Here's Looking at You
Tuesday, May 11, 1999, 4:11 AM

I sincerely hope you have or are enjoying Behind the Groove, my unofficial tribute to Lady Tee on the Web. Especially since I am probably an unlikely candidate for being the webmaster of this page. I have only seen Teena Marie live in concert 2 times. I am not an "old-school" fan. (I'm only 23, but have been a fan for a long time--if you count begging your mom to buy It Must Be Magic for you at age 6.) What I'm trying to say is that I can't claim to be the #1 Teena fan in all the universe, but I am a devoted fan who has followed, enjoyed, and loved her music, her messages, her spirit for a long time. And I found it appalling that there was so little on the web about her.

That's why I created this site. In my desire to learn more about Lady Tee, I realized that on the Internet I couldn't. While there are about 10 fan sites dedicated to a group like Marilyn Manson, there wasn't one solid site that I could find all about Teena. So in doing this site, not only am I learning more about her and her music, but I get to help others learn too, others who, like me, were looking for Teena on the web. Besides, every good artist deserves a good fan page. And, well, Teena is great.

And since I am not a Teena Marie encyclopedia, there may be gaps in the information. I don't know everything about Teena and you may know something that I don't. In that event, I would be so grateful if you could help with the missing information. That's what makes the Internet wonderful--that people share information with each other for the greater good of teaching the world about some issue or feeling or, in our case, musical artist. I hope that you share in my desire to spread the word about Teena--if you do contribute to the page, you will be credited for your work.

Also in the same token, since I am a huge Teena fan in spirit, but not as much in knowledge, if you have a detailed Teena question and ask me, I'm probably not going to know it. I would suggest posting your question on the IMusic bulletin board for Teena. There is a link to it from the Links page. And while I'd recommend that you go there first before e-mailing me with questions on Teena's life, career, whatever, please know that I still want you to e-mail me if you like. I would love to hear from everybody and encourage you to e-mail me with your comments about the site and about Teena. I look forward to chatting with and learning from all of you.

And now a bit about me. I'm an African-American female in my early 20s, currently a student. I've contributed to the web in 2 other ways: with the One Nation P-Funk Page, one of the Net's largest Parliament-Funkadelic pages (I delegated my responsibilities and stopped working on that page so much to create this one.), and my Soul Sister's Funk Hut, which is the home of Soul Power, the rare groove radio show that I do for WWOZ 90.7 FM in New Orleans, and the Rare Groove Audio Pages. My latest creation that I'd love for you to visit is Bold Soul Sisters: the Unsung Heroines of Funk, Soul, Disco, & Rare Groove, featuring 70s and 80s female artists that you can't find on the web--people like Sister Sledge, Sylvia, Linda Cliford, the Emotions, and the Mary Jane Girls. Eventually, I'd also like to create pages on Roy Ayers, A Taste of Honey, and who knows who else! :-D

I love so many different types of music, from funk to classic punk to Sugarhill-era hip hop, but Teena Marie is way up on the list. And I'm sure that everyone has their own "Teena discovery" story. I remember being about 13 years old and reading an article in Ebony about white artists who performed "black music." And Teena was one of those artists. When I read it, I was in shock. I'd spent all my life thinking Teena was some sort of high-yellow, and she was actually white. "Excuse me? White? White people don't sing with that much soul!" I thought to myself. But, man, was I wrong. The shock turned out to be more like a gasp of wonder. And at that point, I loved Teena Marie even more because she was not afraid to be herself. And that is a trait that makes Teena's music so appealing to folks, that she is not afraid to become intensely personal, and share herself with us through her art, her music.

Not to mention that Teena Marie has one of the strongest, most vibrant, passionate, feverish, intense, warm, and healing, and soulful voices I've ever heard. Not to mention that her poetry and lyrics are therapeutic, soothing, inspiring, deep, introspective, and, to many, life-saving. Not to mention that she produces and writes some of the funkiest, beautiful, stirring, and ethereal melodies that any musician has created . . . ever.

Yes, I'm one of those fans that believes Teena can do no wrong. She is, as one lady told me at a concert, an "honorary sister." Teena has been blessed with some of the most loyal fans in the planet, fans that have supported her with a career longevity of 20+ years. I am proud to be one of them and am especially proud that I can share my pride with other fans all over the world in this way.

I hope this site is a resource to you. Thanks for visiting and telling other fans this site is here. Here's looking at you. Here's looking at Lady Tee.

With love,

Melissa A. Weber
Webmistress, Behind the Groove

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