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Finally!! Get out the ol’ YouTube and enjoy this sneak peek at “The D”! (This is NOT the music video or film; just a sneak peek at what you can expect!) You can play this now or read a little more as I will kindly provide you with the link 30,000 times before the end of this update.

As we speak, I’m in my studio rolling my chair from one workstation to another as we simultaneously mix the 4000 vocal and instrument tracks for the record, and edit the 2000+ hours of footage into a music video, assorted trailers and a hybrid–documentary–but–not–really feature film. Normal life has ceased and no matter what other needs may need attending, work never stops!

In the nearly 2 years since I began working on “The D” there were times I was just inches away from pulling the plug because the financial and practical odds of getting thousands of Detroiters to sing a song and be in a film about human spirit on no budget just seemed too enormous. But make it to Detroit we did, in September – a magic month for me for obvious musical reasons – and again at Thanksgiving when I was such an exemplary float personality greeting the crowds as a block of ice being hauled down Woodward Ave., Detroit’s main drag and first paved road in history, in the Thanksgiving Day Parade:

As usual, massive thanks and eternal gratitude to those of you who have already donated or participated in the making of “The D”. Now that everyone else can finally get a hint of what we’re doing I hope many of you reading this will follow suit and help us finish by adding some gas in the tank.

If you like what you see please please please spread the link to this “D” sneak peek around: http://youtu.be/4rkbTpZdxy8
If you want to donate go here: http://www.gofundme.com/3btivk
For complete info on “The D” go here: http://www.wesingthed.com
And If you know some nice rich person or place with excellent taste and a whole lotta soul who might make this next part of our journey a little easier in the way of coin, please email me immediately!

I can guarantee you “The D” is a view of Detroit you’ve never seen before. I can guarantee you it’s an accurate one. And I can promise you it will make you smile. When it comes to soul – SERIOUSLY – there ain’t no place like the Motor City!

My “D” best,
And, by the way, have you seen this excellent sneak peek of “The D”?

Allee

Xploding virally as we speak…

I’m also joining Shyboy at Hotel Café in LA on Jan. 31 where we’ll be singing a spectacularly slow, a la this Friends treatment,  version of my song “Neutron Dance”. This must be the month for people deconstructing and reconceptualizing my songs. And to this I can only say, “More More More” (which I didn’t write).

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So I’m donning my ruby red slippers and jetting to Detroit to ride high atop the NBC-WDIV Wizard of Oz float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade (!!!) and to do 10 more sing-alongs for “The D”.

If you haven’t seen photos from the last 40, yes FOURTY, sing-alongs we did in Detroit in September, capturing thousands and thousands of people singing and cavorting on “The D”, check out these beautiful people NOW!

This time we’re going back and filming everyone from hundreds of Motown-born bass and guitar players – all playing at once for one THUNDEROUS “D” sound! – to Roller Derby skaters, bakers, rabbis, pom pom girls, carpenters and canines– yes, they sing too! Here, in fact, is a Miniature Pinscher soloing with me at one of the September sing-alongs:

If you happen to be in Detroit this Saturday, the 30th, please join us at an open-to-the-public sing-along at 11 AM with the All About Animals Rescue at Bob Maxie Ford, 1833 Jefferson Ave. and you can sing along with the dogs too!

So please wish me, my 12 person crew, 7 video cameras, 11 still cameras, 1 helicopter camera, 8 suitcases I’m taking for a 6 day shoot, 11 scarves and 13 beanies I’m packing in my sparkly ruby red carry-on so I don’t die of hypothermia on the float good luck as we STOMP UP THE SPIRIT in the Motor City once again!

By the way, the irony of me riding on the Wizard of Oz float has not escaped me or anyone who knows me well. I am the ONLY person in the WORLD who has never seen the movie.

Last but certainly not least, as “The D” has grown into something far more MASSIVE than I ever dreamed, your DONATIONS would be most appreciated. This is a song/record/music video/feature-length documentary about the triumph of human spirit as exhibited by the people of Detroit who never stop smiling, never look back, and who aren’t waiting for the government or any bankruptcy crap to reimagine their city. The sheer chutzpah, imagination, and belief of self there is truly INSPIRATIONAL. It’s a story for everyone, not just Detroit.

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.

We’ve also been blessed with a lot of press including this piece that ran on NBC News here last night in Detroit last night:

If you’re in Detroit or know any Detroiters who are here there are two open to the public sing-alongs. The first is this Sunday at 3 PM in front of the House of Soul at the Heidelberg Project. The second is September 25 at 3 PM at the Detroit Historical Society. All are welcome though you are encouraged to learn the song before you come. You can get it here:  https://www.alleewillis.com/WeSingTheD/

Here’s some photos from some of the sing-alongs we’ve done so far for “The D”:

Mumford High School:

My graduating class at Mumford High School:

Detroit Dog Rescue

American Jewelry & Loan (Hard Core Pawn):

Motown! (with Paul Riser, Funk Brother and arranger extraordinaire, Paul Riser Jr., the original Motown engineers who literally built the studio, and the family of legendary Motown bass player, James Jamerson):

Martha Reeves:

The Deep River Y:

Henry The Hatter:

Detroit Yacht Club:

Consumer Auto Parts:

Schulze Academy (my elementary school)

Ebenezer Baptist Church:

Onward!

