Nu Shooz 40th Anniversary FB Live Celebration!

Nu Shooz 40th Anniversary FB Live Celebration!

We’re live. Hi everybody. Oh dear I need to figure out how to find a way. See you guys to figure out how to see what you guys are up to. But anyway we’re here. We’re here now and we’re celebrating an unbelievable milestone. I mean I thought 25 years was big you know and you could say twenty five years it was like That’s a quarter of a century. But yeah 40 years is like. That would have been 1994. Twenty five years. Isn’t that crazy? It’s weird that the 90s were a long time ago now. Anyway so we’re glad to be here and we have I think we need to start off by pouring a drink. Yeah. Here. All right. I’ll be bartender. John is the ultimate bartender. There you go. All right. So do you have your glasses ready. Yeah. Thanks Keith. He says hey there keep churning out those great performances. We will try even if we have to go out there with our. Walkers. Walkers. All right. So here’s to forty years. Cheers. And here’s to you for making that all possible. Cheers. Thanks for keeping the music alive. Yes so. First of all I kind of want to find out where people are watching from. So where are you guys… Salud. Where are you guys watching from? Tell us where you are. We’re in San Antonio. We just finished a show there which is why I’m kind of dressed up. Yeah. Maybe I should get dressed up to hang on. Yeah yeah. Get your get your jacket. We’re in our hotel room in San Antonio. Thank you. Cheers. So where are you guys? Hey Mark Roman. Peace. And Chiavan and Dan. Oh you’re in Minneapolis Milwaukee Oregon. Excellent. We’ve got some Oregonians here where is everybody else. Mesa Arizona. Brooke Hi. Billy James King you’re in Tampa of course. And Deerfield Beach Florida. Hi Luiz. Sherwood Oregon. KEITH. KEITH here in Cali. What does that mean. Are you by the ocean? Atlanta. Atlanta. And you’ve seen us twice in one year? That’s fantastic. Hi Mark. Good to see you. OK. So. Thanks for joining us. Yes. This is great. This is really fun. We have a weird grab bag of stuff that we brought to show you guys. Merced California. Excellent. So John grab the bag. I grew up in San Pedro. The bag. The bag. First of all here’s the famous blaster t shirt that first came out in 1981. And this was actually the the blaster that we rehearsed with. Let’s open this up. And it had a name and we couldn’t remember the name but our friend Miriam remembered that it was called the Wilma-lator. And why was it called the Wilma- lator. Because we have this song called The Flintstones and we couldn’t afford a sampler so we just had a bunch of Flintstone stuff on this tape deck and we ended up putting it on the T-shirt and we named it after Wilma Flintstone. It’s the Wilma-lator. But wasn’t there a song that we did? Yeah. It’s called The Flintstones. OK Fred. OK Fred. Right. And we… and. It was like OK Fred. Good boy Dino. Yeah yeah yeah. The other thing that John used this tape recorder for was songwriting because when we first started out we didn’t have any gear. No like nothing you know. We had two tape decks. Yeah. And so John would stay up. I’ve always been the early riser in the early to bed person kind of. And John’s Early to bed early. You know whatever. And anyway he. He would get these two blasters together and start and record on one of them and then play that one and record on the other one and then, anyway that’s how we did it. So one night I went to bed early and I woke up in the morning. And do you remember this? Yes I do. And he played me this this song that he’d done on this cassette and there were all these backgrounds on it. Background vocals on it and they sounded like girls. And I’m like, Where did you go in the middle of the night to find women to sing on this song? I was so pissed off. It was all him actually, but he just sang really well in falsetto. So I was a chump. Yeah. 10000 cigarettes later I can’t sing like a girl. Anyway we would love. Okay so we would love to come to Toronto. We would love to come to everywhere especially – we had such a great time in Canada. Last year we played in Vancouver B.C. and we played in… Montreal. Montreal. And both places were great. We’ve not played in Toronto ever and we need to do that. So yeah. And let’s see what else. We have some we have some other stories for you but we also have some questions that people wrote down in the comments this week and we are going to.. Hi Darci.. Love you too. Oh Cleo’s Mom! Hi Amber! We’re gonna answer these questions. We’re going to attempt to answer these questions. So from Steven, Steven asks How long did it take to move all those Vans down the sidewalk and what is your favorite pair of Vans. So first of all the Vans. Yeah the van scene. That’s from Point of No Return video. Right. Speaking of videos Yeah. So you take that one. So the Point of No Return video was made in between a million gigs in 1986 and we flew into Los Angeles and we went to the studio and we just we we filmed that thing in like… 24 hours. 24 hours like non-stop. So if you look really carefully in that video, that moment when I opened the closet door and all the shoes come out and like go completely over my body. I actually fall asleep on the floor during that part because I’d already been up for like 20 hours. But anyway. So we had to go and then the video wasn’t done yet and we’d been shooting for twenty four hours so they had to get doubles of us. The last scene, as they go off into the sunset, it’s not us. It’s not us. You look.. It’s some guy in a bad wig. Definite wig and, yeah it’s not us. So anyway the Vans. They had these shoe wranglers they called them because in that video they took a shoe and then they’d move it an inch and shoot a frame and then move it an inch and shoot a frame. So these people would run in, move the shoes an inch, they’d shoot a frame… Yeah they’d do that over… They each have five shoes that they were responsible for. Oh you remember the number? Yeah. That’s amazing Mr. Jeopardy. I didn’t phrase it as a question. Yeah. Anyway so that was… Hi Cinnamon! Pretty fun. Hello from Tucson! Chenita Rojas. Ola! So anyway. Yeah. Favorite Vans. Do you have favorite Vans? Yeah. My favorite vans are Hello Kitty Vans. I’m probably the only 63 year old man with Hello Kitty Vans. Yep. Loressa! Peace. So how. The last part of that question. Oh did we answer that question? How long did it take to move all those Vans down the sidewalk? I guess