like going home! But let me start at the beginning. Either I'm a hater or I'm just old and cranky. But don't you just hate it when you're at an airport or a Starbucks and there's some organic cat there with his laptop open? He/she's there prolly drinking a mocha latte, staring intensely at their little screen. I just want to pour some hot coffee on the keypad and slap him on his ear, with my ring on my hand. Just stop it already with the "Hey, look at how busy I am, even at the airport" routine!! I hate that. Uggghh. Anyway, I'm a little more excited about this trip than I thought. Terry picked me up and immediately the vibe was perfect. Terry is completely down to earf. LOL. I always thought he was a cool brother, but being in the car with this cat, I found out that we are definitely brothers. He takes me to the lickastow. I grab a six of Michelob Ultras and just like that, the party began. (If you just said to yourself "What's a lickastow?, please unfriend me on Facebook) We stop at Harolds for wings and now I'm in the room. Perfect....
OK.This chicken is serious. I'm a wing aficionado. I know wings well. I've had wings with peanut butter and jelly on them(shouts to Jock & Jill in E. Stroudsburg, Pa.) Trust me people, I know wings. And these wings are good, but if I had to choose between wings and a Falafel... I'd go with the Falafel. LOL!! Earlier, in the car, Terry said some things that let me know that house music scenes are similar in every city. People love it but financially they don't respect that it cost money to keep it alive. It's kind of amazing that people think "I'm just one person. One person won't make that much of a difference." When the truth is that one person can make a huge difference. People just don't want to pay. And believe me, it's not the amount that's the problem. It's the need or desire to feel special. I get it. I really do get it. But it hurts the person giving the party. And it cripples our scene.. Anyway, Terry made me feel very welcomed. That brother is excited about his party. I loved his energy. It's around 6pm. And I absolutely love my room. I'm really chillin. Am I gay because I just watched Glee and thoroughly enjoyed it? OK, I was gay for about a half hour. But those actors were singing their heads off. And the harmony was ju...... You know what, just forget it. If you're going to sit there and smirk like that while I'm exposing my softer side...... So I'm at The Shrine for soundcheck and immediately I'm blown away at the presentation. Artwork, funky lighting, paintings, pictures, Black people on time for work, I'm telling you it was really nice. It felt like someone from the Black Panthers got rich and did a nice club. There's a painting of Fela on the wall. The bar was a crescent shape right in front of the dance floor. There's a room just opposite where they play Reggae! And that was even sexier because it was smaller and intimate. Lighting was kinda domestic and club at the same time. And then there's a little outdoor area that people go to smoke or drink. Cielo in NYC has just such an area. AND THEN, there's a room downstairs that caters to the artist. But it's big enough to have a little after show party within a party. Theres a microwave, bathroom, air conditioner, DRINKS, and vibes. Upatairs in the main room, the sound man Mark is really doing his job. The sound is amazing. We started the sound check and I'm sounding raspy. Oh My God. Now I'm scared. Everybody here has this "I wanna party" energy. I'll rest, drink some tea, and rest some more. But it's nights like this that an artist can not afford to be whack. OK. I did the show. I think I did ok but I noticed something. The people were staring at me with minimal reaction. I think they dug it.
But what I loved was: 1. Seeing all of the producers and DJ's. 2. Performing in Chicago!! 3. It's Terry's BDay party. I'm humbled. 4. Playing before a standing room only crowd. This is really amazing. This trip reminds me of why I love house music. There are some real house music legends here. Glenn Underground, Boo Williams, Jack Master Funk(Farley Keith), Julius The Mad Thinker, DJ Celeste Alexander and her husband Big Easy, Jozanna Sithole, Wayne Williams, The Chosen Few DJ's, David Sabat, Jon Pierce, DeeJay Stevie B, and plenty others. Too many. I shouldn't even have started naming them. Did I mention the lovers of music? People like Cat Valenzuela, Steve Maxwell, Oneluv MsStefanie, Angie T, Tonie Wildchild, Linda Redd, Raye Sharrieff-Cotto, Lehia Franklin Acox, Malcolm Starchild was there taking
flicks, Lashanda Gill Brooks, Tyrell had the video running, and again, I'm naming folks.. Yikes... But the highlight of the night I didn't see coming. I was in the dressing room chilling and DJ's Celeste Alexander and her husband Big Easy came in bearing gifts. Celeste cooked food. And I mean cooked amazing food! The turnip, mustard, spinach green mix was just baffling. I am truly blown away. But what was really deep about them was that while we were kickin it, they shared with me that they are both recovering addicts. Usually people won't admit or are embarrassed about it. But they were proud of discovering life after drugs. Celeste said that she used crack cocaine. And my view on her changed immediately. Most people say "I can stop" but to stop being addicted to something is a completely different story. This woman has been clean for 8 years and her husband 18 years. To me this is truly a feat. When I told them that I'd like to share this in my blog they both agreed and it was almost like they wanted me to. Kind of like a ministry. Sometimes you just never totally know a person or their story until they tell you themselves. I've met Celeste and her husband Big Easy some time ago. This is the first time I've heard anything about this whole drug thing. Wow!!! My hats off to both of them. And the way they love and support each other is something to witness. Jon Pierce, an amazing singer came in the dressing to show his love. A few DJ's came to the room. Mikey(a very cool brother that worked there)brought me a bottle of Patron and that's exactly when the party started!!! It's almost 2am and the club shuts down and 2. I've been chillen in the dressing room this whole time? What I didn't know was Terry has access to the club after-hours. People left and Terry had around 15 people still hanging. Now this is when it all got serious. Terry's partner Reggie got on the decks and started playing all of this obscure music. I mean he was going in. We were all drinking and letting our hair down. I'm talking no cameras(maybe one or two), no fans, no people trying to be down. Just excellent music, family, and drinks. And did I mention good music? Reggie played this one song and ran out of the booth, grabbed his lady, Loni House and they danced like two Swans in water!!
THE REAL BIRTHDAY PARTY IS NOW. Reggie was killing us with some HOT music. The Tequila was pure. We went to the next level. It was something that I will never forget. A true party. No fluff. No pretension. Just music lovers and great energy. We all went to a higher level. Yvette Magalion and Lady Leronda was dancing together. It looked liked the hustle but not really. It was nice. As I observed the moment, I noticed that everyone there was eclectic, and artist types. This has the potential to be one if those unforgettable moments. Lady Leronda and her husband Steve Miggedy Maestro was there being lovers. Dancing like two characters in "Fifty Shades Of Grey."
It was a beautiful thing to witness. Terry, who really doesn't drink like that, had shots of Tequila. There was a really cool Asian dude there, and a DJ who referred to himself as Batman having shots. I told him about T-Bass from Jersey. He's our Batman. But this guy had the name since 1975! LOL. I'm feeling honored and really special to be a part of this night. It's morning. I'm hung ov... I'm not hung over but I'm more like "Leaned Over." I can function but my head is pounding like an 8' millimeter porno reel. Terry and John(Terry's right hand man) take me to a Burger joint. Let's just say the Burgers were insane. On the menu you can add options to your burger. And the way they presented the options read "Make it Dope" and that was ketchup or mayo etc. The next option was to "Make It More Dope" with Bacon, mushrooms, sautéed onions, etc.
This was perfect. We vibe all the to the airport. I've met some new friends on this trip and seen some old ones. I'm so grateful. Thanks Terry. You're a gem my brother. Happy Birthday.