Allee

Zsa Zsa Voom!

When Sid Krofft – let’s stop and take a breath right here – Sid Krofft! of H.R. Pufinstuf and Land of the Lost and wayyyy more fame – when Sid called me two months ago and made me put Sunday, June 30, 2012 in my calendar he told me that it was a nonnegotiable-under-penalty-of-death-do-not-cancel-under-any-circumstance type of event. I trust this man enough to know that that means I should write it in my calendar in cement. Then he told me where we were going: to ZSA ZSA GABOR’S house for her husband, Prince Frederic’s birthday party!! Had I actually been writing in cement there’d be a big fat Allee Willis face print in it right now because THAT’S HOW FAST my head bobbed to my chest in ecstasy and disbelief upon hearing WHERE we were going. Besides that, Sid is one of those people who I clicked with the second we met and we always have the greatest and most comfortable time together.

Sid lives very close to another good friend of mine, Beverly D’Angelo. The plan was we would meet at her house exactly 45 minutes after she arrived home from a Lego extravaganza in Minneapolis. Beverly and I go back to the 1980s together. She’s hysterical, a great friend, great actress, and dresses with flair, a quality I can relate to. She looked especially great on Zsa Zsa D-day, which was amazing as her plane was late and she got this together in 15 minutes:

So me and Beverly in my car…

… follow Sid and Donnie and Teri Moll, who live smack dab in between Sid and Beverly, winding around Mulholland Drive into the immaculate bowels of Bel Air to Zsa Zsa’s house. The first person we met was the Prince himself. You see this guy on the news and they always portray him as a nut but I have to tell you, nut or not, he’s an excellent party host. And trust me, I know a lot about being an excellent party host.

The kind of party host who takes care of every detail:

Price Frederic also hand-carried out out every morsel of food and set the table himself.

It was deli-gone-insane. Every kind of sliced meat on the planet…

… including these impressive linoleum looking slabs:

A big topic of discussion was what the white stuff was in the middle of this pork chop. Was it a Porturkey?

Zsa Zsa and the Prince’s house is THE Hollywood house that anyone who loves Hollywood, old Hollywood, dreams about. Built by Liberace (and where the HBO biopic was shot), Lee sold it to Elvis, who then sold it to Zsa Zsa – three of the most extreme personalities in show business history, all of whom floated their nuttiness around in Liberace’s famous piano-shaped pool!

Everyone  at the party, regardless if they had been there 100 times before, was snapping photos so fast it was like their index fingers were on automatic pilot. But it’s SO not my place to plaster Zsa Zsa’s kitsch-on-the-elegant-tip domicile all over the Internet. So I shall have to leave it at this one shot of Beverly waiting for her drink next to the Oscar replica/ gold champagne bar as an example of the supreme 70’sness of this most hollowed mansion.

And though Zsa Zsa was ensconced in her bedroom there was lots of Zsa Zsa around.

Here’s Sid with Zsa Zsa:

This wall was not only gold but whatever the finish is had little chunks of raised goldness in it:

BTW, though the dog resting so comfortably on the pillow wasn’t real, many people pet him.

It took all my strength not to straighten this copper relief of Zsa Zsa:

As I’m posting these photos I realize… How completely crazy am I that I didn’t go to the bathroom there?! OMG, if textured gold walls are in the house what must the bathrooms look like?! How could the undisputed Queen of Kitsch miss an opportunity like that??!! Especially as this is the decoration on the outside of the bathroom door:

I know the obvious question is, “But did you meet Zsa Zsa?”.  The answer is no because at 96 she was too frail to attend. But there was a live video feed going into her bedroom so she didn’t miss a thing. The camera followed Prince Frederick everywhere, including when he danced with Madame.

Wayland Flowers may be long gone but Madame is still very much alive!

As is Pee Wee Herman:

All in all, it was a Zsa Zsa Voom Sunday! As we alighted down the red astro-turf carpet to get our cars…

… we all agreed it was one of the best looking Sundays we’d had in years.

Va Va Zsa Zsa Voom!

 

Autographed in lipstick by Annette, one of my earliest star obsessions and with whom I shared much chocolate milk watching after school every day, this portrait has long been one of the most cherished renderings in my kitsch likeness collection. I found it laying face down in a puddle outside of a thriftshop in the pouring rain in the mid 80’s.