because we weren’t there we don’t know. Yeah. But a long time. Days. Yeah. Yeah a long time. So we also want to shout out to Scott Rice. I don’t know if Scott is hanging out at this moment. Oh, Hafa adia from Guam! Hafa adai! Hafa adai! I said that wrong. Sorry. We love Guam. We did love Guam. Hope we get back there someday. Yeah. Maybe when there’s not a typhoon. Anyway where were we… Let’s see the next question… Oh you were saying happy birthday to Chip’s brother. Yes. Scott Rice, if you’re out there listening, we want to wish you a happy birthday. So happy birthday to Chip’s brother Scott Rice. And, let’s see. OK. Next question. Let’s pull something else out of the bag. So OK. Those of you just joining us we have we’re in. Where are we? San Antonio, where we just finished a show and we’re in our hotel room. And… So when you’re in a band on a record label all these weird things happen. And one of the weird things here’s a weird artifact. Go ahead. Keep going. That we uh. I Can’t Wait was offered as a free song by Post cereals. You can see Honey Comb. Honey Comb. And um.. And you can choose five songs. To be on your cassette. Your personal music cassette. We didn’t even know — they never asked us if they could do this. But yeah. So we’re on there somewhere. On the Honeycomb box. That was a that was a you know, feel like you’ve made it in showbiz moment right? Yeah.When you’re on the Honeycomb box you’ve made it. Yeah. So Billy James King just asked, What’s a song that you thought should have taken off that didn’t. Well, Should I Say Yes of course. Yeah. I was really proud of that song. Yeah. Should I say yes. And it got to 41. So we missed out on all the free Casey Kasem American Top 40 stuff that would have pushed it higher. So we say we have two and a half hits. That was our half a hit. Yeah. Should I say yes. And people love that in Uganda and Zimbabwe. That’s still a big dance club hit in Africa. Yeah. We get e-mails from our from Africa and it’s really amazing. From the Prince of Nigeria and stuff. Thank you Andre. Anyway. Yeah. So… Yeah we love that song. Yeah. That was written during a tornado actually. Really? Yeah. Yeah. It’s down in this basement. And I wrote Should I Say Yes. And when I came out it was in Minnesota and there was this tornado and people had been killed in it. And by the time I came out the tornado was over and it was warm.. Like. Tweet tweet. Chirp chirp. Yeah. Yeah. So that arrived in a storm. Awww. Loressa’s saying, Driftin’ is my fave. That’s really sweet. So let’s see… Hi Julie. Hi Darren. Oh man. It’s so great to see you guys all here on our Facebook page. Thanks for coming to celebrate this 40 year anniversary. Salud! Of our band. Nostrovia! 1979. June 21st. Nu Shooz had their first gig in Colonel Summers Park in Portland Oregon. I wasn’t in the band at the time. It was a four piece. No she was standing by the side of the stage with her fingers interviewer. I was not. You were. Was not. Maybe it was a little loud. Maybe it was a little discordant. Yeah the Mantronix mix of should I Say Yes is really cool. He did a great job. Yeah. And Mantronix mixed that at Electric Ladyland, Hendrix’s studio, which was a big deal for me being a Hendrix freak. Yeah. Yeah. Got to be in Electric Lady Land with a big picture of Hendrix on the wall and an outer space mural. Yeah. Yeah. That was a good night. So… Stephen… So how did Nu Shooz start to begin with? I mean, what was the impetus for the band? Since I wasn’t there I’m going to interview you. Well it kind of came out of the wreckage of this Latin band called Felicidades that we used to hang out with. And I played with them and they gave me a chance to be an arranger and stuff and then that band fell apart. And two of us Larry Hagan and myself started this. We just started put let’s start a band you know and we looked on the wall and sold old newspapers and these lace up shoes and we said oh we could be the Shoes. And then it turned out there was already a band called the Shoes. And so then our bass player Jim Hogan said oh you could be New Shoes OK that’s stupid, let’s be New Shoes. And then he said Oh and if you spell it like this it’s more rock like spelled with a Z you know. And so we have to give him props for that. Yeah yeah. And then about a year later turned into a 12 piece. Yeah. All the original people left but me. And then I snagged a horn section and then it really got going. But wait did you go to New York and decided to do that? Was go for that actually. Yeah. Because of Felicidades broke up in 77. I went to New York and I saw these real Latin bands and I was like wow I’m not Puerto Rican I’m not Cuban I’m gonna go home and do something American and I was staying in this loft and there was nothing but a mattress and an upright piano and on the upright piano was a book of Motown songs which I knew all that stuff really good. So I went I’m going to go home and play American music. And that was really the start of it. And that’s yeah that’s that’s the real story. Yeah. Because. You actually grew up listening to a lot of Motown and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. So thanks again for coming and hanging out with us here. We’re kind of new this Facebook thing so like reading we’re reading all your comments and sending you love. And then also trying to answer these questions that people send in which will get to the next one here. OK so Mark Roman, he sent in a bunch of questions that were great. This one is says. Tell us about that moment when you realized it’s happening and that people are digging Nu Shooz Oh what’s in the drinking glass vodka. What God knows. Anyway so… I mean I know what my moment of like wow this is really happening. What. Oh yeah. You know what I’m going to say. Yes. So you go first. Well you know it sounds counterintuitive but I was really almost more thrilled to be one of the big local bands than even when we got a record deal. It’s nice to be on the radio and stuff. But when we got to be a local band and played The Last Hurrah every Wednesday that was a thrill to me because I think my initial goal was just to be in a band that had a T-shirt and we got the t shirt off. So in the spring of 1981 This is like four five years before we got a record deal. We had a roaring local band and that’s when I called home I said Mom I’ve made it. Well so we had a local band for seven years and we played clubs like between two and five nights a week for a long