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Up Against the Wall Street Banker Chapter V Meet "The Fool" Goldman Muppets and Sock Puppets

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In the previous Chapter vs. Comments, "Cool C's" Bully Stalker, aptly named Bull, points out that we owned Eric Clapton's guitar "The Fool". While the Bull and Ox sock puppets were commenting on my chapters, global popular press headlines were screaming from newstands "Goldman calls Clients Muppets!". At "Cool C's" bank, clients had many names, too, and wives had names. I would learn from his office e mails that his network of sex partners around the globe called me "The Cat". They discussed (in bank e mails) what kind of kitty litter would be good for me, how to put me out of the house, how their failed attempts in making a family, on the side, without my knowledge, was so depressing for them. They would discuss the upbringing of my children with Cool C, giving their input in how to handle certain situations, as if "The Cat", who was the sole caregiver, or whatever outrageous language my generation uses for being a MOM, was the hired help. Yes. These are the women in America (and men) who think stay at home Mom's have "never worked a day in their life". Dentist Bull, and the Ox sock puppet on my original chapters of "Up Against the Wall Street Banker" wanted to know if I even knew what a "W 2" was; yes, W is for work, and if you are a stay at home mom, 2 is for $2 a day in pay. Or less. But that is fine, because I loved my children, and loved raising them and would not have changed that even if I yearned to be oh, a dentist, or a radiologist, or a cardiologist, anything that would make people realize I might be smart. Or a writer or a musician. Not meant to be. Just a stay at home cat, with a rover banker.

Clapton's guitar had shown up at our back door one day, of our apartment. When we were married in 1985, my mother gave me a lot of our family's things, because Cool C was always discussing how broke we were, to my mother, as well. She gave me my grand piano, that had been a gift to me in childhood from my father. She gave us my great aunt's china, my grandfather's paintings, lamps, arm chairs. We came from a family that had had a farm in the 1800's near the ocean in New Jersey. There was a bed set that was hand painted, where members of my family, not to be grim, but these WERE the old days, had been born and had died. That was put in our bedroom in our fourth floor walk up in Greenwich Village. When Cool C's mother and mine used to come together to visit us, they would climb the four flights and on those occasions you could hear our mothers laughing as they walked up the stairs, saying they felt like the mothers in Neil Simon's play "Barefoot in the Park". That play was also seemingly about us in the beginning, too. We had absolutely cooky Greenwich Village neighbors. We had a Hitchcock rear window view of our other neighbors, that looked out over enormous back yards. It was exactly the view that you saw in "Rear Window" with Grace Kelly and James Stewart. Sounds good on paper, but our floors sagged, and were so old that you had to practically wear work boots, or get splinters that had to be removed by a surgeon! (just once did that happen). We lived near Washington Square Park, which was great, although the park was dangerous, lots of drug dealing all the time, and very young teens could be seen brandishing guns on more than one occasion. But there were also old Italians, eating sandwiches and playing chess at the big chess tables at one end of the park. They called themselves "ROMEOS", Retired Old Men Eating Out!

In "Barefoot in the Park" the husband is a repressed and buttoned up lawyer. The new wife is the opposite. She is some sort of artsy type, she is giggly and always trying to cajole him in to having more fun, letting his hair down.
That would seem to be a bit what we were like at first. Looking back, we had some of the craziest moments. On my 30th birthday, he invited a few friends over and it is a good thing there were not more! After about an hour in to our dinner, the doorbell rang. He told me it was a surprise guest. I heard this incredible stomping sound on the landings. I heard labored breathing. I looked over the banister, and it was an enormous man, who I had never seen before. Our fifth floor neighbor ran a Bed and Breakfast, and I thought he must be one of her guests. I kept looking behind him, down the stair case, to see who was coming for us.

He was coming for us. And he was undressed. Or rather, he was dressed – like a Buddha. The poor man, climbing to our fourth floor, was a singing telegram (something I had done before we were married, one of those part time jobs that performers in New York do). I worked for a company called "Western Onion". He was a BUDDHA GRAM. He was draped like Buddha and had an enormous Buddha belly, that once he entered our apartment, he shook. He told me to pet the Buddha belly, and everyone was in a state of shock and laughter. To this day, the pictures, as Buddha said, really are worth a thousand words. He also weighed so much and our floors were so weak and saggy, that the floors began to shudder. The more he moved, and shook his Buddha gram self, the more still we, the guests, became. While it was funny, the building was so old and so uncared for that even when they moved in my piano, the movers said "can this floor take this weight?" We even had an earthquake in that apartment! At that point, the marriage had come with a water bed. Cool C was very proud of that bed (which weighed a lot – it was a king sized water bed) and it was in tubes, and covered over with foam pads. It was like sleeping on the surface of the sea. The night of the earthquake, our floors began to shudder, and the bed began to wave and wiggle, the water was undulating. It was about 5 am, and while our upstairs neighbors ran a Bed and Breakfast, our downstairs neighbors ran drugs. I sat up and shook my sleeping husband. "Dunn is having a riot or something bad is happening in his apartment!" I whispered, in terror. Our bed was quaking, Cool C was snoring, and snorted awake. He sat up a minute, looked at me, and said "It's an earthquake. Go back to sleep.". We lived in Manhattan. Who heard of such a thing. It turned out to be an earthquake. 14th Street is on some kind of fault line, and while it could have been our neighbors, it was not.

We always had lots of guitars around. Cool C was known as "Wonder Fingers" in high school, referring, I was told, to his quick sound cascade on the guitar. Both of us were in rock bands in high school, but I always leaned towards Bach. But when you grow up on the beach in New Jersey, when I did, Asbury Park was still hopping, and Bruce Springsteen was still "one of us" more or less. He would play on the beach in North Long Branch, at a tiny beach club called the "Beachcomber". Three high school teachers ran it in the summers, and brought bands to play on the beach in the late afternoons in to the evenings. It was very unusual and most of us were forbidden to go there. So like all good teens, we went anyway. Bruce and Clarence were a big draw, and we all were in the water surfing together, even the youngest of us, even the girls. One of the surfers was a guy named Vinnie, who at that time was the number one surfer on the east coast, so good that everyone said "Vinnie DEFIES gravity". And he did. Bruce kept to himself in some funny car that I could never tell you what it was, and he had a lovely quiet girlfriend. If Bruce wasn't playing then David Peel and the Lower East Side would show up. It was loud and full of teen madness. A guy named Tinker had connections we had heard, in New York, at recording studios, and somehow the bands were ending up in the city, making recordings.

Then we would all ride the circuit in Asbury Park and stop in at the Stone Pony. There used to be an old theater there too, where the Booth brothers somehow were involved in convincing the newest people to put on shows, like Carly Simon. It was just crazy. The Jersey shore at that time had a lot of music going on, people passing through to play in the old Art Deco halls of Asbury, like Leon Russell, John Mayall, too many to remember.

One night, I was asked to get up at the Stone Pony and sing a set of Linda Ronstadt songs. One of my friends reminded me of it recently. So long ago, I forgot.

I was used to rock and roll, used to Beethoven, used The Electric Koolaid Acid Test of Ken Kesey, hanging around the Inkwell in West End (supposedly the place Dylan referred to in his "get sick get well, hangin round the Inkwell". Our family's oldest friend was even the lawyer for Melanie Safka, a singer who wrote a sort of huge pop anthem, Lay Down – Candles in the Rain, because she went to high school in Red Bank, a town not too far from the ocean of the Beachcomber fame. Patty Scialfa's dad was Melanie's lawyers' partner, and they ran other businesses together.

I was used to rockers, beach combers, guitar toting sorts, and I was on the edges looking in. But my real love then was my piano and an old acoustic Gibson I had from a cousin. The Gibson was not my thing, but the piano was.

Cool C knew I had hung around all these sorts, but that it was not my thing. While I liked them all, I thought (this is so then, not now) that we, Bruce and all, were just "locals". And we were. We all went to the Reservoir swimming, we all lived the lyrics he wrote in his songs then. I was just a lot younger and my heroes were on the radio. Until one day, in our high school cafeteria, Bruce was suddenly, shockingly, on the radio, the national radio with, I guess, Cousin Brucie introducing him! What a shock. He was "ours", not Dylan, not Crosby Stills and Nash, not those guys, but he was out there in the world it seemed in a second.

