Thursday, April 29, 2004

Patti Smith Rocks Regis Philbin; Smokey Robinson Heats Up Wayne Brady

by Wayne Robins

The car's being serviced, so I'm a prisoner of morning television in the waiting room. I sat as far across the room as I could from Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, but can't get out of earshot entirely. I begin to think I hear Regis saying words like "poet" "rock" and "1970's". I look up, and he's introducing the Patti Smith group, playing a song from their new album. The stage set, surprisingly, is very colorful and beautifully lit. Then the song's over, and Kathy gives Patti a big smooch, like they're great pals.

"Nice job, Patti," says Regis Philbin, who also plants a kiss on Patti's cheek. He asks her a question about how she got started. Didn't you have a series of illnesses, Regis asks, is that how you got into music?

Patti is laughing so hard, like she's got the Maui Wowee giggles. Finally, she manages to say that her music is "the product of a delirious mind."

Then Patti reveals the backstory. Her mother was a huge Regis Philbin fan, and the last time Smith appeared, "she had the best time, she was so proud." I guess her mother's passed on. But Patti throws a kiss towards heaven. "Hi mommy!," she says, while Regis holds up the new CD for the camera.

Next up is my man Wayne Brady. A few months ago, I wrote about Brady with no little contempt. Now I have to re-think him: He can be very pleasant and smooth. The big guest was Smokey Robinson, Motown's greatest singer-songwriter. Smokey told a nice story how he got started: His hero was Jackie Wilson, and when he read the writing credits on Wilson's records, they often said "Berry Gordy Jr." Smokey met Berry, and the rest was history.

Smokey sang a pretty tune from his first quasi-religious album, "Food for the Spirit." But that wasn't all Smokey was pitching. The product really in the spotlight was "Smokey Robinson's The Soul is in the Bowl Gumbo." For more information about this ready to cook food, go to Wayne Brady said it was hot, spicy and good. How do you find it? You better shop around.

(c) 2004 Wayne Robins, all rights reserved. E-mail me (link to your left).

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