Sunday, March 27, 2011

R.I.P. Loleatta Holloway - "I may be old fashioned and a country girl, but when it comes to loving you..."

"I may be old fashioned and a country girl, but when it comes to loving you..." - R.I.P. Loleatta Holloway

I just got back from vacation, and the news of Loleatta Holloway's death was the first text message I received when turning my phone back on. I sat there in shock for a moment at the airport, waiting for my connecting flight back to NYC, when some of my fondest memories of her started flooding into my mind.

I was lucky enough to see Loleatta Holloway perform live at The Shelter in the early 90s, and she commanded the stage that night like no other diva I've ever seen. She was already a living legend in the dance music/r&b scene at that point, and she was absolutely untouchable. The vibe in The Shelter was impenetrable that night, as well as the dense crowd. We were crushed in there like sardines, and the collective anticipation of her arriving on stage felt thicker than the humidity in NYC on a hot August day. When Loleatta hit the stage, she worked that mic and the room with some banter, making us laugh, getting us a little worked up before throttling into some of her baddest tunes, each one better, and more passionate than the last. "I'm gonna diss you right now..." The whole crowd just lost their shit as she worked that room. Sweat, hands in the air, an entire crowd moving in unison, transfixed by the enigma that stood before us on that stage. A real dance music riot of epic proportions broke out that night, and it will always stand out as one of the top 3 nights I've ever spent in a nightclub. Goosebumps right now thinking about it, goosebumps...

Thanks for the awesome memories you gave us, as well as the spirit you brought to places before my time like the Paradise Garage, and thankfully all the parties that were spawned from that very same spirit. It's that same spirit the scene possesses only at it's finest moments, that you essentially make tangible with the unmistakable electricity you bring to the room. When your passion oozes from those sound systems, bumping through the night and into the AM, the feeling you have given us is nearly indescribable. You may be gone now, but the records you blessed with your pitch perfect delivery and attitude will last till the end of time. Thanks again for sharing such incredible moments of your life for us.

Check out this legendary live performance by Loleatta, who incidentally did not approve this recording to get pressed to wax, and apparently chased DJ Bruce Forrest down the street with her handbag when she saw him after handing out this very tape!

R.I.P. the realest Disco Queen of all time, Loleatta Holloway

No comments: