–Ahhh, driving to the mall with your mother on a cricket-filled, starry summer night to the tune of “Slow Hand,” all the while knocking the cold ball of sugary goodness that was supposed to be the top of your ice cream cone on to your latest Donny and Marie-inspired halter top, wishing you had better heeded the prime lyrics of the song in question. (The seasoned adult in you also now realizes there is a joke in there regarding ironic frigidity, but that it is a tangent currently breast er…best left alone).
–Singing, “He’s so Shy” at the top of your lungs whilst envisaging your voice emanating from that of your circa-1980 “Dream Date Barbie” of her not-yet-partner-in-crime, “Rock Star Ken” (about whom you have secretly been berating yourself for now smelling like all manner of fruited berries, as you allowed him to lie and linger just a little too long–and at too close a proximity–to your Strawberry Shortcake Doll, just a hair South of the Purple Pie-Man—then left him out in the rain for that ironic hint of subtle mold); hence, the partial rationale behind his shyness, (you suppose) in all your ten-year-old wisdom. (You really just didn’t take care of your Ken doll is what it all boils down to…and you will probably make a HORRIBLE future girlfriend someday—just as an FYI…and really, you just suck, okay? You SUCK!)
–Giddily watching in anticipation as the record needle (enrobed in that of a plastic googley-eyed, yellow bird) of the Sesame Street Inspired, circa-1983, Little Bird 45 record player set descends upon the fab hit single “I’m so Excited” (all the while goofily wobbling to and fro amongst the vinyl grooves), as you and the 4-year-old, and 6-year-old Minnick boys you are baby-sitting prepare to hunker down for a night of Poin-tastic fun the likes of which you’ve never before been privy!
These things and more, are all the images a Gen-X Girl requires in order to reminisce and re-engage in all things amazingly Pointer!
And on the night of June 20th, said inner decade-year-old denizen, residing within the actual, physical 49-year-old avatar, met, for the first time, to engage and reminisce all that was Pointer as Donelle Dadigan, president and founder of The Hollywood Museum welcomed a new exhibit like no other: A Pointer Sister Ever After: 50 Years through the Eyes of Anita Pointer.
Boasting “50 years of iconic fashion” (and consisting of 1,000 items) as seen through the eyes of the Pointer Sisters, the featured costumes alone showcased more sequined charm, impending space age sensibilities (by way of the most fashion forward finesse), shoulder pad star-power, frill appeal, and feather boa action, than you could shake a stick at, much less anyone’s groove thang, let alone the Shakey Flat Blues!
Highlighting every musical genre from pop, to disco, jazz, R&B, blues, soul, funk, dance, country, and rock, revolving around each and every decade, reflecting the societal zeitgeist of the times, the display proposed just a hint of the manner in which politics have affected music throughout the decades, and vice versa!
According to exhibit architect Anita Pointer, “I kept almost everything I wore on stage through the years. If it weren’t for my granddaughter Roxie McKain, our Project Manager, all this would still be sitting in storage. It took her team along with our Creative Director, Melissa Simpson, about two years to catalog everything, and I am so proud of all the hard work we have accomplished– it’s a very exciting and fun exhibit, with lots of live videos, posters, jewelry, vintage merchandise– even a disco floor! It’s all there!”
Highlighting the likes of some key themes, bygone points, and historical figures involved in their career, the display was informative as well as visually enticing. Costume designer (of Broadway shows such as The Producers, Hairspray, Nine, Crazy for You, Grey Gardens, Young Frankenstein, Cinderella, Bullets Over Broadway, and On the Twentieth Century) William Ivey Long, resembling a sprightly Tom Hanks but copping double the whimsey, was highlighted handily. Costume designer Ret Turner, who created the “custom made gown worn by Anita Pointer at the 14th Annual Music Awards” was given nod quite nicely. And not only was the video for “Dare Me” played frequently on ambient TV screens mounted all throughout the museum, but a thorough examination behind the song’s somewhat feminist bent was explored. Penned by Nashville based songwriters Sam Lorber and Dave Innis, the synthpop jam was admittedly created with the Pointer sisters in mind as Innis is recorded to have said, “Sam Lorber and I… did try to put ourselves in a place of what a gal might be thinking…not specifically trying to be a Pointer Sister, but a song written from a female perspective, for sure. There are certain things that are more gender specific, and gender appropriate, certain things that a woman can say that a guy’s not going to be able to get away with saying.” All the while, we really don’t have to articulate that to the comely actor posing as the shirtless guy in red satin boxer shorts, over whom all the sisters stand, and yell-sing, as he lies languidly, albeit confusedly, on his post-exercise massage table (to speak nothing of his pre-Fabio-slightly-more-Mullet-Countenanced brother), while waxing intimidated, but intrigued in simultaneous fashion of the most sensual kind!
Engaging in cross dressing before it was even fashionable, June Pointer in particular, nails it in her double breasted suit copping an air of George Benson-smooth, via painted-on-mustache-panache, as she makes her presence known to all hairy-chested-shirtless pugilistic denizens the gym over, only to box with the best of them as she and her sisters revert back to that of socially commensurate dress as they exercise their feminine wiles all the while vaunting 80s dayglo styles:
Also included in the display, of note in particular, the artwork of Anita Pointer (as colorful and varied as all the costumes sported during the 50-year-span of her career) in the form of paintings, the most astounding characteristic of which: all look completely different form one another, as though all produced by a completely diverse hand! A decidedly international flavor to each follows suit, as some resemble vintage African Art by way of beautiful dancing ladies in colorful gowns, along with venerated portraits, to speak nothing of ancient Chinese silk screen as a naked lady stands in a field of red flowers, along with contemporary childhood whimsey in the form of simple butterflies amidst grass and ferns.
The night commenced with all the pomp and circumstance of a most auspicious college graduation and descended into that of the most festive nature once all speeches were given and kudos were conferred.
Hollywood Museum President and Founder Donelle Dadigan kicked off the proceedings as follows:
“We are just so thrilled to have been chosen to display this incredible collection at The Hollywood Museum and present it to the public- I’ve been a fan of The Pointer Sisters for years. We have a very exciting and fun presentation planned out for this unique experience… we are not holding anything back!”
Dadigan then continued by reading some kind words of the greatest of grand dames the music industry over, commencing with a letter from Mary Wilson of the Supremes: “To my sisters in music, I am so very proud to see that you have joined me in the preservation of our musical legacy through our precious costumes. As artists, we are more than just music. We are music in motion, as well as visual masterpieces, as our outfits attest to. I wish I were there to celebrate with you (both-Anita and Bonnie Pointer). However, I am in my hometown of Detroit doing Rhythm and Blues [Awards]. As the host for this year, I have added The Pointer Sisters for next year’s inductions!” – adding honor to accolade!!!
Dionne Warwick herself had the following written words to impart: “Hi my ladies. So sorry I couldn’t be with you to celebrate this awesome accomplishment [of your careers]. You know how much I appreciate you and your talent. [What wonderful phenomes you both are].
The LA Beat was lucky enough to talk with special guest, venerable LA Playwright and theatre director Ted Lange, best known as Isaac from The Love Boat, prior to all the ceremony and splendor, “I actually went to high school with the Pointer Sisters. We did a play together…[the Scottish play]… I did Banquo, she did Lady M. Is that amazing…? I wrote an episode for The Pointer Sisters on The Love Boat and we did He’s so Shy and that’s kinda like my favorite song.”
Lange’s full speech of veneration echoing the above sentiments, was like no other!:
Little did Ted know that despite the dorky memories enumerated at the article’s outset, the He’s so Shy episode of The Love Boat was truly at the top of the LA Beat’s forever coveted list of pop culture recollections: Dysfunctional Barbie Doll berried/buried strife be damned!!!
Brother of Anita and Bonnie Pointer Professor Vince Pointer, gave the following touching and empowering speech of the most future-forward, and feminist kind:
“My parents…taught us the value of love. They taught us the value of sharing. They taught us the value of community. They taught us the value of giving and Anita was [like]…the Mother Theresa of our family [and never said ‘no’]. Come on Anita, say ‘no’.” (slight pause as Anita pauses at the no-tion to much fond laughter from the crowd). “See, she doesn’t know how… This exhibition is a project of Anita’s prophetic vision… I mean I didn’t save my working clothes for 50 years… This exhibition, these costumes by some of the world’s finest fashion designers symbolizes and illuminates a 50 year career… To me the Pointer sisters are Superheroes, and we need more superheroes… Exceptional women who are inspiring and aspirational… Museums like the Hollywood Museum change the way millions of people see women and which women they see! What’s next for Anita? Well, she and I are completing a final draft of a book we’ve been working on for about seven years, and the book will be published in 2020 [regarding] the Pointer Sisters and the Pointer Family: A fairy tale based upon a song that Anita wrote — one country song that won the first Grammy they ever got, and it was recorded by Elvis Presley. He said it was the story of his life!”
Fun Fact: The Pointer Sisters grew up with staunchly religious parents in the fantastical form of Reverend Elton Pointer and Sarah Pointer who refused to let them so much as listen to the latest in modern day music in deference to gospel, as blues and rock n’ roll were dubbed ‘Devil’s Music’ until youngest sister June (and ostensibly most rebellious) sauntered across their Heavenly threshold brandishing Elvis Presley’s latest 45: All Shook Up! But all made sense to the Local Church of God in Christ Parent-archy when it was discovered that side B of said single featured Crying in the Chapel. From there, all manner of exceptions were made, and the rest as they say, is history!
“’I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it,’” intoned 13th District Council Member Mitch O’Farrell in about as bodacious a verbal cadence as any ever sung. “’I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!’ This is so fun… so incredible and you know what Professor Pointer just said…about the Pointer family values, it comes across in their music. It’s all about love, and sharing, and happiness, and joy, and it’s all about letting people know that they must treat each other with respect, treat women with respect, and their music just speaks volumes… (Then to the Anita and Bonnie Pointer) You have a star on the Walk of Fame just outside here. You have a Hollywood Chamber Lifetime Achievement Award this year which we just did it about a month ago now. So, for the first time, the world is going to see your wonderful collection curated: Over 40-50 years of Pointer Sisters History. I think it’s going to be a real big draw! I want to thank you Bonnie Pointer, and Anita Pointer for sharing your incredible talents with the world… And I am super honored to recognize you on this very special day!”
A humbled Anita Pointer had only this to say in order to officially kick off the evening’s events:
“When we started out, people focused more on our wardrobe than our music…when they were interviewing us, all they wanted to talk to us about was our clothes, and we said, ‘Hey, we can sing too…’ Such an amazing career…just walking through the collection brings me to tears, it really does… So many memories, so many adventures and I just want to thank you all for appreciating The Pointer Sisters… So please go an enjoy the exhibit on the second floor and tell all your friends to come! We’ll be here all summer!”
And the hype was not in vein as the second floor of the Hollywood Museum boomed and pulsated like a sequin-lined, space-agey-shoulder-pad-studded Disco the likes of which Tony Manero only wished he could have unscrupulously won a dance contest against even the most adept of precisely Pointerish strut-meisters!
Right adjacent to the elevator, a diminutive dance floor, and real world sized disco ball flanked a full wall screen featuring nearly every Pointer Sisters video you ever remember loving.
“Okay so I’m sure nobody finds this funny but me, but ‘what’s your pointiest pointer Sister Moment,’” the LA Beat would inquire of all ambient exhibit spectators the floor over.
“I remember their hit Yes We Can Can from 1973 when I was twelve years old, and I’ve been a fan ever since,” boldly proclaimed City Councilman from the 13th District, Mitch O’Farrell. “I love the fact that [The Pointer Sisters] have such an enduring career, and I think it’s because they’ve been really consistent in sharing their incredible talents; but also with their spirit, their spirit of love, support, and respect for one another… that’s the message that comes through all their songs, and just a passion for good living!”
The LA Beat couldn’t help but not stifle the urge to edify O’Farrell on the favored song du jour released just ten years, Can Can’s Junior (circa 1983/84) in the form of Automatic alluding to all things human cyborg-robotic. (Though technically and supposedly released in 1984, the robot-themed Pointer Sisters song had been decidedly recorded by then, (i.e. conceived) and would have been on the launchpad to techno-tango-appeal the world over in due time!) While not as specifically prescient as the legendary phrase, “Yes we can (can),” a bit of credit for divination was still due particularly in light of the fact that 1983/84 was quite a cyber-symbolic year on many-a-level.
Fun, (but oft overlooked) Fact: In keeping with the signs and general zeitgeist of the times, aspiring to all things robotic: The Pointer Sisters’ Automatic, Styx’s Mr. Roboto, and Michael Sembello’s (of Flashdance’s, Maniac fame) Automatic Man all came out in, or around the same year: 1983/84. And to match all lyrics to the inventions and innovations of the time, it’s almost no accident, irrespective of the George Orwell novel revolving around the second year’s title, that something reflective was going on somewhere in the ether:
–In 1983 Apple’s Lisa was released, named after Steve Jobs’ voluntarily estranged baby girl of the same name.
–In 1983 Programmer Jaron Lanier first coined the term “virtual reality”.
–In 1983 The Cabbage Patch Kids were released in order that they may bring joy to children the world over and transport parents to the brink of perdition the last fortnight-and-a-half before Christmas, (or would that be adult Krampus(?) (and Kay-B Toy and Hobby Employees’ Festivus…?)
–In January of 1984, both the Apple Computer and its primary Orwellian commercial were released during the 1984 Winter Olympics.
–The Cabbage Patch Kids would still not decrease in popularity (but God only knows why?!?) for some time thereafter, causing some of the more societally fringey conspiracy theorists to muse upon the notion that an unassuming, bald-headed, googley-eyed anti-human coup might be nigh, (once all evil would be exalted…)
(1984 would also be the same year, in keeping with the fortunate perk of a Birth Certificate adorning all Baby Cabbage Patch Children’s feet, that the neighbor boy down the street, having reasoned that the death certificate might be found underneath their head, decapitated his sister’s newest edition only to be proven wrong, simultaneously punctuated by his sibling’s harried scream behind her closed bedroom door at the grisly discovery.)
Councilman Tom LaBonge could only echo everyone’s enthusiasm, and then some, (as is his customary influence) as he half mused, ¾ exclaimed regarding the notion of a favored Pointer song: “I love ‘em all! I love ‘em all! It’s just real music. It gets your body off the chair, and: Dance, dance, dance!”
The top Pointer Sisters’ Musical twin sentiment’ to Tom Labonge’s proclamation (only wearing very nice lipstick and a difference of everything else) came from Kate Linder of The Young and the Restless, who could only echo the sentiment, “All of their music was so good! I just like all their songs. They were all so great!”
Singer-who-knows-whereof-she-speaks-Roslyn Kind voiced similar sentiments as she proclaimed, “I loved everything they did,” but still snuck in a few notes of I’m so excited as a not-so-subliminal nod her most superlative associations in all things Pointer.
West Side Story’s George Chakiris rounded out the trio of *All song enthusiasm in PS Passion* (short for Pointer Sisters, that is) as he proclaimed, “The Pointer Sisters are so fantastic! They’re beautiful to look at…the way they’re dressed, the way they move…everything!”
Pointer Sisters’ publicist Harlan Boll professed a love of a similar kind but declared all the same: Jump for my Love to be one of his favorites. The LA Beat then also had to edify both Boll and Chakiris after Automatic/vs. Mr. Roboto, (because it just can’t let such things go – It probably should, but it can’t…No, really, it CAN’T): Automatic no doubt as a nod to all those cosmic jumps to which they referred!
“Well I have several songs ‘cause they’re all good, Automatic, Jump, Neutron Dance and of course, I’m so Excited… But I actually sang Fire at the Cinegrill when I first moved here in…the mid-90s, and I did this whole thing (sings ‘ridin’ in your car, I turn on the radio’)… But apparently they didn’t write that song but it was a hit of theirs,” declared golden voiced college mom—Mr. Koothrapali of The Big Bang Theory, Alice Amter.
And the EXCITE didn’t stop there, as celebs the city over were still singing the exhibit’s praises at the opening’s close!!!
George Chakiris’ Heart to Heart-felt sentiment was still beating double time as he declared:
“I was one of the lucky people who got to meet the Pointer Sisters at the Hollywood Museum opening of their exhibition. It was truly fantastic! They look and sound amazing as always. I was so honored to meet them!!! The exhibition included costumes they wore in their iconic appearances with multi video screens of them in performance. No one or group has ever been better! I encourage all to get to this wonderful exhibit. It’s really great stuff. The costumes alone are worth the visit. Beautifully designed. It’s all amazingly contemporary. So, I encourage everyone to get to the Hollywood Museum for this exhibit. It is fun and entertaining and uplifting. The Pointer Sisters are just amazing performers. You will be so glad you got there!!! I sure was!!!”
Though unable to pinpoint or choose a specific favorite song, this exhibit was the only one Kate Linder would select revolving around anything and everything Pointer!:
“The Pointer Sisters exhibit is one of the best I have ever seen! They are definitely iconic. Their music and their wardrobe stills hold up today! This is definitely a must see!”
And when you’ve got world class musicians and composers on your side, you know you have scaled the height of superlativity:
According to Grammy and Emmy Award winning Composer, Charles Fox, in part most famous for penning the Wonder Woman theme itself: “The HOLLYWOOD Museum is showcasing a wonderful new exhibit of the legendary Pointer Sisters. You will be humming along with them and their joyous records when you see this outstanding collection.”
And when style presents itself as your not so-second banana of the first kind, it’s really saying something when fashion designer Jorge del Busto chimes in as such: “Growing up in Argentina, the Pointer Sisters were as big there as they are here in the United States. I am thrilled to be here tonight to see them honored.”
And lastly, when a noted comedienne sings your praises sporting one of her signature catch phrases (the comedian’s version of lyrics) you know you’ve done something right just as Judy Tenuta would point out, engaging in a brief departure from her customary Judy-istic beliefs to that of Pointilism: “I am so excited about the Pointer Sister Exhibit! The room was brimming with their fantastically fun costumes! It was special for me because I worked with the Pointer Sisters at a gay Pride Celebration back in the 90s. They are Iconic, super talented, kind ladies always ready to laugh! It could Happen!”
The Pointer Sisters Ever After Exhibit: A POINTER SISTER “EVER AFTER” 50YRS THROUGH THE EYES OF ANITA POINTER, will be on display on the entire second floor of the Hollywood Museum, until the summer’s end! Moreover this particular exhibit features the EVER AFTER Gift Shop housed right in the downstairs of The Hollywood Museum sporting custom designed jewelry, handbags, tee shirts, hats and collectible keepsakes and more!
For more information on The Hollywood Museum, please visit:
Wow, that was an epic article, and I love the way it’s been formatted, with the video clips and photos interspresed. This is a masterpiece.
OMG, thank you Ivor! And as you probably can tell, it totally brought out the childish gid-factor in yours truly i.e. the giddiness! Woo hoo! 🙂 😀 🙂 And definitely, thanks again!