time. And then we got a record deal in… So the band started 1979. We got a record deal in 1986. January yeah. January 1986 and then we had a record deal for seven years and then they dumped us. So. And then we did 20 year break. But your story. Oh my story. When we first got on the radio. Mark’s question. OK. So when we first got on the radio Z-100 in Portland. Yeah. Which is also a crazy story. I think I should tell that story really quick. Yeah. Really quick. OK. Really really good. It’s all really quick. So this is how I can’t wait happened. Do you guys you guys know this song. I Can’t Wait. Yeah I see a couple thumbs up going. OK. So I can’t wait. I had actually been at a North Pacific Northwest hit and that happened because our manager at the time he was a bartender somehow was up in the morning and a local writer had written this article to say Hey Nu Shooz just made this great little cassette. It’s an AP With five songs on it too bad luck radio won’t play it like see one hundred but they won’t play local bands. And so we I guess Z-100 found the article somehow. Yeah. And they read it on the air and they read it on the air and are in and our manager was bartender at the time heard it and he jumped on his best buddy took the cassette down they picked. I Can’t Wait to play off of it. We tried to get a record deal while the phones lit up. Yeah first of all people loved that song immediately and your big moment of feeling that you’d made it was… Was when I was driving up Widler Street in Portland Oregon it was a sunny summer day and I had the windows rolled down in my car and Z-100 on. And the song comes on and I’m like Oh my God they’re playing Z-100 is playing… I can’t wait on the radio. And I started singing along and then I’m like oh I’m singing along to the radio and I’m singing to myself. Like with myself on the radio. Anyway it was like a kind of blow your mind experience and you wanted to shout at people. This is me. I’m on the radio and it’s our music because you know after playing clubs for seven years in obscurity that was kind of pretty awesome. Yeah. You know before that people would say Oh you’re in a band. What band. Nu Shooz. Oh that’s nice. And then after that. Like all of America knew that name. So yeah. So Beth Broad’s saying she first started in Los Angeles on Z-100. Billie, I had a Toyota Corolla station wagon. Yeah. Thanks Keith. So. So again where are you guys. Where did you hear I Can’t Wait the first time. We would love to know. Hi Jim Dee. Can you can you say something about… Bob Hicks is watching. Yeah. Hi Bob. So we’d love to know where you first heard I Can’t Wait. People come up to us all the time and they’re like you know our son was born because… Our children were conceived to I Can’t Wait. Like that’s that’s better than a Grammy nomination I think so too. Yeah yeah. That’s like a grandpa nomination. Oh my gosh. Anyway so while you guys are writing where Neighborfair days Neighborfair days when I was a kid that was oh sorry can I pull this down. Yes I can see it. Nick Sanford Bel Garde Hi. He says Neighborfair days when I was a kid. That’s when you first heard the song. That’s awesome. And hi Jeff from Atlanta Wes Wes says you heard it at a high school dance in the 80s. Awesome. Eric Stewart first heard it in Nashville. Ellen Nichols in Miami on Y-100. Steven Paulk MTV. Ben says on Friday Night Videos on NBC. Amber says I was addicted to the radio as a kid. Then I would go roller skating and they would always play it there at the roller skating rink. I know it was a huge roller skating song. Isn’t that crazy. So,. Hi Jim. This is like Romper Room: anybody old enough to remember Romper Room. Where they say hi to the kids. I see Billy and Sally, and Bob. So Chris says he first heard on 94.9 F.M.. WVIC in Lansing Michigan. Right on. Billy James King, Most likely the Skate Depot in Cerritos California. Anthony first heard it in Manchester United Kingdom. My friend used to mix it when he was deejaying. That’s cool. Bob says. You guys are so tech savvy. We’re learning on the fly. If anybody is tech savvy it’s Valerie. Yeah. So Louise says I used to live in another part of the world, Brazil. So yeah it played in Brazil. I remember we heard somebody heard it on Voice of America. They were doing some kind of… In Mongolia. Yeah yeah yeah. Not just China but like Mongolia. Way way out there. Christine says she first heard I can’t wait at a club with my ex and we had a drink with you both. Well great. Awesome. And we’re having a drink again together. Christine. Kampai. Skol! Scott Wilson says. Q-94 in Richmond Virginia. My goodness. Raymond says Plan or Z-100 New York City WCAU Philly That’s from Dawn and wow. Oh Jeff King says he first turned it on FM-100 in Memphis Tennessee. So what were were we just asked the question where did you first hear. I can’t wait. And that’s. Whoops gosh my finger just so all over that. Oh my God. OK so tech savvy. So enough about I Can’t Wait. Here’s another artifact. This is John and Valerie attacked by Stylists. We don’t really dress like this. We never did. But this came out in Europe. Is this the. Oh yeah. This is the the French version. Yeah Or no, it’s Italian…originale. No I think it’s French. Perdui par John Smith and Rick Waritz Oh yeah perdui. Yeah it’s in French. Yeah it’s the French version. Oui! Anyway so we have this weird grab bag of stuff that we brought from our. Archives. And. I don’t know if we just thought we’d grab some stuff out of it if that’s what a grab bag’s for. Here’s when we played Disneyworld. That was a funny thing actually. We landed late or something and our luggage got left on the tarmac and we were playing Disney World and our luggage got left on the tarmac and it got totally soaked. So all our clothes. You know we. And they were late coming to us or something. And a lot of them were ruined. Yeah. So they sat on the tarmac in a rainstorm. Yeah. So anyway we without our suitcases they were getting rained on. We were at Disney World and we were supposed to play that night. So we’re like we’re going to have something to wear. So we start wandering around the bowels of the Disney World you know stages. Disney World has bowels? Get out of here. Anyway so, now see I lost my train of thought. Clothes. So we’re looking for something to wear and we find the costume room. So I’m like OK the band can be the Seven Dwarves. I’m gonna be Snow White. We didn’t end up doing that but actually Gloria Estefan came backstage and introduced herself. That was nice. She was very sweet. Yeah. Yeah. So Mike Love says he was deejaying at The only gay club in Charlottesville Virginia. And a guy brought the cassette in and he played it. The club capacity was 50 but we jammed 100 in there easily. LOL. Oh fire code violations. I love that. Oh Michelle says I played I Can’t Wait in the band in Trinidad in the 80s. That’s right. That’s cool. Oh that’s really cool. There was a rap version of I Can’t Wait, by Spider D. Yes. And that was kind of cool too. Yeah but the best one was Buzzin’ by Mann. Yeah I think that was the best one. There was probably twelve rap versions eleven or twelve, people who took that and ran with it. And my favorite one was Buzzin’. Yeah. By Mann, with two N’s. Have you guys heard that? Have you heard the Buzzin’ remix. 