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Bernds Story - Page: 8 of 14

I still had my "Pall Mall Groove" album available for worldwide release except Germany and German speaking Territory. I was introduced to Logan Westbrook who just started his record company in South Central Los Angeles on 5th Ave. and W. Washington Blvd. near Crenshaw Blvd., if you know what I´m sayin´. Source Records was distributed by MCA Records. I got together with him and we put the deal together. I received properly $25,000 for the product. I reinvested the money into the group we then called SMASH. I called Bunny and her husband Tony Jordan, my buddy who was part of White Heat, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to have them move to Los Angeles. Then I called their mother, Etterline, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to ask permission for El to move to LA, since he was only 17 and a minor. She did not really approve, because she is very religious and did not care for El to do anything but gospel. But she did not want to get in his way. So I talked to El on the phone and let him know that I needed him, I will pay his flight and I would lease a home. That was enough for him. He was on his way to LA. I leased a beautiful 5-bedroom home in Cerritos, California, a great neighborhood. Beside El, Bunny, Mark and Randy DeBarge, we also included their cousins Andre Abney and Stanley Hood into SMASH. I took the guys and went to the Guitar Center in Hollywood to buy instruments. The band needed to rehearse and play. Mark got his flugelhorn, Randy his bass, El his Fender Rhode 88 keys suitcase electric piano with the Hohner clavinet, Stanley his sax and Andre his drum set. The music was on in the house. El put these two instruments together and put out a sound you would not believe. His voice was something else and Bunny could blow like an angel and had the record company going crazy.

We had a house warming party where half of urban L.A. must have shown up. The second party was not so good. The sheriff´s department of Lawndale gave us enough trouble, calling my guys "The trouble makers". El blew the engine off my little Opel Cadet I bought for myself from the deal, taking some girl home together with Bobby´s friend Clarence. At the first party where I had all my friends too, Robert Penniman, Soko and his wife, ex-Ikette, Edna Richardson, and Gail Robinson came all the way from Ann Arbor, Michigan, all from Ike and Tina Turner Revue. O.B. Jesse, who was known in the 50´s as Young Jesse, and my man Charles Wright of the Watts 103rd Street Band was there as well. But we had our troubles too. Girls were coming around which were liked by lesbians and they came by our home and shoot around with pistols for jealousy. It was completely nuts. I received crazy messages at my Century City office from the neighbors. Topping all this, our record company was playing bad games behind my back putting spies and anxiety into the game. Instead of getting proper financing from MCA, as I had requested it. That is why everybody lost out, including the record company which closed down not too much later only to have success with CHUCK BROWN AND THE SOULSEARCHERS with "Bustin´ Loose". Today, our album is a collectors´ item for SWITCH and DEBARGE fans around the world.



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