By Bill Vaughan
One of the wonderful perks of writing a column like this is being on the receiving end of gems uttered by our greats that often don’t make it into the lead stories. For the sake of brevity, continuity and other literary landmines, three such quotes have not seen the light of day — until now.
Up first is a little story from legendary saxophonist MACEO PARKER, who cut his performing teeth with James Brown before funking around with George Clinton, soloing as a world-renowned jazz artist and joining Prince’s band before his passing. He offered this remembrance from his time with the latter:
“We were in Vegas at Rio when they had the Basketball Hall of Fame game,” said the 75 year old. “Everyone was saying Michael Jackson was there. Chris Tucker came out looked me dead in my eye and mouthed the words, ‘There’s Maceo’ and Michael Jackson turned around and walked back to me. Then he said one glove and all that. When he did, all the rest of the band gave kudos. Never said nothing to Prince but he said Hi to me.”
PEABO BRYSON was delightful during our interview this year, which led the column last week. The crooner, enjoying one of many career resurgences with his current album “Stand For Love,” just re-released in a deluxe edition with two fresh tracks, managed to floor me with the following unsolicited proclamation shared for the first time:
“I’m a great cook. I’ve been cooking since I was a pee wee. My grandmother started teaching me on a wooden stove in the 50s. I don‘t have any limitations where food is concerned. While my friends were learning how to steal cars, I was learning how to make French nouvelle. Trying to get my siblings to eat it was harder than the cooking part!”
An audience of about 200 braved torrential weather to hear what ALICE WALKER had to say at South Carolina’s Richland County Library. The activist/author of “The Color Purple,” among other works, was on tour with a new collection of poems, “Taking The Arrow Out Of The Heart,” when prompted about The King of Pop:
“I met [Michael Jackson] in Stephen Spielberg’s thing down in Burbank,” she began. “The parting thing to me was basically he was mute. He didn’t say anything. He just stood there. So much so that I for a long time assumed that he was not very smart. And I was very wrong. He was very intelligent. There’s something on YouTube if they haven’t taken it off where you can see how smart he was. Where he’s talking about the music industry and how it has basically taken advantage of black musicians.
“It’s a world of real trickery and as for the whole deal with his face and his nose and all of that. It wasn’t all about vitiligo. In fact, I was in Cuba talking to doctors who can fix vitiligo, in case anyone has it.
“But anyhow, he was wonderful and I think of him as a kind of saint because I think a lot of the stuff said about him is wrong. I also think that he and Whitney Houston and Prince are all ancestors now.
Part of our tradition is that we are expected to learn from ancestors. And what we can learn from these three is a lot.
Don’t throw yourself away on trash, which we learned from Whitney. Don’t try to wear high-heeled shoes and dance all over at almost 60 from Prince. And don’t mess with your nose.”
CLIPPETTES: “WANTED,” a live interactive concert series, launches with a performance by platinum R&B artist H.E.R. at The Novo on Dec. 14, and across streaming platforms. Also, the Robert Cray Band visits the Canyon in Agoura Hills; and Wanda Sykes is at the Brea Improv Comedy Club …
Puff Puff Pass Tour LA 2018 is here on Dec. 15 at the Microsoft Theater with Snoop Dogg, DJ Quik, Warren G, Kurupt, Too Short and more; while Catch One hosts George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. There are holiday shows from Diane Reeves at the Soraya Northridge and the Blind Boys of Alabama at the Lewis Family Playhouse in Rancho Cucamonga and Dec. 16 at UC Santa Barbara …
Beloved Motown group Switch with original members Phillip Ingram (brother of James Ingram), Eddie Fluellen and Gregory Williams are reuniting at the Rose in Pasadena on Dec. 16; as Childish Gambino and Rae Sremmurd tops The Forum; and Vickie Winans headlines a free concert at Academy Cathedral …
Enjoy an elegant afternoon of champagne, cupcakes, conversation and celebration of black hair in Hollywood at Kimberly Elise Naturals products (7083 Hollywood Blvd., noon–2 p.m.) hosted by the actress seen this year in “Death Wish.” You must RSVP access to the event at EventBrite.com …
KRS-One will talk about his new book, “God’s Son: A Philosophical Interpretation of God’s Word,” on Dec. 16 at the KRST Unity Center, 6 to 8 p.m. …
Meet and take a pic with Ice Cube at Amoeba Music on Dec. 18. You must buy a $20 ticket in advance to attend …
The Midnight Hour US Tour featuring Ali Shaheed Muhammed (of A Tribe Called Quest) and Adrian Younge alongside a tight rhythm section and a full orchestra hits the Lodge Room on Dec. 19. Selections from the duo’s long awaited debut album and music from their score for “Marvel’s Luke Cage” will be performed …
Also that evening, PJ Morton of Maroon 5 is at the El Rey Theatre; and rap star Travis Scott begins a two-night stand at the Forum …
Jazz/pop icon Herb Alpert and famed Brasil ’66 vocalist Lani Hall team up with Manhattan Transfer for this Dec. 20 holiday double bill at Walt Disney Concert Hall; on an evening also presenting Fishbone at the Regent Theater.
TC ON TV: Dec. 14 – “Roma” (Netflix): Academy Award-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón’s latest drama has been named Best Picture by the L.A. and N.Y. Film Critics groups and is sure-fire Oscars bait. “The 87th Hollywood Christmas Parade” (CW): Montel Williams, Erik Estrada and Dean Cain return to cover the festivities. “Tales From The Tour” (Cinemax): Morris Day and The Time. “Room 104” (HBO): Mahershala Ali stars as a charismatic pool shark who tries to convince his reluctant cousin to stay in the hustling game.
Dec. 15 – “The Alec Baldwin Show” (ABC): Kerry Washington, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Dec. 16 – “Coins For Christmas” (TV1): Essence Atkins, Stephen Bishop, TC Carson and Kelly Price light up the screen in this new movie written by Rhonda F. Baraka. “2018 Miss Universe” (NBC): Steve Harvey once again hosts the competition airing live from Bangkok, Thailand. “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2018” (CW): The 90-minute special features performances by Cardi B, Camilla Cabello and some of today’s biggest stars.
Dec. 17 – “Who Do You Think You Are” (TLC): Regina King “The Year in Memoriam 2018” (ABC): “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts returns to host this special which celebrates the lives of beloved stars through stories shared by those closest to them, including Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Kelly Clarkson and Smokey Robinson, honoring Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. “Independent Lens” (PBS): “Man on Fire” profiles the white preacher who ignited himself to bring awareness to the racism in his Texas town.
Dec. 20 – “The 4th annual Howie Mandel Stand-Up Extravaganza” (CW): Amanda Seales and Lil Rel Howery are some of the comics performing from the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. “Timeless” (NBC): The two-part series finale airs promising fans an epic, unforgettable thrill ride through the past, present and future, with a healthy dose of Christmas spirit as the Time Team tries to #SaveRufus (Malcolm Barrett).
TASTY QUIP: “Don’t know anything about being a M.F. in prison. Don’t want to. Never been arrested. Hope not to. Never been shot but lived in Harlem. Don’t wear hoodies.” – MIKE COLTER explaining the differences between his “Luke Cage” role and himself.
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tastyclips.