50 CENT actually added something to it put it on his Web site for free. And that’s what made it go crazy. Yeah yeah. Oh here. Heard the bass line in the intro to the Miami Heat. Now Miami Heat was the first NBA team to do it and now it’s kind of a basketball trope. They play…all the NBA teams do it. But Miami Heat did it first so thank you. Yeah. Thank you Miami Heat. Romi Kate. Wow this is so cool. It’s so nice that you all are watching. Yeah. We’re having a blast. Let’s see. Is there anything else in the grab bag here. Oh here’s our our backstage pass from the 1986 tour. It’s OK I’m with Nu Shooz. John drew this actually. Yeah. This is when people wore Afrika medallions around their neck. Remember that? Maybe not. Maybe not. That was a long time ago. Yeah. That was a long time ago. Anyway we have another question to answer here. How did the titles of the albums come about; Poolside, Told U So. Kung Pao Kitchen, Pandora’s Box, Bagtown. Well our manager Rick came up with Poolside. He did. Yeah. The title Yeah. Wow. I didn’t remember that. And then I came up with Told U So. And then there’s a good story about Kung Pao Kitchen because… That was kind of a… How do I put this. By the time we made Kung Pao Kitchen which was called Eat & Run but Kung Pao kitchen was a kind of in-joke because we were gonna use the last of our record budget before we got dropped and buy as much Chinese food as we could. I was determined to just like eat as much Chinese food, as much Kung Pao chicken as I could on the record budget. Yeah. So that’s that title. Pandora’s Box, that was named after a song and Bagtown. You want to talk about Bagtown. No you go ahead. Well, we we’re gonna make one last album, and we had a great band and a great studio right then. And so. I went out… It was like November of 2014 and I went out to the studio to start writing songs and I wrote some classical stuff and went naah. And then instead I started building this city out of cardboard that took over the whole studio and my son Mal added to it and his girlfriend at the time Bailey and built stuff on it. And Valerie would say What do you doing. How’s the songwriting going. Well, I’m building this cardboard city and then we made these Bag Puppets to live in the city. They were really great. And then the Bag Puppets needed a song…they needed a theme song so I wrote the song called Bagtown. So that was the title of that album. Yeah. You know so. So thank you. It’s about bags…and cardboard. Yeah those are great questions man. Thank you. Yeah. Really awesome. So. So what’s your take on…Luis wants to know what’s your take on today’s music industry. Is there an industry. Yes there is. Oh good. Yes there is. You know. Yeah that’s a good question. Why don’t you answer it because you’re nicer than me. Soul Cushion. Yeah. Yeah Mark. You got a big soul cushion and you’re sittin’ on it. Anyway today’s music industry actually has some great things about it. One of the things that’s great about it is what we’re doing here right now, which is actually interacting with you because there were a lot of times. I mean in the old days we tried to answer every actual letter that we got from people but we couldn’t really interact in the same way that we do now. So it’s that part I really really like. I do feel for the young people coming up in the industry today because on the one hand there’s no gatekeepers. And if they can put their stuff out there. And if they’re good and they’re remarkable, people want to actually remark about them because they’re so good then they can do something. But on the other hand everyone can do it. So like there’s a tsunami of people out there trying to get you to listen to their stuff and it’s really hard to get heard. So. So there’s a you know like every era there’s good and bad things. The good thing about our era. Well the bad thing about our era was that there were these gatekeepers. And then if you didn’t have a record deal you could not get heard. And it was a miracle that we got on the radio. It was a miracle. And we know it. And then it was a miracle that it kept happening. And that this song had a life of its own and it just kept on having a life even when our record company dropped us. You know like 20 years later the song 40 years later because we’re celebrating our fortieth anniversary of being a band. But you know… You know what I really appreciate is that people got into other songs besides the ones that were on the radio. Like Loressa just wrote in and said that she loves Real Thing. And that was a real a real labor of love that song. Yeah. Cause we were trying to imitate Philly Soul on that and it was awesome. Yeah it was just awesome thing to make you know. And so when we hear that people like Driftin’ or you know these deep cuts like Soul Cushion and stuff, that warms my heart. Mark Roman said that he loves Pandora’s Box and Bagtown. That just made my day. You know that when people say that they like our music that they really have gotten into the actual music and not just the hits. You know not just our two and a half hits. We’re grateful for the two and a half hits. Oh my God. You know Domini Domini Yeah. But you know that people are actually listening. That’s beautiful. And as Valerie pointed out that the Internet gives us a forum for interaction and to really hear what people think. Yeah. Which is awesome. And you know as we’re talking we’re seeing all these people saying hi. And you know hello from Costa Rica and all these different countries around the world. And that is just amazing. We’ve got some people out there who saw us at 80s in the Sand who are saying