By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
But it was these very issues of artistic control (not to mention royalty disagreements) that caused H-D-H to leave the Motown fold in 1968. At least that's the standard historical line; Edward, choosing his words carefully (litigation involving the split is still going on), says that the real reason for leaving was much more mundane.
"Berry Gordy had promised my brother stock in the company, and then he didn't want to follow through. My brother had such a close relationship with Berry, and I could tell it had bothered him. So I became very angry. My position was, 'Well, I don't know if I want to be here anymore.' I told Berry, 'I think I'm just going to leave and do my own thing.' One of the things, even to this day, that Berry Gordy himself does not understand is, I never told Lamont Dozier or my brother to leave Motown. Never. I didn't even tell my brother that I was gonna go. He saw me on the porch of the house next door to Motown, and he said, 'I hear that you're leaving.' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Well, if you're gonna leave, I'm gonna leave, too.'"
"And I had already made up my mind to move on, without even discussing it with them," adds Lamont. Edward practically falls out of his chair.
"Hey," he laughs, "can I tell you somethin'? I never knew that! This is a mindblower!"
"I had other aspirations," continues Lamont. "I wanted to move out to California, I wanted to venture into the motion-picture business. It seemed like I had been sittin' in Detroit too long. That's the truth of the matter."
"But you never told me," protests Edward, laughing uproariously.
The breakup with Motown was hardly the end of the line for H-D-H. Thanks to the likes of Freda Payne, Honey Cone and the Chairmen of the Board, the three gentlemen racked up plenty of early-'70s hits on their Hot Wax and Invictus labels. H-D-H split up again when distribution problems prematurely sank Hot Wax and Invictus, but the '90s have seen the trio reunite under a new label, HDH Records, whose diverse roster includes the nasty funk of Q&A and the smooth jazz of Bryan Carter. And, unlike many record men of their generation, Holland, Dozier and Holland remain extremely open-minded about rap music and sampling.
"To me," says Edward, "sampling is a form of respect. I wish they'd sample the hell out of my music!"
"Rap is an art form," adds Lamont. "It's entertaining and it's enlightening. It's quite interesting what the kids are thinking about nowadays. They have a lot to deal with that we didn't have, growing up - the peer pressure and all the other googly-gop that's out there."
And if Holland, Dozier and Holland were all in their 20s today?
Edward howls, "We'd be rappin' our ass off!"