We love the semi-coherent James Brown, who now faces a rape suit. The Godfather of Soul, who just recently underwent successful surgery, has published a new book, I Feel Good, about his life and times. He's a pretty genial dude, Mr. Brown doesn't have time to hate, but his education stopped at age 10 when he began to perform professionally to support his 12 siblings.
Among some of the more interesting lines are:
James Brown on Elvis
"I loved Elvis. He was a friend of mine, even though I knew that he copied about 75 percent of what he did from me: going with the gospel-type sound in 'Heartbreak Hotel,' to the hip-swiveling dancing, to the jump suits, right down to the cape, which I have to say flattered me so very much."
James Brown on Free Robert Blake
"Speaking of Robert Blake, I can relate to him because of all that he's going through right now. I followed his career from when he was a kid in those Our Gang comedies he made, and then as the sidekick for Don Barry as Red Ryder in the old movies. One day I ran into him and he introduced himself to me, and told me that he was a fan of mine. We talked to each other for a long time. I told him that I dug him and he dug me, all the way back to 'Please, Please, Please,' and I told him I remembered him as Little Beaver.
"Man, he jumped out of his shoes and I knew we were down!
"Blake (played) men with chips on their shoulders put there by other people. I always felt that in (his) heart, Blake was a black man playing white men so that mainstream audiences could understand the suffering. But to me, they were black.
"... Blake was accused of killing his wife, and they want to lynch him. That more than anything else made me love him all the more -- for not what he may have done, but for the judgment they made before he had his day in court. It reminds me of nothing so much as a Black man standing trial in the Old South."
(Special Corsair Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by The Godfather of Soul do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website. At all. We're serious)
James Brown on the Asian Contribution to Human Development
"Everyone has something special to contribute to this country. Take the Chinese, for example. Not only were they instrumental in building America's infrastructure, but they are extraordinary with food."
(Special Corsair Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by The Godfather of Soul who dropped out at 10 years of age to feed his family, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website, or The Corsair, who luxuriates in the study of Ming art and architecture.)
James Brown on Dick Clarke's American Bandstand
"I'm sure Dick Clark had no knowledge of (payola), but I used to pay someone in the chain a thousand dollars to get me on American Bandstand. Every time."
(Special Corsair Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by The Godfather of Soul do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website. Don't sue. But he does have a point)
James Brown on Former Protege Al Sharpton
"So would I endorse Al Sharpton if he ever seriously ran for President? This is a question I've been asked a million times and never really answered, but I'm going to now, and in this way: the Reverend is a great speaker, a man filled with ideas and vision. Nevertheless, if Democratic Party somehow ever gave him the number one pole position, they would be making a big mistake. And I think he knows that."
(Suddenly... The Godfather speaketh with the Wisdom of Solomon)
James Brown on Anna Nicole Smith
"Remember Anna Nicole Smith's controversial marriage? There are similarities to her and what happened to Mrs. Rae Brown and me. Here was Anna Nicole Smith, a young and beautiful woman, who gave herself to this older man and stayed with him until the day he died (I'm sure with a smile on his face). I know everybody thinks she did it for the money, but even if that's true, so what? She made this old fellow happy in his final days, and that in and of itself is a beautiful thing. She was an angel of love, his angel of mercy and his angel in death, and no amount of money can buy that holiness."
(Holiness, whorishness, he may have something)