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The Kinks Of Leon

  • Stuart Bailie
  • 9 Apr 08, 06:30 PM

Stuart Bailie.jpgWhen Marvin Gaye went walking down the road, you could guarantee a car crash. The guy was so handsome, he had such poise and his music generated such fever in people that they would gawp at the man behind their steering wheel and then cheerfully smash into the bumper of the next motor.

Marvin is so long gone now that he’s entered into the twilight reserved for legends and people with barely believable lives. So when you get the chance to meet an old associate of the singer, you’re immediately enthused, eager to hear some fresh reverie. Enter Leon Ware, another Detroit player, who wrote and produced ‘I Want You’ for Gaye in 1976. He literally saw those car crashes.

leonware200.jpgLeon is 68 now, a hipster, a trove of stories and a self-confessed sensualist. Sometimes he wonders what his grand-daughter might make of the latter category. He hopes she won’t think he’s a pervert, or something. But then again, Leon muses, even perverts may have their place in the world.

He was in Belfast to talk through some of the major artistic moments of his career. This after all, is a cohort of George Clinton and the Isleys, who has written for Michael Jackson and has held his own with Quincy Jones. He’s also the author of an amazing track recorded by Minnie Ripperton called ‘Inside My Love’ which is filthy and sublime at the same moment and which Leon regards with pride.

He’s also here to promote the Red Bull Music Academy, a school for DJs that’s landing in Barcelona later this year. Local DJs and composers are urged to try for the chance of a place in the international school, where other heavyweights like Leon will be telling their stories.

That’s me with the fella in Belfast, posing by the company Dodge, a vehicle that actually saw action on D Day and is currently loaded with DJ kit and gunning for youth culture.


Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

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