Am I Famous Yet? Memoir of a Working-Class Rock Star
By Ivan "Funkboy" Bodley
“Am I Famous Yet?” chronicles the life of a working musician who has worked closely with and gotten to know renowned rock stars. He has practically become a rock star himself but without all of the annoying trappings of actual notoriety or fortune. Follow this sideman’s hilariously heartbreaking search for fame, financial stability, and the ever-elusive quest for emotional peace of mind.
Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley is a bass player and music director to the stars. He has performed with 50 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, appeared in 12 Broadway shows, and is a Blues Hall of Fame inductee.
The chapter in which I discuss the value of a trademark to a touring act and what it's like to play for a group that has no original members.
Cover photo: Charlie Thomas of The Drifters, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer.
The chapter in which I recount being wildly disrespected by a promoter who was a stumbling drunk and a public embarrassment. When I complained about the mistreatment to my bandleader, instead of sympathy I got fired!
The chapter in which I detail some epic failures to balance out the successes recounted in the last chapter. I've been fired from bar gigs, recording sessions, and theatre gigs. There is a glimmer of hope, however, as I was able to learn a new skill after one of these brutal dismissals.
Photo: me in a Broadway pit with my bow, something I never thought I would say!
A few kind words from Crispin Cioe from the Uptown Horns, renowned music director, saxophonist, composer, and songwriter who has played and recorded with James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Solomon Burke, Tom Waits, Ray Charles, and the Ohio Players, among others.
Photo: Crispin Cioe, Richard Belzer, and Ivan at the Kennedy Center for the Mark Twain prize PBS broadcast featuring music by Cracked Ice led by Crispin.
The chapter in which I detail getting my first gigs in NYC with classic soul, rhythm & blues, and rock and roll stars that felt like real success. I even played Shea Stadium! Well, sort of.
Cover photo: warming up in Carnegie Hall.
The chapter in which I discuss the difference between being able to function in a band versus being able to play something flashy by yourself at a trade show booth. Also, I play an F# that temporarily stops time.
The chapter in which I discuss the actual metrics for and resulting pitfalls of the concept and desirability of fame. Fame - "the condition
of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievements.” Be careful what you wish for!
The episode in which I quit my lucrative music business career for a chance at love requiring me to move overseas. It was a grand adventure and romantic idea that ran off into the ditch almost immediately.
The episode where I am asked repeatedly in broken English about my personal proclivities in a customs holding room at the Milan airport by a member of the uniformed Italian carabinieri gendarmerie. Oh, also, my personal life disintegrates before my eyes on that tour.
This episode details my first and second times working with Jon "Bowzer" Bauman from Sha-Na-Na. I discover that I am not "Hershey Happy." I also fear for my life playing a gig in the basement of a New Jersey "legitimate businessman."
As Bowzer says: "Grease for Peace!"
This episode chronicle the early years, answering the questions: How did I get here? Where did I come from? The music bug first bites me somewhere in my high school years. It turns out that my entire career was the result of the search for free vinyl records.
Solomon Burke was the self-proclaimed King of Rock & Soul. At nearly 500 pounds by the end of his life and as the father of 14 daughters and 7 sons, he was a character of epic proportions. I got to witness some of his legendary shenanigans first-hand.
The last episode described what happens when everything goes exactly right. This episode illustrates just how tenuous success is by detailing the very next set on the same stage by a different band. The result was both beautiful and terrible to behold.
Most anecdotes are about when things go haywire. This chapter gives an example of what happens when everything works out as planned. At the Tokyo Jazz Festival in front of 5,000 screaming fans, broadcast live on national television, everything went swimmingly.
Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley is a bass player and music director to the stars. He has performed with 50 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and appeared in 12 Broadway shows. He has been music director for Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Shirelles, The Crystals, The Tokens and has performed with Sting, Elvis Costello, Temptations, Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Bo Diddley, Buster Poindexter, Uptown Horns, Paul Rodgers, Wynonna Judd, and David Foster.
Appearances include: Carnegie Hall (featured soloist with the Rock Concerto), Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize (with Cracked Ice led by Crispin Cioe), Obama Inaugural Ball featured in the Barry Levinson documentary “Poliwood,” Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Today Show, Emeril Live, Imus in the Morning, Charlie Rose, Live with Regis & Kelly, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Istanbul State Symphony, and Israel Symphony Orchestras.
Ivan is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Berklee College of Music and an inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame. To date, he has traveled to 29 countries around the world and played to audiences of up to 82,000 people in performance settings ranging from jazz duos to 150-member symphony orchestras.
Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Ivan has resided and worked in: New Orleans, Los Angeles, London, Boston, and is now based in New York City. Ivan has a BA in Psychology from Tulane University, where he was Musical Director of college radio station WTUL, New Orleans. He was also a publicist with Epic Records/Sony Music.
More information is available at www.funkboy.net.
Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley uses Moxy and Warrior basses, Hartke amplification, DR strings, PRA Audio wireless, and Tech 21, Digitech and Line 6 signal processors. Ivan eats only Little Debbie snack cakes.