[ viv-id ]
The Color Of Light
[ LOOK TO SEE ]
• THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF LIVING COLOUR
2001 — POST-911 RESURRECTION
DEC. 27, 2OO1 — “We opened the show with my man, and we’ll close the show with my man,” Vernon Reid called out to the enthusiastic crowd packed into Downtown Disney’s House Of Blues. This, before launching into the Jimi Hendrix classic, “Crosstown Traffic,” bookending the show that opened with The Band Of Gypsys’ “Power Of Soul.” This was the last show of Living Colour’s 2001 reunion, before going home to play New Year’s at CBGB, ending the tour in the downtown NYC club where the Living Colour Voyage embarked, 20 years before. Also the place where the band, had the idea, and made the decision to put the band (Living Colour) back together. Christmas Week 2000, exactly one year before.
1980 — Vernon Reid
As a member of Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society, and also playing and recording with DEFUNKT, another popular band of the NYC Underground, Vernon earned an early reputation as one of the young, hot-shit guitar players in the Avant-Funk/Outside-Jazz scene. DOWNTOWN, on the darker end of Manhattan. It was there and then that Vernon decided to step out and form a band of his own. He quickly ran through a number of unsuccessful bands, but he called them all Living Colour.
1985 — Not knowing Corey Glover, but impressed with his singing of “Happy Birthday” at a mutual friend’s birthday party, Vernon asked (the singer) if he might be interested in joining his “new” band, Living Colour? More an actor, including a recent role in Oliver Stone’s Platoon, Corey hesitated to answer. He had never imagined a future in Rock ‘N’ Roll, but having no work at the moment, he answered “yes.” After an agreeable meeting and jam, Vernon offered Corey on the spot. Corey’s acceptance made Living Colour complete.
Vernon Reid (guitar)
Muzz Skillings (bass)
Will Calhoun (drums)
Corey Glover (vocals)
The band that finally endured, striking out quickly, playing exhaustively, getting noticed at CBGB’s and other small, underground clubs in NYC’s Downtown Area. of New York City. Almost immediately, hanging out with Mick (ala Jeff Spicolli) Jagger, and opening 100,000 stadium shows for the Rolling Stones.
Just before its meteoric launch, Living Colour dropped their debut album, Vivid, that earned a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance, and was immediately labeled a Rock N Roll Masterpiece.
Vivid’s opening tune, “Cult of Personality,” not only earned Living Colour another Grammy, it also attracted the attention of Mick Jagger, who invited Vernon and Living Colour onto the last leg of its Steel Wheels World Tour.
“Cult Of Personality”
With a little help from their friend, Mick Jagger, Living Colour signed a deal with Epic Records, and two months later (May 3, 1988) released its debut album,Vivid. Praise was immediate, and record’s first single, “Cult Of Personality” received better than average airplay in MTV’s primetime rotation. Vivid climbed to #6 on the  U.S. Billboard chart. Soon after, millions were exposed to Living Colour’s day-glo brand of psychedelic, hard-funk fusion, when they were appeared on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Vernon and his band were on their way to taking a chair among the rock n roll royalty.
— video (“Time Tunnel”)
December 14, 1989 — Vernon Reid, wearing a “Burn Baby Burn” (American Flag) T-shirt, and the rest of Living Colour, were joined onstage by the Rolling Stones in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. It was the last night of the Stones’ Steel Wheels Tour, and “It’s Only Rock N Roll” seemed a fitting end for the original Rock N Roll Band.
Honky Tonk Women
b/ Rolling Stones
Kick Ass Rock N Roll
@ the Orange Bowl Miami, Florida
November 16, 1989 — Steel Wheels Tour
Also in 1989, Living Colour was named “Best New Artist” at the MTV Video Music Awards, and “Cult Of Personality” won a Grammy Award for “Best Hard Rock Performance.
Bad Brains (1989)
Living Colour won a second “Best Hard Rock Performance” Grammy Award in 1990, with its second album, Time’s Up.
1990 — After its explosive launch, meteoric rise, and benefit of the instantly Gold debut, Vivid, Living Colour could have been forgiven a sophomore step back to the more familiar, but Time’s Up proved there would be no forgiveness needed. Vernon had boldly gone into the more experimental mood he was feeling at the time. Without hesitation, or too much art-killing thought, he chose to accelerate, rather than coast, as he confidently entered a new and mysterious decade.
 — Andy Warhol’s “Banana” was used as the cover of The Velvet Underground’s record, called The Velvet Underground & Nico
Bernard Fowler “New York”
Bernard Fowler (Tack>>Head) @ Highline Ballroom (2009)
Living Color @ Highline Ballroom (2009)
— Chair In The Doorway Introduction
@ Quest Love’s Monday Night Show
Monday after that Saturday’s Wimbash
@ Sully’s (Pub & Tiki Bar)
Light At The End Of The (Time) Tunnel — Early Documentary
Mind At The End Of The Tether — Tack>>Head  Fats Comet
— video (“Time Tunnel”)
time came early — Because of its high-profile start with the Rolling Stones, Living Colour attracted early attention, and was the subject of a documentary, before its path had been set. Time Tunnel included interviews with the entire band: Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Will Calhoun, and Muzz Skillings, all telling the story of Living Colour so far, from inception, to the success of Vivid, touring with the Rolling Stones, and starting work on the second album, Time’s Up.
• The Wonderful World Of Living Colour
• Pt.1 — a vivid imagination
• Pt.2 — post-apocalyptic reunion
• Pt.3 — in the post-apocalyptic area
• Pt.4 — back in the USSR
• “who shot ya?”
• SHADE (Sept. 9, 2017)
More than 30 years after Vivid and “Cult of Personality,” Living Colour still reigns as one of Rock N Roll’s finest [hard rock/ metal/ funk/ fusion] bands. “Freedom of Expression,” on its latest Shade, is a reminder that Living Colour is, as always, playing loud and saying something.
• “Cult Of Personality”
b/ Vernon Reid, Muzz Skillings, Corey Glover Will Calhoun
• “I Want To Know” b/ Reid
• “Middle Man” b/ Glover, Reid
• “Desperate People” b/ Calhoun, Reid, Glover, Skillings
• “Open Letter (To A Landlord)” b/ Reid, Tracie Morris
• “Funny Vibe” b/ Vernon Reid
• “Memories Can’t Wait” b/ David Byrne, Jerry Harrison
• “Broken Hearts” b/ Reid
• “Glamour Boys” b/ Reid
• “What’s Your Favorite Color? b/ Reid, Glover
• “Which Way To America?” b/ Reid
• “Funny Vibe” (Funky Vibe Mix)
• “Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?” b/ The Clash, Mick Jones
• “What’s Your Favorite Color?” (Keith Leblanc Remix)
• “Middle Man” (NOV 9, 1990) Chicago @ Cabaret Metro
• “Cult Of Personality” (1988) New York City @ The Ritz
• Mick Jagger
— Harmonica (“Broken Hearts”)
— Vocals (“Glamour Boys”)
• Chuck D
— Vocal/Rap (“Funny Vibe”)
• Flavor Flav
— Social Commentary (“Funny Vide”)
• Dennis Diamond
— Carnival Barking (“Broken Hearts”)
• The Fowler Family
— Vocals (“I Want To Know”)
— Vocals (“Open Letter (To A Landlord)”)
Rolling Stone’s original review of Vivid
Five Stars from David Fricke
One of the magazine’s lead writers at the time.
It was, in the beginning, music by and for blacks, documenting in the black vernacular the everyday agonies and ecstasies of black life. So why, nearly forty years on, is the idea of a black rock & roll band such an anomaly in pop’s social order, not to mention unspeakable on AOR radio? At a time when Jesse Jackson is confronting America with the serious possibility of a black man in the White House, what’s so improbable about a black rock band – fueled by racial pride yet preaching the unity gospel, equally inspired by Led Zeppelin and George Clinton – scoring in the white mainstream?
With Vivid, the improbable is now the inevitable. Living Colour, the all-black no-bullshit flagship band of New York’s Black Rock Coalition, has already wowed local rainbow crowds of Mohawks, metalheads and soul brethren with its fusion of buzz-saw punk, slam-dunk funk, avant-jazz frenzy and arena-rock waaaagh! It’s all wrapped up tight with the pop-hook savvy and barbed-wire fretwork of guitarist-songwriter Vernon Reid, and if nothing else, you can easily dig Vivid on a purely visceral level, thanks in no small part to the in-your-face fidelity of Ed Stasium’s production.
“Cult of Personality” and “Middle Man” are right up Heavy Metal Blooze Street, Reid slicing and dicing riffs like some six-string Zorro. “Glamour Boys,” one of two dynamite pre-Epic demos produced by Mick Jagger and wisely included here, kicks like an ornery mule and sports a knockout chorus (“I ain’t no glamour boy – I’M FIERCE”). And singer Corey Glover lights a Memphis R&B; bonfire under a brilliant reconstruction of Talking Heads’ “Memories Can’t Wait,” torching David Byrne’s original nervous paranoia with a brooding soulful hurt stoked by Reid’s periodic guitar tantrums.
But Vivid isn’t just a call to rock. Rooted firmly in the black rock-and-rhetoric continuum of Sly Stone, late-Sixties James Brown and the Bad Brains, it’s also a call to accounts. “Which Way to America?” is a righteous demand for a fair slice of the American-dream pie. In “Open Letter (to a Landlord),” a power-rock protest against creeping gentrification and unchecked greed, Living Colour backs up its show of rage with chilling images of arson and blood money and a startlingly poignant chorus.
In its own way, Vivid is an open letter to rock & roll itself, a demand for equal time and respect from a music that is Living Colour’s birthright. Vivid is too good to succeed in the white – or black – mainstream by virtue only of racial guilt, for kicking you at the base of your conscience. At its best, it combines the dance stance of classic Sly and P-Funk with a raw guitar frenzy born of both James Marshall Hendrix and James Blood Ulmer. But much of Vivid’s power comes from Living Colour’s direct address to the unspoken but very real problem of racism in modern rock & roll (“No, I’m not gonna rob you/No, I’m not gonna beat you/No, I’m not gonna rape you/So why you want to give me that funny vibe?”). Vivid will not change the world single-handedly, but it’s a timely reminder of why it’s always worth trying. (RS 528)
— DAVID FRICKE (1988)
— Artist Credit
Time’s Up, Living Colour’s second record, often described as more “experimental,” didn’t go platinum, but did win a second, consequtive “Best Hard Rock Performance”.Grammy Award in 1990’s competition.
• “Time’s Up” b/ Living Colour
• “History Lesson” (50 secs)
• “Pride” b/ Calhoun
• “Love Rears It’s Ugly Head” b/ Living Colour
• “New Jack Theme”b/ Living Colour
• “Someone Like You” b/ Skillings
• “Elvis Is Dead” (w/ Little Richard) b/ Living Colour
• “Type” b/ Living Colour
• “Information Overload” b/ Living Colour
• “Under Cover Of Darkness” b/ Glover (w/ Queen Latifah)
• “Ology” b/ Skillings
• “Fight The Fight” b/ Calhoun, Glover, Reid, Skillings
• “Tag Team Partners” b/ Glover (w/ Doug E. Fresh)
• “Solace of You” b/ Glover, Reid
• “This Is The Life” b/ Living Colour
• “Final Solution” Chicago 
• “Middle Man” Chicago 
• “Love Rears Its Ugly Head” (aka Soul Power Mix)
Little Richard – vocals
Mick Jagger – background vocals
Maceo Parker – saxophone
Queen Latifah – vocals
Doug E. Fresh – percussion, vocals
Don Byron – clarinet, baritone saxophone
Charles Burnham – strings
Reggie Workman – strings
D.K. Dyson – background vocals (Eye & I)
Akbar Ali – strings
Annette Daniels – background vocals
Eileen Folson – strings
Toshinobu Kubota – background vocals
Yubie Navas – background vocals
Alva Rogers – background vocals
Rosa Russ – background vocals
Francine Stasium – background vocals
Derin Young – vocals, background vocals
• ALBUM CHART 1990
 — The incarnation of Living Colour (Corey Glover, Muzz Skillings, Will Calhoun, and Vernon Reid) recorded the band’s first two albums, Vivid in 1988, and Time’s Up in 1990. Described as “more experimental,” Time’s Up explored a number of musical styles (jazz, fusion, punk, blues, hip hop, funk, thrash, metal, jive, electronica, and hard rock) w/ guests, including Little Richard, Maceo Parker, Queen Latifah, and Doug E. Fresh
 — Animal House
(Spike TV Documentary)
 — “Best New Artist” MTV Video Music Awards
 — “Cult Of Personality” Vivid
“Best Hard Rock Performance” Grammy Award
 — Time’s Up
“Best Hard Rock Performance”
 — LOLLAPALOOZA (INAUGURAL)
 — “Crosstown Traffic” Stone Free Grammy Award
 — THE END OF THE BEGINNING
Living Colour is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1984. The band currently consists of guitarist Vernon Reid, lead vocalist Corey Glover, drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish, who replaced Muzz Skillings in 1992. Stylistically, their music is a creative fusion influenced by heavy metal, funk, jazz, hip hop, punk, and alternative rock. The band’s lyrics range from the personal to the political, including social commentary on racism in America.
Living Colour has released six studio albums so far. The band rose to fame with their debut album Vivid in 1988. Although they scored a number of hits, Living Colour is best known for their signature anthem “Cult of Personality“, which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards and won their second Grammy Award for their follow-up album Time’s Up (1990). Their third album, Stain (1993), was also well received by music critics. After disbanding in 1995, Living Colour reunited in late 2000, and has released three more studio albums since then: Collideøscope (2003), The Chair in the Doorway (2009) and Shade (2017). The band has been in the process of working on new material for the follow-up to Shade.
• “Go Away”
b/ Vernon Reid, Corey Glover, Will Calhoun, Doug Wimbish
• “Ignorance Is Bliss” b/ Calhoun, Glover, Reid, Doug Wimbish
• “Leave It Alone” b/ Glover, Reid, Wimbish
• “Bi” b/ Calhoun, Reid
• “Mind Your Own Business” b/ Reid
• “Auslander” b/ Calhoun, Glover, Reid, Doug Wimbish
• “Never Satisfied” b/ Glover, Reid
• “Nothingness” b/ Calhoun
• “Postman” b/ Reid
• “WTFF” (What The Fuck Factor) b/ Betts, Calhoun, Glover, Reid, Wimbish
• “This Little Pig” b/ Calhoun, Glover, Reid, Doug Wimbish
• “Hemp” b/ Reid, Fairley
• “Wall” b/ Calhoun, Glover, Reid, Doug Wimbish
• “T.V. News” b/ Vernon Reid
• “Love Rears Its Ugly Head” (Live) b/ David Byrne/ Jerry Harrison
Ron Saint Germain – production, recording, mixing
Andre Betts – additional production
Bernard Fowler – backing vocals
Andrew Fairley – vocals on “Hemp”
Bob Ludwig – mastering
Carol Chen – art direction
Amy Guip – photography
Mouri Mbonika – cover model