Monday, December 25, 2006

Goodbye James Brown

James Brown leaves us on Christmas Day. It was the winter of 1966 at the Greensboro Coliseum that I saw a performance that was so amazing and energized that it left me, and I think the entire audience, mesmerized and exhausted. Never had seen anything like it, my first live music spiritual experience. On and off the stage, wrapped in his cape, led by attendants, new capes, charging back on to the stage over and over again, audience becoming increasingly hysterical, cape into the crowd, scarf into the crowd, more and more...please, please, please.


Blogger Julie said...

Dear ENS,

Loved hearing about the G'boro James Brown "show" ("concert" just isn't the word, right?).

We saw him, in 1996 outdoors at the old Bulls stadium, Durham, NC, and he was going strong. There must have been 30 musicians on stage. He stood back to let a guitar prodigy take the spotlight for awhile, and then one of his backup singers came forward to sing opera.
The music all night struck me as a weird and surprising: very complex while completely glitzy/funky. Have never seen or heard that combo before or since. Cloest was Frank Zappa. Hmm, did they ever play together?

When I was a kid growing up in Louisville, the lore was there would always be a shooting when James Brown came to town to perform. True? or East End terror?

Happy New Year and thanks for the stew recipe.


3:37 PM  
Blogger John Borden said...

Julie, I don't know about the East End folklore around James Brown, but it is true that he came to Danville year end year out in from the mid-50's to the mid 60's for, as far a I knew, a black only audience. I don't know what happened there, but in a small town I think that I would have heard or read about any violence. Nevertheless I seemingly had to go 50 miles south to a multiracial venue to see him.

4:03 PM  

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