Music

Episode 61: Pink Floyd-Race-Rock Music

In this conversation on race, Durga McBroom shares her experience as a Black woman in Rock music. “Because of racist stereotypes in the US, it was difficult to get work in Rock music. There was the belief that all Black women should be in R&B. I wanted to be like Jimi Hendrix or Donna Summer. I moved to the UK where I became a backing vocalist for Pink Floyd.”

Key Topics:

• Growing up in an  upper middle class Black family in Bel Air. Being stopped by police with her sister in their Mercedes because the cop didn’t believe that two Black women could have a car like that.

• Why it was easier  to be a Black woman in Rock in Great Britain than in the US

• Why Durga McBroom says that while these is racism in Europe it’s not as  entrenched as in the US

• How she is heartened by the response of so many white people today who demonstrate for Black Lives Matter

• Her willingness to engage with people who disagree with her and the importance of getting out of the echo chamber on  only one way to think

• What it was like to work with Pink Floyd

Listen to her new album with her sister, Lorelei McBroom  entitled Black Floyd

Check out their website, www.McBroomSisters.com

Durga McBroom was born on October 16, 1962, in Los AngelesCalifornia. After working as an actress, dancer and singer in the United States, she and her sister Lorelei McBroom worked with Pink Floyd as backing vocalists. She went on to have a long stint with them, being the only backing vocalist to appear consistently on all of their shows starting from the November 1987 concert at Omni Arena of A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour up to the final concert of The Division Bell Tour in October 1994. She also performed on their appearance at the 1990 Knebworth festival and has provided vocals for the Pink Floyd live albums Delicate Sound of Thunder, and Pulse, and the Pink Floyd studio albums The Division Bell, and The Endless River, as well as David Gilmour‘s 2001 solo tour.

Around 1989, McBroom formed the band Blue Pearl with record producer Youth, singing, playing some keyboards and co-writing all of their material. As part of Blue Pearl, she had several hit songs in the early 1990s, including “Naked in the Rain” (UK #4 in July 1990),[1] “Little Brother” (UK #31 in October 1990),[1] and a cover version of Kate Bush‘s “Running Up That Hill“, all taken from the album Naked, released in 1990 on the Big Life label. Subsequent singles included “(Can You) Feel the Passion” (UK #14 in January 1992).[1]

She provided backing vocals to the song “Don’t Wait That Long” featured on the James album Seven released in 1992. She also sang a duet on “Mother Dawn” with  Billy Idol for his Cyberpunk album, a self-penned song that was originally released as a Blue Pearl single. In addition, she sang backing vocals on several other songs on Cyberpunk, including a featured performance on “Heroin”.

In addition to her music career, McBroom performed as an actress in the movies Flashdance , The Rosebud Beach Hotel, the episode “Lullabye” of the TV show “Hunter” (with Gary Sinise), and several other less notable appearances. She also appears in many videos, including “California Girls”, “Yankee Rose” and “Just A Gigolo” for David Lee Roth, “Would I Lie To You” for Eurythmics, “Day In, Day Out” for David Bowie, and “When I Think Of You” for Janet Jackson.

In April 2010, she started to work with the Argentinian band “The End Pink Floyd” show in Buenos Aires, including some appearances with Guy Pratt and Jon Carin. In October 2011, McBroom joined her sister Lorelei to sing “The Great Gig in the Sky” in Anaheim, California with the Australian Pink Floyd Show.[2] 2017 saw her reunite with Gary Wallis, Scott Page, and Claudia Fontaine in several Italian shows. 2019 promises even more shows with her old band mates.

June 2019 kicks off with the first-ever live performances of Blue Pearl featuring both Durga AND Youth in anticipation of the long-awaited release of their new album.

She currently tours the world singing with various bands, and has recorded a second Blue Pearl album with Youth. Another album is currently in the works with her sister Lorelei (produced by Dave Kerzner), including some cover songs as well as original material. She and her sister Lorelei are also featured on Steve Hackett‘s latest album At the Edge of Light, being featured on the chart-topping single “Underground Railroad”.

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 38: Not All Privilege is the Same


 

All privilege is not the same, nor does all privilege provide equitable access to luxury. There is the economic privilege that comes from having financial resources, wealth and position, and then there is the privilege that comes from being white in America. Racism can negate every other privilege when you’re a person of color in the US. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, what you own or how many employees work for you.

Luis Martin, a brown-skinned Mexican American man, and his Dominican husband have enjoyed a lifestyle of economic privilege that few can afford. Luis is a well-known artist in New York whose work has been displayed in galleries across the world.

However, when you’re a person of color, economic privilege has its limits to where you can go. When you’re out in the world, you can still be targeted for your race and experience the inhumanity and hate of racism.

When Luis and his husband bought first-class airline tickets on Delta airlines, they assumed they could access all the benefits that came with those first-class tickets. However, when they tried to enter the first-class lounge-like every other first-class passenger, they were barred from entering and told that people going to Mexico were not allowed.

In this episode, Luis Martin shares his experiences as an artist, a brown-skinned Mexican-American and the role that art and culture play in building consciousness around conversations on race, racism, and justice and equality for everyone.

Luis Martin is an artist working in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in Los Angeles California, Martin moved to NYC as a teenager. He received a Bachelor’s in Fine Art from The Fashion Institute of Technology. He has shown nationally and internationally in solo shows and group shows in Europe and Latin America. As a Curator, he founded and directed Parenthesis Art Space in Bushwick Brooklyn. Martin has worked with over 100 artists and curating shows that traveled to the Zhou B art center in Chicago and to Miami during Art Basel. Martin has collaborated with brands like Wix, Mount Gay Rum, and Braven, to create art-centric programming. Martin has worked as an educator with a museum in LA and NY like MOCA, LACMA, El Museo del Barrio and MoMA.
In 2018 he was named a rising star of the Other Art Fair by Brooklyn Magazine.

 

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