That big blotch of red  in the bottom left corner is a cut out of her actual lip print on cellophane. The lips were almost all there despite sitting in that puddle for God knows how many days, weeks, or months and held on for at least another 20 years until the sun pouring through the window smiling at them at my place everyday finally took it’s toll. Unfortunately, Annette and her lips finally lost their long battle with MD today.

Don’t know who Tony is but his heart had to have skipped a beat getting this autograph from Annette written entirely in Love That Red or whatever 50’s shade she wore.

The exact same lipstick as the lip print, gone but not entirely forgotten:

Just like Annette to whom ‘now it’s time to say goodbye…”. R.I.P….

 

After almost four decades the torturous vice grip on my psyche has been chiseled open so that my little stage personality, the one that once cowered in a dark corner  but whose pleas to give it a chance never stopped rattling through my brain, has finally put on some clothes and come out to play!  FINALLY all the noise can stop!!

Of course, like I do most things, I remain scared of them for a hundred years, then I finnallly get my toe wet and then proceed to become obsessed and jump into things in such a big way it’s all I wanna do and costs me every dime I have pursuing it as I’m a self-funded artist and I live for my art. As such, in the space of seven shows over the last year I went from a piano and a clusterfuck  of technical mistakes to an if-I-do-say-so-myself-and-if-the-standing-room-only-sell-out-crowds-are-any-indication magnificent one-woman-extravaganza-with-25 musicians-dancers-masseuses-chefs-and-me-in-it show, well oiled to the point of being a rig, hit-filled, and more fun than 27 barrels of monkeys.

But my Ringling Brothers scale troupe is too expensive for mommy to mount monthly, which is what she’d/ I’d be doing if left to her/my own devices. So to keep my performer chops simmering lest they run back into the cave they’ve been atrophying in all these years, I’m getting up and doing my very first stand up ever this coming Sunday night, January 20, at UnCabaret.  My lovely and gracious friend, the ever-talented Beth Lapedis, whose creation this legendary comedy series is, asked me to alight the stage joining my other good friends Tim Bagley and Michael McDonald (he of Mad TV fame and not the singer who I’m also friends with and would be happy to take the stage with anytime!). Karen Kilgariff and Faith Tucker are also on the bill.

Here are me, Tim, Michael, and our good friend Jimmy McGill at my place a couple of years ago.

 

You can see that I was comfortable enough with these guys that I didn’t worry about putting on makeup or serving them  on paper plates (though please notice the exceptional plastic fish paper plate holders the spaghetti-smeared dinnerware sit in).  I hope that comfortable feeling carries over to joining them on stage. That comfortable feeling certainly worked for Tim, who bagged the free foot massage after  winning “The First Three People to Win Five Chunks of Soul Get a Free Foot Massage During The Next Song” game at my BaDeYa, Baby! live show this last November.

That show being what gave me the guts to get up and try this standup thing to begin with. So it’s all come full circle and I hope Tim remembers my generous gift of a foot massage and musters up a laugh for my routine even if some of it flops around like a landlocked fish. Which I pray it doesn’t.  Why don’t you buy some tickets and find out for yourself?

 

 

 

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On May 8 and 9, 2012 I had one of the greatest experiences of my career performing my Super Ball Bounce Back Review at King King in Hollywood. It not only was only the second and third performances I’d done since jumping off the stage in the middle of my own show in 1974, but was an attempted – and I’m happy to say TOTALLY TRIUMPHANT – comeback after one of the worst experiences of my career seven months before when 90% of the technology my first attempted comeback show was dependent on failed. But I knew that I had to get back up and practice what I preach: From some of the worst situations come the greatest miracles and I had proven to myself time and time again that, if nothing else, I was someone who had the courage to make lemonade out of big, fat lemons.

So I’m happy to report that I have risen from the ashes and had two of the greatest nights of my life bouncing back as a performer in a major way. I can’t thank everyone who came enough. And I can’t thank everyone who worked with me on the show enough.

So I leave you with a whole lotta photos from both nights, videos to come and a big, loud Badeya-say-do-you-remember there never has to be a cloudy day as long as you have sunshine inside. ENOY THE SHOW!!

Talking about my upcoming live show in LA, 5/8-9, as well as the unbelievably fantastic trip I just had to Detroit and my future plans there. Oh, Mary! show. 7-7:50pm PST. www.latalkradio.com.  The show will be archived at www.latalkradio.com/Mary.php.

BTW, the sandwich I’m pictured with above, The Boogaloo, is the single greatest sandwich I’ve ever tasted. If you live in Detroit, jump immediately in your car and go to the corner of Curtis and Wyoming. And tell Chef Greg that Allee sent you. (takeout only but sooooooooo worth it.)

All the hits you can stand to hear!!! And the last time in an architectural treasure.

https://www.alleewillis.com/detroit/mumford-last-call.html