Sunday, May 3, 2015

Today is the day that James Brown was born

Today is the day that James Brown was born.

Mr. James Brown is a hero of mine and represents so much to me. His music is some of the best on the planet. He transcends his very self  in that late sixties/early seventies period, particularly on the Sex Machine live album, most notably on my favorite track of all time, Give It Up or Turn It Loose, which may or may not be live at all, but certainly feels live, in the jungle brother. When I hear that song I can feel the frenzy building, a man and his band at their very pinnacle and owning every inch of it. I dare you not to dance…

I think of James Brown and his doing exactly what he was born to do as proof that no success is perfect, that no one’s burden is fixed by fame and money, that the first one through the wall always gets bloodied, that we all have challenges on our path, and you cannot fully know anyone else’s,  nor can you compare your apples to their oranges.

I do not know why James is my teacher, prehaps because he looks like my father, an artist who probably did not fulfill his purpose, whose path  and burden I may never understand. James somehow remids me that even if he did fulfill his purpose, that is only part of the life equation. Life is big and complicated. There is so much I do not know. I wirte this to help me to keep an open soft compassionate empathetic mind and attitude and to cherish the good, have gratitude for the gifts and live in the present. I am so glad you were born, Mr. James Brown. Thank you!

Coincidentally, I awoke today to a family salsa dance party. James did not make the dj set but Joe Cuba's "I'll Never Go Back to Georgia" did. Georgia, James's Brown's birthplace and the alleged place of the Sex Machine live album recording, proved too racist for Joe, thus the reason for not returning, but this gem of a song came out of it, which in turn lent itself to the great scene of the drag queen in the bodega in Spike Lee's Crooklyn. I leave you with both recordings on this grand day. Ah, life, I am so lucky and grateful to be alive. Everything is everything! 

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