Last Updated: 3/18/2002
Last Updated: 3/18/2002
One of the things that people are always asking me about is…
Well take a look at the picture bellow of Ritchie Valens and our old pal, Jackie Wilson, for a part of the answer…
It's pretty clear that the music that was later called Rock n' Roll, was actually originated during the late 1940's and early 1950's by young Black men on the street corners of northern cities, using their voices as instruments and in the juke joints of the south, by young Black men with electrified instruments.
Although there is no definitive date for the actual start of Rock n' Roll, we do know that it started to become popular in the mid 1950's, shortly after the famous Brown vs. Board of Education US Supreme Court decision, declaring that SEGGREGATION was against the law in the United States.
If you think about it, Rock n' Roll as a popular form of culture may not have been possible, were it not for that decision.
During the 1950's Rock n' Roll itself became a force for integration of the races and it was the music bringing people together.
That picture of Jackie Wilson and Richie Valens really says a thousand words in it's simplicity, doesn't it?
AAdamsRib and I had the pleasure this evening of spending some time with Johnnie Carter, Tommy Hunt (and his wife) and Chuck Barksdale, just "shooting the breeze"
For me occasions like this are like being exposed to a living/breathing, walking/talking museum of Black history!
They talked about...
- The birth of Chicago Soul
- Doo Wop days
- The State of R&B across the world
- How did Jimi Hendrix die? (yes I ask that question of every artist I meet)
- Growing up in Chicago
- Sun Ra (see there are MANY more connections between these artists than you
might ever imagine)
- Friendships that have lasted a lifetime
- And a whole bunch of stuff that I dare not repeat :)
Tommy also played a cassette of some new music that he is working on that sounded pretty damn good to me!
Chuck Barksdale took us to school (as usual) on subjects like Black ownership in music and what I call "Stolen Legacy"
Meanwhile, Johnnie Carter was keeping us in stitches :)
Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow's party and meeting those of you who will be on the scene
Well I gotta crash now, I'll file another report from the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Inductions tomorrow
1. Paul Shaffer from the David Letterman show is the Musical Director for the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies.
Obviously I have seen Paul Shaffer many times on TV.
I have also had the rare opportunity to meet him several times in person at various events around in NYC.
I realize that some people may think that he is a joke.
I'm hear to let all of you know that Paul Shaffer was AWESOME in the studio yesterday.
I stood there and watched for about 2 hours as he literally taught the Flamingos how to sing "I Only Have Eyes For You".
Keep in mind the following...
- The individuals who make up the Flamingos 2001 had not sung together before (Johnnie Carter, Buzzy Johnson and Tommy Hunt were with the group at different times)
- Paul Shaffer's entire objective is to make them look good.
He broke the song down into small sections and had the group practice each section till they all got down their parts.
Then at the end they put all of the parts together and it all sounded wonderful.
When you watch the show on TV, be sure to pay close attention to the vocal harmonies and to Buzzy's sweet sounding guitar.
2. Felicia Michele Collins
She is the flashy guitarist from Paul Shaffer's band and we got a chance to talk with her for a while during the course of the rehearsal.
VERY foine (as yall already know from watching her on TV)
Naturally we took some pictures with her (and Chuck Barksdale made sure he was in those pictures.....LOL)
She is a serious FUNK guitarist and we talked about Funk guitar playing all the way back to the Five Royales!
We shall be hearing more from/about her on the Soul Patrol...
3. Everyone at the rehearsal was very nice to us, we had no problems getting in and a few of the people there later showed up at our party at Showmans
I got back about an hour ago and I'm still flying high from the experience!
It was one of those nights when EVERYTHING came together in a beautiful way.
I want to thank all of the Soul Patrol members who showed up for the party.
Some of the members who showed up were "regular posters", some were "lurkers".
It didn't matter....
I have a lot to say about the party itself and who was there and what happened, etc
However I'll save that till tomorrow (it's 4am here right now)
What I want to talk about here are the Soul Patrol members who showed up and
the reaction to it.
I would say that we had about 25 members in attendance.
My guess is that there were somewhere between 150-200 at Showmans
The sheer joy of people who know each other, yet don't know each other being with each other is truly something to behold.
Imagine what it must have felt like for the people who were there, who were "regulars" in this Harlem nightspot for a bunch of "internet people" to descend upon their "home away from home", with talk of email addresses, websites, postings, mailing lists, etc.
It was though we had landed there from Mars!
The "regulars" there got caught up into the groove that was being provided by the Soul Patrollers.
I overheard conversations like...
- "You don't have a computer, you betta get one NOW"
- "I am not quite sure, just what it is that you people are doing, but
whatever it is it sure sounds good"
- "Oh, I have lots of things to tell you, pictures to show you, etc. about
the musical history of Harlem, when can you come over to my house..."
- "I own a club down the street, call me and we can do this at my club, hell
I'll even buy a damn computer if that would make yall happy..."
- "I want to have you get my kids involved..."
We were passing out flyers for people to vote for the Dells, showing them
pictures of our websites and taking their names and numbers.
The manager at Showmans couldn't stop thanking me.
By the time we left, I am sure that everyone in the place had introduced
themselves to each other and exchanged information.
This event certainly made two little boys from Brooklyn (Mike and me) quite proud.
And it caused me to think mostly about the Internet and the true power that
it has to bring people together.
Remember, the whole point of this website is to be an "exercise in empowerment"
Tonight I got a glimpse of just how "empowering" this website has the potential to be!
I just wanted to thank all of you who made it possible for me to have "clarity of that vision" tonight up on 125th St
I spoke earlier in a posting about the "kozmic groove" that permeated Showmans lounge last night...
Now I'll tell you a little bit about the party itself
SO WHO WAS THERE?
Our Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees:
- Flamingos (Tommy Hunt and Johnnie Carter)
- Ritchie Valens Family (pictured above)
- Solomon Burke (who didn't make it into town till today)
Some Special Guests from the Soul Patrol Family
- The Dells (Chuck Barksdale and Johnnie Carter)
- Billy Paul (pictured above with the Soul Patrol Crew)
I do believe that after this weekend our Soul Patrol "family" has been extended to also include the Flamingos and the Valens family as well as the staff/management of Showmans.
BTW.....remember the movie "La Bamba"?
The Valens family (especially Bob) were just as fiery, loving and sensitive as portrayed in the movie.
They are quite interested in Soul Patrol and were quite anxious to discuss how Ritchie's music would have evolved into the "Brown Eyed Soul" of the 60's & 70's had he lived.
You will be hearing more about them here on the Soul Patrol Digest...
SO WHO ELSE WAS THERE?
- We had a few journalists like Mike Ingram of Gannett News (so maybe we will
end up in USA Today?)
- We had a few broadcasters there like the legendary Ken "Spider" Webb of WWRL (he will be interviewing Tommy Hunt, Johnny Carter and Chuck Barksdale
on his show tomorrow on WWRL 1600 AM)
- We had the "regulars" at Showman's (neighborhood folks in their 60's) who beamed with pride after hearing what we were doing.
I personally had a blast, interacting with everyone there, as I'm sure that everyone else did.
Hell, they even let me make a short speech honoring the inductees :)
It was a great party, with a lot of great conversation and genuine affection amongst people...
SO WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?
Well, from my perspective, this party should NEVER HAVE BEEN HELD.
That's right, IT NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED
Why do you suppose that I would say such a thing, after just telling you how great it was?
Well the ONLY reason we gave the party, was because, if we had not...
....then NOBODY ELSE WOULD HAVE
Rolling Stone magazine, VH-1 and eMpTy truly believes that Rock n' Roll music started sometime after 1963 and in their continuing SHAMELESS attempt at "distorting history" only seem to believe that their friends are worthy to be
honored with a party on the eve of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies.
They would like to write artists like the Flamingos, Ritchie Valens, Solomon Burke and MANY others out of the history books.
If they had their way, the Beatles would be the inventors of Rock n' Roll
Personally, I don't think that's right
And I will continue to use this platform here in cyberspace to make sure that these pioneers of the music are NOT forgotten and they are given their props.
Unfortunately, we can't afford to fall asleep on the CULTURE BANDITS
Always remember that whenever we fall asleep, that's when the CULTURE
BANDITS are WORKING OVERTIME.
Therefore WE are going to have to WORK OVERTIME to correct this problem
--by Mike Boone
You know when you look at an musical event on TV such as, the American Music Awards, The Grammy's, Soul Train Awards, etc; you never think about how much preparation it takes to put together such events. Well, I had the pleasure checking out behind the scene and interview stars at one of the most prestige award show in the music industry. The rehearsal for the inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show!
This is how the story goes............
The musical event took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel located on 50th ST and Park Ave. I met fellow Soul Patroler Cheryl Page in front of the hotel at 10:20 am. As we walked inside the hotel, we then took the elevator to the 3rd floor to Grand Ballroom where the rehearsal and the actual show would take place. We walked were there were a lot of staff and music technicians were setting up and testing the sound on their equipment.
