The company that placed this press release with PRWeb is responsible for its content. It is not edited by the Albany Times Union.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) February 01, 2013
Funk legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton will be honored Saturday, February 9, 2013, with the Vanguard Award by global NGO Oxfam America at the 5th annual MojaMoja Pre-Grammy Brunch and Benefit Concert presented by 89.9 KCRW. Performances include a special DJ set tribute to Clinton by KCRW’s Garth Trinidad and an international line-up of artists such as Fink, Adrian Younge presents the Delfonics featuring William Hart, Yuna, Chicano Batman and Chloe Flower. All of the artists are donating their time to perform at the benefit concert and brunch to raise awareness and funds for Oxfam America and partner The Darfur Stoves Project. The event is scheduled from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., at the W Hollywood in Los Angeles, California. Tickets are available to the public and can be purchased exclusively online at: http://www.themojamoja.com.
More than 250 funk fans and key influencers are expected to pay tribute to the 71 years young American singer, songwriter, bandleader, music producer and principal architect of P-Funk. Clinton is known by many alter egos like Sir Nose D'VoidofFunk and Dr. Funkenstein. However, in 2012, the psychedelic maestro received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music becoming a real doctor. "Oxfam America is honored to present Dr. George Clinton with the 2013 Vanguard Award at the MojaMoja Brunch and Benefit Concert. George's musical genius has inspired artists around the world and helped to break creative boundaries in all kinds of art for nearly half a century," says Bob Ferguson, Oxfam America's Manager of Creative Alliances & Music Outreach.
Ten years ago this year was the start of the conflict and humanitarian emergency in Darfur, Sudan. Armed conflict in Darfur has uprooted more than 2.5 million people. During the past decade Oxfam is working with Sudanese partners to provide clean water, agricultural support, tree seedlings, small business trainings, grants for people living in and around the crowded camps and fuel-efficient stoves. A portion of all tickets sales from the brunch will support the production of these stoves. Dr. George Clinton pauses for just one day during his busy East Coast tour, flying from Boston to Los Angeles to accept the honor and help raise awareness for Oxfam America. “It’s an obligation and opportunity to be associated with a campaign that promotes ways to end global hunger,” says Dr. Clinton. “I salute Oxfam America’s tireless efforts to save lives around the world during the past 40 years. I’m honored to be a part of the MojaMoja Brunch and I’ll be calling on all P-Funk fans to support the Darfur Stoves Project.”
“Other artists on the MojaMoja Brunch line-up like The Delfonics are heavily sampled, and so their music catalog is still highly profitable,” added Dr. Clinton. “We want to make sure they are being paid.” As a result, in addition to his support of Oxfam America, Dr. Clinton is spearheading a social justice campaign to raise awareness of how other artists are having their works stolen via copyright fraud. Clinton is using his celebrity and Flashlight2013.com to bring attention to this cause. On Sunday, February 10th, the funk icon and his band Parliament–Funkadelic (P-Funk All Stars) will resume their non-stop 2013 tour. Visit: http:/bit.ly/pfunktour for concert dates.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebmojamojabrunch/georgeclintontribute/prweb10383469.htm
George Clinton earns loyalty from his musicians and fans..
Byron Dobson: George Clinton earns loyalty from his musicians and fans
Byron Dobson Associate Editor
November 17, 2011
"The Mothership is landing."
Uh, oh. I sorta figured what to expect when I got that email this week from Features Editor Kati Schardl, telling me of the impromptu concert Wednesday night at the Moon featuring George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.
The "Mothership" reference is often used to describe the advance word of a George Clinton show. Truth is, the original spaceship prop that was used prominently by the band in the '70s has long been lost. A smaller replica of the original was transferred from Clinton's Tallahassee recording studio earlier this year and is now in the hands of the Smithsonian. Yes, that Smithsonian.
Stage props are for the wow effect and don't last long. What does keep fans, new and old, coming back one more time is to experience an evening of pure fun and musicianship.
And, I'd bet that most in the large, diverse crowd that turned up at The Moon were there to see Clinton, one of live music's ultimate showmen. It also gave Tallahassee fans one of the first public glimpses of him on stage without his colorful hair extensions that had come to personify Clinton the entertainer. At this stage, Clinton looks more like the image seen in the rare photos of the original Parliament soul group that eventually transformed from doo-wop with electrifying guitarists, the keyboard genius of Bernie Worrell and others who became Funkadelic.
I've made reference in this space before about my admiration for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and his extensive recordings that to this day still command graying adults to the dance floor, whether it be a poolside party or a club concert. Wednesday was no exception.
But in as much as Clinton is the major draw, any veteran of the live performances knows that "going to a Clinton show" means being equally amazed by the tight band of musicians with which Clinton surrounds himself on any given night.
Clinton is the ringleader, the one whose mere presence commands the cheers, applause and the required display of smartphones capturing the show on video or in images. I remember one great show years ago at the Capital Centre outside of Washington, D.C., at which die-hard fans came equipped with flashlights or lighters, along with sunglasses, as Clinton commanded from the stage, "Let me put on my sunglasses, so I can be cool" or "You'all got your flashlights?"
What struck me Wednesday was the fact that Clinton's still able to surround himself with some of the best musicians on the music scene. For instance, the show was highlighted by the guitar wizardry of Michael Hampton, the most talented player on the planet that you've never heard of, as guitar trade magazines tend to focus on musicians from Metallica and other rock bands.
Legend has it that Hampton was recruited by Clinton before reaching 20, after displaying his skill at playing the signature instrumental "Maggot Brain" note for note following a concert. He's now in his mid-50s. Also on stage was Andre "Foxxe" Williams, who told me that he'd been with the band off and on for 37 years. One of the lead singers, Steve Boyd, sang with the '70s soul group The Dramatics for several years. Handling the drums for much of the evening was Joseph "Foley" McCreary, who played bass with the late Miles Davis.
Blending in with the entourage onstage was Ron Dunbar, a well-known figure in the Motown music production camps. Dunbar and Clinton have a relationship that goes back for decades. "I'm 72," he told me before the show, he's (Clinton) 70."
So, at 70, Clinton has an entourage that includes old friends, one of his sons, at least one grandson, and musicians who depend on him for a living.
That's why fans need to understand that there's more to Clinton than the more publicized tales of his personal adventures and indulgences.
When not in his Tallahassee studio or touring, Clinton continues to wage a battle against former partners in the recording industry in pursuit of money he says he's owned for previous recordings. For the past several years, he has sued and been sued over rights to his music. In published reports, Clinton says he's owed millions of dollars, along with the reinstatement of ownership of music recorded years ago. He's spent time lobbying in Washington and has caught the attention of veteran U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who is supporting legislation that would tighten copyright laws to give musicians more control over intellectual property.
In the meantime, it's on to the next show for Clinton and his entourage.
-- Contact Associate Editor Byron Dobson at email@example.com or call him at (850) 599-2258. You can post comments on this column under the Opinion section on Tallahassee.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smithsonian acquires Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership
By Chris Richards
The Smithsonian has acquired the 90s version of George Clintons famous Mothership. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber)The funkiest UFO in the galaxy is about to land in Chocolate City.
The Mothership the iconic stage prop made famous by legendary funk collective Parliament-Funkadelic has been acquired by the Smithsonians National Museum of African American History and Culture where it will help anchor a permanent music exhibition when the museum opens its doors in 2015.
Im about to cry! Parliament-Funkadelic frontman George Clinton said over the phone from his home in Tallahassee on Wednesday. Theyre taking the Mothership! Theyre shipping it out! ... But Im glad its going to have a nice home there.
It isnt the original Mothership. This 1,200-pound aluminum spacecraft was built in the mid-90s an indistinguishable replica, Clinton says, of the smoke-spewing stage prop he first introduced to slack-jawed funk fans in 1976.
But by 1982, Parliament-Funkadelics towering debts forced the groups Washington-based management company to trash the Mothership in a Prince Georges County scrap yard. And what happened next has become the stuff of myth. Was it stolen? Did it burn in a fire? Is it still floating around somewhere in the cosmos?
An April 2010 Washington Post storyabout the Motherships disappearance sent the Smithsonian searching for it. Kevin Strait, project historian for the museum, didnt get very far. All signs pointed to the fact that we werent going to find the original, Strait said. So thats when we essentially put our attentions toward the new one.
Strait contacted Clintons management, and the bandleader eventually decided to donate the piece. The ship has been picked up from Clintons Tallahassee recording studio and is scheduled to arrive at a Smithsonian storage facility in suburban Maryland at noon on Thursday.
Itll be somewhat of a homecoming. The group first formed as the Parliaments in Plainfield, New Jersey in the late 1950s, but after morphing into a two-group collective Parliament and Funkadelic it would go on to enjoy one of its most loyal followings in Washington. Parliaments 1975 album Chocolate City gave the nations capital an unofficial nickname that still sticks today.
When the band lowered the Mothership from the rafters of the Capital Centre in Landover in 1977, the response was rapturous. Not only was it instantly stunning it felt like a cosmic metaphor for the sense of possibility that followed the civil rights movement.
That symbolism isnt lost on the Smithsonian.
With large iconic objects like this, we can tap into ... themes of movement and liberation that are a constant in African-American culture, says Dwandalyn R. Reece, curator of music and performing arts for the museum. The Mothership as this mode of transport really fits into this musical trope in African American culture about travel and transit.
It will be exhibited alongside other artifacts from American music history Louis Armstrongs trumpet, James Browns stage costumes, Lena Hornes evening gowns. But it will be the only spaceship.
It definitely fits in, said Reece. Funk is not just a good groove, it was its own kind of social protest movement.
And while the original Motherships whereabouts remain a mystery, Clinton thinks this one will serve the Smithsonian just fine.
The second ship went out on the road for a long time, he says. Nobody knew the difference!
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RIP Beloved P-Funk Diva Belita Woods (May 14, 2012)
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By Funk Music News / May 14, 2012 / Big Ol' Nasty Getdown, Uncategorized / Leave a comment
Belita Woods, recent nominee of a Hollywood Music & Media Awards for Best Country Song of the Year AND Best Album of the Year, has passed into that great funking world beyond. According to Dawn Silva (former backup singer for Sly Stone, George Clinton, and feature vocalist of The Brides of Funkenstein), Belita had been going into dialysis today, May 14, and her body had rejected the treatment. She suffered a heart attack and had passed on the operating table. Belita had also previously suffered a stroke. “I had just talked to her about 4 or 5 days ago- it felt like we were just becoming close” Dawn told FMN tonight. The two funk divas had been reminiscing on their respective journeys in different generations in P-Funk, which Dawn had left around ’78, and Belita joined about ten years later. Belita became the longest-touring and recording female member of the iconic group, acting as a mentor and friend to the younger P-funktresses, Kendra Foster and Kim Manning.
Just yesterday, Bootsy Collins paid his (Facebook) respects to Donald “Duck ” Dunn, the bassist for Booker T & the M.G.’s in the ’60s and Stax session player. Tonight he put a note up about Belita as well. “Belita Woods? Still reeling from “Duck” Dunn, but reminded that we need to see, hear, support and give thanks to the artists that make a joyful noise, while we can.”
Belita’s most recent work is spotlighted on the upcoming album, The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown’s Volume 1, which is officially set for its physical release May 23, 2012 (NEXT WEEK!) though the album has been simmering underground. However, this album has already captured critics’ attention and has won Best College Song of the Year for “College Funk” ft. George Clinton. Come November, we will see if “Wake Me Up” will take home the bacon for the Best Country Song of the Year at the same show, an amazing new feat for any funk artist. Below you can get a peak of Volume 1′s “Room 2012″ featuring footage of the making of the album. You can see Belita smiling and rocking out with the crew in shots throughout the vid.
Recently, producer and bassist John Heintz reported that Belita was elated to receive the nomination for Best Country Song of the Year by the Hollywood Music & Media Awards, as part of the Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown‘s album, Volume 1. Belita was happy that her vocals had been holding up against a hard past of sanging hard, laughing harder, (and perhaps a bit of her favorite Jack Daniels and 23 years of P-Funkin’)- the recipe that gave her that sultry, smokey rasp we all know and love. She was making steps to get herself ready for the limelight again, especially because she was so excited for the release of “Wake Me Up,” the country tune penned with Ashevile, NC artist Ralph Rodenberry.
Below, Belita talks about working with The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown, a collaborative of around 100 musicians from top funk bands throughout the past fifty years. The legendary project was initiated by producer/bassist John Heintz, who pulled together the icons into a New Orleans mansion in 2007 for a week of collaborations spanning generations of funk musicianship. The list of members who then joined in on the project is too long to list, but check out their blog to get a scope of the rundown. John said tonight, in regards to losing Belita and Garry Shider, both members of P-Funk & The Big Ol’ Nasty GetDown, “I’ve lost my mother and father of the music world. These people took care of me,”
In the interview, Belita recalls her first release with Motown in 1969. In the 70′s she lead the band Brainstorm (listen to “Journey To The Light” below). She discusses being able to “change her voice” to apply all vocal parts for George Clinton’s band as of ’89. She gets so excited about The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown’s partnership between new and legendary players and recording in New Orleans, funky mountain town Asheville, North Carolina, and Tallahassee, Florida.
“I worked with the baddest musicians, Kendra Foster, Laura Reed, Garry Shider was going’ on, you know that was P-Funk’s diaper man…and we finished it in George Clinton’s studio in Tallahasse, the Mothership Studio,” Belita grins. [[RIP Garry Shider]]
“I think I’m gonna be famous, and you know why, because I neer sang a country song before, and I never sang with a really good singer-white singer- who sang country but sounded like blues, and he wrote some and he asked me to write some, and when I heard that back, I said, That’s it, I’m on the map! I guarantee you, this CD is really going to surprise everybody…This is the one. You won’t be disappointed, this is going to smash it out!”
You heard it from the Lady of Funk herself, Miss Belita Woods. You can get an advance download of the album on iTunes! Info @ www.bigolnastygetdown.wordpress.com!
On a sidenote, I cannot help but think of Bobby Womack‘s recent diagnosis of cancer just before the release of his album The Bravest Man in the Universe. Why does it seem so many of our icons are passing so quickly? Belita, may you forever funk on in heavenly grace. You are always “famous” to those of us who love and remember your special presence, humor, talent and gifts. May the funk live on and the memory of these iconic players be taken with grace and appreciation.
In Memoriam: Donald “Duck” Dunn
by Corey Brown | Sunday, May 13th, 2012
Legendary bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn has died in Tokyo early this morning, following a night of shows at the Tokyo Blue Note. According to reports, Dunn passed away in his sleep.
The bassist, who was 70 years old, was a member of Booker T. and the M.G.’s and session bassist for Stax Records. He was also a member of the famed Blues Brothers band, following his appearance in the 1980 hit movie The Blues Brothers.
Over the years, Dunn performed with Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Albert King, Neil Young, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Guy Sebastian, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Roy Buchanan and Arthur Conley.
Dunn was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1941, and grew up with future professional musician and M.G.’s co-founder, Steve Cropper. When Cropper and another friend decided to take up the guitar, Dunn chose the electric bass. Dunn was self-taught, learning by playing along to records as a young bassist.
“That’s why Duck Dunn’s bass lines are very unique”, Cropper said, “They’re not locked into somebody’s schoolbook somewhere”.
This morning, Cropper posted a note on Facebook:
“Today I lost my best friend, the world has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live.”
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Donald Dunn. RIP, “Duck”.
A look back at the star from one of her closest friends
BY ROBYN CRAWFORD
More from this author
I met her when she was 16. It was at a summer job. I was working at a community center in East Orange, New Jersey, and she was working just like the rest of us. She was there to work. She introduced herself as "Whitney Elizabeth Houston," and I knew right away she was special. Not a lot of people introduced themselves with their middle names back then. She had peachy colored skin and she didn't look like anyone I'd ever met in East Orange, New Jersey.
She was nothing like the Whitney Houston she became but at the same time she was already there. She knew, and so did everyone around her. She was doing shows in Manhattan with her mother, and she'd change her clothes in the car and get on stage and do her thing. She hadn't signed her contract yet. But she was modeling for Wilhelmina because she was discovered on the street. She was walking in front of Carnegie Hall and someone walked up to her and said, "There's a modeling agency upstairs that's looking for someone just like you." She walked upstairs and they signed her. That's what it was like, that's what she gave off. She looked like an angel. When my mother first met her, she laughed and said, "You look like an angel, but I know you're not." And she wasn't. But she looked like one.
She chose the life she lived, and she chose it from the beginning. She knew the life better than anyone. Her mother was Cissy Houston, and she had been on the road with Dionne Warwick. She got her chops singing in church, and her mother said to her, "You know, you can always sing for free. You can always sing in church. You don't have to choose the professional life." But she chose because she'd been chosen. Some people sing just because. She was never like that. She had to put on her gear. She knew it was going to be a job and that's how she treated it. Once she committed to something, she finished it. Not long after I met her, she said, "Stick with me, and I'll take you around the world." She always knew where she was headed.
And we went around the world. I was her assistant and then her executive assistant and then her creative director. I was her point person for the day-to-day. I traveled all around the world first-class and anyone who ever worked for her will tell you her checks never bounced. You knew she was going to take care of you. She wasn't going to be in a five-star hotel while you were in a two. I flew the Concorde the way some people ride the bus. She shared the fruits, and she changed a lot of lives. The record company, the band members, her family, her friends, me — she fed everybody. Deep down inside that's what made her tired.
