Monday, March 30, 2009

Shirley Ceasar and the Gospel, Rock Produced

so after a really cool weekend with the vegan, and a number of my friends, associates and kids of all sorts(bela dubby)- i sat down in my easy chair to watch the Cavs. they won, and the day was going pretty much according to plan. cat-naps, mixed in with basketball and reading. i get a text message from my old buddy Mike Pultz (pictured here with guitar) and he asks do you want to see Shirley Ceasar at the Allen Theatre? now alittle backstory - first off, as a child i was a baptist minister. yes. ok stop laughing. from age 13 - 16 i was an actual minister. i gave sermons, spoke at communions, revivals. i baptised a few babies, and did the whole thing.

 i was good at it, my parents made some money off it. i was a performing monkey- ladies fell out with the holy ghost, people got saved off shit i said. it was a trip, and the years after were just as strange for by the time i was in college, i was muslim, and here i stand at 34 yrs old believing in a higher force, but besides that nothing organized. i've come to realize that most of it is the hype that more hype produced. but hey im a big fan of singing, and nobody can rock a house like a gospel singer. no one. so i said yes, and since pultz and i have a similar sense of humor and taste in matters of aesthetic it seemed like a fun idea.

just so you can understand, here's a pic of Pastor Ceasar.

we get there about 45 mins in, and it jumping. black people(37 white folks too, i counted them.)
 of all walks of life done up in they Sunday greatest, looking fine and praising the lord. the house is rocking, and we look like we belong, kind of anyway. we hipster chic, ready to jam. the room sways, and booms like an old barn. there is spirit in the air- a sense of joy, and trembling. the opening acts are cool, they can sang, the bands are sharp, but nothing compares to the command the Shirley displays. it was like watching a sanctified James Brown. she had us in the palm of her tiny hand. amazing, and even though her voice is not what it was when she sang in The Caravans, she has the "it". that thing we marvel in when we witness greatness. of course i ran into people i knew. during a cig break, i saw my brother Lawrence's wife Bridget, and i'm like of course! my brother would marry a white lady with more soul than any of the ladies i saw! she looked like she could be on stage with Shirley- they kinda carry themselves the same way. 

a sidenote of sorts, Leon Bibb(Channel 5 News) was the MC, and the first time i won a Poets and Writers award for a book- he read my poem during the ceremony! Bibb read it with way too much vibrato in his throat, but whatever. when i tried to shake his hand after the award presentation, he walked away saying,  "alright YOUNG MAN! ALRIGHT NOW". just like that- the quiet alright, followed by the booming diss. hilarious. 

i really missed Pultz. i guess all the struggle making BLKtygr work out took its toll so we rarely see each other after almost 4 yrs of everyday. but we fell in like we never missed a beat. fell in and had that duo magic. too many memories for a man as young as me. the ghosts haunt me. i call their names sometimes in the fright of sleep- wait for them to hail me back. they do sometimes, but the regrets come more often than hellos. i wish for silence in my head, a tear is falling now, so i guess this post has done its job.



bolt said...

fuck yeah mr. washington
thanks for this

sustain felt,
even from the west coast

ra washington said...

appreciate the words amy.

ra washington said...
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