As the Rolling Stones began their tour while welching on the more than quarter of a million dollar deal they made with my Friend, I started this e-Blogazine journal to document some of my experience of the fallout, and to create a forum for discussion and resources to reform the Music Industry. May Artists, Musicians, and Free People everywhere find it useful.
Got Something to say? Are You a Musician, Artist, or Person with an opinion about the Music industry, music downloads, contracts or royalties? Are You concerned about the RIAA and other industries' assault on our cyber-Freedoms? Copyright and Intellectual Property law? Well?
A little over a week ago "Mick" had Delene come down so he could give her some cash to keep going on the site. But as usual, it was the runaround again. I think he missed hooking her up with a radio station guy because either the guy couldn't come down or something, I can't recall exactly. But I do remember she mentioned that he had promised her $5000 cash when she got there. (Editor's note: Originally, Mike was getting - supposedly - $20k from WAAF in exchange for him arranging a 10-20 minute interview with Keith Richards just after the sound check for the US Tour's opening show at the Fleet Center in Boston. Mike told Delene that he would split it with her. That's $10,000.00. Now suddenly that promise of $10,000 had dwindled to $5,000.00. Later, this promise of "splitting the cash" from WAAF with Delene would shrink again, to $2500.00. -g.moss, 08-26)
They must have had some words, because I know when she got back she said she had told him not to call her at all unless he had some money for her. It takes a lot for her to lose her patience. I know. I live with her.
Anyway, he called her a week ago monday (the last monday in July) at 7 o'clock in the morning and woke her up. Big News! Callou Callai! He could finally give her some money! If she came right down he would give her $5000 that morning. (It seems they gave him a credit card to pay her so they could keep her deal "off the books.")
She got herself up, washed up, got dressed, fed the chickens, took Lucy out, lumbered out to the car and took off to drive the 100 miles or so to Stamford, for what must be the 50th time. (Lucy is a sweet brown bitch Delene rescued from a fire and gave mouth-to-snout resuscitation to bring her back. That was about 3 years ago, I think. She was just a puppy then.)
She got there around 11, she later told me. Yeah, lousy time. I95 in the summer along the Connecticut coast sucks. It's hot, the road carries about 4 to 6 times the amount of traffic it was built for, and there's perpetual summer construction going on between Guilford and Greenwich. That's most of the coast of the state. And it was rush hour. Yechhh.
The Stones (he told Delene it was Jane Rose) had given "Mick" a credit card, so he could pay Delene something, at last. Unfortunately "Mick" had started spending the moment it was handed to him apparently. He took Trish, a girl knows, out bar hopping or out for drinks or something, Delene later told me...it wasn't quite clear...but then with the shuckin' and jivin' Mike Decaro practices, it never is.
Delene arrived and asked if Mick had any money for her...He said he had put a call in to Mike Kramer at WAAF. Mick has given a guarantee to the station that they could interview Keith Richards for about 15 or 20 minutes before the sound check for first show on the Tour (Boston, Fleet Center), in exchange for $10,000, which the band would let him put in his pocket. Earlier "Mick" had promised Delene half of that, $5,000.00 (since he has been singularly unable to fork over a dime, one might observe). Now, this monday morning that he had called her out of her bed in NE Connecticut to come to Stamford to pick up the $5k, suddenly he said he had called the Radio guy and could get $5000.00 from him "today" and give her half.
Suddenly Delene's half of 10 grand had become half of 5 grand.
"Mick" Decaro said they could go to an ATM machine to get cash, but it wouldn't work.
The PIN number was "bad".
It was bad because it had been suspended.
It had been suspended because "Mick" had spent so much on it so fast that the bank had changed the PIN because they thought it had been stolen! They did it as a precaution, looking at the frenzied account activity of Mike Decaro wooing his friend Trish.
As they say in the ad: "Priceless".
Was Delene pissed? I guess. (Maybe she'll make some comments on this news and discussion site in a leetle while. You never know.)
Even so, she drove him to the bank to cash his check (he offered her no money from it), then to buy cigarettes. And, of course, to McDonald's so Mike Decaro could have his chicken sandwich.)
She returned with her usual external equanimity, but I could tell she was increasingly disenchanted with this bullshit. According to Mike "Mick" Decaro, Jane Rose gave him the credit card to pay her (among other things) because she didn't want to formally put her on the payroll because she hadn't met Delene in Person (look at the bottom of this linked page, where it says "Created by..". Meet the Person, Delene) , and this would keep her "off the books".
I wonder if Jane Rose's fingers have been injured so she is unable to dial a telephone, or if she is as cyber-challenged as Decaro that she can't use email to send Delene a copy of the alleged written "contract" to be "on the books"?
