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Carl

James Brown is an A--hole

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That's what Bettye LaVette said in our recent interview. In one stop on her musical journey, LaVette toured with Brown and Otis Redding, so Roger asked what she learned from the experience. Her reply:

James Brown's an a--hole. And Otis was learning like me.

While working with James Brown you picked up that you were going to outwork him. He wasn't going to give you any advice, or talk to you for that matter. But you would, watching his show, know what you're running up against. I think I have that work ethic having worked with him at the Apollo and on the road: I defy you to outdo me.

This isn't surprising: James Brown was never considered a nice guy, and even his most flattering bios concede this point. It is rare when someone points this out in such a blunt manner, however.

Many music legends are notoriously bad characters: Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis are classic examples. When it comes to legacy, however, bad behavior is offset by musical accomplishment. Brown is such an important artist that his personal indiscretions are merely asides to his story. Contrast this with Ike Turner, whose headline typically includes mention of his abusive nature.

Bettye LaVette has no reason to canonize Brown, so she didn't.

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This reminds me of James singing (IMO he is drunk as a skunk) the funkiest Christmas song ever. This is 6 and 1/2 minutes of a true Brown Christmas. Look at that picture of The Godfather of Soul wearing a Santa cap. Play it loud, real loud and make Christmas mean something this year.....

 

 

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I cannot tell about him being a nice or awfull guy... but I remember I saw him once onstage... for 5 minutes... the rest of the time (one hour and a half) the band had to perform alone. He really was much too drunk and all he could do was say "Hey" "Come on" and then leave the stage... to come back again for three minutes and so on...  Too good I saw him other times and besides, I never payed for the tickets... :D

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