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Stevie Wonder: T Want to Get into as Much

Weird Shit as Possible'

BEN FONG-TORRES

"I remember one time we were in Puerto Rico, and it was a


sunshiny day," said Ira Tucker, assistant to Stevie Wonder
for five years now. "And Stevie was saying it was gonna rain.
He said he could smell the moisture in the air, and we were
all laughing at him. Three hours later, sure enough, it came.
A hailstorm!
"He can hear," Ira continued, here in his Holiday Inn
room in Chinatown, San Francisco. "Like when I get stoned
and listen to the radio and then I can pick up things. He's
there all the time.
"He even turns the lights on and off when he goes to the
bathroom.
"What for? I don't know. He said it's 'cause he hears ev
erybody else do it. Click, you go in, click, you're out. So he
does it, too. But he goes to the movies, runs from place to
place, goes out to airports by himself. And on planes people
think he's a junkie, 'cause he sits there with these glasses on,
and his head goes back and forth, side to side when he feels
good. . . ."

Stevie Wonder entered the synagogue for a post-concert


party Motown was throwing for him. Half a year after a tour
opening for the Stones, he was completing his own show of
strength. He had conquered New York a month ago; here, he
was headlining two shows, at Winterland and at the Berkeley
Community Theater. He sold out both shows and won over
both audiences. For the wider, whiter crowds he now draws,
Wonder mixes an Afro-conscious blend of jazz/soul/rock
music, medleys of old hits and bits of other people's hits, and,
Stevie Wonder 305
in one quick exercise in excess, a shot of one-man-band razz
matazz, as he moves from drums to electric piano to synthe
sized clavinet to guitar to harmonica. What he cannot achieve
through eye contact is reached by output of energy, by a
music that is by turns loving and lusty, that tells how Stevie
Wonder cherishes freedom, and how he uses it. And the
music, sure enough, reflects the man.
For the party, Wonder put aside his Afro gown and shark's
tooth necklace and dressed up in a champagne-gold suit,
matched by a plaid bow tie and metallic-copper platforms
stacked four inches high. He plopped down onto the floor to
talk with people; he played the harmonica; with Coco, his
most constant companion since his divorce last year from
Syreeta Wright, he explored the building. Upstairs is the old
synagogue, complete with balconies and pews enough to hold
1000 worshippers, fixed up with red carpeting, showboat light
ing, and stained-glass windows all shaped into colored Stars
of David. Stevie and Coco and their entourage sat in a pew,
feeling the airiness of the room, listening to the music coming
off the speakers on the stage, where the altar used to be. Sud
denly, the synagogue was filled with "Superstition." The disk
jockey at KSAN had been alerted and she was putting to
gether a string of Wonder hits. Stevie's head snapped up,
started to go from side to side . . . You would've thought he
was a junkie . . .

Stevie was born Steveland Morris on May 13th, 1950, in


Saginaw, Michigan; he was the third oldest in a not particu
larly musical family of six children. They moved to Detroit in
the early Fifties, where they lived a lower-middle class life.
Born blind, Stevie was never treated special by his family; in
fact, he claims, he hung out more than his four brothers did.
He listened to a radio show in Detroit called Sundown and
got filled with blues and jazz. He began playing the piano,
and by age 11, he was also playing drums, "harmonica,
bongos and hookey." He would play with a cousin, a friend
of the brother of Ronnie White of the Miracles. White audi
tioned Stevie and took him to Motown, where staff producer
Brian Holland listened. Motown signed him and advertised
him as a 12-year-old Genius.
306 BEN FONG-TORRES
Now in his eleventh year in show business, formerly Little
Stevie Wonder is finally in absolute control.
"He feels he's back to making music again," said Ira
Tucker. "There was a lull for a time, from the time he was
17 to Music of My Mind" (which followed Where I'm
Coming From in Wonder's post-Signed Sealed and Delivered
progression in music). After two five-year contracts with Mo
town, Stevie was looking around, stalled six months, finally
negotiated six weeks over a 120-page contract and made a
deal. He got his own publishing—an unprecedented achieve
ment for any Motown artist—and a substantially higher roy
alty rate (guessed at 50% by one close associate; Stevie
would say only that he felt "secure").
"It was a very important contract for Motown," said Won
der's attorney, Johannan Vigoda (who negotiated contracts
for Jimi Hendrix and Richie Havens, among others), "and a
very important contract for Stevie, representing the artists of
Motown. He broke tradition with the deal, legally, profes
sionally—in terms of how he could cut his records and where
he could cut-and in breaking tradition he opened up the fu
ture for Motown. That's what they understood. They had
never had an artist in 13 years, they had singles records, they
managed to create a name in certain areas, but they never
came through with a major, major artist. It turned out they
did a beautiful job."
Stevie is not, in fact, alone at the top at Motown, still home
for Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, and the
album-proportion skills of Norman Whitfield and Barrett
Strong. But Motown, now headquartered in Los Angeles—in
a large office building on Sunset, across from the Soul'd Out
nightclub—has moved its estimable weight into TV, films,
and even onto Broadway (with Pippin). Berry Gordy re
cently became chairman of the board for Motown Industries,
leaving the presidency of his Motown Records. And in the
last year, while black music has moved vigorously into the
pop charts, Motown has seemingly lost much of its touch. The
label is signing more artists—black and white—and releasing
more product, and getting fewer hits. Artists have upped and
left; others complain more openly than ever before.
Marvin Gaye is a Gordy in-law; Smokey a vice president;
Stevie Wonder 307
Diana too close to ever leave. When she was pregnant with
her first child and waiting to begin Lady Sings the Blues, in
fact, Berry kept her busy by naming her head of Product
Evaluation at Motown; for almost a year, she had the power
of a vice president; in charge of deciding which tunes became
singles, which singles got released and when.
For Stevie Wonder—too young in the days of "The Sound
of Young America" to be so integral a part of the family—
the price for staying at Motown was security and freedom.
Now, he writes and produces for himself; he books his own
concerts; he manages himself and he can free-lance at will.
He has worked in sessions with Eric Clapton, Graham Nash
and Jeff Beck; on tour, he jammed with the Stones.
On the road and off the stage, Stevie spends his time in his
hotel room, composing on a clavinet wired up to an ARP syn
thesizer, writing two or three tunes a day. He also explores,
walking through Chinatown in gold lame, head swaying from
side to side as he passes the stores and smells the fish, the
ducks, the pickled greens. And he loves to talk. He establishes
rapport on the basis of astrological signs and otherwise talks
in black-hippie fashion, zigzagging, sometimes, from Pollyan-
nish to apocalyptic. He sees the earth zigging towards a de
structive end; he can see himself dying soon and he hopes, by
his music, to be able to leave something for the rest of us—
even if we ain't that far behind him.
-BF-T

It's amazing, I been in the business ten years, going on 11


now, and I look back and see so many things, changes, it's al
most like I'm an old person sometimes. . . . The musical
changes, how different eras have come and gone, a lot of peo
ple that I thought would be major people have died. Otis,
Jimi Hendrix . . . you know Michael Jeffery [Hendrix's
manager] was killed just recently, goin' from Spain to Lon
don. Two planes collided, one exploded, the other landed
safely. I heard there were some bitter things that went down,
that Hendrix was ripped off fantastically by Jeffery, but I
don't know how true those stories are. . . .
It's heavy, and I guess you could say if he did the things
that I heard he did, then that's his karma, but again, what
308 BEN FONG-TORRES

