Jody Watley Returns To Yoshi’s Oakland.

 

Photo: Albert Sanchez

Photography By: Albert Sanchez

I will be returning to Yoshi’s Oakland May 29, 2014 and looking forward to it. There’s always joy for all of us to come to the bay area. In addition to the concert there will also be a a VIP pre-show meet and greet. Come say hello, sing, celebrate the success of ‘Nightlife’, the forthcoming “Paradise”, party with us, perhaps meet your new love or just mix it up, put on something nice and get out of the house. There will also be limited edition merchandise available. Get your tickets today – Here

Jody Watley. Legends of Soul Tour Journal 8. Reflections.

I needed a couple of weeks to decompress, relax, unwind and reflect on my experience being a part of the David Gest Presents Legends of Soul Tour. My hat is off to him for being passionate about soul music and it’s veteran artists by doing a tour like this. It boggles the mind that there are not more of these types of tours with a variety of artists with their great hits.

If you followed my posts you’ll know it started off a bit rocky for me. When I look back over the time I was away, in my head I equate it to being a child having gone to a sleep away camp and surviving it. I experienced missing my loved ones, friends and daily routines. Even in the best hotels – there’s no place like home. Thanks to Paul Williams Jr. we were all turned on to the MagicJack phone app – free international calls, though the time difference was always a challenge. Being honest there was shedding some tears of loneliness of being on the road, feeling outcast initially because of my quiet demeanor which didn’t sit well with some, not having my friends, band and crew, etc. You should know I was raised in a fairly quiet household and I’ve never been accustomed to being around overly amped up people who need to be in someone’s face all the time. Chill. I’m as comfortable being real and in my own skin, as anyone else is in being who they are. We all bring our different experiences and upbringing  to every situation. It’s about being flexible and respectful – as I said in a previous post, there’s a time and a place for everything.  In my work environment, I have tended to hire people with a certain demeanor for my band and crew. Anyway, this caused feelings of being more vulnerable than usual and totally being out of a comfort zone. The feeling of wanting to go home was strong the first few days. Of course I found the strength I needed and tapped into ‘patience.’ It was awesome to bond with a few  people after all. Bryan and Louise approached me one evening backstage and asked me what was wrong in a way that was genuine and caring and not confrontational as I mentioned in a previous post. They were like the little kids on the playground yard that come over to help when something’s gone awry. Compassion and empathy. That was a turning point for me. I’m so grateful to them for being so cool. Ultimately, despite the stress, I had a great time, triumphant in it all, definitely having grown up a bit more – even as a fully grown adult. Imagine that?! We all continue to grow with the inner child that remains alive, facing obstacles, insecurities and dealing with insecurities of others which causes them to act in certain obnoxious ways. Working to overcome obstacles in life no matter what – as much as we don’t like the challenges at times. It feels good when you do and get past something.

I teared up a lot as we drove hundred of miles to and from the venues, often gorgeous historic theaters as I looked out of the windows – forced to think about life and tune out noise at times. I often listened to everything from Stan Getz to Radiohead in my earbuds, as well as my own “Nightlife” remixes. I did a lot of reflecting on being a Mom, the homebody – raising my children my children into young adults; missing them and thinking a bit more about mortality cycles of life. I reflected on my career, what I’ve achieved, what I still want to achieve beyond making records.  Generally, I never think about my age unless it’s brought up to me – but I did a lot of thinking about it on this on this trip. I feel ageless most times – well, until I have to reach for my reading glasses! 55, though totally young at heart and in my spirit – half a life lived already and looking ahead to the things I hope to achieve still with all of my past and current accomplishments which include raising to wonderful people of which I’m most proud. Perspective. Looking at the artists doing it in their 70′s..I couldn’t help but wonder if I wanted to be on the road when I hit 70 if I’m so blessed. Anyway, back to my daughter and son -they’ve traveled with me to places around the world and that fact made me smile – and cry! Maybe the tears were also my fluctuating hormones, which is said with a smile in another nudge of age. I’ve never cried so much in small spurts!! When I’d see a Mom with her son or daughter walking and holding hands, or sharing a bite to eat – tears. I thought about the blessings of my career and to be on tour with artists in their 70′s or close to it who survived touring and sharing the gift of music in a time of segregation always knowing the safe houses to rest in their travels, as hotels weren’t option and the fear of lynching always loomed. I visited the International Slavery Museum – twice.

We are blessed even when things don’t go smoothly – it’s the pushing forward. That’s living. Life.

The view from my hotel suite in Liverpool, I took in many sunrises (insomnia) and a few sunsets on off days.

The view from my hotel suite in Liverpool, I took in many sunrises (insomnia) and a few sunsets on off days. Thankful to be in the moment.

View from my suite Liverpool.

Til’ the Break of Dawn…just after sunrise from my suite Liverpool.

It's the journey not the destination..truly. I took this one I believe in Butlins Skegness © 2014 Jody Watley

It’s the journey not the destination..truly.  While others asked”How long before we get to..?!” I took in the view and thought of how blessed I was to see these places and spaces.  © 2014 Jody Watley

Early on at one of the Butlins Resorts..

In my suite early on at one of the Butlins Resorts..creative use of towels.

Sharing a birthday dinner party with music legend Dennis Edwards and fellow Aquarian - what a trip and honor..will always cherish the experience. © 2014 Jody Watley

Sharing a birthday dinner party with the other Legends of Soul artists and staff courtesy of David Gest with music legend and fellow Aquarian Dennis Edwards  - what a trip and honor..will always cherish the experience. Dennis made me laugh a LOT on the tour. He could also get really quiet and moody like me and sit off on his own.  © 2014 Jody Watley

With legendary Candi Staton - I loved watching her perform, she shared great stories one night listening to her and Little Anthony on a long drive back from one of the shows was priceless.