hello. That was a good show. 80s in the Sand. Yeah. We got the best spot in the whole thing. Anyway we just we just so appreciate all this love and support that you guys have given us over the last 40 years. It’s really been an amazing thing. So hi Joel. Hi Chris. Yes 80’s in the Sand does rock. We had such a good time there. So again let’s see what else we’re going to ask them. Oh so who’s your favorite band The Beatles or The Stones. Beatles or Stones. Yeah. Billy James King always asks this. It’s like Elvis or Prince you know. Yeah. So, Beatles or the Stones, we want to know. Last time he was backstage with us, he said Beatles or Elvis. And that’s like no contest but I gotta say that Elvis was really really talented. He was. Yeah. And even in his drugged out later big belt buckle phase he never sang out of tune which is kind of miraculous especially because monitors weren’t that great in those days. There were no monitors. Right. That’s what I’m saying. There were no monitors at Woodstock. Wow. Yeah. So Beatles or Stones? We got Beatles. Stones. Scroll back. Aww. Your band and Animotion were the kindest. Here at the Howard Jones concert between sets watching you guys. Oh awesome. Say Hi to Howard for us. Yeah. Beatles we got Stones we got Beatles. Okay here’s my answer to Beatles or Stones. I couldn’t live without either one. Amber says the Beatles. I know. Actually that’s… You know what I mean. So do you want to. Do you want to have a world without the Beatles or the Stones. You really don’t want Satisfaction. Under My Thumb. And then Come Together and you know the Beatles and The Stones make one complete world. It’s like saying let’s just have the Northern Hemisphere. Right. You know that wouldn’t work. You know and yeah the Beatles and The Stones and Earth Wind and Fire. The Beatles. Beatles. The Beatles. George Harrison was my favorite Beatle. Yes Don, George. Yeah. I really appreciate him. I actually appreciate all the Beatles at this point in time. Duran Duran neither Beatles or Stones. Well you’re young. Kevin Kelly. That’s Duran Duran was great. And they were produced by Mutt Lang. So Joel’s asking what are some new bands that you’re drawn to. You know we really like. Who. Tell me. Jacob Collier. Oh yes. Jacob Collier is like the best modern musician. He’s so good. Have you guys heard of Jacob Collier. You gotta go look up Jacob Collier. Oh my God. He’s amazing. He blew my mind. So look him up Jacob COLLIER: The Flintstones. That’s a good introduction to Jacob Collier. But yeah he’s like one of the most brilliant musicians on the planet today. And then five years ago like Esperanza Spalding. Yeah, not even five years ago. I still think she’s an amazing artist. Yeah yeah. Yes. She keeps growing. She came out like five years ago. Yeah. My friends the Breakfast Club. Mm hmm mm hmm. What do you mean by that. Yeah. What. So what’s the Breakfast Club. And is that a band. Is that the movie. Are you talking about the movie The Breakfast Club anyway. Do you have anything…while you’re pondering that. I think we have this grab bag so we’re celebrating for those of you who are still joining us. Here’s a here’s a prince backstage pass. We’re celebrating our fortieth anniversary of being a band. It happened that the first Nu Shooz gig happened on June 21st 1979. So we’re in San Antonio. We just had a show and we’re in our hotel room. And we’re hanging out with you guys. So Jeff King says that’s like deciding between the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac for me they’re basically a tie. Yeah. OK yeah. They were and those are good examples. Oh the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac are like from a similar planet. Yeah absolutely. [reads] Breakfast Club is another 80s band. Billie James King says he wants something from the grab bag. So we got it. No not that one. We’re grabbing something…so we have this grab bag of weird stuff that we brought from our house. Here’s the the Minnesota Music Awards where we gave the Minnesota Music Award to the Jets who are still one of our favorite bands to play with. We’ve been doing shows with the Jets recently on the some freestyle shows and they’re just great people. They’re lovely. Here’s the Atlantic Records Fortieth anniversary show. I’m not going to go into that one. I didn’t have fun at that. You didn’t have that. No no no. Don’t get me started on that one. Yeah. Oh here’s one, here’s Nu Shooz with JJ Fad in 1988 and they were like young teenagers are like 15 year old kids and they were produced by Dr. Dre and they had that hit Supersonic and we’re still touring with them. Yeah. We get to to this day down there moms and stuff. And J.J. Fad. Yeah supersonic. Exactly. Yes. OK we’ve got some more things in the grab bag. So the Minnesota awards. We got to do a break. We got to record at Prince’s studio Paisley Park for our second record, which is quite an amazing experience because they just opened it and we never ran into Prince. He was kind of a mystery man and never showed up. I met his dad though. He was a little bitty guy like Prince. And we found his costume room. Oh yeah. And John actually tried on his boots. No I tried on his… There’s this video where he wears this big furry jacket. Oh, the furry jacket. Yeah yeah. And it was too small for me and I’m not a big guy. So, just goes to show you. But yeah we had the run of Paisley Park. We just ran around like I was playing his guitars and stuff and trying on his clothes cause he had this whole room where they built costumes for him with about six sewing machines. So Joel is asking a question. So you guys ask us questions. These are great questions. So Joel asks, What was your favorite gig and venue in the 80s and what was your least favorite and why. Okay so I must start with my least favorite gigs. And actually it’s not a particular venue. We tried to go top 40 in the 80s. What? Oh yeah. Because we were in a slump and we were having a hard time in Portland and our band members kept changing we had over 50 different man band members in the first seven years of the band. And so we tried to go top 40 and we played these lounges. Oh my God. They were just soul sucking. We were the worst cover band ever ever. We were terrible. We could only sound like Nu Shooz. Yeah. And so anyway those were the worst gigs that we had. But some of the best gigs we had. We loved playing at this place in Portland called Key Largo. Luis La Bamba, Last Hurrah. Actually