A real Motown guy joined our band on stage last night

The band I am in played at the local country club last night. Nothing fancy, just classic rock covers on the outdoor patio while the members drank happy hour drinks.

We noticed there was a couple of older fellows in suits watching from a corner table. Before the 3rd set, one of them came over and introduced himself as Stan Holland, who had written and toured with James Brown for years. He wanted to do a couple tunes with us so we said 'sure what the heck?'

He wanted to do Sweet Caroline. Which we have never played. We muddled through but he was as smooth as can be, smiling, great pipes, and he had that easy natural stage manner. He mentioned to the crowd that he was going to receive some kind of lifetime award from Motown (?) soon.

Even though we'd never heard of him before last night, it was still pretty cool. Definitely a bit surreal too.


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Sounds like he's related to the Holland, Dozier, Holland writing team from Motown.


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For somebody so hip (James Brown) that's an awfully interesting song choice!

That reminds of a story a friend told me about a friend of his playing with Elvin Jones. Every night of his first week with him at the Village Vanguard, he would introduce this guy last, saying, "And now it is my great pleasure to introduce the newest member of my band. He plays with many great artists like Liza Minnelli!" He said this every night and finally the guy said to Elvin, "Hey, man, you're embarrassing me with the Liza Minnelli...."

Elvin cut him off and said, "Young man, let me tell you something: we're all out here working hard playing music and I happen to think she is fantastic! She's one of the greatest singers out there!"


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That beats my story by a bunch. Last weekend at Arts, Beats and Eats I met Motown songwriter Barrett Strong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrett_Strong

We had those critter backpack /tail leash things on the kids so they would not get separated in the crowd and he was mighty amused by them, being a father of 5 himself.

He is working with a singer/songwriter that Marie and I had gone there to listen to, whom we got to know when we were dating because we went to lots of her shows. Her name is Eliza Neals, check her out. She has a very bluesy, old-soul sound.
Sorry for the jump link. I'm having problems getting embed to work.
For somebody so hip (James Brown) that's an awfully interesting song choice!


"Awfully interesting" is one way to put it. I might leave out the "interesting"!

I've played a coupla weddings lately where Chad (whatisname; the drummer from Red Hot Chilis) and Skunk Baxter were among the guests, but showed no desire sit in.
Here's a pic. Stan is the one in the tie. Man what a blast that was.



Speaking of R&B, my cover band used to play this dive way out in the sticks, I think it was in Wrightsville, GA, and there was this big old building with a stage and a dance floor. People would come from miles around and pack the place. I don't think they even sold beer or anything, it was BYOB with a cover charge, and always a wild time.

We would do three sets of our stuff, and then we'd back up Percy Sledge for an hour of his music. There is nothing cooler than playing "When a Man Loves A Woman" with the real deal legend singing it!

I remember one time sitting in his car, just me and him and my guitar, listening to a cassette of "Whiter Shade of Pale" to learn the chord changes because he wanted to do it in his show that night.

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