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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

La La Brooks vs. Darlene Love

Darlene Love @ Joe's Pub in May, via my iPhone
My agent just informed me the United Nations purchased ALL the tickets to my show at 54 Below Theatre on Monday August 6th which means it's completely SOLD OUT!!!! I wonder who will be showing up! It's gonna be an interesting night .... lol,  Darlene Love recently posted on Facebook.

Ms Love has had a great resurgence and re-recognition, and has become of interest to a new generation. I don't know if she has new representation, but she's all over the place since her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Performances under Studio 54 this season, Joe's Pub, BB King's Christmas Queen once more. She privately performed at NBC studios in NYC for friend Sue Simmons' retirement, and for the Ronald McDonald House. She is as beloved as she is omnipresent, not only on David Letterman every holiday season, but interviewed locally, nationally, internationally as of late. Might make another diva of the '60s girl-group era a little envious, huh?

Leery La La
Beside her success, Ms Love has a birthday tomorrow. I find it rather strange that La La Brooks chose to post this today on Facebook, then:

You know how I always have stories to tell you about things that are the truth and things that really happen in my life, LaLa begins. I will comment as we go along, otherwise offering La La's language verbatim on this matter.

The other day I received a personal letter from a fan who was venting ...about how Darlene Love has often incorrectly claimed credit for having performed lead vocals on "Da Doo Ron Ron." This letter was very heavy to me because the writer seemed very upset. I hope that after reading this message, you will all be calm and forgiving. [I was wondering if the letter was penned by, say, La La's sister.]

When I first came back from Europe where I had been living for 14 years, I got a call from the lead singer of a very famous girl group [Ronnie Spector, may I assume?], who told me "La, Darlene has been taking credit as if she did the original version of "Da Doo Ron Ron" and she has a lot of promoters booking her based on this assumption." [Ok, let me first say it is not true that Ms Love gets bookings based solely on the fact that she'll sing "Da Doo Ron Ron."] I listened to this but didn't respond as it was difficult for me to believe that someone could lie and be so mean. [Darl?] I had loved Darlene and her voice so much from the time that I was a child being flown out to California to put down the track. [Ms Love is only 6 years older than our Ms Brooks.] But, in time, I witnessed the lie myself.  [Oh-oh!]

In 1999 or 2000, I was being managed by Debbie and Bruce, a husband/wife couple who took me to "The New York Heroes Awards," which was an event honoring people including Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, Celia Cruz and others. When we got to the event, the first person I saw near the door was Darlene. I gave her a big hug and asked how she was doing. She said, "I'm fine but I'll be better if I can get a part in another 'Lethal Weapon' movie."  [Snark much?] We both laughed and then walked inside. I saw Mary J. Blige sitting at a table with her sister. I had wanted to meet her and now I had that opportunity. The event hadn't started yet so I was able to talk with her for about 20 minutes. I told her who I was and what group I was with and what songs I had sung. Mary was overwhelmed [!] and said that people like me had paved the way for those who came after including herself.

I then went upstairs to my seat, as the proceedings were getting ready to begin. I was sitting between my managers at the table. A gentleman came out on stage introducing Darlene as the Master of Ceremonies. I was aware of this but I had no idea as to what would happen after she came out. He introduced her as if she were a member of The Crystals. Also I noticed in the program book that she was listed as having sung "Da Doo Ron Ron." When Darlene came out, she had a "ha ha" demeanor about herself [Ooo, girl!], as if she knew that I was there in the audience but there was nothing I could do to refute what was being claimed. I was outraged. [Get where this is going, huh?]

I was now in tears and saying to my managers, "I'm going to go on stage and tell the truth." [Oh, that's such a '60s girl-group line!] I was going to shut it down. But I was sitting between both of them and they had me pinned in. [Helpless! They must have been big people.] Debbie knew that I was really upset and said that she would talk to this guy by the side of the stage. She went downstairs and I could see her speaking with this guy. Naturally, she was upset and I could see her hands flying with emotion. Then she came back upstairs. Bruce asked what had happened. I was too upset to say anything. She said that show producer acknowledged that they all knew that La La Brooks was there and knew that she did that song, but that "this is politics. We know La La's there. We'll send her an apology letter later."