It was never easy. She never left anything undone. But it was hard. The Bodyguard was great when it was done, but it was a lot of work. She did the movie, she did the music, she did everything — and when she was done, she was done. She nailed it. The music supervisor brought her Linda Ronstadt's version of "I Will Always Love You" way before Kevin Costner brought Dolly Parton's version — and she always knew what she could do with it. So when Kevin came in and played it for her and told her he wanted her to sing it for the movie, she said, "Fine." She wasn't much for showing off what she had, except when she had to.
I always compare her performance of that song with a great athlete hitting his peak — with Michael Jordan in the playoffs. It was the absolute pinnacle of what she could do, of what anyone could do — and then she had to keep on doing it. Everybody wanted to hear her sing that song, and so she sang it. It didn't matter whether she had a cold, or wasn't in good voice; she had to deliver it, and she had it arranged so she could deliver every last note. And even if the note wasn't there, the feeling was. A lot of her songs were like that. They were a lot to deliver, but she delivered them every note, every time.
It's so strange that she died when she did. February was her month. Her first album was released on Valentine's Day, right around the time of the Grammys, right around the time of Clive Davis's party. It was an orchestrated thing. She was Clive's girl, his great discovery. And she died right before Valentine's Day, right before the Grammys, right before Clive's party. Of course, she was going. I don't know if she was singing, I don't know what kind of pressure she was putting on herself. But she was going, that's for damned sure.
People thought they had to protect her. She hated that. And that's what people don't understand: She was always the one doing the driving. Someone just called and told me that the family kept Whitney from seeing her. Nobody kept Whitney from doing anything. She did what she wanted to do. When people left her or were told to leave, they could never believe that Whitney would never call them — but she never did. She was working hard to keep herself together, and I think she felt that if she admitted any feeling of sadness or weakness she would crumble. One time, back when we were young, we were out, we were partying, and I said, "Listen, I have to go. I'm tired. I can't make it." And she looked at me with her eyes wide and said, "I've got to make it."
And that was Whitney. She could not pick up the phone, and that meant it was too painful. I have never spoken about her until now. And she knew I wouldn't. She was a loyal friend, and she knew I was never going to be disloyal to her. I was never going to betray her. Now I can't believe that I'm never going to hug her or hear her laughter again. I loved her laughter, and that's what I miss most, that's what I miss already.
I'm trying not to think of the end. I'm trying not to listen to all the reports. All these people talking about drugs — well, a lot of people take drugs, and they're still around. Whitney isn't, because you never know the way the wind blows. I just hope that she wasn't in pain and that she hadn't lost hope. She gave so much to so many people; I hope that she felt loved in return. She was the action, for such a long time. She's out of the action now. I hope she can finally rest.
Funk legend Jimmy Castor dies in Las Vegas at 71 ,,
Funk legend Jimmy Castor dies in Las Vegas at 71
By KEN RITTER
The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — Jimmy Castor, a New York funk and soul saxophonist, singer and songwriter whose tune, "It's Just Begun," morphed over 40 years into an anthem for generations of hip-hoppers and mainstream musical acts, died of apparent heart failure in a Las Vegas hospital, family members said Tuesday. He was 71.
Castor's music, including another 1972 hit, "Troglodyte," spoke for itself thousands of times in riffs and samples by groups like N.W.A., the 2 Live Crew, Kanye West, Ice Cube and Mos Def, as well as acts such as the Spice Girls, Christina Aguilera and Madonna.
His son, Jimmy Castor Jr., 45, a filmmaker from Redondo Beach, Calif., told The Associated Press he's seen instant recognition hundreds of times at the first sax chords of "It's Just Begun" — even before the lyrics begin. ("Watch me now. Feel the groove. Into something. Gonna make you move.")
"No matter what country you're in, no matter what language you speak, everyone knows it," Jimmy Castor Jr. said in Las Vegas.
Jimmy Castor was hospitalized in November after suffering a heart attack, and underwent quadruple bypass surgery. He died Monday at Saint Rose Dominican Hospital, his son said.
Castor, head of the musical group the Jimmy Castor Bunch, lived with his wife, Sandi, in suburban Henderson near Las Vegas.
His work was sampled by other artists more than 3,000 times, his son said, and he continued to work and perform until last August, when he played at the Long Beach Funk Festival in California. Jimmy Castor Jr. said his father had booked dates for a European tour this year.
RIP Clarence Clemons - (and the kozmic significance of the ordinariness it all)
I have written about Clarence Clemons many times in the past, however it has never been enough. I say that simply because people like him simply never get quite enough credit because their accomplishment is in the extraordinary manner that they go about doing what should be ordinary, but isn't.
1973 - FRESHMAN ORIENTATION
Next fall my daughter will be a college freshman. That means later this summer, she will be attending something called "freshman orientation." Here in the Davis household the topic of "freshman orientation," has been the topic of much conversation over the past few days. The passing of Clarence Clemons takes me back to my own "freshman orientation," at the University of Pittsburgh way back in 1973.
Freshman orientation is supposed to be a period of time when you as the recent high school graduate, but not yet college freshman can be introduced to your selected institution of higher learning in earnest. You get to live in the dorms, you get to learn about the administrative procedures in registering for classes, you get to learn about the support system available to you at the institution and more. It is designed to assist you with the transition between high school & college. I am all but certain that they vary from college to college, yet are all designed to be somewhat similar.
In 1973 my freshman orientation at the University of Pittsburgh was all of the above, strongly enhanced by something else that was quite unexpected, and yet at the same time something quite significant. You see perhaps because it was 1973 or perhaps it was the University of Pittsburgh or perhaps for reasons that I am completely unaware of, the memory of my own freshman orientation of almost 40 years ago is completely filtered thru the haze of "sex, drugs & rock n' roll." And at the very center of that "haze" is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
You see the University of Pittsburgh has arranged for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to perform in nearby Schenley Park for what seemed like morning, noon and night for all 4 days of freshman orientation. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were onstage performing whenever I happened to be in the park (which was as often as I possibly could be…..LOL)
The first thing that I noticed was that while the band was integrated, the crowd was almost 100 percent white. The music however seemed rooted in 1950's/1960's R&B and Doo Wop, so it was "retro." Yet at the same time it was contemporary and fresh. During that freshman orientation weekend I returned to that park many times, because I dug the whole scene (it was much like I had envisioned Woodstock to have been,) yet each time I returned, I was stunned by the fact that while there were many Black students attending freshman orientation weekend, almost none of them were in the park. One one occasion I did see a Black student in the park and we sought each other out. His name was Kevin Amos, who has been my friend ever since that day and whose name you will recognize from his many contributions to Soul-Patrol.com over the years.
1984 - JERSEY SHORE
In 1984 I found myself living in Red Bank New Jersey. I been living and working as an operations manager in Houston Texas for a well known "enormous nationwide public utility." As you all may recall 1984 was the year when the "enormous nationwide public utility" was deregulated and broken up. This "break up" created opportunities for employees who were willing to relocate to the New Jersey headquarters of the "enormous nationwide public utility." And I was one such employee. I headed for New Jersey for not only a new home, a new career and yet another intersection with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, at a transitional moment in my life.
As things would turn out I ended up living in Red Bank for no particular reason other than the fact that a friend of mine from HS was now living there and he offered me a place to crash, during my transition. Many of you will recall that 1984 was also the year when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band became a nationwide/worldwide musical and cultural phenomena. And I found myself living in the very place that was the heart & soul of the culture from which sprang Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
In fact Clarence Clemons was from Red Bank, New Jersey. If you were to drive down the main drag (RT 35) thru Red Bank New Jersey, you would think that you had somehow been transported to a place in the Middle America. On RT 35 you will see beautiful early 20th century homes, tree lined streets with children playing, leading to a downtown area that looks like it could be in a Jimmy Stewart movie.
However if you peel back the onion just a bit you will find a small city where quite literally the Blacks live on one side of the tracks and the whites live on the other side of the tracks. Despite that legacy of segregation, the flip side of Red Bank as well as all of the dozens of other towns/cities stretching along the coast of New Jersey that make up this mythical place called "The Jersey Shore," is that it's probably among the most liberal places that you could possibly find in the United States. You see the real life "Jersey Shore" (not the TV show) is the complete antithesis of current day "2011 Tea Party Amerika."
As such race relations are quite a bit different then they are in almost anyplace else that I have ever lived in the United States, north, south, east or west. The reality of the Jersey Shore is that you have a large geographical area, with a large Black/White population where there is in fact something that approaches racial harmony. Oh to be certain, the Jersey Shore is by no means perfect, but it approaches the very ideal of what the people who fought so hard for something called "integration," during the last century had envisioned during that fight.
An understanding of what life is like at the Jersey Shore provides a quick answer to not only the "concept of "Bruce Spingsteen/Clarence Clemons," but also to their reality. I have seen "music/culture experts" at publications like Rolling Stone Magazine, eMpTVy, etc. describe the relationship between Bruce/Clarence as being somewhat analogous to that of Huck Finn & N*gger Jim. I would suggest that while that description might sound ok, that it is somewhat misleading (and also panders to a lingering kind of racism.) Huck & Jim weren't "equals." Not only were Bruce/Clarence "equals," but based on my own personal observation of 1984 Jersey Shore life, they weren't all that unusual either. I can tell you for a fact that wherever you went in the summer of 1984 you could see Black kids and White kids hanging out together. You could see Black families and White families hanging out together. You could see the vision of America that many Americans had been hoping for many generations would become a reality in actual practice all along the streets and boardwalks of the mythical place called "The Jersey Shore."
The music of the Jersey Shore is the same way. It harkens back to the roots of Rock n' Roll itself, where the guitar and the sax were at the heart of the music. The integrationist 1950's notion that lies just under the surface of rock n roll, "equal parts blues & country," serving as a musical metaphor for "equal parts black & white," serves as a revolutionary concept for a nation whose very creation is rooted in slavery of those who were constitutionally declared as "3/5 th's of a human being."
Only a place like the Jersey Shore, could give to us an integrated musical entity like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to remind us all not only what Rock n' Roll is supposed to sound/look like, but more importantly to remind us all what we are supposed to be like. To remind us all of just how "ordinary" our "extra-ordinariness" is actually supposed to be.
2006 - ROCK N' ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS
In March of 2006 I traveled from New Jersey to NYC to do my then annual coverage of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Inductions at the Waldorf-Astoria. The primary reason I went was to interview the family of Miles Davis, who was being inducted that year. I had done the interview the night before the day/night of the induction. As I written before here on Soul-Patrol, it is the daytime of the induction, when the rehearsals take place that is my whole reason for being there as opposed to the actual awards ceremony at night. The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Induction REHERSALS are perhaps the very best LIVE PERFORMANCES that I have ever been personally a witness to in my life. On top of that, the opportunities that I have had to speak with the legends of music in such a casual setting have provided me with experiences that I simply are unable to describe to you in words.
One of the most memorable of many such experiences was in 2006, when I spotted Mr. Clarence Clemons inside of the rehearsal hall (actually the same ballroom where the awards ceremony was to take place later.) I walked up to Clarence Clemons and I introduced myself. I mentioned to him during my introduction that I had once lived in Red Bank, NJ for a period of time in the 1980's and Clarence hugged me.
He said "I don't really know why you are here, and yes I have heard of your publication, but you do realize the kozmic significance of you and I being here at this place, at this moment in time, don't you?"
As I looked around the room, of course I knew EXACTLY what Clarence meant. Although the room was packed with people, very few of them besides Clarence, our friend Greer Brooks-Muldoon and myself were Black Americans.
I said to Clarence, "this meeting has the EXACT same kozmic significance as the very first time that I ever saw you perform live, during freshman orientation at the University of Pittsburgh, back in 1973."
I then told Clarence the story of me seeing the integrated Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, perform over the course of an entire weekend, during my freshman orientation.
He smiled and said "I told you it was kozmic.."
We then proceeded to have a one hour conversation about music, life, race, money and a whole lot more in a way that if you had been listening, you would have no idea that it was the very first time that Clarence & I had ever spoken with each other. Instead it sounded like two people who had known each other for 35 years. About ¾ of the way thru the conversation, I realized that I hadn't turned on my tape recorder and that this had in fact been one of the very best interviews/conversation that I had ever conducted. I also realized that if I had turned the tape recorder on, that the conversation would have been nowhere near as good or life effecting. (But I was able to get him to cut a Soul-Patrol Radio Station id: http://www.soul-patrol.net/clarence.ram)
6/19/2011 - TODAY
Clarence Clemons passed away yesterday, but today is also Fathers Day. This past Friday, I got the best Fathers Day present that I could possibly get as I watched my daughter walk to the podium and receive her HS diploma.
As I am sitting here composing this piece about the passing of Clarence Clemons, I can't help but to think of how the people who fought so hard for integration in the 1950's weren't doing so, just for the sake of doing so. They did so because they believed that integration would lead to equal opportunity for all of those who wanted to fully participate in American society. I too am a believer in that concept, have tried to live my life accordingly and tried to extend that notion to my daughter. My hope is that as she moves forward in her life that she will understand that the only restrictions on her are the ones that she places upon herself.
Clarence Clemons in his public life was a real life symbol for that philosophy. He was also one hell of a nice person, that I was privileged to admire from a far for decades and when I finally got the chance to spend some time with immediately connected with and in one day learned that although we had never met prior to that day, we had indeed been friends all along. That's because we had been "kindred spirits." And I say all of this simply to say that, if you have led your life in a certain kind of way, you are also probably a "kindred spirit," with Clarence Clemons, and most likely would have become his friend if you were ever to meet him, just like I did...
At the 2011 Soul-Patrol Convention on July 23 in Philadelphia (http://www.soul-patrol.com/convention), one of our panel discussions will be a topic entitled "WHO STOLE THE SOUL FROM ROCK N' ROLL." I have absolutely no doubt that Mr. Clarence Clemons will be listening in to that conversation and smiling. I also have absolutely no doubt that his name is going to be mentioned at least once or twice :)
Blues, Hip Hop and Soul Music Director www.radioio.com
TV On the Radio's Gerard Smith dies of lung cancer
By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — TV on the Radio bassist Gerard Smith died Wednesday of lung cancer, the band said in an announcement on its website. He was 36.
Smith's death comes a little over a month after it was announced that he was battling the disease.
At the time, the band said Smith had health insurance, great medical care and had already seen "dramatic results." However, Smith was unable to join the band on tour as they promoted their last album, "Nine Types of Light."
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, the rest of his bandmates declined to talk about his illness out of respect for Smith.
"We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer," the band said on the website. "We will miss him terribly."
The band canceled its concerts for the next few days, starting Wednesday in Detroit.
Smith had described himself as a subway performer in New York when he was recruited for the band, who have been hailed by critics for masterful albums like "Return to Cookie Mountain" and "Dear Science."
Smith recalled in a 2008 interview with The Brooklyn Rail, a journal on the arts, politics and culture, how lead singer Tunde Adebimpe discovered him and added him to the band.
"I saw Tunde in the movie 'Jump Tomorrow' on IFC. And I was super addicted to film at that time. A year later, I was playing on the subway platform here, at the Bedford stop, and he kept giving me money. And then I was like, I recognize this guy. Then it finally clicked, and I said, 'Dude you were in that movie! I loved that movie!' That film had meant a lot to me, especially because there was a black actor that wasn't in the ghetto, and there weren't a lot of politics," he said. "He was being a human being and not only a black actor. And that meant a lot to me."
In that same interview, Adebimpe told Smith: "What you were playing was just so far and above what was normally down there that I can't even describe it. I was just like, that dude's awesome."
Smith grew up in Long Island, N.Y., and studied fine arts in high school but would later abandon it.
"I had a difficult time, to say the least, toward the end of my fine arts career," he told L.A. Record in 2008. "I started to look around and see that I was one of the few — if not only — black fine arts students and I saw that again in the art world itself."
Smith didn't expect that his stint in TV on the Radio would have lasting meaning
"I just never took it seriously ... I never imagined that this would be a position that I would be in," he said in the same interview.
Smith told the blog the Pistola Press in 2009, after the band went on hiatus, he was planning to use his time off to spend time with his son and get better at his craft, but also to embrace life.
"Yeah, trying to get back what little bit of life I can and appreciate that ..." he said.
He and Adebimpe also scored the music for the 2010 documentary "The Lottery."
The George Clinton Interview
Last updated 11:06 04/03/2011
I was given a number, told to call and ask for George Clinton. So I did. I found him in a studio, in Texas. He told me was "working on some new s**t with one of our new artists, top secret, wait and see" - and then he laughed. He sounded a little bit like he was choking.
George Clinton is 69 years old. He was a staff writer for Motown and had a doowop group called The Parliaments - they became Parliament. And things became funkier. There was also Funkadelic - as the name ably suggests, this group took the funk and added psychedelic rock; taking The Temptations and going way out.
Now it is all under the name George Clinton and/or the P-Funk All-Stars. The band is constantly changing but the songs remain the same. Or they're completely different. The answers to questions definitely change.
Clinton used to straighten hair in a barber shop. There's not a lot that's straight about him now. If he gives you a straight answer it's because he's answering a question you haven't yet asked. A chat with George Clinton is like trying to play a serious game of table-tennis with a balloon. It's like an underwater fist-fight. Challenging, but fun.
It's like, well, it's like talking to the Godfather of Funk; the Godfather too of Hip-Hop.
"We was doing our Funkadelic thing and adding guitars, sure, we was making it go all rock'n'roll because that was the sound." Clinton announces this for no particular reason.
So I start asking questions. He's returning to New Zealand for one show in Auckland. What can we expect this time?
