Learning that Smokey has been a vegan for two and a half years, I asked him what I should eat with with his wines, to which he said, “People like the reds and the whites with meat and fish, but I would have a salad.”
Gouda cheese was provided for the wine sampling, for which the Riesling was fully complimentary. However, it was the Cabernet Sauvignon that made me long for Mom’s macaroni sauce or the eggplant parmigiana meal from Nick’s [in Deerfield Beach].
His looks, energy and vitality belie the fact that Smokey Robinson is 78 years old. Besides his Smokey Robinson Vineyards, the man still performs a two and a half hour show with a North American Tour planned through August. His timeless music has generated an audience both youth and old. When asked about his “Timeless” appeal, Smokey modestly answered, “It is a blessing, man, living a life doing what I love.”
As both a Motown singer and songwriter, the secret about Smokey’s music is inclusion that surpasses generations. A Smokey Robinson concert is a family event that grandparents, parents and children can attend and have a good time together.
There is something “old school” about Smokey that is endearing. At the press junket, my colleagues took pictures and recorded interviews with their cell phones. As I prepared my equipment, I mentioned to Smokey that I missed my old tape recorder. Smokey replied back with a teachable moment, “Tape is reliable. I wish I could get into the Motown vault. I’ve got so much unreleased stuff in there by artists that I recorded or myself. I wish I could get in there!”
Even though Motown is under new ownership, I can see Smokey finding a way to get into the vault. All he needs to bring to the front desk is some gouda cheese, macaroni sauce with a bottle of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, respectively!