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It's some time since I first saw Dec Cluskey trawling use net to earn money for his various the Makehits, Serious Writers Guild, Herbalife,  Breaking The Mould, and more latterly, The Art of Live Performing , and now, How To Get Into The Movies.  The number of inaccurate, self-glorification, and down-right lying posts I have seen from him are numerous, and I have listed just a sample below.

All quotes are in speech marks, anything I have written are in italics so you can consider what I have written separately. Links and credits are given for anything quoted from another web page, with the exception of usenet quotes where I have not given the author's name nor linked to the page - however, if you want to see the original posts in usenet they are easy to find.

Interestingly enough, Dec Cluskey has done more damage to his own cause than anybody else.




QUOTE: Interview with Shel Talmy 

"They then gave me the Bachelors, who when I got them were three nice Irish guys who played harmonica and did not sing--I rehearsed them in my apartment for six weeks, teaching them how to sing harmonies--I almost got tossed out of the apartment.  "Charmaine," which was the first hit I had, I absolutely hated.  It took me 15 minutes to do it.  I hated it because it was pseudo-country and western, simply because they couldn't do authentic country and western (laughs)." - Shel Talmy.

QUOTE: Ian Whitcomb

"There was a slight hiccup when one of the boys got temporarily sidetracked into spiritualism, with a particular interest in egg-reading." – Ian Whitcomb

QUOTE: Bachelors Break Up 1984

"However, in 1984, a dispute arose between the members and John Stokes was asked to leave. He duly took legal action against the brothers and the company Bachelors Ltd. During the hearing, Stokes' voice was likened to that of a "drowning rat" but he received compensation and left with plans to form a duo"

QUOTE 2004: The Bachelors 

"DISCLAIMER:  Please note that this is a historical site for reference only.  This site does not purport to be a promotion of Dec Cluskey and Con Cluskey as 'The Bachelors'.  Con and Dec [who recorded every Bachelors' Hit] are familiarly and legally known as Con and Dec The Bachelors." – from the The Bachelors Website, run and updated by Dec Cluskey



"The Main Guys are Vicky Esselle, Kevin Donnelly [head of I.T.], Henry Collins [editor- 'One Minute With Dec'] and Clive Sanderson [head of legal dept.]" – Dec Cluskey

Makehits is run from Dec Cluskey’s home. Vicky Esselle is the former stage name of his daughter, Vicky Cluskey. The others, Kevin Donnelly, Henry Collins and Clive Sanderson are figments of Dec Cluskey’s imagination.


John Leyland – Has given the only reviews of Bachelor records at Amazon, but apparently doesn’t comment on any other artists. Could John Leyland be another fictitious Cluskey character?


Quotes In respect of John Dartnell

From Makehits

"We're just finishing the second 'Harry Potter' film...they've now contracted me to do the third...starting in September...thanks!" John Dartnell [Member No: GRA0435030W]

"When John Dartnell told me he was writing a book to show guys how to get into the Movies I said: "John make sure you give the best guarantee that has ever been given"...and he has! " Dec Cluskey

From "The Bachelors"

"John Dartnell 'The Beard' joins Con & Dec down front for some Rock & Roll."

So, is Dartnell a member, an actor, a business partner (How To Get Into The Movies) or a member of Cluskey's band. Clue : He's on the payroll. So what worth the endorsement?

Dec Cluskey and the cast of 1000s

On his Makehits pages you can see Cluskey talk about his "showbiz pals," with the intention of giving you the impression they are his supporters, including George Harrison, Brian May, Lonnie Donegan, Mike Reid, Bruce Welsh, Chas McDevitt,  Bert Weedon,  Phil Collins, Val Doonican, Freddie Starr, Michael Barrymore, Cilla Black, Mike Yarwood, Lenni [sic] Henry, Frank Carson, Freddie Davies, Roy Walker, Val Doonican, John Major, Prince Philip, Rick Wakeman, Midge Ure, John Lodge, Gordon Giltrap, Mike Batt and many, many others. 

