Stevie Wonder hits town – Stevie Wonder-
Stevie Wonder hits town , From IRENE GARDINER – Auckland – April 1981 -
The acclaimed soulful musician, with 30 years, 12 albums, several number one singles and 14 grammy awards behind him, appeared pleasant and relaxed, clicking his finger and talking about things being “bad” and “outasight man”.
Blind eyes hidden behind silverrimmed dark glassess, and six-fot figure clad in a fawn leisure track auit and sport “Davis Cup” shoes, soft spoken Wonder answered question ranging from, “How long does it take to braid and bead your hair like that?” to “What do you think of the Springbok tour?”.
The tour questin could have upset and angered the black American, but he handled it cooly: “You know how I feel about that. You know everyone like me feels about that. It’s there in my music.” And the cornrowed hair: “it takes 12 hours to do it like this, and the same lady has looked after it for the past three years.
“Hair like this isn’t somethinkg me, Stevie Wonder started though. It’s thousands and thousands of years old. But I Like it, it’s part of my culture.” Tiredness seemed to show a little in Wonder’s long and rambling – from the point answers.
He had just been up all night in Sydney (the no-concerts leg of his Japan-Australia-New Zealand tour) with his 15-piece backing band, Wonderlove. Stevie Wonder seems to like to bring his outomatic religiouse philosophy about life and love into conversation at every opportunity. Plentiful were continue to give people positivereason to look forward to tomorrow”. “We to will live some day in a word of eternal bliss” and “for every person I make smile, I smile twice”.
But definite answeres were also given. This may be Stevie Wonder’s last tour, if not for ever, at least for along time. He wants to produce and write more for others. He’d like to go travelling, or mybe go back to school and do some more study. And does the man who has been recording with Motown since he was 10 (he had his first number one hit “fingertips 1 and 2 live” at 12) and discovered in a Detroit ghetto by Berry Gordo, plan to leave the record company?. “No it’s importand in may eyes that as long as there is a Motown I am part of it.”
Stevie Wonder performs at Western Springs, Auckland, tonight and at Athletic Park,Wellington, on Monday night.