With legendary Candi Staton – I loved watching her perform, she shared great stories one night listening to her and Little Anthony on a long drive back from one of the shows was priceless. Candi at the end of the tour said folks were saying I was ‘the elusive one’ – lol.

Later down the line..

A gorgeous meal at San Carlos with my new friends Bryan, Louise and Alle

A gorgeous meal at San Carlos with my new friends Bryan, Louise and Alle

San Carlos Interior - GREAT restaurant!

San Carlos Interior – GREAT restaurant! Lovely ambience and 5 star food.

Vocalist Bryan Chambers  and keyboardist Alle Pearse.

Vocalist and best dressed of the tour – Bryan Chambers and keyboardist Alle Pearse.

Bryan ready for his mussels.

Bryan Chambers ready for his mussels.

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The mussels were a hit!

One of my favorite desserts is Creme Brûlée - it's also a favorite of my son so I thought about him of course. © 2014 Jody Watley

One of my favorite desserts is Creme Brûlée – it’s also a favorite of my son so I thought about him of course and took the photo to show him. © 2014 Jody Watley

Bryan Chambers - shoe shenanigans with Alle and Anders Knudsen. Just hanging out. Fun times. © 2014 Jody Watley

Bryan Chambers – shoe shenanigans with Alle and Anders Knudsen’s ‘Beatles Boots.” Just hanging out. Fun times. © 2014 Jody Watley

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Bryan Chammbers having fun swapping shoes with Anders Knudsen. © 2014 Jody Watley

Bryan Chambers having fun swapping shoes with Anders Knudsen. We all got a good laugh and added this to many shared memorable moments on this tour.  © 2014 Jody Watley

A quote I came across while I was away that really resonated.

A quote I came across while I was away that really resonated and made me feel strong!

A universal message - while I was having coffee in Liverpool and feeling blue - it seemed like a sign for me to snap out of it!

A universal message – came at a good time early on while I was having coffee in Liverpool and feeling blue – it seemed like a sign for me to snap out of it, and I did!

With Anders Knudsen. Check out his album "Perils" at iTunes if you enjoy rock influenced by the 60's. I love it!

With the handsome and kind hearted Anders Knudsen who I grew to adore as well. Check out his album “Perils” at iTunes if you enjoy rock influenced by the 60′s. I love it!

With Matt Kern. Photo: courtesy of Matt Kern

Gushing with another cutie – Matt Kern in Hull. Photo: courtesy of Matt Kern. Look out for his band Vyktoria to release music soon. Modern Depeche Mode vibes!

Anders and Eddie Holman. "Hey There Lonely Girl"

Anders and his mesmerizing eyes with Eddie “I’m the best singer in the world” Holman. “Hey There Lonely Girl”

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The lads chillin’ post concert in our private area – fabulous buffet.

Matt Kern chilling at the fabulous buffet, Liverpool. Photo: © 2014 Jody Watley

Matt Kern chilling at the fabulous buffet, Liverpool. Photo: © 2014 Jody Watley

Tales to tell.

Tales to tell.

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Our VIP post show hang and “Fabulous Buffet” at the hotel -Legends of Soul Tour.

Someone said something inappropriate but awkwardly funny..at 'the fabulous buffet'

We were the stragglers, it was really late. Someone said something inappropriate but awkwardly funny..at ‘the fabulous buffet’ Alle was standing on the bar to capture..this was one of the last nights in Liverpool after 3 weeks.

Alle taking the pic..photo courtesy of Louise Marshall.

Alle taking the pic..photo courtesy of Louise Marshall.

Taking a moment before showtime. © 2014 Jody Watley

Taking a moment before showtime. © 2014 Jody Watley

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Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue sing “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” in front of an adoring packed house. Photo: © 2014 Jody Watley

I'd never seen so much 'Curling' coverage - it's apparently huge in the UK, and seemed to be on each time I tuned in to catch the Winter Olympics.

I’d never seen so much ‘Curling’ coverage – it’s apparently huge in the UK, and seemed to be on each time I tuned in to catch the Winter Olympics.

Scenes - driving to.. "Brothers Fish and Chips" caught my eye

Scenes – driving to.. “Brothers Fish and Chips” caught my eye

Umm..

Umm..get your hair cut and grab a snack! Sounds like an episode of Kitchen Nightmares! Cue Chef Ramsey “Who’s idea was this?!”

By this time in the tour, I was having a blast! © 2014 Jody Watley

Shenanigans backstage in Hull. By this time in the tour, I was having a blast! © 2014 Jody Watley

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Paul Williams Jr. Louise Marshall as we arrive in Hull at the venue - after a long drive in from Liverpool.

Paul Williams Jr.  of The Temptations Revue and backing vocalist on the tour Louise Marshall as we arrive in Hull at the venue – after a long drive in from Liverpool. Louise also did a great job with her duet with Dennis on “Don’t Look Any Further.”

Arriving to Hull - UK. A  gorgeous theater. Grand staircases always remind me of my 'Still A Thrill' video in Paris, France.

Arriving to Hull – UK – dressing room dilemmas imminent – lol . A gorgeous theater. Grand staircases always remind me of my ‘Still A Thrill’ video in Paris, France.

I forgot where this was or what theatre - but it was very regal. #selfie (c) 2014 Jody Watley

I forgot where this was or what theatre – but it was very regal. #selfie (c) 2014 Jody Watley

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From earlier in the trip:

Day 2 or 3 in Butlins - the first resort city we played as we worked out the kinks of the show….

Day 2 or 3 in Butlins Bognor  Regnoir- the first resort city we played as we worked out the kinks of the show….where my ‘elusive’ reputation was born on the tour.