"Oh we always bring the funk, so, you know, we'll be bringing some of dat. But we'll do a whole new show with all new songs. All new, things you ain't never heard. And we'll play all the hits too." It's a fast answer. So fast I'm not sure if Clinton knows he just contradicted himself.
You remember the Richard Pryor character Mudbone? Well imagine Dave Chappelle hamming it up with an over-the-top impersonation. This is George Clinton's speaking voice. And he finishes several sentences, or in fact interrupts several sentences with "know what I'm sayin'" - except it actually sounds like knowhatI'msay - and to make it worse I not only (often) don't. I'm pretty sure he doesn't either.
Parliament's Mothership ConnectionBut if he's not sure what the set-list for Auckland will be - he tries to settle on "a long-*** night of long-*** songs, all the old s**t and we will rock you with dis funk" - he is sure of a few things.
First, funk is still the number one thing, musically, for Clinton.
"Funk is it - first of all. And last of all. It is funk. I do this for the love of funk. I gravitate to it. I'm always looking for the next thing, knowhatI'msay, but, ah, funk is it, knowhatI'msay?"
He's aware of his legacy too - it's fair to call him the godfather of funk and hip-hop, look around, there are now so many godchildren: bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers - Clinton produced their album Freaky Styley ("they's nice fellas"). There are the P-Funk members who have carried on outside of Clinton's mothership (Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell) and there's the giant debt owed to Clinton - everyone from Prince to Dr Dre; the entire G-Funk sound is, essentially, based on a handful of Clinton recordings. There is a nod in the sub-genre's name, of course.
"It is a great honour - and you know the thing to me that's really special is this band. All the bands, in fact. All the band members. They don't realise how important they are. I mighta been the shepherd but they are so important. Always. They are the sound as much as I am - or more. They are so special."
And Clinton says he is pleased to hear so many of his records in hip-hop.
"We was hip-hop first anyways; we was doing it first. The hip-hop came from funk and we was doing the funk - so we was also doing the raps and making the hip-hop music."
And then it's diatribe time. We get some stray thoughts on the genres outside of funk and hip-hop as Clinton explains his wider listening.
"Anything the parents don't like - I will go to it. I hear a band that is making the parents mad, I want to hear it. I love System of a Down. I had their bass player on my last record. Crazy cat. I love Tool. They do some great stuff too. And let me tell you I heard Iggy Pop when he had his band in the 1960s - he was punk before there was punk. I gravitate to this. Punk, to me, was valid from the 1960s. It was always real for me."
But then it's back to Motown. The label will "always be it". So many memories are tied up in that sound for George.
"My next thing I'm doing, I'm working on now in fact is a bunch of Motown songs. We gonna do all George's P-Funksorts, some B-sides and we will do some of the big songs."
I ask for some of the titles he plans to interpret.
Next thing he's singing down the line in a croaky, post-smoke voice, "Can I get a witness...." and that is just the start of a song-title medley. Each song's title is part-crooned, part-croaked, "we be doing My Guy and we do The Function of the Junction; we'll be doing a lot of Smokey [Robinson] because he da man."
That thought seems to stop there. And it's off to discuss Sly Stone - Clinton has been working with the reclusive funk-master, co-Godfather.
"Let me tell you that Sly has always been working, he been recordin', he been writin', he been doing all the stuff he need to do. And you have to hear it, knowhatI'msay, you have to hear it. He's still got it, knowhatI'msay. It's fresh. KnowhatI'msay. And it's real. And it's a real trip, knowhatI'msay. So we gonna carry on with that and the record gonna come out and it's going to blow people away. It's going to remind people of why Sly is Sly, knowhatI'msay."
Clinton says he too is always working. He's been in the business for 55 years. This fact raises a dry chuckle.
"It's the love of the funk, you know. I mean I just keep playing these songs because they are slamming, knowhatI'msay, and the fact that we get some new guys on board to take these songs out to the stage - that just keeps everything fresh. They all fresh and into it and that gets me all fresh again. We got to play these old songs because I got a whole new breed of funk fans, they love this stuff but the funk is new to them so then the songs are brand new to me again too."
He says he's busy right through the year with touring and whenever he has a break he's in the studio.
"We always working on new things, always writing. Recording. It's just how we do it. I'll never stop. I'll never stop."
So there's not an age in mind for retirement?
"Hell no!" And the husky laugh-cough returns. "Hells no, they have to pull the plug; they would have to pull the plug on me."
So it's time to get serious. A lot of people from Clinton's era did not survive. A lot of people from his bands did not survive. Why is he still here?
It is his sharpest answer. His fastest. And just when it would seem to be his most honest - there's a burFunkadelic Clintonst of laughter, a real cackle that suggests a comic's timing. And he follows up with "well, writing about it anyway".
Don't you have to know the subject to write about it?
"Well nowadays they got that Viagra - so I be all right for a while longer, knowhatI'msay."
Clinton's stage show in the 1970s featured elaborate costumes, and sometimes no costumes at all - nudity. The band arrived on stage, as if just arriving to earth, a spaceship landing, the hatch opening to announce a band of merry funksters shadowed in dry ice. The stage show may have been tamed in recent years but it's still a huge brood.
"We got 25 members we gonna hit you with. We gonna hit you hard. That's about all you need to know, you know. But the spaceship gonna make a comeback. I'm'a bring that back one time, knowhatI'msay, I'm gonna do that one more time. Not dis time New Zealand, but the next time I come back to see y'all it's going to be in the spaceship. We gon' bring it back one time. You wait until the next time we play - then you gonna see some crazy s**t!"
I ask for a preview.
"Ha ha ha ha! You crazy man. I can't tell you that. You wait and see now!"
So I ask if Clinton's spaceship antics have ever made him curious about the real thing - about actual travel.
"Yeah, they got these tours rolling now - or they will have. And when they do I want to be up there, I don't care how much it cost. I'm going to go. I'm going to get up there and have a look around, my man."
I ask if he'd be interested in putting on a concert in space. In maybe writing some new songs there?
"Nah man, I'd just go to do what I always do, see if I can get as high as I can!"
He tells me that he'd like to work with Prince again ("that guy is a genius"). He tells me that he doesn't think the world has another George Clinton ("well, I hope there is, I hope there is, I hope someone gonna step up, but I ain't seen it yet, knowhatI'msay"). He tells me that he's "so proud" of We Got the Funk and Atomic Dog ("how you gonna get sick of playing those?"). He tells me that Maggot Brain was "very special, you know. It's own kinda thing. A really soulful kind of rock that no one had quite done before that." He tells me that he was "doing some work with Fela [Kuti] and then he died. But he was incredible."
And then he tells me that he has to go. In some ways he had already gone. In other ways he was more with me than anyone I have interviewed.
"They calling me man, I got to go do a vocal track." There's another throaty cough. And then, "you call me back though if you need some more... I talk to you somMaggot Braine more man, you just holler. We in the studio. Call me on Monday night..."
George Clinton will play The Powerstation, Auckland, April 23.
Will you go? Are you a fan of Clinton's music? Were you more interested in Parliament or Funkadelic or like them both? Have you seen him live before? What's your favourite album or tracks? Do you think of Clinton as the Godfather of funk and/or hip-hop?
And, for when I call him back, what else do you want to hear about?
Esperanza Spalding makes history with best new artist win..
Esperanza Spalding makes history with best new artist win
AP Esperanza Spalding accepts the award for best new artist at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday,
By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY, AP Music Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Ap Music Writer Mon Feb 14, 3:55 am ET
LOS ANGELES Esperanza Spalding has performed for President Barack Obama, with jazz legends like Herbie Hancock even before thousands of eager Prince fans.
But the acclaimed jazz singer and bassist was thrust onto the biggest stage of her life Sunday as she captured the best new artist trophy at the Grammy Awards, making history in the process. The 26-year-old Portland, Ore., native became the first jazz artist to win the award in a stunner that saw her defeat Mumford & Sons, Florence and the Machine, rapper Drake, and the heavy favorite, teen pop phenom Justin Bieber.
"I feel really lucky that I got to be acknowledged on this stage in front of so many people who hopefully will get to experience my music, and I got there by doing what's really dear to my heart," said Spalding backstage after her win.
You could say Spalding is the jazz world's Bieber: a young sensation who has been a top-seller in the genre, and with amazing hair, usually worn in a huge Afro. Her talents are deep: she's also a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and arranger; was the youngest instructor at the renowned Berklee College of Music; and counts Prince as one of her musical mentors not to mention that White House concert.
Her latest album, "Chamber Music Society," blended her classical background with her jazz material. She had hoped for a nomination in the jazz categories and was surprised to be nominated for best new artist instead.
Things were still surreal for her after her big win: "It's already weird that I'm here, sitting in front of you," she told reporters backstage.
Spalding said her Grammy win was just the beginning in what she hoped would be a rich, long career in jazz.
"In the world I come from, this is the beginning of the beginning. I'm 26 ... people (in jazz) are more older than me, and they're still ascending," she said.
Which may be another thing she has in common with Bieber, with whom she hung out backstage after her win.
"He has great hair, and I have great hair!" she joked.
Rock promoter Kirshner dies in Florida at age 76......
AP FILE - In this June 7, 2007, file photo music publisher Don Kirshner in 2007
AP By OSKAR GARCIA, Associated Press Oskar Garcia, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS Don Kirshner, a rock promoter and music publisher who helped garner hits for the make-believe groups The Monkees and The Archies and boosted the careers of Billy Joel, Neil Diamond and the Police, has died. He was 76.
Promoter Jack Wishna, a close friend and business associate, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Kirshner, whom Time magazine once dubbed "The Man with the Golden Ear," was in a hospital in Boca Raton being treated for an infection when he died on Monday.
"Donny Kirshner would take a kid off the street ... and turn him into Neil Diamond, Carole King, James Taylor, on and on," Wishna said. "I haven't spoken to anyone in the music business that Donny hasn't either discovered, promoted, or touched in some way.
"I've never seen anybody like this in my life," he said.
The Bronx-born Kirshner started off in the business as a songwriter, penning "My First Love" for Bobby Darin. But he had more success in tapping songwriting talents like Diamond, King and Neil Sedaka.
Kirshner's songwriters were tapped in the 1960s to create music for a group manufactured for TV The Monkees. They became a huge sensation in both the TV and the rock world and had hits including "I'm a Believer," which Diamond wrote.
"I'm saddened to learn of the loss of Don Kirshner. He was the king of Tin Pan Alley there never was a better song plugger," Diamond said in a statement to the AP. "ll always be grateful to him for pairing 'I'm A Believer' and other songs of mine with the Monkees. The music business never had a better supporter."
The Monkees' Mickey Dolenz said: "I remember Donnie as one of the 'suits' that originally came out the to West Coast from New York and would appear at some of the studio sessions. At first, I really didn't know what he did. It wasn't until years later that I realized what a profound influence he had had on the the choice of material that The Monkees produced. And for that, I am eternally grateful."
Kirshner also was behind the music that made magic for The Archies, based off the comic strip characters, including the classic "Sugar Sugar."
"Don Kirshner's Rock Concert," which premiered in 1972 and ran a decade, gave national exposure to musicians including Joel and the Police. Kirshner also helped launch the careers of Prince, The Eagles, Lionel Richie and Ozzy Osborne. The show also boosted careers of comics including Billy Crystal, Arsenio Hall and David Letterman.
"Don Kirshner gave new, young musicians the opportunity to showcase their performances for a huge audience during the 'golden age' of the popular music business," Joel said in a statement. "At the time, his 'hands-off' approach to how rock and roll music was presented made television a viable medium for many now-iconic recording artists."
Paul Shaffer, Letterman's musical director, used to give a deadpan performance during his imitation of Kirshner on Saturday Night Live. Shaffer and Kirshner worked together on the short-lived sitcom, A Year at the Top, according to Shaffer's manager.
Pop singer Tony Orlando, whom Kirshner hired for $50 a week to record demos, said his mentor was like the Thomas Edison of music.
"Every dream I ever had as a kid, he was my genie," Orlando told AP.
Orlando said Kirshner was responsible for so many careers, "it would make your head spin."
"This was not just a song guy, this was a man who created the cornerstones of American pop music as we know it today," Orlando said. "Without Donny Kirshner, the music we know of today would not be the same. He was a game-changer, and I tell you that me and my family feel this tremendous loss for this man."
Wishna said Kirshner was a mentor who knew the art of discovering talent and cared about the artists he worked with.
"He was a father to these people even though some of them were three or four years younger than him," Wishna said.
Wishna said Kirshner, who was honored by the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2007, was a pioneer who developed a system for singer-songwriters to share in the profits of selling music.
Howard Kramer, curatorial director at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said Kirshner will be most remembered for "nurturing and developing an early, unprecedented amount of artists, mostly songwriters, and also a television pioneer for bringing live rock 'n' roll to television."
Kirshner also ran three labels, Dimension Records, Colgems Records and Kirshner Records.
Before he died, Kirshner was chief creative officer of Rockrena, a company launching this year to find and promote talent online.
Associated Press writer Suzette Laboy in Miami and Music Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody in New York contributed to this report.
Teena Marie, known as 'Ivory Queen of Soul,' Dies ..
Teena Marie, known as 'Ivory Queen of Soul,' Dies
By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES Teena Marie's last album, "Congo Square," was titled after a historical meeting place for slaves in New Orleans, featured a tribute to Martin Luther King's widow and also song "Black Cool," written for President Barack Obama.
FILE - In this July 5, 2009 file photo, Teena Marie performs during the Essence Music Festival at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Marie, who made history as Motown's first white female act but developed a lasting legacy with her silky soul pipes and with hits like "Lovergirl," "Square Biz," and "Fire and Desire" with mentor Rick James, has died. She was 54. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
"Overall my race hasn't been a problem. I'm a Black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what's in your own soul," she told Essence.com in an interview last year while promoting "Congo Square." That album would turn out to be her last.
The self-proclaimed "Ivory Queen of Soul," whose many classic hits included "Lovergirl," Square Biz" and the scorching duet "Fire and Desire" with mentor Rick James, was found dead in her Pasadena home on Sunday at the age of 54. Authorities said her death appeared to be of natural causes.
In an interview with The Associated Press last year, Teena Marie said she had successfully battled an addiction to prescription drugs; she had been performing over the last year.
"The enduring influence of Teena's inspirational, trailblazing career, could only have been made possible through her brilliant song-writing, showmanship and high energy passion which laid the ground work for the future generations of R&B, hip-hop, and soul," said Concord Music Group chief label officer, Gene Rumsey; Concord's Stax Records released her last album.
FILE - In this 2005 file image originally released by Universal Music, musician Teena Marie is shown. Marie developed a lasting legacy with her silky soul pipes and with hits like "Lovergirl," "Square Biz," and "Fire and Desire" with mentor Rick James, has died. She was 54. (AP Photo/Universal Music, Tracy Jones, file)
No matter that Marie, 54, was white. The R&B legend revered and fully immersed herself in black culture and in turn was respected and adored by black audiences, not only for her immense soulful talents, but for her inner soul as well.
"We feel extremely fortunate to have worked with a visionary who changed music in indelible ways. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends and of course, millions of fans around the world."
Marie certainly wasn't the first white act to sing soul music, but she was arguably among the most gifted and respected, and was thoroughly embraced by black audiences, and beyond.
Even before she started her musical career, she had a strong bond with the black community, which she credited to her godmother. She gravitated to soul music and in her youth decided to make it her career.
Marie made her debut on the legendary Motown label back in 1979, becoming one of the very few white acts to break the race barrier of the groundbreaking black-owned record label that had been a haven for black artists like Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, the Supremes and Marvin Gaye.
The cover of her debut album, "Wild and Peaceful," did not feature her image, with Motown apparently fearing black audiences might not buy it if they found out the songstress with the dynamic, gospel-inflected voice was white.
"(Motown founder Berry) Gordy said that is was so soulful that he wanted to give the music an opportunity to stand on its own merit. Instead of my face, they put a seascape, so by the time my second album came out people were like, Lady T is White?" she told Essence.com.
"She had so much soul the only thing white about her was her skin," said Gordy in a statement released Monday. "She was a powerhouse performer, writer, producer and arranger. Anyone who ever saw her perform, alone or with Rick James, will never forget how exciting music can be. ... Teena Marie will always be a part of the Motown family. We will all miss her."
Marie was the protege of the masterful funk wizard James, with whom she would have long, turbulent but musically magical relationship.
Marie notched her first hit, "I'm A Sucker for Your Love," with the help of James on that album. But the time her second album was released, her face was known and on the cover of the record. But there was not a backlash she would only get more popular on her way to becoming one of R&B's most revered queens. During her tenure with Motown, the singer-songwriter and musician produced passionate love songs and funk jam songs like "Need Your Lovin'," ''Behind the Groove."
Marie's voice was the main draw of her music: Pitch-perfect, piercing in its clarity and wrought with emotion, whether it was drawing from the highs of romance or the mournful moments of a love lost. But her songs, most of which she had a hand in writing, were the other major component of her success.
Tunes like "Cassanova Brown" ''Portuguese Love" and "Deja Vu (I've Been Here Before)" featured more than typical platitudes on love and life, but complex thoughts with rich lyricism. "Deja vu" was a song about reincarnation.
And "Fire and Desire," a duet with James about a former couple musing about their past love, was considered a musical masterpiece and a staple of the romance block on radio stations across the country.
Marie left Motown in 1982 and her split became historic: She sued the label and the legal battle led to a law preventing record labels from holding an artist without releasing any of their music.
