Eddie Levert and The O’Jays began their legacy as teenagers singing doo wop. With a few name changes, but retaining their nucleus structure, they decided collectively to ‘Put Our Heads Together’ and signed to Gamble and Huff’s PIR  label. Eddie became the primary lead vocalist with a voice of such distinction, albeit a ballad, mid tempo or a disco boogie groove regardless.. it was ‘Time To Get Down’. The group’s ethos always aimed to ‘Give The People What They Wan’t, hence The O’Jays have been together for 56 years. For the last 26 of them they have not graced the UK shores until this pending concert in September. So get on board the ‘Love Train’, ‘This Time Baby’ and prepare to show some ‘Unity’ if you want to see The O’Jay’s ‘Sing A Happy Song’ because ‘We’re All In This Thing Together’. This edited interview was conducted in 2014 in issue 54 of The Soul Survivors Magazine..To get a hard copy please purchase via http://www.thesoulsurvivorsmagazine.co.uk/product/issue-54-july-august-2014/

 Enjoy…Fitzroy

 

 

 

What influenced you growing up in  Ohio, home to the Isley Bro’s and Ohio Players around the same time?

Those two you speak of were influential, especially the Isley Brothers. When they were doing ‘Twist and Shout’ I used to go to Detroit and see them at the Woodwood Theatre. They were a fantastic and exciting act for a three man group as they were all over the place. They were very instrumental in our forming of the O’Jays because of their gospel sound and background in the way that Ron Isley sang, it certainly influenced me and Walter. The Ohio Players were our back up band for a while before they started making big hits. We used to go to Buffalo and play at the Revalot Lounge and they would open up the show before us and then back us as we sang. They had a very raw and funky danceable sound back then, which wasn’t as refined but very gritty and earthy.

I know you believe in hard work and practice till you can do it naturally and were influenced by some of the greats like James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Gladys Knight to sharpen up your performance skills (Yeah). At what point did you realise you had that raspy vocal that would make a difference?

 

Wow I didn’t realise my voice had a uniqueness until we recorded songs like ‘Backstabbers’, ‘Love Train’ and ‘For The Love Of Money’.

What led to you renaming the group after the DJ Eddie O’Jay?

We went to Detroit to audition for Berry Gordy’s Motown and Eddie O’Jay didn’t think that the deal was a fair offer. Berry’s ex wife Thelma had a record company called Deco and she eventually signed us. We recorded a song called ‘The Way I Feel About You’ and they wanted to put the record out but we didn’t like the name The Triumphs that we had at the time. We needed to come up with a name and Eddie O’Jay suggest we used his name temporarily till we found another one. We never looked back.

During that Gamble and Huff, Neptunes and PIR interim  you recorded the soulful and funky ‘Superbad’  album, a completely different direction for the O’Jays. Featuring Now ‘He’s Home’, ‘Crossroads Of Life’, ‘Shattered Man’ and the epic ‘Peace’, who were some of the uncredited players on the album?

 

That was a compilation album of material we did with both HB Barnum and Philly International musicians. We were on the west coast and HB Barnum collated talents like Bernard Purdie and Eric Gale with Bobby Martin, Earl Young and Thom Bell from Philly. 

There was also an interest from Motown and Invictus Records but what cemented the move to Gamble and Huff’s new venture PIR records?

We experienced a degree of success at Neptunes that we’d never experienced prior to signing with them. When the Neptunes distribution deal folded with Chess Records we almost went home thinking what do we do now? Our biggest reason to go back to Gamble and Huff was them playing us the instrumentals of ‘Back Stabbers’, ‘Love Train’,  ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and ‘Let Me Make Love To You’. These were songs we could connect with via our gospel roots and when you’re rehearsing with Leon Huff playing the piano, it sounds like you have a full orchestra with you.

 

The monumental and diverse ‘Back Stabbers’ album had a million seller title track, the universal ‘Love Train’, ‘992 Arguments’ and ‘Time To Get Down’. I heard you say that you felt The O’Jay’s brought a gospel feel to the Gamble and Huff sound that was previously one of a popular bubblegum flavour. So how easily did the O’Jays group, the team of Philly musicians and the Gamble and Huff creative team gel?