I'm a big sports fan - so I was happy we got to watch the big game.

I’m a big sports fan – so I was happy we got to watch the big game – Butlins Skegness.

I lost a Superbowl bet while I was on tour to Paul Willams Jr. We bet one dollar for fun.

I lost the Superbowl bet to Paul Willams Jr. We bet one dollar for fun.

Louise Marshall and her beautiful daughter - of course made me weepy for my kids!

Family time. Louise Marshall with a visit from her beautiful daughter backstage in her hometown of York. Meeting Alicia of course made me weepy for my kids when they were little and would often accompany me for shows. Working Moms – balancing family and career.

More fab light fixtures in York..obsessed!

More fab light fixtures in York at the theatre…obsessed!

Bryan Chambers was so fashionable. He did so much shopping at one point his new additions required their own seat on the van!

Bryan Chambers was so fashionable. He did so much shopping at one point his new additions required their own seat on the van!

Sometimes the situation called for improvisation for the lack of dressing rooms to accommodate us all!

Sometimes the situation called for improvisation due to the lack of dressing rooms to accommodate us all! In life sometimes you have to just roll with it and make things work!

Pause..

The sign kept calling my name.."International Slavery Museum" - I wasn't going to go at first because I didn't want to be depressed - so glad I went. It was empowering in a surprising and odd way.

The sign kept calling my name..”International Slavery Museum” – I wasn’t going to go at first because I didn’t want to be depressed – so glad I went as did Bryan who came with me the first time. It was empowering in a surprising and odd way. Made me think of my own resilience in life.

Bryan and I were trying to find the slavery museum amongst many..good thing I had on comfy boots!

Bryan and I were trying to find the slavery museum amongst many..good thing I had on comfy boots!

African Origins. International Slavery Museum Liverpool.

African Origins. International Slavery Museum Liverpool.

Unimaginable..

Unimaginable..

I also learned that the famous street Penny Lane made famous by The Beatles is named after an influential local person in the slave trade..as are many notable streets in Liverpool.

sablevenus

Made me reflect on stereotypes – and certain elements of marginalization of black women that still exist among other things that crossed my mind..and thinking about the media and society..

Snapped at The International Slavery Musuem..

Snapped at The International Slavery Musuem in Liverpool, UK. They should have museums like this all over the U.S.

Never lose your identity-there was a time African didn't have a choice.

Never lose your identity-there was a time African slaves didn’t have a choice.

A slave torture mask for women slaves who got out of line..it was daunting to think about all of this that went on..

A slave torture mask for women slaves who got out of line..it was daunting to think about all of this that went on..and that human beings can be so cruel and think up such horrific things to do and make..

International Slavery Museum Liverpool --Muzzles, whips, torture masks, branding irons - no words.

International Slavery Museum Liverpool –Muzzles, whips, punishment collars, torture masks, branding irons – no words.  Blessings and prayers of strength  to those who remain enslaved physically and mentally.

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I was captivated by this painting of a little boy who had stowed away on a Palm Oil slave ship, and taken in by a painter in Liverpool

I was captivated by this painting of a little boy who had stowed away on a Palm Oil slave ship, and taken in by a painter in Liverpool

Phyllis Wheatley, a slave, first published African American woman author

Phyllis Wheatley, a slave, first published African American woman author

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On  a lighter note..

Vintage organ pipes - Hull.

Vintage organ pipes – Hull.

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I saw many beautiful buildings and lighting fixtures.

I saw many beautiful buildings and lighting fixtures.

I met wonderful fans like Justin and Nilesh.

I met wonderful fans like Justin and Nilesh.

David Arthur - upcoming artist musician. One of our drivers for the tour.

The divine David Arthur – upcoming artist musician. One of our drivers for the tour.

The delightful and eternally youthful voiced Little Anthony and Jody Watley © 2014 Jody Watley

The delightful and eternally youthful voiced Little Anthony and Jody Watley © 2014 Jody Watley

Dennis Edwards and The Tempations Revue Donny Finley and David Arthur chill at our customary "Fabulous Buffet" in Liverpool.

Dennis Edwards and The Tempations Revue Donny Finley and David Arthur chill at our customary “Fabulous Buffet” in Liverpool.

Matt Kern, Donny Finley and Anders Knudsen

Matt Kern, Donny Finley,  Anders Knudsen and David Arthur

Lots of fabulous architecture and grand interiors.

Lots of fabulous architecture and grand interiors in the theaters we played.

The still show music video's on their music channel which was cool to see.

The UK still shows music video’s on their music channel which was cool to see. I always had flowers in my room – gifts! Thank you to my fans for the love and taking the time to be so thoughtful. I appreciate it all the time.

A universal message - while I was having coffee in Liverpool and feeling blue - it seemed like a sign for me to snap out of it!

A universal message – while I was having coffee in Liverpool and feeling blue – it seemed like a sign for me to snap out of it! I did.

On the road again!

On the road again!

Jody Watley with Nilesh.

Jody Watley with Nilesh.

Sound!

He made us all sound great each night – shout out to sound and lights!

Some of the gear..#itsinthemusic

Some of the gear..#itsinthemusic

We live for it!

We live for it!

Sheila Ferguson original lead of Three Degrees (When Will I See You Again) having a moment before going onstage.

Sheila Ferguson original lead of Three Degrees (When Will I See You Again) having a moment before going onstage.

Candi Staton waiting to go on - it's fascinating to see other artists before stepping on to the stage - the moment before your name is called and the magic happens! © 2014 Jody Watley

Candi Staton waiting to go on – it’s fascinating to see other artists before stepping on to the stage – the moment before your name is called and the magic happens! © 2014 Jody Watley

"Here Comes The Gesty" - David Gest awaits HIS introduction..what a character he is!

