Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The JAMES BROWN movie, "GET ON UP" has been released close to two months ago.
While I thought they did an excellent job all around, the story was not always true to his legend.
Great acting by all involved (especially Chadwick Boseman and Nelsan Ellis), fantastic dance sequences, etc.
Overall, a very entertaining movie which touched upon different time periods in JB,s life and career.
Most biographies often include changes from real life scenarios in order to let the movie flow properly. In this case, there were things put in that I never read or heard about.
I have six books on JAMES BROWN;
THE ONE, I FEEL GOOD, THE GODFATHER,OF SOUL, A BIOGRAPHY, SAY IT LOUD (MY MEMORIES OF JB, and THE JAMES BROWN READER.
Also, the great FRED WESLEY biography, HIT ME FRED, detailing his life in music along with association with The Godfather Of Soul.
A tv mini-series about JB,s life would probably run about six to 10 hours to get the WHOLE story! (lol).
With that out of the way I,m going to list things in the movie that I never read or heard about before along with things that I wished were included;
1. JB going to school: Kids paid 10 cents to see him perform as a kid in the school auditorium.
Despite being a brilliant student, he was sent home on more than one occasion for insufficient (raggedy) clothing.
2. Doing odd jobs, such as picking cotton(other than buck dancing for the soldiers) to earn money to help his aunt pay rent.
Picking up coal along railroad tracks to help keep warm during the winter months.
3. How he went out on his own after the Flames quit ( appeared as little Richard after to fulfill the dates after Richard had quit for evangelism).
4. More studio and rehearsal performances should have been filmed or added.
I didn,t know the the purpose of showing JB,s oldest son Teddy with a rash on his face (never read anything of the sort).
Teddy Brown died in 1973 at the age of 19 in a car crash.
James went back on stage the next night after the funeral. Even though the loss of his oldest son devastated him, James Brown kept on recording and entertaining.
He turned to the stage to help him keep on going despite whatever grief and turmoil he went thru.
A lot of times, movies based on a real person show events that never actually happened in real life.
When the "GET ON UP" dvd is released, hopefully there will be deleted scenes added.
UPDATE: here,s two great deleted scenes below;
There was one tv trailer showing JB getting in bed with a woman ( it was so quick I couldn,t see her face clearly) so maybe it will be included.
It is sad that the film only made just over $30 million (cost of production) and it should have been released overseas.
When his concerts fell off in the U.S. in the late 70s and 80s, JB always had sold-out shows overseas and around the world.
It would only be fitting for the producers to put the movie out overseas, as I believe it would really become box office gold.
The way I see it , this movie puts the Godfather Of Soul back in the spotlight; meaning there will be other movies and documentaries heading our way.
Case in point; HBO will show a two hour plus documentary about James Brown on Oct. 27th with never before seen footage included.
The documentary (THE RISE OF JAMES BROWN) has been released. It is one of the best I have ever seen covering James Brown in that period of his career.
Get ready for the magic people, because it,s about to start all over again!
Monday, July 28, 2014
This is my review of the first James Brown concert I ever attended.
A next door neighbor was taking her kids and asked if I wanted to go also.
I was just entering my teens at the time, but I have been a JB fan ever since I heard "DON,T BE A DROPOUT".
I can,t recall everything about the show as it happened that night but I will do the best I can.
My father used to listen to a radio station out of Nashville, Tennessee, that played a lot of the R&B hits of the day.
Only being around 5 or 6 years of age at the time, the only singer that I remember hearing was James Brown.
In 1969 I was taken to a JB concert by a neighbor and witnessed a show I will never forget!
This was James Brown with his late 60s band featuring saxophonist extraordinaire, Maceo Parker.
I don,t remember all the songs but I do remember the band opening with "THE CHICKEN". Then the band,s classic hit featuring Maceo, "THE POPCORN".
Then the lovely Miss Marva Whitney came on and performed two songs, "BALL OF FIRE" AND "IT,S MY THING".
Looking gorgeous in a long blue grown she had the crowd in awe as she belted out her hits, then left the stage.
Let me tell you something; these songs were performed identically like the records ( most were extended in concert)! Then Maceo blew everyone away with an imprompt solo sax performance!
I believe after that the announcer came onstage said a few things pertaining to concert show books and whatnot.
