Enough is enough with the ridiculous rumors already. How did a dozen roses blight the great band Enuff Z'Nuff? Gather round, my friends. Let me spin some flavor and set the record straight as you, my adoring fans, march alongside to see how we joined the ranks of other hasbeens in the world of Indie record labels.

Having filed bankruptcy to get out of our Atco Atlantic deal, which was a multi record/multi million dollar contract, we got picked up by Clive Davis from Arista Records. Clive loved the band, and impressed by our music, he thought we were ready to make a record right away. He wasn't alone in his confidence in our ability to be a number one band. However, John Kolodner and David Geffen thought the band needed to be broken down and brought back to scratch--to be rebuilt with a new professional and lasting integrity/credibility, the kind you don't find in a glam band--and be re-groomed, like Aerosmith, by the same people who groomed Aerosmith.

Kolodner insisted we needed at least another year before getting in the studio to lay down tracks. "You just aren't ready yet, Donnie." You see, my friends, what he said was: You are good, but you can be great. You've worked your whole life for this, so what's one more year to make sure you are the best at what you do and the world knows it? Allow my team, who by the way is the best at what we do, guide you because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Don't prematurely blow your load on instant gratification and stubbornness. So we took Clive Davis' deal instead.

Clive loved the band. Well, at least he loved my songs. Innocence was the band's ticket to getting signed. You see, my friends, the tender tug you feel within while listening to Innocence can only come from someone with a pure love in his heart. I alone wrote that beautiful song much like nearly every other song in the Enuff Z'Nuff catalog. Speaking of all those wonderfully well written songs, Enuff Z'Nuff is celebrating their 30th Anniversary World Tour. Chip Z'Nuff will be on lead vocals as I am way too busy standing in a cold garage, dictating this blog into my Android phone for my darling sister to edit for all my adoring fans to read. For the record, my sisters inspired Innocence.

After Clive signed the band, he asked me to write one more power ballad for the record. So that night, we went home and [I] wrote Right By Your Side. Just like Innocence, I, Chip, Derek and drums demoed Right By Your Side on a little 8 track player. You see, my friends, this particular drummer shall remain nameless as he took it upon himself to file for writer credit on Innocence, unbeknownst to me at the time, along with approximately 9 others from BMI while the band was with ASCAP. They all thought I'd never find out. For the record, that same drummer never wrote a single note in the band except for a co-write of a song called Peace Love and Money that was never used. Crunch went the apple. We sent the Right By Your Side demo to Clive the next day, and he was blown away by our (my) abilities to do such things.

Clive sent us into the studio to record our album stating he was going to have Ritchie Zito produce those two songs. As for the rest of our record, we, the band, could do whatever we wanted as far as producing it ourselves. Keep in mind, Clive Davis had no rock label and no Rock Radio connections and network at the time, but I trusted he knew what he was doing. Much like my songs, I have heart and hope and faith and I end up giving it all away. It's obvious now, as it should have been then, Clive merely signed the band for my singing and song-writing abilities, feeling the others escaped from the circus and should have ridden off into the sunset in a tiny clown car with the rest of the hair band era. Too soon? I digress...

We made videos, did television appearances, countless interviews, made lots of trips to New York, frequenting Howard Stern, etc. You get the jist, I was Donnie Fucking Vie in the making. During all this, birds were casually whispering in my ear, "Psst, have you ever thought about going solo?" I always responded with a loyal, "No, I like being in a band, a gang, if you will, because I spent so much of my life alone." I liked being under the wing of what was supposed to be my big brother. I will, however, give credit where credit is due:

Thank you Chip Z'Nuff for fast tracking me from amateur status to professional singer, rocking out with top notch cats in a reputable band, playing sold out shows and charting number one on the local radio band roster competitions.

Anyway, we made our record. I ended up producing those songs, just like the rest of the record we did by ourselves, under the umbrella of Ritchie Zito, who to this day will state to the fact he really did nothing. I did my thing, and just like pork chops and applesauce, I did it swell.

After the record was completed and Clive approved, we did a showcase in New York City for the record label and their team with the four of us except Ricky Parent replaced Vicki Foxx on drums. I sang my heart out; we did a fantastic job. All those in the audience showered us with praise, champaign and gave us a standing ovation. Our future was looking pretty gosh darn bright.

