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Bernds Story - Page: 5 of 14

In 1974, I came home to Los Angeles, which was now my adopted home by heart. I was living near Jefferson and Normandie in South Central. Ike Turner hired me as a music-publishing administrator for his studio and production office at Bolic Sound in Inglewood, California. I met everyone in the rhythm&blues business you can think of. Beside record executives, I met SLY STONE, BOBBY WOMACK (both of whom I am still closely associated with), NEW BIRTH and a host of musicians and singers with Ike and Tina Turner, and without them. After rocky times at Bolic Sound, and studio sessions with Ike for three to four days and nights at a time, and very crazy times, which everyone may now know about since Tina´s movie was released, I moved on. One thing about Ike he didn´t tolerate anyone smoking pot around him, but only Salem menthol cigarettes. How about that? The next time I saw Ike was in February 1977, shortly after Tina left him, and he was plenty mad at her. Ike was playing with his small silver pistol, acting like he wanting to kill Tina for leaving him. The last time I saw Ike was at a Grammy party in Century City, California, just after the 1994 earthquake. I always checked back with my old apartment building, Howard´s Weekly Apartments on Whitley Avenue, one block north of Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood. Betty Tucker, the sister of Forrest Tucker (of F-Troop TV series fame), was the apartment manager. That was the first time I met the guys I later managed, along with Greg Williams, who was also part of White Heat, then Barry White´s band. They had one release on RCA. I remember going to the rehearsal at Lou Adler´s Studio on Santa Monica Boulevard on Western Avenue in Hollywood. There, I saw him BOBBY DEBARGE long, curly hair, 17-18 years old. He had the looks, played that piano and was hitting high notes like a soprano singer. I have never heard anyone sound quite like him and with so much ease and that fat sound I knew I saw a star. This guy had the most progressive harmonies at the time and nobody knew that he would be a main musical influence in the 90´s and on into the 21st Century. Barry had the members of the band, White Heat, living in Hollywood at the time, but by the end of 1974, they moved back to Akron, Ohio. Their album was released without success.

In 1974, I befriended Janie Bradford and her husband, a key figure in early Motown history. They had a music production company called Mountain Goat Productions in Hollywood on La Brea Ave close to Sunset Blvd. We were sharing the office. Janie co-wrote Money (That´s What I Want) with Berry Gordy. and other songs, also was managing Motown´s music publishing companies as well. She was one of Motown´s first. By this time, I was living in Watts near Avalon and Florence in a property owned by my friend and music man, sax player Jim Broughton. My neighbor was GLADYS HORTON of THE MARVELETTES (Oh, Mr. Postman). She was raising her children there, including one disabled son. I mention this because my son, Alexander, born in 1987 in Los Angeles, is disabled as well autism and hyperactivity. Because of this, I feel closer to Gladys in my memories today. Nevertheless, I made it back to Hollywood, where I met my new girl, Cynthia. I moved in with her and her son Karronnie. Believe it or not, my neighbor on Howard and Bronson, one block from the Paramount Movie Studios, was DENZEL WASHINGTON, who today, is one of the greatest actors in Hollywood and an Oscar winner. I visited quite often and we had great conversations. At the end of 1975, before I went back to Germany, Denzel told me that he made the cast of ROOTS. You know the rest. During 1975, I got involved with BROTHER TONY. His real name was Anthony Hutchinson. He used to be a top ranked middleweight boxer with over 100 fights. His uncle was Zora Folley, who had boxed Mohammed Ali for the world championship in the heavyweights. At the end of his boxing career, he lost his eyesight. By the time I met Bother Tony, he got his eyesight back in one eye. He had his story written and made a movie script about his life called, "Jesus Saves". He owned an auto body shop and was known in Hollywood for making stretch limos. His education was not very great. Brother Tony hardly knew how to read and write, but he was streetwise like nobody else. We were riding around town in limos and eating hotdogs at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Chahuenga Boulevard, right next to our office suite on Hollywood Boulevard, trying to raise the money to finance his movie production. Believe me, it was funny and some experience for me.

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