“Here Comes The Gesty” – David Gest awaits HIS introduction..what a character he is!

Rhyl, UK.

Rhyl, UK. Another classic theater.

Another day at the office (backstage) for Anders Knudsen, James Adams, and Matt Kern

Another day at the office (backstage) for Anders Knudsen, James Adams, and Matt Kern

Many of us will keep in touch..some won't!

Our last day in Liverpool. Many of us will keep in touch..some won’t. Just like camp, school, work – life.

Jody Watley hotel lobby Liverpool - home was just a couple days away!

In the hotel lobby Liverpool  - home was just a couple days away!

After our final long drive, we pulled into London – Camden.

We clocked a lot of miles on the road.. pulling into Camden.

We clocked a lot of miles on the road.. pulling into Camden.

En route to Gilgamesh.. I reflected of fond memories as I snapped this photo of playing this venue  in 2006 for "The Makeover release with Dego of 4Hero - great show!

En route to Gilgamesh.. I reflected of fond memories as I snapped this photo of playing this venue in 2006 for “The Makeover release with Dego of 4Hero – great show!

The intimate, posh and stunning Gilgamesh, Camden table setting.

The intimate, posh and stunning Gilgamesh, Camden table setting.

*blank stare*

*blank stare*

Gilgamesh Camden. Table 7. Gwen Dickey. © 2014 Jody Watley

Gilgamesh Camden. Table 7. Gwen Dickey. © 2014 Jody Watley

With Gwen Dickey original lead singer of Rose Royce (Wishing On A Star, Carwash, Love Don't Live Here Anymore) at our final show - the intimate high rollers dinner show at Gilgamesh Camden © 2014 Jody Watley

With Gwen Dickey original lead singer of Rose Royce (Wishing On A Star, Carwash, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore) who is recovering from a spinal injury at our final show – the intimate high rollers dinner show at Gilgamesh Camden © 2014 Jody Watley

Gilgamesh, Camden. Some of the pictured with me include Bryan Chambers, Louise Marshall, Beverley Knight, Candi Staton

Gilgamesh, Camden. Some of the pictured with me include Bryan Chambers, Louise Marshall, Beverley Knight, Candi Staton. © 2014 Jody Watley

With Alle Pearse at Gilgamesh - last night of tour.

With Alle Pearse at Gilgamesh – last night of tour, also the Mom of two beautiful little ones.

A trinket I picked up for myself from Vivienne Westwood Boutique.

A trinket I picked up for myself from Vivienne Westwood Boutique. © 2014 Jody Watley

With our music director, keyboardist Arden Hart - smiling for the first time, last night post show!

With our music director, keyboardist Arden Hart – smiling for the first time, last night show – Gilgamesh Camden!

Getting their 'Nightlife" party fab on at Gilgamesh. It was like the Golden Globes in that we were all seated at dinner tables waiting to be called to the stage. It was one big party.

Getting their ‘Nightlife” party fab on at Gilgamesh. It was like the Golden Globes in that we were all seated at dinner tables waiting to be called to the stage. It was one big party. #itsinthemusic

And it's a wrap -

And it’s a wrap – Arden gathers his charts..

It's a wrap!

I’m going home now…where are my keys? You don’t have to go home – but you have to get the h** out of here!

A final good-bye to the lads..going to miss them! © 2014 Jody Watley

A final good-bye to the lads..going to miss them! © 2014 Jody Watley

With Paul Williams Jr. - still giving me the business about the Superbowl. Nice man - always polite and looked out for the ladies on the tour, stayed out of the fray -good people.

With Paul Williams Jr., after the last show in the hotel lobby at Heathrow – still giving me the business about the Superbowl. Nice man – always polite and looked out for the ladies on the tour, stayed out of the fray – he is ‘good people’ as they say. That’s CeCe Peniston snapping a photo too. It was time to pack and get some rest! No more fabulous buffet hangs.  © 2014 Jody Watley

Homeward bound..

Homeward bound..

Airport lounge..more captivating light fixtures..and the beat don't stop!

Airport lounge..more captivating light fixtures.. ready to keep on keeping on!

Facebook Legends of Soul Tour Gallery: Here

Soundtrack:

Donald Byrd –  “Places and Spaces I’ve Seen” *most played  / “Love Has Come Around” / Best of Donald Byrd

DJ Adam XII Giorgio’s Mix 8/10/13 (for putting on my make-up and vocal warm ups)

Phyllis Hyman – You Know How To Love Me Extended Mix

CHIC – Sister Sledge, various songs

Nuyorican Soul

Radiohead – Kid A

Radiohead – In Rainbows

Radiohead  - Knives Out, House of Cards

Jan Jelinek avec The Exposures

Stan Getz / Charlie Byrd – Jazz Samba

Getz / Gilberto

Frank Sinatra . Antonio Carlos Jobim – album

Jody Watley Nightlife Remixed

Jody Watley  Paradise rough mixes

Jody Watley Global Sessions mixed by Ray Easmon

Andreya Triana – Lost Where I Belong album

Robert Glasper – Black Radio Recovered The Remixes

Foreign Exchange – Call it Home

King Britt Presents Sister Gertrude Morgan – Take The Lord Along With You

Milton Brunson – If I Be Lifted

Michael Jackson – tons of songs on this playlist including Jackson 5

Dance Classics – too many songs to list

Temptations -Song For You album ( Had the vinyl, bought the album on iTunes while on tour as well as Temptation’s #1′s – elementary, junior high and high school flashbacks spurred on by hearing Dennis Edwards sing … I wanted him to sing “Memories” from the ‘Song For You’ album )

Eddie Kendricks – purchased while on the tour – 20th Century Masters Millennium Collection (Tell Her Love Has Felt The Need -yeessss! I was a teen dancing on Soul Train and danced to ‘He’s A Friend of Mine’  - can you spot me?! http://youtu.be/k7HMMjya88I

Anders Knudsen – Perils (purchased a few days before trip ended – love it).

