Tag Archives: memoir

George Clinton brings funk to Astoria during book signing, talk at Museum of the Moving Image


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Asha Mahadevan

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN 

George Clinton proved his legendary status Monday night when more than 100 fans chanted “just funk it” at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Clinton was at the museum to sign copies of his memoir, “Brothas Be, Yo’ Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir.”

The event was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. but Clinton arrived 20 minutes early and seeing the long line of fans waiting to meet him, immediately started signing books.

The artist, known for the 1970s funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic (P-Funk All Stars), said it was “great to be in Queens.”

“It feels good to be here to jam in this neighborhood for people of different cultures,” Clinton said.

The fans were no less excited to see their idol in their neighborhood.

“I am really glad to see him in Astoria,” said Hye Ryu, an Astoria resident, who said she has followed his music for more than 20 years. “We are getting a chance to see him. It makes the neighborhood special.”

“He was probably the first funk musician I ever listened to in college,” said Ryu’s husband Young Yun. “To me, he is like a rockstar.”

Andre Doughty, 22, stood in line with his childhood friend, William Clyde. The two were introduced to Clinton’s music by their fathers, who were good friends and often played his songs.

“Funk keeps the energy. He gets straight to the point,” said Doughty.

Daniel and Liz Cousins grew up listening to Clinton in Virginia and California respectively. “It’s got an infectious sound,” said Daniel as Liz added, “It is sort of like cartoon characters meet music.”

The book signing was followed by a screening of “Cosmic Slop,” a three-part TV special that Clinton hosted in 1994. George Logan, who played one of the principal characters in the TV special, was at the book signing too.

“I’ve followed his music since the 60s,” said Logan. “It has stood the test of time. Lots of rappers today use his beats.”

After the screening, Clinton participated in a Q&A with his friend and Grammy-winning artist James Mtume. The discussion touched upon the first time Mtume saw Clinton (the latter was dressed in a tutu and a diaper), the funk artist’s musical influences and his decision to produce musicians at different labels at the same time.

When one of Clinton’s fans asked him life advice, he suggested she “just funk it.”

After the discussion, Clinton once again signed books for fans. A total of 180 books were sold over the course of the evening, according to a publisher’s representative.


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Hamilton Beach resident writes memoir about the neighborhood


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

During the 1960s and ’70s, Hamilton Beach was a close-knit community that fostered lifelong friendships, as shown by a new memoir.

Hamilton Beach resident Theresa A. Tomeo published a memoir of her childhood days growing up in the neighborhood. The small community comes alive in Tomeo’s book, “The Screen House Kids.”

Tomeo published the book in late June using Amazon’s free publishing tool, CreateSpace. The story follows a group of girls, the screen house kids, growing up in Hamilton Beach during the 1960s. Tomeo spent 10 years writing the book and up until publication, she was adding information into the book. The most significant recent event is Superstorm Sandy, which flooded and destroyed a good part of the neighborhood.

“The whole concept of this book is about this group of friends who would do anything together,” said Tomeo, who is now in her 50s, as her daughter Arlene sat by her. “I wanted people to know that even in this day and age that strong friendships are still possible but you have to work hard towards it.”

The self-published, 250-page book, reads like two grandmothers reminiscing about the past and Tomeo said that is how the idea for the workdeveloped. Tomeo’s daughter, Arlene Arebalo, helped her edit the book and get it published.

“We went through so many revisions that I can’t even read the book anymore,” Arebalo said.

In one part, Tomeo recounts how her group of friends, who she calls the LULAS (Love U Like A Sister), go out on the water one night.

One night they were all hanging out at John’s house. They decided to go out on his boat. While they were out there cruising around the bay they decided to try night water skiing! First Ronny, then Terry! Those idiots were water skiing all around the parameter of Charles Park, IN THE DARK.

That was probably the craziest thing that Terry ever did, but Laurie took the cake for being wild.

In another section, Tomeo writes about her 50th birthday and the “trailer trash” theme. One of the party guests brings a trailer trash doll that is pregnant and when you pull the doll’s chord, it says “Get me another beer, I’m drinking for two.”

 

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