Friday, February 5, 2016

That's the Way of the World . . .

Probably one of my all time favorite albums (yes, I'm that old  ;-D), Earth Wind and Fire's That's the Way of the World was a big part of my college days.  Back then all we ever wanted was to dance and their music fit that bill nicely.  After a show we would pile into whoever had a car and drive to The Hatch (long gone, I'm sure) to dance and drink fruity cocktails.  Back then, the drinking age in Michigan was 18 (it was 21 in Illinois), and the town where my college was located was dry except for two college bars that served beer, and there was no dancing.  So, off we'd go on a Friday or Saturday night - college kids with hardly any money, nursing one fruity drink and dancing the night away.  Granted, the night ended relatively early at midnight or maybe one when The Hatch closed.  No late night licenses back then.

They had plenty of amazing hits throughout their career that could make you get up and dance . . .

And this . . .

Or this:

Man, those horns!  Maurice White grew up in Chicago, so that horn section is no surprise.  Horns are a staple of Chicago music. 

But, back in the day, it was always this song (#337 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)- always the last song of the night at The Hatch - everyone a little tipsy, hoping that their crush would ask them to dance for the last slow song.

In later years in SoCal, I met the guy who was Earth Wind and Fire's former sound man - told some interesting stories.  And I saw them live at the Universal City Citywalk (without Maurice White - he stopped touring live in the mid-90s).

2016 is not starting out well for the music industry.  Maurice White was a visionary.  His brother, Verdine (the awesome bass player) said this, quoted in Rolling Stone:

"We had a strong leader," Verdine told The Telegraph in 2013. "We really looked up to Maurice. ... You have to understand that we were 21 years old when we started our journey with Earth, Wind and Fire and Maurice was 31, and so he had done a lot more things than we had. Maurice was interested in establishing a credibility of a different morality about musicians and their lifestyles. So we were into healthy food, meditation, taking vitamins, reading philosophical books, being students of life."
They were not living the rock 'n roll lifestyle, and it's my guess that pretty much no one else back in the day was doing what they were doing.

Visionary indeed.

1 comment:

candy said...

Bittersweet memories for you there. Thanks for sharing.