 

When we went back to Philadelphia International myself and Walter switched leads on a song called ‘It’s Too Strong’ and it was the very first time we did that. That helped give Gamble and Huff the direction of where we should be. From there onwards that marriage helped to create the Philly sound, as opposed to that bubblegum sound as you mentioned. With us, Harold Melvin, The Intruders and Billy Paul onboard it was now a grittier gospel sound with strings and horns.

 

Were you the first PIR act to be signed?

Yeah basically along with Billy Paul and The Intruders who were always around Gamble and Huff.

There is some discrepancy on the story of The O’Jays not wishing to record ‘Back Stabbers’. I saw an interview where Walter is trying to explain what happened but what is the real truth?

MacFadden and Whitehead wrote the song then sang it to us in the studio as a guide vocal so our first impression was a little dubious as it sounded nothing like our finished version!  Now it gets very hot in Philly and whilst rehearsing, the window was open and there was a breeze blowing. Walter was trying to slide the lyrics sheet onto the table but the breeze caught it and the lyrics ended up on the floor. MacFadden and Whitehead mistakingly made out it was thrown on the floor purposely by Walter because we didn’t want to sing their song, which is untrue. ‘Back Stabbers’ is one of the greatest songs ever recorded, and from the time we sung it to a piano with the rhythm track, put the background, lead vocals and strings on it, we knew it was gonna be a hit.

How much can you elaborate on the story of recording my favourite off that album ‘When The World’s At Peace’ and the disappearance of the far superior first vocal take?

Wow (Eddie’s surprise at me mentioning it) yeah. I’d always been into message music and wanted to say something musically to the world apart from just wooing women or to make love to. So ‘When The World’s At Peace’ appeared we did the background vocals and I felt I needed to put that churchy gospel sound on it. I did the lead vocal in one take and it was agreed by everyone to be such a great vocal performance. We went home and when they mixed it, somehow the engineer erased my vocals. I had to go back and reduplicate that performance but it was never as strong. It was still a great song though.

Gamble and Huff seemed to champion concept albums more-so with The O’Jays than of the other male PIR groups and the most pioneering is ‘Ship Ahoy’. With a powerful front and back gatefold cover it harboured the funky conscious ‘For The Love Of Money’, the original before Third World of ‘Now That We Found Love’ and the most compelling slavery tale ‘Ship Ahoy’. Kenny Gamble told me that the track was almost a visual one when I spoke with him. What kind of spiritual emotions did you have connecting with the song as I can only imagine?

 

It was telling the historical story of the black man’s plight coming from Africa to America and the trouble and strife they endured. I was able to take myself to that place and the greatest part of that was replicating it at live performances. We actually had a ship, slaves and dancers to reproduce it visually. We had back lighting and we, The O’Jays, were half dressed in rags and chains looking like slaves and this was all Charlie Atkins’s production and choreography. It actually looked like we were on a ship and it was a message to black people, showing what happened, where we are now and not to forget where we came from.

That resinates with me as my parents come from Jamaica and being a young black male when I first heard that song it reminded me of watching Roots in the 1970’s as a kid. Did you start to see the method in the madness in Gamble and Huff’s approach in spreading message music?

Me and Kenny Gamble were already in that frame of mind as we both studied Jehovahs Witness and Buddism. All those songs like ‘Now That We Found Love’, ‘When The World’s At Peace’, ‘Back Stabbers’ and ‘Love Train’ was all about our belief and faith. ‘Ship Ahoy’ was a message we needed as humanitarians to give to the world like the song title ‘Give The People What They Want’ suggests. 

 

The next album’s self titled ‘Survival’ and ‘Give The People What They Want’ were my favourite tunes followed by another well embraced concept album ‘Family Reunion’. With great songs like the titled track, ‘Unity’ and the classic disco anthem ‘I Love Music’, four Philly albums in, how comfortable were you and the group with being centre of attention of the label’s success?

A lot of our songs were message music however we felt at the time that Gamble and Huff were not writing hit records for us but more for Harold Melvin And the Bluenotes. I was complaining because I thought they were getting the best records and Teddy Pendergrass was having success with ‘Close The Door’ and ‘Get Funky Get Loose’. But with us being The O’Jays, a high calibre level act, we realised that we were actually the PIR label’s musical messengers making hit records, so it was really great being the premier group of the label and I Love Music was the start of the disco era in 1976. 

