Monday, December 25, 2006

Diggin' on James Brown

Christmas morning, 2006. I read the news today, oh boy.

It was the King. Not "of pop", not "of rock", but the King of Soul. The Godfather of Soul, if you will.

James Brown died last night. This man has been an icon in my life. For as far back as I can remember in my musical life, James Brown was there. Though my music tastes ebbed and flowed, and changed from genre to genre, James Brown and his music has been there. Back in the days of my high school garage band, The Martells, when I thoroughly impressed myself with learning the bass riff to Cold Sweat, or being the only white soul band in the area who included I'm Black and I'm Proud in their repertoire, James Brown's music was a pillar and beacon. The quality of his tight music was something we strove to emulate.

Over the years, as my music tastes changed, and I moved from Soul, to Rock, to Blues and Psychedelia, the soul of James Brown remained a staple of my musical palate.

Moving through days as a nomadic preacher to settling down with a wife and family, playing church bass and drums, back out through my ups and downs, losing my religion, the highs and lows of Living in America, James Brown and his music was one of those things of American life that was just there, always in the background, always finding its way into the fabric of Americana. I told my kids the news this morning. They were equally stunned. James Brown has always just been there. Being so ingrained in our common psyche, we took him for granted. He was timeless.

It's Christmas Morning, 2006 and I'm sitting here, Diggin' on James Brown.

© Marc S. McCune 2006

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