Jimmie Walker: Catching Up With Mister Dynamite


WHITMORE LAKE, MI  - You gotta keep your eyes open when you go out. I didn’t even see this advertised anywhere but there he was on the poster. It read, “Three Shows – Jimmie Walker !!” at Captain Joe’s Seafood House in Whitmore Lake, Michigan. I had ducked into Captain Joe’s to grab some dinner and watch the Detroit Tiger game on my way to Ann Arbor. The tickets were a steal too for just $15 bucks so I decided that I was going right then and there.

I was looking forward to seeing this TV icon from the 1970’s hit show, “Good Times”.  Brother Walker is a legend and I have been a fan of his since I was a kid. I got home and tapped out a nice message on his website. I was looking forward to seeing his show and told him so. I hit send and then I went on with my busy day. When it came to show time I was surprised to see that my party table reservation was right next to the stage !! – DYNOMITE  !!!

Jimmie was hot, fast and fall down hilarious. He played that night to a packed house.  His jokes came flying at you pretty fast and his observations were really funny. I was so busy laughing at him and his style of delivery that I forgot to noticed he was working clean. My ribs were hurting.  Jimmie Walker’s career spans 40+ years and mentioned that Hollywood is running out of ideas so they were bringing back The Spice Girls. Only this time Betty White is going to join them as, “Old Spice”.  He also had great observations on this new generation, smart phone technology, raising kids, and even the recent race problems in America.

I got a big kick out of Jimmie doing his Obama bit. He mentions a big “Reorientation” where all the white people will report to the cotton fields. I saw him do this on David Letterman a couple of times and thought it was pretty funny. Then he zinged me again by pulling out his T-shirts for sale and blurting out that it was made from cotton picked by white people. Too much man….. what a guy.

I wasn’t watching the time and before I knew it the show was coming to a close. The time just flew by and I personally enjoyed every minute of it. At the end of the show I made sure I grabbed his official tour T-shirt.  Jimmie even signed it for me after the show.

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“A VISUAL ASSAULT: REM Dissected Scene By Scene

The bottom video was shot in 1989 and is the closest thing I could find to what the original show opener was like in 1987. This was a departure for REM as much as it was for the audience. Just when you thought you knew the band they changed on you in a new and exciting way. It would take some time to recognize them once again. In the case of, “Document” the album had to grow on me. I noticed this sort of thing happening with the Smiths too.

There was one sequence in the video, not shown in this edition, when the words – “Want” and “Need” come on screen. The words flipped interchangeably and morphed into a strobe that said, “Need Weed” and I remember the crowd going a bit wild over that. This was Ann Arbor after all. There is some talk about the set list being accurate. I do not believe, “Orange Crush” or “Pop Song 89” was performed in 1987. Those songs were released after REM went to Warner Brothers. “Document” was the last album created under the I.R.S. Records label.

There is another version of, “The One I Love” done on the live tour. Stipe starts out with a slow intro and for a minute I thought the whole song would be done slow. It then kicks into the tempo we all know. The stage was also bathed in an eerie red light. How this song got perceived as a love song I’ll never know. It was about a sick love obsession.

Over the years I hear the young kids go, “Oh who cares about that stuff, REM was long before my time.” Trust me, you wish you were there. This show was nothing but historic.

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