Monday, November 11, 2013


I HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE WITNESSED LIVE the moment when a performer's career comes together in that one magic moment and lifts off into the stratosphere. It is an almost out of control thing where all the same elements have been there--crew, lighting, musicians, sets, the right songs--but on the one special night there is an explosion and a star is made.

One time I saw it was with Bette Midler.  
While I did see her in the Baths in New York, where Barry Manilow was her piano player and "only instrument," the Hollywood magic happened one night at a private party in the back room of a dsico called Studio One. She had been signed to a record company, and that company invited about 80 people to see her act. There were press, movie and TV producers, talent bookers, studio executives--it was a group of the most powerful people in Hollywood.

Out she came, and did the same act that I'd seen in the baths, but some money was spent now on costumes. No one in the room had seen anything like her, and when it was over the crowd erupted into frantic emotions and shock. That night was it and it was incredible to be there.

Same thing with Sonny and Cher
when they played "It's Boss," the former Ciro's on the Sunset Strip. It was sponsored by KHJ radio and was an invited audience. AND it was BEFORE "I Got You, Babe." The same magic happened.

It happened again with Ike and Tina Turner at the same club. Same important audience, only this time we were all on couches or mats.

I could go on and on about these events, but I'm saving it for my book.


 Quite a while back I'd heard of a "new discovery" that Sean "Puff whatever" Combs had made named Janelle Monae. Then I heard a very early version of her record called "Tightrope." I was extremely impressed.

A little while later I saw that Janelle was the opening act for Erykah Badu at the Greek Theatre and I bought tickets. Because she was the opening act, Janelle set was short, but she was a knockout in my eyes. It was an Erykah audience, and they really liked Janelle, but this wasn't her moment.

I noticed that after the Badu tour, Janelle was kind of quiet. I presume she was recording her second album.

Then, when it was time to be released, it was full-court press. Janelle was booked huge clubs. I went to see her two weekends ago at Club Nokia. I hate going to clubs, but this was a different experience. I bought the VIP package and had a special entrance, lounge, and seating area. I loved the no-hassle approach.. The lounge had TV monitors and you could watch the opening act without even going in the theatre.

Janelle killed it. Finally the stage was hers, with money spent on her act for sets, lights, graphics, dancers...From the moment she stepped out on that stage an explosion happened. It all came together--the music, the act, the audience and Janelle. Once again, I was privileged to have experienced a magic moment.

She's a combo of James Brown, Sarah Vaughn and a very contemporary Fred Astaire. You just have to see her live to get it.
Run to whatever venue shes in and experience it for yourself.

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