I was then informed we would be performing another showcase at the Roxi in Beverly Hills, California for BMG Distribution and Publishing Company. After the show, we would be signing a half a million dollar contract and advance from BMG. As the writer, most of that dough would be going to yours truly. Clive had a few demands, however. One being the use of a keyboard player, Kim Ballard. The keyboard's job was to hold all the samples that would add all the musicalities four guys couldn't do on stage live but were vital in the production of the records. Plus, everybody in the business used them in those days, and we were in the business, so... Basically, I had to record all my background vocals and keyboard parts into this guy's synclavier computer/sampler that he would assign to various keys on his keyboard. During the performance, he'd press the key and blamo, I'm harmonizing with myself live, and it sounds like music to your ears. (insert cheesy wink and finger gun point)

We spent 8 hours recording into this keyboard to prepare for our big showcase the following day, which was also being hosted by Jagermeister. Somebody say, "Cold Jager on tap!" Then our roadies, who were the total embodiment of professionalism of the highest level on the holiest of days--if that day was Opposite's Day--unplugged Ballard's synclavier and packed it up before he had saved ANY of it. Gone, my friends, all gone. An entire day's worth of work deleted without a second thought. Hell, without even a first thought.

During sound check, Ballard told us all our samples were gone and we had to record them all over again from scratch. Excuse me, I misspoke. I had to record all the parts and sing all the harmonies. And why wouldn't I? Tis I who created those babies from nothing, nurtured them, produced them. Let me be very very clear, my friends, if I sound bitter, it is because I am a bushel of bitter apples. I have spent decades upon decades of crying my soul out into your hearts. I've been up; I've been down, but nothing, not one thing had, has or will ever change: I'm giving it, giving it, giving it all to you. I am a vessel of love. Love is all it will take to save the world. Love saved my life and continues to save it everyday. Love will save us all. So yes, I am bitter when my songs are sung without ANY heart behind them. Enough is enough already. But I digress...

NOTE: This blog is specific in its content, and it is coming to you in parts. I do not want to ruffle any feathers, and due to aesthetics, I did not add this clarification to this part of the blog. I want to make it known that although the crew took part in this unprofessionalism, they were with the band for the duration of our time as a band together. This is one horrible time out of many wonderful times we had together. Also, they are a great source for fact checking should anyone need to check any facts.

20 Comments

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  • Walk Cotter  
    Truth hurts but scars heal. Those who belong on top can NEVER be kept down. Shine on Rising Star!!
  • Dave Sturdy  
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  • Lee Abernathy  
    Animals... one of the best albums....ever. Thank you for all the great songs.
  • Tony DiCristofano  
    ...and I can't wait for the next episode when Donnie tells us exactly happened after that Roxy gig. Me gotta feeling it involves Donnie and Clive. Which I want to make utterly clear I totally agree with Donnie losing his cool. You work so hard, get promised everything, and then only to be stabbed in the back. If Kalodner had a clause in the Geffen contract that all decisions (recording/producing/mixing/ artwork) were of Chip & Donnie's discretion; then the boys should've went with Geffen instead of Arista. The first time I heard Enuff Znuff were signing with Arista all I thought of was Expose, Lisa Lisa Cult Jam, and that other dance-club psycho beat music. Clive did more damage than good to the guys. What pisses me off is that he was at fault for not promoting the "power pop" songs on the album. Instead, that asshole kicked them off the label AND made it so no other label would sign them.
    • ارشفة المواقع  
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  • Michelle Prochaska  
    That was such a great read! I was sitting on the edge of my bed and I said "wait! I wanna hear more"! I heard so many rumors over the years about the bands "demotion". We went to all your local events. Derrick ,Vic,"he's from my hometown I think, he was always cruising around on his motorcycle. Brookfield by the way. We were there the first time we saw you play after Derrick's flight to heaven. There when Ricki joined. Probably every Side Trax event. Sorry for the "table" incident. There when you had fun picking on Gino.There for a band break up, a renuion, Chips wife,your wife,Rickie's flight to heaven, another split up....etc. and one thing NO MATTER you (DV) stayed consistently great! Your talents and the knack for engaging and entertaining an audience never let us down. When you moved to Cali. we didn't know at the time, we went to see the band and it was dreadful. Anyway I really digressed! lol Stay strong and positive! This is just another chapter in your life and I believe it will be the BEST! GOD SPEED! P.S. I heard that you pissed off a bigwig at MTV and you were shunned by the music community!
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