Tonight, after the poetry reading downtown, after deciding where to eat, after our late dinner, we walked to our car in back of the brewpub. Next door, at the pub next door, the Poplar Pub, there was music on the patio, a patio which must have been covered, because it had been raining and there were evidently people outside. I heard the noise of people talking, eating, drinking, and music lifting on the wind. It was funk: Rufus, with Chaka Khan, "Tell Me Something Good."
I saw Rufus, with Chaka Khan, when I was still a teenager. It was at the Forum in Los Angeles. They were the opening act for Stevie Wonder, who was touring with what must have been Fulfillingness First Finale, since it was about the time "Tell Me Something Good" came out. Stevie Wonder wrote the song. Chaka Khan's career was launched with that band and that song.
I remember that time, when all the best music was soul and R&B and funk. I'm pretty sure I didn't appreciate that fact, since I was all Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon and Jackson Browne at the time. Respect to them, but ever since I left SoCal when I was about 18, some of the music that most powerfully conjures that time up for me is the music I so easily dismissed back then--Al Green, Marvin Gaye, the O'Jays, the Temptations, the Spinners, Bill Withers, Billy Preston. (Although I guess I didn't dismiss it entirely--I did go to the concert [with my very good old friend--are you still reading?].
I saw Chaka Khan one other time, when she was opening for Prince. That is a big old voice, with an almost electric edge. Even on a rainy night, over the fence in the back patio of another bar and through a parking lot, all the way into 2012.
This is the audio from the recording grafted on/synched sort of with a live recording. Anyway, you get the drift:
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