Today is May Day, Comrade!
I've got one of my archival videos playing in the background, as I type this - "Back To The Future", one of my favorite films <1>. The other movies on this tape are "Mothra" and "Don't Look Back" (the Dylan tour documentary). As ever the sound is coming out of my stereo and the picture is on this monochrome (green) Apple monitor my brother N donated (it's the only CRT in my apartment). This particular section was taped on Election Day 1992 off KTLA channel 5, so during the breaks, along with the archaic five-year-old commercials, one finds frequent announcements of Clinton's victory by (award-winning) Hal Fishman.
A guy <2> on Terri Gross' "Fresh Air" radio show today is talking about how James Brown is really the Godfather of Funk, how his sound is all around us now in the form of Funk and Rap music. Describing the revolutionary structure of 1965's "Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag", he said "...'soul music' peaked in 1966-1967, and really ended in 1968 with the death of Dr. Martin Luther King." I've been mulling over this... the timing seems right, but I've never heard that linkage before, and the more I dwell on it the more specious it seems. The interview was from 1990; played again as part of a James Brown Special Birthday show (he's 70?). The anecdote about him I recall was a news factoid from several years back during one of those stretches he was doing jail time. A surprise inspection uncovered $40,000 cash in his cell; when asked about he said it was "For smokes, man."
CRT - Cathode-Ray Tube
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<1>Cheapened by its sequels, in my opinion. D o you know a new one (#4) is coming? Back
<2>Bruce Tucker, self-professed "middle-aged white guy" and co-author (with the Godfather) of a book about James Brown Back