I’m from Belgium like some of you know and if you don’t know, Marvin Gaye has a very special band with Belgium. He lived in the city Ostend (The closest cities from where I live) for months to pick up his career again after a downfall, tracks like “Sexual Healing” were recorded in Ostend. Very touching story, Marvin Gaye and his relationship with the sea and Belgium. Here you have an interview from 1994 from the guy who took care of Marvin Gaye at that time in the Belgian Magazine “Humo”. I used google to translate the dutch into english. If you want only DJ Premier posts, simply don’t read.
Early eighties stranded Marvin Gaye, penniless and addicted to cocaine, London. Freddy Cousaert, a part-time concert promoter took Gaye under his wing, kept him away from the drugs and put him back on track. Eighteen years later, Gaye from Ostend, Belgium included with the album “Midnight Love” and especially with the single “Sexual Healing” an unprecedented comeback.”Freddy’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Marvin,” said a friend and attorney Gayes Curtis Shaw in “Man Trouble”, a BBC documentary in which the last years of Marvin Gaye to be reconstructed through interviews.
FREDDY COUSAERT: In the sixties I had a r & b club, and regularly went to London, hunting for new records. In London I was often in the Q Club, which was attended mainly by blacks. There I learned many people famous in the music. Every week you could well find Jagger and Rod Stewart. That were inspiration came looking (laughs). Gradually I was accepted by the ‘black’ London environmentally. One day the boss of Q club calls me: Marvin Gaye was on Christmas Eve in Q occur. I almost fell backwards, I asked if he could introduce me to Marvin. I never dreamed that Marvin Gaye two months later would sit at my kitchen.
HUMO: How was he added, when you first met him?
Cousaert: He lived first in a posh apartment, then in a cheap apartment hotel. He snorted cocaine and had a lot of worrying constantly surrounded by questionable people: dealers and hangers-on. A British tour promoter had him a few weeks previously, after a disastrous tour, with only $ 5,000 left in London. That he had nipped the return tickets for his group can afford. He was completely broke.
HUMO: How did he end with you in Ostend you?
Cousaert: A week after that first meeting he tried to call me at home. I was not there, but my wife was. She talked half hours with him. He sounded depressed, she said. When I called back, he seemed to be in Brighton. Marvin loved the rain and wind, the fairness of the sea. Sometimes he went to the coast, to sit on the breakwater. When I told him that he can do all these things in Ostend, he immediately decided two weeks to come and visit. We have here then an apartment for him and arranged for him when he was made a member of the family. Those two weeks became a month. We became friends and later business partners. As he gradually became her old self again, I organized a successful tour for him, with the highlight of a concert at the Casino of Ostend, which was broadcasted directly by the national television. He held personally about £ 55,000 and could hardly believe it. Then I have him a contract with CBS Records decorated. Larkin Arnold, a senior executive of CBS who was just Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in the weather, came personally to Ostend. He wanted assurance about the physical and mental condition of Marvin. Now, he was quickly convinced. “I Can See he is in very good hands,” he said, and the project was financed.
HUMO: When the trouble started.
Cousaert: From the States was much pressure exerted on him. He sat back in the saddle, so he was for the businessmen in Los Angeles again ‘interesting’. Figures emerge from everywhere were hoping that a piece to ride.
Cousaert: The New Yorker David Ritz, who suddenly stood, saying he was making an interview for Rolling Stone. Halfway through the interview leaves the Ritz term ‘sexual healing’ fall. Marvin says that he like the song title. After the interview we eat, and Ritz says casually that he wants $ 10,000, if we want to ‘have’ the title. Marvin and I almost fall of our chairs. We tell him that we needed Ritz on the cover would indicate, and that’s what happened. But in the States has gone to court Ritz, pointing out that cover entry, and the story that he is the song ‘Sexual Healing’ would have co-written. The judge gave him was right too, and since then he gets royalties for it! I was present when “Sexual Healing” was written. Odell Brown and Marvin have that song written. Nobody else.
HUMO: What makes your collaboration jumped off?
Cousaert: In Switzerland we had opened an account in the name of Marvin, where his money was deposited. The problem was that Marvin was absent when the bank forms were signed. Everything was also in French, and the bank could not immediately us an English document delivery. Marvin suggested that I would act as a holder. I wish absolutely not do, so he registered his accountant. A provisional one. But this problem kept dragging because Marvin always the case postponed. A few months later we get a phone call: a seething Marvin, who had unsuccessfully sought money from his account to be removed. The bank accepted his signature course not. He thought we were trying to cheat him off and even a lawyer came into the picuture. Then I got angry. I went to Switzerland and were I proved he was wrong. He turned in, but our relationship chilled rapidly. Eventually, they gave him an excuse lured to the States: his mother was supposedly ill and wanted to see him. In October 1982 he moved to the States. He was supposed to come back, but we’ve never seen or spoken him again.
Humo: The documentary says a friend of Gaye father, also a pastor, that he was not surprised when he heard news of the shooting. “He showed me the gun,” he says meaningfully.
Cousaert: Indeed, an artist whose name I will not mention, but take it from me that it is a highly reliable person told me that he spoke with his father a few weeks before the shooting. He too had seen the weapon and had Gaye father had even added: “I’m gonna take him out before some white man does it.”
R.I.P. Marvin Gaye, also Freddy Cousaert recently died, R.I.P.