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Bernds Story - Page: 12 of 14

In July 1984, Chico signed the management papers at Ed´s apartment in Westwood, California. It was three weeks after his 18th birthday on June 23, 1984. Ed introduced the limited partner, Andre Sampson, to me. He was a friend of Marvin Gaye and others. He liked the whole flavor around the music business. The next few days he called me, asked me to visit him. I found out that he was dealing in coke and did not have the money to invest into Chico. Because of no financing, the best Andre came up with some gangsters from Dallas, Texas to invest into Chico, which I turned down. The best I remember of Andre Sampson is when Sly Stone came to his house and was jamming with Chico and Daryl DeBarge, while Johnny Guitar Watson, Ed, Andre and me were treated to this special session. We were treated like kings, if you know what I mean driving around in white limos. I remember when Andre took Ed, Bobby Womack and me to the Beverly Theater in Beverly Hills to see James Brown as VIP´s. Prince and Michael Jackson, both at the same time joined their idol James Brown on stage. Chico was so hot, that at times we drove to Crystal Studio or Baby O Studio in the middle of the night with Billy Preston joining, to watch Chico recording songs. It was during that time that I received a letter in LA from "Kong Fu Fighting" CARL DOUGLAS in Germany. He was writing me about his dream in which he was driven by his Chinese ancestors to write these two songs he wanted to record in Los Angeles. I organized the sessions at Chrystal and Baby O for him. That was the session: Billy Preston as co-producer, Sly Stone, Johnny Guitar Watson, Robert Wilson (THE GAP BAND), Conrad Isedor, Marlo Henderson, Robert Palmer, Sylvia, etc. I had Reggie Dozier mix it down. Later that year Andre got involved with some people in Miami. I talked to him on a Monday night, and he was dead on Wednesday night, found with 17 bullet holes in his head outside of Dallas, Texas. Remember, I mentioned "people from Dallas" before. God saved us and Chico from that type of association.

On October 23, 1984, Chico signed a waiver, not to let the management deal get canceled, because of Ed´s nonpayment of $1,500, the responsibility he agreed on. I found Eddie Lazarus, an investor, to sign up as limited partner with "Chico DeBarge, Ltd." and invest the money to make the management agreement valid. On March 8, 1985, Chico DeBarge signed with Motown Records, the best deal a new artist ever signed with Berry Gordy´s Motown Company at that time. Ed Wright, Eddie Lazarus and me rented Chico DeBarge a Suite in a hotel for celebrities in Westwood/Beverly Hills on Wilshire Blvd for the weekend so he could celebrate. I rented Chico his own apartment in Hollywood. Everything was in my name. He got busy in the studio to record his first album on Motown Records "Chico DeBarge". Motown released the album at the end of 1986. The first single "Talk To Me" made the top twenty pop charts. At the same time I got Don Mizell, again as our attorney and Ed Wright involved to get Bobby DeBarge going again. Ed and I formed "Bobby DeBarge Partnership". We got with Motown and signed Bobby to Motown for a solo deal again. I was able to recover recordings produced by Bobby DeBarge, but owned by outside people, and Motown acquired the tapes before they made it into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, the Motown solo album was never completed, and Bobby was released from his Motown contract. Ed was able to put a deal together with Carlo Nassi´s label, Striped Horse Records, for DeBarge, in which Bobby DeBarge was part of with his brothers James, Randy and Mark DeBarge. In 1988 the "Bad Boys" album was released. The first single was "Dance All Night"; the second, Bobby´s song, "You Babe".

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