At this point, Debbie went to the ladies room so I was not pinned in and was able to get out of my seat. [Phew!] I began going down the stairs, heading toward the stage. I bent down to speak with Tony Visconti who was one of the organizers of the event. I told him about what was happening and he said that "I know, La La This is f'd (sic) up." I said, "Tony, if you don't rectify this, I'm going on stage." He was very concerned about this as he knew I was ready to go up there. He showed me the guy I should go to behind the stage. I went up to him, grabbed his arm and with tears in my eyes, I said, "How dare you! You're giving out these Heroes awards to current artists; yet at the same time, you're snuffing out another hero from the past-- who did this song; you're lying and playing politics by falsely giving someone else credit!"

I now saw Mary J. Blige coming down to go to the ladies room. She saw that I was upset and asked what happened. So I explained the story to her. "Mary, this business will try to screw you over. Don't let this happen to you." She responded, "Girl, don't let them steal your joy." Her manager who was accompanying her said, "La La Brooks, we know that you did that song. We know you're the real deal!" [I.e., Darlene is NOT.] In the meantime, I saw various show people speaking on their walkie-talkies, trying to solve the problem [it was that important!], as they knew I was determined to walk on stage. Everyone was there--people from Billboard and Cashbox magazines, etc.

Suddenly I saw this woman running down toward me saying "La La, don't worry, we're going to rectify it and get you on stage." So she walked me to the back of the room. As we were walking back there, I ran into some famous basketball players who were there and had heard about this mess-up. They were yelling, "Don't worry, sis. This stuff is wrong. Don't worry, they're gonna take care of it." Then I heard Darlene on stage introducing me, telling the audience who I was and what I did. And then she said, "Ladies and Gentlemen......La La Brooks." As I approached the stage, I received an overwhelming standing ovation, which shocked me. But these people hadn't seen me in 14 years. And Cashbox and Billboard had always known that I had done that song.

My hands were shaking as I reached the podium so I made sure that I placed them firmly upon it. Darlene was standing toward my right. I calmly spoke into the mike: [Are you ready, bitches? A star is reborn.]

"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. I was an original member of The Crystals. My name is La La Brooks. The other original members were Barbara Alson [sic], Dee Dee Kenniebrew, Mary Thomas and Patsy Wright. I did "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me" when I was 15 years old with Phil Spector." The audience applauded. I continued, "Ladies and Gentlemen. Darlene Love was never a Crystal. But she was always Darlene Love." [Woowee, child!] I gave Darlene a smile and a hug and went offstage. [Bitch!] I received another standing ovation. [Bitch!]

I tell you this story to say how in this business there are people who will try to steal your glory. When fans write to me about things which are wrong, they are people who have done their research and know the truth and would like to tell it but don't have a platform to do so. And even Paul Shafer [Uh-oh! Dragging him in, too! Shafer will be on the phone with DL tomorrow, whining, "I never said that! I swear!"], who I love so much, has said many times that he doesn't understand why Darlene continues to try to take credit for a song she didn't do. If he doesn't know about music and who did what then who does? Paul is one of Phil Spector's good friends. [That's a recommendation these days?] So to all of you fans who've written letters to me about this, I thank you for having done your research on everything. So don't worry or be angry. Because when we have our big fan barbeque next year, I want you to come with your party faces on (lol). So don't worry, be happy........Love to all, La La

La La and Barbara Alston were the original lead vocalists for The Crystals. Phil Spector brought in Darlene Love to get more of the sound he wanted from his fronting diva, starting with "He's a Rebel." Oddly timed and bitter, I was surprised by this post. La La has posed with Darlene, both smiling. I assumed they were friendly. But now the dark side. What Ever Happened to La La Brooks? I was shocked to read such blatant resentment today. It's all playing out on Facebook, people, in the future of today. Is Darlene to Madonna as La La is to Gaga? Or vice versa?

 La La and Love: you decide! Below, dueling River Deeps.

Aw, it's all so sad. Right, Ms D?


  1. Well for one, be careful what you say. I am the one who wrote the letter to La La. Everything that she says is true. For instance go to Darlene Love's website and see where she claims credit for singing the Da Do Ron Ron. Phil Spector used Darlene Love to sing He's a Rebel as he wanted to beat his supposed competition. He put the song under the Crystals' name as he couldn't sell a thing with Darlene. You need to get current with facts. You are way out of line.

