcukthepolice

missfee said:

sosgemini said:

OJ was a druggie? Did this make the news during his trial?

his whore wife Nicole was a user too. She wasn't all rosy and innocent like "people" want you to think.



Yes she was

So what she took drugs? Drugs are part of our experience as humans on planet earth and have been for thousands of years.
By all accounts nicole was a nice person and she didn;t beat anyone

[snip-sos]
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Reply #23 posted 01/01/08 3:51pm

Scorpion

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Why does his dead wife have to be a whore?
tho' I battled blind
love is a fate resigned
memories mar my mind
love it is a fate resigned

Over futile odds
and laughed at by the Gods
and now the final frame
Love is a losing game
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Reply #24 posted 01/01/08 3:56pm

Rodya24

Scorpion said:

Why does his dead wife have to be a whore?


OJ's?
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Reply #25 posted 01/01/08 4:05pm

alwayslate

I don't know whether to believe it or not. It's hard to believe anything a junkie tells you. At the same time ...I dunno. I mean we're talking about Rick James. Anything is possible.
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Reply #26 posted 01/01/08 4:06pm

Jboogiee

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A story from Rick James's former pyro guy:

On the Road with Rick James

or

The True Adventures of the Too Much Fun Club

Story #37 Pre-Purple Prince Part Three Bible Study


I am one of the few people I know that when all is said and done I could sing "I did it my way" and not be lying. The big difference between me and Frank Sinatra is he had a few regrets, too few to even mention, whereas my regrets may be too many to count. Then again I am so stubborn and head strong that if given the chance I would probably do everything the exact same way again. My biggest interaction with Prince happens to include what is easily one of my top ten all time regrets and proves once more I am not as smart as I think I am.
If you recall the story about me mud wrestling eleven girls in my hotel room in Denver on the Street Songs Tour you might also remember the catalyst for that adventure was my breaking the number one rule of touring which states "Never, ever, fall in love with a girl you met at a show!" I had met a young lady while on the KISS TOUR and in spite of what everybody told me I knew that she was "really different".
We had written and phoned each other regularly since we met. The more I got to know her the more I liked her. When KISS ended in December 1979 I went to join my parents in Houston where we went every year to visit the rest of our family. Both my Mother and Father had been born and raised in Houston and we were the first and only element to move away when my Father's work relocated us to California. Following Christmas instead of returning to California with the folks I decided instead to fly to Denver and spend a little quality time with my new sweety.
After I had purchased my ticket but not yet left Kathy decided she had better tell me something important that she had been putting off. My guess was it was another guy but she assured me that I was the only guy in her life. Instead she told me she was pregnant.
Oh the images and emotions that exploded in me were too numerous and complicated to even attempt to try and explain. I will just say the combination of being an adopted child, a late sexual bloomer, an extensive religious upbringing, and a hopeless romantic I had always been extremely careful and responsible in regards to procreating. Quick check....yes I distinctly remember asking her if she was on birth control and she had assured me that she was.
Everything I had ever believed in all simultaneously collided in my brain with enough energy that it just might have been on a par with the initial stages of nuclear fusion. With a million voices yelling at me from inside my head I am not sure how long I did not speak to the real voice on the other end of the phone. I think I finally said something along the lines of "that's interesting."
Then she said "Don't worry, it's not yours."That shut up about half the voices in my head but when you hear your sort of unofficial girlfriend is pregnant with another guy's baby is not exactly cause for relief. She explained that she had broken up with her old boyfriend before she met me and then after she met me she found out she was pregnant. She told me that it was her responsibility and it should have nothing to do with us. I already had my plane ticket and any normal guy would have changed plans at the speed of light but I thought only a jerk would do that so off to Denver I went.
I had an absolutely wonderful time and we grew closer and closer. I flew back to California a very confused young man. This was the time of Desert Storm and America was going to war. I was still of draft age but on top of that I now had a wartime specialty, pyrotechnics, which meant if there was a draft I did not get a number, I went. I knew I wanted to do the right thing, I just didn't know what that was.
I flew Kathy out to California and we had another great time. I got along better and enjoyed being with her more than anyone I had ever known. I got the Rick James phone call and she flew back to Denver. We had no formal relationship and had made no promises concerning seeing other people. I still had a couple of girls I was dating in California and the girl I met that first night in Hollywood when I went out with hyperspace proved I was not closed to meeting new people. I sent Kathy an intenarary for Rick's tour and she had letters waiting for me at every hotel and we talked on the phone practically daily.
