Monday, April 10, 2006

Was(Not Was)

Today in Music History:

In 1970, During a concert in Boston, Doors singer Jim Morrison asked the audience if "anyone wants to see my genitals", the management switched of the power.
The cat is back. Detroit-natives David Weiss and Don Fagenson were founders of one of the coolest bands of the late 80's and early 90's with their unique blend of rock, funk, jazz and blues. Perhaps you are more familiar with their stage names so to speak. David and Don Was. Don Was also produced a few mega hit records also, by such artists as Bonnie Raitt and the B-52's. When they first formed Was (not Was), these guys assembled a crack team of musicians, including frontman Sweet Pea Atkinson, a former Detroit auto worker whose rich vocal qualities recall Otis Redding or Sam Cooke. Also bringing soul to the ensemble was former O'Jays singer Sir Harry Bowens. The rock edge came from ex-MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, while the jazz tinge came from trumpeter Marcus Belgrave who performed for decades with the bands of Charles Mingus and Ray Charles. Parliament/Funkadelic's flamboyant percussionist Larry Fratangelo brought the funk, and the group was rounded out by saxman David McMurray, guitarist Randy Jacobs, and pianist Luis Resto. David played the flute and wrote the intelligent and sometimes twisted lyrics. Don played bass and wrote the music. If you think you haven't heard anything from these guys think again. Their third album What Up Dog? included the oft heard Walk the Dinosaur. Guest vocalists abound on their albums, including such as Ozzy Osbourne, Doug Feiger(The Knack), Mitch Ryder, Marshall Crenshaw, Mel Torme, Leonard Cohen, Iggy Pop, and Downtown Julie Brown just to name a few. What Up Dog? is considered by many to be worthy of a spot in ,say, a top 100 albums of all time list. Listen to the lyrics to a few of their songs and it can blow your mind sometimes. Such as one that I feature here. Maria Novarro has a jazzy funk filled beat yet the lyrics deal with a disturbing case of domestic abuse. The second is a damn good cover that rivals the original by The Temptations. Sadly, In 1993, Was (Not Was) officially parted ways, although they recently reunited for some live shows. In pop music there is such a thing as being too fucking smart for your own good, and Don and David Was certainly fit that bill. Enjoy and rediscover Was (Not Was).

Maria Novarro by Was (Not Was)

Papa Was a Rollin' Stone by Was (Not Was)
Buy it

Funny Toon
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