the Last hHurrah in Portland Oregon kind of made our career because there was a thing called ladies night and we played every Wednesday night and one of the things that you had to do if you were playing at the Last Hurrah is you had to play original music which is unheard of. Like you had to play 80 percent original music. We played Earth Wind and Fire Tower Power Gladys Knight Cold Blood all these different horn bands. All these horn band songs. And we did original music so I don’t know. It’s kind of a toss up but the Last Hurrah and Key Largo were our favorite Portland clubs anyway. Well my favorite gig on the tour…In 1986 we played 70 cities and seventy three days and my favorite one was the Fresno State Fair oh go figure. And that was just the most triumphant beautiful gig that I played out of those 70 shows. Fresno’s still great to play today. Fresno is still one of the most warm and wonderful places, and my least favorite gig was the Atlantic Records Fortieth Anniversary show. And I don’t need to get into it. I think we were supposed to play with Paul Schaffer. Yeah yeah. And I’m hanging backstage with you know Paul Schaffer and the band. Right. And then they come out and they tell us oh sorry you don’t get to play with Paul Schaefer after all. Yeah. So they pushed us out there me and Val and I’m playing a dead keyboard. Oh and the M.C. of that show…Led Zeppelin…the Led Zeppelin reunion was on that show. So every act that came out he would go Ladies Gentlemen Led Zeppelin and then we’d walk out they go oh so that was my least favorite gig. Favorite? But favorite was Fresno. Yeah. And any Last Hurrah gig in 1981. Yeah. So James Park is asking can you speak about your place in freestyle music history. Oh tell the story about freestyle. That’s kind of funny actually because when we first started doing these freestyle shows we did not know what freestyle was. We thought it was like freestyle rap you know which makes you know it’s sort of like a poetry slam. Yeah. So we had to look it up on Wikipedia. Right. And we’re like really, we’re freestyle artists? A dance music style derived from Miami. Yeah. Using Latin percussion that’s what Wikipedia said. I think what you hear that those made that hurt shoulder you. Anyway so yeah. Freestyle music kind of happened on the East Coast. That’s where it started Miami and because we were West Coast people and we played in clubs but we played with a 12 piece six to 12 piece band. We weren’t really in the dance clubs. No. It was kind of crazy once we were on Atlantic the music got out into the dance clubs a lot more. And so I don’t know I think that’s how we ended up being kind of mixed in. We were in all these different charts so we were on the RB chart we were on the urban chart which was the black Contemporary Chart at that time. Yeah. Dance. We were on dance. We were on Pop. So we were in all these different Billboard charts and thankfully we crossed over into all these different areas but we had no clue what freestyle was. Yeah. And our secret gimmick really as the songwriter I could say my secret gimmick was to be rooted in like seven years earlier than whatever was popular. So I was like firmly rooted in the late 70s when all this 80s stuff was happening. So there you go. Yeah. So Loressa says Love love love. Time Will Tell. Yes that’s one that a lot of people haven’t heard because that was the first single off the record that we did the last record we did for Atlantic that they never actually released. So that’s a hard one to find. Ricky Reilly says I can’t wait it’s played about every eleven minutes somewhere around the world. And those are old figures because of the Internet now I Can’t Wait is played continuously around the world. There’s like a Saturn RING AROUND THE EARTH PLAYING I Can’t Wait. Thank God. So Jennifer, you are probably one of our biggest fans from back in the 80s. Jennifer Rafter Schonfeld says I had that Atlantic Records Fortieth anniversary jean jacket. This this fan was like I’m you Jennifer you are. I have to say you were unbelievable. She did send us a cheesecake from Chicago that was packed in dry ice. I mean this was like unbelievable. It came to our house. We opened it up to the dry ice is like everywhere and it was awesome cheesecake by the way. Yeah. Also said Jennifer would send us these tapes of prank phone calls that she made because she would call up these old ladies and she would say identify the song and win a prize. And then they turn on the radio and go pwxxxxxhhhh and the poor lady is on the phone would go ‘Oh I don’t know I’m old and I don’t know that kind of music.’ Anyway. You were a crazy teenager and we loved you for it. So, hey so Keith our friend Keith is asking a question here. That’s good. Is the most interesting instrument you’ve ever used in the studio a wine bottle. Well that was certainly interesting. Hi Sean. Interesting instruments. Hmm. Yeah. That probably was the wildest thing that we did was wine bottles because we drank the wine. We had to empty the wine bottles before we played them. So first of all you have to provide a little background here. I Can’t Wait. Was being recorded at the studio in Portland Oregon. Yeah that’s not going to work. No. So I Can’t Wait was being recorded. What year was that. Nineteen eighty five. And it was just kind of laying there like it wasn’t coming alive. ‘Cause I slowed it down because we played it too fast. We did. We we used to play it like…[sings bass line] It was like running. We were just embarrassed about it you know and wanted to get it over with I think on the bandstand. Yeah. And then in the studio I slowed it down to 104 BPM. So it was like…[sings bass line slower] And everybody, Valerie, the band thought I was crazy. Yeah but then the track just laid there and it wouldn’t go. And then on the way to the studio one day I was listening to The Time, ‘Jungle Love.’ Oh-we-oh-we-oh. Yeah yeah. Jungle Love. And I copped…I just stole these bottle parts and percussion parts from it. And so that’s the wine bottles. So yeah we get to the studio we have to tune the wine bottles and so you know you have to drink a certain amount of the wine in order to make it the right pitch in the track. So that’s… And at the end of drinking these two bottles of wine, I couldn’t tell the pitch. That doesn’t work. No these glasses are too thick. Yeah. And now vodka comes in a plastic bottle. Raymond says I was bummed to hear that you ended the band so I can’t visit Portland to see you as a headline. Act. What future projects are you working on. I’m doing a graphic novel. Yeah. Yeah. We just couldn’t find you know enough space in Portland to play gigs, play enough gigs keep the music fresh. So yeah but our band was so great. I know we miss them. Yeah. That was probably one of the (best.) There were seven different versions of Nu Shooz and that was the last one and it was just…everybody got along you know. Yeah. It was really nice. They were all great players and singers. Yeah we do miss them so music projects not so much right now but I’m working on a podcast for singers called Living a Vocal Life. It’s going to launch in October and I’ve been interviewing some really great singers from all different (genres.) How do I talk about this. I’ve been interviewing singers that live all kinds of different lives related to music so there’s some 80s singers that I’m interviewing. There’s some people who are teachers that that have you know a vocal studio that I’m interviewing. It’s just about how to be a singer in today’s world. Musical theater people. Musical theater people so I’m interviewing people from all different walks of life, with all different kinds of careers but who all have singing and a love of singing in common. So that’s going to launch in October and I hope you guys will… I’ll try to let you know about it because it’s really it’s really really fun. And I’m also creating an online class for singers called of called Becoming a Singer and that’s going to launch next year. So those are the things that I’m working on. OK, as a couple who has worked and loved together for over 40 years, what’s your secret to a relationship success. I think one answer is that after our record deal ended we both went off and did other music separately. Yeah we did. And so when we came out to make Pandora we had all this experience separately. Valerie played in big bands and and jazz combos and taught voice for a long time and I did it advertising for 20 years and then we made the Pandora’s Box record. Actually we made a big band record together. Oh that’s right. Yeah yeah. Then we did. So we were doing some jazz together. But I think my answer would be that, you know we’ve had actually probably over 40 years we’ve had probably at least seven different relationships. Forty four years. Forty four years. Yeah, we’ve been together. And his sense of humor is pretty amazing. And so that really helps. There’s no secret. Exactly. It’s just you know. Find someone you really like. Yeah yeah. So. Favorite artist on the Freestyle Explosion Tour. Oh that’s not fair. We can’t say. No but you know I gotta say that that all the acts on the Freestyle Explosion Tour have become pals, and I’ll never forget the first show that we did and we’re in the van with Lisa Lisa. And we were big Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam fans and all of a sudden we’re in the van with Lisa Lisa! I know. And Lisa Lisa just opened the door for me like oh my god. I know. Yeah it was really awesome, so if that’s a good enough answer… Yeah yeah. So we’re celebrating our fortieth anniversary. Those of you’ve been hanging out for this whole almost hour now. We’ve been celebrating this momentous occasion where the band had its first gig on June 21st 1979 and here it is 40 years later and you know the band’s still happening. So we get to be on this freestyle tour where we play with 10 to 12 other artists on these shows. And it’s just the hits. And one of the best things about it is hanging out with all the other bands after the show and also the people who work on this tour who make it go all the production people and stuff. So Natalie and RJ Duran, who we love who we just love that worked for Pacific concert group. Oh yeah. They got us this beautiful present and they presented it to us after our set tonight on stage it’s this cake! It says Nu Shooz. I Can’t Wait 40 more years. Sorry. Probably won’t be 40 more years but I mean… I’ll only be a hundred and four! Get out’a here. Anyway. So if you want to come over eat some cake with us we’re…you know hanging out in San Antonio and we’re in our hotel room after the show and I think it’s almost time to say goodbye. Are there any last minute questions that you have for us at this moment. We’ve been here. Oh will you be performing at any FREESTYLE EVENTS IN L.A.. Yes we are going to be in Anaheim on… Oh my gosh I’m forgetting it’s in July. It’s I think the last weekend in July so you can go to our Web site nushoozmusic dot com and Anaheim’s not exactly L.A. but it’s pretty close. So yes we will be doing a freestyle show there. And.. I love it. So I’m reading some of these comments here. OK. Val what’s your TV show fave. Oh yeah. What’s my TV show fave. She watches series. I watch Jeopardy. He watches Jeopardy every night. Since 1984. I’ve missed about five. He’s actually really good. I’m watching the last episodes of This Is Us right now. But…favorite TV show. I don’t get to watch TV that much actually. I listen to a ton of podcasts and mostly like the TED Radio Hour and some of those… On Being with Krista Tippett. Yes, so I’m a big podcast fan partly because I’m doing a podcast right now. It’s going to launch in October. But anyway… So Wes wants to know… John’s doing a graphic novel and…he’s a really talented artist. I wish I could show you some of the art that he’s doing. I don’t know when that’s gonna be happening. I think that stuff will start going up and they’ll be… Online you mean. Yeah yeah online probably around September. Yeah. So this winter a lot of things will be coming out so Draconia Skyward wants to know which 80 singers. So far I’ve interviewed Moana from the Jets and Rindy Ross from Quarterflash. I’ve got another interview with Suzanne Mars who’s a wonderful musical theater singer from Portland Oregon. She’s trying to get Jody Whatley. And then a young jazz singer named Holly Pyle. So which I’m trying to get a real diverse group so that young singers can maybe be inspired by how many different ways there are to become a singer. That’s the gist of the show anyway is to try to inspire and help younger singers who want to make a life out of music because it’s not easy. So Greg wants to know was the bassline a mini moog. I was able to get pretty close to it with Arturius’ reincarnation of the Mini Moog. I have a pretty close set of stems including finding glass bottles filled varying amounts of water to