What any of this had to do with Prince is probably not very clear but stay with me because it is going to real soon. Prince might have been aloof and mysterious, some might even say a pretentious jerk, but his crew and band couldn't have been nicer. They were great!
I spent a lot of time hanging out with his crew in the afternoons while they were waiting their time to hit the stage. I hung out so much because they let me play Prince's guitar as much as I wanted. I had never played on such a good instrument or through such good equipment so I was having a blast and spent hours playing everything I had ever learned to play.
On one such occasion I was playing the Beatles song "Day Tripper" when Prince came walking in and caught me. He was half laughing, something I had never seen before, and half sneering. He walked over and said "interesting phrasing" and I knew he did not mean that in a complimentary way.
Embarrassed I took off his guitar and apologized about using it without his permission. He waved his hand and said "No, no. no, don't stop now. I think you need the practice" and he walked away. That constituted my longest conversation with Prince but it is longer than most people had.
Not only was his crew nice but his band was great too. I particularly got along with Matt fink, the keyboard player that dressed up like a doctor. As the tour went along we discussed many different effects he wanted to add when they headlined their own tour. It was his desire to expand on the doctor theme and have all sorts of gadgets and sparking devices around him so he looked like he was playing in Frankenstein's lab. I even drew him up some plans and made some phone calls to people I knew in movies that could help him.
But by far my favorite member of Prince's crew or band, in fact my favorite person on the whole tour was his female keyboard player Gale Chapman. Gale was beautiful and sexy and smart and talented and funny and successful and just plain wonderful. She was way out of my league but I was never that smart when it came to such matters so I overstepped class boundaries and befriended her.
Of course every guy on the tour had the hots for her and if they were not in love then they were certainly in lust with her. Who could blame them. There was however something different about the woman on stage dressed in lingerie and dirty dancing with Prince and the same girl off stage. The girl on stage in her underwear was playing a role and the real person was a born again Christian. There is nothing like overdose of Jesus to dissuade most suitors and the word quickly spread that there was no party here. Most of the guys thought "What a waste" and went about pursuing other more available conquests. Most guys but not me.
If she wanted to talk religion then I was her man. As I mentioned earlier I had been raised in a very religious environment from the time I was baptized at age one on. I had not only taught Sunday School and been an alter boy I made it all the way to Sub Deacon in the Episcopal Church. I had even applied to go to Seminary after college to become a full Priest but the Church felt I did not have enough worldly nonacademic experience and I should go learn about life and apply again later. I guess I took their advice because nobody can say I was not getting my share of worldly experiences.
.. Anyhow I could discuss theology with the best of them and that would include a beautiful young musician new to the flock. I could be seen happily whistling away, hotel Bible in hand, making my way to Gale's room on our day's off. This got to be so common place that after a while nobody even seemed to notice. The guys on my buss would grill me with questions like "You guys aren't really reading the Bible all that time" and I would assure them we were and start to go into whatever the latest topic was. This was always enough to make them wish they had not asked in the first place and pretty soon they left it alone entirely.
The truth is that is exactly what we did most of the time and I enjoyed it because she was a very bright and interesting person. The thing was the more I hung out with her the more I liked her and the more attracted to her I became. This was not hindered in any way when she began taking me clothes shopping with her. Prince had told her he wanted her to wear sexier stuff in his show so I kept her company as we hit the more intimate ladies apparel shops. Then once she had made her purchases I was treated to private fashion shows in order to offer my manly opinion if the garments were in deed sexy or not. I started the tour not even knowing what a Teddy was and ended it a connoisseur of unmentionables.
I asked her about her boss and she told me that he was actually very much into women in spite of how he dressed and acted. He had even made advances towards her but she had made it clear that she was not interested in that kind of a relationship and he had accepted and respected this. I couldn't help but notice all the female fans he was attracting so maybe the little guy was onto something after all. What the hell, whatever gets you through the night.
Gale seemed to enjoy my company as well and it was not entirely Bible study after a while. It wasn't anything dirty or scandalous either. It was all very sweet and innocent and never went any further than kissing. I never however ever kissed a cousin, Aunt, Grandmother or my sister like that. If we had been in sixth grade it would have been a world class romance.
This all led to that fateful day when I was lounging around her room playing with fire. I was laying on her bed, it was made up and I was relaxing so I had my shoes off. Anyway I was making up little wads of flash paper and lighting them and throwing them into the air before I got burned. This gave the illusion I was throwing balls of fire out of my hand...very impressive. Unfortunately I threw one a little too high and the fire alarm went off.