I do, and in fact when I spoke with Archie Bell he said he felt a similar thing like they were getting side lined. To be honest, because of how PIR is set up I actually think that, for example, ‘Message In The Music’ could have been sung by Archie, The Intruders or Harold Melvin because of the production. It has it’s highs and lows, being part of a successful camp…

You gotta remember, when I see Archie Bell doing ‘Tighten Up’ I wished that song was mine to perform as that’s how artists are. When I heard ‘The Love I Lost’ by Harold Melvin I thought I should have done it but its the same for the other groups toward us also, because we always wanna feel we can do any song. They did a great job of individualising the music as it gave everybody a chance to be who they were. But I don’t think Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes could have done ‘Message In The Music’ though Ha ha ha ..No seriously they could have but we got to it first.

‘Message In The Music’ album gave us the classic ‘Darling Darling Baby’, ‘Let Life Flow’ and ‘Make A Joyful Noise’. MacFadden, Whitehead and Castraphen certainly made their mark on this album. Jean Carn said she had the best time working with the aforementioned Mighty Three, I understand you share those sentiments also but why?

It’s the free flowing atmosphere with those three as it is also with Bunny Sigler because they were emotionally attached to the music. It’s like going on stage when you perform their music because they’d be dancing around in the studio, which would make you dance too.

 

After speaking with Archie Bell you get an insight to how big the ‘Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto’ project was. Contributing on the title track and the funky brass jazzy Big Gangster, how important was that project which was like your version of ‘We Are The World’?

Absolutely. When they did ‘We Are The World’ they managed to pull in major stars from around the world but we assembled it from our label nucleus.

‘So Full Of Love’ made popular due to the success of ‘Used To Be My Girl’ and the ballad ‘Brandy’ is if you seek, you shall find another O’Jays’s gem in my humble opinion. Hosting the original version of Jackie Moore’s disco classic ‘This Time Baby’.

Yeah we had a lot of records covered by others who had hits and we were very jealous. (We both laugh)

I am enamoured by the emotive ‘Cry Together’ and the under the radar boogie bullet ‘Take Me To The Stars’. How was it having a hand in producing both an uptempo ‘Take Me To The Stars’ and a ballad, your composition, ‘Help (Somebody Please)’ and was it the first time you were afforded the privilege of producing on PIR?

It was part of our new deal that we got to produce and write songs. We wanted to do more but spent so much time on the road. ‘Take Me To The Stars’ was written by a friend of ours, Larry Hancock, and we used a lot of different things on that production, like synthesizers and phaser sounds, that were not used before. We tried to be innovative, using Dexter Wansel’s spacey sounds and it was very unique because we wanted to go to a different place with our music. With ‘Help Somebody Please’ I often see Mtume and joke with him that our song inspired his hit ‘Juicy Fruit’. He took our sound, captured it and took it to another level, which we couldn’t due to our commitment on the road.

As we come to the end of the 1970’s with the ‘Identify Yourself’  album you continue with the very uplifting ‘Sing A Happy Song’, co-writing ‘Hurray Up And Come Back’ and sharing vocals on ‘One In A Million’. With the Philly sound embracing newer dimensions on The ‘Years 2000’ 1980 album, the Gamble and Huff conscious vision continues and you co-wrote one of my all time favourite O’Jays cut ‘You’re The Girl Of My Dreams’.

 

 

 

 

That is a song with Dwayne Mitchell, a keyboard player/musician, but he passed away in the middle of our creativity. If we could have spent more time with him we could have made more inroads musically. ‘Girl Of My Dreams’ was innovative and a direction almost like Barry White.

How did you get to work with Stevie Wonder on his ‘Hotter Than July’ album singing with Betty Wright and Michael Jackson on his classic ‘All I Do’?

We’d been great friends with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. That session was supposed to start at 10 o’clock and Stevie, being blind, has no concept of time and we didn’t start that session til 3am, finishing at 6am. We had a great time and didn’t get paid, we did it for Stevie.

The next three albums, ‘My Favourite Person’, ‘When Will I See You Again’ and ‘Love Lots More’ would see the Gamble and Huff, Womack and Womack and Keni Burke influences. Tracks like ‘I Just Want To Satisfy’, ‘Put Our Heads Together’, ‘Extraordinary Girl’ and ‘Summer Fling’ would flourish. You lasted another 2 albums on PIR, whereby all the other Philly male groups had diminished. Why do you think that was?