Louise Clare Marshall – Wait For You (gorgeous and soulful)

I’m sure there’s more..but these stand out the most.

Up next:

I don’t have to travel to far from home!

Yoshi’s Oakland, May 29, 2014. Get your tickets NOW! Experience the ‘Nightlife’. One show. One night, plus VIP Meet and Greet. Paradise Pre-Release Celebration -Hits and More!!

http://www.yoshis.com/oakland/jazzclub/artist/show/4215

Jody Watley. Legends of Soul Tour. 7. Homeward Bound.

I haven’t had much time to update my tour journal, but I will with loads of additional photo’s and more anecdotes – I made it through as the tour concluded last night sold out in Camden’s plush Gilgamesh. This photo is from Halifax in the dressing room in my custom black sequined jumpsuit as I currently sit in the airport lounge excited and exhausted returning home. I can’t wait to share more of the wild ride that was David Gest Present Legends of Soul Tour 2014.

One of the albums on my tour playlist was Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd Jazz Samba, gnerally playing it on the long rides back to Liverpool form whatever city we were in. love jazz and bosa nova.

A great start to the week to all – BE fabulous, go for amazing -don’t just go through the motions of life on the daily grind of life!

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Jody Watley. Legends of Soul Tour Diary. 6. A Girl From Chicago.

Scenes from town, Liverpool - our home base for the past few weeks. © 2014 Jody watley

Scenes from town, Liverpool – our home base for the past few weeks. © 2014 Jody Watley

We've experienced our share of 'turn left or turn right at roundabout" © 2014 Jody Watley

We’ve experienced our share of ‘turn left or turn right at roundabout” © 2014 Jody Watley

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The navigation system – a woman’s voice keeps us going in the right direction. More than a few jokes about a navigation system that goes off on the driver when you mess up “Didn’t I tell you to make a right turn..you ****…” fill in the blank! © 2014 Jody Watley

Arthur, Matt, David, Anders. Hotness. © 2014 Jody Watley

Arthur, Matt, David, Anders.  Backstage sexy. © 2014 Jody Watley

Backstage Carlisle. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Backstage Carlisle – dressing rooms were too tiny for everyone, so I grabbed a chair for the hallway – always stay fabulous no matter the situation!  © 2014 Jody Watley Images

David Gest about to go into the audience to introduce one of the artists - which they love! 9c) 2014 Jody Watley

David Gest about to go into the audience to introduce one of the artists – a surprise they love! (c) 2014 Jody Watley

More architecture in Liverpool. I love other countries for their preservation of their buildings. © 2014 Jody Watley

More beautiful architecture in Liverpool. I appreciate other countries for preservation of their old buildings. © 2014 Jody Watley

Seeing the sights. © 2014 Jody Watley

Seeing the sights in Liverpool through my rose colored Grey Ant shades – remembering being a little girl from Chicago with big dreams, always alive in me. Never lose your inner child it will keep your spirit young and keep you connected to who you are how far you’ve come and where you’re still trying to go.  © 2014 Jody Watley

"Taxi!" © 2014 Jody Watley Images

“Taxi!” © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Pivotal player is always the monitor guy - in the history of music you will likely find anecdotes of one being cursed out by at least one artist. It's all fun and games until someone feels like they're not hearing what they need or want!  © 2014

Pivotal player, though everyone plays a key role on any tour, is always the monitor guy for the artists- in the history of music you will likely find anecdotes of one being cursed out by at least one artist. It’s all fun and games until someone feels like they’re not hearing what they need or want! © 2014

Gear. David Gest Presents Legends of Soul Concert Tour 2014. © 2014

Gear. David Gest Presents Legends of Soul Concert Tour 2014. © 2014

My view backstage - I come on two acts before the Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue. © 2014 Jody Watley

My view backstage –  the Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue. © 2014 Jody Watley

David Gest. Candi Staton and I backstage Legends of Soul Tour. © 2014 Jody Watley

David Gest. Candi Staton and I backstage Legends of Soul Tour 2014 Carlise North Wales. © 2014 Jody Watley Images.

Time to go on. Dressing room, Stockport. © 2014 Jody Watley

Time to go on. Dressing room, Stockport. © 2014 Jody Watley

Shalamar Medley Charts. (c) 2014 Jody Watley

Mini Shalamar Medley Charts. (c) 2014 Jody Watley

Bryan Chambers, Lousie Marshall. Backstage Stockport.

Backing vocalists extraoridinaire – Bryan Chambers, Lousie Marshall. Backstage Stockport.

One of the keyboardists, Alle Pearse with guitarist Harold backstage Stockport.  © 2014 Jody Watley

One of the keyboardists, the charming Alle Pearse with guitarist Harold backstage Stockport. © 2014 Jody Watley

Candi Staton rocks the house. © 2014 Jody Wately Images.

Powerhouse Candi Staton triumphant  - rocking the house – again. © 2014 Jody Watley Images.