So I had been around lots of guitars, lots of musicians. I am not sure, after I married Cool C in 1985, when guitars started getting delivered to our apartment door from England, bought at auction at Christies or Sotheby's. They would just be there, shipped in these sort of hand made wooden crates, and I would open them and not think much of it. I would look at the bill from the auction house, and not pay much attention. it didn't dawn on me that Cool C was living in his computer and lusting after guitars and the rock life, while banking it up at the same time. But that was the way it was. Muppets for Goldman, Fools at home for bankers, Cat is sent away, with the kittens.

So when Eric Clapton's Fool arrived at our door (am I a muppet, or WHAT?) I did not think much of it. I did not really focus on the fact that it was Clapton's, I just saw that it was wildly psychedelic in its painting, and it went on to the wall in the little room in the back of our apartment. Later, when I was told by lawyers to look through our things, I would find an album that Cool C had photographed of every guitar we owned (by then 35 or so) and had taken them out and posed and lit them like Playboy models all over our Apartment, when the children and I were away. On the bed would be one, and it would be labeled and described. The title of the photo album was "WELCOME TO GUITAR HEAVEN". It was, unbeknownst to me, a very, very expensive room.

One invoice I found lately from Christie's South Kensington was 26SEPT2000. Amount payable in pounds, 55683.14.
I was pretty busy with a 7 year old and our 8 year old who was going through her 3rd or 4th major surgery, co ordinated between Virginia and California, with surgeons that worked together but from different states. They were the best; I was focused on them, Cool C was collecting guitars. It is funny that his Bull friend thinks I knew nothing of these instruments. For his 50 th Birthday, at the Boat house in Central Park, I had a huge replica of the Fool made in to a cake, to try to make him happy. But I guess now, that some important guests were missing from our list of invites. Or maybe they were there and I just did not know, because it was 150 people or more and the party set us back over $75,000.00. Still, let's not forget that I was bankrupting us. Bankers know how to bank money for a rainy day – when it rains dogs and not cats, for Cool C. And believe me, if you don't want to live with their abuse any longer, they know how to put on a trial where you are accused of stealing cufflinks, and "bootstrapping" as Judge G. wrote in her "thoughtful" papers, where Cool C wrote that I was deliberately buying more expensive milk to run up our cost of living. As he told one banker, who told me, "he says that since you want a divorce he is going to run it like a hostile takeover." So if anyone wants to know how bankers DO that all you need to do is see why I was put on trial and what the judge allowed and how "my" lawyer handled it! A little forgery, a little Latin, a little document here and there never seen by me, the plaintiff. There are some of the ingredients for a hostile takeover. Muppets are just asking for it! He even made the grocery store refund money for food he had eaten six months before, and the store was now demanding payment from me for food Cool C had already digested! That is on Raoul Felder's stationery, but i get ahead of myself.

2000 must have been a pivotal year for Cool C on some level that I was never allowed to find out. In fact, in our divorce I was allowed to find out pretty much zero; my lawyer even told the judge that "Mr. Banker is a collector of guitars and this is important to him." So while they were bought with our marital assets, my own lawyer cut me out of my rights, and that was just a little of how that game was played, and is played in Manhattan. Just ask Madoff historians. Forgery. Repo 105. Shell games. Three card monty moves indoors!!! Then you give it a mathematical formula, package it in to a dark pool of debt, and Voila! The art of the Deal.

One of the first e mails I was shown by the computer forensic guys was this
"Date 5/24/2000 5:02 26 PM then it said "Cool C's" full name and his bank's e mail.
the message body read "Thank you for placing an internet order for our Athena Pheromone 10X. Unfortunately, our credit card could not be verified as belonging to the address you provided us. Athena only ships a first order to the address we can verify as belonging to the card. If you do not want your own address used for package delivery there are other payment options."

Just in case you want a little bit of context, pheromones are to attract. Perhaps the most important reference to them is in the Star Wars "Shadows of the Empire" where Leia is seduced by the crime lord, Prince Xizor, who bewitches her with pheromones. Chewbacca breaks the seduction, and Leia defeats the gangster.