The list is drawn from people Cluskey has met the through the Water Rats, an entertainment charity. The phrase "hanging onto coat tails" seems appropriate.


Quote (Usenet) April 2006

"! have always favoured the ancient Roland U110 sound  module for orchestra." - Dec Cluskey

"I got rid of my U110 years ago, which was already years out of date, in favor of building a sample player PC using GigaStudio and more recently VSTi. I am curious to hear the results of the set up you are using. Please forgive my skepticism about the Roland U110 as a capable source for orchestral sounds. I have heard wonderful symphonic pieces produced using a Roland XV module that rivals the best Vienna demos, and such a thing makes it clear just how important the arrangements are. But I remember the cheesy string sounds from the U110, so I can't imagine it working."


Quote (usenet) April 2006

"I have often told the story of John Paul Jones' attempt to cross over from Rock to mainstream Pop sessions as a bass player.... he was lucky to find success with Led Zeppelin... so he didn't have to worry about sessions." – Dec Cluskey

In 1964, [John Paul] Jones began session work with Decca Records on the recommendations of Tony Meehan. Between 1964 and 1968 he was much in demand arranging, and playing keyboards or bass guitar for artists including the Rolling Stones, Herman's Hermits, Donovan, Jeff Beck, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Shirley Bassey, Lulu, and numerous others. As well as recording sessions with Dusty Springfield, Jones also played bass for her Talk Of The Town series of performances. His arranging and playing on Donovan's "Sunshine Superman", resulted in producer Mickie Most using his services as choice arranger for many of his own projects, with Tom Jones, Nico, Wayne Fontana, the Walker Brothers, and many others. (extract Wikipedia entry)


"In June I presented his songs to major Record companies and they all gave him an offer straight away.... Today ‘Boniface’ has a £½Million contract with Sony plus a Publishing Contract for another 6 figure sum"..... Peter Boniface [Member No.: STR0540030W] – Dec Cluskey

Peter Boniface did sign up with "The Serious Writers Guild," but  within a week asked for his money back. However, Peter made the mistake of saying that his brother, Bruce Boniface, has just signed a deal. Cluskey has refused to give Peter his money back, claiming that his course got Bruce’s deal – since when did a record deal only take a week to negotiate?


QUOTE: 2005 

"But I can tell you about the best Network Marketing opportunity there is. 'Herbalife'

As an example, my Sandy [Dec Cluskey’s wife] started her business 'The Health Factory' in 1989, as a Herbalife distributor, and has a thriving, genuine, business today.  Her customers are loyal and know the quality of the products.  This is not a door to door salesman outfit !!!!!

I simply accompanied her along the way and had my eyes opened ... big time!  I went along for the ride...and was glad I did." - Dec Cluskey


"We have saved the best until last! The cost is just $27.97 US Dollars (£23.95 UK Pounds Sterling) for each of the ten months OR the special discount full price (keeps our operations cost low).... $227 US Dollars (£195.00 UK Pounds Sterling). Highly recommended."  - Dec Cluskey

That’s an exchange rate of £1 = $1.16. The present exchange rate is £1 = £1.80. So if you must buy anything from Cluskey, spend dollars.

QUOTE: MLM/Pyramid schemes 1997

"Titan fought the DTI's attempts to wind the company up, taking their case to the Court Of Appeal. Titan's defence was that a lottery involved the distribution of money or prizes to participants purely by chance, while participants in Titan earned money by recruiting others - something that was not left to chance alone. The courts though took a different view. In their eyes, Titan and similar schemes did represent illegal lotteries because every new participant was gambling on the scheme continuing long enough for him or her to recover his money and, hopefully, make a profit. The legal battle continued for over a year, but eventually the Titan Business Club was finally wound up in June, 1997. Its assets had been frozen and recruitment halted for months before that, but needless to say a lot of "junior partners" never saw a penny of their money back."

