As a followup to yesterday's Whitney Houston pride post, here's some vintage raw interview footage of Bobby and Whitney on one of his birthdays. As far as I know, this footage has never before been shown in its entirety. As far as the content goes, they are so flippant and aggressive! Not to mention passionate about black history! It's easy to look at this stuff and think, "Path to destruction," if in fact you feel these people are now destroyed, but I love how spontaneous and devil-may-care-about-media-training they are. They didn't need anyone but themselves to make an interview work. How many celebrities can you say that about today?
I started fourfour on May 31, 2005, and I figure that the fifth anniversary of this blog is an occasion that calls for a look back. Surveying 1,116 posts that have appeared on a single blog over the course of five years is setting yourself up for looking at a whole lot of nothing, but regardless of how foolhardy my time investment has been, clearly this space has mattered to me. I'm grateful that in the rare cases that I feel like I have something that should really get out there, it almost always does. I'm grateful that I can make some money (a modest freelance wage, really) saying exactly what I think needs to be said on my terms. I'm grateful for the work/interview/interpersonal opportunities my work here has presented to me. I'm grateful that people seem to care about what I have to say, for however temporarily (I've heard, "I used to read your blog..." enough times to make me feel like I'm being oversensitive by finding those words offensive). I've always said that I like to have something to show for my time (I'm very material in that respect) and so the most I'll concede after looking at five year's worth of work is that it's been a whole lot of something.
Let it never be said that I don't know how to throw myself a party. The verdict on this blog's best offerings is probably none of my business -- I wouldn't even know how to call that if I had to. However, for the sake of retrospect, I can share with you what the most satisfying posts of the past five years were from the perspective of the person who created them and received feedback on them. My Top 20 is below.
June 02, 2010 in America's Next Top Model, Are and be, Being Bobby Brown, Being Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Crazy Old Ladies, Dance music all night long, Dumbness, Filmses, Freaks & Weirdos, Gayness, Gif Walls, God and stuff, Horrors!, Jersey, Kitty Pride, Mariah, Mixes, Music, Random YouTubes, Supercuts, Terrible-hunting, TV, Video Re-Edits | Permalink | Comments (88)
The only way Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant's Heads of State concert at last night's Nokia Theater in New York could have been better is if it were a complete disaster. I went in there thrilled at the prospect of seeing Bobby (Johnny and Ralph are great, too, but they alone or even with the strangely absent Bell Biv Devoe, wouldn't have gotten me in there without Bobbaaaay). Of course, with the prospect of seeing Bobby comes the prospect of seeing Bobby high, and since I figured there was no way he could come close to the spunk of his be-Gumby'd heyday, seeing him vomit all over his legacy was the next best thing. Plus, you know, I still feel ripped off about never getting that second season of Being Bobby Brown, so I kinda wanted to watch it live.
It turns out that there is great joy to be had watching a seemingly sober Bobby (or close enough, considering the displays through the years that he's deemed fit for public consumption). His new-found respectable behavior was as weird as any drunken fit -- I never thought I'd see the day that Bobby would tell a female concertgoer to stop touching him as her hands flip-flopped around his crotch. Now I can die enriched, I suppose. The only truly cringe-worthy moment is the one you see above, when his back went out during a stripped-down version of "Jealous Girl." I'm not entirely convinced that this was sincere. It may have been just a bit of theater for our entertainment. In Bobby's head, is there even a difference between sincerity and theater at this point?
No matter, because the synergy of the two was otherwise apparent throughout the show, a 90-minute sprint through each party's solo hits (with Johnny's "My My My" the only truly bizarre exclusion) traded off in a cycle. Bobby would sing his (starting with "On Our Own"), then Ralph, then Johnny, and Bobby again and so on. All the while, the two who weren't singing lead performed backup. New Edition essentials peppered the setlist, with Bobby making explicit note of the N.E. tracks that were made after he left the group -- he talked about interpreting "With You All the Way" as Ralph's message to him ("But not like that!") and he straight-up left the stage during "If It Isn't Love" and "Can You Stand the Rain," only to soon return both times to provide spirited support. He doesn't hold a grudge; he just knows that a little tension never hurt any performance.
