Thursday, July 06, 2006

Statements That Strain Credibility

Before tackling another specific topic, I wanted to address a couple loose tidbits that have been scattered around. The following are some comments made by Joey in the past.

“…Well the guy (Dan Matovina) has uh... he's misquoted close friends of mine, you know, he's insinuated things about my wife in there. I mean it's just outrageous. Bloody outrageous. I believe it's in the book that he even accuses me of stealing money from the band.” (Interview with Mark Snyder)

What is really outrageous is this statement coming from someone who has never even read the book. First, the “close friends” are not identified. Second, there is no evidence of misquotes. Everyone who has stepped forward after the book’s publication has stood by the comments they made in the book. No participant has made any public charges about misquotes. Third, the “insinuations” are not identified. Lastly, regarding “stealing money from the band,” this may be Joey’s conscience talking to him. The book author never accuses Joey of “stealing” money.

But speaking of making insinuations, here is an interesting Joey comment:

“Did you hear the one about the band giving Ron a bunch of money as a settlement when he left the band and the other one about me becoming responsible for his share of any debts the band had accrued while he was a member,as Bill used to say,"mutatis mutandi" (8-31-2004, Randy‘s Guestbook)

Joey is strongly suggesting to a fan that Ron Griffiths was paid off with “a bunch of money” when he left the group. When asked for clarification on this, Joey backs down and says he isn’t sure this ever happened.

“I'm not sure when Ron was given the money, only that Bill told us he had done it. Bill had some money of his own that he used to keep the band going, he may have used some of that. He may have got some money from Apple, an advance perhaps, sorry I can't be any more specific than that. Remember Ron was in the band when they recorded Come and get it and it was later on that he left. I'm guessing here as to what happened as I wasn't yet involved with the band.” (9-1-2004, Randy’s Guestbook)

Someone with far more knowledge of the event, Ron Griffiths, said he was not paid off. Here is Ron’s quote from the book (from which, by the way, he has stated publicly he was not misquoted):

“When I left the band in 1969, I had been told by Bill (Collins) that I would get royalties from ‘Come And Get It,’ because I was on it. Time went on and the record became a big hit. Bill came to me and said, ‘Look, here’s a check, but you have to sign something to buy yourself out of the group.’ I assumed it meant I was officially not a member of the band anymore, so that I wouldn’t get any of their future royalties. It was later when Bill claimed that I had signed a paper giving away my rights to everything I’d worked on in the past. Even my own song, ‘Dear Angie!’ I never got a copy of that paper, but I finally saw it years later, and it said nothing of the kind!”

Now, finally, here’s a palpable statement from Joey:

“I don't know who said it, but they were right when they said maybe Joe's memory is a little cloudy, we had different priorities back then... (9-4-2002, Randy’s Guestbook)

Great! No pretense of remembering or even having known everything that happened with the band. Imagine an astronaut returned from the moon and said, “That was an amazing trip. I can’t tell you how the space capsule was built, who built it, what materials were used, but I can give you my impression of being inside of it. I can’t tell you what the moon is made of, how many mountains I saw there, the size of all the rocks I picked up, but I can tell you what it’s like to stand there. I can’t tell you what Buzz Aldrin was thinking, or what is relationship was like with his wife, or what he learned about Ground Control, but I can tell you what it was like to spend time and work with him.” This would be much better than, “Don’t question my knowledge. I was there, you weren’t. I know everything there is to know - period,” and then proceed to invent facts contrary to the evidence. Credibility shaken on known facts makes credibility on unknown "facts" suspect.