about the other people on the plane? That's the question I al


ways ask.
It's been really amazing . . . like when certain things I felt
were gonna happen, I'd have dreams. I had a dream about
Benny Benjamin [Motown's first studio drummer, who died
of a stroke in 1969]. I talked to him a few days before he
died; he was in the hospital. But in my dream I talked to him,
he said, "Look man, I'm . . . I'm not gonna make it."
"What, you kiddin'!" The image ... he was sitting on my
knee, which means like he was very weak. And he said, "So,
like I'm leavin' it up to you." That was like a Wednesday, and
that following Sunday I went to church and then to the studio
to do a session; we were gonna record "You Can't Judge a
Book by Its Cover," and they said, "Hey, man, we're not
gonna do it today, Benny just died."
He died without notice. I mean, nobody really knew who
he was.
Man, he was one of the major forces in the Motown sound.
Benny could've very well been the baddest—like [Bernard]
Purdie. He was the Purdie of the Sixties. But unknown.
Couldn't they also have had jobs with performing groups?
They'd do clubs, but they all were basically . . . Benny
would be messin' up all the time. Benny'd be late for sessions,
Benny'd be drunk sometimes. I mean, he was a beautiful cat,
but . . . Benny would come up with these stories, like [in an
excited, fearful voice]: "Man, you'd never believe it man,
but like a goddamn elephant, man, in the middle of the road,
stopped me from comin' to the session so that's why I'm late,
baby, so [clap of hands] it's cool!" But he was ready, man.
He could play drums, you wouldn't even need a bass, that's
how bad he was. Just listen to all that Motown shit, like
"Can't Help Myself" and "My World Is Empty Without You
Babe" and "This Old Heart of Mine" and "Don't Mess with
Bill." "Girl's All Right with Me," the drums would just pop]
Did Benny teach you a lot about drumming?
Yeah, you can hear it, you know. I learned from just listen
ing to him.
Is it true that you put out a drum album once?
Well, I put out an album that I played drums on, called
The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie. I did another album which was
Stevie Wonder 309
called Eivets Rednow about '68, an instrumental with
"Alfie" and a few other things . . . "Eivets Rednow" being
"Stevie Wonder" spelled backwards.
Everybody knew who it was right away . . .
Some people did, some didn't. As a matter of fact there
was a cat in the airport that came up and said, "Hey, man"
[laughs], he said "Man, these whites takin' over every
thing," he says, "Look, I heard a kid today, man, played
'Alfie' just like you, man!" "Oh yeah, this cat named Red
now?" "Yeah, that's it!" I said, "Ooooh, man, that cat is—
well, don't worry about him!" [laughs]
You've said that the first song that you ever wrote was
"Uptight," but the credits were given to Sylvia Moy, Henry
Cosby and a "S. Judkins." Was that you?
Well, Judkins is my father's name. But it's crazy to explain
it. Morris was on my birth certificate and everything, but
Judkins was the father. I took his name when I was in school.
We just signed the song contract like that.
Why didn't you sign Stevie Wonder?
I don't know.
You signed "Wonder" on songs like "I'm Wondering"
and "I Was Made to Love Her."
Well, that was later; I decided I wanted people to know
that I wrote those songs.
How did you get the name Wonder?
It was given to me by Berry Gordy. They didn't like "Steve
Morris" so they changed it.
Were there some alternatives?
"Little Wonder" . . . "Wonder Steve ..." I think we
should change it to Steveland Morris [laughs]. That would
put a whole different light on everything.
You weren't an immediate hit, were you? You put out a
record called "I Call It Pretty Music"
It was a thing that Clarence Paul wrote ... an old blues
thing . . . The first thing I recorded was a thing called
"Mother Thank You." Originally it was called "You Made a
Vow," but they thought that was too lovey for me, too adult.
How did the first records do?
They started after we did "Contract On Love." That made
a little noise. "Fingertips" was after that. That was a biggie.
310 BEN FONG-TORRES

The first production credit you were given was on the


'Signed Sealed and Delivered' album, but that wasn't the first
producing you did.
Well, that was the first that was released. I also did a thing
with the Spinners, "It's A Shame," and the follow-up, "We'll
Have It Made." I wanted that tune to be big. I was so hurt
when it didn't do it.
You also produced Martha once?
Yeah, they never released it. Called [sings, snapping
fingers], "Hey, look at me, girl, can't you see . . ."
And one on David Ruffin.
Yeah, [sings] "Lovin' you's been so wonder-ful. . . ."
In the midst of all that, I was in the process of gettin' my
thing together and decidin' what I was gonna do with my life.
This was like I was 20, goin' on 21, and so a lot of things
were left somewhat un-followed-up by me. I would get the
product there and nobody would listen and I'd say, "Fuckit"
... I wouldn't worry about it.
This was around "Signed Sealed and Delivered" . . .
It was a little after that. "Signed Sealed and Delivered" was
like the biggest thing I'd had.
Then you went into a lull.
Yeah, we did Where I'm Coming From—that was kinda
premature to some extent, but I wanted to express myself. A
lot of it now I'd probably remix. But "Never Dreamed You'd
Leave in Summer" came from that album, and "If You Re
ally Love Me" ... but it's nothing like the things I write
now. I love gettin' into just as much weird shit as possible. I'll
tell you what's happening. Syreeta's album is better than my
last two albums, man, shit! [laughs] No, but it's cool. . . .
How about Syreeta's first album?
For some reason it wasn't accepted. I don't know if it was
lack of promotion ... I told them I didn't want to be as
sociated so much with the album, the wife/husband thing,
which I think was not an asset.
What are the difficulties, if any, in producing your ex-
wife?
It's still going through things . . . but I'm always a friend.
It's kinda hard for friends to understand it; women think, "I
know you guys are here, so I know you're gonna get back to-
Stevie Wonder 3 11

gether." But if your head is really cool . . . like I used to al


ways worry about when I used to go with someone, about
them doing something with somebody else. . . .
You were always the jealous type . . .
Well, not really. I wouldn't even show it-but I was. . . .
This is like one thing that I've tried to do, and I think success
fully, that when you realize that nothing really belongs to
you, you begin to appreciate having an understanding of just
where your head is at, and you feel so much better.
That's easy to say.
I know, but I'm telling you, I'm doing it, man!
How long did your marriage last?
A year and a half.

My lady friend, one thing we have that's good is she can


feel people like I do, when you meet all the phony bullshit
people, she's able to sense that, so I feel there is someone that
is there with me.
I've never dealt with a woman on the "Stevie Wonder"
level. When you meet someone and begin to like them, then
you do let them know you even more personally than the
public knows. There's not really a difference between me and
"Stevie Wonder"-only thing is I'm not singing "Fingertips"
or "Big Brother" or "Superstition" all the time. There's other
things, listening to other people, and going to the park or see
ing a movie or going bowling.
But the public Stevie Wonder is a lot of ideas and images
that people have of you, regardless of what you actually are.
I know there are thousands of images of me. There was a
guy one time, I heard: "Hey, uh, Stevie Wonder told me to
come and get this grass from you, so where is it?" He said,
"Stevie Wonder told you? He didn't, man, 'cause I'm his gui
tar player, and he doesn't even smoke grass. He doesn't even
get high." I guess people expect or figure me to be a lot of
different things.
You never got into drugs?

1 ,^ «A it seated me to death.
312 BEN FONG-TORRES

Well, things just got larger. It was something new and


different, but I found I'm so busy checking things out all the
time anyway that I don't really need it.
Are there times when you wish you could see?
No. Sometimes I wish I could drive a car, but I'm gonna
drive a car one day, so I don't worry about that.
You've actually said that you considered your blindness to
be a gift from God.
Being blind, you don't judge books by their covers; you go
through things that are relatively insignificant, and you pick
out things that are more important.
When did you discover that there was something missing,
at least according to other people's standards?
I never really knew it. The only thing that was said in
school, and this was my early part of school, was something
that made me feel like because I was black I could never be
or would never be.
So being black was considered to be more a weight .
I guess so. [laughs] This cat said in an article one time,
it was funny: "Damn! He's black! He's blind! What else?!" I
said, "Bullshit, I don't wanna hear that shit, you know."
So you wouldn't even bother having people describe things
to you. Colors and . . .
Well, I have an idea of what colors are. I associate them
with the ideas that've been told to me about those certain col
ors. I get a certain feeling in my head when a person says
"red" or "blue," "green," "black," "white," "yellow,"
"orange," "purple"—purple is a crazy color to me. . . .
Probably the sound of the word . . .
Yeah, yeah. To me, brown is a little duller than green, isn't
it?
Yes, you got it . . . What about sex?
What about it? [laughs] It's the same thing, Jack! As a
matter of fact it's probably even more exciting to the dude.
Ask my woman what it's like. ... No, no! [laughs] I
mean you just have to get in there and do that shit, you
know. That shit is just fantasticness!
So you didn't miss a thing.
I used to live on a street called Bmkmiid^ J^J jg Jju *
Stevie Wonder 313

my house down. I wish I could've gotten a few pictures of it,


too . . . but . . .
We listened to Redd Foxx and did all that stuff! We tried
to sneak and do it to little girls. I used to get into a lot of shit,
Jack! I got caught trying to mess with this girl. I was about
eight years old. It was the play house trip. And I really was
like taking the girl's clothes off and everything, I don't under
stand how I did that stuff, you know. I mean, I was in it! I
had her in my room with my clothes off. And she gave it
away 'cause she started laughin' and giggling 'cause I was
touching her.
I used to hop barns with all the other dudes. You know
those small sheds they used to have in back of houses; in the
ghetto where I lived, we'd hop atop them from one to the
other. I remember one time my aunt came and said, "OK,
Steve, Mama said don't be doin' that," and I said, "Aw, fuck
you," and there're some neighbors out and they said, "Aw,
child, you oughta be ashamed of yourself, I thought you was
a child of the Lawd, you out there cussin' 'n' everything."
That was like back of our house in the alley, you know, so I
just kept on, just hopping the barns, jumping around and ev
erything, till all at once I jumped and fell right into my
mother's arms. The ironing cord, the whipping. The Magic
Ironing Cord Whipping.

In school, what subjects did you like best?


History, world history, but it got kind of boring. And sci
ence. The history of this country was relatively boring—I
guess because of the way it was put to us in books. The most
interesting to me was about civilizations before ours, how ad
vanced people really were, how high they had brought them
selves only to bring themselves down because of the missing
links, the weak foundations. So the whole thing crumbled.
And that's kind of sad. And it relates to today and what could
possibly happen here, very soon. That's basically what "Big
Brother" is all about.
I speak of the history, the heritage of the violence, or the
negativeness of being able to see what's going on with minor
ity people. Seemingly it's going to continue to be this way.
Sometimes unfortunately violence is a way things get accom-
314 BEN FONG-TORRES

plished. "Big Brother" was something to make people aware


of the fact that after all is said and done, that I don't have to
do nothing to you, meaning the people are not power players.
We don't have to do anything to them 'cause they're gonna
cause their own country to fall.
"My name is Secluded; we live in a house the size of a
matchbox." A person who lives there, really, his name is Se
cluded, and you never even know the person, and they can
have so many things to say to help make it better, but it's like
the voice that speaks is forever silenced.
I understand that when you don't hear anything and you
hear this very high frequency, that's the sound of the uni
verse.
Or a burglar alarm, which takes some of the mystery out of
it . . . Tell me about your experiments with electronic effects
and music. First, have you listened to Beaver and Krause, or
Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer, or Walter Carlos?
Walter Carlos, yes, but for the most part I've listened to
just what's in my head, plus Bob Margoloff and Malcolm
Cecil-they just built a new synthesizer you should see-they
have their own company, Centaur, and they did an album,
Tonto's Expanding Headband. They are responsible for pro
gramming and I just tell them the kind of sound I want.
I hadn't got tired of strings or horns or anything, it's just
another dimension. I'd like to get into doing just acoustic
things, drums, bass, no electronic things at all except for
recording them.
What else are you checking out these days?
There's this string instrument made in Japan. You tune it
like a harp to a certain chord scale. It takes you somewhere
else that's sort of earthy and in the direction where my head
is slanting-like going to Africa. Maybe I'll take a tape re
corder over there and just sit out and write some stuff.
In concert, your opening number includes African scatting.
I got that from this thing called The Monkey Chant that
we used in different rhythms, and we came up with [chop-
chants, in speedtime] ja-ja-ja-jajajajajaja . . .
And there are three pairs of drumsticks going.
It's like fighting. I'd love to go to Ghana, go to the different
countries and see how I'd like to live there.
Stevie Wonder 315
Do you know Sly Stone?
I've seen him a couple of times. I haven't heard too much
about him lately, just rumors.
He influenced you to a degree.
... Ah ... I think there's an influence in some of the
things I've done, like "Maybe Your Baby." But I can hear
some of the old Little Stevie Wonder in a lot of his early
things [Stevie sings a bit of "Sing a Simple Song"]. It used
to tickle me . . .
You've said that your writing was influenced by the Bea
tles.
I just dug more the effects they got, like echoes and the
voice things, the writing, like "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite."
Did it make you feel that you could be more loose your
self?
Yeah. I just said, "Why can't I?" I wanted to do something
else, go other places. Same thing about keys. I don't want to
stay in one key all the time.
/ understand that in the old days at Motown, groups had to
compete for tracks. Writers would come up with a song and a
track, and artists would all sing over it, and the best would
get a single released.
I could see why that would happen, though. It's kind of
crazy. But then again you think the writer, whoever the writer
is-the music, the sound wasn't really Motown as much as
the writer. I think for the most part they should listen in ad
vance and know the artists. Holland-Dozier-Holland usually
would sing the melodies themselves and say, "This is how I
want you to do it."
What about you? Did you always have more independence?
I had the independence because I was somewhat distant,
because I was in school, and I would just come back home
sometime and do some singing.
"Blowing in the Wind" and "Alfie" were unusual songs for
a Motown artist to be doing back when you did them.
Most of them came about from doing gigs and wanting cer
tain kinds of tunes. Clarence Paul, who was my arranger and
conductor when we had the big group-we would work out
doing tunes, ridin' in cars like in England around '65. We'd
316 BEN FONG-TORRES

