Tag Archive: underground


colonel-a

Again, I am late to the Wake. I just learned, via chronicling the unprecidented number of music star and celebrity deaths in 2016, that my friend and sharer of some great stages in metro New York back in the 1980s, Colonel Abrams passed away twenty days ago, on Thanksgiving Day, 2016. Wow. Another one on the list, and as they say on the radio, “And the Hits just keep on coming…!”

I met Colonel Abrams (Colonel was his real name, by-the-way) by dint of getting records as a DJ when I made my rounds, from Michael Halley, then of MCA Records Promotions and because I was a DJ in clubs and mobile parties and on WBLS FM, New York, the WBLS FM Promotions Department, under Janie Washington (“where are they now” candidate) I think, who assigned me as the driver of one of the “Juicemobiles” (promotional vans dressed-up) to dove-tail his appearances in Westchester County’s New Rochelle and a club called “The Palace!”, which must have been a huge account at the time.
The Colonel was a large, tall, strappen Franken kind of a presence. Almost larger than life but not pretentious, he loved the spotlight with a kind of humility that is rare. He was very demonstrative on stage.

Actually, my first Colonel Abrams vinyl is a 45rpm, “Leave A Message Behind The Door” on Streetwise Records. I think I received it while the Program Director of WBAU FM, Garden City, N.Y. – but don’t quote me on it! Somehow it got mixed-in by dint of my many record comapny door-knocks. As a ballad, it went largely unplayed at first on the commercial radio stations. I like it to end my show, “last call”-style, late at night.

leavemessage

This dance track is one of my favorites from him and was a wickedly huge hit record!

Behind the scenes, Colonel Abrams and I plotted to hang out and catch some ladies. Once he asked me to be his Manager but I had no clue as to how to do [it]. He was just a gentle giant with talent of the times in House Music that really fit on stage and over the airwaves. Long, tall and lanky he was party coordinated and positively infectious! The Colonel Abrams I knew is in this Soul Train video form 1986! He became part of the House music party, not a standoffish performer, but one of the most energetic party people of those great ole days of the eighties!

I am really chagrined that I never again got to run into him per chance, and even more deeply shaking my head at the news that he went out homeless, ill and broke. Nobody told me there was a Crowdfunding campaign for him – I am good at that and would have helped. Why do our connections in this physical life become so distant and trite?

2016 has been a very depressing year because of the many superstars we have lost. From David Bowie to Prince, Florence Henderson and Robert Vaughn, to Vanity and another friend, Mr. Billy Paul, this past year is one for the kind of Record Books which we do not want to celebrate.
As you know if you know me (or NOT) I am a House Music junkie and DJ since the Larry Levan days and this next video, “Speculation” (“do-do-do-dooo”) is classic jammin House music from Colonel Abrams:

It is so scary to read of how he ended up because I am only a stones-throw from such a fate, IMO. Those of us who totally committed to show business, no matter it singing, radio, television or other glamour professions, are all at the mercy of “here today, gone tomorrow” because of “How Soon We Forget” [our heroes and stars]. Once your health fails and if you have not saved nor have insurance, one can be on the streets in a heartbeat.

I love the little keyboard-scraping piano or synth intro to that one the best of all of his super jams. I do not understand why he died broke and I pray that MCA Unversal did not rip him off in typical Artist versus big record label with tricky contract-fashion!
I searched him and found this image…is this what he looked like at the end?

at-the-end-colonel

Want to know the POWER of Colonel Abrams’ music? Listen to how this track (below) samples his riffs:
I’m So In Love!” is Colonel Abrams.

‘So sorry we didn’t get to reconnect, my friend. This is yet another fatal blow to my life of missed reconnections. Colonel, I know that you would have smiled, in that genuine way that you always did,we’d have hugged big ole manly bear-hugs upon seeing “Jimi Bruce” again. Your albums and 12″vinyls are cherished classic “children” in da krates, among My Vinyls collection. Cheers.

Subway Life Again (?)

Clean train at the first stop in the morning,
An annoying dark Jamaican man,
Preaches at we the passengers on the bus to it.
Who wants to hear that shit first thing?
Back in the good days,
Bus driver would have tossed his loud ass off!
I am back to subway commuting life again for now;
I am not happy about it.
My knees ache walking up and down stairs to connect.
Wearing thoughts of you keeps me putting one foot,
In-front of another foot;
I wear you like an army helmet, baby,
Head up and sometimes down;
Pushing forward in the struggle to repay you;
It is my debt to continue.

Subway life is not as a score before!
Now knees and Achilles tendon intermittently remind of time;
I am staring and snoozing,
Catching some Russian conversation after the Forest Hills station;
Going and coming dodging crowds;
Dashing coolly to find a seat and take load off my old feet!
Walking down a tunnel with impromptu musicians begging,
Every step I imagine is towards you there in Europe.
I remind myself why I am doing this;
“Keep good thoughts” like I asked her to do” I say.

I see vivid fashion independence,
Eccentric strangers plugged into handheld devices.
Nod-off upon past Skyped words you said in-remembrance,
Every “date” I recall is decisive!
While now canned announcements utter ignored warnings;
Life in a time capsule called,
“Watch the Closing Doors, please…”
Again, “Remember I am doing this for her and me!”
I remind myself through the present noisy uncertainty.

Walking on queasy knee,
To fulfill happily fulfils my obligation to thee;
Foremost like a bee’s quest for honey.
It dwarfs my self-indulgent desires,
Feeding anticipated sexual fires!
Those who “think” they know me cannot understand.

I have much time to ponder my life while underground.
I hate it.

Are you ready again?
All former trusted people here,
Lately have said, “Nyet” to helping me helping you;
So now I am going to extract my pound of time.
You’ll get yours and I’ll get mine;
For us and it ALL for you!
It is finally TIME!

Just drop who you are doing!
Please wait again for ME!
Just a little bit longer!
Makes our story stronger,
As the cat for a fly to happen by;
Like I wait on the platform for the “F” train!

On the subway (metro or underground)
One has much time to think about,
Your life or the girl you want to be
your wife.
Good or bad;
Happy and sad.
I like commuting to this work;
Even though I know I am better than this,
I should have a driver and a limo at least!
Or my own car again,
Which I will have soon.

With my physically distant Nina on my mind constantly.
We will unite,
For SHE is my only future family destiny.
“Watch the closing doors please and thank you for riding New York City Transit!”

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