by David Fickas

So, let me take you through how we landed on the incredible Debarge for this weeks #MVM.  Last week, The Frog dug up a not so noticed U2 video inspired by U2’s incredible 5 shows at the Forum in Los Angeles, one of which I attended.  (Side Note: we were going to originally post this cool ass, rarely viewed one take video for “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” but then we found the other U2 video that gloriously connected to Pam Cook‘s Italian music video.)  Well the U2 show at the Forum wasn’t the only live event that I have attended recently.

MOTOWN, THE MUSICAL

I also had the pleasure of taking in some theater at The Pantages where I saw Motown, The Musical which chronicles the incredible journey of music pioneer Berry Gordy.  The show was just delightful and how could it not be with access to Motown’s greatest hits.  You have Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder to piece together Berry Gordy’s version of Berry Gordy’s life.  It was an enjoyable evening of theater and rock n roll history.  And as good as the performers were, I was sad to have missed this show on Broadway when Friend of the Frog and Tony Nominated Charl Brown originated the role of Smokey Robinson.

(And speaking of the Tony Awards!  Check out another Friend of the Frog, the incredible Joe Bwarie as Frankie Valli closing out last night’s ceremony!)

Motown, the Musical is book-ended by the 25th anniversary of Motown that aired on ABC in 1983.  This was the night that Michael Jackson showed the world the Moonwalk and kickstarted the Thriller revolution. A huge cultural phenomenon that resulted in most of my elementary school buying red leather jackets and accidentally misplacing one sparkly glove.  Halloween was never the same again.  The show didn’t include this performance but I quickly went home and googled MJ’s Billie Jean and had flashbacks of the hours I spent learning how to moonwalk.

Speaking of things not included in Motown, the Musical… NOT ONE MENTION OF BERRY GORDY’S THE LAST DRAGON with Bruce Leroy and Shogun??  What???  There was a lot of talk about Mr. Gordy’s foray into feature films and Diana Ross’ acting career with LADY SINGS THE BLUES, but nothing about the best/worst Kung Fu movie of all time.  I was shocked!  Well, I wasn’t gonna let Mr. Gordy ignore his greatest achievement.

DEBARGE

It seemed that in 1984 Mr. Gordy was trying to recapture the magic of the Jackson 5 with another family musical band, Debarge. Their original line up was that of six siblings.  (Bunny, Mark, Randy, James, Bobby and El).  I guess The Debarge 6 is a pretty clunky name comparatively to The Jackson 5.  Debarge’s greatest hit is none other than The Rhythm of the Night which was featured on BERRY GORDY’S THE LAST DRAGON original motion picture soundtrack.

I feel like Berry Gordy really cut his legacy short by not ending Motown, The Musical with some good old fashioned early 80’s Kung Fu accompanied by Debarge.  I just wanted to see all the Motown fans in the audience looking around at each other after singing along to Stevie Wonder and The Supremes for hours utterly baffled to why a character named Shogun is running around asking everyone “Who’s the Master?
That would have made the whole show tie together nicely, I think.

I hope you enjoyed another little flashback to the 80’s, Froggies!  And don’t miss this little career resurgence from El Debarge (now operating solo, without his dead weight siblings) from 2014’s CHAPPIE:

Ally Sheedy sure hasn’t aged a day, has she?

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