Music: "Hot Pants," James Brown (1985)

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the scroll sez it was a rehearsal.

hardest working man in show bizness alright.


Remember somebody once wrote that James Brown’s music had a global appeal because you didn’t really need to understand the words to “get” what the song was about - HOT PANTS being a case in point.


Hot pants?

Yep. I want those pants.

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Good God, indeed.


It is too bad he’s a wife beating asshole.

I had the privilege of watching one of his 1985 shows from the front row. It was the most amazing show I’d ever seen, and not rivaled since.


JB had flaws (wife beater) but he was one of the greatest artists of my lifetime. If his young life hadn’t been so dysfunctional Im sure he would have been a better adult. We all have feet of clay but his could move to the funky beat.


Here’s something else good:

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I guess it is a question of separating the “art” from the “artist”, and, when is “too much” much too much? It is certainly a tricky point.

His cameo in Ski Party (singing while wearing Nordic ski sweater) is worth a look. The movie is pretty bad (even by beach movie standards), but it also has a great song by Lesley Gore and co-stars recently-deceased Yvonne Craig, and is worth watching despite the script. Gore and Craig have both been discussed in BB this year.

Jesus Christ.

He demanded that from his band members too. He fined them like crazy to keep them in line, and he supposedly went through 50 drummers! Life with him was crazy in other ways too:

James Brown’s most athletic feat may have been fining band members in mid-split while touring 335 days a year. (Miscues were costly when everything — including Brown himself — had to land on “the One,” the upbeat. As with the audience, the band had to give him their undivided attention at all times.) Penalties could be administered with a friendly $5 wave of the hand, or dealt with backstage later, when Brown was taking an intravenous sweat transfusion, or draining the fluid from his bloody knees. (Elastoviscosity is crucial when doing the James Brown every night, whether in Vietnam, Russia, or in the Georgialina boonies.) Keeping up with this guy’s life must’ve been exhausting, between all the burned bridges and infamous all-state car chases. All led by a man with a tight hold on his coiff, who once used his own urine for brake fluid so his band wouldn’t fly off the mountainside.


Oh, I love his music. He’s still a wife beating asshole though.


This is even better:

Almost makes up for the nastiness the way Tristan und Isolte almost makes up for Wagner being a horrible, horrible man.

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And a several state manhunt, if I recall?

I’d forgotten!

First of all: Smokin’
Probley one of the best shows I every worked, running a spotlight at the Richmond Civic Center.
Ranks up with the best show ever: The Ike & Tina Turner Revue Fillmore West 1969.
OKOkok… Jimi Hendrix at the Berkeley Greek, in 1968.
All the above.


I think he shot at
Police too?

So, what may be an entertaining story and what may just be “A great shame of Jason’s sense of humor”

When I was in college a few friends and I involved in various aspects of the student government and had discovered that if we created an on campus club, got like 8 members and held some “regular meetings” we’d get campus funding.

Long story short, when James Brown got arrested I thought it’d be hilarious to hold a Free James Brown rally on campus, with campus money.

I didn’t understand, at all, the severity and awfulness of what he was doing. I just liked James Brown’s music and thought the multistage manhunt was outrageous. I was 17 years old or so and had no idea.

Many of the other odd things we put campus funds to use on were not offensive. That wasn’t intended to be offensive but as an adult I can see where it was misplaced enthusiasm and unlike many, many other things I did that benefit the campus to this day – that wasn’t one of them.