She went to Epic in the 1980s and had hits like "Lovergirl" and "Ooo La La La" but her lasting musical legacy would be her Motown years.
Still, she continued to record music and perform. In 2004 and 2006 she put out two well-received albums on the traditional rap label Cash Money Records, "La Dona" and "Sapphire."
James, who had a romantic relationship with Marie but also a long friendship, died in 2004. His death shook her so she said she became addicted to Vicodin, which she had been taking for pain, for about a year.
But Marie said she successfully battled that addiction.In 2008, she talked about her excitement of being honored by the R&B Foundation.
Marie was the mother of a teenage daughter who was budding singer; she would sometimes bring her daughter onstage to sing during her shows.
In 2009, she celebrated 30 years in the recording industry, and planned for many more.
"All in all, it's been a wonderful, wonderful ride," she told The Associated Press in 2008. "I don't plan on stopping anytime soon."
George Clinton sues Black Eyed Peas over 'Shut Up'...
George Clinton sues Black Eyed Peas over 'Shut Up'...
LOS ANGELES Funk pioneer George Clinton wants a
federal judge to force the Black Eyed Peas to
shut up when it comes to sampling his music.
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2009 file photo, American singer, songwriter and music producer George Clinton performs with the funk, soul and rock music collective Parliament-Funkadelic on stage at the Avo Session in Basel, Switzerland. Clinton has sued the pop group the Black Eyed Peas in federal court in Los Angeles claiming they used some of his music in remixes of the Peas' song "Shut Up." (AP Photo/Keystone, Georgios Kefalas, file).
Clinton sued the Grammy-winning pop group in Los Angeles on Friday, claiming it used elements of his 1979 song "(Not Just) Knee Deep" in remixes of their song "Shut Up."
The song first appeared on the group's 2003 album "Elephunk," and it released "Shut Up Remix" the same year. It also was used in another remix included on the deluxe edition of the Peas' 2009 release, "The E.N.D.," according to the complaint.
Clinton says he never granted permission for the use of his music, and he is seeking copyright infringement damages and an injunction to block further sales of the remixes.
His lawsuit also names as defendants will.i.am and Fergie, the two highest-profile members of Black Eyed Peas. He is also suing the group's label, Universal Music Group.
A representative for attorney Ken Hertz, who represents the Black Eyed Peas, says he doesn't comment on client issues. A phone message left for Universal Music Group was not immediately returned.
Clinton claims producers tried to license "(Not Just) Knee Deep" in 2009, but he refused. He claims his signature was forged on a release form later provided to his attorneys and that he has never been paid royalties on the remixes.
The musician previously obtained the rights to his music after suing his label in federal court.
(This version CORRECTS New approach. Updates with details from complaint, background. Corrects that "The E.N.D." released in 2009, but not group's most recent release.)
Reports: Aretha Franklin Has Pancreatic Cancer
By Audrey Morrison
Wed, 08 Dec 2010 23:34:59 GMT
Soul singer Aretha Franklin released a statement on Thursday, December 2 announcing that she underwent a highly successful surgery, but the reason for the operation was not clear until now.
On Wednesday, The Detroit News spoke with a source familiar with the situation who said that Franklin has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, an illness which the report pointed out has a poor prognosis.
The Fox news station in Detroit spoke with a close family member of Franklin who said that the legendary singer was doing "OK," and that those close to the 68-year-old Natural Woman singer are very concerned.
Franklin, who gained fame for her powerful voice in the 1960s, remains a musical favorite. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recently made headlines as the only featured singer at President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009.
The 'Queen of Soul' had been busy at work on her concert tour before the cancer diagnosis.
A direct representative for Franklin could not be reached, but it was announced that the she has canceled all concert appearances through May 2011 due to medical reasons.
Worker decapitated in chicken factory after being sucked into machine
By Richard Shears
Last updated at 3:29 PM on 3rd December 2010
Indian immigrant, 34, dies at Australian plant being probed for unethical treatment of staff
Mr Singh was killed instantly when he was sucked into a fast-moving machine while re-cleaning a packing area
A man has been decapitated in a horrific accident at a chicken processing factory in Melbourne, Australia.
Mr Sarel Singh, 34, was killed instantly when he was sucked into a machine and decapitated in an incident that has now placed the entire poultry processing industry under review.
The factory was already under investigation over claims of unlawful and unethical treatment of its majority migrant workforce, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Lateline programme reported.
Mr Singh's brother, Harry, said that Sarel had migrated from India four years ago 'in the hope of finding a better life in Australia'.
But Sarel had told his brother, who lives in India, that his job at the Melbourne factory was 'hell' and he was planning to return home.
'He used to say that life working at that place was like hell.
'He said it's a very hard job and he was tired of it.
'But due to the burden of the loans and debts over here and in Australia too, he had to work over there and he was struggling hard.'
The National Union of Workers (NUW) said Sarel had just finished a four-hour shift when he was asked to go back and re-clean a packing area.
He was standing on a ladder hosing down a machine when he was swept into it and instantly decapitated.
Workers prepare chickens at a processing factory. The Melbourne factory where Mr Singh died was already under investigation over claims of unlawful and unethical treatment of its majority migrant workforce
Mr Tim Kennedy of the NUW said he and the factory workers were shocked by the decapitation.
'It is absolutely horrific in a civilised society that we have now the fact that these things still occur - it is just not acceptable,'
He claimed that in order to maintain the returns the factory wanted, it had increased the risk to workers by speeding up the machinery so that
20 to 40 birds a minute could be processed.
He said that on the night when Mr Singh was killed the machine was running 'at absolute capacity'.
Instead of packing up to 40 birds a minute, inquiries had found that the machine was working at top speed and processing 183 birds a minute.
Australians shocked by news of the decapitation poured out their anger on a newspaper's online comment page.
'Sadly for many immigrants the reality of living in this nation is that it is not the Utopia they envisaged,' wrote one man.
'Many of them (and non-immigrants) end up in dead end, unsafe jobs such as this.'
Most of us associate the holiday with happy Pilgrims and Indians sitting down to a big feast. And that did happen - once.
The story began in 1614 when a band of English explorers sailed home to England with a ship full of Patuxet Indians bound for slavery. They left behind smallpox which virtually wiped out those who had escaped. By the time the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay they found only one living Patuxet Indian, a man named Squanto who had survived slavery in England and knew their language. He taught them to grow corn and to fish, and negotiated a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation. At the end of their first year, the Pilgrims held a great feast honoring Squanto and the Wampanoags.
But as word spread in England about the paradise to be found in the new world, religious zealots called Puritans began arriving by the boat load. Finding no fences around the land, they considered it to be in the public domain. Joined by other British settlers, they seized land, capturing strong young Natives for slaves and killing the rest. But the Pequot Nation had not agreed to the peace treaty Squanto had negotiated and they fought back. The Pequot War was one of the bloodiest Indian wars ever fought.
In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared "A Day Of Thanksgiving" because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.
Cheered by their "victory", the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered. Boats loaded with a many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible.
Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now Stamford, Connecticut, the churches announced a second day of "thanksgiving" to celebrate victory over the heathen savages. During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets like soccer balls. Even the friendly Wampanoag did not escape the madness. Their chief was beheaded, and his head impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts -- where it remained on display for 24 years.
The killings became more and more frenzied, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre. Later Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War -- on the same day he ordered troops to march against the starving Sioux in Minnesota.
This story doesn't have quite the same fuzzy feelings associated with it as the one where the Indians and Pilgrims are all sitting down together at the big feast. But we need to learn our true history so it won't ever be repeated. Next Thanksgiving, when you gather with your loved ones to Thank God for all your blessings, think about those people who only wanted to live their lives and raise their families. They, also took time out to say "thank you" to Creator for all their blessings.
Our Thanks to Hill & Holler Column by Susan Bates email@example.com
Chairmen of the Board's Norman Johnson dies at 69 ..
General Norman Johnson dies at 69; lead singer of 1970s soul group
The Chairmen of the Board had a Top 10 hit with 'Give Me Just a Little More Time.' A songwriter and producer, he wrote the Grammy-winning 'Patches,' which was a hit for Clarence Carter.
Los Angeles Times staff reports
Johnson died Wednesday at his home in suburban Atlanta of complications from lung cancer, said his son, Antonio.
Also a songwriter and producer, Johnson wrote "Patches," which won him a Grammy and was a Top 10 hit for Clarence Carter. Johnson also wrote songs that became hits for such artists as Honey Cone ("Want Ads") and Freda Payne ("Bring the Boys Home").
"Give Me Just a Little More Time" was the Chairmen of the Board's first single in 1970 and featured Johnson's expressive delivery, which band member Ken Knox described as "unmistakably unique."
Born in Norfolk, Va., in 1941, Johnson started singing in church and by age 12 had formed his first group. With the Showmen, he recorded "It Will Stand" in 1961, a salute to rock 'n' roll that reached the charts. But the group broke up in the late 1960s and Johnson briefly tried a solo career before moving to Detroit, where the Chairmen of the Board was formed.
Johnson was named General after his father but didn't start using the name professionally until a record executive told him it was more marketable, according to Knox and an account on Johnson's website.
The group settled in the South and became known for playing beach music, which Knox said "was nothing but rhythm and blues." Johnson also began writing songs "that dealt with the landscape of the Carolinas," such as "Carolina Girls."
Knox said he last played with Johnson in February in Charlotte, N.C.
In addition to his son, Johnson is survived by his wife, Julia; son Norman; daughter Sonya Johnson Payne; sister Barbara Leathers; and five grandchildren.
AMSTERDAM Solomon Burke was born to the sound of music in an upstairs room of a Philadelphia church and went on to become one of the greatest soul singers of the 1960s, renowned as among music's premier vocalists.
File - Solomon Burke, the king of rock and soul - a title that Burke has embraced ever since a Baltimore disc jockey is said to have hung it on him in 1964 - poses in his red velvet throne in his Los Angeles home in this April 21, 2005 file photo. Burke has died at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Airport police spokesman Robert van Kapel confirmed the death of the singer Sunday Oct. 10, 2010. He was 70. (AP Photo/Ric Francis, File)
Solomon Burke, one of the pioneers of soul music, gestures to the audience after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in this March 19, 2001 file photo taken in New York. Burke has died at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Airport police spokesman Robert van Kapel confirmed the death of the singer Sunday Oct. 10, 2010. He was 70. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
.Yet his popularity never matched that of those he influenced, contemporaries including James Brown and Marvin Gaye, a reality he accepted with grace and some frustration, colleagues said.
Burke, 70, died early Sunday of natural causes at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, his family said in a statement on the singer's website.
"This is a time of great sorrow for our entire family. We truly appreciate all of the support and well wishes from his friends and fans," the statement said.
"Although our hearts and lives will never be the same, his love, life and music will continue to live within us forever," it added. The family did not elaborate on the cause of death.
Schiphol Airport police spokesman Robert van Kapel confirmed that Burke died on a plane at Schiphol. He arrived early Sunday on a flight from Los Angeles and had been scheduled to perform a sellout show on Tuesday in a church converted into a concert hall in Amsterdam with local band De Dijk.
Legendary Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler once called Burke, "the best soul singer of all time."
Anti- Records President Andy Kaulkin, whose label produced Burke's comeback record, "Don't Give Up On Me," which won him his first and only Grammy, said, "Popular music today wouldn't be where it is without Solomon Burke."
Kaulkin called Burke a precursor to singers like Isaac Hayes and Barry White.
"I feel like his music is where it all came together, and when we think of '60s soul music it all started with Solomon Burke."
Burke, a giant man with a powerful soulful voice to match, appeared on stage on a throne in later years partly because of his regal persona and partly because of health problems. He joined Atlantic in 1960 and went on to record a string of hits in a decade with the label.
Kaulkin said Burke "gracefully" accepted the fact that his fame was eclipsed by singers he influenced.
"I think there was a little bit of frustration there but I don't think it ruled him at all," Kaulkin said.
Two of Burke's best-known songs reached a wider audience when they were featured in hit movies.
He wrote "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" in 1964 and it was later featured in the Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi movie "The Blues Brothers." The Rolling Stones and Wilson Pickett also recorded it.
A bare-chested Patrick Swayze danced seductively with Jennifer Grey to Burke's "Cry To Me" in one of the most memorable scenes from the movie "Dirty Dancing."
According to his website, Burke was born March 21, 1940, "to the sounds of horns and bass drums" at the United Praying Band The House of God for All People in West Philly.
"From day one, literally God and gospel were the driving forces behind the man and his music," his website said.
He remained closely linked to the church as a preacher. In 2000, he played for then-Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
Burke was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and won a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy a year later for "Don't Give Up On Me."
Those honors sparked a renewed interest in the singer and he toured extensively around the world in recent years, including touring with The Rolling Stones.
Burke and his band would play without set lists, instead performing whatever the audience wanted to hear.
"It's like turning back the hands of time instantly," he said on his website. "We can be in the middle of singing something from my recent 'Like A Fire' album, and they'll call out 'Stupidity' from 1957 and we're back 50 years!"
Burke combined his singing with the role of preacher and patriarch of a huge family of 21 children, 90 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.
"Loving people," he said at a recent performance in London, "is what I do."
Moody reported from New York; Associated Press Writer
Mike Corder in the Hague contributed to this report.
DICK GRIFFEY : Giant In Black Music Passes Away ...
We Remember Dick Griffey: The Man Who Discovered
Jody Watley,Babyface & Howard Hewett has Died
September 25, 2010 at 07:43 am
*According to online radio industry publication AllRadioNews.com, Dick Griffey, the founder of SOLAR records, passed away Friday (09-24-10) after a lengthy illness. At this time, the specific cause of death is not known.
In 1977, Griffey created SOLAR and enjoyed success with such stellar groups as Shalamar, Klymaxx, Lakeside and the Whispers. The label also introduced to the world Babyface, LA Reid, Jody Watley and Howard Hewett, among others.
According to an article at Highbeam.com, Griffey entered the entertainment business in the mid-sixties when he discovered the key to business operation:
I started thinking how entertainers come and go, but business people are always here.
He used his talents first as the booking agent for a highly successful nightclub, which he co-owned with former schoolmate and ex-New York Knicks player/coach Dick Barnett, but he quickly branched out into concert promotions under the company name Dick Griffey Productions.
Not content with these achievements, Griffey became talent coordinator for the nationally syndicated television dance program Soul Train. Concerts were becoming routine to me, he explains. When you promote a concert you basically do the same thing every time. I was looking for new challenges. The Soul Train venture was so successful that in 1975 Griffey and the shows producer, Don Cornelius, went on to form Soul Train Records. Starting with one small act, Griffey carefully nurtured the label and, after an amicable separation from Cornelius, reorganized the company and founded the SOLAR label in 1977
Griffey and Cornelius remained good friends, and as a result, SOLAR maintained close ties to the Soul Train show. In 1975, when Soul Train Records was founded, Griffey formed a collective called Shalamar-using a host of session singers to record Uptown Festival, which was a disco-length medley of early Motown hits. After scoring a hit with the recording, he looked to Cornelius to help him put together an actual group to maintain the impact.
In 1977, Soul Train dancers Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel and Gerald Brown (who was eventually replaced by Howard Hewett) were recruited to form the new Shalamar, which would become the fledgling labels centerpiece. Shalamar became one of the labels best selling and most influential acts; scoring nearly 20 hit singles and classics such as: Right in the Socket, The Second Time Around, Make That Move, A Night to Remember (Get Ready Tonight) and This Is For The Lover In You.
SOLARs signature act above all was The Whispers, whose distinct harmonies and carefully-detailed musical and vocal arrangements defined and emphasized the SOLAR sound. The Whispers, who began in 1964, were famous for being Soul Train/SOLAR artists, as all of their biggest hits came from the label, including As The Beat Goes On, Its A Love Thing, Chocolate Girl, Lady, and Rock Steady among others.
Glenn Beck and white self-pity
2:56 pm August 30, 2010, by ctucker
For many of my readers, the most salient trait I have is one I had nothing to do with: the color of my skin. Whether I mention race in a post is unimportant. Many of my commenters will mention it for me.
Given that, I call attention to the fact that the words I recommend to your attention in this post were written by a white man, Christopher Hitchens, who is moderately conservative. He has some interesting things to say about the weekend’s Beck rally, which he calls the “Waterworld of white self-pity”:
One crucial element of the American subconscious is about to become salient and explicit and highly volatile. It is the realization that white America is within thinkable distance of a moment when it will no longer be the majority. . .
Until recently, the tendency has been to think of this rather than to speak of it—or to speak of it very delicately, lest the hard-won ideal of diversity be imperiled. But nobody with any feeling for the zeitgeist can avoid noticing the symptoms of white unease and the additionally uneasy forms that its expression is beginning to take.
For example, so strong is the moral stature of the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement that even the white right prefers to pretend to emulate it. . . Thus, it is really quite rare to hear slurs against President Barack Obama that are based purely on the color of his skin. Even Beck himself has tried to back away from the smears of that kind that he has spread in the past. But it is increasingly common to hear allegations that Obama is either foreign-born or a Muslim. And these insinuations are perfectly emblematic of the two main fears of the old majority: that it will be submerged by an influx from beyond the borders and that it will be challenged in its traditional ways and faiths by an alien and largely Third World religion.
This summer, then, has been the perfect register of the new anxiety, beginning with the fracas over Arizona’s immigration law, gaining in intensity with the proposal by some Republicans to amend the 14th Amendment so as to de-naturalize “anchor babies,” cresting with the continuing row over the so-called “Ground Zero” mosque, and culminating, at least symbolically, with a quasi-educated Mormon broadcaster calling for a Christian religious revival from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
I think that Hitchens is on to something, and that that’s why tea-partiers often talking about “taking the country back.” Back from whom?
By JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Published: 8/15/2010 11:38 PM
Last Modified: 8/15/2010 11:55 PM
The Godfather of Bass Guitar, Robert Wilson of the legendary Tulsa jazz and funk group the Gap Band, died Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 53, confirmed his publicist and manager, Don Jackson, in a late-night Sunday phone call to the Tulsa World.
Wilson died from a massive heart attack in his home, Jackson said. His family became concerned about him when they didnt receive their regular phone calls from him throughout the day. His adult son found Wilson's body on Sunday afternoon in Palmdale, Calif.
His family could not be reached for comment on deadline. Funeral and memorial details will be shared as they become available, confirmed his publicist.
In a Tulsa World phone interview last week - his last public interview - Wilson expressed joy about returning to his boyhood home of Tulsa and an upcoming festival headlining show and following tour.
He is the son of a preacher and brother to Charlie and Ronnie, and was raised in Tulsa. The three brothers started the funk band The Gap Band in the 1970s, which was discovered by Tulsa Sound music icon Leon Russell.
Leon came to my house and promised her hed get me a tutor. He wanted me on the road, he knew wed be a big thing, Wilson laughed during the interview last week. My mamma cooked him catfish, and we couldnt believe he was eating dinner with us in our house, he remembered of his early days. Wilsons mother agreed - only to see Wilson later kicked out of the school for truancy. Too many late-night concerts, he laughed, But I was all over the newspapers. My teachers knew I wasnt sick, he said, then laughed again. "I was famous at age 14, he said, But my brother Ronnie always took care of me."
The band, originally the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band, shortened its name to help it better stand out on gig posters, said Wilson in his last known press interview last week with the Tulsa World. The groups hits include You Dropped A Bomb On Me, I Dont Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance (Oops), Party Train and others.
Indeed, before age 20, Wilson had played bass with some of the biggest names in music, including Eric Clapton and Billy Preston.
Wilson had been working on a new album, expected out this fall, confirmed Jackson. The project was co-produced by jazz master, sporting great and Tulsa native Wayman Tisdale before his death from cancer in 2009. Wilson was an early mentor during Tisdales budding jazz career, he said.
Details on funeral and memorial arrangements have not been announced, said Jackson. Its likely that the Timeless Music Festival Wilson would have headlined on Aug. 28 will now be a tribute show to his memory, he said. Details are below.
The festival was planned as a traveling event, with more than 30 stops coast to coast, said Wilson.
Brother Ronnie has since left the Gap Band to become a bishop, said Wilson. His brother Charlie was nominated for two Grammy awards this year for best R&B solo album, Uncle Charlie, and best vocal performance for the tune There Goes My Baby.
Wilson said he and Charlie both still performed the canon of Gap Band hits in live shows. The last concert Robert Wilson did in Tulsa was four years ago, he said.
Wilsons Facebook fan page hasnt been updated since he posted a recent status to fans: Thank you for your prays and support!!! Looking forward to sharing my new music and touring soon. And to all you Gappers... Oops Up Side Of Your Head. Love you, Robert.
He is survived by a circle of close family and friends in the Tulsa area, including a sister, his brothers, nephews and lots and lots of friends, he said during the Tulsa World interview ....
– Mon Aug 16, 9:04 pm ET
IRVINE, California (Hollywood Reporter) – Rush fans who see the band tour after tour know not to expect many surprises.
There will be virtuoso playing, funny video segments and a long drum solo. There won't be covers, band interaction or extended jam sessions. About the only variance is the set list -- and that can be easily checked online because the trio generally sticks to it night after night.
But the current Time Machine jaunt is nothing less than a must-see because of two simple words: "Moving Pictures." Following a growing and welcome trend in the concert biz, Rush is playing its 1981 masterpiece all the way through for the first time. And those 40-plus minutes were nothing short of thrilling during Friday's stop at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre south of Los Angeles.
From the instantly recognizable keyboard blush that opens "Tom Sawyer" through the compu-reggae and period techspeak of "Vital Signs," the band brought to life one of 1980s rock's best and most revered records -- at least among non-elitists. The playing was typically precise, with only a few slight departures from the recorded versions; Rush slowed it up during the bridge of "Red Barchetta," and a few bars went missing from "The Camera Eye." The latter song, sadly missing from most Rush tours of the past three decades, is an 11-minute buried treasure. The original -- like much of "Moving Pictures" -- could have used a little less studio polish, but it played purely onstage.
Geddy Lee delivered a reined-in yet expressive vocal, adding expertly placed and paced bass line and runs; Alex Lifeson added sharp, purposeful guitar licks, complete with soaring late solo; and master drummer Neil Peart -- outwardly grim-faced and forbidding as always -- perfectly re-created some of his most satisfying timekeeping and fills. Stunning.
For nearly three hours, with intermission, Rush proved why it remains among rock's top live acts. The career-spanning show ranged from the band's pre-Peart 1974 debut to both sides of the advance single from Rush's 20th studio album, "Clockwork Angels," due next year. One of the latter tunes, "BU2B (Brought Up to Believe)," had a grunge-y opening and raced along, led by Lee's pulsating bass.
Even as the Rush guys age -- all three are 56 or 57 -- it remains hard to keep your eyes off Peart. Arguably the greatest rock drummer alive, he astounds with his speed, stamina and technique. Indeed, the legions of air drummers in the large crowd created a mini-maelstrom as they tried to keep up. Forget the concept of drum solo as Cretaceous artifact; Rush fans would riot if they didn't get several minutes of Peart to themselves. He eschewed the blocks, bells and chimes of yore, instead fairly battering his drums and cymbals. The overhead-camera shot of Peart doin' work could have stayed on the video screens all night. Note to producers and marketers: Taping an entire concert that way would make a helluva extra for the inevitable DVD of this tour.
Along with all of "Moving Pictures," whose "Witch Hunt" was apropos for Friday the 13th, there were highlights throughout: The chestnut "Closer to the Heart" suddenly changed course from the usual arrangement, then straightened out for the Big Finish; "Marathon" breezed by with its keyboard-washed self-determination; and "Freewill" was carried by Lee, who made up for a slightly sluggish musical pace by going all-out on its highest parts, drilling the vocal as well as anything all night.
The Time Machine show ended appropriately with a pair of '70s nuggets, both featuring tweaked openings. A near-oompah intro welcomed the jazz-prog instrumental "La Villa Strangiato," and the first minute or two of show closer "Working Man" channeled the reggae-like break of show opener "The Spirit of Radio." And a spectacular night had come full circle. A "Hemispheres" run-through on the next tour, anyone?
Venue: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine, Calif. (Friday, August 13)Set List:The Spirit of Radio Time Stand StillPresto Stick It Out Workin' Them Angels Leave That Thing Alone Faithless BU2B (Brought Up to Believe)Freewill Marathon Subdivisions IntermissionTom Sawyer Red Barchetta YYZ Limelight The Camera Eye Witch Hunt Vital Signs Caravan Drum Solo Closer to the Heart 2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx Far Cry Encore:La Villa StrangiatoWorking Man
AUGUST 6, PHELPS COLLINS, THE GUITARIST KNOWN worldwide as Catfish, succumbed to cancer in his hometown of Cincinnati. As an inspiration to younger brother, bass icon Bootsy Collins, Catfish was a major catalyst in the development of funk. And as the man behind the addictive guitar lines that electrified a wealth of classics from... James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic and Bootsys Rubber Band, he was funks quintessential rhythm guitarist.
Catfish was already a renowned guitarist in the Midwest when he inspired a young Bootsy to put bass strings on an old guitar. By 1968 they were the Pacemakers, along with drummers Frankie Kash Waddy and Don Tiger Martin. Not two years later, they were the key musicians in the J.B.s, the band behind James Brown, then one of the worlds biggest stars. Catfishs relentless, infectious rhythm guitar work was a defining characteristic of many of Browns most successful tunes, and spiraled into new realms of complexity and range as a member of Parliament/Funkadelic after the trio left Browns band in 1971. The lions share of funks most memorable guitar licks came from Catfish, and his musical contributions played a significant part in shaping the genre, as well as the hip-hop music that soon followed. Two songs featuring Catfish James Browns Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine and Parliaments Flash Light are listed in Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. Catfish was my brother, my father and most of all my best friend, Bootsy Collins said. Catfish was a different kind of human being, he only wanted love and peace in every situation. To me Catfish was the one that inspired me to be at one with all that is, which is everybody and everything that was created by the One. Catfish taught me that to be love meant more than just to talk about it. Sure we all may have a great interpretation of love in our everyday language that people understand, but even a child that don't understand a word knows when he is in the presence of love with no words mentioned, that is who the Catfish was and still is. He was that word that did not have to speak in order for you to understand the depth of his being, his soul, his peace and joy. My world will never be the same without him. Be happy for him, he certainly is now and always has been the happiest young fella I ever met on this planet. Catfish is survived by his sister Brenda, Bootsy, his two kids Carmen and Phelps the 3rd, nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts and uncles, friends and fans. Thank you all for being a part of The Catfish Life; he was truly an amazing gentleman!
Woman Charged With Molesting Daughter's Friends ..
Woman Charged With Molesting Daughter's Friends ..
CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) ¯
Cathleen M. Miller, 40, is charged with criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse, accused of molesting four of her daughter's 14- and 15-year-old male friends and giving them alcohol and marijuana.
Chicago Ridge Police Department ....
Chicago Ridge officials are not commenting after a village employee was charged with holding parties at her home where she allegedly sexually assaulted four teenage boys while providing them marijuana and alcohol.
Cathleen M. Miller, 40, of the 5800 block of West 109th Street in Chicago Ridge, is charged with three counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual abuse, according to Cook County State's Attorney's office spokesman Andy Conklin. At the Bridgeview courthouse on Tuesday, Miller was ordered held on $900,000 bond, he said.
Miller, who is employed as a secretary for the Chicago Ridge Village Hall, was arrested Monday following an investigation by police and the state's attorney's office, according to Chicago Ridge police.
Chicago Ridge Mayor Eugene Siegel declined to comment on the case in a statement released Thursday, except to say his "thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as with Miller's family."
Police said the victims were four boys between the ages of 14 and 15.
Between Feb. 1 and June 1, Miller held parties at her home at which she would provide teens with alcohol and marijuana, according to court records.
Miller had intercourse with two of the teens, oral sex with a third and fondled a fourth, according to prosecutors, who said the boys were friends with Miller's teenage daughter.
The parents of another teen who had attended the parties figured out what was going on and contacted authorities, court records indicate. That teen was not considered a victim.
Miller is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 2 in Bridgeview.
Soul-Patrol REVIEW: GARRY SHIDER Tribute Show @ BB King's Blues - NYC (7-11-2010)
Review of the GARRY SHIDER TRIBUTE SHOW @ BB King Blues in NYC
(7-11-2010)[featuring Funk-Kin, Socialybrium, Living Colour and The Black Rock
I arrived in New York City with my brother around 5:45pm and made a beeline to
B.B. King's Blues to buy 2 tickets for the show of the season (okay, we stopped
at KFC first). After the funeral service for Garry Shider in Plainfield, NJ two
weeks ago, I figured that I owe it to myself and to the Shider family to try to
make this special event. I was unable to attend the tribute show on Saturday
7/10 because I was at a conference in Washington, DC that day.
Upon arriving at the club, I ran into K-Funkstar (Keith Thomas), Vernon Reid,
Dr. G and Mike Hall. I walked around the club running into funkateers from
everywhere....Soul-Patrol.com's own Bob Davis & his wife, Sally Foxen ("put your
hands together for Sally"), Darrell McNeill, Jack Abney, L*A*W, Albert "Winky"
Hendricks, Dennis Diamond, John "Groovalicious" Willis & his wife, Eric Perl,
Richard Panse, Michael O'Neal, Barbara Thomas, Jimi Hazel, Rick Skatore, and
most of the P-Funk Allstars.
I was expecting the club to be totally packed, but it was only HALF FULL, which
wasn't that good....where are the rest of the funkateers? I only hope that
those funkateers who were MIA will be donating funds to the Garry Shider Medical
Fund online. I remember going to the Pedro Bell benefit a few months ago (at a
different venue) and the same thing happened....I think the place was 40% - 50%
full. If you call yourself fans of these artists, please come out and show some
Anyway, Funk-Kin started their set at 7:20pm. The line-up was K-Funkstar on
lead vocals, Garrett Shider (lead vocals), Nowell Haskins (on vocals & drums),
Nate Shider (rhythm guitar), Kevin "K-Star" Shider (lead & rhythm guitar), Tim
Shider (keyboards), Gregg Fitz (keyboards), Billy Spruill (rhythm guitar),
Charlie Rivers (lead guitar), Billy Perk Puryear (bass), Roxanne Eurie
(background vocals), Craig Staton (background vocals), Blackbyrd McKnight (guest
lead guitarist) and Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey (guest drummer).
Funk-Kin honestly haven't lost their touch....these guys tore the roof off the
sucka with some decent original cuts followed by a Funkadelic tune. The stank
keyboardisms were effect on the funky "The Goose". "It's On" was followed by
"Tight Sh*t". "I Heard" was basically a re-working of the Funk-Kin song "Rump
Shaker" (in case you wanted to know). "Pushing That Funk" was another funky,
rumpshaking cut, borrowing the melody of "The Mothership Connection". "Cosmic
Slop" was the best part of the show, featuring MR. GARRETT SHIDER on lead
vocals, handling the vocal part of his father, the forever immortalized Garry
Shider, VERY WELL! Accompanying Garrett was the legendary Jerome "Bigfoot"
Brailey on drums, Blackbyrd on guitar, and Kevin "K-Star" Shider playing a
hellified guitar solo! The Funk-Kin set was over at 8:00pm.
Mr. Soul-Patrol himself Bob Davis took time to deliver a very important PSA
(that's Public Service Announcement, for those that don't know).
The PSA is: GET SOME D*MN LIFE INSURANCE & SOME HEALTH INSURANCE
The truth is that a lot of these musicians are either suffering health-wise with
NO health insurance OR transitioning to eternal life without any life insurance.
They are leaving the financial burdens onto their family members....and
sometimes their fans!! Get some term-life insurance (which doesn't cost a lot)
and get some temporary major medical insurance (if you cannot get good
comprehensive medical insurance). If you plan NOW and get your business
straight, you can avoid a lot of problems LATER!!!!!!!
..........AND NOW BACK TO THE FUNK............
Socialybrium started their set at 8:20pm, featuring the line-up of Bernie
Worrell on Hammond B-3 organ, Melvin Gibbs on bass, Ronny Drayton on lead
guitar, Blackbyrd McKnight on lead guitar, J.T. Lewis on drums, and Darryl Dixon
on guest saxophone.
"Free Your Mind" was the best part of the show, with Bernie playing the guitar
melody part on organ....Ronny stepped in with a great lead guitar solo later in
the song! I did hear Bernie play a little snippet of "Tear the Roof Off the
Sucka" (just 4 seconds of it). The second song featured Darryl Dixon on
saxophone. The third song was a rock-funk tune with a fiery guitar solo by
Ronny and some stank bass riffing by Melvin. Blackbyrd stepped in with some
sizzling guitarisms on the last song. Socialybrium ended their set at 9:00pm,
............. BREAK TIME...........
It was time to give thanks to Sweet Relief, an organization that helps musicians
that are in dire financial need, like Garry Shider. Barbara Thomas and Pete
Shipman, Jr. thanked all of those who came out to support the Shider family and
those who donated through the website, http://www.garryshidermedicalfund.com .
REMEMBER, YOU CAN STILL HELP THE SHIDER FAMILY MONETARILY THROUGH THE MEDICAL
FUND WEBSITE.... http://www.garryshidermedicalfund.com
..........AND NOW BACK TO THE FUNK............
At 9:10pm, Living Colour started their set, with the line-up.......(well, YOU
KNOW THE LINE-UP!) The guys jumped into some nasty black rock called
"Ignorance is Bliss", featuring the soulful vocals of Corey Glover. "Cult of
Personality" was just as electrifying and "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" featured
the Chops Horns section (a very nice touch)! The best part of the set was the
performance of the heavy-duty, fiery-hot metal tune "Super Stupid" (a Funkadelic
song) with Doug Wimbish on lead vocals....the pyrotechnic guitar wailing of
Vernon Reid shattered glass through BB King's, the heavy drum riffing of Wil
Calhoun left ears bleeding, and the bass thumping of Doug straightened out the
afros in the room. Even 24-7 Spyz guitarist Jimi Hazel joined in with some
killer guitar riffs! The punishment was over at 9:40pm.
Immediately, Darrell McNeill brought the Black Rock Coalition Funkestra onstage
and they began performing at 9:45pm with some P-Funk stuff. "Red Hot Momma" was
DA BOMB....Corey Glover and the powerful Sophia Ramos were great on lead vocals,
as well as the blasting rock-guitar force of Vernon Reid, Andre Lassalle, and
Dennis Diamond, the funky bassisms of Darrell McNeill, the powerful drumming of
Bigfoot Brailey, and the spicey keyboardisms of Charla-Funk and Gene Williams!!!
My brother and I had to leave early, so we only checked out the first 1 minute
of "Bop Gun".....so far, it sounded very good.
We left BB King's at 9:55pm.
GARRY SHIDER - you will be always be in our memory banks AND never far from our
hearts!!! FLY ON, SUPER FUNKY BROTHA!!!