  2. BTW, I am not La La's sister. With half a brain, you can figure out who I am.

  3. OMG! You really are out of the loop. I'm a dude. Man, you can't put 2 and 2 together. Anyway, La La with a cold can sing way better than Darlene. Just think about it, if Phil Spector thought Darlene was so great, why didn't he just use Darlene Love and the Blossoms instead of the Crystals' name? If he thought Darlene was so great, why didn't he manage and promote her? You are way out of your league.

  4. I'm getting a whole Hannibal Lecter feeling here. I'm only surprised you haven't addressed me as Clarice.

  5. We all know that Phil Spector was a sociopathic son-of-a-bitch, user, psycho who would tell his singers and groups or anyone working with him anything to get them to do what he wanted. He would lie to people and get them to believe what he said (and sociopaths are sooooo damn good at's almost a marketable talent for them).

    This is fact.

    I just got out of a relationship myself with a sociopath and I know what I talk about. They will lie, cheat, and say what they need to get you to do their bidding and they don't care who they hurt in the end or what the final outcome is as long as it serves THEM and makes THEM look good. I didn't believe they really existed until it happened to me.

    I preface with this statement as we really do not know (unless we are Phil Spector, Darlene Love or La La Brooks (and I love both La La and Darlene so I am not on either side here), what Phil Spector's actions and/or intentions were or what he told anyone or had them BELIEVE...UNLESS we were in the room and privy when any of this was ACTUALLY going down. We don't know and we never will.

    Either way, both parties should have been grown up and professional enough to keep this privately between them and worked out the situation FIRST instead of airing them like dirty laundry. And gossips (you know who you are...need to stay out of other people's business even if its with good intentions because you were not privy to all that happened unless you were there. All you managed to do was hurt people and start a little war.) And well, if that was your intention...well bravo, you succeeded. You can be proud of yourself.

    I understand being upset having your glory taken. I would be too. In this business you have to be strong and not act out impulsively. This should have been handled better and by everyone's manager (who if doing their job would have stepped into this before our beloved stars did or said hurtful things they can't take back) This is the manager's job and what they get paid for...and yes, I speak from experience as I have been a manager myself, work at record companies and worked closely with several celebrities in different capacities.

    The two parties should have privately spoken and cleared the air between them before getting all hot and bothered airing it out in public. This would have alleviated a lot of the unnecessary drama and may have kept things cleaner without anyone burning any bridges. And as we know, or should never burn bridges, because you do not know what is coming around the corner.

  6. Clearly, Darlene Love is, and was, the better singer.

    As part of the group of singers that replaced La La in The Crystals, Darlene has right to lay claim to the song also (I am sure she has performed it many times as a member of The Crystals even as she was not the original Crystal lead). Though, of course, Darlene has no right to say she was the lead on the original recording.

    Darlene comes off small for doing that.

    That said, La La really does come off as bitter, and small too, by rehashing the spat publicly on Facebook in this way, especially if La La had already one-upped Darlene regarding the dispute at the event she describes in her Facebook post.

    I can't help but wonder if La La feels some jealousy that Darlene has surpassed her as a singer.

    Consequently, over time, as La La thinks back on how Darlene claimed to be the original singer, for La La, the sting from Darlene's false claim has become more than skin deep.

  7. P.S. to Beaverhausen: I am guessing that your "Hannibal Lecter" is someone that has posted on La La Brook's Facebook page, or someone who is mentioned on that page in the stream of comments after LaLa's Facebook post on this matter. Just a hunch.

  8. Dumb asses! Darlene Love NEVER surpassed La La Brooks in singing. That is why Phil Spector had to use the good name of the Crystals to get her two songs out there. It was La La Brooks and the Crystals who got Phil Spector going, not Darlene Love and the Fart Blossoms. Facts speak for themselves, not your opinions.

  9. @ Anonymous: You are a piece of work...LOL. Are you related to Phil Spector and if so, did you inherit, his personality/mental problems? I have ears. La La's voice is comparatively thinner and her range not as wide; her pitch is unreliable in her live performances and her tonality and technique cannot compare to Darlene's.