try and match. Nice. It’s fun trying to recreate the magic. That’s really cool. Yes it was a mini Moog and the sound was dialed in by Nate Phillips of Pleasure. And you know what? I have a Mini Moog and I’ve never been able to get close not even close to that percussion that he put on it. Yeah yeah. Nate dialed that in. I never could get it out of my Mini. Yeah pretty cool, anyway. Oh thank you Raymond. He says he enjoyed listening to the band on our Bagtown and PBS special. Oh right on. Which was really… Oh that’s a great idea. So I was just talking about the podcast and Mike Love is suggesting that I interview Imogen Heap. I love to get her. Yes. Oh my God. Great idea man. Great idea. We will try. We will try doing that. Oh Rob as asking… Gosh we could stay here forever with you guys. What is y’all’s biggest music influence. Oh my God. You really… we could go on all night for that. Charlie Parker, Coltrane, Hendrix. James Brown. James Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, and especially Coltrane’s piano player. McCoy Tyner. Yeah. I just wanted to be McCoy Tyner and I ended up in Nu Shooz. Oh well, It could have been worse right. Anyway. Yeah. And let’s see. Joel wants to know is Malcolm following in your musical footsteps. No but he’s following in John’s artistic footsteps in a way. And actually he’s… He was born really good. Malcolm is our son by the way. He’s our 24 year old who is also on the artist’s path. And he started drawing at age three and a half and just never did anything else. Yeah. You know and so yeah he’s got a lot of good… He’s got about four comics going. Anyway you guys have been so great and I guess there’s a couple more questions here we’re trying to get to before we go off because we’ve been on we’ve been on air almost an hour or two getting bored. We’re not. Will Poolside ever be remastered with bonus tracks and remixes. Kevin Kelly wants to know that. I don’t know if there’s many bonus tracks. You know Atlantic still… Atlantic Records was our label and they still own the masters of all of our music so I would say the bonus tracks if you’re interested, they’re on Kung Pao Kitchen. Yeah. That we kind of took everything that was rejected by the label and redid it and…not redid it but we remixed and remastered it and made it our own again. And if you want to look at pre poolside it’s the record That’s Right. Yeah yeah yeah. And so that’s the bonus tracks. Don Wycoff says thank you for your music and your light in the world. Oh. Thank you Don. We just you know so appreciate being able to do this still in our lives. Emily says we’ll see you in Anaheim. Thank you for our soundtrack. Mark Colvin says thank you for our soundtrack in this life. Cheers Happy anniversary. If you do want to know where we’re playing. Thank you Chris for putting up the URL for our shows you can go to and you’ll find out there. Thanks again everyone for… For hanging in there for one thing. Yeah. All these years, and oh here’s a good question. Not music related. What’s your favorite thing to cook? About 20 years ago I said you know what. I’m done cooking. It’s your turn now. And I didn’t have a job so I had to justify my existence somehow. 20 years ago you had a job and more recently. Yeah well ten years ago. Anyway. And so I started learning to cook. And especially on the road with the freestyle tour. There’s nothing to do but watch the Food Network Diners Drive ins and Dives. So yeah I do all the cooking now and. And what is my favorite thing to cook. My two specialties are chicken curry chicken and curry chicken curry. Oh yeah. Those two things I’d make really well. He’s. He does really. He’s actually a really good cook. I’m so lucky. Where do modern politics in the 80s music come together for you. You’ll have to call us. We’ll do that on a whole other one. Todd Corgan. I did a great little indie movie with him Todd Corgan. Yeah he made The Man with the Empty Room. Where are you seeing that. Right there. Oh and we never got to work together again but that was a great experience. Yeah. A filmmaker who walks in knowing what he wants. God. Yeah. Hi Todd. Oh Heather. Heather Heck is wondering about the Flintstones song. And actually we talked about that earlier when we were talking about the Wilmalator. And this Nu Shooz t shirt. I think that the Flintstones song exists somewhere on a cassette in a box in a closet and we’re getting ready to move. So we’re gonna go through all those cassettes. So I’ll get back to you Heather. Yeah well we’ll find that and maybe somehow… We could let that out. Yeah we could that’d be really interesting. Yeah. It was it was a tune that we played live. So we had a band for seven years. We played in clubs and then we had a record deal for seven years. So Nu Shooz was a real ongoing concern for 14 years. From 1979 till about nineteen eighty two. Ninety two. Yeah. Excuse me. Ninety two. I can’t do math after I’ve been drinking vodka. Anyway so we played a ton of music. We had over 50 people in our band. Yeah, 70 band members and crew. Wow. And they all contributed. Yeah. So many people made Nu Shooz go, including all you guys. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you again for hanging in there and I think we’re gonna… I think we’re gonna say Good night. Thank you so much. This was really really fun. Yeah we’ll do it another time when there’s something else to sell. What is 40 years from now. So you’re asking me to do math. Let’s see what is it. Twenty nineteen. Twenty nine thirty nine forty nine fifty nine. So we’ll be back in 2059 on this date. Be there. Yeah thanks you guys. Have a great night. Kampay. Kampay!

19 thoughts on “Nu Shooz 40th Anniversary FB Live Celebration!

  1. Final question for now: Do you two remember the songs “My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)” by Chilliwack, “Hello Again” by The Cars, and “Cool Places” by Sparks and Jane Wiedlin?

  2. So nice to have You back! With the Bangles and others returning we need the shot in our arms now since music has become crappy.

  3. Hello! I remember dancing to your music in clubs during the 80s! Also, I have a great nephew who is 18 months old and he loves watching your videos. His name is Izaiah and he just loves listening to your videos of "I can't wait" and "Point of no return"! I start up your videos on YouTube and he gets his groove on! You're great and still looking fantastic!

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