Finally... he brought out the man HIMSELF...
He was immaculately dressed in a white jacket, black silk turtleneck shirt and white pants with black patent leather boots(so shiny you could see your face in them).
Soul Brother #1 strutted on stage and delivered a quick handshake to the announcer.
He went into his big hit,
"SAY IT LOUD I,M BLACK & PROUD!"
The audience sang along with him as he went thru the song and when JB finished, he started rapping with the audience as the band stood silently in the background.
I did recall one thing that he said which really left an impression on me.
"The color of a man,s skin does not make a man."
"A man makes himself."
Still rapping, he held the mike, when all of a sudden...
he spun around and stood in the SAME POSE HOLDING THE MIKE!
This happened in a SPLIT SECOND!
I tell you as I saw it with my own eyes, the man was as fast as GREASED LIGHTNING!
JB went thru his hits from "IT,S A MAN,S WORLD"( he sang live to a tape being played while the band stood around ;at this time he no longer had the three violinists touring with him).
On "LOWDOWN POPCORN", he accompanied the band on organ, playing the song note for note.
His footwork was dazzling as he went from one side to the stage to the other.
The camel walk, the one-legged dance, (especially the James Brown) he performed as we all watched mesmerized!
He spun around three and four times, almost falling on one of the drum sets at one point.
You could actually see the sweat flying away from his body as he worked himself into a frenzy and the crowd along with him.
I noticed he didn,t do the splits at all that night, (I found out later during that period in his shows he didn,t do the splits) nevertheless still had an exciting exhilarating show.
On the live JB concert dvds, "LIVE AT THE APOLLO 1968" and "LIVE AT THE BOSTON GARDENS 1968" ( filmed a month before the former and the night after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed) he did no splits.
Then came his signature cape routine with "PLEASE PLEASE". Mister Dynamite then left the stage to rest for a few minutes.
The announcer appeared again and talked about the concert books and other things that were still available for sale.
We heard the shout, "ONE MORE TIME, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MISTER JAMES BROWN", as he took the stage one more time.
He had removed his jacket before he left the stage the first time, but did not change his clothes before his finale.
All of a sudden came a familiar scream, "EEEEYOWWW!" The band immediately went into "GIVE IT UP OR TURNIT A LOOSE". followed by his current monster hit, "MOTHER POPCORN"!
The whole audience, worked into a frenzy by this time, (me included)rushed to the front of the stage.
That,s when I noticed how his pants were made. Instead of a belt or buttons in front, they were laced up, just like football jersey pants.
I also noticed for the first time his dancer, the lovely Ann Norman, on an elevated platform behind the band.
I,ve seen (what we called back then)go-go dancers before but this woman was a SUPER FINE FOX!
She was so sexy in that tiny mini-whatever she had on, I wanted to motion to JB to move over so I could get a better look at her, lol!
Someone hoisted a little girl up onto the stage. The child looked bewildered as she stared into the crowd of faces looking back as her.
JB was oblivious to the child, as he was grooving back and forth with Maceo.
One of the trumpet players saw the little girl, put his instrument down momentarily and gently lowered the child back down into the crowd ( so she wouldn,t get in the way or accidently get hurt).
The show ended with James Brown leaving the stage, drained but with a satisfied look on his face, knowing he killed them!
I,ve seen JB about five or six times after that, but I never, ever will forget that first show! Im glad that
I got a chance to see him with the late sixties band.
James Brown is gone now but...
Not only there is a movie titled "GET ON UP" on August 1, 2014 coming out about his life, but there is quite a bit of footage of him available online, like YOUTUBE, and a few officially released James Brown concert dvds out now.
So no matter what you,ve heard about JB, good or bad, mistakes and all, know this; to see him live back then was not just a concert, but an EVENT!
He was a flawed human being (we all are) that pushed himself to the top of the music world.
He had help along the way, but did it HIS WAY!
There will always be imitators, duplicators, people that will take something from him and take it to the next level.
BUT... there will never, ever, be another... JAMES BROWN!
Thursday, May 22, 2014
A 2nd "GET ON UP" movie trailer has arrived and I am thrilled!
While the 1st trailer looked good, it came off to me more like a movie of the week.
Boseman looks great in the role but it just didn,t meet MY expectations. (I,ve seen JB five or six times live) Forgive me, I,m just picky, but i want it done right.
