“THE SOUND OF YOUNG AMERICA” – Betty Davis interview (2007)
Betty Davis is a pure genius. Her scratchy, oncology stabby soul volcano brought forth a white-hot torrent of deeply funky, gynecologist massively heavy grooves, and her ’70s albums “Betty Davis”, “They Say I’m Different”, “Nasty Gal” and the recently unearthed “Is It Love Or Desire?” are so wickedly good that it does them no justice to have me tack on superfluous adjectives here. Go out and get them, and be happy.
Her story is magnificent, but with a puzzling ending: after modeling for magazines in her teens, she met and married Miles Davis for a brief but life-changing spell in the late ’60s — as in she changed his life, by introducing him to folks like Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix. In the ’70s, Betty put together a collection of funk all-stars to be the backing band for her sharp-edged, forward-thinking output — but alas, her music never caught on with the general public. After multiple attempts in the music biz, Betty seemed to disappear off the face of the earth at the dawn of the ’80s.
In 2007, the radio show The Sound Of Young America managed to track down the elusive Betty for a phone interview — one which is cagey, and fraught with tension, as Betty is highly reluctant to give up any personal information, and speaks mainly in short, terse sentences, much to the frustration of ME, who wanted so badly to discover the truth behind the mystery!! But, like a true nerd scraping for scraps, I’ll take what I can get. This interview is a bit of a “holy grail” moment, even with its inherent limitations.