"I've done a lot of foolish things that I didn't mean, didn't I?" - Stevie Wonder, Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
Country clubs are odd places. Filled mostly with old (white) people and service workers who are far too good at constant, attentive care of their guests, it's probably not a shock that I haven't frequented their large green grounds or their hoity toity clubhouses much in my life. I might like to roll VIP stee-lo in everything I do but that's more a mental attitude than anything else. I'm a VIP because I say so and do as such not because you grant me the priviledge or because I've paid for the honor. I'm agressively hoi polloi.
Last night, however, my father was the musical director for a show at Hillcrest Country Club (which, I'm guessing, is probably the most diverse of the local country clubs. They'll gladly take anybody's money) to honor Berry Gordy and his 60 years of musical success at Motown. It was a private affair with nearly 800 guests getting treated to a musical revue of about 50 songs from the Motown catalog done mostly in medley style. Sydney Poitier hosted. Smokey Robinson performed a couple of his classic hits and a song from his most recent album at about the halfway point and I was proud of my father and his command of his orchestra who deftly went through 90 minutes of intricate and amazing soul material literally without missing a beat.
I'm pretty even tempered. My dad has performed with Aretha Franklin and Seal and dozens of other well-known artists. He's also performed solo to throngs of eager fans. My mother has worked with Madonna and Diana Ross and Paul McCartney and a growing list of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame type cats. I've been a part of all that on many an occasion throughout my life.
I'm saying, this shit is old hat and I rarely, if ever, am thrown into fan boy mode at these events. That kind of reaction is just not me.
It's not me, I guess, unless Stevie Wonder is going to surprise me with a 30 minute set at the end of a show with my dad improvising with his band to back Superstition and Higher Ground so that they sound the way they are intended.
That's some once in a lifetime stuff and I was just proud and amazed. This whole event had been a family affair with my sister working with the director and my mother doing wardrobe while she was on break from Cirque and a close family friend singing on stage. If the thing had a website, I'm sure I would've gotten a taste, too. And for all their hard work, I got a half hour of Stevie.
I danced and sang along loudly all the way until the moment I met him. I composed myself, gave his outstretched hand a shake and a pound and calmly told him it was a pleasure to meet him and that I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. My dad asked for a picture and Stevie agreed. Stevie's assistant offered to take the photo so that I could get in there and pose.
"Naw, man. It's cool."
Hmmmph. Like I'm some fan boy. Y'all betta recognize.
On the Horizon:
Nora Murphy Art Reception
Mark the calendars and join me for art, foodlettes and cocktails on
Saturday, September 9
4212 Lankershim Blvd.
Cirque Du Soleil's Delirium
7 LA Shows at Staples, y'all. Get in there.