New Edition was never exactly technically impressive on any front, so little was lost in the transition from then to now. They could still pull off the dopey doo-wop-with-swagger dance moves, and their voices are better than they probably should be (Ralph sounded particularly well-preserved, as though he's now a recluse who lives amongst humidifiers). Johnny's a quarter-pounder and a few more my's away from looking bearishy cute, Bobby's as bloated as he was on Being Bobby Brown and Ralph's almost frighteningly thin, but the collective energy put forth in sync like their fellow '80s relics the Thundercats was enough to allay any worries, at least temporarily. If you need more than that, you're in the wrong decade.
Bobby's full performance of "Roni," perhaps my second favorite song of all time, is after the jump. I recommend at the very least skipping to 3:18 to watch what happens when his guitar talks. Be on the lookout for a rogue tongue.
I really think it's Clive's doing.
Can you say "seismic?"
The Bobby Brown interview on Monday's The Tyra Banks Show was not nearly as disappointing as it could have been. And that's saying a lot, since my hopes live in the perpetually state of up! It gave Bobby the chance to put a name on secret of his and Whitney's "success" (it's "stickability," guys, which has nothing to do with how sexually desirable one is, as the name seems to indicate, but "something that is, you know, you gotta fight, you gotta fight hard and love hard"). Maybe more importantly, it gave Tyra the chance to do her best Whitney impression (decent, but needs more phlegm). Anyway, you can watch the whole thing (in not-so-perfectly synced pieces) via Fresh, or check below for the clips reel I assembled. Since Bobby's full of shit and Tyra's not the most informed person in the world, I thought it would be helpful to intercut the questions and answers with footage from Being Bobby Brown that sometimes underlines and sometimes refutes what's being said. Oh, and don't think I let Tyra off easy for praising Bobby's tooth gap.
Also of note:
The Browns (minus Bobbi Kris and Whit, of course) attended the taping:
And, yo, he's no Gary Houston, but Landon is looking exceedingly stickable lately, braces and all.
Whit's absence was made up for by this awesome vintage shot:
They are so alive with pleasure.
Bobby looked tired...
...but didn't act like it. He performed a medley of "Every Little Step," "Roni" and "My Prerogative." He is the king of R&B, you know (I bet Tyra was contractually obligated to call him that -- she did it twice). He was kinda shouty, but y'know, put his all in it. Watch below:
Be still my Roger-Rabbiting heart!
But maybe the best thing about the appearance was that it ultimately amounted as a promo stop the second round of Being Bobby Brown. Yeah, I had reservations about this, considering Whitney's alleged state, but shit, going through that old footage for the reel above was so much fun. I forgot how much I missed that shit. (And floating way over my head, once again, are those pesky hopes.) No idea when the next season's going to air, or what it's going to entail, but the sliver of a preview Tyra offered is below (note that the shots of Whitney are all from last season).
Also note that this will not be "season 2" but "cycle 2." That's right, Being Bobby Brown comes in cycles. All the best shows do.
After viewing Bobbi "Nimpho" Kris' Myspace profile (via crunk and d) and that of her stepsister LaPrincia (also via Fresh), my heart is aglow. Both are using Cascada tracks as their profiles' songs (BK's is the exhilaratingly crappy single "Everytime We Touch," while LaPrincia goes with "How Do You Do").
It made my Monday to discover how happy-hardcore cheerleading garbage can keep sisters together, even if they're apart. Nothing but death, right?
(See even more Brown-related profiles at BEAUTIFULHUSTLE.COM.)
Relax, the universe won't be imploding any time soon. Bobby and Whitney are not getting divorced -- in a remarkably swift instance of damage control, he appeared on Wendy Williams' radio show on Wednesday and shot down the rumor that he and Whitney were splitting, just one day after it surfaced. And here I thought Bob's motor skills were permanently impaired.
This is the only celebrity union that matters: now the planned second season of Being Bobby Brown (premiere date as yet unknown, per the interview) can have all the batshit splendor it needs.
Posted below is the Wendy interview in its entirety (courtesy of the Whitney-Fan.com forum) -- be warned, though: Bobby's amicable. Unlike Whitney's infamous tangle with Wendy a few years back, there are no threats to meet Wendy outside for a rumble, no violent mood swings and no insane cackling. He doesn't even let any curses slip. When dealing with Wendy, he is everything his wife isn't. It's almost boring.
