Filed under: Universal Togetherness Band
While combing through twenty odd hours of Chicago Party footage, the most jaw-dropping moment did not come as a result of a masked contortionist on roller skates or a break-dancing Jerry Lewis impersonator. It was not the children dressed as adults, adults dressed as robots, the plumes of dry ice, or seizure-inducing special effects. The true eureka moment manifested itself during Episode 21, when four adults in tasseled satin jumpsuits took to the fiberglass stage of the CopHerBox II to mime the magnificent, “Pull Up.”
While their Chicago Party peers had presented fine-tuned, high-gloss exercises in modern R&B, the Universal Togetherness Band defied categorization. With an electric guitar slung over one shoulder, the frontman sang-shouted the uplifting words to their slack-funk curiosity. The heaving pulse of the track was too much. During an interview with Chicago Party host Willie Woods, the frontman identified himself as Andre Gibson, who I located and contacted immediately. Did he have a suitable master, of “Pull Up”? Turns out he had mountains of magnetic tape, much of which shall see the light of day through NUM 057: Universal Togetherness Band.
We will continue to peel back the layers of this enigmatic group in the weeks to come. Vevo has premiered a remarkable music video by the organization, produced by Gibson’s wife in 1984 as part of her course requirements for a BA in Radio and Television Broadcasting from Chicago State University. “More Than Enough” is available now on iTunes and soon on a 45 featuring the polyrhythmic B-side “Saturday Night.”
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