Photos by G.
FDeluxe! Formerly known as “The Family,” Fdeluxe was born in 1985 as a side project for Prince and was the first act signed to his Paisley Park label. Their debut album has been in high rotation with me for 25 years. It’s only got 9 songs, but it’s a perfect album, according2g. It features the ultra-funky songs “High Fashion,” “Mutiny” and “The Screams of Passion,” two bad-ass instrumentals “Yes” and “Susannah’s Pajamas,” and the gorgeous slower songs “River Run Dry,” “Desire” and the original version of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Though the members of the band have continued making music since 1985, The Family disbanded way too soon and reunited only briefly for the Woodstock of Prince-Protégé’s, The Family Jamm, in Los Angeles in 2003. I was fortunate enough to attend that show and it only whet my appetite for new songs and more live shows. I got my wish in 2011 as the band got back together to record their first album in 25 years, “Gaslight.” For reasons we’ll probably never be able to figure out (read: jealousy), Prince threatened litigation if the band used their original name. Therefore in 2011, The Family ceased to exist and FDeluxe was born. As Prince, who once changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol can attest to, the name is irrelevant. What matters is the music! FDeluxe are just as funky in 2011 as they were in 1985. They look great and sound great!
Fdeluxe was in New York on October 29, 2011 to play two sold out shows at Joe’s Pub (and in fact, these shows marked their New York debut). I’ve been looking forward to this show for so long, nothing would get in my way of this glorious day. New York experienced a freakish, unseasonable snow storm that day and getting around town was an absolute nightmare! Snow be damned, I ventured out to the show where I met FDeluxe and I had one of the best experiences you can possibly imagine. Lead singer “St. Paul” Peterson joked that he brought the Minnesota weather with him. I gushed to him how much I love his music and he could not have been any nicer.
Co-lead singer, Susannah Melovin was absolutely delightful to speak with and it turns out that my seat for the show was directly in front of her. Susannah even winked at me several times throughout the show!
Eric Leeds is one of my personal gods. The music he makes on the saxophone is so funky it literally defies words. I thanked him for all the great music he’s given us throughout the years including work with FDeluxe, Madhouse, Prince and of course his own solo records. He told me that his extremely underrated album “Things Left Unsaid” is his favorite and that his 2000 album “Now & Again” will be re-released soon. Once again, he couldn’t have been nicer.
Jellybean Johnson who plays bass as well as the drums occasionally for Fdeluxe was also extremely nice. He said that he was sort of in a hurry because the band was doing a photo shoot and people were waiting for him. I jokingly told him that I’d been waiting to see him for a much longer time – 25 years in fact – and he agreed with my logic and took his time chatting with me.
In addition to the band being SO nice, the show was amazing too and I am praying that FDeluxe starts to make this a regular thing. If you want the same thing, spread the word about “Gaslight.” Thanks again to Paul, Susannah, Eric and Jellybean for truly making my life better (and much much funkier)!