As 2010 came to a close, Lonnie Jordan of War opened Thursday night's concert at the Grove of Anaheim by dedicating the band's set to the late Teena Marie. The music world continues to mourn the loss of “The Ivory Queen of Soul,” who passed away at the age of 54 last Sunday. In his comments, Jordan recalled sharing the very same stage with the singer just two years ago. War was playing its annual end-of-the-year show at the OC venue on Dec. 29, 2008, when Marie joined the band for an improvisational jam that surprised and delighted concert-goers.
The night of that collaboration landed squarely on my 27th birthday, and I had two tickets for the show and would have been in
the audience. However, I had come down with a terrible sinus infection
and was too sick to go. I gave my tickets to my friend and his wife, and
they reported back to me that Marie had come out for a special
I never had the opportunity to see her sing before and proceeded to kick myself in the ass for missing out on the music–even more so now that she has passed. As it turns out, Marie singing “Hey Lonnie” (with Jordan returning a “Hey Teena”) at the end of the performance might have been her final appearance in Orange County. She had headlined a concert at the Grove of Anaheim just six months prior, but had no such dates slated in 2009 or 2010.
War drummer Sal Rodriguez recalled the memory of that special night on Facebook, posting last week:
“RIP LADY T, IT WAS GREAT KNOWING HER AND WHEN SHE SAT IN AND JAMMED WITH WAR A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AT THE GROVE IN ANAHEIM, SHE BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN.”
Marie was set to bring more houses down with her passionate voice at a scheduled concert date in February at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. All 2011 dates, including two shows across the puddle at London's 02 Arena, have obviously been canceled in the aftermath of her death. Nevertheless, the memories and music still remain strong.
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!