Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Oooh-Yeah Show

I accompanied a walking joke set-up (a blonde, a brunette and a redhead) to Irving Plaza last night to see Maceo Parker for the first time in more than five years. My lovely sister-in-law, the awesome mother of my awesome nephew, asked me if I wanted to come along, and of course the answer was "Good God, yes. Shucks."

Maceo's one of the cooler cats on Earth, a former James Brown and Parliament saxophonist that only brings around folks that can blow. His band is always sharp, no matter who's playing with him, and there's really no such thing as a bad show. He's also nuttier than squirrel turds, a man who's dressed to the nines but acts like his brain's been fried by acid and a touch of peyote, so his antics up on stage are always fun to watch.

The first time I saw Maceo I was still 18, at Tufts University's 1998 Spring Fling visiting some friends. He opened for LL Cool J and just tore the house down. Two weeks later he came to Chicago for a Northwestern-only concert at the Riv, and we all stood along the front rail cheering our balls and tits off. Donnie Fiedler even unintentionally smacked a beach ball or heavy balloon into trombonist Fred Wesley's face. Ahhh, youth. Fred loved it.

Eight years later, Maceo and I are both still going strong, and he's up to the same ol' tricks. The show is a little different these days (my first three Maceo shows were virtually identical), but the songs have mostly remained the same. Now, though, the greatest hits -- Shake Everything You Got, Pass the Peas, Got to Get U, Rabbits in a Pea Patch -- come towards the end instead of up front.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Maceo still has his British manager come out and do the intros one by one, he still has his son Corey come out for some kill-the-show rapping, he still does the "We say 'Oooh Yeah'" bit, he's still dropping "Good God" and "Shucks" more than anyone but James Brown, and he still calls a back-up singer out to the front -- only instead of Sweet Charles, it's the lovely Miss Martha (see above pic).

I wonder how cool it'd be to watch Maceo interact off the stage, say with his wife: "Check it out, check it out, we need a dozen eggs and a carton-a milk, honey. Good god. Shucks. Say what, say what? Baby, Corey got his report card today...Ooooh yeah, he got all A-s, good god. Ooooh yeah, can you pass the remote? Make it funky!"

Can I get the horns ag'in? You can do anything you want, Maceo. Another great show in the books...much obliged, sir. Welcome back.

Slack Videos of the Day: Here's a 90-second clip of Maceo and his squad goin' to town, and here's Maceo talking jibberish about Vill-i-am Shakespeare's "To Be or Not To Be" soliloquy.


At 12:41 PM, Blogger ahren said...

i saw maceo playing in prince's band last year-- the best musician in the most talented band i've ever seen.

was fred wesley playing with him this time? i have a nearly inexplicable fred wesley obsession.

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

No Fred, unfortunately, No Pee Wee Ellis, no Larry Goldings, no Sweet Charles singing shit like Mustang Sally.

But these guys were fantastic, a truly talented band. What a fun show they put on.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

Didn't something happen to Larry Golding?

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Wow, really? I see nothing on his website or any other website. Godspeed, Larry. Go Larry, go Larry.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

I might be wrong. For some reason I thought I got an email from you a while ago saying something had happened to him, like a kidney transplant or something. Maybe that was in a dream where I took his crazy-dancing place on stage.

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Chilly Jackwater said...

I grew up in the Greater Washington, DC Metropolitan area and there used to be a place called The Bayou. A friend of mine who went to Georgetown saw many a show there, but nothing compared 2 maceo's show. "Oooo...someone dance like Fred Wesley!" Boy howdy, he really knows how to connect with the Jesuit community.

Alas, after seeing one too many Corey Parker interludes (let me guess, last night he did "Let's Get It On"), I have passed on seeing Maceo in recent years.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Ha, Hoobs, I have no recollection of that...I do recall sending you an e-mail about Larry, but I have no idea what it said.

Chilly, Corey Parker, better known as E.L.O.S. (though not any more apprarently), only came out for a couple numbers. He did not do Let's Get It On -- he just rapped over Uptown and something else I can't remember. It was do-able, nothing to terrible.

Hoobs and I actually sat VIP at a Chicago HOB show in 2001 and stood next to Corey Parker for a little while. Reeeeally nice guy, extremely personable, but the whole time we were thinking, "Stay up here, do not go back down to that stage, you familial leech."

At 2:14 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

I found the email you sent me. It was a press release about how Larry is on a Miles Davis guitar tribute. I'm not quite sure why I thought something happened. It might be because I responded, "Knife! Go Larry!" and in my mind thought he went under the knife, but who knows.

ELOS is a terrible rapper. It's no wonder he still has to travel with his pops. A little nepotis if you ask me.

At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Greg said...

Yeah that whole Prince show was just ridiculous... I saw Maceo at MIT too actually, I think it was 1998 as well, probably right around the same time as the Tufts thing...


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