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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Conversations With: Tyrone 'The Bone' Procter on Soul Train, Dancing, 'Still a Thrill' Video and Music - Part One

Tyrone 'The Bone' Procter is one of the most popular Soul Train Dancers of all time for those who really know the history of the show as a part of the original Soul Train Gang.

My respect and admiration for Tyrone goes back decades, and compelled me to insist he appear in my 'Still a Thrill' video; which remains a black and white video classic, according to many fans. We flew to Paris and 'worked it out' as we say; on the streets of Paris, and inside the Paris Opera House. It can't get any 'grander' than that! No one had ever been allowed to film there.

Wanda Fuller, Eddie Champion, Pat Davis, Fawn Quinones, Damita Jo Freeman, Lil' Joe Chisholm, and James Phillips were IT! Their pictures were on my wall. My friends and I would wonder what would they be wearing, what dances would we see?! Fate intervened and my family would end up in LA - and I would subsequently not only meet one of my dance idols, but become friends and dance colleagues.

Tyrone was such a character to me in my teen developmental years. I have so many fond memories, that can make me laugh to this day. A lot of my 'attitude' - and of course 'waacking' I learned from watching Tyrone. Whenever you heard him holler 'You Betta Work Miss Thing' - you knew you were really doing something special. He made me want to go full out.

'Waacking' is having a resurgence. Kids around the world want to learn it, and Tyrone has been teaching, and educating the kids on what it means to be truly fierce on the dance floor. For me, 'waack dancing' is all about movement, hitting the accents of the music, the subtle beats for added drama. It's arms, legs and attitude galore, and being in 'the moment' with the music.

In my second 'Conversations With..' I have the honor of talking to the recently ordained 'Imperial Father' of Waacking - Tyrone 'The Bone' Procter. This is the first of 4 parts of the interview.

Congratulations Tyrone!
JW:Tell me aboust being named 'Father of The Imperial House of Waacking"
T: The Imperial House of Waacking is a Dance Company. I've tried to get some of the best young dancers i could get my hands on our motto is:
"CAN'T is not an option and your BEST simply not good enough"
The Imperial House of Waacking : A House is part of a competition call a "Ball" that they do in the Gay community. Each House has a Mother and a Father
In The Imperial House Of Waacking The Mother is Jody Watley and The Father is Tyrone "The Bone" Proctor. The kids Like that Because of the 'Still A Thrill' Video.
JW: My Gosh! I'm "Mother of The House" - I love it!! Thank You. Tell the kids in the house - I really appreciate.
JW: Of course, I have to get some Soul Train questions out of the way!
What does the cultural phenomenon of Soul Train mean to you?
T: It's a honor being part of Black American History
JW: Do you think Soul Train would be hot topic for gossip - if the show as it was in the mid to late 70's? I mean the whole sub culture, the fights, backstabbing, and of course the whole never spoken of LGBT of a many of the dancers?
T: Of course, even more so with the internet and cell phones.
JW: Were you bothered at all when Don had the Soul Train special many years ago, and didn't have one ounce of footage or recognition for the influential dancers from the show like you, Sharon, Pat Davis and so many others from the most influential era of the show?
It was such a slap in the face to me, they only showed the later years - and we know those aren't the shows that are shown all over Asia and Europe, with all due respect to the kids from those years. Soul Train, (the early years) is legendary for all time.
T: I was stunned, People were asking me why Don did not use any of the Original Soul Train Gang. (what could I say)
JW: Do you have a fondest memory of that era? I have so many. One of which involves you pushing the coffee table back in my living room on Coco Ave. performing 'Runaway Love' by Linda Clifford to everyone - each time you came over- lol! Dancing on the tables and hitting beats on the staircase at Mavericks Flat - my goodness, fun times!!!
David Bowie, Elton John on the show (though I was kicked out of those tapings!).
The classic show with Marvin Gaye was before my time...
T. Wow, so many things like Sharon Hill, My green Mazda, Choicette, 4040 Coco, Catch One, Roger Boone, Stereo World, Maverick Flats,
The Outrageous Waack Dancers, Jeffrey Daniel, Chuck Johnson, Lamont, Micky, Blinky, Andrew, Arthur, Tinker, Lonnie, Michaelo, Danny and so many more.
JW: I know you still keep in touch with Sharon Hill. She was such a sweetheart, and I remember she would always scold you, when you got too animated - lol. What's Sharon up to?
T: Sharon Hill is doing very well, She married the lead singer of Lakeside Mark Wood (It's All The Way Live)
They have 4 beautiful children Marshani, Mark, Mellissa, and Matthew my nieces and nephews.