I had one of those rare moments when just one look at a black person takes me into a different dimension.
So I'm taking F8 now F9 into Joe's Crab Shack for a birthday luncheon and we pull into the parking lot. And there is homeboy with his date in his brand new Mustang, sitting in the driveway about to head out. And he looks at me, as I pull up in the fly 740iL as if he cannot believe that there are other black people on the planet who know about this place, much less can roll up in with a sweet whip. I saw all that in a split second. Shock & envy. Two seconds later he burns rubber and is gone. Tsk. I knew it.
So as we sing happy birthday we get through the 'traditional' go round, and then we are suprised (now it's us) by another group across the room by the Stevie Wonder version. Everybody knows it, but only the brothers in the crowd sing the long harmony in the second part. And then it all grinds to a halt because.. well the verse hasn't been adapted, only the chorus. Since my favorite pastime with the kids is drilling them on extended common sense, we continue our trivia questions. Boy, who is studying geology wants me to ask he questions about plate tectonics and shear faults. I don't know jack about that and ask him about the largest fresh water lakes. He nails that so I switch gears and ask him to describe the process of filling up a car with gas. Hmm. That's a new twist - describe a process instead of 'name 6'...
So now it's wifey and sister's turn. Name 6 record labels. They come up with some wack ones I never heard of so I give it up. So now I turn the tables and get deeply into the polymorphous thing called Black Culture. Name three record labels that Stevie Wonder recorded on. Yeah boy. Now wait. I expected that everyone would get Motown. Easy. But I expected most self-respecting black people to know Stevie's big private record label. But neither sister nor wifey knew. Damn! My response? I coulda married a white girl!
Only I was half wrong when I said the third was 'Black Bull'. It turns out the Black Bull was not a label but a publishing company which in combination with Jobete own, I guess, most of the Stevie Wonder catalog. Now not being in the music business, I don't know a whole lot of this, but I did grow up in the generation of people who stared at albums as they spun at 33 1/3. So I knew answers to questions like what was Parliament's label (hint, they shared it with the Doobie Brothers). Or was that Funkadelic? Not entirely sure. But I damned sure knew the first names of the Brothers Johnson and I knew which group recorded on T-Neck Records (speaking of brothers). That my wife and her sister were completely stumped on these matters, they attributed to the fact that I was a DJ and obsessive. Sister says she just wasn't that old and was too po' to afford all them records. Yeah right. They didn't know which Eagles album Heartache Tonight was on. Actually, they didn't know it was the Eagles till I told them.
What is my marriage coming to? These are the things I expect people who claim black culture to know. But I guess sometimes there's no accounting for taste. Which brings me to the second semi-serious point of this post, which is that today's music ain't nothing to fall in love to. And I even got Pops to admit that the only people talking 'bout love, my brother is the preacher. And it seems, nobody's interested in learning, but the teacher. Wait a minute. I've heard that somewhere before. Do you know where? No really.
If you want to fall in love to the music being written today, you need to turn to a country station. And that's what Pops actually admitted. It's true. I'm going to listen to some more starting... hmm next year. I'm still on my Cobblers Hiphop mission, and now we have 12, so the charting begins.