Trying to be cute..walking up 7 flights of stairs to exit..easier coming in than going out! Enjoyed the vintage film posters. © 2014 Jody Watley

Poised..walking up 7 flights of stairs to exit the venue after the show.. it’s always easier coming in than going out when stairs are involved – lol! Enjoyed the vintage film posters though. © 2014 Jody Watley

"The Fabulous Buffet." Post Concerts. © 2014 Jody Watley

“The Fabulous Buffet” Post Concert Hang Awaits. © 2014 Jody Watley

Post show tradition now..'the fabulous buffet' wind down. © 2014 Jody Watley

Post show tradition now..’the fabulous buffet’ wind down hanging with Louise, Bryan, Alle, Anders, Matt. © 2014 Jody Watley

The red velvet cake is a hit. © 2014 Jody Watley

The red velvet cake is always a hit. © 2014 Jody Watley

Anders loses us all with his choice of shoe for the evening. C'est la vie!  © 2014 Jody Watley

Anders loses us all with his choice of shoes and socks for the evening. C’est la vie! © 2014 Jody Watley

Donny with his quick wit and distinct southern vocal tone (works with Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue) and Anders - they jokingly call themselves "The Neverly Brothers"

Donny with his quick wit and distinct southern vocal tone (works with Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue) and Anders – they jokingly call themselves “The Neverly Brothers.” Fun times. © 2014 Jody Watley

Teresa, works with David Gest - always fashionable and on the move. © 2014 Jody Watley

Teresa, works with David Gest – always fashionable and on the move. © 2014 Jody Watley

We  overstay and close the after concert buffet and wind down - again!

Our group overstays in the midst of laughs and conversation closing our now traditional after concert  ‘fabulous buffet’ and wind down – again! Screens going up – staff wants to go home.. “Security!”  “Where are my keys!”  © 2014 Jody Watley

Up next – photo’s and more anecdotes including my visit to the International Slavery Museum, great food, new friends, age, a few life and career reflections …and the end of tour on the horizon.

Nightlife. It’s In The Music!

Jody Watley. Legends of Soul Tour Diary 5. Scenes.

On the road to Carlise.

On the road to .. from our base in Liverpool in the Mercedes Vito. © 2014 Jody Watley

Rhyl Pavilion - gorgeous theater.  © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Rhyl Pavilion – gorgeous theater. I always go to the stage first to get the vibe. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

A view from my dressing room - heavy winds and rain by the sea. ©2014 Jody Watley Images

A view from my dressing room in Rhyl, my second stop upon arrival – heavy winds and rain by the sea. Most dressing rooms don’t have windows, let alone a view of any kind.   ©2014 Jody Watley Images

Ok..so an afternoon pre-show 'snack' - all for fun of course. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Early Pre-show silly shenanigans  after plates were shoved in my direction for my constant photo taking – - all for fun and laughs of course..the joke being all the food being washed down with a ‘Diet Coke.’ The KFC took me back to my teen Soul Train days when all we got was a cold two piece snack and a cold soda – which none of us minded just to be on television getting exposure on the road to pursuing our dreams..who knew I’d be in North Wales one day and they’d have it. I would have preferred salad greens..lol.  The key to life must include a sense of humor!   © 2014 Jody Watley Images

"Get your Legends of Soul Tour programs!" © 2014 Jody Watley Images.

“Get your Legends of Soul Tour programs!” Testing out my camera options on the black and white and color accents!  © 2014 Jody Watley Images.

Meet and Greet. Rhyl Pavilion. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Pre-Show Meet and Greet for those who purchased tickets (serious autographs collectors) for first two rows. Rhyl Pavilion. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Chillin' in my dressing room before meet and greet vortex , just killing time - #selfie © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Chillin’ in my dressing room before meet and greet vortex ,  candles burning, listening to music – one of the few times I’ve had my own dressing room (Hallelujah!!) just killing time – #selfie © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Backstage with David, we call him King David. Anders Knudsen. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Backstage with Matt Kern  and another cutie Anders from Denmark (they’re both new artists /musicians, with this driver gig as an adventure to learn the business ropes.. so I will be able to say I knew them when! © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Little Anthony having a laugh backstage as we wait to go back to hotel. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Little Anthony having a laugh backstage as we wait to go back to hotel. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

5 minutes and I'm on. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

5 minutes and I’m on. Ready for showtime in sequins and glitter stiletto’s by Jerome C. Rousseau – yes!  © 2014 Jody Watley Images

My view backstage - partial of the band. © 2014 Jody watley Images

My view backstage – partial of the band. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

A real cutie, all of our drivers are hot! © 2014 Jody Watley Images.

Matt is a real cutie, all of our drivers are rock star  hot! © 2014 Jody Watley Images.

After a near two hour drive..back at our hotel -some of us overstay the customary 'fabulous buffet'  and the security screens go up - closing time. © 2014 Jody watley Images

After a near two hour drive..back at our hotel -some of us overstay the customary ‘fabulous buffet’ and the security screens go up – closing time, “Where are my keys?!” . © 2014 Jody watley Images

We’re in the home stretch now..

It’s In The Music!

Jody Watley. Legends of Soul Tour Diary 4. Liverpool.

Liverpool Philharmonic did not disappoint on Feb. 11. Despite a crazy day of bad weather including rain, heavy winds, jumbo snow flurries – followed by an odd looking sun as the rain fell again it was a sold out soul music loving crowd. An  ‘older’ distinguished crowd. While Halifax and St.Helens boogied in the aisles to the final strains of “We Love You Halifax and St.Helens respectively” from Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue – the vibe in the gorgeous concert hall was more reserved but still quite jubilant in the end for each of the artists; cue rousing applause.

