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Pragmatic, reserved and a deep thinker who loves family, sports especially football where am married to two wives: the first, AC Milan who has my loyalty and the second wife, Manchester United who has all my undying love and pampering, lifestyle and society parties. Need I say the law is more than a profession but a lifestyle for me.

Adekanye Adeyinka Olajide.

I do it for me

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You are here: Home / OLD SCHOOL WEEKEND.

OLD SCHOOL WEEKEND.

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This week, my uncle and his wife, who were in vibrant form, schooled me in the old school tunes. I had always thought I had sufficient knowledge of some of the old school vibes but all that brought to naught by these two passionate staunch fans of various outstanding artistes who rolled out classics after the other in their time. I was a learner in the presence of my uncle especially who attended many of the shows of the artistes even when it was not convenient as a young lad; he found ways to be admitted.

He narrated fervently how he would attend the kool and the gang performances, that of Shalamar, UB40, and the list of the A list shows he had witnessed rolled on. He would recall a tune, he would either sing or hum to it, and his wife always picked some of the lines too – occasionally taunting each other for missing some part of the song lines. I was as thrilled as they were and watched as they created literally, an electrified ambiance as they relived the ‘good old days’ of music according to them. A position, which I argued on, more in defence of the new school tunes than anything else. They said our modern day musicals are empty, vague, banal, and totally lacked substance. They argued that we danced more to beats than appreciate song contents because the lyrics today are casual, lacking soulful words.

Well, what had actually renewed this passion was that my uncle just bought his blackberry phone and was telling me how much he would love to have one of Teddy Pendergrass tunes as his ring tone. I had assured him it was possible to download as many songs as he wished for using his phone. I explained that with the power of technology, all songs have copies on the internet available for quick download. He was excited at the prospect of the power in his palms, which I was quick to boast to him that technology is an invention of the modern day generation that helps him access files for his old tunes with his fingers.

As soon as he heard this, he refreshed his memory and mentioned artistes one after the other and with the help of his wife, we had Anita Baker; whom she described as the only musician she knows sings with all her body and compared her to the Nightingale; pouring accolades on her. We also had Michael Jackson whom my uncle preferred his songs from his original ‘Billie Jean’ days before he became a ghost. There was Luther Vandross, Whitney Huston, Barry White, and Steve Wonder.

Apparently, he was not satisfied with the collection from his memory; he suggested we resort to the records on his shelf, where every artiste brought different nostalgic memory. He narrated how he bought his first record insisting his name written on the record since his elder brother had cajoled him to use his money for its purchase. He also used the opportunity to explain the impact each musician has had on music until now. He enunciated that Quincy Jones is the father of blues who birthed the famous Michael Jackson and his production musical label was the yard where many upcoming artistes became successful by rolling them out. He mentioned mockingly that artistes like The Brothers Jones flaunted real gold chains that have been imitated today; while also ascribing one of the brothers hairdo to the style known as Brothers Jones hair-style – the hair was particularly striking as he relaxed it and had it all combed back. He also told me of the baggies worn by some of them that had the thigh area blown like a balloon and the lower part, tight.

I realised he was more particular about The Commodores, Dynasty, Marvin Gaye; who he regretted had been untimely killed by his father and abruptly ending what could have been an astounding career. I also was in agreement on that because if a man could have produced such a colossus hit track, ‘sexual healing’, which is timeless, he must have had more in his tank. He mentioned Bob Marley with such gleam and stressed his incredible mastery of what he called soulful reggae genre, which brought ‘redemption song’ to my mind.

There was Billy Ocean too especially with his renowned hit song ‘Caribbean Queen’, African Banbatas, legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti made his lists as he recalled countless nights at the shrine and the magnificent feeling it gave him to watch him hit the stage in unpredictable fashion each time. Another raga, dancehall maestro Yellowman came into reckoning with his prominent Mister Yellowman on the list. Then he talked about Gregory Isaacs, reggae icon with his exquisite vocals who was nicknamed the cool ruler.

With time waning and their tunes waxing ever strong, he pointed out that the fame, which usually got into their heads, was a major reason to why most of them derailed, and could not find their way back to the spotlight. He noted that the fast life, camera exposure and the consequences of drugs and uncontrolled access to women, was the bane of many ruined careers. As we rounded up after sufficiently tutoring him on how to go about downloading himself, I realised how important music is in life and how many of today have refused to learn from the pitfalls of their predecessors.

I hope you all get your groves on and have a funky weekend. Be it the old-fashioned way, or the new.

ADEKANYE ADEYINKA OLAJIDE.