Photo courtesy of Frank Inman.
Exclusive Interview With Model and Song Writer
Frank Inman! AKA BOOTIE!
Thanks for doing the interview, Frank.
Give the readers some background information about yourself.
My pleasure, Fernando. It’s been a while since my last interview when I was at the height of my career. I’ve been interested in music ever since I was a child. I had step-brothers and and sisters, the oldest was 19 at the time I was born. I listened to what they played. We had a housekeeper that would come by to clean and babysit me. She was always playing Motown, R&B, oldies, rock, etc. My friends and my first girlfriend were of color. We listened to music together all the time. People are people. I was not raised to see color. I was hooked on music and the way it made me feel from then on.
I wrote my first song when I was 12 years old. As I got older, I had put together a band. We did covers of Styx, Queen, Prince, Foreigner, etc. I had a tenor falsetto vocal range. I met the rock band, KISS’ manager, Bill Aucoin, in 1979. I was 17. We hit it off right away. I was always interested in what was going on behind the scenes, who was the engineer, producer, sound guy, manager, etc. My life changed after meeting him. He asked if I would like to go on the road with him and KISS for 3 or 4 months. I said, “YES!” Bill sent a private plane to pick me up at the airport. We traveled the east coast: NYC MSG! ;79. I had my own bodyguard to watch me, and a limo driver. I stayed with Bill at his apartment in NYC. Amazing! He took me to see Gilda Radner on Broadway, Prince at the Ritz… We kept in touch until he passed away. He gave me freedom, peace, and love. I was being abused at home and he took me away from that. Thank God! My father was a very unhappy person and he would hit me for no reason.
At 17, I left home and moved with a friend. At 18, I started my modeling career in Virginia Beach, VA from ‘82 to ‘85. I modeled for Alexander Julian (Print Ads.) After I finished my contract, I moved to Atlanta and started my passion: Music!
My family never understood my modeling or music career. I went and auditioned and they didn’t even know. I just drove up when I found out and got the job on the spot! There’s so much more, hopefully I will finish my book about my life in the music business.
When did you start your career as a musician and music producer?
I started when I moved to Atlanta, GA in 1985-1988. I worked for One Stop Distribution, did promotions, and then got a job as a talent scout for various companies. I would listen to cassettes that artists would send in and there would be a , “yes or no,” pile. Then, I was asked to do background vocals and opportunities started to open up. I was submitting lyrics and co-producing and so on…
What genre do you consider your work to be?
I like all types on music. I try to fuse a little of all depending on the track and artist. Basically, I work in R&B, dance, and funk.
Who are your major influences?
Prince and Parliament Funkadelic, all rock bands, R&B classics. As a child, Aretha Franklin and James Brown. All types of music, I picked up something from all of them.
What kind of music do you listen to today?
Prince! All artists! All types. R&B, soul, rock.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a book about my life in the music world, and also on the road with KISS.
What do you think has changed in the music world in recent years?
There are no real musicians anymore. It’s easier to get your music out now. It’s sad. Everything is computerized with repetitive lyrics that say nothing. All the artists I loved have passed on or are too old. I could go on…
Can you tell us what celebrities and bands you have worked with?
Vanessa Williams, Debbie Gibson, Jody Watley, Milli Vanilli, Boy George, Chaka Khan, The Family Stand.
What inspired you in general?
I loved music! It was peace and freedom for me. To have my own music heard or to work with an artist, to help them start over and let go.
When you are not touring, what do you like to do for fun?
I haven’t toured in a while. I’ve been doing promotions for artists and writing. I like to be turned on to different music, relax, hang with my dog. I’m a homebody.
What role does the artist have today?
Wow, that’s a loaded question. I can’t answer for them…
What do you dislike about the music world?
The new music, that’s not music. Just repeated lyrics and the same beat.
What makes you angry?
People who are late, liars, players. Just plain nasty and hurtful for no reason. That says a lot about the person. I surround myself with people that bring positive energy to me.
Is there a town or a place in the world that you consider inspiring?
NYC. But, I can write a song anywhere. I draw inspiration from experiences in my life.
Can you give the readers your website and Facebook addresses so they can check you out?
Anything you would like to add?
Thank you again, Fernando, for your interest in me and putting me back out there again! You rock! Also, a thank you to the guys at MF Gallery. Personal thank you’s and love to: -David Berube for love and support during our relationship. David is an amazing artist in all genres and to the missionary work that he was involved in, “Building Bridges,” in Thailand. And to our Parsons Jack Russell (four-legged friend) from Dublin, Ireland that came into our lives in October 1999, Tildon was magic. He passed away on June 20, 2014. All my love, forever. -Gary Chimkin, Cyndi Talbert Baucom, Terry Otto, Terry Cedar, Robert Butler, Sandra St. Victor, Chris Jones, Grace Jones, Bill Aucoin (RIP) Hattie Jones, my mother Evelyn Holyfield (RIP - May 20, 2013) my sisters, Pat and Edna - for their love and support, to Mr. Franklin (my new four-legged friend,) David and Dawn Joseph, Trish Holt, Gary Kiss, Joe Fiesta, Nikki Sinclaire - thank you so much for your book and your love, Kiki Hawkins, Keith Fluitt, Janice Robinson - thank you so much for your love. I love you always. Kim Syms, all of my friends in New York, and all of my friends in other countries. All of my love and positive energy to you. Thank you. Love one another.
Proofread and edited by: Taylor Robbins (I ROCK!) Please be aware of depression and anxiety. Love and protect our animals. Reach out and help. You might need it one day. Live a positive life, love is love, be true to yourself, love God! -B
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