Carlos Santana back at Woodstock site for concert ...
Carlos Santana back at Woodstock site for concert
BETHEL, N.Y. – He was at Woodstock, man. And on Saturday, he will be again.
Carlos Santana returns to the site of the fabled 1969 festival this weekend for a concert at a new arts pavilion just yards from the original stage where his band performed "Soul Sacrifice" during the "three days of peace and music" that helped define the end of the 1960s.
According to promoters, it's the 62-year-old Grammy winner's first time playing there since that unforgettable performance.
"Santana is one of the artists who embody the spirit of the festival," said Shannon McSweeney, a spokeswoman for the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. "Him coming back is something special, I think, not only for us but for him."
Steve Winwood will also play at the show Saturday.
The 2,000-acre facility, in upstate New York's Sullivan County, is a performing arts center and museum with a 15,000-seat concert space. The Center includes the patch of land, once part of Max Yasgur's farm, that hosted the original Woodstock festival in August 1969.
Last week, during a tour stop in Illinois, Santana proposed onstage to his girlfriend, drummer Cindy Blackman. She accepted.
'Scuse me? Hendrix bandmate sues over '03 release ..
'Scuse me? Hendrix bandmate sues over '03 release ..
By DAVID PORTER
The Associated Press
LODI, N.J. Lonnie Youngblood was a hotshot sax player on the New York club circuit in the mid-1960s when he crossed paths with Jimmy James, a young musician who was turning heads with his dazzling virtuosity on the electric guitar.
In this Monday, July 12, 2010 photo, Lonnie Youngblood sits with his saxophone and a copyright notice for one of his songs at his home in Lodi, N.J. In the mid-1960s, after briefly playing in Youngblood's band, Jimmy James, eventually went back to using his real last name and conquered the music world as Jimi Hendrix, while Youngblood fronted a series of rhythm and blues bands that toured with James Brown, Sam and Dave, Jackie Wilson and other '60s legends. In 1969, at the peak of Hendrix' popularity, the two men recorded several songs in a New York studio. The tunes recorded during those two or three days are the subject of a lawsuit Youngblood filed this spring that claims one of the songs, "Georgia Blues," was included on a 2003 compilation without his permission and without crediting him as its author. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
In this Monday, July 12, 2010 photo, Lonnie Youngblood plays a saxophone as he stands in his home in Lodi, N.J. In the mid-1960s, after briefly playing in Youngblood's band, Jimmy James eventually went back to using his real last name and conquered the music world as Jimi Hendrix, while Youngblood fronted a series of rhythm and blues bands that toured with James Brown, Sam and Dave, Jackie Wilson and other '60s legends. In 1969, at the peak of Hendrix's popularity, the two men recorded several songs in a New York studio. The tunes recorded during those two or three days are the subject of a lawsuit Youngblood filed this spring that claims one of the songs, "Georgia Blues," was included on a 2003 compilation without his permission and without crediting him as its author. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
After briefly playing in Youngblood's band, James went back to using his real last name and conquered the music world as Jimi Hendrix, while Youngblood fronted a series of rhythm and blues bands that toured with James Brown, Jackie Wilson and other '60s legends.
The friendship between the two endured, though, and in 1969, at the peak of Hendrix's popularity, the two men recorded several songs in a New York studio that became a coda to their relationship when Hendrix died in London the following year of a drug overdose.
The tunes recorded during those two or three days are the subject of a lawsuit Youngblood filed this spring that claims one of the songs, "Georgia Blues," was included on a 2003 compilation without his permission and without crediting him as its author.
The suit seeks unspecified lost-income damages from Hendrix's estate, MCA Records and film director Martin Scorsese, who collaborated on the collection "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: Jimi Hendrix." Through representatives, all three parties declined to comment on the lawsuit or didn't return calls Monday.
The lawsuit has not marred Youngblood's memories of Hendrix, whom he describes in terms that evoke Chuck Berry's mythical "Johnny B. Goode":
"He had a guitar in a sack, a change of pants and a shirt in another sack, maybe a toothbrush and some type of comb. And basically that was it," Youngblood said. "He basically didn't have a worry."
Though Youngblood was just one year older than Hendrix, the blues shouter and the future prince of psychedelia were headed in opposite directions musically. Their paths began to diverge around 1965 or '66, when Hendrix discovered hallucinogenic drugs and began to spend more time in New York's Greenwich Village, Youngblood remembers.
"He wanted me to go down to Cafe Wha and play for tips," he said. "To me, that was out of the question. I had a car, a wife, a son, an apartment. I told him, 'You've got to go where you can get some sure money.'"
While Hendrix's popularity soared with such songs as "Hey Joe," ''Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady," Youngblood became a star on Harlem's club circuit and a fixture on college campuses around the Northeast. Then, one night in 1969 Youngblood was onstage when Hendrix showed up unexpectedly, wearing his signature floppy hat, tassels and ruffled shirt, and "turned the place inside out."
Hendrix told Youngblood he would record some songs with him, Youngblood remembers, as payback for his help several years earlier.
"Jimmy had moved on to another place by then, but it was his way of saying thank you," he said.
Youngblood said he wrote "Georgia Blues" and points out that one line in the song goes, "I was born in Georgia 27 years ago" a clear reference to Youngblood, who was 27 at the time and a native of Augusta, Ga.
The lawsuit claims Youngblood released the song himself on the Internet and copyrighted it in 2002. Youngblood said he refused an offer of $3,000 by a lawyer for Hendrix's estate to sell the song.
Lawsuits over authorship or royalties from popular songs were hardly uncommon even back in Hendrix's heyday. Hendrix was dogged by a small-time record producer who claimed to have a contract giving him part of Hendrix's career earnings, according to David Henderson, author of the Hendrix biography "'Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky."
New, or purportedly new, recordings made by legendary artists can produce the same feeding frenzy, he said.
"Stuff that's in the vault is very valuable and very important to collectors and historians and music lovers," he said. "If someone's famous, that stuff is going to have legs."
Youngblood, 68, who still performs at clubs and private parties in New York and northern New Jersey, said he just wants what is legally his.
"It's the principle," he said. "I want my song back. They had no right to take my song."
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A man went to the police after getting robbed by a woman he intended to pay for sex, but refused when she flashed a smile full of bad teeth. The man told investigators he and a 25-year-old woman were negotiating a price until he noticed her dental problems. He told police that after he resisted, she snatched a checkbook containing $78 from his shirt pocket and fled.
The man told authorities the woman did not realize that he had tucked a wad of cash into her bra and that she got scared and ran away.
The woman was arrested on a robbery charge.
Gainesville police said it was unlikely the man would face misdemeanor charges for solicitation, because he was the victim of a felony.
Information from: The Gainesville Sun, http://www.gainesvillesun.com
Maggots Force Plane Back to Gate in Atlanta
Maggots in overhead bin force flight to return to Atlanta gate; came from spoiled meat
The Associated Press
Post a Comment By KATE BRUMBACK Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA June 30, 2010 (AP)
Maggots falling from an overhead bin from a spoiled container of meat forced a US Airways flight to return to the gate so the bin could be cleaned.
Passenger Donna Adamo said she noticed a couple of flies on the Monday flight when she got to her seat but didn't think much of it. Then, as the plane was taxiing, she heard a passenger behind her causing a commotion and refusing to take her seat.
"Then I heard the word 'maggot' and that kind of got everybody creeped out," she said. "All of a sudden, I felt somebody flick the back of my hair and on the front of me came a maggot, which I flicked off me."
A passenger had the container in a carry-on bag and brought it on Monday's flight heading from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C., said US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher. The pilot announced that they were returning to the gate because of a "minor emergency on board" and the flight attendants told everyone to sit down and be calm, Adamo said.
"I felt like they were crawling all over me because it only takes one maggot to upset your world," she said. "And as they're telling us to stay calm and seated, I see a maggot looking back at me and I'm thinking, 'These are anaerobic, flesh-eating larvae that the flight attendants don't have to sit with.'"
A shaky cell phone video shot by Adamo as passengers deplaned shows a small white maggot wriggling across a seat.
Once the plane returned to the gate, the passengers were asked to get off, and a crew boarded to clean up the mess, Lehmacher said. The flight then continued on to Charlotte, where the plane was taken out of service and fumigated "out of an abundance of caution."
The passenger who brought the spoiled meat on board did not get back on the plane and was put on another flight, Lehmacher said. Other passengers were told their connecting flights in Charlotte would be held for them, said Adamo, who was traveling home to Syracuse, N.Y., and made her connection.
Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 9:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 9:12 PM
Tris McCall/The Star-Ledger
The cover of Garry Shider's "Diaperman Goes Starchild" album.
Sure His habit of wearing a loincloth onstage earned him the nickname Diaperman. But there was nothing infantile about Garry Shiders approach to the funk.
The Plainfield native and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, best known as the musical director of George Clintons Parliament and Funkadelic bands, died today at the age of 56, from complications arising from brain and lung cancer.
Like many funk pioneers of the 70s, Shider got his start by playing in church. As a teenager, he sang and performed in support of the Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Shirley Caesar, and other prominent gospel artists. Years later, singing far-out funk with Parliament, that gospel spirit was still evident in his vocal performances. He was still bringing them to church only that church was located somewhere in deep innerspace.
Shider met George Clinton in the late 60s at the famous Plainfield barbershop that acted as P-Funks base of operations. Shiders vocal and instrumental talent impressed Clinton. After a detour to Toronto, Shider was called back to Jersey by the head honcho himself.
Over the years, Shider became one of Clintons most trusted lieutenants, calling the P-Funk army to attention with his vocal on One Nation Under A Groove, and sailing bravely into the ether on Cosmic Slop. He co-wrote some of the band's biggest hits and, as a guitarist, he could be incredibly patient, repeating the same phrase over and over until he combusted into a fiery solo or a stinging riff. Guitar Player magazine featured him three times.
After playing on Funkadelics Maggot Brain, Shider joined P-Funk for good in 1972. He contributed guitar and vocals to most P-Funk releases thereafter, including Bootsy Collins solo albums.
In recent weeks, friends and fans who had learned about his illness organized a series of benefits on his behalf. One was scheduled for the Multi Media Arts Center in Bloomfield on July 10.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Linda, and mourned by the city of Plainfield and wherever the language of funk is spoken.
George Clinton, others flock to Plainfield to support new charter school..
George Clinton, others flock to Plainfield to support new charter school
By MARK SPIVEY • STAFF WRITER • May 22, 2010
PLAINFIELD — After all these years, the No. 1 export here is still funk. And no one cranks it out like the city's prodigal son.
Music legend George Clinton stole the show during a star-studded gala dinner Thursday evening at City Councilman Rashid Burney's Watchung Avenue home, as about 200 people gathered to support the newly founded Barack Obama Green Charter High School. The school with an eco-friendly mission and curriculum, scheduled to open this autumn, also assembled Princeton University professor and civil-rights activist Cornel West and Newark Mayor Cory Booker to speak.
"Teachers work harder than you do, no matter what you do,'' Clinton said. "It's the most important profession I know.''
Clinton, 68, spent long parts of the evening reminiscing with friends about his days in the city, as the 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee got his start as a member of a doo-wop group founded in a barber shop near the corner of Plainfield Avenue and West Third Street. Clinton later would go on to found Parliament-Funkadelic (a musical collective including members of Clinton's groups Parliament and Funkadelic), which soared to global prominence during the 1970s and 1980s.
Dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt, designer jeans and a multitude of necklaces Thursday, shunning his trademark multicolored dreadlocks in favor of short-cropped black hair, Clinton accepted the key to the city from Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs before throwing himself into a rollicking set as part of a nine-person musical ensemble.
"Let's tear the roof off this sucker!'' Clinton told the crowd after greeting the mayor, throwing on a bright red blazer and launching into his smash 1976 Parliament hit "Give up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)'' off the album "Mothership Connection.''
Earlier in the evening, West captivated a pair of audiences, speaking first to a group of incoming Barack Obama Green students at the First Unitarian Church of Plainfield on Park Avenue before addressing the masses assembled at Burney's home. An imposing figure with thick glasses, a sprawling beard and a broad Afro, West darted from topic to topic, covering items ranging from the new Arizona immigration bill (it's an example of "scapegoating the most vulnerable,'' he said) to his busy schedule ("usually I'm booked nine months in advance, but I said I'm going to make a special allowance on one condition,'' West noted. "If we could bring the unadulterated genius of George Clinton back to Plainfield.'')
Quoting sources ranging from Plato to Beyonce, West echoed comments made by Barack Obama Green co-founder Steven King by saying that the new school's mission is to offer love and hope to urban students who need it.
"The power of love can change and transform any person in any situation,'' West said.
West, 56, even shared the stage with Clinton for a song, belting out a soulful duet of his 1970 hit ""I Wanna Know If It's Good to You?'' off the Funkadelic album ""Free Your Mind ... and Your Ass Will Follow.''
Booker introduced West at Burney's home, saying he was impressed by seeing ""a community of people here to elevate our children so they might lead us.'' Crediting West with molding him while he was an undergraduate in college, the newly
re-elected Newark mayor cited West's 1994 book "Race Matters'' as a particular influence.
"It taught me that my intellect was worthless unless it was put to work creating hope,'' Booker said.
Both men had busy weeks before appearing here. Booker attended a White House security briefing on Tuesday, joining a federal effort to share information about inner-city violence, and West spent three hours on Wednesday speaking to inmates
at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.
Barack Obama Green officials recently earned Zoning Board approval to establish the new school at the existing Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County facility on West Seventh Street. The two organizations, the schedules of which are not anticipated to conflict, plan to partner to accommodate 120 students in 2010-2011, the school's first year of operation, with an eye on expanding to 240 students by its fourth year. It was not immediately known Thursday how much the gala dinner raised, but tickets were sold at $150 apiece, and by 8 p.m. the expansive banquet hall in Burney's home was standing-room only.
Charter schools are schools that receive funding from public-school districts, but operate independently of those districts. Barack Obama Green will be the city's first charter high school but its fourth charter school … others include the Central Jersey Arts Charter School, Queen City Academy Charter School and Union County TEAMS (Technology, Engineering, Architecture, Math & Science) Charter School. A fifth school, the Dr. Ellen G. Pressman Charter School, opened last fall but closed less than four months later due to a lack of enrollment.
King said Friday that Barack Obama Green has a little more than 100 students enrolled for its inaugural year, less than 20 shy of its allotment of 120.
Mark Spivey: 908-243-6607; mspivey@MyCentralJersey.com
Black Sabbath's Ronnie James Dio Dies at 67
Today 2:50 PM PDT by Jovie Baclayon
A metal legend has fallen.
Ronnie James Dio, former frontman of Black Sabbath and his own band Dio, died today from stomach cancer. He was 67.
His wife, Wendy, posted the sad news on his website: "Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."
Wendy announced that her husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer on Nov. 25, and he underwent at least seven rounds of chemo. His current band, Heaven and Hell, canceled its summer tour on May 4 because of his condition.
Born Ronald James Padavona, Dio performed with the bands Testament of Apollo, Elf and Rainbow before joining Sabbath in 1979 after Ozzy Osbourne left. He was inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame on Jan. 17, 2007.
REMINDER: The deadline for getting listings in This Week In Black Rock is every Tuesday at noon. T.W.I.B.R. gets sent out Wednesday night/Thursday morning. E-mail listings to: BRCMembersInfo@gmail.com.
THE ARIZONA ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAW IS BACKWARDS ON EVERY LEVEL!
ColorOfChange.org and Presente.org are two front-running organizations who are condemning racial profiling, no matter whom it targets. You can click on this link and send a message to Gov. Brewer of Arizona, President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano. Click here:
The Family Stand's new single 'Story' is available now through iTunes. All of the proceeds will go toward a legal defense fund for Donovan Drayton, son of Ronny Drayton. Ronny is not only an outstanding guitarist but just an all-around good person. New music from Family Stand is always great, and this time it’s for a just cause. Please support!
Sky D and LeGrange Evolution present
“The Fantastic Voyage Boat Party/Music Fest” Saturday, May 8 at 6:30PM from
The Family Stand's new single 'Story' is available now through iTunes. All of the proceeds will go toward a legal defense fund for Donovan Drayton, son of Ronny Drayton. Ronny is not only an outstanding guitarist but just an all-around good person. New music from Family Stand is always great, and this time it’s for a just cause. Please support!
Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren dies from cancer ..
Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren dies from cancer
Thu Apr 8, 2010 6:40pm EDTRelated VideoTalk of the Town: Oprah's new show
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Malcolm McLaren, the British former manager and the self-proclaimed mastermind behind iconic punk band the Sex Pistols, has died from cancer at a hospital in Switzerland, his girlfriend said. He was 64.
"He passed away at a hospital in Switzerland where he was being treated for cancer," said Young Kim.
McLaren, the ex-partner of designer Vivienne Westwood, had been suffering from cancer for some time.
The London-born impresario and promoter assembled the Sex Pistols and managed them in the mid-1970s, a period that produced the groundbreaking singles "Anarchy in the U.K." and "God Save the Queen."
Kim told Reuters McLaren had traveled to New York in February for the launch of an art book before returning to Switzerland to be treated at a clinic. He died of a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma.
"Malcolm McLaren was a man who changed the world and is a lasting influence," Kim said.
