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The Thing About Lamont Dozier

One of the things about living in California is it’s easy to meet someone “famous.” A month ago I met Motown legend Lamont Dozier. He’s responsible for writing some of the greatest songs that you’ve ever sung in the shower. According to his website, he’s written songs recorded by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and The Who. He has written 54 Number 1 hits. That’s the thing about Lamont Dozier: He knows how to write a hit song.

I happened to be in a bar in the East Bay and sat next to him. He took a shine to me, so I got to hang out with him for a while. It turns out it was his birthday. Wait, Mr. Bay Area Brit, you were hanging out with Motown legend, rock and roll hall of famer, Lamont Dozier, on his birthday? Yes I was, and he was smoother than marble and cooler than, well, marble again, I guess. Anyway my point is that he was both cool and smooth.

He had some great stories about growing up in Detroit and working with musicians who are now household names. He seemed apologetic and even hesitant to tell some of the more gossipy tales of life working with Berry Gordy and the other stars at Detroit’s famous music factory. He told me of his love for his wife, Gertie. They’ve been married for almost 50 years; he broke out into a soppy smile as he talked about her, and how much he misses her when he’s on the road. Lamont oozed charm and personality. I ate it up. Seriously, how often do you get to meet someone who helped change the course of history, musical or otherwise? That’s the thing about Lamont Dozier: he helped change musical history.

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9 Responses

  1. some years back, here in Seattle, there was a guy who was constantly being mistaken for Sting. he spent a lot of time saying, “no, really, I’m not Sting.” until one day he said… “sod this!” and changed his tune to, “yeah, I’m Sting.”

    when the police caught up to him he was out on the Puget Sound in a yacht that he had rented by simply signing as Sting and telling the rental agency to bill it to his record company.

    there were all sorts of people partying on the yacht, crates of expensive champagne (bill it to my record company), and pretty much everything you could wish for on a yacht with a rock star.

    this was the culmination of a large string of expensive hotels, meals, limo service, etc., etc. a loooong rolling party.

    he didn’t even seem too sad when they caught him.

    I sort of rooted for him. might as well go out with a bang.

  2. Oh dang, Matt. Adventures in my home town!

  3. He got my friend for $700 five years ago! Dragged him to a strip club after hiring him to be his “private art consultant.” This guy is a legend! He’s been doing this for 20 years. You can look up his rap sheet!

  4. Don’t feel bad, matt. You had a good time…just happened to be with a con artist. I was wearing a Raider jersey in an Oakland sports bar years ago. A woman approached me and asked for my autograph. She says, “are you Ricky Dudley?” she looked so sincere and excited that I didn’t want to dissappoint her, so I said yes and signed her an autograph. Rickey Dudley was 6’6″ tight end for the Raiders who just happened to be of African American decent. My point is, people see what they want to see sometimes and there’s a mass of people out there to provide that fantasy…and an exit of all your cash too.

  5. Freakin’ hilarious. I actually think this might be the same guy who I met at a bar in Jack London Square claiming to be Bobby Rogers from Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. t.

    • Lex, I would bet money that it was him! I mean really. I guess if you play like you’re Madonna
      or Stevie Wonder, you’re going to get found out pretty quick.
      But if you go second-level celeb… but someone with massive cred….you’re in.
      Thanks for reading.

  6. This is the same guy who scammed me and a couple of friends 4 years ago, claiming to be in Smokey Robinson’s entourage/band. He harassed me for a week before he got arrested for bilking an interior decorator out of $$ spent on hotel rooms, cell phones, clothing, dinners. He even called me from jail to help him but I had already filed a report with SFPD. I think his real first name is “Bobby”.

    • Hi, Simone,
      As far as I know this guy’s real name was Alan, but who knows. The guy I dealt with had me fooled…big time….and I am not usually so easily suckered. Thanks for reading and sharing.

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