Reflections: Still behaving badly…


Lauryn Hill has been having “issues” for a number of years now, and many of her actions have been bizarre.

But well-wishers took it as a positive sign when she recently announced a tour of smaller venues. It was step one in getting back out there after a long period of being under the radar.

However, nothing seems to have changed.

Hill’s recent New York concert was supposed to start a 8 p.m., but she did hit the stage until midnight! Naturally, there were plenty of irate fans, even among her staunchest supporters.

Amazingly, after a rather lame apology, she said to the audience, “All those who are unhappy, you know you’re always free to go back and ask for a refund.”

What a cavalier attitude and what rudeness! If she can’t do any better than that, she should continue to stay away.

TWO PEOPLE you wouldn’t expect to see together are Congressman John Conyers and the king of P-Funk, George Clinton. But the two, we hear, are friends and Clinton recently spent some time at the congressman’s office.

Speaking of Clinton, in a way it’s hard to believe that this year he will be turning 70. But then again, it was 1967 when “(I Wanna) Testify” was a hit. The group was “the Parliaments” at that time. (The Parliament/Funkadelic thing began to evolve in 1969.)

Hey! It would really be “something” — to put it mildly — if as a result of his association with the congressman, “Dr. Funkenstein” decided to run for political office. That would be a step toward “one nation under a groove.”
CHRIS BROWN and Raz-B (you might remember him from the group B2K) have gotten into a very mean-spirited, immature feud.

Raz-B (whose real name is De’Mario Thornton) started it by saying negative thigs about Brown (via Twitter) regarding the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation that got him in so much trouble. Rather than take the high road, Brown chose to wallow in the mud with him. And it is widely believed that Raz-B only did this to get his name back out there.

Whenever people think of Motown, what comes to mind is the awesome R&B/pop roster, including the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the Four Tops, etc.
However, there was a time, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, when Motown was making an attempt to diversify by signing artists who were way outside of R&B. The key singers were Billy Eckstine, Diahann Carroll, Sammy Davis Jr. and Barbara McNair. They made nice music, but no one got a big hit.

Which brings to mind two albums that Motown — perhaps wisely — chose to not release: “The Supremes Sing Ballads and Blues” (can you imagine the Supremes singing blues?) and, yes, “Diana Ross & the Supremes Sing Disney Classics.”

LENNY KRAVITZ revealed that the late Teena Marie was a very important part of his life. When he was “about 16 and on the streets,” she took him in, gave him food and shelter, encouragement, musical guidance, etc.

“She changed my life, not only as an artist, but as a person,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Teena.”

One thing I like about late night TV today is that each one of the main hosts — Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel — is completely unlike the others. Lately my favorite has been Fallon. He’s fun, lively and creative every night.

I heard a song by season three “American Idol” finalist LaToya London in which in expressing her love for a man, she said, “I’ll cook your food in the nude.” (Well, that’s different!)

Somehow it was disappointing to hear that starting in April the very talented and lovely Toni Braxton will be starring with her sisters and others in a reality TV show called “Braxton Family Values.” Just what the world needs — another reality show.

But, of course, we wish nothing but the best for Braxton as she battles lupus.

Singer/guitarist Buddy Guy is still going strong. His “Living Proof” is the No. 1 blues album in the nation. Meanwhile, Detroit’s own Bettye LaVette, who formerly held that position, is in the Top 10 for the 32nd week with “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook.”

I was so far behind on responding to e-mail (they were in the hundreds) that I decided to delete them all and start over, with a plan to stay on top of it so that the overload doesn’t happen again. So if you sent me an e-mail and did not get a response, I apologize.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW …that the “Gap” in the Gap Band is actually in acronym for three streets in the group’s native Tulsa, Oklahoma: Greenwood, Archer and Pine.

MEMORIES: “Lovely Day” (Bill Withers), “Boogie Down” (Al Jarreau), “Harvest For the World” (the Isley Brothers), “It’s All in the Game” (Tommy Edwards), “Maybe” (the Chantels), “Lady Soul” (the Temptations), “Twenty-Five Miles” (Edwin Starr), “Don’t Knock My Love” (Wilson Pickett), “One in a Million You” (Larry Graham).

BLESSINGS to Sylvia Moy, V. Lonnie Peek Jr., Marion Logan, L.J. Reynolds, Katherine J. Adams, Robert Jones, Ted Talbert, Derek Thornton, Artemesha Charleston, Van Cephus and Calvin Brooks.

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Alan Cohen: “Love always flows beyond human borders and dissolves the fears that keep us separate.”
Let the music play!

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