They became disgruntled as the hits weren’t coming in. We were still the premier act on the label and we had a special friendship beyond the music with Gamble and Huff. We still do, to this day, talk about doing something special together.

What’s the sense of pride you feel being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2005?

It’s quite an achievement to be in the same camp as the rock groups, R&B groups, like The Temptations, and being recognised by the industry. The O’Jays have made an impact for sure and the greatest group for me was The Temptations and we took what they did to another level and hopefully we will be synonymous with their success.

Yesterday was father’s day here in the UK and I’m sure you often think of your two sons who have sadly passed. I had the pleasure of DJing at the Jazz Cafe when Gerald was promoting his socially conscious album ‘Do I Speak For The World?’ album. The leader of the group Levert and collaborator with many projects including a commanding performance on Larry Gold’s ‘Dance’ on BBE he had an incredible vocal presence. I loved his song with you ‘What Happened To The Loving?’ and in particular ‘Click a Glass’ interpolating elements of the O’Jays ‘Family Reunion’. Obvious, but a valid question, how proud are you of his gift to the world?

Some of my greatest moments in showbusiness and on recording records was with this kid. We did a version of ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ which still stirs me and always stays with me. He was a prolific writer in RNB and I think people are just discovering that. In terms of how proud of him, he was my hero.

The O’Jays are coming over to the UK in  so what can we expect from you ?

You’re going to see classic O’Jays like ‘Darling Darling Baby’, ‘This Time Baby’, ‘Brandy’, ‘Living For The Weekend’ and every facet of the O’Jays. From the early years to right now we’ll do ‘Lipstick Traces’, ‘Back Stabbers’, ‘Love Train’, ‘Let Me Make Love to You’ and ‘Stairway To Heaven’. So tell the people to be ready to have the twinkling of the glasses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Eddie .

Thanks Fitzroy 

 

Tickets for The OJays at Drury Lane London 15th July 2018 via the link https://www.reallyusefultheatres.co.uk/performances/show/the-ojays

Welcome to our edited digital online issue of the latest 12th anniversary issue of The Soul Survivors Magazine for June & July 2018. Please check out the news reviews and interviews as indicated on the front cover. Our digital edition is an interactive platform whereby you can listen to music whilst you read the interviews of the chosen artists. If music is the food for your soul, then check out these few tasty biscuits via our record reviews. Just click on the artwork image to listen to the tracks as you read the review. There is something for everyone so enjoy… Fitzroy. PS if you want the hard physical copy you can subscribe and get yours or become a member by clicking on

http://www.thesoulsurvivorsmagazine.co.uk/membership/

http://mydigitalpublication.co.uk/publication/…

You’ve been making music since the 1950s when you were part of the Doo Wop act The Parliments. How would you describe your journey from being a Doo Wop act to becoming part of Motown’s writing staff, not recording anything and then evolving in the late 1960s to become Funkadelic in the 1970s?

 

From The Parliments, Motown was the next evolution of Doo Wop. It was all about the Doo Wop groups like Anthony & The Imperials and The Heartbeats before Motown came with Smokey Robinson and ‘Shop Around’ in 1959. So we gravitated towards Motown and it was really hard to get into that because we were not from Detroit. However I ended up writing songs for Jobete, which was Berry Gordy’s wife’s label in New York. In the meantime I got a deal with a label in Detroit called Golden World. They were one of Motown’s competitors and put out a single out called ‘I Wanna Testify’ on their Revilot label, which was our first single. This was around 1967-1968 when the England and Europe invasion started to influence rock and roll in America. Motown was waining so we had to change again.

 

What the English and European groups were doing was blues and rock and roll, which was what I heard around my Mother in my early childhood. The funky part of that hadn’t been explored, which was basically what New Orleans was doing and what Motown was doing without the violins. We decided to turn the volume up on the Motown sound by turning the guitars up on the Marshall amp and made our version of psychedelic and called it Funkadelic. The bass was predominant and treated funk the way rock and roll had been previously treated. That was the beginning of psychedelic Motown and they used to call us The Temptations or James Brown on acid. Bootsy then came along and added to that which became what you now know as P Funk. We added the horns and that James Brown sound so it was another evolution and that’s when we become the Mothership Connection. Hip-hop came along and it was popular with the hip-hop culture and here we are now.