Originally I thought, and reported earlier in this story that Delene started up with this Mike Decaro in April.
I got it wrong. Here's what I have since found:
Upon closer questioning of Delene I have determined that Mike Decaro offered, and she indeed had accepted, a 2 year contract offer made by Decaro as a duly designated representative of the Rolling Stones back at the beginning of March, to devote her time and effort to this tour (and she has, and has incurred nontrivial expenses in so doing) in exchange for the consideration of $2500.00 per week for a duration of two (2) years.
This makes her contract worth $260,000.00 plus expenses, plus mileage, plus interest at the standard 1.5 percent for balances due over 30 days. Pretty standard Contractor stuff. Because...
From the first of March until now she has worked with Mike Decaro on his projects. She has spent days at a time at his workplace out of his home in Stamford working on this tour and Decaro's projects, and Mike Decaro has come here to Delene's workplace out of her home to work on the Rolling Stones 2002-2003 Tour project, and he has remained here for 2, 3, and 4 days at a time in so doing.
"I never paid for nothin' in my life and that'll be on my gravestone" - Mike "Mick" Decaro
Late Wednesday night Delene got another call from "Mick".
He was unusually lucid and calm. He began casually, as though there had never been any tension between them, as old friends might talk. First, he told her about his trip to the City.
I found out about this quite by accident...Delene was working on the computer and listening to the Stones Flashpoint - a live 89-90 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle World Tour cd now out of print, that she was lucky enough to find at Tumbleweedsin Niantic (a great place for used CD's, Deadhead gear, clothing and apparel).
She had asked me to watch TV in the other room if I had to. So there I was sitting on the bed with the commercials on mute when the phone rang. Almost at the end of the commercial stopset I decided to have a cigarette, on the bedside table next to the other phone. I grabbed a smoke, lit it, and tossed the lighter back on the table. It hit the speaker button, and it happened to begin emitting Mike's voice in an uncustomarily calm tone. Intrigued, I listened...(I know...but just couldn't help being curious.)
Mike was telling Delene about how he and this guy from the radio station had gone down to "the most exclusive Strip Club" in New York. The guy he was with looked "92 percent like Mick Jagger", he said.
Wow. 92 percent.
Sorta made me wonder what the other 8% looked like.
"Mick" went on to describe the dive in the most lurid detail he could muster. He noted that when they arrived he was worried he didn't have enough money to pay to get in, but his companion said "Hey, Mike, don't sweat it. I got You covered." After a few remarks about how exclusive this club was, and how his 92% friend had paid his way - insisting on VIP section and treatment all the way through the night (I guess that's what WAAF sent him there for...and I know "Mick" knew it, was milking it...I gagged, and, TV still muted, reached over and gently hit the mute button on the phone so the speaker wouldn't carry the sound of me coughing).
When Delene was down there working on the WAAF contest questions, she offerred to go into NY to Raindrop's offices and Jane Rose's office where the contract is supposedly awaiting her inspection and signature. Again Mike Decaro put her off for the umpteenth time. As I said before, every time Delene asks to be paid for her time, there is always some excuse.
Welcome to the world of the Music Bidness, Delene. Mike Decaro's are legion here.
When Delene returned home after enduring I95 North Construction gridlock in her non-air-conditioned car from Stamford to Guilford, it was around 5:45pm (she left around 1 or 1:30 she said). She went to the computer, got online and began to plough through her email. I asked if little Mary Sunshine was gonna be calling and calling and calling and calling again tonite.
"He won't call here today." she flatly stated. "He won't call unless he has some money for me."
At about 11:10pm the phone rang.
For the first 40 seconds, Delene explained we had been having problems with the internet line, so what is normally the voice line has been busy being used for the internet. The 2nd line, normally used for the internet, is ok to use with the phone, just not the computer, so People have been calling that number instead.
Mick has both numbers.
For the next 10 minutes Delene reiterated the first 40 seconds of the call, when she could get a word in edgwise.
For the next 20 minutes after that, Delene explained (I counted four times) that she was tired and going to bed. (She was, and she did).
I later asked her: I had heard the first 10 minutes of the repeated 40 second explanation of the phone deal, which any 4 year old could grasp the first time.
And I had heard the last 20 minutes of the phone conversation in which she emphasised that she was retiring for the evening. But I had not heard her address any content for the conversation. Was there any reason he called, any burning, pressing issue that made him call her after 11 o'clock at night, something that just had to be discussed NOW, something that could not wait?
"Was there any content to his call, at all?"
"No, he just had some minutes left on his cell phone he wanted to 'burn'," she answered.
What a real Prince of a guy.
I'll bet the Rolling Stones are proud to have such a go-getter, such a People Person, on their staff. (the "Rolling" link above will take You to the "Official" fan club deal where you can buy tickets. I linked the word "Rolling" because the Stones seem to be rolling all over my Friend. Click it. Buy a ticket. See the show. Have fun. But do me a favor. When You go, maybe get a little chant going: "Pay Delene. Pay Delene. Don't be mean. Pay Delene." She deserves it. She's put up with this shit since april, and quite frankly, 2500 bucks a week ain't enough to babysit the likes of "Mick" Decaro. Not in my opinion.
Also btw, the stonestour site commissioned by Decaro isn't real fancy at the moment, one might notice (It's a mockup at a free hosting place...the commercial version would have to be hosted with it's own registered domain, etc.) If You were not being paid to do it, just how fancy would You make it? Who works for free?
I guess You get what You pay for. Or not. Raindrop. (or should I say, Musidor?)
Btw, before I forget, the day after Trooper Trott's visit Delene went down to Mick's to work on the contest questions...WAAF is running a contest to award some lucky fan a concert nite with the stones themselves. She slept on the Decaro's couch overnite, spell-checked his questions (idiot-stick Mick claims his MS-Word installation won't let it send him if the spelling isn't right...maybe (probably) he's got the settings fu-barred, but, duh...he don't know how to use the built-in spell-checker? No...just that his consciousness generally is so soaked with alcohol and methadone that he doesn't have the focus do so, that's my speculation), and played taxi to him half the day.
She took him to the bank to cash a sizeable check. He did not offer to pay her anything. He did not offer to pay for her gas to go down there, or back. He did not offer to pay for any mileage. He did not pay her one red cent.
Oh, he did buy her a pack of cigarettes.
Yes, he did buy her a sandwich at McDonalds.
How many packs of cigarettes has Delene purchased with her money from her disability check for Mike Decaro? Many.
How many meals at McDonalds had Delene bought for Mick since April? Quite a few.
So, in addition to the accumulated back pay at $2500 per week, plus 1 and 1/2 percent interest on balances due past 30 days going back to April 1 2002, the Rolling Stones owe my Friend and housemate Delene for some packs of cigarettes that went into Mike Decaro's lungs.
And quite a few chicken sandwiches eaten by Mike Decaro, as well.
So far, I must say, I am singularly unimpressed with the Rolling Stones fiduciary responsibility.
So far, I must say, I am singularly unimpressed with the company Keith Richards keeps.
Hey, Keith. If You are going to have a pet, why not keep him on a leash? He's been pissing all over my Friend Delene.
As for financial responsibility, Mick Jagger is reputed to be a good businessman. Is this how You made Your money, Sir Jagger? By screwing Your contractors?
Time will tell. Gonna be a helluva tour, I'm sure.
"Mick" just called again tonite at 4am. Delene was in bed asleep like most normal People. I was up working on the web like the geek I am. I told him this was much too late to call, and just hung up and turned-off the ringer.
I guess I don't need to tell You, You've probably guessed by now: Mick Decaro has been told at least 842 times in the last 4 months not to call after normal business hours, by Delene. If he were actually living up to his part of the work arrangement (umm, by actually Paying her as agreed , contracting for her time on behalf of the Rolling Stones) with my Friend Delene it might be a different story. He doesn't know how lucky he is to have her even still speaking to him, in my opinion.
If I were a Lawyer I would supoena Decaro's LUDs and ...ah, well not yet, not yet. All in due time.
I've been up all night working and have to crash now. I'll pick up the narrative with A False Report - Continued later.
Three nites before I called the Police, Delene and I were watching a movie on DVD. I think it was The Fifth Element, one of my favourites. Anyway, Mick called about 3 minutes into it (we didn't sit down to start watching it until after 10:30pm as I recall). Delene told him, basically, that she was busy, but would call him in the morning. Mick wouldn't let it go at that. Of course not, being Mick .
Now, Delene has an almost infinite patience when babysitting him on the phone...she just doesn't want to face the fact that some folks are that rude, inconsiderate, or liars when it comes to making promises to pay for Your time. But she's getting there (everybody learns at their own rate).
She repeated herself to him, at 10 minute intervals, for probably an hour. The message changed from being busy to being tired and going to bed (the fact we were trying to watch a movie was really none of his goddamn business, seeing as how neither Mick, nor the Rolling Stones have lived-up to their obligations they took on when they agreed at the beginning of April to pay her $2500.00 a week for her time working with - babysitting, actually - Mike "Mick" Decaro).
Anyway, Mick kept ringing the phone after Delene concluded the conversation. Finally we unplugged all the phones in the house.