So the pheromone order was placed in 5/24/2000. By 26 SEP 2000, armed with pheromones, the Fool arrived at our door, sent by Christie's. While I was not paying close attention, Cool C was tracking down Marijke, who he hired to make a copy of the Fool, for nearly $10,000, and then he made his own special stationery with the Fool photo on the front and on the back it says "Clapton SG"2000 Marjike. Cool C was all set. He was a big banker. He owned Clapton's Fool. He had pheromones delivered to his Investment bank office (once he straightened out the payment, phew!) Don't want the Cat to know THAT stuff! Amazingly, while New York was melting down after September 11, 2001, Cool C was keeping his eye on the guitar world. No distracting him with something as insignificant as a couple of buildings melted by planes. Nope. On 4 Oct. 2001 we would get an invoice from Christie's for the next big guitar purchase, and amazingly it was shipped and arrived at our back door of our apartment, even though things were held up in the harbor for weeks and weeks at that time. Cool C had the pheromonic magic Prince Xizor touch! I love that his sock puppet alerts us to his awareness that he suffers from GAS attacks – as the sock puppet wrote "he says it is called Guitar Acquisition Syndrome".

Or maybe I have the invoices a little confused, because there were 35 guitars in Guitar Heaven, and he was out a lot guitaring around, following Les Paul here and there, having him autograph his guitars. So yeah, here I am looking at another invoice from Sotheby's Legends of Rock June 5, 2000, where it says "Property of Todd Rundgren Eric Clapton's Psychedelic Gibson SG Standard Electric Guitar $150,000 – 200,000. Of course, it was sold to Cool C, I did not know, and I knew it was here in our home, but I didn't know really what he paid, because a man who is YELLING at his Cat wife for spending too much on milk, would not be out buying a guitar behind her back for a cool $500,000.00 would he? Yes, a Wall Street banker will do that. They have their priorities. Pheromones, replicas, leaving after midnight to find a band at Coyote Wild…..makes you wonder when they have time to work, to pay for over priced milk, and the stuff Cat's and her kittens require. Once our child's tiny hearing aid was lost in the class room and could not be found, a little bigger than a raisin. When the banker found out I had not scoured the classroom for the $1,000. hearing aid, I thought my life was going to be done that night. I went up to the classroom at supper time, and spent more than an hour sweeping the floor, inch by inch, with the janitor, until it miraculously turned up. Cool C was tuning up at home.

Besides the other side of his/our private life (remember what his dad said "it's AMAZING what you don't know about someone", he would spend his time with us in seclusion, when not on his kitchen computer.

In another search effort, I think at this point I was listening to Raoul Felder, I found a letter on the magic Investment banker stationary. I remember this day well, because it was New Year's Day 2003. The children and I were banished because "Cool C" was doing a really big deal, we were told. He was really writing a letter and here it is:

(sorry to disappoint those who might still be wondering about the office e mails, but we are getting there"

January 1, 2003

Dear Mr. Kossoff,

Please excuse this intrusion. I would like to introduce myself. My name is "Cool C" and i was given your address in confidence by Tom Guerra, who sends his regards. I am 50 years old, have played guitar for 38 years, and have been a rabid fan of the music of your late son for nearly all of that time.

I am the purchaser of the 1958 Gibson Les Paul guitar formerly owned by your son, who received it from Eric Clapton in exchange for his own guitar. I purchase it at auction from Paul Rodgers, and the proceeds were to benefit The Paul Kossoff Foundation. Since I purchase the instrument two years ago, I have become increasingly interested in its history and its role in the music. I think it is an important instrument, and I hope to flesh out as much as I can of its background while it is in my hands, and while it is possible, to discourse with the key personalities connected to it.

i understand that this letter is unanticipated, and that is concerns a subject that you may not have any desire to pursue.

(Cool C goes on here, so i will cut to the chase) Here are my questions and he lists 6 questions that ask how the guitar was played and where it went when owned by Paul Kossoff and he closes with 6 being What is the Paul Kossoff Foundation and its purposes? How can I learn more?

So while the Sock Puppets on my previous chapters say certain things about me, I have to say that I am more like a Goldman Muppet (a fool) and the real Fool was in the back room, keeping its value, as the sock puppet said in a comment.

The happy ending for Cool C is there is now a multi thousand dollar book called "The Collectors" put together by Epic Ink, and it says From the Collection of: Yoko Ono, and under Yoko is Cool C. The Fool And Cool C, married and together at last, with Yoko. Muppets,, Yoko, The Fool. If I had been a guitar and not a Cat, imagine what a future I could have had with the man I married!

An amazing moment is when the Fool moved out. But that is still another story, along with the e mails. And Paris and September 11.


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