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Bernds Story - Page: 14 of 14

Bobby moved his family and household from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Burbank, California that summer. I rented two apartments for us. One for my family and one for Bobby´s family, both in the same apartment building in Burbank, California, just down the street from Warner Bros. Studios. We got busy at once, knowing the time limit we had because of Bobby´s health not being too good. We were recording at English man, Barry Paul´s studio, B.P. Recording Services in North Hollywood, California and then later at Executive Sound Services on Hollywood Blvd., across from the historic Mann´s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. It was very emotional for me driving Bobby into the studio daily listening on the way to the studio to the work tapes particularly listening to the song "Let You Know", in which he reveals his sickness, with the internal knowledge of him not being there anymore at one point, the life distance closing by the day. At the end of September 1994, Bobby DeBarge did his last ever live performance at a club in Redondo Beach, California. It was just one song, "I Call Your Name". It was the last song performed that night. His brother, El DeBarge, started it off, not knowing that Bobby was there and coming on stage, taking over that mic. El was sitting behind the grand piano and his brothers were singing background vocals. It was broadcasted live on KJLM Compton. The place was packed. The audience felt him and everybody was standing up. It was one of the greatest experiences I ever witnessed on a stage performance.

Bobby´s album was finished and mixed by the end of 1994. Unfortunately, A&E Records did not release the CD, entitled "IT´S NOT OVER" until August of 1995. The single was "Good Time". Bobby left California by the end of June 1995. The AIDS virus had gotten hold of him since the wintertime. He flew back to Grand Rapids, Michigan and was checked into a hospice to rest his body and soul, getting ready to leave this earth. On Monday, August 14, 1995, I met his wife Teri at LAX airport, to give her a box of 25 copies of his CD. She flew back to Grand Rapids, Michigan with the two boys, Christian and Bobby, to say "good bye" to him. Finally Bobby had the CD in his hands. All his brothers and sisters were there. Bobby died on Wednesday, August 16, 1995. Little Richard paid for my flight to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to attend Bobby´s funeral on Monday, August 21, 1995. It was a beautiful sunny day, Bobby resting in peace; it was very emotional in church that day. My friends, Little Richard and his brother Robert Penniman, both sent beautiful wreaths to Bobby´s funeral. Little Richard, Bobby DeBarge and I had some great spiritual meeting together in the summer of 1994, the year before Bobby died, in Hollywood, California, praying together. Finally, to finish my memories, my friend Johnny ´Guitar´ Watson, performing to audiences in Europe and in Japan, died suddenly onstage from a heart failure in Yokohama, Japan, performing his song ´Superman Lover´, on May 17, 1996 at 9:16 in the evening. I said ´good bye´ to him, together with his family and many friends, on May 23, 1996 at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California where ´Guitar´ is resting in a mausoleum next to Marvin Gaye.

Bobby, Johnny and Soko passed from life to ever lasting life in Heaven.

"I will miss you now but one day we will be together again."


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