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!
St. Paul Peterson and G
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.
Susannah Melvoin and G
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 and G
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 and G
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)!
Photos by G.
FDeluxe: Jellybean Johnson, Eric Leeds, Susannah Melvoin, St. Paul Peterson
October 29, 2011 was a day that funkateers in New York have been looking forward to for a very long time. Fdeluxe played their debut show in New York at Joe’s Pub to a sold out crowd and they brought the funk! In the mid-1980s, Prince formed a side project called The Family and they were the first band signed to his Paisley Park label. Their self-titled debut album is one of the funkiest albums to come out of the 1980s with songs like “The Screams of Passion,” “High Fashion,” “Mutiny” and the original version of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” The band recently reunited after 25 years apart and re-christened themselves Fdeluxe after Prince dickishly threatened legal action if the band kept their original name. Under any name, St. Paul Peterson, Susannah Melvoin, Eric Leeds and Jellybean Johnson put the “F” in “funk” in New York.
St. Paul Peterson
The band recently released “Gaslight,” their first album in 25 years and they played many tracks off the album tonight including the ultra funky “@ 8,” the title song, “Leeds Line,” highlighting the talents of one of the best saxophone players of all time, Eric Leeds, as well as the lush “Over the Canyon.” The audience couldn’t have been happier in spite of a rare October snow storm in Manhattan making the commute to Joe’s Pub an unexpected weather adventure. Getting to hear live versions of songs like “Desire” and “High Fashion” and “Mutiny” literally made my mouth hurt from smiling so big. Those are songs I know inside and out and even if the rest of the world wasn’t hip to the funk, The Family (and now FDeluxe) have given my life endless hours of listening pleasure.
After every song, there was thunderous applause and it’s clear that New York does not want another 25 years to pass before FDeluxe plays for us again. Before the night was over, Jellybean Johnson played bass as well as the drums, St. Paul Peterson played keyboards as well as the bass and Susannah shook her money maker and turned the funkin’ crowd out! Eric Leeds had many great solos and I watched in awe as he destroyed us with his amazing saxophone playing.
Video from the show will be coming soon and perhaps in the comments section, you can let me know whether you’d like to see “High Fashion/Mutiny,” “The Screams of Passion” or “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Viewer’s choice! I can’t thank FDeluxe enough for such a great night and it will be one that I don’t forget any time soon!
See the set list after the jump.
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From the G Archives. The Family CD autographed by Susannah Melvoin and St. Paul Peterson.
This is very exciting news! The Family, a side project that Prince produced in 1985, has reunited. Apparently he didn’t want them using the name he created, so they said “fine, f–k you, you little hypocritical twerp” and have rechristened themselves as F Deluxe. The Family as well as F Deluxe is St. Paul Peterson, Susannah Melvoin, Eric Leeds, Jerome Benton and Jellybean Johnson. There’s no word on a release date for their album, but if you click here, you can get a free mp3 of their newest song: “@ 8.”
I was fortunate enough to see them live as part of Sheila E.’s Family Jamm a few years ago and age has been very kind to this funky band! They were every bit as tight as they were in 1985. I am VERY excited for this record and if they are reading this blog, PLEASE COME TO NEW YORK!!!!