As we entered the ballroom, setting at a table were, Chuck Barksdale, Johnny Carter ( of The Dells), Tommy Hunt and his wife Mandy. They each gave us a greeting and we began to sit at another table close to them. Paul Shaffer and his band were rehearsing and doing a sound check, as the bass player of the group Steely Dan played his bass. Cheryl suggested that we should move closer to the front where we can be able to see the action up close. After the sound check, they then asked Tommy Hunt, Johnny Carter and Terry " Buzzy" Johnson to take the stage to rehearse their signature song, " I Only Have Eyes For You". Paul Shaffer meanwhile, was trying to get the background singers to blend in with the Flamingos, as they sang in a different key.
It took 3 takes for it to really come together. Buzzy Johnson sounded great and Tommy Hunt and Johnny Carter sounded wonderful as they blended their smooth harmonies behind the strumming of Buzzy Johnson's guitar, as well as the background singers. As they rehearsed their song, we noticed lead singer of Steely Dan, Donald Fagan sitting at a table just about a few feet away from us.
The actual rehearsal of the Flamingos took place at 11:07 am. After the Flamingos performed their song, they did a cool exit stage left walking in unison behind each other. As I mention earlier, It so amazing how much hard work and preparation that takes place in really in putting a show together such as this one. The lights, the giant sound boom, the huge screens on the corner one each side of the room, the crystal chandelier, the wires stretched all over the floor covered with duct tape.
Press from all over the world sitting and standing around and at tables. Afterwards, Tommy Hunt came over to ask how did they sound. I said you guys sounded great!
As Cheryl and I were sitting at our table, another musical legend walks in. One of my favorite singers to come out of Belmont Ave in the Bronx was no other than Dion Di Mucci ( aka Dion or from the group the Belmonts) along with Rick Newman. As Cheryl called out his name, I went over to shake his hand. I told him that I love him in the movie " Twist Around The Clock", and he just laughed. I asked him what was he doing here and who is he hear to see. He said that he was just hanging out to hear great music from great artists. Being from the doo-wop era himself, he very supportive to the Flamingos. After my chat with Dion, Bob Davis introduced Cheryl and myself to Buzzy Johnson and what a thrill it was!
A very warm person, with a touch of sophistication and a sharp dresser, he told us that he was so excited to be here and that he couldn't sleep when he first arrived here from Florida. I went outside for a hot minute, I saw an attractive woman sitting at our table. As I went over to greet her, she told me that she was Ritchie Valens sister. Her name was Connie. What attracted me, was that she wore a very nice button with a picture of Ritchie Valens from his first and only LP.
As we chatted, Steely Dan was rehearsing and Donald Fagan played keyboard and sang lead. The song they performed was their classic cut from the ABC Records label entitled, " Do It Again" from 1972. They were really jammin! Playing in Paul Shaffer's band was a very attractive lady with long braids that we met as well.
Her name is Felicia Colins.
After Steely Dan, came Ricky Martin. He was to sing 3 of Ritchie Valens' songs. " Come On, Let's Go" "Donna" and La Bamba.
Two of Ritchie's brothers, Mario his older brother Bob, along with Bob's wife, and two of Connie's sons. Trying to get the rehearsal of the songs together, Ricky Martin now enters wearing all black, sounds pretty good with the band as they take did 5 takes of the song. The songs, " Come On, Let''s Go" fades with " Donna and then blends with "La Bamba". Connie was very pleased with the way Ricky Martin represented Ritchie's music in his own style. I asked the family what they thought about the movie " La Bamba" made about Ritchie. She said that she was very pleased that way Ritchie and his mom was represented with dignity. She loved the way Lou Diamond Phillips portaryed Ritchie Valens. As the rehearsal took place, Mario (Ritchie's younger brother), played a mean harmonica during the Ricky Martin performance. Everyone was very proud to see Ritchie Valens finally make the Hall of Fame, including his close buddy, Dion..
Paul Shaffer announced a lunch break.
Meanwhile, Bob Davis discovered a press conference that was going on next door with Ricky Martin. The Valens family went to check and participate.
I might add that Connie told me that she was only 7 yrs when Ritchie's song " Come On Let"s Go was released and played on the radio. She was extremely excited when she heard her big brother on the radio. During lunch break, Billy Paul and his charming wife Blanche entered and sat at our table. Tommy Hunt, and chatted about his career and music.
While this conversation is taking place, Solomon Burke enters. Looking sharper than ever, he greeted everyone and proceeded to take the stage. Solomon had that joint rocking !!!
Singing two of his classics " Cry To Me" and " Everybody Needs Someone To
Love" as he sat though of those sessions, Solomon still has soul baby!
