I was driving to work and noticed the sign on bus station poster – Fleetwood Mac coming to town. Fleetwood is one of my favorite bands from back in the day and Stevie Nicks has one of the most beautiful and haunting voices I’ve ever heard. I listen to them often and seeing that sign brought to my attention once again how many of the old school bands are still out here touring.
In the last couple years we’ve had The Police, The Eagles, and The Stones. None of these cats have any new hits. They just tour doing the old ones. That to me is not a bad thing. It says more about the quality of music of the day.
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly will be in The Lou this Friday with Teena Marie and Keith Sweat as a matter of fact. I wanted to go to see Lady-T but I got some other priorities right now and that prevents me from upping the $65 for a ducket.
Speaking of Sweat, how in the hell is Sweat still touring? Is that a women over the age of 35 thing? I mean, “Make It Last Forever”was a great album… but that was his first well over 20 years ago. He’s produced some good stuff too but do people really want to see this dude croon? He’s still Steve Arrington just like Aaron Hall was Charlie Wilson. He was just a more successful at a solo career being Steve Arrington than Steve Arrington was in his solo career. (Just a touch of love… a little bit) I’m just saying.
I have seen Frankie though I think like 4 times in my life. You can never see them too much cause the music is so good and the band is so tight. They don’t cheat you as they play EVERY song with none of that medley BS to get by. Oh no, when you see Frankie you don’t go to a concert, you have a party and come out of it feeling GREAT! Only cool ass audiences go to Frankie concerts too. Old dudes in brims and velvet suit jackets and stuff. But unlike other St. Louis audiences, (stuck up acting like they are too good to get down) Frankie/Maze followers know whats up and they come to reminisce and rock the house.
Back to the old bands: It shows too that us old heads are hungry for some of the nostalgia of the music we used to sing and dance to back in the day. Have you seen the prices of these shows. The Stones were starting at $250 a pop. The Police were like $160. The Eagles were $175. I mean DAMN! I just can’t get down like that. I read that the Police set was tight though… and they did the hits.
The best days for me was when I worked at the old Keil Auditorium and had access to many bands and singers. I saw Salt and Pepa before anyone knew who the heck they were. I thought it was a duo guy group till they came out on stage. They were just that new. I mean look, they came with Heavy D and the Too Live Crew if that tells ya anything.
Has Earth Wind and Fire ever stopped touring?
Free concerts rock! And the ones I will remember most are Kiss, Hank Williams Jr. (truly a country ass pimp) REO Speedwagon, Poison, and Al Green passing out those roses.
No concert blew my socks off though the way Bon Jovi did when they came for the “Slippery When Wet”tour. I mean look – first off I didn’t know who those guys even were. But there was a buzz all around the city. So I’m thinking, “Who is Bon Jovi and why did they sell out in 45 minutes?” Before the show all of these young scantly clad girls – yes I said girls and women were dressed in lace and pajamas. I was like, “What the hell?”
But yo! No joke when them dudes hit the stage it was ON! John was riding on this tightrope 100 feet above the stage playing his guitar, and they rocked the MF house. I have never, and I mean EVER seen a band play and rock that hard for an entire 2 1/2 hour show. Prince will do it, but I’m talking about the whole band! They played like their lives depended on it. “Dead or Alive, Livin On A Prayer, they hit them all. The encore… “Runaway!” That’s when I was like, “Oh that’s them? ” Cause I already knew that song before, just hadn’t heard of Bon Jovi. I ain’t forgot since.
Sade… great artist – tight band with the same core dudes she’s always had. It shows too.
