Bruce on the artist
"Growin' Up" features a story about a gypsy woman, with Bruce singing a line from the Curtis Mayfield tune of that name.
"There I was....we were on this dark road, coming home from a show about....three years ago at the Satellite Lounge....it was me and Clarence and Miami and we got this flat tire.... so we pull over....and, like, we´re out in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the woods, but off in the woods we see this light....so....we decided we were gonna go hustle off through the woods and see what´s over there, see if we can get a hand....so we stomped through the mud and we´re hustling through the woods and there in the middle of the woods....who could believe this, right? ….but right there in the middle of the woods....was this gypsy lady.......so we knock on her door, the sign up on top of her door said ´Gypsy Lady´s´ and we go in....and she says ´Ok, you guys find old gypsy lady, you got three wishes, one wish each´....so Clarence wishes for his 15th white suit....and Steven....Steven, he wished....he wished for Maureen, that´s his girlfriend and, me, I was no dummy, I wasn´t gonna wish for no suit, no girl ….so I thought ´Let me see....my own laundromat at the corner of Cookman and Main, no, not that....a million bucks, no, no, I don´t need a million dollars´....I thought ´Oh, I got it, what I really need is....two good lawyers, no, no ....I said ´Gypsy lady, I wanna be.....I don´t care about nothing else, I just wanna be a rock´n´roller..."
were an American music group originally formed in 1958. Their repertoire includes doo-wop, gospel, soul, and R&B. Mayfield left the group after the release of the "Check Out Your Mind " LP in 1970 and began a successful solo career. Mayfield stayed a great inspiration to Bruce :
Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942, Chicago, IL–December 26, 1999, Roswell, GA) was an African-American soul, R&B, and funk singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for his anthemic music with The Impressions during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Mayfield is highly regarded as a pioneer of funk and of politically conscious African-American music. Curtis Mayfield was a two time inductee into the GrammyHall of fame and winner of the Grammy Legend Award and lifetimes Achievement Award which was personally presented by Bruce in 1995
01.03.94 Grammy Awards, after "The Curtis Mayfield Medley"
"Curtis, on behalf of all the musicians gathered here on stage and in the audience, we wanna thank you for the lasting soul and the deep beauty of the music that you´ve made… you´ve been an inspiration to all of us and it´s an honor to be up here with you tonight and I´m glad to present you with the Grammy Legend Award, we love you…"
" There's a beautifully socially–conscious soul of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, "We're a Winner," keep on pushin'. Just great, great records that just filled the airwaves at a time when you couldn't have needed them more. You just couldn't have needed them more. "A Woman's Got Soul," what a beautiful, beautiful record to women. "It's All Right." It was the sound track of the Civil Rights Movement. And it was here, amongst these great African–American artists, that I learned my craft. You learned how to write. You learned how to arrange. You learned what mattered and what didn't. You learned what a great production sounds like. You learned how to lead a band. You learned how to front a band. "
Bruce also covered a song (Gypsy Woman) on a compilation album of various artists:
Celebrating the music of Curtis Mayfield. While many tribute albums are recorded after an artist has passed, this album was completed five years before Mayfield's death : released 1994. ( A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield