Wednesday, December 22, 2004

James Brown: The Hardest Working Man in Show Bitchness

There is simply no question that Mr. James Brown, when he is not "hepped up on PCP, terroriz(ing) a group of people then (leading) cops on an interstate car chase," is the hardest working man in show business. No question. Sometimes the hardest working man in show business just needs a little thoroughbred tranquilizer to take the "edge" off a hard day at the office, we're not complaining.

That significant cultural artifact, The National Enquirer, says:


"Soul music legend James Brown was told he urgently needed surgery for prostate cancer two months ago, but (he) told his docs: 'The show must go on!' -- and went out on a grueling concert tour."

The greatness of "Mr. James Brown" -- as we like to call him (The Corsair lights up a Special Edition Pyramid) -- came out particularly clear in this interview between Guy Oseary and Keith Richards for his vanity book "On the Record":

"Guy Oseary: What are some great shows you've seen?

"Keith Richards: James Brown at the Apollo in 1964. I remember going back to the dressing room and James said, 'Oh yeah, you're the kids from London, England.' It was always 'London, England.' At the time The Famous Flames were performing with him, and I was amazed because he had one of the flames taking his shoes off, and another rushing off to get him some food. Suddenly they'd become his slaves, and I was there, watching this thing go down, saying, 'Whoa! He don't call himself the King of Soul for nothing."

You better recognize! Anyhoo, The National Enquirer continues:

"(Brown) postponed the operation and scheduled it for December 15, a source close to Brown told The ENQUIRER. 'I'll be in and out in a day,' he laughed.'Brown, 71, who also battles serious diabetes, performed shows in Belgium and Canada in October, November and December as he battled the pain and faced the surgery.

"'James was first diagnosed with prostate cancer over a year ago,' an insider disclosed. 'He was treated with chemotherapy and the cancer went into remission.'"

Granted, The Corsair has no degree in pharmacology, and only relies, in instances such as these, on his own insustantial (but ... highly satisfying) experiments in alchemy, in college, but he wouldn't have gone the chemo route with Mr. Tyrannosauraus Drug Tolerance. Those who elect to engage in the recreational use of "horse tranquilizers" ... well, tend to be somewhat biologically-resistant to conventional drug therapy strategies. And bullets. And what not.

"He thought he'd beaten it. But when he had a checkup in early October the doctors told him it had come back with a vengeance.'"

"Said the close source: 'The doctors told him this was serious. They wanted to operate right away. But James said he had to fulfill his commitments first. I got a promise to my fans to keep, he snapped.

"'And those fans had no idea of the pain behind his mask of laughter as they watched him strut his stuff onstage. He's a brave man."

And, apparently he has patched things up with his wife/back up singer, the improbably named Tomi Rae:

"As The ENQUIRER revealed, their stormy marriage appeared to be in jeopardy 18 months ago after reports she had never divorced her previous husband and the James Brown marriage was not legal.'They've never resolved that issue,' said the source. 'But they're back living together as man and wife. They love each other. They fight. But they always kiss and make up.'"


(S)wine said...

There's always that one redeeming quality to an artist, no? Picasso was a prick but...he WAS Picasso.

The Corsair said...

True, the "enfant terrible" syndrome. Ingmar Bergman used to say that in the early 70s he had to dissolve himself into his works and make the best possible films ever because he was such a prick in real life (he had something like 8 kids by 6 different mothers). Still, it's nice when a Thomas Mann or a Matisse is both an artist and a gentleman/person

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Aron said...

This can't work in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.
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