Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mary, Go Ahead And Lay That Trip On Me

Sunday, I purchased the best CD I've ever bought. The artist: Fugi. The album: "Mary, Don't Lay That Bad Trip On Me." First album I ever bought where I dug every track from beginning. Starts off with the ethereal "Revelations." The next track is the title track, which starts off with this clumsy, sliding bass solo and then descends into the surreal (lyrics like "someone mailed me a golden envelope, and told me I had a right to kill y'all/ But, the truth is, Mary, I can't afford to pay my bills"). He actually wrote it for the Temptations, but they were doing the feel good doo-wop shit still, and passed. Funky nonsense wasn't their thing. The best song is "I'd Rather Be A Blind Man," which is this psychedelic blues number.

Kind of a cool story about Fugi. He got into the music business because he was able to befriend Etta James' man during a brief stint in Fulsom prison. He wrote "I'd Rather Be A Blind Man" in jail, and Etta James dug it and decided to do a feminized version of it. Producers took note of his songwriting ability. Fugi only put out the one album in 1969. Right after completing the sessions, he tumbled into a 35 year heroin addiction.

In his brief period on the Detroit music scene, he befriended a lot of people. Including Stevie Wonder. He claimed Stevie was a mean practical joker. Apparently, Stevie Wonder had this preternatural ability to sense when someone was coming by and trip them. Fugi said that Stevie once tripped him when he was walking through a club. "So, a couple of days later, he asked me whether Chuck was. I said right in the office to his left. He turned to his left and walked smack into a wall. Yeah, I got him back good."


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