Monday, December 25, 2006
Goodbye to the Godfather..
I'm sure many of you have heard the news by now.. James Brown, Soul Brother Number One, The Godfather of Soul, The Hardest Working Man In Show Business and truly the Original Disco Man had passed away early this morning of Pneumonia.. If it weren't for James, there would be no disco, there would be no hip-hop and no funk. Simply put, there is no overestimating the man's influence on popular music today. As naive as it may seem, I never thought I'd see the death of James Brown. One of those legendary figures who, despite whatever setbacks he experienced, seemed nearly as robust and indestructible as his own legacy. Towards the end of 2004, when I heard that James was taking his "Funkin' Canada" tour through Calgary, I snapped up a ticket for myself as soon as I could. After the death of Rick James a few months before, I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to see a legend like James perform live and in person. I had the money, the show was right at my school, at the University of Calgary's MacEwan Hall; essentially, I had absolutely no excuse. I remember the date, December 8, 2004, one of the tightest shows I ever had the priviledge of going to. The show was standing room only, thankfully I had come early enough to get my ass right up front. From that vantage point, you couldn't help but see, feel and hear the discipline he commanded, not only of his band, but of himself to pull off a show like that. I remember the best part of the show, towards the end with his blistering, extended jam of "Sex Machine." For the most part I have a tendency to be fairly restrained, even at concerts, but he even managed to get my stiff-ass self chanting "git on up!".. He was no longer able to do his famous splits, yet there was no diminishing his powerful, albeit diminutive presence; every little hot stepping dance move and gutteral yelp commanding the approval of a crowd full of students, kids, parents - of all ages, spanning at least several generations.
Personal shortcomings notwithstanding, that's the way I'll always remember James Brown. Rest in peace J.B.
One last thing: In case anyone's interested, I'll no doubt be sure to have some disco J.B. up on the blog in the coming days..
JAMES BROWN @ THE ALL MUSIC GUIDE
JAMES BROWN @ WIKIPEDIA
THE GAUNTLET - CONCERT REVIEW - JAMES BROWN BREACHES 5TH DIMENSIONAL SPACE TO FUNK UP CALGARY (DECEMBER 9, 2004)
NPR LIVE CONCERT SERIES - JAMES BROWN IN CONCERT
THE STATE - JAMES BROWN HAS ALWAYS DONE THINGS HIS WAY (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
CNN.COM - JAMES BROWN HOSPITALIZED FOR PNEUMONIA (DECEMBER 24, 2006)
CNN.COM - JAMES BROWN: REMEMBERED (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
BBC NEWS - SOUL STAR JAMES BROWN DIES AT 73 (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
BBC NEWS - THE INFLUENCE OF SOUL 'GODFATHER' (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
BBC NEWS - JAMES BROWN: YOUR MEMORIES (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
CANADA.COM - LEGENDARY SINGER, JAMES BROWN, THE 'GODFATHER OF SOUL,' DIES AT 73 (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
DAVEY D's HIP-HOP BLOG - HIP-HOP LOSES IT'S GODFATHER JAMES BROWN (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
THE HUFFINGTON POST - WHAT JAMES BROWN TOLD ME IN PERSON 20 YEARS AGO (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
THE HUFFINGTON POST - JAMES BROWN R.I.P. (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
THE HUFFINGTON POST - JAMES BROWN IN THE WITNESS CHAIR C. 1980 (DECEMBER 25, 2006)
CATEGORIES: IN MEMORIAM.., ARTICLES & RAMBLINGS