Dec Cluskey, and his son, Oliver, were quoted in the press at the time, of saying the Government were wrong and how would they get their money back.

QUOTE (Usenet) May, 2005.

"Secondly, I have just downloaded your [Dec Cluskey] accounts for the past 2 years including the whole cash book for the year ending 31st March 2004. I nearly wet myself reading it.

If anybody else is interested in ordering a copy of the latest accounts it costs ?1 (about US$1.80) from The name of the Company is "Tankdome Limited" It even lists his income and expenses from Herbalife - Cluskey is just an old-fashioned Viagra salesman ;-)"


QUOTE (Usenet) May 2004

On an enquiry, "Has anybody heard of Dec Cluskey?

"There's a lot that's been said on this subject. Probably your best bet is to do a search of this newsgroup in Google for Dec (or DEC) and decide for yourself.

Just my personal summary, and it's my opinion alone based on all I've read and on comments from Dec himself:

1) Yes, we've all heard of Dec. He's made sure of that. :^)

2) Not particularly good as far as content goes. If you're looking for someone to pump you up, it might be a good thing. If you're looking for solid feedback and industry knowledge, you can get a lot of the same information and feedback here or on other free sites. I'd be very wary of taking any of his hit formula rules too seriously.

Just from comments Dec has made here I get the impression that he's more of a salesman than a technician. There's a lot of hype, but he seems very fuzzy when you start pressing for details. There's also a lot of backpedaling that gets done -- which looks to me like someone doing damage control.

I think he's more concerned with creating the right impression than in the nuts and bolts of getting the job done. He also harps on basic rules that look to me like gross over-generalizations or outright nonsense - "a hit TOON has no more than 29 words", etc.

It does seem like one person in this group said that he does provide useful forms if you're in the UK. I'd have to look that up. Personally, I find his approach reminds me of a carnival huckster, so I have an emotional reaction to the delivery. I guess my bottom line characterization of him would be "charming blowhard."

I'm happy to be corrected if I've formed my opinion based on misinformation. Any regular in the group (besides Dec himself :^) ) have a different opinion?"

QUOTE (Usenet) May 2005

Response to a post from "William The Music" on Usenet.

"So, let me get this right.... Basicly somebody used your {Dec Cluskey] IP addy without your knowledge to write a post praising you to this particular newsgroup? This mystrian also happens to write with the EXACT same corn-ball salesman writing style as you, and displayed the exact same "buddy, buddy" mentality as you, with his words... Very curious...

You know, If I were "William" I would have been on here immediately defending myself, and my words. I wouldn't let people say that I wasn't real. Then I would prove it myself. So where's William??? I guess, with your post here, "William" IS trying to defend himself...

You and your vast IT team forgot the 5th and MOST LOGICAL explanation. Dec decided to go trolling for membership to his website, and, not being able to find anyone to sing his praises here, and knowing his reputation here was pretty much garbage, decided to invent an individual named "William The Music" to come in and try to smooth things over, with the ultimate goal of recruiting unsuspecting marks.

You know, Dec, I would respect you much more if you would just come clean, but that just doesn't appear to be a very probable event.

The sad thing is you probably are a nice guy. You probably could add much here.. (Listen closely Dec/William, try to follow me on this) But why would someone come here and GIVE AWAY info that they are trying to SELL elsewhere? You are either here to sell your garbage, steal information, or you are just a total idiot.. Which is it?

Therefore until you close down the website(s), and stop trying to get unsuspecting "marks" to send you money, your credibility in this forum is still pretty much crap, in my eyes. What part of that is so difficult for you to understand?

BTW, I still have yet to find a true, live human being who has actually been helped by you, and who believes they got their money's worth from your "teachings". The only comments I have heard so far, have been in the "Don't waste your money" category. To me, THAT is the bottom line...

You know, you're quite the story-teller.. Why don't you put some of your creative fiction writing in a book, and.... oh yeah, you already have..... Best of luck with that, Dec."