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David Mills, writer for 'Homicide: Life on the Street,' 'NYPD Blue,' 'ER,' 'The Wire' and HBO's upcoming 'Treme,' dies at age 48
By Dave Walker, The Times-Picayune
March 31, 2010, 10:28AM
The Times-Picayune ArchiveDavid Mills, a staff writer and co-executive producer on HBO's "Treme" died on Tuesday, March 30, 2010.
David Mills, a staff writer and co-executive producer of the upcoming HBO drama "Treme," died of a brain aneurysm Tuesday in New Orleans, an HBO spokesman confirmed Wednesday morning. He was 48.
A former newspaper feature writer, Mills went on to write for some of the finest TV dramas of the era, including "Homicide: Life on the Street," "NYPD Blue," "ER" and "The Wire."
"Treme" is currently in production in New Orleans and will have an April 11 premiere.
"HBO is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend and colleague David Mills," said a network statement. "He was a gracious and humble man, and will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him, as well as those who were aware of his immense talent. David has left us too soon but his brilliant work will live on."
Mills attended the University of Maryland and went on to write for The Washington Post, among other outlets.
His first TV writing credit was for "Homicide" in 1994, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Mills co-wrote the show's season-two episode "Bop Gun" with "Treme" co-creator David Simon, for which they won the Writers Guild of America award in 1995. Mills then went to work for "Picket Fences" and later "NYPD Blue." He won two Emmy awards for co-writing and executive producing the miniseries "The Corner" for HBO.
In addition to his other credits, Mills was creator and executive producer of the 2003 NBC miniseries "Kingpin."
Mills was a member of a small "Treme" writing staff that also included novelist and "The Wire" veteran George Pelecanos, and New Orleans writers Tom Piazza and Lolis Eric Elie.
Mills said in a recent interview that he was first contacted about joining the "Treme" writing staff by co-creators Simon ("The Wire," "Generation Kill") and Eric Overmyer ("St. Elsewhere," "The Wire") long before the show's pilot was picked up by HBO. The pilot was filmed in New Orleans last year.
"I remember seeing their script before the pilot got picked up, which is going back about three years," he said. "Simon and I go back 30 years together. We're college newspaper buddies.
"By the time this new series came around, I don't know if it was spoken or assumed or if it was casually mentioned that if Treme' were to go, (Simon) would love me to be a part of it, (and that) I would love to be a part of it. The timing worked out right."
Mills said he saw his contribution to the writing of "Treme" was as an outsider attempting to help Simon and Overmyer interpret the show's themes Hurricane Katrina recovery as expressed through the city's musical and culinary subcultures for audiences beyond New Orleans.
"I will never know as much about New Orleans music as Dave Simon," he said. "I will never know as much about the social world and the social history and the characters of the town as Eric. So I can't bring any of that.
"What I can bring is the sort of simple story stuff, the stuff I would feel like I can contribute to any show I happen to be on at any given time, which is just, How do we get the most out of these characters.'"
A music fan who wrote passionately about his love for 1970s funk music on his blog Undercover Black Man read it here:http://undercoverblackman.blogspot.com -- Mills had come to love New Orleans and its music during his time here writing for "Treme."
"I knew next to nothing about '50s and '60s New Orleans R&B, let alone the earlier jazz that grew in the city, so this has been a very, very cool musical education for me, the particular joy of knowing stuff newly," he said.
Mills said he approached his New Orleans musical education with a new fan's fervor, and spoke enthusiastically about "walking into Louisiana Music Factory and coming out with $100 of music CDs, almost like letting the spirits guide you as to which ones to pick," he said. "There will be no end to it, it's so deep."
Mills wrote two of the series' 10 episodes -- episode No. 3 by himself and episode No. 7 with Davis Rogan, a New Orleans musician and former WWOZ-FM DJ who is a model for one of the series' characters, played by Steve Zahn.
As co-executive producer and a contributor to the show's collaborative writing process, Mills made his craft present in every episode of "Treme," which is due to complete first-season production at the end of April.
Accordingly, Mills said he was deeply curious about how "Treme" will be received by viewers who aren't familiar with second-line parades, Mardi Gras Indians and the peculiar challenges of running a New Orleans restaurant kitchen in the dark days after the 2005 levee-failure flood.
"I've got to say that that's the thing I'm most curious about, because I think it's an open question whether it will work," he said. "Meaning, whether a lot of people will dig it. You just don't know, because you can't say, People love cops and robbers,' or People love Westerns,' or People love gangsters.' Here, the show is about the specificity of place. That's a hell of a thing to build a show around.
"Here's one thing I absolutely know: The acting is superb, and the music is amazing. That's two things that I know we deliver on. And the rest of it, we'll see.
"I look forward to eavesdropping in Internet forums or whatnot, or checking out the TV critics who write online, to see what they think about the episodes as they roll out.
"I suspect the power of the show is cumulative. We're never going to explain what Mardi Gras Indians are or why they exist, or what a social aid and pleasure club is, but by the end of 10 episodes, almost without the viewer knowing it, you're going to just absorb the essence of the thing. You're going to understand the magic of the place.
"At the end of 10, (non-New Orleans viewers) will have seen maybe 60 to 70 local musicians who (they've) never heard of, and will have heard the full gamut of musical styles.
"Its very ethereal, but the show is kind of about that in a way. The city is about that. I think by the end of it, the cumulative effect will be what it will be judged on."
There's a wonderful elegy for Mills here, written by Alan Sepinwall, critic for the (New Jersey) Star-Ledger.
"Mills was incredibly proud of "Treme,'" Sepinwall writes. "He'd written for 'The Wire' in its later seasons, but here he got to be part of a show being built from the ground up, got to spend a lot of time in New Orleans ... and was as excited about it as I'd heard him since 'Kingpin' was about to debut.
"Mills was in his 40s, too damn young to die, and it feels a particularly cruel twist of fate that it would happen so close to the premiere of a project he cared so much about."
Here, St. Petersburg Times TV critic Eric Deggans recalls Mills' important work pre-TV, as well as some of the memorable characters he created for "ER" and "NYPD Blue."
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun got to know Mills during the production of "The Corner," "Homicide" and "The Wire," and interviewed him several times, including for a show Zurawik co-hosted for a Baltimore public-radio outlet.
"(H)e was one of the greatest conversationalists I have ever encountered," Zurawik writes. "Sitting in a radio studio listening to Mills talk about race, politics, media and funk music was an intellectual high to be savored. I wondered as I wrote a preview last week about the pilot for 'Treme' how much Mills had to do with the music -- it was the finest use of music I have ever heard in a TV series."
Here, Time magazine TV critic James Poniewozik recalls discussing New Orleans funeral rituals with Mills on a location shoot for the series a few weeks ago.
"Mills had a perceptive, and now poignant, insight on the role of the jazz funeral--starting with a mournful procession, ending with a celebratory 'cakewalk' by the brass band--in 'Treme's' narrative structure and in New Orleans culture," Poniewozik writes, then quotes Mills:
"Thematically, this is a show about that very thing. It's about a city that's been dealt a horrible blow. But it's not about the horrible blow. It's about the getting back up and moving forward with life, with your spirit intact. And that is what the cakewalk away from the cemetery represents. The dead person is buried and now this is about the moving on and the carrying forward and the maintenance of the community spirit."
"An outsider might expect the tone of the funeral, and of Treme itself, to be more somber," Poniewozik continues. "But, Mills told me, 'That just ain't what New Orleans is about.'
"From the first three episodes I've seen, Mills--with co-creators Simon and Eric Overmyer and the rest of the creative team--made a show wholly in that indefeatable spirit. In addition to being a celebration of an indomitable city, the season is now also a celebration of an outstanding TV writer who died too young.
Marva Wright Dead: Gospel, Blues Artist Dies At 62 ..
Marva Wright Dead: Gospel, Blues Artist Dies At 62
03/23/10 05:22 PM |
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans blues and gospel singer Marva Wright died Tuesday at age 62, her former manager said.
Adam Shipley confirmed that Wright died of complications from a stroke she suffered last year.
She sang traditional jazz and gospel standards but was better known for sultry, sometimes bawdy blues songs. Among her best known songs were "Heartbreakin' Woman" and "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean."
She released a series of albums on local and international record labels, and frequently performed in Europe and at blues festivals around the country. With her band, the BMWs, she drew large crowds for performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
As a child, Wright listened to her mother sing and play piano at church. Among her childhood memories were visits to Chicago, the adopted home of New Orleans gospel great Mahalia Jackson, who had grown up with Wright's mother.
"My mother would go to the national Baptist convention," Ms. Wright once said, according to an account in The Times-Picayune newspaper. "When it convened in Chicago, Mahalia would say, 'Girl, you don't need to get no hotel. Stay with me.' That's what my mother would do. I met Mahalia when I was 9 years old, but I never realized she was that popular until I got older."
But Wright didn't start singing professionally until she was almost 40, according to a biography on her Web site.
Wright was hospitalized last June after suffering a serious stroke following a gig at the CoCo Club on Bourbon Street. Relatives said then that she had just recovered from an earlier, less serious stroke.
Public Enemy's Chuck D still fighting the power ..
Public Enemy's Chuck D still fighting the power
By Gail Mitchell Gail Mitchell – Fri Mar 12, 10:02 pm ET
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) – At the end of "Pirate Radio" -- the 2009 feature film about a '60s illegal rock 'n' roll radio station in Europe's North Sea -- an array of albums is displayed: iconic symbols of musical independence that bucked the status quo. Among the albums on display is Public Enemy's 1990 treatise, "Fear of a Black Planet."
In a country still wrestling with the election of its first black president and ongoing racial tension, economic strife and war, "Fear" remains just as relevant 20 years after its release, alongside its three seminal singles: "Fight the Power" (immortalized in the Spike Lee film "Do the Right Thing"), "Welcome to the Terrordome" and "911 Is a Joke." And still sounding that clarion call is Public Enemy and its dedicated frontman, Chuck D.
Embarking on what will be its 69th, 70th and 71st tours this year, the pioneering rap group is as busy as ever. Through its SLAMjamz digital label (SLAMjamz.com), Public Enemy recently released the benefit album "Kombit pou Haiti," with proceeds donated to the Lambi Fund in Haiti. Coming in the spring: a "Welcome to the Terrordome" three-CD/three-DVD boxed set encompassing live tracks, videos and documentaries from the past 12 years of PE's work; a Chuck D solo album, "Mistachuck: Don't Rhyme for the Sake of Riddlin'"; and "It's Back to a Million of Us to Hold a Nation," by PE backing band the baNNed. The forthcoming instrumental set reinterprets PE's 1988 classic, "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back."
That's not counting a radio show launched in November on WBAI.org -- "AndYouDontStop!" -- with plans to expand across the Pacifica Radio network and as a podcast on iTunes. Also in the works are three key ventures: SellaBand, a Web site where the general public can invest in artists (PE has raised more than $57,000 for its next album from investments in $25 increments); the Chuck D and Gary "G-Wiz" Rinaldo-created Web site HipHopGods.com, an archive site focusing on the history of classic rap; and FightThePower.org, a nonprofit company established by Chuck D to continue to fight for artists' rights in terms of publishing, copyright and masters ownership.
In an interview with Billboard, Chuck D reflected on the creative climate that spawned "Fear," PE's early involvement in the Internet revolution and the evolution of rap and hip-hop.
Billboard: In terms of rap itself, who were your contemporaries when "Fear of a Black Planet" was born 20 years ago?
Chuck D: It was the golden age of hip-hop in terms of diversity and balance. Queen Latifah, N.W.A, Big Daddy Kane had all made their mark during what was probably the most diverse three- to five-year period. Artists carved their own niches, strove to be different from one another by creating their own molds. They weren't affected by the marketing and promotional protocol of record labels that said, "In order for you to make the charts and get on TV, you have to be similar."
When we toured in 1990 it was with Kid 'N Play, Heavy D & the Boyz, Digital Underground, EPMD. Groups toured with each other who didn't necessarily line up in their philosophies. It was the total extreme between one another. Then acts like Naughty by Nature came out in 1991 as introduced by Queen Latifah; Ice Cube's solo record comes out in 1990 as he leaves N.W.A, so it was a turning point into the '90s.
When I said, "Welcome to the Terrordome," it was an introduction to the '90s; that's what that song is about. As we were getting into the '90s, it's "Hey, OK, we made it through the terrordome, but there's going to be a test for a lot of people like us." And it was a test. And whether we got out of that decade unscathed is a point of debate because that was a rough decade on us. It affects us even to this point now.
Billboard: How so?
Chuck D: Well, we fell asleep for eight years with (President Bill) Clinton (laughs), and then got the hell smacked out of us with eight years of (President George W.) Bush. So now we have a year of President Obama and haven't embraced that fully as a people, as a black demographic in this country. We're kind of shell-shocked and don't know where to start. Meanwhile, he's up there on the dart board.
Billboard: So were opportunities missed then -- and being missed now -- in terms of bringing rap back to its socially conscious roots?
Chuck D: Obviously. Rice, bread and crumbs are all on the floor. But you've got to live on, persevere. You can't give up the fight. Like Bob Marley said, you have to keep going forward. You have to try to inform as much as possible even though you might be going through a lot of mass distractions.
That was part of the purpose of us doing "Fear." We knew it was going against the odds. But even though we signified and recognized a movement of people wanting to equip themselves with information to go forward, I think that became the far and the few. The climate we have now may not be as clear as it was in 1990 when you at least had people who said, "I know who I am and know where I want to get to. If somebody else gets there and they're in my same bracket, I can dig that too. That's cool; maybe they can pull me forward." The individualism that happened between 1990 and 2010 has kind of left a lot of people way behind the starting line.
The go-for-self period in the '90s has a lot of people on the outside looking in. Music-wise, it was the beginning of the eradication of a wave of independence that really made certain acts stand out. The majors picked them and found the cookie cutter: "This is the way you make a big rap act." It just became kind of contrived with the majors saying, "We've got 40,000 pieces of 12-inch vinyl that we've got to promote at college. So we'll take maybe 550 cats from colleges, fly them to Hawaii and hit them off, then we're going to tie up college radio." So we go into a period when money was supposed to be the thing to fix everything. And that's what it was: a big fix. And a lot of the passion started dripping out of the bottom of the boat at that particular time, although people started to see numbers.
That's what "Fear" was saying: "It's a black planet anyway. Once we know that, what are you going to do with it?"
Billboard: You were ahead of the curve when it came to the Internet. What prompted your jumping into those then-uncharted waters?
Chuck D: Public Enemy was the first group to walk away from a $1 million contract (when it left Def Jam after 1998's "He Got Game"). What the hell is a $1 million contract when you don't have control of your s--t? That $1 million is never going to be spent by you. It's going to be spent on your behalf by someone who's just pressing buttons and pushing numbers. And at the end of the day, you've got what? Because they've spent your money trying to make their profit while you're working on a percentage. That's one of the biggest reasons why I jumped into the Internet in 1996.
In 1999, "There's a Poison Going On" was released on Atomic Pop Records, founded by Al Teller, who helped sign Def Jam to CBS. Singlehandedly, Public Enemy and Atomic Pop jump-started the digital revolution by releasing MP3 files over the Web. Then Napster emerged with the technology to explode the technology. A lot of people said I was nuts. Well, if a tree is at a 45-degree angle and it used to stand straight up, it doesn't take much of a prediction to say it's going to hit the ground. And that's what we were saying: telling artists you can set up your own label online. And if you can also set up that record deal, do both.
It's real funny because today I read magazines that talk about the top 100 Web sites, iPhone apps and other Web gadgets. This is not about me getting credit. But you hear a lot of things now about the Internet that were said 10 years ago.
Billboard: Why does "Fear" continue to have such impact?
Chuck D: "Fear" was the second half of a back-to-back "movement" of albums that immediately signified that rap could be as significant an album genre as rock, forcing respect. It was a musical and political statement that resonates to this day.
Rap and hip-hop altered the musical soundscape audibly and visually with shrapnel impact from many different directions. Beyond the music, the culture was ingrained into many hearts, heads and souls as an equalizer: The themes screamed for it and freedom. By the time "911 Is a Joke," led by Flavor Flav, was released, hip-hop and Public Enemy proved that rap could say something and sound good -- make you think and dance all at once.
Billboard: What's your take on today's rap/hip-hop? Where is it headed?
Chuck D: Rap and hip-hop evolved as the rebellious music against the elite status quo of dominant popular music. But it now sounds like the music it originally rebelled against. Once the price tag is applied as the ultimate goal, trueness can be elusive.
In the 1990s somebody smelled money and, just like with the gold rush, led a 15-year stripping of the ecosystem that the culture organically stood on. Maybe it should have been "Fear of a Rap Planet: Welcome to the Terrordome." There are thousands of rap artists across MySpace, YouTube and Facebook who have adopted creative borders. But there are many more who have rejected them. Rap still has fantastic potential
R&B singer D'Angelo CAUGHT TRYING TO BUY A PROSTITUTE ON THE TRANNEY STROLL !
March 07, 2010. MediaTakeOut.com learned that on Friday night, R&B singer D'Angelo was arrested for trying to solicit a prostitute.
Police set up a sting operation with a police woman posing as a prostitute, and D'Angelo went for the bait. According to police, D'Angelo offered the officer $40 for sex.
But here's where the story gets INTERESTING!!! D'Angelo tried to pick up the woman in the WEST VILLAGE - a neighborhood in New York known for having TRANNEY PROSTITUTES. In fact, the West Village is so WELL KNOWN for it's tranney's (especially Black ones) that gay men from AROUND THE WORLD come there to get it in.
Now the question, was D'Angelo looking for a dude?????
