Stevie Wonder with his mother after graduating from the Michigan School for the Blind 6/11/1969
I believe one day Stevland and I will be best friends but until then I have pledged to follow him wherever I can afford to go, which so far has just been uptown to the Apollo. Yesterday, Wonder announced a string of tour dates primarily on the left coast suspiciously
including Portland at the exclusion of Seattle. PO is straight and all (better weather, flatter terrain, Macheesmo Mouse) but the town reigns supreme of the two Northwest metropoles. He'll hit a winery/venue in Woodinville, which is and always has been wack. (Thx to MM for the heads up.) Anyway, Stevie plays the Greek Theatre the day me and my mama arrive in LA so please believe we will be there; I am on the Greek Theatre advance sale e-mail list and all. This being his first tour in over a decade (i.e. his first tour since I was old enough to sort through and fall in love with his catalogue) I will also try to hit up one of his three East Coast dates (why no NYC area show?!) and maybe even the Dream Concert for the MLK memorial with ReRe and 'dem.
"A WONDER SUMMER'S NIGHT TOUR"
DATE CITY VENUE
Aug. 23 San Diego, CA Humphrey's
Aug. 25 Lake Tahoe, CA Harvey's Lake Tahoe Amphitheatre
Aug. 26 Concord, CA Concord Pavilion
Aug. 28 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl
Aug. 30 Portland, OR Edgefield Amphitheatre
Aug. 31 Woodinville, WA Chateau Saint Michelle Winery
Sept. 4 Saratoga, CA Mountain Winery
Sept. 5 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
Sept. 10 Chicago, IL Charter One Pavilion
Sept. 12 Detroit, MI Meadowbrook
Sept. 14 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Sept. 16 Baltimore, MD Pier Six Pavilion
Sept. 20 Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion
+And here is a video clip of Stevie paying tribute to Minnie Riperton on Soul Train, I believe in the wake of her untimely death. I actually just stumbled upon this brief performance and interview with Don Cornelius about his friendship with Riperton. He make some relevant comments about the politics of Black musicians' reception transcribed below and he also sings a medley of Riperton's "Perfect Angel," which he wrote, and "Loving You."
Don Cornelius: Steve, how would you describe Minnie's talent?
Stevie Wonder: She's a very talented woman. I think that she did not get the due recognition in her lifetime, which is often the case to many very great talented people as we can go down the line and think of people that did not get the recognition in their lifetime. I think Jesse Belvin. Nat Cole, I don't think even got the recognition that he deserved eve though he was recognized as being a very incredible singer and also a pianist still did not. The same for Minnie. I think because of the stereotypes that exist throughout the world and particularly in this country, unfortunately, if a Black artist sounds too pop or too R&B they are not played on stations and I think when we rid ourselves of the categorations that we put artists in and just recognize the artist is expressing a form of art, their expression of art, that will not happen.
+And lastly, here is some random live Stevie that I procured somewhere on this here interweb a year or two ago. There's some feedback in the beginning of "Superwoman" but wait for the end. Stevie takes it to the continent. Quite lovely.
Jamming w/ Jimi Hendrix in '67 [MP3]
"Superwoman" (Date Unknown) [MP3]
"To Know You is to Love You" (Date Unknown) [MP3]