If you can't be bothered to listen/download, here are some highlights:
- Bobby took the short bus to school . . . on account of being bipolar (?)
- Bobby used to do heroin, but never shot it up.
- Wendy: Do you go to church? Bobby: I am a church.
- Bobby doesn't ever poke Whit in the butt: "That's not a place where something's supposed to go in." Yeah right.
- Bobby thinks this is his website.
- Whitney beat Bobby up in the wake of the Superhead allegations. Too bad the cameras weren't around. That woulda made for a very, very special episode of B³.
- Most of next season of B³ will follow his tour with New Edition, which kicks off the third week in March. Yeah, that sounds potentially boring.
- But this doesn't: "I want [Wendy] and Whitney to finally get together and have dinner, on Being Bobby Brown," says Bobby. What are the chances of a food fight?
On that upsetting picture published in the National Enquirer last week, Bobby had little to say -- he said something about Whit must have been walking the dog and denied that drugs had anything to do with her appearance. (An interesting footnote is Whitney's camp won't make a statement on the future of her marriage).
He might be right about it being no big deal, though -- while poking around for the audio of the interview, I came across this story: Basically, a few days ago, a fan with a record deal was recording in the same studio complex as Whit. He found her, and in her studio was a copy of that Enquirer issue, which she was laughing about with Jermaine Dupri and Terry Lewis (who are working with Whit on her new album). He had her autograph it for him, in possibly the best placement of a signature ever. Here it is:
Check it against her confirmed signature:
No smiley, but close. It really could be it.
If this story's real, if she has that kind of sense of humor and sense of self-awareness, she's more together than anyone, anyone thought. For the sake of our entertainment, I don't know if that's such a good thing.
(A lot of love goes to Erika C., who informed me of Bobby's appearance on the show.)
Oh, you got all dressed up for me?
Hark! The crackhead angles sing!
Not a week ago, Fresh and I were lamenting the lack of Being Bobby Brown in our lives. "I really want a Christmas special," I said, knowing that it wouldn't happen. And then today, she messaged me with:
Being Bobby Brown
Christmas With The Browns (TV-14)
Yes, Rich, there is a Santa Claus. That's set to air Dec. 26. Weird, but y'know, so are the Houston-Browns so I figured whatever. But then tonight, I caught Bravo's incredibly vague commercial:
It's a Christmas miracle! I don't think I've been more excited about anything since . . . well, since the original series run.
I have no idea how this is going to go down, when it was taped, or how far gone we'll find Whitney. But I'm ready to love every second of it.
I'm going to buy some drugs and really get into the Christmas spirit. Won't you join me?
Here's some more info via the press release (thanks, Karly!):
BOBBY CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN WITH "BEING BOBBY BROWN: CHRISTMAS WITH THE BROWNS"
Released by Bravo
BRAVO PUTS A HALF-HOUR SPECIAL EPISODE OF "BEING BOBBY BROWN" UNDER THE TREE ON DECEMBER 21 AT 11:00 PM ET/PT
NEW YORK -- December 14, 2005 -- Bravo's hit series "Being Bobby Brown" has kept fans buzzing and with the winter holiday season comes Christmas with the most talked about reality TV family. Bobby and family are in the holiday spirit and will stuff viewers' stockings with a half-hour dose of "Being Bobby Brown: Christmas with the Browns" premiering on Wednesday, December 21 at 11:00 PM ET/PT.
"Bravo couldn't let 2005 come to an end without indulging viewers with another helping of 'Being Bobby Brown'," Lauren Zalaznick, President of Bravo. "This holiday special will take a look at how this very public family spends their private holiday time together."
Bobby, Whitney and family are having a "holly jolly Christmas." Familiar faces from "Being Bobby Brown" return as the whole Brown clan make last minute preparations for their Christmas gathering, from trips to the grocery store, hours in the kitchen cooking the holiday spread, and trimming the tree with care. The half-hour special, "Being Bobby Brown: Christmas with the Browns" will invite viewers to join Bobby, family, friends, and special guests at their Atlanta holiday party.
I hope Whitney gets in a fight with the tree!
I love The Boondocks so much, I kind of want to marry it and let it slap me around.