Teena Marie (nee Mary Christine Brockert) has, sadly, left the earth, but, if there really is such a thing as a heavenly choir, you can bet that she is up there, shaking things up with her unforgettably searing voice and elemental funk.
I interviewed her in 2009, ironically around the same time that Michael Jackson died, and she was as down-to-earth real and lovely as you can imagine. I could kick myself for missing her last gig here at B.B. King Blues Club, but still have every one of her albums, which I plan to wear out today, recalling one Easter Sunday years ago at the Paradise Garage when Larry Levan played “I Need Your Lovin'” and the entire club seemingly levitated with pure, unadulterated joy, a roiling, youthful chaos of ecstasy. And was that club EVER sexier than when Larry put on “Behind the Groove”? To recall that, click here.
Her song, “Square Biz,” which we used to chill to on the now totally transformed Christopher Street pier, included that fabulous rap which listed all of her inspirations – Bach, Shakespeare, Sarah Vaughan, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni – and I can think of no better life list to recommend to any youngster in search of his soul.
R.I.P. Lady Tee.
for the interview in GAY CITY NEWS, click here
and to hear what she sounded like the first time I ever heard her (with the immortal Rick James), when THAT VOICE stopped me dead in my tracks, click here
Her versatility knew no bounds – she was Pure Music – listen to her reinvention of “Sucker for Love” here
and, if there is any lingering doubt in ANYONE’S mind that hers was one of the great voices of our time, listen to her definitive version of the ultimate classic club ballad, “Wishing on a Star.” Click here