 

Absolutely. What’s interesting is that I was born in 1964 and as a teenager in the 1970s I saw the whole evolution of Parliament becoming Funkadelic more so toward the end of the 1970s. Being a black Afro Caribbean child and seeing you guys up there being innovative philosophical and outrageous using all the elements of black music that had come before was inspiring. We are talking rock, funk jazz, gospel, psychedelia and I loved the creativity. In your own way you were doing an ideology slightly more left field and psychedelic of what Earth Wind & Fire were doing. (George: “Right.”) How do you explain mixing all those different genres with gospel church organ melodies with melancholy story telling and profound meaning on those ‘Mothership Connection’ to ‘Gloryhalistupid’ Casablanca albums, and getting away with it especially at a time when music was being pigeon holed into certain areas?

Basically we made that possible when we did Funkadelic ‘Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow’. We did that not to be put in a bag again, and do whatever we wanted to do. By doing it in an album format we were not worried about getting hit singles as we always went for concept albums. By the time we get to ‘Chocolate City’ and ‘Mothership Connection’ we made the whole albums as a story. It was easy to do what the King Crimson or The Beatles did, as all those groups used pop, folk, classical, funk and all those different sounds without being put into a bag. So that’s what I did with mixing the blues, gospel and jazz but it was all really black, extremely black. We were not preaching but we asked questions about what people would be thinking, but nobody would ask. Our ethos was “Thinking ain’t illegal yet!” In our songs all we asked was for those to think instead of being preached to. 

 

 

Definitely there were so many subliminal messages, in particular for black people, in those albums. You mentioned James Brown earlier on, I cannot recollect if you two ever worked together and if not why not?

During a particular period of time I had half of his band as the horn players came from James Brown and Bootsy came from him too. 

Yeah I know Maceo and Fred Wesley etc played with you but because you were both distinctive individual funk generals, I can only imagine what you two, as a combination would produce.

We did one song called ‘Go For Your Funk.’

In 1978 I was fourteen years old at high school when Funkadelic ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ came out. (George: “That was big for us and we came to London on the day it came out.”) That record blew me away as it really solidified for me how deep you guys were. That song was deeper than the earth’s core and I understood everything stated in the lyrics of that song. It reminded me of what Gamble & Huff where doing with Philadelphia International Records with concepts and a message in the music. “Getting down just for the funk of it, we‘re on the move nothing can stop us now, here’s our chance to dance our way out of our constrictions”. It was as you describe very black and such a massive uplifting record for us, so I’m guessing that is what you aimed it to be?

That is exactly what I wanted it to be and I’m glad you said that because that is one of the songs that as a copyright I now own, alongside ‘Knee Deep’. Funkadelic got its first big hit with ‘One Nation Under A Groove’. (I loved on the import 12 that it has the predominately instrumental version with the rock guitar). Yeah I’m getting ready to release that again right now both versions.

I also remember buying ‘Knee Deep’ from Lullaby’s in West Ealing during my lunch break at school in 1980. I cannot explain what that record does to me with all the Funkadelic trademarks including operatic style that reminded me of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. (George: “Right I know what you mean and I intended elements of that song to be like the waltz with that classical inspiration.”) 

So around the late 1970s early 80s you created this empire of P Funk with The Parlets, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy with his two personas Bootzilla and Bootsy and all these different acts kind of creating you own Motown. How did it feel as a consummate black artist having so much control over your artists and musicians?

 

 

 

Well it was great but as we got to that point we started getting a back lash. The very thing that you said about it being another Motown was what the industry didn’t want particularly as they dominated the charts every week. We were aspiring to do that with all the different concepts on different labels. We were getting too much power and it became our obstacle to getting the Uncle Jam label. Roger from Zapp was supposed to be the first artist on Uncle Jam but he got stolen from us and ended up on Warner Brothers. (Fitzroy: “Ok I didn’t know that.”) That was 1980 and that virtually ended our relationships with all the labels at the same time. Our new album Medicated Broad Dog is the first one we’ve had out since 1980 and this picks up where we left off in 1980.

