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Bernds Story - Page: 9 of 14

In 1980, Motown started to get interested in "my guys", DeBarge. That´s what I call them even to this day. Motown saw that Source Records/MCA was signing the group and then consequently wanted to sign the DeBarge family. Because they already had Bobby and Tommy, they recognized their talent also and it was first priority for Motown to get El, Bunny, Mark and Randy DeBarge. My office was located on 9911 W. Pico Blvd., The Century Park Center, in Century City, just up the street from 20th Century Fox Movie Studio. A lot of people in show business had their office in that building. Just to name a couple of movie and television stars I was dealing with as my office neighbors, as well as their staff, were BURT LANCASTER, comedian CAROL BURNETT and CLARANCE AVANT who owned Tabu Records at the time which featured the SOS BAND and managing THE TIME as well. Before that he owned Sussex Records with most notable artist BILL WITHERS. One of my office neighbors on our 8th Floor suite was NICK MILETTI, who used to own the NBA Basketball franchise CLEVELAND CAVALIERS and the AL Baseball franchise CLEVELAND INDIANS. But most office occupants were lawyers, accountants, business managers, record labels, and movie&television production offices. I was an occupant in that building from 1977 thru 1991. I knew everybody there. Also I was a professional accountant, did all kind of complicated income taxes, dealt with the IRS and all local other tax authorities in California and all other states in the union, did business management in the entertainment field, audit companies. Artists came to me for help. Even MARVIN GAYE´s brother, Frankie Gay, came to me to seek help for Marvin, as he was hiding out at Famous Amos, the Cookie Man, in Hawaii before he took off for Belgium, hiding from IRS and other domestic problems. I saw ten years of his royalty statements at Motown and their publishing affiliate Jobete Music, to see how they had Marvin deep in the hole at every category artist, producer and writer. He got no publishing rights. That was Motown. Not too many gigs, so that there was always some sort of dependency to Motown guaranteed. Believe me, that was the same story with "my guys", SWITCH and DEBARGE, at Motown.

Bobby DeBarge always came to me, even at the time he was with Jermaine Jackson, to get his income tax in order. I developed a very special relationship with Bobby. He is the oldest brother in the family, only sister Bunny, who is the oldest sibling, is one year older than Bobby. The rest of the brothers and one sister came pretty much year after year from father Robert DeBarge, Sr., who is white and works for the US Post Office in Detroit, Michigan and were, in sequence born: Tommy, Randy, Mark, Eldra, James, Chico and the twins Darrel and Carol (Peaches). There was a lot of pain growing up for the children, including mom. It has not stopped until these days. There are three more half siblings, two sisters and one younger brother after their parents divorced and their father married another black lady in Detroit. The brothers always let me know that I reminded them of their father. DEBARGE came out with the first album on Motown 1981 as THE DEBARGES. It was El, Marty, Randy and Bunny, produced by Bobby DeBarge. It was not successful. Even though the songs were all great, everybody had a little discipline missing. James made the second album in 1982, which was successful, entitled ALL THIS LOVE. That album had top action on the R&B and Pop charts with the hits, "I LIKE IT" and "ALL THIS LOVE". Both songs have been covered since then as pop and soul hits in soul, jazz and hip-hop.

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