I started jumping up and down on the bed as if it were a trampoline and began punching the fire alarm that was attached to the ceiling. After about three or four good punches the fire alarm gave up and everything was quiet again except for Gale's laughter. Suddenly there was a loud pounding at her door. I figured it was the hotel security checking out the alarm so I swung the door open all prepared to start making excuses.
There in the doorway was not hotel security but Prince himself backed by this great big body guard. He looked startled to see me, looked down at my stocking feet and then looked past me to see Gale with an equally surprised look on her face. Prince began to stamp his feet. He was wearing those little star booties so I guess he must have really liked them. While he was stamping his feet he started making the strangest sound. Very high pitched and coming from somewhere deep inside him. I thought he looked like a steaming teapot about to erupt.
This went on for a few seconds until I did the only thing I could think of. Not having anything to say and having seen enough of the exploding teapot I slammed the door shut and dead bolted it. Everything was quiet. I looked through the peep hole in the door and the corridor looked empty but I was not about to go out and see. I waited over a half hour before I cracked the door open just enough to see if the coast was really clear. Seeing nobody I shrugged and said goodnight to Gale and headed back to my own room.
The next afternoon I saw something truly out of the ordinary. Prince was in the building early and he was talking to Rick. I had never seen him talk to Rick before and Rick looked equally surprised as he just listened and occasionally nodded his head. I wondered if this could possibly have anything to do with me but that would be ridiculous. The next thing I knew I was being told to go see Rick right away. Maybe it was not so ridiculous.
I found Rick in his dressing room, The security guard let me in then closed the door. I looked at Rick's face and could not tell if he was mad or not.
He eyed me up and down and said "Watkins...you fuck Prince's woman?"
So much for ridiculous. I stalled wanting to be extra careful not to say the wrong thing. I also started getting a little pissed off so I told Rick. "In the first place that is not the kind of thing a gentlemen goes around telling. In the second place it is none of yours or his business and finally she is not his woman."
Rick stared at me and then he began to grin "You did didn't you. You smooth little player"
"Think whatever you want, I am not going to discuss it."
Rick stopped grinning "You know he wants you off the tour."
That sucked. I did not want to go home but I stood my ground. All I said was "and..."
Rick looked away "and what do you think I should do?"
If I was going to loose my job over this silliness I was not going to go out begging so I decided to just go for it. "Well if Prince is running this tour I guess you better send me home"
Rick thought a moment then looked at me again "I aint sending you nowhere" and then he spoke to the security guard "Run out there and tell Princess I just gave this mother fucker a hundred dollar a week raise." Without a word the guard nodded and disappeared out of the room. There was an awkward silence and I didn't know if I should just leave or not. Then Rick said "What are you standing around here for, go back to work."
When I got to the door I said "Gee, a hundred dollar a week raise, thanks Rick"
Rick started laughing "I told him to tell Princess that, don't you go getting all gullible on me now. Raise my ass...get out of here.
That was the end of that. In time I did stop seeing Gale but not because it upset Prince. The closer Kathy got to having her baby the more I knew I was going to have to make a decision about what I was going to do. To be honest there was no denying my feelings for her so I cut off all my other relationships including the one with Gale.
I know realistically nothing further would have come between Gale and me but I never had much use for reality. I sure did like her and I secretly always wished I knew for sure. Considering how things turned out it could not have been any worst. That's for sure. Now, looking back after all this time I think I actually I understand the truth in the old saying " They say the saddest words ever uttered by men are "What could have been" Oh well, so it goes.


And that's the way it really happened

Copyright 2005
John Sherman Watkins
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Reply #27 posted 01/01/08 6:13pm

missfee

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Scorpion said:

Why does his dead wife have to be a whore?

it's not that she "has" to be a whore....she "was" a whore. I don't understand how after 10+ years later how people can defend her ass to high hell. She wasn't innocent, yes what happened to her was terrible, but O.J. isn't to take the whole blame for that. Plus O.J. isn't even smart enough to kill one person by himself let alone two people. For ya'll that still believe that he "actually" committed the murder all by himself are either completely in denial or completely stupid.
Cause I'm fabulous and I live a fabulous life. batting eyes
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Reply #28 posted 01/02/08 8:30am

Dance

I'm not going to sit here and trash Nicole, but the woman was no angel.

Her and OJ were equally effed up people that found eachother like Bobby and Whitney or Kurt and Courtney.
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Reply #29 posted 01/02/08 9:01am

laurarichardso
n

Well he admits it in his book. Go read the book for yourself.



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fcukthepolice said:

^^^^WRONG!

rick lied and denied the abuse

He even said it in a song.

Listen to the song on his website
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