Singer Anita Baker avoids jail in royalty
By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER
The Associated Press
DETROIT — Anita Baker's Friday began with the threat of jail hanging over her.
It ended with the Grammy-winning R&B singer exiting a Detroit courtroom, smiling and excited to get her weekend started.
What made the 52-year-old Grosse Pointe resident so happy was that she and her lawyers were able to reach an agreement with her ex-husband's attorney to create a process that eventually will decide how much Walter Bridgforth is owed in music royalties as part of the couple's divorce settlement.
"I'm so happy. ... I have never been in such a position before," Baker said in the hallway outside court. "And we don't intend to ever be in such a position ever again. I just wanna go home,and I'm happy to go home. ... As horrific as it could have been, it was lovely to feel supported, though, on the other end."
Baker, best-known for hits such as "Giving You the Best That I Got," faced a deadline of this past Wednesday to sign documents to empower court-appointed music contract expert Howard Hertz to seek information from the record companies on the amount owed to Bridgforth.
But when that deadline passed and Baker again didn't sign Thursday, Wayne County Chief Family Court Judge Lita Masini Popke ordered the singer back to court Friday to sign or be jailed.
On Thursday, Popke said Baker had been uncooperative, and the singer complained of being "muzzled."
At Friday's hearing, Baker rose to speak under oath, telling the judge it was a "very stressful situation" to have to review the documents under the threat of jail.
After a recess, Popke relented, saying: "I'm not going to hold you in contempt or send you to jail today."
The judge then instructed Baker, her lawyers, Bridgforth's attorney Hanley Gurwin and Hertz to work out language acceptable to all parties.
The sides retreated to the jury room and returned later to inform Popke that they had reached a deal.
The agreement calls for Hertz to report back to the court by late April on his dealings with the record companies.
Everyone seemed pleased with the outcome, even the judge.
"Miss Baker, I thank you for your cooperation," Popke said. "I apologize for the stress that this obviously put on you, but I think we've reached a very successful conclusion and can move forward."
The royalties in question would come from two albums released during Baker's marriage to Bridgforth, who wasn't in court Friday.
His lawyer, though, was relieved to have the matter behind him for now.
"It wasn't easy," Gurwin said. "Obviously, it took us two days to get this done. But we did get it done."
Brazil mayor bans Funk, rap music as Carnival begins ..
Brazil mayor bans Funk, rap music as Carnival begins
Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:04pm GMT
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A mayor of a Brazilian town has banned Carnival revelers from playing funk or rap music during the traditionally free-wheeling celebrations that kick off around the country on Friday.
Mayor Jose Neto of Sao Lourenco in southeastern Minas Gerais state told Globo television he was banning songs that incite violence and disrespect authority and wanted to protect more traditional Carnival music, such as samba.
Anyone caught listening to funk -- a pounding beat often with sexual lyrics popular in Rio de Janeiro's slums -- or rap during the Carnival period would have to turn it off or face arrest and up to six months in prison, he reportedly said.
"They are mass gatherings that demand better coordination, control and security that a public festival like Carnival doesn't allow us to adopt," Neto told Globo TV.
Funk music has long been frowned upon by police and city authorities in Rio and faced crackdowns because of its association with slum gangs who use parties to sell drugs. But the music form, which originated in U.S. slums in the late 1960s, has increasingly found a mainstream following in Brazil and as far away as Europe.
(Reporting by Stuart Grudgings, editing by Philip Barbara)
Statement from Seth Nesbit (Son of Mallia Franklin)
Rosalind "Mallia" Franklin made her heavenly transition this morning (2/5/2010) at 10:25am PST. She went peacefully. Thank you every one for the love and prayers from all of her P-funk family, friends, fans & funkateers. She will live on this earth forever in all of our hearts.
So play a Mallia song, a Parlet ...song or a P-Funk song today in her memory. She was the love of my life and I miss her forever.
Mallia will be cremated. A private memorial service is being planned and will take place in Los Angeles.
MALLIA FRANKIN (THE QUEEN OF FUNK): A History of the Funk (featuring George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and others). Hosted by "nightrain" & "Dr.Brookenstien"
I Realize That Some of You are Saying: "What's The Big Deal? (She's NOT a Celebrity)"
A few years ago someone says to me; "you sure seem to know a whole lot of celebrities." I said, the Soul-Patrol.com website isn't about "celebrities," it's all about "Great Black Music From The Ancient To The Future." They said to me, "that's right your site is all about Black music celebrities."
I said; "that's not correct. The Soul-Patrol.com website is really about transformational people, places and things that impact Black music, past, present and future."
Well to put it simply; although there is little doubt that Mallia Franklin is the QUEEN OF FUNK," she is about as far from being any sort of "celebrity" as you can get. However Mallia Franklin is indeed one of those "transformational figures" in the history of Black music. As a key member of BOTH the P-Funk and Prince camps, she has had a very large impact on the great music of the past and her influence is still heard in music produced today. She's one of those people who behind the scenes quite literally changed the music that we listened to. She served as a musical mentor to many different artists, famous and not so famous.
Of course Mallia also appeared on many hit records as a member of the P-Funk Mob, the Prince aggregation, singing with Snoop Dogg, James Brown and host of others and of course as a member of Parlet. You can scroll down further to read a long list of some of her musical accomplishments over the years. IMHO she has NEVER truly gotten her props.
Her iconic voice is how she got the name "QUEEN OF FUNK." However it was her mentorship of people that enabled her to keep it!!!
In addition to being a transformational figure in the history of Black music, Mallia was also a transformational figure in the history of the Black internet. She was among the very first artists to ever get involved with Soul-Patrol.com and she did so right from the beginning. In fact Mallia was the very first artist to ever entrust me with their album and that occurred back in 1997.
Over the years, seldom did a month go by when I didn't have a telephone conversation with Mallia. She introduced me to a great many of the artists that she was associated with and she always insisted to them that I was someone that they could trust. And trust was something very important to Mallia. She told me once; "baby babba I've been keepin my eye on you and over the years you ain't never sold out, although I know that with what you have built, you could have sold out many times. You are still to this day always straight up with both the artists & the fans. You don't tell people what you think that they they want to hear; you tell them what you think that they need to hear. That's why they respect you and that's why I am proud of you...."
Mallia is one of the people that I have met along the way who have helped me to insure that Soul-Patrol not only "talks the talk, but also walks the walk."
In late 2008 Mallia called me up to tell me that she had been doing some surfing online who were trying to appropriate the title; "QUEEN OF FUNK." She ranted for about an hour or so on the phone to me about this. Finally I suggested to her that she put together a monologue explaining exactly why Mallia Franklin and ONLY Mallia Franklin should EVER be assigned the designation of "QUEEN OF FUNK," that I would take that monologue and make it into an internet radio show. A month & a half later I had in my possession the broadcast bellow entitled: MALLIA FRANKIN (THE QUEEN OF FUNK): A History of the Funk (featuring George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and others). Hosted by "nightrain" & "Dr.Brookenstien"
As some of yall may recall, we ended up featuring this broadcast last year (2009) during Black History Month. How ironic that Mallia passed away during Black History Month in 2010!!! I strongly suggest that you take a listen to it, if you haven't already and if you have, take another listen, within the context of her passing. It's far more than the original monologue that I had suggested. It is a brilliant "tour de force" from a TRANSFORMATIONAL artist, that unfortunately never became a "celebrity."
In addition to featuring that broadcast once again here in this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, we also have that detailed timeline of Mallia's career, and we have a special commentary from our good friend SonnyBoy (Sheldon Riser) who was also a good friend of Mallia Franklin.
I dunno how the mainstream media will treat the passing of Mallia Franklin, if at all. What I do know is that here on Soul-Patrol we recognize her greatness and her significant contribution to the evolution of Black music.
MALLIA FRANKIN (THE QUEEN OF FUNK): A History of the Funk (featuring George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and others). Hosted by "nightrain" & "Dr.Brookenstien"
My Musical Mother (Shel/Sonnyboy)
I was only 19 and living in Minneapolis when I auditioned for Mallia Franklin, she reminded me of my mother and looked like Pam Grier. She looked at me and said "can you play son" at that time I thought I could. I thought I could handle the music she was playing, being a church musician and all. I didn't make it the first time. I when back again determined to play keyboards for her. This time I got the gig but It turned out to be one of the most growling musical experiences of my life. I was in what Mallia called P Funk Boot camp. I was playing with musicians fare beyond my talents at the time. She said "if you want to play with me son you better play my music like you P Funk" and she mint it.
I listened to her yell at me for missing parts, she called me every name you can think of, and then said if you quit , Im going to find yo little skinny azzz and drag you back. Then she went to the kitchen and cooked the hole band something to eat. She could hear wrong notes and rhythms from 3 rooms away, and would yelled " That ant my music, What the hell is that" now play it right so the other musicians can go home.
The first show I played with her was at the River View in north Minneapolis. It was a great show and she walked over to me on stage and said now that's P Funk son. There was never a boring moment with Mallia, in the music or the drama around it. That same night, was when I seen how this lady deals with people in the music business. She paid everyone in the band, then fired half of them for not showing up at rehearsals on time and playing things wrong. The way she handled it, she could given a thug a pointer or 2. I just new I was going to be next, but for some reason she kept me. I played and lived with her for about 3 years. I could see that Mallia was never a female vocalist you wanted to cross.
I moved to NYC and lost contact with her for a couple of years. She had moved to Atlanta and was working the music seen there. Around 2001 I get a call out of no where """Hey Baby boo what you no what you no, you need the Queen on yo show"""That's my Mal LOL... We talked about me recording a album with her but she didn't want to fly after the 911. Soon after that she made her way to LA, where things started picking up for her.
I don't know where Funk or Hip Hop would be with out Mallia Franklyn for many reasons. She is the lady that introduced Bootsy Collins to George Clinton, she gave Snoop Dogg that P Funk swagger on Suited and Booted, she sang background on early Parliament and Funkadelic albums and became an original member of Parlet in 1978, where she recorded Pleasure Principle and she had a cameo in the Prince film'Graffiti Bridge. Mallia Franklin knew or worked with The Gap Band, Sly Stone, Rick James, Lenny Kravitz, James Brown and on and on. I would be at he house and she would stick a CD in of songs she recorded with some of everybody. I would say damm Mal, how the hell do you know and work with all these people. She would just smile and say Im a hustler baby. She was just one of the best rock, soul, funk vocalist I know. How could you not want her on a track?
I have always seen her as very much the female version of George Clinton. There was nothing ever prissy about Mallia when it came to making music. She wanted it raw and Funky. She would roll with the brotha's on a tour bus or van, sleep in crappy motels, and not think twice about it, she lived the life she funked about. As I feel she was not just a incredible vocalist she was a teacher. And in this business those are hard to come by.
The last time I talk to Mallia she asked me to play with her again. I wanted to do it but had to be in Europe. A week later I got a e mail from my friend Bob Davis that Mallia had a stroke, my heart seemed like it stopped. And for the last 6 month I hadn't non anything more then what Her son Seth had written on her MySpace page. It seemed like she was getting better, because she had gone back to LA but yesterday Seth told me that Mallia passed away at 2/5/2010 10:25 AM. This is very heart braking and surreal to me because, I had been waiting for Mallia to call me saying hey I'm ok.
I hope everyone that the people that new her takes the time to remind other people of how great she was as a artist and what she did to give us great music over the years. Im going to miss you Rosalind "Mallia" Franklin.
My friend is now looking down at us smiling and singing with Michael, James, Teddy, Gerald , Miles, Eddie, Rick, you were one of the best and Ill never let your name be forgotten.....
MALLIA FRANKIN (THE QUEEN OF FUNK): A History of the Funk (featuring George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and others). Hosted by "nightrain" & "Dr.Brookenstien"
TIMELINE: Mallia Franklin
Through the years, music and music supporters have greatly grown and diversified. R&B evolved into crossover pop. Disco developed into Alternative and House/Trance. Rap grew into Hip Hop. Soul lives on in Fuunkk!!!!
Mallia "Queen of Funk" Franklin:
Recipient of Platinum Plaque for performance, co-writer and co-production for Snoop Dogg's (Pay da Cost to be da Boss) CD. Recorded with 2004 B.M.I. Award Winner Producer Songwriter, and Musician Dave Stewart. Mallia's poster from her up-coming CD (Malfunction) shown prominently in the recently released John Travolta movie (Be Cool). Performed at the 2004 Grammies with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic.
Appeared in the Nike Funkship Commercial with George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Snoop Dogg which aired during the 2003 NBA season. Wrote and produced material for up coming music projects. Made numerous live appearances with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-stars.
Recorded and wrote additional lyrics for Movie Soundtrack "Undercover Brother". Performed on the remix of the Sony Records remake of Marvin Gaye's song "What's goin on?"
Recorded with Dallas Austin, Too Short and Organized Noise. Performed during the Gavin Convention at the Funk Jazz Cafe with Lil John and The Chronicle.
1998 to 2000
Toured the Midwest and Southern regions and performed Corporate Dates with her band Anothertime. Mallia performed as a special guest for Black Lilly Productions in conjunction with the Roots, with Shirley Hayden of P-Funk and Kid Rock fame at the world renowned Wetlands Night Club in Greenwich Village, NY
Toured with George Clinton during the 2nd coming of the Mothership Tour. Including performances during the Olympic Games in the House of Blues now available on DVD.
After countless sessions with rappers like The Boogie Boys, Candyman, Ice Cube, the Lynch Mob, Snoop Dogg, and Dr Dre. Mallia was responsible for bringing together Producer Rapper Dr. Dre and Rodger Troutman which resulted in the legendary Tupac recording "California Love". Recorded on the John Singleton Movie Soundtrack "Above the Rim"
Mallia produced her first solo effort "Funkentersepter" The album featured members of P-Funk, Bootsy's Rubber Band, Raydio, Was Not Was, The Brides of Funkenstien, Maceo Parker, Richard "Kush" Griffin. Fred Wesley, Godmoma, Five Special, Gary "Starchild" Shider, Belita Woods, Pat Lewis, Gary "Mudbone" Cooper, Sandra Fiva and Parlet. Released in Japan the album also featured songs co-written by former Ohio Player Junie Morrison and legendary guitarist Eddie Hazel.
Performed on Snoop Doggs first multi-platinum album "Doggy Style". Lead and background vocals for numerous Teddy Riley and Dr. Dre projects.
Toured with the Gap Band
Recipient of the Minnesota Black Musicians Artist Awards, "Recognition of Achievements Award"
Recorded with Brown Mark, Mazaratti, and Alexander O'Neil. Mallia formed her own band "Slam", which was a featured band in the Minneapolis night club "Glam Slam". "Slam" toured the Midwest. The Queen also made a cameo appearance in the movie "Graffiti Bridge".
While performing on the first his first solo album "Computer Games" Mallia was dubbed the Queen of Funk by George Clinton. The only original female member active during the last large scale P-Funk Tour "Greatest Funk on Earth". Worked closely with George Clinton on all Capitol Records and Paisley Park Projects.
As the original member of Parlet, Mallia has recorded over 250 songs during her career. As a member of Parlet she recorded the classic albums Pleasure Principal and The Invasion of the Booty Snatchers. She also participated in recording projects with her sister group "Brides of Funkenstien" on "Funk or Walk" and "Never by Texas". In 1969 Mallia began recording with Thang Incorporated at the age of 16. George Clinton calls Mallia the "P-Funk talent scout". The Queen introduced Bootsy to the P-Funk family in 1971, she is also responsible for bringing in composer and musician Walter "Junie Morrison" of Ohio Players, as well as songwriters Donnie Sterling, David Lee Spradley and Amp Fidler just to name a few.
For this mallennium Mallia is currently working on her upcoming CD "MALFUNKSHUN"
Sly Stone sues ex-manager, claiming millions kept,,,,
Sly Stone sues ex-manager, claiming millions kept
AP FILE - In this July 14, 2007 file photo, funk music
pioneer Sly Stone from the group Sly and the Family
LOS ANGELES Sly Stone sued a former business manager and others on Thursday, claiming tens of millions of dollars in royalties were kept from the singer who now depends on Social Security to survive.
Stone, whose real name is Sylvester Stewart, was the frontman of the 1970s funk group Sly and The Family Stone.
He sued former manager Gerald Goldstein and several companies in Los Angeles, alleging they kept 20 years of royalty payments and leveraged Stone's work and rights to accumulate as much as $80 million in assets.
The complaint said Stone has been homeless at times and is dependent on Social Security. Goldstein paid Stone some money until 2007, when the payments stopped, the lawsuit states.
Stone depended on Goldstein to handle his financial affairs, the suit states.
"Some of these artists are being robbed of their intellectual property and the fruits of their genius by unscrupulous people who prey on their trusting nature and lack of business and legal knowledge," Stone's attorney Robert J. Allan wrote in a statement.
Goldstein has produced numerous other artists. Efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.
The lawsuit claims nearly 20 causes of action against Goldstein and other defendants, including allegations of fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty.
The legal action claims Goldstein, his longtime companion Claire Levine and attorney Glenn Stone set up several companies to divert royalty payments and borrow against Stone's work.
A working phone number could not be located for Levine. A New York number registered to Glenn Stone and Goldstein's Avenue Records has been disconnected.
Some of Sly Stone's hits include "Dance to the Music," "Everyday People" and "Family Affair."
The lawsuit offered a candid look at the musician's life since his hit-maker days, including tax troubles, bouts with drug addiction and living in poverty.
The suit is seeking a full accounting of royalties due to Stone, and an accounting of several companies the suit claims Goldstein and others used to divert royalties.