After the concert we were all invited and some of the artists singing a couple of  A & B selections as they say in church for two songs. The event was attended by a well heeled affluent intimate crowd of close friends of David Gest, city dignitaries and a sprinkle of celebrities. All of the musicians and artists pulled it together quickly and were shuttled over over to a pre-Valentines event at the designated luxury hotel. Eddie Holman (Lonely Girl) did an extended version of the gospel classic “How Great Thou Art’ that initially brought me to tears because it was a favorite song of my father. Those moments of a lost loved one get you unexpectedly, so there I was weeping for a second at our table. Hearing the song took me back to church as a little girl and made me feel like my Dad was present. My tears soon turned to uncontrollable giggles. You know when you shouldn’t be laughing and then you can’t stop? Yes, that was me. That is how the roller coaster night progressed. It was fabulous to hear Dennis and The Temptations Revue have a go at ‘A Song For You’ – in a key he wasn’t accustomed to which made for memorable after the after party conversation  and laughter but it was beautiful to me nevertheless, they worked it out. It recalled listening to the title song and Donny Hathaway cover at a neighbors house in high school who always had the new releases as soon as they came out. This included the fantastic ‘Song For You’ album with it’s stark black cover.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be right if there wasn’t a plethora of underlying  challenges, mild drama, periodic frustrations, complaints, laughs, but ultimately a sense enjoyment and exhaustion ready for pajama’s, a hot bath and looking forward to a good night’s sleep to cap off the evening. Camp Legends of Soul — and real life.

Each show day in the lobby - fans await for autographs .. ''Security!'

Each show day in the lobby – professional autograph collectors await .. –”Security!’

Jody Watley Backstage with Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue in Liverpool. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Jody Watley Backstage with Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Revue in Liverpool. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Jody Watley and David Gest backstage Liverpool Philharmonic. © 2014 Jody Watley

Jody Watley and David Gest backstage Liverpool Philharmonic. © 2014 Jody Watley

Jody Watley with Paul Williams Jr. (son of original Temptations member Paul Williams) - one of the nicest guys and gentleman out here. © 2014 Jody Watley

Jody Watley with Temptations Revue member Paul Williams Jr. (son of original Temptations Paul Williams) – one of the nicest guys and gentleman out here – I lost s Superbowl bet of a dollar to Paul, as some of watched it in the hotel bar after the show – perfect timing. © 2014 Jody Watley

After Party. Liverpool. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

After Party. Liverpool – you know I have an affinity for a nice spiral staircase to work!  © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Dennis Edwards, Eddie Holman, Gwen Dickey original lead singer of Rose Royce  in Liverpool © 2014 Jody Watley

Dennis Edwards, Eddie Holman, Gwen Dickey original lead singer of Rose Royce in Liverpool © 2014 Jody Watley

liverpool_bash

Scenes from an after party bash, Legends of Soul Tour – Liverpool. © 2014 Jody Watley

Party guest Gary Millar Lord Mayor Liverpool Townhall

Party guest  Lord Mayor Gary Millar rocking his dignitary hardware. © 2014 Jody Watley

Cece Peniston gives Little Anthony a hug after an incredible performance - the has the most beautiful voice. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Cece Peniston gives Little Anthony a hug after an incredible paired down performance at the after party – he has the most angelic one and voice. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Cece's stiletto awaited Little Anthony..in church when someone is singing really well it makes you want to throw something…it wouldn't have been ok to throw anything - so the shoe was representative of how we felt about his performance.

Cece’s stiletto awaited Little Anthony..in church when someone is singing really well it makes you want to throw something…it wouldn’t have been ok to throw anything – so the shoe was representative of how we felt about his performance.

Jody Watley, Bryan Chambers, Cece Peniston © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Be Fab! Nightlife in Liverpool with Jody Watley, Bryan Chambers, Cece Peniston © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Just the right portion for dessert.

Just the right portion for dessert (my favorite was the lemon tart). Liverpool after party event Legends of Soul.  Learn to take the bitter with the sweet in life. Gratitude.

Jody Watley Nightlife “Classic Soul” Mix, the perfect backdrop of sound. Listen and Buy: Here

Jody Watley. Legends of Soul Tour Diary. Three.

One of my indulgences at home and travel are luxury candles. Photo © 2014: Joy Watley Images

One of my indulgences at home and travel are luxury candles – treat yourself to something nice I say! Photo © 2014: Jody Watley Images

A beautiful day in Liverpool. Photo: © 2014 Jody Watley Images.

A beautiful day in Liverpool. Photo: © 2014 Jody Watley Images.

Beatles 50. A capture from HMV..nice to see an actual 'record' store still exists! © 2104 Jody Watley Images

Beatles 50. A capture from HMV..nice to see an actual ‘record’ store still exists! © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Retail Therapy. I love my scarf - 60% off Vivenne Westwood - longtime style favorite! © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Retail Therapy. I love my scarf – 60% off Vivenne Westwood winter sale – longtime style favorite! © 2014 Jody Watley Images All Rights Reserved

Pre-Show Meet and Greet for those who purchased tickets for first two rows  © 2014 Jody Watley Images Halifax Victoria Theatre

Pre-Show Meet and Greet for those who purchased tickets for first two rows © 2014 Jody Watley Images Halifax Victoria Theatre

Vanity table, dressing room - Halifax. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Vanity table, dressing room – Halifax. © 2014 Jody Watley Images All rights reserved.

© 2014 Little Anthony still sounds like a teenager and has lots well earned admiration. Meet and Greet; Halifax United Kingdom

My Mom will love this – but I appreciate it as well. Little Anthony of the Imperials still sounds like a teenager onstage, hits every note with charm and has lots of well earned admiration  and love – great songs and artistry survive trend and youth!. Meet and Greet; Halifax United Kingdom © 2014 Jody Watley Images All rights Reserved

I'm in awe of this man - Dennis Edwards the last remaining 'LIVING' lead singer of the Temptations. Meet and Greet Halifax, UK.  © 2014 Jody Watley Images

I’m in awe of this man, love him to pieces my fellow Aquarian – Dennis Edwards the last remaining ‘LIVING’ lead singer of the Temptations. Meet and Greet Halifax, UK. © 2014 Jody Watley Images All Rights Reserved

Meet and Greet, Halifax. © 2014 Jody Watley Images, All Rights Reserved

Meet and Greet, Halifax. © 2014 Jody Watley Images, All Rights Reserved

Grooving backstage with Candi Staton - my goodness such great music out here, taken for granted in the states but HIGHLY revered here in the United Kingdom. © 2014 Jody Watley Images. All Rights Reserved.

