Opening for The Pointer Sisters
My family loved The Pointer Sisters. So much so that when I had my first serious girlfriend, my mother sat me down and told me to listen to the song “Slow Hand”. The lyrics would guide me on how to treat the girl during intimacy. Yes, I’m serious…
In the early ’90s I wanted to step into the opening act booking scene but I didn’t know how to begin. Remember, it was before the Internet, so getting jobs really took hustling … four-one-one, the yellow pages, and the local papers.
I was performing at a casino where The Pointer Sisters would be appearing in a few weeks. I thought, what could be more convenient? I was already there.
I went to the record store, flipped over a Pointer Sisters album, found the record company, called the company’s PR office, got the act’s agency representation, called them, got the management company, called them. I then pleaded my case. They agreed to consider it but would have to get the okay from the William Morris Agency.
A little overzealous, I called the WMA to help things along, only to be called by the management, cursed out for overstepping my bounds, followed by “You’ll never open for anyone ever in this town!”, an expletive, and a crashing down of the phone receiver.
However weeks later was my first of numerous openings for the sisters.
They sounded amazing every night, as good as the recordings. Aside from the more well known songs like “I’m So Excited,” “Neutron Dance,” and “Jump For My Love.” I had no idea how many other countless songs they wrote for singers and movie soundtracks, a very impressive songbook.
They traveled to each job separately. Separate flights and car services, separate contract riders. Let’s just say there was tension, although not as bad as Hall & Oates, who won’t even enter from the same side of the stage.
One sister required seventeen shrimp in her shrimp cocktail. No more, no less. All celebrities ask for crazy shit. Barbra Streisand’s flower petals in the toilet, Sheena Easton’s carpet de-germing, Steve & Edie’s special European ketchup for steak they wouldn’t swallow, only chew up for the juice then spit out on the plate.
But the sisters were very kind. Ruth Pointer was the nicest to me. At one point in my working with them, she found out about my mother’s “Slow Hand” sex talk story. The stage manager called me from my dressing room. The sisters were calling me to come on stage. They sat me on a stool and sang “Slow Hand” while mocking my virginity as a young man! The audience loved it. I was embarrassed and flattered at the same time.
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