the confessions of rick james


One day, I got a call from Teena Marie’s manager (Winnie Jones). She asked if I wanted to produce Teena. I said “send me some tapes,” so I can hear some more of her voice. After I heard her, I was geeked to produce her. Never in my life had I heard such a range with so much passion in a white voice.

I immediately started writing for her. I was also told that this was her last shot. She had spent close to $400,000 recording and still no album. I was amazed at how Motown could spend so much money without getting at least one tune out of it.

Motown really didn’t know what to do with her. Berry had signed her as an actress, and singing was going to be secondary for her.

After I listened to Teena’s voice carefully, writing for her was easy. The songs just seemed to come: Deja Vu, “Don’t Look Back,” and I decided to give her-Sucker For Your Love (which I originally wrote for Diana Ross).

Teena lived with Winnie and her daughter (Jill) and Winnie’s boyfriend, Fuller Gordy (Berry’s brother). Jill would later move in with Prince and have a part in Purple Rain.

The first time I made love to Teena was during a tour in Pittsburgh. She wrote a song about it called “Portuguese Love.” She told me that I was the first man to give her an orgasm. We made love from sun-down to sun-up but we were never boyfriend and girlfriend although everyone was under the impression that we were involved during this time period.

When she got angry with me about other women, she’d curse me out under her breath when we performed “Fire & Desire,” on stage.

- Rick James


According to Rick James: Chaka Khan and I spent some time together when she was playing Buffalo. After one show, we hung out for six hours, just talking. Chaka’s very spiritual and intelligent.

I introduced her to a Mafia-Underworld friend; he had never heard of Chaka Khan, I figured they would get a kick out of each other.

At one point, my friend tried to join our conversation, but Chaka pointed her finger in his face and told him to shut the fuck up! He would later tell me he had never met a woman that fearsome in his entire life.

Later, I was informed by one of my aides that a lot of people had arrived and were waiting for me to come downstairs, including model Beverly Johnson (2nd photo) and a whole bunch of hot girls lounging in the sitting room.

I kept telling Chaka to leave because she was on tour and needed to rest before her next show, but she wouldn’t go. She said she liked talking to me too much.

Chaka always had a pretty wicked sense of humor. Before she finally left she allegedly took off all her clothes, covered herself up with this military coat and made her way to the indoor pool. While walking to the pool, she stopped to talk to all the girls waiting. Beverly being one of them.

Chaka allegedly screamed: “How many of you bit*hes masturbate?” No one spoke. She added, “That’s why Rick’s got no time for none of ya’ll. You’re all lying bit*ches.”

Then she went and jumped in the pool, coat and all.