Friday, July 31, 2009

"Cruiser" Amber Noel Wilkie

Photobucket
Some of you may not know, but I have a sister named Amber who my parents affectionately call "Cruiser" for reasons unknown to all of us. She is without a doubt incredibly talented...I have fond memories of hearing her play piano at a level most people strive for their whole lives. She somehow makes many, many things look easy. The thing about Amber is she knows what's up. She is a product of the same environment as I am and has naturally inherited the soulful, authentic, down to earth way of thinking and creating. She is one of my very best friends and the first person to introduce me to Super Mario Bros. Amber is keeping the tradition alive with her actions as well, having helped rally our hometown of Spartanburg into finally building a real skate park. She also has two sons, Greyson and Wade, who will certainly gain inspiration from our family's traditions and insight. Below is a pic of my sister and Cassidy Caldwell in front of the MTB bus. Cassidy was the daughter of Toy Caldwell, long time family friend and legendary lead guitar player for MTB. Photobucket

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?...

Photobucket

Lately I've been hittin the studio workin on some music with these two guys. Wicz aka "Pimp Ninja" and Doc produce and arrange some real dope music. They will be helping with the production of my next mixtape "Earth Girls are Easy" due out New Years 2010. Me and Wicz did a track with Ticky Diamonds (Def Jam) called "How you Like them Apples?" where I sang the Hook. Later this week I was back at Wicz studio workin on a new song about crazy groupies where I also sang a hook. Big ups to the boys at Out the Box Music Group.
Below are the tracks we did. Keep checkin back for more heat real soon!

"Them Apples" - Pimp Ninja & Ticky Diamonds ft. Lee Wilkie

"She Wants to Kill Me!" - Pimp Ninja ft. Lee Wilkie

Friday, July 24, 2009

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR TALKIN"...

The Legendary Tommy Caldwell's Heirloom Boots with a ghostly past.




So, as I mentioned in earlier entries, my father Frank was able to play bass in the Marshall Tucker Band because tragically original bass player and lifetime friend Tommy Caldwell was killed in an automobile crash in 1980. Years later, after my Dad had been in the band an old friend of Tommy's approached my father. It was a truck driver who my Pops had never met but must have been from our area because he knew Tommy pretty well. He told my Dad that Tommy had given him a pair of cowboy boots years ago that he wore on stage around the country. He went on to say that while driving his truck on a Pauline, South Carolina back road Tommy came to him. I dont know whether it was a ghost or just a presence he felt, either way he told the trucker to give the boots to "Wilks". After a few years of thinking about who "Wilks" might be the truck driver felt it was obviously my father. So, Frank kept them in his possession for over 20 years before he gave them to me and told me the story. I believe they hold some residual charisma and soul from the man who played his heart out in em'. Below is a pic of Tommy in his prime.

PASSIN' THE TORCH...to the left hand side perhaps?



Back in 2004 I moved from Atlanta to Brooklyn. At the time I was trying to find my niche for sure. Drawn to the city by a fashion job given to me by my now good friend Adam Burtnieks, I worked doing graphics for a third party licensing company. Being that I was traditionally trained in animation I only knew fashion in its most elementary forms. I did have style which was not the issue... I needed to be in this realm before I would EVER begin to appreciate the subtle differences of fit and form that make people look and feel the way they want to. So, I bounced around the urban design world at places like Akademiks & Ecko Unltd watching and learning about the way to produce and deliver a product that was purely brand motivated. I thought to myself as I waded through the endless suggestions from salespeople and ignorant presidents that I could probably make more of an impact if I took off and had a complete thought myself. My gusto neglected to inform me of how much REAL work was involved with starting a brand. Now, after living in NY for nearly 5 years I have a crew with whom I produce "The Loots" using every ounce of our hearts. Pictured below are those dirt bags i call homies..lol...



You can cop the brand new LOOTS at www.karmaloop.com/THELOOTS



In Keeping with the Vampioneer tradition "THE LOOTS" produces traditionally hot threads for all ya'll. So the torch is being passed right in front of your eyes ya dig? Check out the lookbooks too at www.TheLoots.com.

FASHION AIN'T FOR SALE...

George McCorkle (R.I.P.) was guitar player for Marshall Tucker and a good family friend. While in MTB he sponsored a racing team. Below is a relic from those days that any L.A. vintage tee shop would fetch hundreds of dollars for. It's a good thing history aint for sale either...

Photobucket

While diggin through some of my favorite tees I realized that some are older than I am. Before my Pops went out with Marshall Tucker he was in a killer band called "Garfeel Ruff". I have been using this as my AIM screen name for a while and people always ask what it means. Below is a tee from that band that is at least over 25 years old.

Photobucket

This "Tuckerized" tour raglan is from the year i was born 27 years ago. I can still wear all three of these bad boys...

Photobucket

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A SHORT HISTORY.

Photobucket


This is an article published in August of 1982 in Carolina Lifestyle Magazine. It was done during the time my Father, Frank Wilkie, joined MTB. It pretty much explains the band dynamic after the death of the original bass player and lifetime friend Tommy Caldwell. My Dad joined the band because Tommy had passed away...Fate is incredibly hard to understand...Why we have to lose to gain is one of life's cruel mysteries...The photo at the top was taken of me and my family during the interview. I am 2 months old with a onesie that says "Little F.L."





Photobucket

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

LET'S BEGIN...

Photobucket

Welcome to Vampioneers. This is a group of artists, musicians, and mavericks from many realms that have come together through a common desire to preserve and promote dying traditions that have shaped the creative environments that we occupy. My name is Lee Wilkie, the son of two incredibly talented and interesting people. One being my father, Frank Wilkie, the legendary bass player from "The Marshall Tucker Band". I learned from watching my Dad at an early age what passion was, and what peoples perception of a "dreamer" would do to others. It's funny really, because we're all people...But somehow while we exist we seek out things that are bigger than ourselves to prove some point to the universe. Frank touched the sky early in life and now, as his son i was seeing him recieve respect and admiration from those he had inspired and collaborated with. It was, and still is magical to see people react to my Dad. He has had many a record deal, and lived through some of the most intense decades steady doing his thing, and I am incredibly lucky to have him as a father. In a small high school in Spartanburg, South Carolina my Dad met a girl named Neva.
My mother Neva is also very talented and blessed. She is an unmatched lyricist and was winner of the 1988 "Billboard Music" Songwriting competition. My Mom is also very spiritually sensitive and has put me in touch with things that are unseen for my entire life. Her understanding of the forces of good and evil, or "Dark vs. Light" as she has always called it, was pure speculation until I naturally grew older and began to be more discerning of people and their intentions. The idiosyncrasies of the spritual world and how it functions have complimented my way of thinking and translate well into creative arenas like art and music.

Photobucket

We all have people that have inspired us or influenced us... For me, It's all the old authentic and soulful musicians, artists, and individuals my Mom and Dad had around them. In order to be great, you need to know what legends do...and I thank them for that. This blog and it's contributions are an ode to the legends...every single one.