KC comes to town this Sunday to Play That Funky Music like the white boy he is. (OK, so Wild Cherry did that song, but if the platform shoe fits...) He brings with him the Sunshine Band and a slew of 1970s moves and grooves. And just so that this is the complete disco package, he shares the bill with the Village People.
These days, the disco king plays many of his greatest hits as well as some relatively new material. His latest album, I'll Be There for You, came out in 1998. KC ventured into some uncharted waters by putting a Latin spin on two of the tracks, so don't be alarmed if he sounds like Ricky Martin for a minute. It will quickly pass. Besides, every number is sure to get at least one Travolta-esque move out of you.
And you and Disco Stu won't be alone. KC & the Sunshine Band have sold more than 100 million records and won three Grammy Awards. His music continues to pop up in movies (Deuce Bigalow, Forrest Gump), commercials (Burger King, Budweiser), and remixes (Fat Boy Slim, Jesse Jaymes), and his bass lines and other elements have been sampled by everyone from Snoop Dogg to White Zombie.
Still, KC feels somewhat out of place.
"The world has changed since the '70s, but I don't know if I've changed much," he says. "I've grown older and wiser, I'd imagine, but it's now a very different world, and it's sometimes difficult to deal with." So much so that by the early 1990s, KC had developed an impressive drug habit that began interfering with his shows.
"I'd miss the flights a lot and then end up arriving on a private plane ten minutes before the show," he says. "I'd be half-crocked during the show and would think the show was great, but my manager had another opinion." In 1995, he checked in for rehab and checked out addiction-free. "At least I make the flights now," he avers.
He likes a lot of today's music ("I like rap, but it's not always musical") but, unsurprisingly, favors the music of his own Golden Age. "Computers have taken the heart and soul out of the music. I'm not sure -- what music will this generation have to latch onto?" Perhaps that's why retro has been so strong lately, KC.
Nearly 30 years after he formed the Sunshine Band in Miami with Richard Finch, Harry Wayne Casey -- "KC" for short -- is still going strong. The Opa-locka native and his 15-man Sunshine Band, named after the Sunshine State, have done as many as 12 gigs a month in 2002.
"This is all pretty amazing to me still," he says. "It's been a wild ride, and nobody can really explain as to why, when, or how we hit it; it just happened. I enjoy our success very much, and I'm really lucky to be able to do what I love doing."
So bring along your glitter ball and vinyl records, and do a little dance, make a little love, and get down Sunday night.