I know that it was just a little premature to pass judgement just yet, but I have been a solid JB fan for the last 50 plus years ( shook hands with him in 1970) and I just want his story told right after waiting all these years!
Here comes the 2nd trailer and guess what? Whatever apprehensions I had about the film before are gone!
This trailer shows a little more in depth about what to expect and believe me, it is impressive!
Of course they,ve taken taken certain liberties such as Boseman is not a short guy, or that JB,s shotgun went off in the insurance seminar ( maybe they are showing witness accounts of what could have happened, during his trial).
Aside from those shortcomings, I really like what I saw in this trailer!
Here is the 2nd "GET ON UP" trailer
Looks very impressive huh? I know they will use some well known songs but hopefully include some lesser known ones.
For example; "Let A Man Come In & Do The Popcorn", "Mother Popcorn", "Ain,t It Funky Now", "If I Ruled The World", "Lowdown Popcorn", "I Don.t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door I,ll Get It Myself)".
Okay, quite a bit of popcorn in there but James was heavy on the funk!
One interesting tibit; JB,s reference to the word "popcorn" in his songs meant a woman,s behind ( he loved big butts with small waists and had as many as five women a night after shows).
Yes, he was a REAL SEX MACHINE, lol!
There are several books on JB and here are my top 3 recommendations below;
1. The One: The Life & Music Of JB
This the most fact-filled book of JB that I
have read to date. Great insight into the
mind of James Brown; what drove him to
push himself and his organization to almost
inhuman limits(marathon touring,
recording in the studio after finishing an
exhausting concert, the need to get on top
and the will to stay there.
2. The JB Reader:
Another book full of notes and different views by JB and friends, members, staff, newspaper press releases, etc.
These are the most comprehensive books on JB,s life that I,ve ever read, filled with many facts that I didn,t know before.
I,m sure that there will be other interpretations of JB forthcoming on film and in books, now that the floodgates are open.
There is an untitled JB documentary that was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival back in April 2014.
I don,t when it will be released but the runtime is 2hrs and 10min.
Mick Jagger is one of the producers of the film (man, he REALLY is into doing JB right on film!) and that it contains archival footage of JB throughout his career.
Done with the permission of the James brown Estate, we should see footage that has not been seen before.
Case in point; there is ANOTHER film about Elvis already in the works.
Just to be fair, there has never been a movie about his life on the big screen, only tele-movies and concert films so he deserves his due also.
Remember, come August 1st, world will be amazed because "GET ON UP" will hit the big screen!
If you like James Brown, then GET READY for the "GET ON UP" MOVIE SOUNDTRACK!!!
HOT! HOT! HOT! DON,T MISS THIS MOVIE!!!
On July 29th, the original motion picture sound track will be released featuring 20 songs consisting of studio and live versions of many of JB,s hits! There will never be another like the #1 Soul Brother, so check out the movie and get the audio cd!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Hello again JB fans!
I would like to say that I,m very excited that we have a JB bio movie at last! The cast and crew look good and hopefully this movie will be on a par with "RAY".
I,m not completely sold on Boseman as JB but I think he is going to pull off a nearly impossible job as the Godfather Of Soul. One of my concerns is a few liberties, listed below, that they are taking in the movie, judging by the trailer;
- JB was around 5'7 or so; Boseman is much taller (he almost towers over actor playing Bobby Byrd)
- One scene with Bootsy and the JBs - the drum sets are too far apart (on stage they were closer together).
- Vietnam scene with JB complaining to the officer- I could be wrong but I didn,t see Tim Drummond anywhere ( he was the first white member of the late 60,s band, playing bass guitar, and went with JB to play in Vietnam). WHOOPS! I was wrong! He was in that particular segment as well at the Boston Gardens scene.
- JB shooting the shotgun by accident at the insurance seminar( the shotgun didn,t go off because it wouldn,t work).
The Jacksons TV movie had Randy almost grown when he officially joined the group, when in real life, he was a little boy who was excellent on playing congas.
I want this movie to do really well and hopefully see other movies or documentaries on Mr. Brown,s life. As for some people saying that they have seen this story time and again, no they haven,t!
JB,s story is one of a kind and is unique and thank God, it will finally be seen on screen, for better or worse!
- ▼ 2014 (4)