You Can Huff & Puff, But You Can’t Blow These Brick Houses Down

Brick houses beautifully built to last: Lisa Ann and Patti Ann.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Though several members of The Commodores actually wrote the music to Brick House, it was a woman who actually penned the lyrics.  Commodore William King, who played trumpet, guitar and percussion among other instruments, took the music home to his wife, Shirley Hanna-King, one night, and she actually wrote the lyrics to the group’s hit song.

Billboard Magazine has named Brick House one of “The 30 Best Funk Songs Ever,” and since 1977, it’s become a deejay staple at parties worldwide.  I for one am not surprised it was written by a woman as it has stood the test of time and breaks things down in a rather rudimentary yet somewhat evolved manner.

It is a widely known fact that Lisa Ann’s signature song is Brick House.  Deejays far and wide will call her name when that very first riff hits the airways alerting all within earshot that it’s happening.  And you best get out of the way, because if we’re together, it’s really happening, and indeed, we are “mighty, mighty.”  A force to be reckoned with, both on and off the dance floor, or so we’ve been told.  I have questioned that from time to time, but at this point in my life, I choose to not only own it, but embrace it whole heartedly.  And yes, Lisa Ann feels exactly the same way.

The song says, “She’s a brick house.”  A decent analogy, but together, we’re more like the Transco Tower.  I know, it’s called the Williams Tower now, but it will always be the Transco Tower to me.  Imposing, standing head and shoulders above the rest, steely – and we really have no problem with that.  But we’re not good at “lettin’ it all hang out.”  That’s just not our modus operandi.  First of all, there’s too much of us to let anything hang out.  Secondly, we will promptly and without haste remove anything that is dangling, hanging or otherwise out of place.  I vividly recall a meeting with a client where Lisa Ann reached across the table and without hesitation removed a booger from my nose.  I didn’t miss a beat.  “Got it?” I queried.  “You’re good,” she replied.  And the client didn’t even have time to react as we forged ahead without hesitation.  We simply do not allow things to hang out.

We are “well put together – everybody knows.”  That we’ll own.  And “built like an Amazon?”  It is what it is.

The “ain’t holding nothing back” part has gotten us both in trouble over the years. I believe I do possess somewhat of a filter.  As Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that.”  And we both have to confess to “shaking it down” over the years when it comes to particular individuals or situations.

Brick House is definitely Lisa Ann’s anthem, but I admit, I see a couple of interesting descriptors that apply to me.  But I always felt my personal battle cry was sung by the Queen of Soul.  It’s all I’m asking for from my tribe – and exactly what I have earned.  And Lord knows I have the wrinkles and gray hair to prove it.  Just a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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