|I was sitting on a rich, Corinthian leather couch
at the residence of my dear friend, Ricardo Montalban. The year was 1957.
It was July. It was steamy. It was hot. The air was stale. The Brazilians
were bored with the imported sounds from overseas. Young lovers were spending
their nights on the town in soup kitchens for lack of anything better
to do. Old men cried in their caldo verde when someone turned on a radio.
The streets of Ipanema and Copacabana were becoming barren. We get a call
from Jorge, the manager at Sonya and Harvey Cohen's famed Beachcomber
Casino and Resort in Ipanema. Bar sales were down 70 percent, and the
customers were leaving in droves.
When Ricardo heard of this desperate situation we left immediately for the club. We walked into the Copa de Cocoa Room. Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim are there chain-smoking cigarettes in the corner. A young Carlos Santana was working as a dishwasher at the time. Jorge greets me and Ricardo at the door. He's pulling his hair out, yelling "Algo nova! Something new, please!" The music was driving him crazy. When young Bud E. masterfully made his way to the stage, picking up a set of bongos, and instructing the guitar player to gently pluck the strings and put the guitar pick down. We immediately locked in to a rhythm, that the Brazilians could only describe as "nova", or new. Jorge says to me, "Bud E., you're the boss." Wait a minute, I said to myself, boss, nova. So I invented it right there. Bossa Nova.
| In 1962, I was working the lounge at Cape Canaveral
and working as a consultant to NASA. An urgent phone call came from the
White House, and I left immediately. When I arrived at the Oval Office,
Jack hit me with the news. "The astronauts are complaining about the Muzak
that is being piped into the Mercury space capsule. They are becoming
despondent, clinically depressed." I said "Mr. President, problem solved."
I left that evening on Air Force One for the west coast.
With the help of my dear friends from the Ames Research Center, we worked day and night for three straight weeks in the laboratory, until the right formula emerged. A dry vodka martini, a Winston, and a good blonde. These were the key ingredients needed to get in to their subconscious, to help them focus on their mission at hand. By mixing percolating rhythms with surreal counterpoint; the influence of the atom with the beat of the bongo; sparkling orchestrations with a twist of lemon and a dash of bitters. And on that historic day, space age lounge music was launched. A week later, the astronauts were swingin' in their gravity boots, the first trip to the Moon just a few years away. To this day, a velvet portrait of yours truly hangs in the fourier of the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institute.
| In 1972 I started something that instantly changed
the lives of millions of people. It really did. Interestingly enough,
I was in New York City just last week giving a lecture on this very subject.
I was at the Julliard School of Music doing a series of lectures on all
of the musical trends I've created over the years. The first lecture of
the series was Disco 101. We had over 600 people in the auditorium listening
intently to yours truly. And in the middle of it a young man jumps up
and raises his hand as says "Mr. Luv, we know it was you that created
the disco beat, but would you share with us exactly how it happened?"
I was traveling through Europe with Mikey and Markey doing a series of concerts. Paris, France was the first stop on the trip. Whenever I travel I bring with me my king-size Vibra Massage Mattress with the Magic Fingers. You've got to get a good night's sleep when you're out on the road. Markey, God bless his soul, carried that bed up sixteen flights of stairs to my suite. Unwittingly, he plugs it in, forgetting that in Europe the electricity is different. It's totally different. So we go off to do our show, and I must say, Engelbert Humperdinck did a great job opening for us that night. I come back to the hotel at 2am. I can't wait to get into that bed. I open the door, reach in my pocket, pull out four quarters, slip them in the slot, and folks, that bed was jumping around the room like a Mexican jumping bean. Making this hideous noise ... boom shhh boom shhh boom shhh ...
That beat! That beat from the bed! I started dancing to the beat. Then I ran over to the grand piano in the corner and started writing songs. I knew something important was about to happen. And that's when disco was born!