Jessica Golich and Amy Cooper of Acronym, both part of the Wake Up! Music team, rolled into town Saturday night from Detroit. Amy was ready to tape and create the music video for Matt Warren’s single, “Get On Up!” featuring Ms. Janis McGee. The ladies stayed at Pepper Gomez’ aka MyMy Lady G’s space in Chicago after eating some tummy-filling Mexican food at Adobo Grill on the Near North side topped off by the Chef’s specialty dessert – chocolate tamal. We are talking such a chocolaty and unforgettable dessert. A great way to start the trip to Chicago and meet each other for the first time ever in the flesh after working together virtually for months.
The next morning was the shoot and luck appeared to be changing for the worse. As the three ladies prepared to get some coffee, they found that they were trapped in their neighbourhood by police barricades set up for the Chicago marathon. Pepper, who knew the alleys, drove in the rain and navigated them close enough to get coffee, parked in a tow zone no less and back again to pick up the equipment. With no signs of the runners stopping and the continuing rain to boot, as the clock neared the time to leave, they realised that they would have to Uber it. The closest they could get to a ride was a block away. That meant walking in the rain with the equipment and huddling under a bus shelter as the rain continued and ride after ride was changed because no one wanted to risk driving near the marathon route. To add some spice to the challenges, as they were walking Pepper asked the police officer if they could grab their ride at the bus shelter. The Officer said, “No!” With that, Pepper’s face changed to tearful and the Officer quickly said, “Just kidding – of course you can.” “Not funny” was all that Pepper could think!
Despite being stuck on lower Wacker Drive for what felt like an eternity, Jessica, Amy and MyMy Pepper walked into Mike Macharello’s club, Angel’s Palace, before everyone else did. Mike was setting up a beautiful spread of food and soon entered the all-star cast: Matt Warren, the star of the album; Janis McGee, the Diva; Mike “Champagne” Anderson, beautiful and amazing guitar player; Charlie Morrison (any relation to Jim? Pepper wants to know), the cute, young drummer; Annette Nieves, award-winning photographer; Marcus “Mixx” Shannon, WUM videographer and DJ; Jorge Suarez, DJ and of Master Mix 6 fame; Steve Krakow, of Plastic Crimewave, music writer and critic; Sara Gossett, lady DJ and artist; TeRhonda McGee, organizer and dancer; Lisa Puckett, dancer and great vibes and Tamaris Thomas’ support team.
Mike’s club, Angel’s Palace, had everything that MyMy wanted for the shoot–two stages, several rooms, two bars and an intimate seating area. The shoot was soon in full swing under the easy direction and talent of videographer, Amy Cooper. Meanwhile, Annette Nieves just walked through the people and snapped away at all the action. Matt Warren was jamming on stage as Sara Gossett showed off her spinning technique in the bar sitting room area. Jan McGee continued to amaze as she put her heart and soul into the crowd from the stage. Charlie was showing off his drumming and getting everyone in the dance mood. The dancers, TeRhonda, Marcus, Jorge and Lisa were loving the uplifting groove of “Get On Up!” Pepper Gomez on was on background vocals and she had a blast dancing next to Mike “Champagne” Anderson who was doing his guitar thing. Little did Mike know that he was also acting as Pepper’s ballet barre as Pepper danced in 7 inch heels which tried to steal the show. You try dancing in 7 inch heals for a few hours and tell me you don’t need someone to lean on! At the end of the shoot, Andrew Kitchen, of AK Film Productions and award-winning TV show, “Attack of the Boogie” appeared.
Everyone left just the way My Pepper likes it – fed, exercised, full of art, paid and happy.
Here are a couple of Annette’s pictures. Amazing shots of all the action during the filming. With WUM’s continuing commitment to youth and the addition of our cute 8-year-old, Izzy D, from Scotland via the WUM UK team and little 5-year-old, J Rock to the footage, the final production will no doubt entertain and fully put you in the mood to “Get On Up!”
The “Get On Up” video will premiere on October the ‘19th’ as Matt Warren’s album, “Music Is My Life” is released and continues to inspire and move us to dance!