Meanwhile, as Tommy Hunt and I continued our conversation, he's telling me that he's in the process of writing his autobiography. While this conversation is taking place, a man walks towards Tommy, and Tommy screamed, " My man"!
It was Frankie Valli !!! They embraced and Mr. Valli was so gracious to take a picture with me after they chatted while. Frankie was their to induct the Flamingos into the Hall of Fame.
Next came Paul Simon. He performed 4 songs and then left. As he left, another legendary rocker entered. His name was Steven Tyler of the rock group, Aerosmith. Bob Davis introduced Steven Tyler to both Cheryl and myself and took pictures with us as well. He went to perform and really rocked the joint !!!
With funky guitar licks and rhythm, they sounded pretty soulful.
By this time it was getting late, so the staff had to clear the room so they make preparations for the show. This was about 5:45pm. During this time the group Queen was scheduled to practice. As Cheryl and I was preparing to leave, we said our goodbye's to Bob, Blanche, and Billy Paul, as exit stage right.
It was a day that I will never ever forget, and I have to personally thank Bob, Blanche and Cheryl Page for making this day, a day to remember.
A day in the life with the stars.
(Chancellor of Soul)
Hey, I have never been much of an Aerosmith fan till today
I saw them for the first time performing live
I dunno what they do in their regular shows, but they were kicking it BIG TIME today when I saw them during the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame Induction
They played a set of STONE COLD FUNK (including several James Brown songs)
And they had the house JAMMIN!!!!!!!
The funny part about it was that just before they went on, I had brought Steven Tyler over to where Rib, Cheryl Page, Mike Boone, Billy Paul, Blanche Williams, several of the Flamingos were sitting and announced the following:
"Steven, you can come over and spend a few moments talking to Soul Patrol, even though we are mostly about Black music"
"To hell with that, ALL of us originated in Africa anyhow, right?"
He spent a few moments talking with us all and then he got up on the stage and played a 20 minute set of BLISTERING FUNK that had ALL of us up and shaking our booty's.
Later he remarked to Rib...
"Not bad for a white boy..."
(ya had to be there....)
Of course the Flamingos, Dells, Valens Family, Bily Paul....
Paul Shaffer and assorted members of his band
Solomon Burke & his band
Paul Simon and assorted members of his band
Terry Stewart (CEO of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame)
DURING THE EVENT:
(We had access to the main hall this year, since we were listed on the staff
of the Flamingos)
All of the above plus...
Harvey Fuqua (the one and only)
The children of the Flamingos
I'm sure that I'm leaving someone out?
Soul Patrol set up "camp" at a table during the rehearsals, just as we did last year, however one difference was that we didn't seem to have to seek people out. Most of these people seemed to gravitate over to where we were sitting and just came by and made themselves comfortable
The staff of the event was pretty nice to us.
There were no outright insults
This year VH-1 had a sista running things this year, and that seemed to make a difference?
Tomorrow night when you watch the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, be sure to pay attention to the tribute to Richie Valens.
First off, ignore the performance by "pop media creation" Ricky Martin.
As hard as he tries, he just is unable to capture the spirit and emotion of Ritchie Valens.
During the rehearsals, he practiced the three songs "Come On", "Donna", and "La Bamba" OVER and OVER and OVER again, but he was unable to get past having a "white bread" sound.
Even his dancing seemed to be stiff and artificial
He is saved ONLY by the MAJESTY of the Paul Shaffer Band!
A VERY poor selection by whomever to represent Ritchie Valens...
(Where was Los Lobos?)
Ritchie Valens was a true "soul brotha", as I was reminded many times over the course of the weekend by his brothers Bob and Mario.
So how should we here on Soul Patrol think about Ritchie Valens?
Think of the East LA "Brown Eyed Soul" sounds that would later develop in
the 1960's and then later the music of WAR
Who knows what would have happened if he had lived?
He had just an 8 month career, and 3 MONSTER hit records on his hands when he was killed at the age of 17.
He had crossed over in a major way and was poised to do what Santana did 10 years later.
He made me think of another young guitarist, full of unfulfilled potential, about the same age name Jimi Hendrix
Whenever you have your next drink, pour a taste for Ritchie Valens...
This brotha Ritchie Valens was truly badd...
Is Rock n' Roll about to die of "natural causes"?
OLDER THAN MY PARENTS
ABOUT THE SAME AGE AS MY PARENTS
A LITTLE OLDER THAN ME
ABOUT THE SAME AGE AS ME
(& I'm an "old fart".....lol)
Bringing in current pop groups with little talent isn't going to help
What's the future hold?