“The D” update: Computer Hell/Detroit Heaven!

I know. It’s been pathetically long since my last update. This is not due to inactivity! We’ve been having 12 hour days here at Willis Wonderland since January and STILL haven’t quite gotten through all the footage and recording tracks, close to 3000 hours and 5000 tracks respectively, for ”The D” record and multiple music videos, and Allee Willis Loves Detroit our feature-length hybrid documentary.  Not that this has been driving us crazy or to drink.


There are a lot of D deputies in the way of engineers, editors, and assorted characters here every day:

.
I know it might seem like we do a lot of lying around but this rarely occurs unless eyeballs start rolling in the back of our heads after working 16 straight hours looking at 743 takes of various groups singing the same line. Two of these folks in the above photo are gone already. We hate to lose them, well one of them at least, but when one is paying such a high salary, as close to zero dollars as humanly possible due to our expansive budget known as my pocket, these things are inevitable.

.
Challenges have abounded. Like having to replace my hundred terabyte server in the middle of editing and mixing so that master files are scattered around on a trillion different drives and computers as opposed to one central location while the switchover happens. So this includes helpful things like servers constantly going down or computers not being able to talk to each other, watching files getting eaten up before your eyes, overwriting files, and all the other joys that come with working in a part-time dysfunctional digital environment.
.
.
And then there was the hideous discovery that due to brain slippage of a certain IT person (no longer) working here nothing had been backed up since February and we lost at least a month’s worth of footage of us figuring out how to jam thousands of voices and instruments into one record so everyone’s heard. Not to mention the fits of hysteria incurred after looking at blurry key footage and figuring out how to work around it. This had me in a such a comatose state I had to shoot Vernor’s, Detroit’s beverage of choice, into my veins to keep me from slipping into a coma.
.
.
But the trauma has always been tamed by the joy of working on such a unique projectSometimes we have even have FRIENDS drop in to bring us matzoh ball soup, cupcakes, and other modes of sustenance to remind us we have a life on the outside.

.
And now traveling for “The D” crew kicks up again. I will be spending one week out of each of the next four months in the Motor City, this month to attend my 107th high school reunion!
.

Then I return two weeks later in August to give a speech on Creativity And Detroit at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey, four hours from the city and where my parents bought their very first first house. Then I’m elated to report that on September 21 (yes, the “BaDeYa, say do you remember” 21st of September!) I will be performing LIVE in Detroit at the historic United Sound, the recording studio where the very first Motown records were made and still a vital part of Detroit music history. And then again at the end of October when the musical I co-wrote, The Color Purple, comes back to the D for the fourth time, this time starring Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday, who I wrote for many a year ago and haven’t seen since, making for a Dream D reunion! All these extravaganzas will be filmed and recorded for “The D” and Allee Willis Loves Detroit.

So as we cut and paste, chop, mix, curse, cry, hug and exhibit all the various kinds of behavior that come with undertaking a task of this girth I thank all of you who have donated or contributed your services thus far.
It’s not too late to donate!! We will do you proud!

 

Share this page.   Subscribe to the blog.
Bookmark and Share
 


Categories: "The D", Allee Live Performance, Allee Willis Loves Detroit, Allee's live performances, Art, Creative process, Creativity, Detroit, empowerment, Financial, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, Self expression, Technology, Travel, video

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

“The D” Officially Gassed Up and On The Road!

I really meant to be doing far more of these updates but the schedule is thankfully and gratefully so packed here in Detroit that I can barely get into bed before it’s time to get up and start singing again. The participation here has been insanely enthusiastic and wonderful.

READ MORE »


Categories: Allee Live Performance, Architecture, Art, Celebrity, Creative process, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, Discography, empowerment, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Mumford high school, Music, Party, People, Place, Reality tv, School, Self expression, Songwriting, Theater, Travel, TV/Radio

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – What An UNBELIEVABLE Night at Mumford High!!

I wish I had time to write at length this morning because I can’t even tell you what a SPECTACULAR evening I had last night at my high school in Detroit, the greatest one of all, Mumford, about to be destroyed by the wrecking ball but still the most spirit-filled place in the city. Kids from the  choir, dance company and band performed some of my greatest hits while I told stories about how they were written. So many of my classmates showed up, some of whom I hadn’t seen since I graduated, some of my family, the ones who weren’t afraid to show some soul, leave the burbs and come into the real city, friends I’ve made on my last couple visits here and, of course, the wonderful and dedicated Mumford teachers, principal and former principal, and staff who helped so much to make this one of the favorite nights of my life.

READ MORE »


Categories: Afro, Allee's live performances, Creativity, Dance, Detroit, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, People, Place, School, Songwriting, The Color Purple, Theater, Travel

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Making Off With True Booty

You all know of my love for the physical structure of my classic Deco baby blue high school in Detroit, Mumford, as well as my dismay that the wrecking ball is hitting it mere months after the concert I’m doing/hosting there THIS Thursday night. One of the MANY reasons the school is near and dear to my heart is also because it was made famous in the film I won a GRAMMY for, Beverly Hills Cop, when Eddie Murphy wore a t-shirt bearing its name throughout the movie.

READ MORE »


Categories: Allee's live performances, Celebrity, Detroit, Furniture and Housewares, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Place, School, Songwriting, Theater, Travel, Travel souvenir

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 14, THE VIDEO

As I’ve been blabbing about for weeks now, I had the extreme pleasure of conducting my high school marching band playing a medley of some of my greatest hits in the lobby of the theater I grew up in in Detroit with the cast of the musical I co-wrote, The Color Purple, singing along. I meant to post video of our performance as soon as I got home but to my horror, one of the three cameramen only shot the students from the back and the other both forgot to turn his camera on for parts of songs and babbled over the footage like he was the subject of a documentary. So it took quite a lot of editing to get something where you could even begin to see the  warm, wonderful and uplifting-higher-than-the-sky feeling that permeated the theater that day.

READ MORE »


Categories: Boogie Wonderland, Detroit, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Friends theme, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Musical Instruments, Neutron Dance, Party, School, Self expression, September, Songwriting, The Color Purple, video

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Allee Willis Marches on Detroit! Part 5, The School and The Hot Dogs

The first time I ever went back to my high school, Mumford, after graduating in 1965 was when my musical, The Color Purple, first came to the Fox Theatre in 2008.

READ MORE »


Categories: Architecture, Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Mumford high school, Music, Neutron Dance, People, School, Self expression

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license

Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Margaret Mitchell’s Mealtime Magic Meat and Poultry Cookery Book

margaret-mitchell's-mealtime-magic-cookbook_1964

Unless you can’t stand to look at meat or poultry this is a cookbook that’s filled with thrilling visuals, not the least of which is of the author herself:

READ MORE »


Categories: Book, Celebrity, Detroit, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Recipes

Creative Commons License
Protected under a Creative Commons license