That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

Death Wears Three Shoes. Two Have Fallen…

“Hey, Derrick, we got a possible session comin’ up, and it’s BIG. I don’t wanna say anything yet, ’cause I might jinx it,” my trumpet player friend, Marc Franklin, told me a couple of months ago.

I didn’t press the issue because I’ve had a number of false alarms in the past.

It turns out that it IS happening. Tomorrow, August 11, we are (were) scheduled to play behind Anthony Hamilton and other notables on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie, “Soul Men” directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Spike’s cousin,  starring Samuel L. Jackson, the late Bernie Mac, and the — Lord, help us — late Isaac Hayes! I didn’t even have a chance to be happy about the whole thing because Marc had played everything so close to his vest that I didn’t even know that I was to be part of the music to the movie. I was fired up about the chance to shoot my shot with r&b artist Hamilton.

It hurt to hear about Bernie Mac simply because he was so genuine and funny. I always loved that dude. I didn’t even know I was working on his LAST FILM!

And then today, as I was at my folks’ house trying to get my usual Sunday afternoon nap (since I don’t ever go to sleep on Saturday nights anymore), I heard Kathy screaming from the distance and getting ever closer to where I was. “Isaac Hayes just died!” I sat up.

“WHAT?!?”

“They killin’ all the black people!!” she lamented. “First Bernie, now this! I can’t take it! Who next?!?” She was pretty upset.

You know they always say these things come in threes.

So, needless to say, tomorrow’s session is cancelled. See, Isaac is in the movie, too (unbeknownst to me), and the guys who played on the “Shaft” score with him, Skip Pitts (wa wa guitar) and Willie Hall (all those drums), are in the group that I often play with, and they are doing this project. They were at the studio when they got the news, and it was, I’m told, not pretty.

Isaac is the icon of Memphis music. He was one of the pioneers who got out and did it BIG. I can say with honor that I have played with him a few times and have spoken with him. Cool dude! Truck Turner in the flesh!  And, as I found out, he was a real musician who knew the music.

I was playing in the horn section at a NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) event a couple of years ago (nearly eerily where I met Morgan Freeman). We were honoring hometown Stax Records and Memphis musicians, among them William Bell, Justin Timberlake (when he was still with Cameron Diaz), and Isaac Hayes.

At a rehearsal, he came in to check out the band. We were working on a song of his, and one of the charts had some funny voicings for the horns. Isaac came over with a smile and asked us to play what was on the paper. I was like, “Man! Isaac Hayes is right in front of me listening to me play! Don’t mess up!”

We got into it, and I thought I was killin’ it when he stopped us…

“Play that again. Just the horns,” he baritoned. (“Wow! Sounds jus’ like hisself! I kin dig it!”)

We played the section again, and he looked at me and stopped us again. “Gimme your chart.” Cool as butter.

“See this ‘B’ right here? Play a ‘B’ flat. ” He basically re-voiced the whole chord. But I thought, “Naw. That ain’t right. He must have mis-read it. This is like major, and that note ain’t even in the key. It’s gonna clash, and everbody is gonna think it was me. He IS kinda old. I’m ‘on play a ‘B’ natural.”

So we played it again. See, I’m trying to impress Isaac Hayes with my abilities.

“Stop. Did you play that ‘B’ flat like I told you?”

My black face turned red. On the inside. “Aw. My bad. I musta missed it.”

He was still smiling at me.

So we hit it again, and I played the ‘B’ flat. Man, that chord rang out as pretty and altered as some Miles or some Monk or something!!

I looked up at Isaac and he had a grin on his face wider than an Atlanta expressway! I couldn’t do anything but laugh! We spoke no words, but here is what we said:

“Isaac! Maaaannn, you know yo’ stuff!”

“Yeahhh, young buck, they ain’t just invent music five years ago. I’m thru wit’ stuff you ain’t even heard of yet!”

“I’m impressed! My daddy got your records, but that whuppin’ you just gave me raises you waaay up in my book! I ain’ gone never forget this lesson! (I break verbs an assault adjectives and murder modifiers in my thoughts.)”

“You keep on playin’. You gone be all right. Just listen to the old heads.”

All that with a glance and two smiles. Isaac Hayes is — was — thorough! And now, he’s in the hands of the Lord.

Death hurts. The living as well as the departed, maybe the living hurt more. It is cool to have a few memories, but the pain of all this is a memory, too, and they kind of all go together. Otherwise, it would be like watching the first thirty minutes of a movie and leaving before the end.

I never got the chance to even wonder what it would be like to talk to Bernie Mac at the premiere. And the fact that I have interacted with Hayes makes his passing even more poignant.

It’s just not right to be speaking of these men in the past tense.

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August 11, 2008 Posted by | Bernie Mac, Celebrity, Current Events, Death, Hollywood, Isaac Hayes, Life, Movies, Music, News, Show Business, Soul Men, Work | 5 Comments

If They Think THIS is Bad, Wait Till GOD Gets His Hands on ‘Em!

Okay, let’s see where we are: Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland, and Paula White are being investigated by the senate finance committee.

I wonder if they feel like the mafia felt when the U.S. government turned the full force of its wrath on them… I wonder if they are getting their lies I mean stories straight and lining up their ecstatically ignorant supporters with tales of persecution and such. I can hear the accountant’s papers shuffling, and the cell phone keypads tapping. And shredders are growling and regurgitating from being hastily overfed like my boy, Max does when I find myself in too much of a hurry to get him through eating so I can get back to watching “ESPN’s First Take.”

“The Rolls was a GIFT.”

“The mansion belongs to the chu’ch!”

“I need a 10 million dollar jet! I’m too bizzy to fly commercial.”

“This cosmetic surgery was just to clear up some… waitaminnit! WHAT cosmetic surgery?” 

“I have a particular hip problem, and my research showed that only a 23,000 dollar john would get to the butt of the issue. Besides, the Bible says that we are the head, but why shouldn’t the tail be well taken care of, too?”

“I ain’ gotta anser to tha world about God’s bizzniss! My sheep know my vo-ice!” (Yeah, but I bet your sheep can’t get a meeting with you, or ride in that jet, or visit that gated mansion!)

I can just hear all of the pimpish game they will perpetrate against those who follow them and who shout loudly, “Lalalalalalalalala” to keep the truth from crawling into their ears. They will create a siege environment like Jim Jones and David Koresh did where the “world” is trying to destroy the good work and prosperous living of God’s people.

Here is the punch line, though; If they think THIS investigation is intrusive and punitive, wait until they “getta loada” what God has in store for them! The GUBment only wants to know where the money went. GOD is concerned about

every. 

          single. 

                     aspect. 

                                 of.  

                                     their. 

                                               lives.

Every detail!

They have led millions away from the TRUE gospel. One which does NOT focus on the accumulation of wealth, but on the emptiness, the broken body, the shed blood of Christ. For this it is said that it will have been better for them if John Gotti had fitted them with cement boots and dumped them into a river. Direct quote…

They have loved money rather than the Savior. They have taught others to do so.

They have demoted God, and in some strange, cosmic mutiny, promoted man to His captaincy.

They have ineptly wielded the Sword of the Word of God and sliced up the souls of multitudes, many of whom are dead, gone, and unable to hit the reset button.

God alone knows the rest of what they have done. And there are dozens, even thousands more unnamed crooks who do the same and worse.

The judgment of a senate committee is nothing compared to the Omnipotent Panel of One that awaits those who use the Bible as a Player’s Handbook in order to manipulate the finances– and souls– of so many. This same judge will evaluate us in the same manner if we eschew the Love of and service to Christ in favor of selfish pleasure.

So, Klepto Dollar, Bentley Hinder, Joyce Mirer, Eddie Long(money), Kenneth (can’t)Copeland, Paula White(washed sepulcre), it looks like you will be getting a small, small preview of what may be in store for you if you remain in your current state. As for Fred (pay the) Price, Paul Crouch(ing wolf), Joel Ovaltine and the rest of you, you obviously don’t fear the God you defame, so maybe fear of the government hammer, public disgrace and financial devastation will make you stop victimizing the weak and unlearned.

It is not with glee, but with a feeling of impending justice being meted, that I ask, in the words of that illustrious theologian, T.O.:

“You gotcho popcone reddy?”

November 8, 2007 Posted by | Benny Hinn, Charlatans, Christianity, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Frederick Price, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, News, Paul Crouch, Paula White, Pulpit Pimps, Word of Faith | 34 Comments

A Link In the Change…

My best friend and I were talking about the “Dog, the Bounty Hunter” dude, and I said something to him that he insisted I put down here.

A lot of people who don’t come from those enslaved in this country like to tell us, when something like what Dog Chapman was just caught saying comes to light, “Just get over it!” This incenses me! But I am learning that peoples’ minds sometimes cannot be changed by the facts. Hearing that oft-repeated phrase just lets me truly see who I am dealing with. We should, they say, just get over the anger we feel at hearing that Notorious term hurled about in reference to us. Just get over slavery. Just get over second class citizenship, brutality, educational inequality, and discrimination of any sort. “Just Get Over It!”

That term is, to me, the new version of, “Some of my best friends are colored.”  I SEE you.

 “Actions ALWAYS have consequences.” This is what I told my friend. Like the Bible says: the father eats bitter grapes and the children get that stinging pain in the glands behind the jaw. I think that’s a direct quote…

By way of analogy, I told him,

 “Let’s see, there are, what, a hundred and forty-two years since slavery ended? How ’bout this: how ’bout I get one of those folks who say we should just get over slavery since none of us were slaves, how ’bout I get one of them to hold the end of a chain with a hundred and forty-two links in it, and I get a live wire and shoot about 50,000 volts through the other end of it! I bet they’ll feel the effects of it! I BET they won’t just get over that!

Every action that has occurred between the races in this country has had a consequence, positive or negative. My grandfather had to call a ten year old boy “Sir,” and as a result, I will not make my children say “Sir” or “Ma’am,” because I didn’t have to say it because my mother saw it happen and vowed that her kids wouldn’t go through that when bused to schools run by White teachers who didn’t want them there.

While we’re talking, why doesn’t God “just get over it”, too? I mean, by that same logic, why should I, or you, Mr. Insensitive Conservative, have to pay for what some guy named Adam did countless thousand of years ago? Right? Yet, WE all have to bear the penalty for his sin, right?

Discrimination is the thriving spoiled brat child of Slavery and Racism in this country. Wishing it away will not make it GO away. Dog, the Bounty Hunter just pulled back the curtain and let the light in. That uneasy feeling you have right now? Just get over it!

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Christianity, Culture, Dog Chapman, News, Race, Racism | 7 Comments