Snuck into a private taping of David Bowie when I was a teen on Soul Train. His song ‘Fame’ was out on Young Americans album which I loved. He was so immediately intriguing – and I was gutted when I got kicked out of the taping (my name was not on the list) missing an opportunity to see him in person. Like millions who were fans I am saddened and shocked to hear of his passing – he was so private; something else I admire about him and didn’t know he’d been battling cancer in this age of over media saturation. Original, boldly different and eclectic, Bowie never confined himself to any musical or style box throughout his legendary career up through his just released ‘Black Star’ he kept us guessing and enamored in and out of the mainstream always a chameleon – I admire him so much and anyone who just does their own thing staying true to themselves especially in this business.
Quietly, or not so..he was also a white artist who spoke out against the lack of videos being played at the time by MTV (in the days when it was Music Television) by black artists unless between certain hours when people were less likely to be tuning in. I learned this fact today. Check his interview with Mark Goodman challenging the tepid excuses: here , in that way I owe a debt of gratitude a black artist who found her way into medium to heavy rotation at one time.
Another great one – a legend who leaves an indelible legacy of music, style, performances, innovation and individuality and beyond. Live life – it’s precious..we’re all just passing through.
My condolences and prayers to his wife of 24 years Iman, his children, family and friends who knew him best.
One of my early favorites:
Good-Bye Mr. Lawrence. ( Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto from the film in which David Bowie starred).
To those who have only gravitated to my commercial successes – you have missed so much good music. It’s never too late in this digital world to catch up. This project Saturday Night Experience Vol. 1 featuring Jody Watley came at a another pivotal time in my life and career –my enthusiasm had waned for the ‘business’.. 4Hero’s Two Pages renewed it and took me into the world of underground..ambient electronica, dance – my faith and creative juices restored. It wasn’t about commercial pop success – simply the continued journey of an artist, writer and producer..creative spirit.
This review of ‘Another Chapter’ from 1999 is so on point…it remains the perfect New Year’s song..life change song…read it and check it out. “Every story has a beginning, a middle and end — it’s life..”
Read and Listen: IntoThePopVoid
Here’s to more good things that have never been! Onward. Happy New Year!
One of my favorite books is “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck. I read it for the first time in 1983 when I really decided to take control of my life especially professionally and the second time in 1989. This is one of my favorite poems, so I’m sharing it with you. Live your life – make your own choices no matter how much flack you might receive, it’s best to be authentic than to live someone else’s vision of your life.
The Road Not Taken
My twitter timeline went all abuzz just before I was heading out to dinner with one of my best friends Christos Garkinos last night. He’d dealt with the loss of another of his longtime closest friends for 30 years – a difficult time is an understatement. Cathy had sadly lost her hard fought battle with cancer.
There’s nothing like good fine, a quality rose’, laughter and honest talk to keep life grounded.
The first thing I read before heading out was that Jennifer Lopez acted as if she didn’t know who “Jody Watley” was after Ryan Seacrest gave ’80’s Icon Jody Watley’ some love. My first reaction of course was: The nerve. The shade. The disrespect. Girl please. This was the consensus in my timeline. After all, homage was paid to me in a shout-out in one of Jennifer Lopez songs my fans had made me aware of sometime ago “Hold You Down” with Fat Joe..a formula that Eric B and Rakim and I had successfully blueprinted as a major crossover multi-format single in 1989, I’d add. How can anyone be a judge on these shows and not know a cross section of music and origins – typical I’d say as well when it comes to black artists. I did reply with a short tweet – with a link here to the site which is full of info for those who need to ‘learn it’ – decades of it!
Anyway, after a great time at dinner, always putting and keeping life in perspective, Christos and I had a wonderful time. It was nice to see him smile and eat – he hadn’t eaten much in the past week. By the time I came home, another best friend (my longest, nearest and dearest Wallace Butts) watched the show said it wasn’t that bad and he’d retracted his post on the Idol Facebook page. He conveyed it was in the context of hoop earrings — the judges were confused. Seacrest sang a bit of of one of my numerous hits, (not including those with Shalamar) “Don’t You Want Me..” to blank stares from the judges panel. Whatever. I always look to the bright side of things and know who I am, what I’ve done and continue to do – even when others don’t. The bright side is Ryan Seacrest did say my name on his show – and it got people talking, although I’ve never been one to court controversy and sensationalism. Often that is the name of the game. I was glad I didn’t go on a full blown Twitter rant. This is a lesson to everyone. Always take a step back and never react until the facts are in when it comes to negativity in particular – and then still count to 10!
Enjoy Life. A few favorite quotes come to mind-Keep what is useful, and discard what is not. No one can ever make you feel inferior without your permission. Define yourself for yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Life is short – live to the fullest, appreciate yourself, your family and friends.