Grooving backstage with Candi Staton in St. Helens United Kingdom Theatre Royal – my goodness such great music and artistry out here, taken for granted in the states but HIGHLY revered here in the United Kingdom. © 2014 Jody Watley Images. All Rights Reserved.

Pre-show Chill out..waiting, to get dressed, Halifax Victoria Theatre. Not that glamorous! © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Pre-show Chill out after meet and greet..waiting – Halifax Victoria Theatre. Not that glamorous – forgot my candle too! © 2014  Jody Watley Images All Rights Reserved

David Gest poses with two of my fans after the show - 'Get in the car David!" © 2014 Jody Watley Images

The inimitable David Gest host of “Legends of Soul Tour’ after a prompt poses with two of my fans after the show in Halifax, United Kingdom and then – ‘Get in the car David -it’s cold and rainy outside! © 2014 Jody Watley Images

I’m having a wonderful time – with all of the drama, back stories, anecdotes, twists and turns – I love it, another unique experience of a lifetime! A sold out – Liverpool Philharmonic up next!

Jody Watley Legends of Soul Tour Diary. Two.

The tour began in a small resort town called Bognor Regis. Word seemed to spread quickly that I was really quiet to David Gest and the others – I am. This seemed to be a cause for concern amongst some as I was told, thinking I might be a bit too ‘standoffish.’ Say what? Life is always a bit like elementary school isn’t it? This realization somewhat surprised and saddened me initially. I haven’t been reprimanded for my personality since I was growing up – and I’m obviously quite grown. No one likes feeling like they’re under a microscope. There’s a comfort level of course when you’re around people you really know and those you’re beginning to know. Some personalities will never mix, but on a job you roll with it. The discussion of my quiet demeanor took me back to being a little girl, often chastised by one of my grandmother’s for being ‘quiet’ which she for some odd reason equated to being sneaky and up to no good. The verbal abuse was unforgettable, when I was simply in my own world creating poetry, playing with my dolls, reading and other solitary acts that I found joy in. In school, I was always quiet as well, studious which some called ‘stuck up’ which caused me to be bullied often. Many can relate to this I’m sure.  It’s as if being a profanity laced loudmouth, vulgar and crass somehow makes a person more ‘real.’  What I know is quiet types seem to unjustly throw people off with red flags of mistrust and with a hint of disdain. Chatter. I’m friendly though reserved, quick to laugh, an observer of others, thoughtful, can be moody, enjoy being in my own space literally and figuratively – zen. That said, when pushed I do have another side that will go off, speak up and will not take crap from anyone among other lifelong traits. ‘Don’t let the smooth taste fool you.” That’s ‘real’ for me and has always been the case. To each their own. Quiet is not a sign of weakness, to the contrary. I was raised a certain way, to carry myself a certain way and to act like a lady with class. As an artist – I’m a professional, if I make friends cool – if not cool. My priority is always to be great onstage giving 1000% that’s what I love. If you can have fun with people you enjoy it’s even better. When mentoring young people I say watch how you carry yourself, respect yourself and others – perceptions and impressions go a long way. Sometimes I think the term ‘just be yourself’ needs a bit of revision to include ‘but always show a bit of class, intelligence, respect and consideration for others.’ As my Mom always says ‘There’s a time and a place for everything.’

Personality microscopes aside – this is an incredible concert tour to be a part of.

These kids thought I was the friendliest of everyone - 'the quiet one' © 2014 Jody Watley Images

These kids who worked at the hotel thought I was the friendliest of everyone. I guess it depends upon who you ask, lol. © 2014 Jody Watley Images

In Bognor Regis, Butlins Entertainment Resort ©2014 Jody Watley Images

Selfie. In Bognor Regis, Butlins Entertainment Resort ©2014 Jody Watley Images

Having a nice time after a great concert at St. Helens Theatre Royal © 2014 Jody Watley Images

Having a nice time after a great concert at St. Helens Theatre Royal I’ve really connected with backing vocalists Bryan (pictured to my left), Louise (third from right) and keyboardist Ally (second from right)  © 2014 Jody Watley Images

With Louise, Bryan and Ally after a bit of Chinese dining on an evening off. © 2014 jody Watley Images

Nightlife fun with Louise, Bryan and Ally -a bit of Chinese dining on an evening off. © 2014 jody Watley Images

Meanwhile..

Jody Watley Legends of Soul Tour Diary. One.

On the road from Skegness, United Kingdom. © 2014 Jody Watley

On the road,  leaving  Minehead, United Kingdom. © 2014 Photo by Jody Watley

Keeping my eye on the driver for more reasons than one. © 2014 Jody Watley

Keeping my eye on the driver for more reasons than one. © 2014 Jody Watley

Driving and traveling from one destination to another make sure to take in the scenery and remember it’s the journey, not simply the destination in this life we live. The David Gest Presents: Legends of Soul Concert tour began with a chaotic schedule, for a few days where was no wifi which drove me crazy I’ll admit. It’s the little things right? I had to laugh what did we do before. I filled my downtime instead with writing and some good old fashioned book reading.

The scenic photographs were taken from the front seat of the Mercedes Vito a group of us were in.  While the others slept on this just past dawn departure, I was keeping an eye on the scenery and the driver, riding shotgun as they say, to make sure our very handsome driver didn’t fall asleep at the wheel as I was convinced he’d been up all night!

David Gest Presents Legends of Soul Concert Tour Schedule:

legendsofsoul_scheduleofshows