SIDEWALKING: Super Bad

James_Brown_Mugshot.JPG

 Third & Fairmount, Sunday 12:34 PM by JONATHAN VALANIA

RELATED:  The T.A.M.I. Show was all about showcasing the new. James Brown arrived at the Civic Center and was promptly informed of what the Stones already knew. “I remember James coming up and saying ‘Of course I’m the last act on the bill, right?’ ” says Steve Binder, director of the T. A. M. I. Show. “I told him, ‘No, actually you’re going to be followed by the Rolling Stones.’ James looked at me and smiled and said, ‘Nobody follows James Brown.’ ” Backstage the five Rolling Stones, weary from endless touring and miles from home, looked like criminals about to face a firing squad. They exchanged a few wordless glances, a second language at this point, then decided to boldly face it, to walk as a group to the wings and face their fate. “We did a bunch of songs, nonstop, like always. . . “ Brown writes in his memoir, James Brown, The Godfather of Soul. I don’t think I never danced so hard in my life, and I don’t think they’d ever seen a man move that fast.” Brown knew the Stones were watching from the wings. Everyone was watching; all eyes were on him. Sliding in his patent leather shoes, putting his pinkie-ringed hand on his hip, he dropped to his knees in his checked jacket and vest, then jerked up again like a piston. But he wasn’t finished. He got up and did his “good foot” dance back to the mic, then dramatically collapsed to the floor again, a signal for his band to pick him up and try to help him offstage. It was all a ruse, of course. Defiantly, he ran back to the mic, milking the crowd, which screamed even louder. The band picked him up again. And again he ran back to the mic. “When I was through, the audience kept calling me back for encores. It was one of those performances when you don’t even know how you’re doing it,” Brown writes. A mere fifteen feet away, Mick Jagger was as covered in sweat as Brown was, and he hadn’t even begun to sing. He felt light in his shoes; dizzy. MORE

***

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.