Then we watched the movie. Afterward, Delene went to bed, while I stayed-up working on the internet (I do site design work among other things).
About 1:30 or 1:45, Delene was awakened by the sound of a car in the driveway. She called my attention to it (I was still up working and hadn't heard it), so I flipped on the outside lights and ventured out to see who it was. It was a Connecticut State Police car.
Anyway Delene came in as the Trooper was trying to get Mike's attention without much success. He was able to get him to pause (by banging the receiver on the table again) long enough to tell him that she had just come in, but that he would not put her on the phone because here hands were full (they were) and that she would call him when she got situated.
Decaro continued to ramble on. The State Trooper was very patient, but he did tell Mike that his patience was wearing thin, and that he had been nice so far, but soon would run out. Relentlessly, Mike (who likes to call himself "Mick" --I guess because it likens him to another Mick (Sir Mick) ) blathered on. Trott had taken him off the speakerphone and was attempting to reason with him. Occasionally, he would pull the phone away from his ear, roll his eyes, and have short conversations with Delene and I.
Finally, out of patience, he said so.
Finally, he got Mick to agree not to call again (a 10th time) that nite, and to hang up.
Then Delene and I explained the situation to him, and why I felt obligated to call him to our home for his assistance in dealing with this arrogant heedless putz.
The Connecticut State Trooper stood in my living room, staring into the speakerphone in growing disbelief. As he listened to Mike Decaro's idiotic self-important mixture of threats and assertions and maunderings, he looked at me. "This guy must be on drugs." I explained Mike's medication ingestion to the best of my knowledge, a certain maintenance program.
When he had heard enough, the Trooper picked up the handset and tried to get in a word. He repeated his identification several times. It was clearly spoken, calm, and professional.
Mike Decaro rambled on.
Finally, the policeman looked at me, at the phone, and banged the handset on the worktable several times. Putting it back to his ear, he said, "Hello. This is Trooper Trott of the CT State Police." He still had to repeat himself several times before Mike realised that he was no longer ranting at me.
Trott remonstrated with Decaro that we had had quite enough phone calls for the night here.
It didn't work. Off went Mike Decaro at a mile a minute again.
As I said, I asked them to come because of his harassing me on the phone, invading the peace and quiet of my home, disturbing me while I was working on something.
You see, it's because Mike Decaro has not cultivated his listening skills. He is much too busy enjoying the sound of his own voice, usually going on and on about how important and powerful he is because he works for the Rolling Stones, and how his buddy is Keith Richards (I wonder how much we are judged by the company we keep versus the content of our character), and how this tour is so big, why it's bigger than big. ("Come in here dear boy have a cigar your gonna go far..."- Pink Floyd) .
Mike will run on and on never stopping to listen or take turns or have an actual conversation, rather he will try to bulldoze over any participation by the target of his blather. He would appear to write the same way.
Nope. Mike just doesn't listen. When he called yesterday the first time Delene had gone on an animal rescue/relocation mission for Pet Pals. I told him what she told me: She would not be back home until sometime tomorrow afternoon (that's right now as I write this). Did he listen?
The second time he called, I repeated to him that Delene was not here, and please don't bother me as I was working. He continued talking, as he is wont to do. Again, obviously not listening. I hung up.
The third time he called, I told him he was harassing me, that Delene wasn't here, and that he would have a visit from the Police if he rang the phone again, and that this time it would not be a false report. (refer to the entry in this journal headed "A False Report")
The fourth time he called, it was his elderly mother calling, with him standing next to her putting her up to it. (She is a sweet lady whom I once showed how to play back songs on her electric organ). Mrs. Decaro asked me if Delene had returned from the doctor? I had no idea what she was talking about, and said "I don't know anything about that, but she won't be back until tomorrow afternoon." She thanked me and hung up.
The fifth call was from a fellow who said he was Dave White, and that he worked with WAAF, a station that is promoting a contest to win a night with the Stones. The fellow was nice, and we spoke for a few minutes about web logs, and I told him about blogger.com. Evidently Delene was working with him on the contest in conjunction with Mike, and he was looking for her. I told him that she would be back tomorrow afternoon, that she was on an animal errand with Pet Pals. After I hung up, I wondered if Mike had had him call, but dismissed it.
I knocked off work to go to a bluegrass concert nearby to raise money for a local museum. As I was leaving, the phone was ringing...
When I returned from the concert the phone was ringing...
I answered and it was Mike Decaro. The sixth call (fifth if You discount the radio guy).
When I recognised his voice, I hung up.
The seventh call was from the WAAF radio guy. Now, he had seemed a reasonable sort earlier when I spoke with him, and I had told him Delene would be back tomorrow afternoon. But he must have forgotten...He was asking for Delene. At that point I began to wonder if he was being put up to calling. It was then that he mentioned that they were working on a contest. I said that I hoped he wasn't doing it on spec, and he laughed, thanked me and the conversation ended.
The eightth call was Mike Decaro. He didn't say hello, he just went off rambling a mile-a-minute, giving his simulation of a radio announcer calling a lucky caller who had won a contest....
This was Mike Decaro's way of telling me he had put-up the radio guy to call and disturb me just out of spite I guess. Mike can be that way, I've noticed.
I hung up and decided to call the State Police. Enough was enough. They sent a very nice Trooper named Trott to speak with me.
I hated to waste their time with it. There are too few State Troopers covering too many towns spanning too large an area in northeastern CT. But since the other night (see next entry) I figured they may have an interest in this.
Trooper Trott was professional. I explained what was happening. As I explained, the phone rang. Guess who?
That's right. Lucky Caller Number Nine. Mike Decaro.
I put it on speaker so the Trooper could see/hear what I was dealing with.
Mike began slowly, which was unusual for him. He calmly said that he had a right to talk to Delene, and that I could not block his calls, and that (picking up speed now) when (Delene's former housemate) left he was assured the phone would be available and...
I interrupted his snowballing rapid-fire assertions to repeat that Delene was not here; that she was running an errand with the animal People; and that she told me she would probably not be back before tomorrow afternoon. I repeated that I had told him all this when he had called the first time.
Trooper Trott listened.
I walked into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, shaking my head, no longer listening to Decaro's senseless blather. Ever hear a junkie or speed freak ramble? Or somebody with cocaine psychosis? Or a bipolar Person on a manic high? You get the idea.
Since I had stopped verbally responding, the Trooper began supplying the "uh-huh"s. At one point I started to interrupt and said, "Mike, I'm hanging up now..." and began to reach for the phone, but Trooper Trott stopped me and softly admonished me, "No, let him go on a bit, give him his say...". I shrugged and said okay.
She met this MikeDecaro fellow a few months ago. He says he works for the Rolling Stones. He offerred her a good amount of money for her time. He wants her to help him sell things. What things?
Himself, mostly. Rolling Stones memorabilia actually.
Pie in the Sky
Delene has Multiple Sclerosis (but she doesn't let it stop her from trying). She is a divorced mother of two, trying to get by on a fixed income, disability. Delene has worked for Mike Decaro and the Rolling Stones since April. She has delivered her time. Has she been paid? Not a dime.
In that time, Delene has served as chauffeur, taxi, and emotional punching bag to Mike Decaro. He has given her nothing for gas or mileage travelling back and forth from her home in NE Connecticut to Stamford many times. She paid these expenses herself.
Mike always seems to be broke.. He has her buy him cigarettes, because he has no money.
He has her buy him chicken sandwiches at McDonalds, because he has no money.
Mike Decaro has no money worries. He peddles influence and access to the band to radio stations and others foolish enough to buy it. In addition to working for the Rolling Stones and running miscellaneous errands for Keith Richards, Mike Decaro has placed a virtual saddle on my Friend Delene. Mike Decaro has apparently found a Beast of Burden.
Princely Sums and Prevarication
Maybe the Rolling Stones can not afford to pay Delene the princely (or should I say Knightly?) sum that Mike Decaro contracted to pay for her time.
Or maybe it is just that Mike Decaro is not authorised to hire anybody.
Or maybe it is just the policy of the Rolling Stone's organisation to try to get People to work for free, and offer their time for free. After all, maybe they are no different than any big record company that puts Artists on the road to promote their work and keep the bulk of the money for themselves. As Courtney Love observed a speech reported in the Salon article Courtney Does the Math, "The system's set up so almost nobody gets paid."
Liars and Thieves
I do know that I like some of the Stones' music. It is this business practice of defrauding their contractor's by theft of time and services that I have trouble with...especially when the victim is a Friend.
A Veteran, Herdsman, and Pet Pal
Delene is a Veteran of the United States Army. She worked for many years for DHI (Dairy Herd Improvement). It was on a trip for DHI during the Steel Wheels tour that Delene happened to meet Keith Richards.
Among other things, Mike Decaro says he runs errands for Keith Richards.
Later, Delene became the Dog Warden for four northeastern Connecticut towns. She loves animals. She works with Pet Pals, an animal rescue and adoption organisation (see the pet search banner at the bottom of this page). She has done this for years.
I like Delene. She is kind to animals, and People. She helped me when I needed it, because she could. And I would help her in any way that I could.