  10. @Tony Glover: Please use a Q-tip and get that wax out of your ears. I was just You Tubing and I listened to Darlene sing You'll Never Get to Heaven. It was awful. Just god awful. Thank goodness for Dionne Warwick. Your girl Darlene loved hanging around Phil. I got lot of pictures showing that. Had La La been in California, she would have recorded He's A Rebel, even though she never liked that song, and Darlene would still be doing back up singing which comprised most of her career. Keep trying, maybe you will come up with something credible.

  11. And Mr. Glover, being a singer himself, knows much about voices.

    And how interesting that you talk about everyone else's opinions opposed to facts. Aren't you, in fact, just airing your opinions? You don't know why Phil Spector did ANYTHING that he did. He probably doesn't really know or remember either anymore. Or as a Sociopath, maybe he does. Who knows. But unless you know him personally or are him, you can't know why he made any decisions that he made. He probably just took chances like any successful artist does.

    AND THIS is not about who is a better singer or who lays claim to the recording of said song, or who was or was not in The Crystals. Its also not about my opinion, Mr. Glover's opinion, DJ Buddy Beaverhausen's opinion or your opinion.

    Its about the fact that they are BOTH great singers and artists in their own rights and both were in The Crystals (which is a fact, not an opinion) and now have their own solo careers (fact, not opinion). SO PLEASE be respectful of both artists, not just your favorite and be an adult and LET IT GO already. I know fans can have strong feelings about those who they love, but you'll live longer without all this unnecessary drama and combative behavior.

    THE REAL POINT of our comments comes down to this:

    1. It's not proper or good etiquette to get into other people's business unless specifically asked to or you are related, management, artist's record company or perhaps artist's best friend (as a fan, sure, be passionate but be fair, wise and a gentleman and don't try to hurt people, namely running to Ms. Brooks and causing her hurt and drama. Giving her hurt feelings is shameful and no one likes a gossip or tattler);

    2. celebrities should stop acting like little 7-year old babies pointing fingers at each other while airing their grievances in public. Quite frankly, while I know they say any publicity is good publicity, its not always true and sometimes just makes them look like fools and asses. Using social networking sites to air grievances is just petty and not cool;

    3. Be adult. Darlene AND La La either should have had the good grace to contact each other directly or had their respective management contact each other and talk it out and come to an understanding and an agreement if that is what is needed before anything reached the public; and finally

    4. If you don't have anything good to say to someone or about someone (especially if the subject is not about you) then don't say anything at all as it just makes you look like a petty, petulant fool and this goes for said celebrities as well.

    All that being said, I love both La La and Darlene and respect them BOTH as artists and wish them BOTH only the best in their careers and appreciate the joy they have BOTH brought me (in my opinion) over the years with their talents.

  12. @ Jade DaRu: Take your patronizing attitude and psycho philosophy and either flush it down the toilet or go on Dr. Phil. I don't need any condescending NOBODY to tell me anything. I've been around alot longer than the both of you knuckle heads. If you love Darlene, then more power to you. Facts are facts. I doubt if either one of you chuckle heads were even ALIVE during the 60's. You don't automatically get respect, YOU EARN IT. But I doubt that you can comprehend that. Get a life! La La hasn't stolen anyone's glory but Darlene sure has. Go look at heer website for PROOF.

  13. Any further personal attacks or insults, Anonymous, will be deleted from the comments to this post, so please take note. Disagreement & strong opinions are fine but a tone of civility and respect for others need to be adhered to.

  14. Mr. Anonymous, first of all, I have been around since the sixties so eat it as I have earned it already. You don't know me so don't act like you know all. Cos you don't and you know what...None of us do. So really, stop being such an ass and get over yourself. You are not a nice person its clear to see and my guess, needs to get more of a life as well that you recommend we get. And DJ, thank you. No one should attack anyone, but Mr. Anonymous seems to think its okay in this world to do so. If he was the head of a country, I'm sure that country would be at war with that kind of attitude.

    Its a sad state of affairs when someone can't leave well enough alone. So I am done here. Say what more you will, but I will not be rising to you or your attitude any longer. I simply don't have the time. Thank you.

  15. I'm not going to post further since you are a hypocrite. You copy and paste La La's Facebook entry and then add snarky comments to it. Delete yourself. Adios, as always,