Oh I got to share one of the most disappointing concerts I’ve ever been too as well. The Isley Brothers! Now look, just for the sake of hits no one does it better! 4 plus decades of stone cold jams. Will always be one of my favorite groups! But I got them late in the game and they came out and started out with a few hits… You know they did “Voyage To Atlantis,”and Ernie was all over it. They did old school and took us back for about 30 min… a bunch of medleys though. Then Ron went and changed clothes, got into his Mr. Biggs thing with the cane and the girls dancing around him like he was Max Julien from The Mack. Then they did Contagious and all of that R. Kelly in the closet bull crap! It was sooooooooo tired! Finished up with a couple other old school hits and something from the then new album and walked off the stage. I was PISSED! I mean it was a ‘C’ at best. Ernie was great, Ron took our money with a ski mask. I said to myself, “Never again!” If we were in Los Angeles or New York this never would have happened. They figured, “St. Louis, what the hell just do whatever and get the doe.” He should have paid them taxes with that money. But that’s another story.
What are some of your favorite, more memorable or fogettable concerts, artist or bands?
Music is wonderful. I consider myself a scholar in the area. You have your one hit wonders, as well as the genuises that laste and laste. I won’t get into the artist as much. That would take too long. But some albums are everlating in my heart. Meaning they will always have significance. Here are my top ten… subject to change upon memory of albums that have helped shape and make a big difference in my life. (In no particular order)
1. What’s Goin On – Marvin Gaye * Music and lyrics just as relevant today as they have ever been! An album too honest for the times and still underappreciated fully for the substance it contains.
2. Thats The Way of the World – Earth Wind & Fire * A mixture of grooves such as Shining Star and Happy Feelings. The title track along with Reasons are timeless classics. This album is music that covers our afro traditional roots along with complicated relational and interpersonal issues.
3. The Isley Brothers – The Heat Is On * I mean forget Fight The Power – I don’t have to even go there. But it has the Big Three on side 2: For The Love of You, Sensuality, & Make Me Say It Again Girl! I used to listen to these over and over again even as a little kid. Lots of black folk were conceived on that side of the album.
4. Journey – Escape * The first Rock and Roll album I bought. Journey introduced me to other groups like REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Rush, Genesis, Teg Nuggent, Led Zepplin etc. Don’t Stop Believing is still being played in bars all over the country. It may be sappy, but after a couple pops, your singing along too! “Strangers – waiting – Up and down the boulevard – their shadows searching in the niiiiight!”
5. Earl Klugh – Heart String *The first jazz album I bought. I credit Jeff M. an old friend I used to bus tables with for hipping me to this wonderful guitarist. We used to smoke the hippie lettuce while sitting in his car jamming this. I have this CD in my car right now as a matter of fact.
6. Michael Jackson – Off The Wall * I know for a lot of people it’s all about Thriller. Thats a great album and the sales records prove it. But without Off The Wall and it’s success at the hands of Quincy Jones, there would be no Thriller. The record exeutives didn’t think a jazz man could produce a pop album. Michael said he wouldn’t do the record unless “Q” was the man to produce it. Well when Mike spoke it was like EF Hutton. The rest is history!
7. Prince – 1999 * During the height of the competition of who was the King – be it Michael or Prince. Prince changed the game with this one. A double album with crazy stuff like D.M.S.R. and Lady Cab Driver. The bass line on Lady Cab Driver is one of the funkiest of all time.
8. Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key of Life * Still his best and most complete work in my opinion. Cut for cut this is a musical kaleidescope of rhythms and lyrics. A must have for any music fan.
9. Teena Marie – It Must Be Magie * Actually my second Teena Marie album. Irons In The Fire was the first. But with jams like Yes Indeed, (brilliant piano by Patrice Rushen) 365, Square Biz and Portugese Love… it was a wrap! A great album from a great artist. Go ahead Lady T!
10. Fred Hammond and Radical for Christ – The Inner Court * At first I didn’t get the excitement others felt for this former member of the gospel group Commissioned. His voice sort of irritated me. But the more I listened, the more I understood this brilliant artist who literally worships God through his music. Listening to this album is much more of an experience than anything related to normal entertainment. And when I sing along I find myself worshipping as well.
What are your favorites?