When I co-wrote the song “Boogie Wonderland” in 1978 every other record that came out had the word “boogie” in it to capitalize on the Disco craze that had wrapped itself around the world tighter than a spandex miniskirt. I spent hours with Jon Lind, eventual writer of such hits as Madonna’s “Crazy” and Vanessa Williams’ “Save The Best For Last”, discussing how we could use the word “boogie” in a song without using it as a synonym for ‘dance’ as trillions of composers before us already had.

I had just seen the movie “Looking For Mr. Goodbar” in which Diane Keaton goes to the disco every night, picks up men and brings them home, eventually stumbling on a serial killer. The state of mind of a club-goer who gyrates their brains out on a dance floor, escaping for a precious few hours their otherwise dysfunctional life is the state of mind that to us was Boogie Wonderland, a wondrous and temporary headspace where all is well and life is bouncing to a happy beat until the record ends and life deflates back into its more depressed state.

Over the years, the term “Boogie Wonderland” mutated to “Willis Wonderland”. Not by me but by friends and almost any writer who wrote about me and attempted to describe my living quarters and lifestyle. But as any good writer knows, one must be judicious about how often one uses these monikers. What starts out as descriptively hip ends up tragically trite. Dare I say “King Of Pop”? So I’m very careful about how many “Wonderlands” I drop.

So imagine my surprise a couple of days ago when I received an invitation from a company whose work I like and who, from time to time, represents my art inviting me to a “Winter Boogie Wonderland” roller skating party. That would be like me calling an event of mine “Allee’s World Of Wonder” (their name). What are people thinking?! And why on earth would you send me an invitation when you used my title?

I know, I know. What you hope and pray for as an artist is to create something so catchy and unforgettable that it becomes a lexicon in the culture. In that respect I am eternally grateful to be borrowed from. But word to yo mama, if you’re borrowing someone else’s creation at least take the time to edit your mailing list.

That’s like when, in seeking songs for the movie “Beverly Hills Cop”, the music supervisor sent me a copy of my own song, “Neutron Dance”, instructing that this was the song one should emulate – translation: rip off – when submitting songs for the movie. I bitched at first, boycotting the stampede of writers who rushed to steal the beat and spirit of ‘Neutron Dance”. Only to call up my co-writer, Danny Sembello, and tell him we were being stupid by not ripping ourselves off. Who better to do that?! And way better to have a song in a hit soundtrack that you would eventually win a Grammy for than to remain pissed off that your creation was used as a blueprint on the way to someone else’s wealth. No time for the “Neutron Dance” story to be written here but point is stop soaking in your own stew and take some action!

So I emailed my folks at World Of Wonder to express my dismay that I wasn’t at least asked if I minded that “Boogie Wonderland” was being co-opted for their own use. MUCH to their credit they immediately offered to change the name and design new invitations. I said a simple credit would do. This arrived the next day:

Duly credited at the bottom this makes me very happy to be borrowed from. This made me even happier:

Songwriters are so often overlooked. We’re the faceless creators of the hits that singers and producers get the lionshare of attention for. We’re the people who never get paid when their songs are part of movies that made zillions in video and DVD sales. We’re the folks who rarely get paid at all anymore these days as people have universally decided that music is in the public domain and less deserving of compensation than a pair of underpants or a fishing lure or any other product someone made. Performers have ticket sales and tee-shirts to grab the cash from. SAG members have a Union. Songwriters just get fucked.

So I want to thank World Of Wonder for having a conscience and being responsible for their borrowing. You have more than made up for the transgression. Perhaps you’ll be having a party next “September” and need a good title? “I’ll Be There For You” then as well.

Anyone who knows me knows I love reality tv. I am SO not ashamed to admit that. Just like I wasn’t ashamed to admit I LOVED the internet in 1991 when everyone around me thought it was dorky and useless. I like reality. I’ve dedicated my life to trying to live the best one I can.

I love reality shows about creative process like Project Runway and Top Chef. But bottom feeders like “I Love New York” seriously steal my heart. I loved loved LOVED that show and its star. And I loved loved LOVED two contestants on it even more, Chance and Real, the two brothers who came in 2nd and 3rd on Season 1.

Soft spoken Real and firecracker Chance were fascinating because even as as they were vying for the heart of a lunatic the love and respect between them was always apparent. And they were hysterical. But trust me, any time one of them brought up their band, Stallionaires, there wasn’t a brain cell in my head that thought it would be anything more than ok.

I live for combining hi and lo culture. I have no interest in the middle, the safe zone where mediocre talent whose of-the-moment work clogs pop culture like sludge from the Exxon Valdese. I love to take the very top levels of art, music, technology and design where style and innovation live and jam them together with what’s happening at the bottom, where passion, guts and a bizarre take on art rule. Many people think reality tv falls into the lo category. Maybe that’s why I love it. And maybe that’s why I jumped at the chance to meet Chance and Real when my friend, Steve Lindsay, who I met in 1985 when he asked me to co-write the Dance Fever theme, told me he was managing them.

I would have written with Stallionaires if they were the worst band in the world just to meet them. But guess what, they’re FANTASTIC! As is brother #3, Love, who joins them on their spin-off ‘Real Chance At Love’ that debuts on VH-1 in November.

I haven’t been this happy with collaborators in a long time. Not only are they just as rough and tumble, spontaneous and untrained – i.e. fearless – as I am, they are incredibly musical, hooky and full of spirit to boot. And interested in news ways of doing everything – from the music itself to the mediums it will live on. And they’re very, very fast. No nudging notes around on a grid until everything snaps into place as stiff as a corpse. It’s not about precision; it’s all feel all the time, just the way I like it.  And we’re all indie, which means no pansy ass decisions by producers or entertainment conglomerates to dictate our fate. We live or die by our own sword.

And then there’s this. When Love, Chance and Real were 11, 12 and 13 they were discovered by Paulino DeCosta, the percussion maestro of Earth Wind & Fire, the band that discovered me when I wasn’t much older than Stallionaires are now. My obsession with percussion came from watching Paulino. They’re equally obsessed with percussion because of him.

I wish I could leak the record we just finished, “Does She Love Me?”, but it’s the first single and theme song to their VH-1 series so I have to play by the rules and wait til the show airs. It’s an eternally happy song like “September”, my first Earth Wind & Fire hit. You’re in a good mood from the downbeat and you can feel the writers’ joy in every beat.

I know some people won’t understand how I went from The Color Purple to this reality universe. But for Bubbles & Stallionaires it’s all about people being all they can be and experiencing genuine joy as they do it. It’s the same basic story.

I’m not the type who stays on a ship that sails the same course every time it sets out to sea. I get bored, I fall asleep and I’m outta there. Thank you, Stallionaires, for slipping me a big, fat happy pill because I’m way onboard.