Not so long ago, about three years to be exact, Isley faced another type of release – one from prison, for time served for tax evasion.
When EURweb’s Lee Bailey caught up with Ron Isley during his album promotion tour, Isley surprisingly spoke fondly about his time spent behind bars.
“Where I went was a place with about 150 people,” he said. “It was a camp. And I seen my son and my wife, four times a week. It was like — no fence; nobody locked up, or nothing. You could go home. But, if you did that, you’d be in trouble and they would send you to another place. “
“My wife could come from Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. It wasn’t bad at all. I was treated like a king. And 150 people respected me like ‘Elvis Presley is here.’ And I’m thankful to them for that. And a couple of times I did shows. The shows I did for them was the greatest ones in my career. “
Isley, now 72, served three years behind bars, but still maintains his innocence, long after being asked to accept a plea bargain.
“They said, ‘you have to say you’re guilty.’ I said, ‘no way.’ At the time, I had been in the court umpteen times against everybody. I thought my way was gonna clear the — whatever with them. But it didn’t, cause they were so powerful. “
The Rock & Roll Hall Famer is even said to have had the best lawyers on his case.
“With all the evidence that I had, the judge said, ‘we’re not gonna talk about that. And we’re not gonna allow (your) lawyers to talk about it.’”
“Even with the jurors sittin’ right there. They couldn’t hear nothin’ about what my case was about — the government holding whatever money they were holding. So, anyway, I lost the case… I went to some people who I thought was important enough to turn things around, but I couldn’t get it turned around. “
For all the Lauryn Hill’s and every other entertainer slapped with prison time for tax evasion, Isley had this to say about the government:
“They can touch anybody in this industry that they want to touch. Believe me, they can. They’re doing the same thing to Lauryn Hill because she gave in wherever they wanted her. I didn’t do anything – nothing different than anybody else has done. But they make one example.”
Now, beyond bars, with a new hit single, “Dinner and A Movie,” and his new album, This Song Is For You, set to drop on on Tuesday (July 16), Ron Isley is clearly back in the groove.
Watch an excerpt of Ron Isley’s interview with EURweb’s Lee Bailey, below:
Watch Ron Isley’s video for “Dinner and A Movie”: