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New Album Opens "Doorway" For Living Colour

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, October 2, 2009

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Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid is proud of the music on “The Chair in the Doorway,” the hard rock quartet’s first new album in five years.

But he’s even happier, he says, “that the title of the album survived.”

“This is the first record that we had the title first,” explains Reid, 51, who cofounded Living Colour in 1983 and also was a guiding force of New York’s Black Rock Coalition during the ’80s. He credits “The Chair in the Doorway” to singer Corey Glover, who used it as an expression to describe any obstacle that was getting in the way of the group’s musical progress.

“Corey Glover is our very own Yogi Berra,” Reid explains. “He just says these bon mots and we’re all kind of like, ‘What does that mean?’

“At a certain point, we were getting together and writing songs ... and having just a little bit rough of a time. One of the things Corey said is, ‘The problem is, the chair in the doorway;’ it’s kind of like his version of the elephant in the room or the 300-pound gorilla in the room ... that we’re ignoring. It’s a wholly original construction. I hadn’t heard that phrase before, and it seized my imagination.”

And, Reid adds, it gave the album a loose kind of concept.

“I wanted it to kind of explore the notion of opposition, obstacles — selfplaced rather than institutionally placed,” he says. “ ‘The Chair in the Doorway’ was considered a working title, and there were several points where it was challenged, even right up to mastering. But it made it through, and it was a saving grace, because we hadn’t come up with a fallback position at all!”

Living Colour and Second Skyn perform Friday (Oct. 2) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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