Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy to be Alive on My Birthday

September 19, 2012


Here I am in front of Electric Lady Studios and you can see Paul McClean and Rich Hilton's reflections in the glass

CHIC's first single was called "Dance, Dance, Dance" - it was recorded at Electric Lady Studios on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. This is the studio that was built by Jimi Hendrix. It was in the heart of the neighborhood I was raised in. When I was a kid Electric Lady was a nightclub called Generation.

When I was sixteen-years old I'd go to Generation even though the legal drinking age then was eighteen. Because of the military draft system America had during the Vietnam War, our primary form of identification was a draft card. This was a simple document that was easily forged in any high school print shop so all my friends had them. Many eighteen-year olds looked like sixteen-year olds and vice versa, so I was never asked to leave any club. Though I was skinny and looked very young, I had a draft card.

After Generation became Electric Lady, I worked with scores of artists there: INXS, Hall & Oates, CHIC, Macy Gray, D'Angelo, Femi Kuti, Roy Hargrove, Daft Punk and more than I can count without looking up a music reference guide.

I was going to do a long blog today about all the people, places and things that I've done since becoming a professional musician because I've been walking all over New York with Paul McClean from BBC Radio. But while I was writing this, I realized today is my Birthday.

I started this blog talking about being sixteen-years old, and today I'm sixty-years old. Given what I've been through in my life, honestly, I'm just Happy to be Alive on My Birthday.

 


Our first single "Dance, Dance, Dance" was cut at Electric Lady Studios


This cheap paper stock document that was smaller than a credit card "when folded" was called a draft card and it was easy to forge


Practicing a Fela song with Questlove, D'Angelo, and Femi Kuti in Electric Lady's lounge


I took a picture with Paul then I took him inside Electric Lady Studios


I told Paul a ton of great Electric Lady recording stories


There was somebody recording in Electric Lady in total secrecy while we where there - I have a pretty good idea who it is


I realized it was my birthday so I looked up other birthday photos - Last year I got my first Ice-Cream Birthday Cake


CHIC reunion on my birthday with Paul Schaffer, Luci Martin, me Alfa Anderson, Bernard Edwards and Fonzi Thornton


Lionel Richie, Esai Morales, Nile, Russell Wong, Dustin Nguyen and girls affectionately called Niley's Angels outside my birthday day party in LA


Okay I admit it, I went out for a really fast drive today because I'm just Happy to be Alive on my Birthday