Smokey Robinson 'very blessed'

I told people on Facebook: What do you want me to ask Smokey Robinson? I asked. He answered. (Robinson sings Saturday at Terrible's in Primm.)

QUESTION: Did you write any songs at Motown you wish you kept for yourself?

ANSWER: No. When I wrote the songs, I tailored them for the artist. ... People say, "Don't you wish you had sang 'My Girl' yourself?" Well no, I don't. If (The Temptations) had not been in my life -- I may not have ever written "My Girl."

Q: Did you write any songs at Motown that you didn't get credit for?

A: Never. ... If you wrote it, you got credit.

Q: Why were you so blessed with songwriting, when other people aren't? Was it genetics, environment or what?

A: I grew up in a house of music. I heard everything from the blues to gospel, to jazz, to classical -- all day, every day. So I got a great dose of music from the time I could hear.

Q: Have you had any near-death experiences on stage or tour buses?

A: I've fallen off the stage a couple of times, but it wasn't that serious, fortunately. It was dark, and I stepped, and I thought I was still on the stage, but I wasn't. I fell down into the pit!

Fortunately, there was a net down at the bottom of the pit. That's happened a couple of times, man. One time, there was no net! But the stage wasn't that high. You have to get up and go on singing.

Q: Why are the biggest legends, like you and Paul McCartney, always so nice to talk to?

A: I'm so very, very blessed. I get to live the life that I absolutely thought was my impossible dream as a child.

God has allowed me to do this. ... I'm not going to trip on "Smokey Robinson" and think I'm better than anybody, because if it wasn't for the cabdriver having 10 of my albums, who would I be?


TODAY: Jay-Z appears at Tao. Bruno Mars sings at Bank. Skrillex DJs at Surrender.

SATURDAY: DJs at Encore Beach Club, then Saturday night at XS.

SUNDAY: Pete Tong and Sidney Samson DJ at Encore Beach Club; the BBC will be recording a radio documentary there.

For a full lineup, see my blog.

Doug Elfman's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Contact him at He blogs at