Friday, November 27, 2009


Of course, with me being on the island of Jamaica and never having any real contact with her at all, there is no way Oprah could have known that her announcement about ending her talk show has forced me to accelerate and even more fiercely affirm a dream, affirmation of mine: I am going to co-host the Oprah show with Oprah for a week. This week is going to start with her interviewing me and explaining the upcoming week and my being her co-host. There...I said/wrote it! I've never said this out loud or claimed. Oprah has forced my hand! Hee hee! I feel nervous, kinda silly...but really alive and positive about expressing this dream.

I sent the suggestion of focus for the show, a focus on Jamaica & 'Brand Jamaica'. I laid out possible interviews etc, with me as her co-host. I suggested she do this in Jamaica. No response yet, of course, but that was when I assumed this dream could stay safely hidden, whispering only to me and making me smile sheepishly. not any more...I'm putting it out there, naming it, claiming it:



I’ve spent this whole week being moved and feeling blessed by my pastor Rev. Sheila McKeithen's simple analogy: the blessings & prosperity from the Source are constantly being poured; all we have to do is make sure we have our cups, receptacles and hearts aligned and open!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Let me start by saying that I’m a huge fan of Whitney Houston. She is one of the truly talented singers of our time, and I continue to lament her unraveling and descent. I still maintain that her first album is the best debut album I’ve ever heard.

I waited for the release of her new ‘comeback’ CD with pointed curiosity and mild hope. ‘I Look to You’ has not given me cause for celebration. I hear all these people saying she’s back with a bang and sounding great…..this is the only song I’ve heard on the CD and I’m disappointed and saddened.

Does anybody else hear on reserved, tentative, uncertain and unseasoned she sounds? There are soothing remnants of her former soulful glory, but the flame flickers weakly. I mean this is Whitney, Princess of the swelling anthem-like ballad and life-song! ‘I Look To You’ simmers, but never boils; instead it moves modesty (just above ordinary) to an anti-climactic ending. It seems clear that Sister Whitney is unable to hit those notes, sustains those riffs and belt us to a satisfied frenzy the way she used to. Understand clearly, I’m not celebrating…I’m heartbroken. I wanted her to have kick-ass comeback.

I hear she suffered a glaring voice-cracking snag on the Today show. I’m glad I didn’t see it and don’t think I want to. Here’s what I say: Whitney and her management should rethink their strategy. Folks will buy the CD in droves out of love, loyalty, yearning and plain curiosity. Be satisfied with that and don’t do any more live performances until she is in good/better voice. Her present raspiness, cracking and lame excuses (‘I was talking/being interviewed with/by Oprah for long time yesterday’) is what people will remember and not the significance of the triumph of this CD even being released after what she has survived.

That’s my 2 cents!

P.S. Heard another track after writing this. No reason to change a word….

success & happiness

success and happiness are the best revenge!!
(c) fabian thomas

be happy

I honestly believe that life is too short not to try to be as happy as possible, as often and consistently as possible!
(c)fabian thomas

Monday, November 16, 2009

my mantra

"be bold, extraordinary & unapologetically successful. live out loud, laugh a lot, love fiercely & dance often!" (c)fabian thomas

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Cadillac Records is a revelatory foray into the period of American music when ‘race’ records were being made, concerts were segregated and when the blues ruled, before ushering in the age of rock & roll. It shows the struggles, challenges and travails of racism, exploitation, celebrity excesses, drugs/alcohol dependency, personal pain and human frailty. It also reveals the power of friendship and the trials of love. Executive Producer Beyonce (yes, as in Knowles) must be commended for bringing this important bio-pic to life. I’m not sure it redeems her from unleashing the hopelessly mediocre ‘Obsessed’ on the world but it’s a start!

Cadillac Records is an intriguing, engaging and moving exploration of the lives and work of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry and the incendiary Etta James, as brought together under the umbrella of Leonard Chess’ Chess Records. Using the technique of narration/storytelling the movie beautifully and humanely captures the ethos, ecstasy and pain of this watermark period in American Pop Culture. The script, commendably, does water-down the tale or seek to sanctify any of the real-life characters, it simply tells their collective story, with glimpses into their individual lives. The result is a joyous, powerful, often painful journey, sweetened with great music. Thankfully, after going through these trials, all these pioneers have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Darnell Martin’s well-crafted and deftly directed script is marvelously enriched by a wonderful cast. Muddy Waters is masterfully played by one of my favourite underrated actors Jeffrey Wright. He is a joy to watch; his performance was detailed, measured and delivered with evocative restraint. Wright is ably partnered with Adrien Brody in a richly textured portrayal as music producer and visionary Leonard Chess. Beyonce is actually quite good as Etta James. She is not anywhere near as magnificent or larger than life as Etta, but she was gritty and credible and held her own on Etta’s unforgettable gut-wrenching life-songs. Gabrielle Union turns in a solid and eloquent performance as Muddy Waters’ lover/partner Geneva. The charming and effusive Mos Def is delightful as Chuck Berry.
My two favourite performances come from another of my favourite underrated actors Columbus Short and the imposing Eamonn Walker. Short’s magnificent, seething and screen-filling romp as Little Walter is enough to warrant a film of its own, while Walker in the much smaller role of the smoldering Howlin’ Wolf is absolutely riveting! The cast is rounded out by Cedric the Entertainer as the narrator songwriter/lyricist Willie Dixon.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that this movie is also replete with great music.

Cadillac Records is well worth seeing…in fact, I highly recommend it!!