Friday, December 29, 2006

Last performance for James Brown

I never got to see James Brown live (definitely my bad), but I very early on purchased his "Live at the Apollo" album -- yes, album -- recorded in 1962.

I also saw the 1964 T.A.M.I. movie, which -- as I recall -- showed a very frightened Mick Jagger backstage, worried about trying to follow Brown's kinetic act. Although it might just have easily been The Animals who were concerned. I'll have to watch again. By the way, the initials stood for Teenage Awards Music International, which I didn't know until I just looked it up, but it still doesn't make much sense.

In the 1960s, my Maryland high school was pretty evenly split between the "soul" and the "hippie" music factions. Both sides had merit, but the ones in the soul camp had a much easier time dancing.

For good or ill, Brown influenced Jagger, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen (who lovingly stole JB's show closer), Prince and Paul McCartney (just kidding on Sir Paul).

He had a lot of personal problems with substances and the law, but his music still stands.

And now Brown's last performance was to lie "in state" at that same Apollo theater in Harlem. What a way to go. -- MichaelK/TBPAC

1 comment:

Dominick F., Senior Bean Counter said...

Ironically, with the new Rocky installment (the critically acclaimed Rocky Balboa) in theaters at the same time James Brown moved on to the next plane, many will now get motivated to check out the rest of the Rocky stable.

Then they'll get to see Brown's great over-the-top performance of "Living in America" in Rocky IV, where Apollo Creed squared off against the Red Army’s Ivan Drago. I've always enjoyed Brown’s performance in that movie because it juxtaposed America's energy & exuberance & excesses with Soviet industrialized grimness.