think of different songs like "Funny How Time Flies Away"


or "Blowin' in the Wind."
Writers are so important. I think a lot of our artists could
have been more sustained if they had other writers, besides
Holland-Dozier-Holland, because then they would have found
their identity—and that's what everybody needs.
So you can understand why groups like Gladys and the
Pips, Martha and the Vandellas, the Tops, the Spinners, left.
I do, when you become just one of the others, it's difficult
to be a sustaining power for a long period of time. It's like a
person comes out with a beat, and you keep on doing it and
doing it and driving it to the ground.
Did you hang out around Studio A at Motown?
I did when I was younger, but like when I was 12 or 13, I
couldn't 'cause I was in school. I used to play on a lot of gos
pel sessions.
Did you play in sessions outside of Motown?
No, but I have now, recently.
You were working with Jeff Beck last year; then he got
angry at you because you put out "Superstition" as a single
before he did.
Well, I'd written a thing for them-they wanted "Maybe
Your Baby," and I said no, do this, this is even better, and I
wrote "Superstition" that same night. And they wanted the
track, which I couldn't give them, 'cause of Motown, so I
said, "I'll give you a seven [a IVz ips tape] and you all
work on it and I'll play on the session, 'cause he said he'd
play on a thing of mine. And I wrote another thing for
them which was even more like Jeff Beck, a thing called
"Thelonius" which they haven't done anything with, it's re
ally bad [Stevie sings, scatting with triple-timed kneeslaps]
... but I told him I was using "Superstition" for my album.
The tune I wanted to release as a single was "Big Brother,"
but that was done too late to come out as a single. Motown
decided they wanted to release "Superstition." I said Jeff
wanted it, and they told me I needed a strong single in order
for the album to be successful. My understanding was that
Jeff would be releasing "Superstition" long before I was going
to finish my album; I was late giving them Talking Book. Jeff
recorded "Superstition" in July, so I thought it would be out.
Stevie Wonder 317
But I did promise him the song, and I'm sorry it happened
and that he came out with some of the arrogant statements he
came out with. I will get another tone to him that I think is as
exciting, and if he wants to do it, cool.
After the Stones tour, there was a story in a magazine
where the Stones-Keith Richard-was yelling about you,
calling you a "cunt" when you couldn't make a gig because
of your drummer. There were claims that you'd been partying
instead of working.
If Keith did say that, he's just childish, because I love peo
ple too much to just want to fuck up and miss a show. And
it's crazy, the things he said, if they were said—and if he did
not say them, he should clarify them, because I will always
hold this against him; I can't really face him, I'd feel funny in
his presence.
Was Keith pretty friendly throughout the tour?
I had mixed emotions about where he was comin' from,
you know, so I wouldn't be surprised if he said it, but I'm re
ally not too surprised about anybody saying anything about
anything. What really bugged me about the whole thing was
that our drummer was in a very bad situation, mentally and
spiritually, and that's why he left. What climaxed the whole
thing was, we got into an argument. I told him he was rushing
the tempo-this was in Fort Worth, Texas-and he said, "I
tell you what: You know how to play harmonica, you take
the mike, you sing, and play drums and all that shit at the
same time, 'cause I quit," and he split. I called up the Stones
and said, "Look, man, our drummer left, and we might not
be able to make the gig, so we'll try to make the second one
but we won't be able to make the first show." And they said
"OK, that'll be cool." The next thing, I saw the Stones and
they heard the new drummer and said, "Oh, out of sight!"
Then the next thing was I read all this shit.
Were you treated fairly, financially, for the tour?
It wasn't a money-making thing, that wasn't the idea-ex
posure was the thing.
I want to reach the people. I feel there is so much through
music that can be said, and there's so many people you can
reach by listening to another kind of music besides what is
considered your only kind of music. That's why I hate labels
318 BEN FONG-TORRES

where they say This Is Stevie Wonder and for the Rest of His
Life He Will Sing 'Fingertips' . . . Maybe because I'm a
Taurean and people say Taureans don't dig change too much.
I say as long as it's change to widen your horizons, it's cool.

April 1973