P Funk impacted on a lot of bands including The Gap Band and George Duke who had what I call G Funk and that whole sound was being adapted by so many different outfits. There were times if you didn’t know who the artists were you’d ask yourself if it was Funkadelic or Parliament. So how did you feel about so many emulating your style?

I felt good as that is what happened in the 50’s with rock and roll. Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and anyone that did what they did in 1955 started out that way. Although you got soft rock, light rock and easy rock all those came from the rock and roll source. So making funk legitimate using jazz or blues and all the other elements, I’m proud of that. They still haven’t given us a Grammy for the Funk platform, which they will because it’s getting ready to be pop now with Bruno Mars and all that is pop music.

I’m going to be really respectful and end this because my time is up. Thanks for agreeing to continue this interview another time.

Thanks Fitzroy

You can get tickets to catch George Clinton live at The Innervision Festival at The Round House July 8th 2018 via this link https://www.innervisionsfestival.com

 

2 Years today, I was so moved that I drew the bottom image on and later complied these words and had the image and the words printed front and back of a T shirt..the other two drawings are thrown in for good measure…Mr Musicology…
 
 
It’s a “Sign Of The Times” when “Around The World In A Day” so many tears are shed and we the “Girls & Boys” finally understand the meaning of what is sounds like “When Doves Cry”. His Royal Purpleness, declared to the universe “My Name Is Prince” and I am funky from “Uptown” Minneapolis, and your “Love Bizarre” affinity with my music and artistry will be the “Greatest Romance Ever Sold”. With plenty lyrics of “Controversy”,“Sexuality” and “Love 2 The 9’s”, Prince was undoubtedly a “Sexy MF”. Women all over “Planet” Earth” worshipped him from the time he advised them all “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. “The Most Beautiful Girl In the World” would beg please “Do Me Baby”, as you make me so “Soft & Wet”, “I Would Die For You” “Sweet Baby” and I’m so hungry “For You“, that “Breakfast Can Wait”. Albeit “Starfish & Coffee” with “Cream”, Prince most certainly could convert a nun into a “Nasty Girl”, “Darling Nikki”, “Chelsea Rodgers”, “Cinnamon Girl” or his “Lady Cab Driver”, driving them “Delirious” whilst working up a “Black Sweat”.
 
Prince an incredibly “Sexy Dancer” could “Dance On” regardless albeit “Under The Cherry Moon”, on “Alphabet St” or in “Paisley Park”, for “17 Days” on a “LoveSexy” groove, shaking his “Tambourine”. This is Prince’s “Housequake” and he is the “Life O’ The Party”, so “If You Feel Like Dancin’” like it’s “1999”, get dressed in your “Diamonds And Pearls”, put on your “Raspberry Beret”, jump into a “Little Red Corvette” and ride “Gangster Glam” style. Prince could make everybody “Get Off” to his “Party Up” music, and many “Adore” Prince for his unique dress sense and “Sticky Like Glue”, “Extraloveable” androgynous attraction. To be honest ”Nothing Compares To You” Prince Roger Nelson, so thank you “Dear Mr Man”, Mr “Hot Thing” for the “Beautiful Loved & Blessed” compositions and recordings. “Sometimes It Snows In April” but in that month of 2016 sadly it melted and became a cloud of tears coloured in “Purple Rain” for Mr “Musicology” …for your artistry “My Love Is Forever” to “The Max”.

 

This is the ode printed in our issue 64 edition of The Soul Survivors Magazine

Mr Musicology

Little did I know when I did my Roll Call Of Fame in issue 60 last year how poignant or providential that would be. For me personally in the 10 year anniversary cycle of celebrating this magazine’s milestone, after the loss of James Brown 25th December 2006, followed by Michael Jackson 25th June 2009 and now Prince Roger Nelson’s passing 21st April 2016, it marks the end of an era of the enigmatic last of the tribal African Masai, one man band singer and performer dancing machines. Each of these artist’s loss moved me to tears, Prince’s moreso than Micheal because it was so sudden. Prince astrologically a Gemini which depicts his multi faceted genius, epitomises the legacy of the showman from Cab Calloway, Little Richard, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix to Michael Jackson (slightly before him) and their musical caricatures with a bit of Phil Lynott and David Bowie thrown in for good measure, with his rock and soul semblance and excellence as a consummate artist. Do you think there will ever be another like Prince, with his androgynous looks, fashion attire, fit athletic physique, flexibility, multi instrumentalist talent and varied vocal octave range, and all done in high heels that may women would struggle to walk let alone dance in? I don’t think so. With that in mind here is a small homage to his Royal Purpleness, Mr “Musicology” Prince Roger Nelson courtesy of a fellow music aquarian and huge Prince fan, Ronnie Stephenson who we used to call Prince in the 1980’s, Musicologist Dez Parkes, and extracts from previous issues via Mica Paris, Larry Graham and Sheila E who worked and knew Prince personally.. Enjoy..Fitzroy 

 

Just over 2 weeks and counting till the Afternoon to late night action packed Any Old Sunday at it’s new home in Camden 29th April… you coming??

The Return of Any Old Sunday back at it’s new home in Inverness Street Camden at Miusan 16 Inverness St, Camden Town, London NW1 7HJ Sunday 29th April and 20th May between 5pm-12am, FREE ENTRY with an action packed evening’s entertainment. The original DJ line up stars Dez Parkes, co starring Dezzi D and Fitzroy(Soul Survivors), will be spinning an eclectic selection of ‘Snake In The Money Shadow’ jazz funk and soulful grooves old and new, in a nice plush venue with an attractive restaurant upstairs and plenty space on the wooden dance floor area downstairs, with a side bar. There is 25% off food if you book beforehand and an extended Happy Hour 5pm-8pm. If you’re in the area looking for somewhere to continue partying or celebrating..pop down to Any Old Sunday

 

Greetings on this pinch punch last day of the March month. Here is the edited digital version of issue 75 of The Soul Survivors Magazine. It features news reviews and interviews with Rose Windross, Ruth Koleva, Ian Levine and Hamish Stuart of (AWB).

The front cover and whole issue is dedicated to the memory of Eddy Amoo of The Chants and The Real Thing. Please scan through and enjoy reading the articles  accompanied by music when you click on a page. The Record Reviews allows you to click on the artwork image and hear a song that’s related to the review whilst you read  on what you may want to purchase. If you decide you wish to get hard copy to read the full interviews you can subscribe or purchase that copy via http://www.thesoulsurvivorsmagazine.co.uk/membership/

So fellow soul survivors click on the link or the front cover to view the digital copy …enjoy Fitzroy Anthoney Facey

http://btpubs.co.uk/publication/?i=485519&pre=1#{“issue_id”:485519,”page”:0}

 

 

 

Greetings on this slightly sombre Flashback Friday. Today around 12.15 is when Eddy Amoo co founding member of the early 1960’s teenage black Liverpudlian Doo Wop band sensation The Chants and long standing 40 plus years member of The Real Thing makes his spiritual transition from this plane. The funeral will take place at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Friday 16 March, 12.15pm and there are expected to be hundreds of people attending, so if you’re going get there early. A private internment will take place after the service.

I had a long conversation with Les Spaine Snr in the week who is one of Chris Amoo’s closet friends and was planning to make the pilgrimage. However I am unable to which saddens me, because Eddy was very supportive of the magazine and gracious that we honoured the band. I’m so glad that the magazine honoured The Real Thing at our awards last February, which I presented to them (as shown in the photo Eddy third from the left ) at their concert in July 2017 last year. The family asks that no flowers are given, and instead that donations are made to a new cause set up in Eddy’s memory.

May your African ancestors have a royal reception awaiting your arrival Prince Eddy ‘Doo Wop’ Amoo .

You can donate to the Eddy Amoo Foundation Trust for Aspiring Musicians here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/eddy-amoohttp://www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.org.uk/

Like LOTW ‘More Of Myself’, Dezzi Deleone and Dez Parkes, this coming Sunday 18th March 2018 at Any Old Sunday at Cottons Chalk Farm Road Camden NW1. 5pm-11pm free entry, 25% discount on food if you book in advance and happy hour till 8pm. Plenty Incognito ‘Smilin Faces’, good quality music and pure Is ‘It All Over My Face(Love Dancin’) ‘ like Loose Joints..Photo’s courtesy of Jen Jenny B Marquis-Brown..less than 5 days and counting..If ya celebrating an earthday pop down for a fling foot!!