Friday, February 26, 2016

coming into Atlanta endlessly

"When I hold you in my arms
I know that I can do no wrong..."
-- James Brown

-------------------- [excerpt, Sweet Soul Music, by Peter Guralnick.  1986.  Harper & Row.] ----------------- Phil and Alan Walden, in high school and junior high school respectively at the time, recall seeing James [Brown] driving around Macon in his battered station wagon advertising the location of his next dance, and Zenas Sears remembers him coming into Atlanta

"endlessly.  He always had a tight show, he always had a tight band, but of course James was a tremendous ego problem. 


I remember one time we did a show up in Newark -- I remember very well, because everybody up there thought I was black without exception. 

And, you know, there was great applause when I was introduced, and then when I came out on stage and went to the microphone, the applause shut off like a knife.  The silence was terrifying. 

Well, Chuck Willis and James Brown came out and said I was a nice guy but then immediately went backstage and started a fight about who was gonna be last.  Everybody had to be last.  Ray Charles was on this show,

he just had one little old hit, nothing that big.  And I said, 'Roy Hamilton's got to be last.  He's number one, and he's a New Jersey boy.' 

But James just had to be, and finally we put him last before the intermission, second best spot, and he

jumped off the balcony to cap his act,

figuring that would really kill them.  Damn near killed himself.  That's when I first knew him as an egomaniac -- and we're friends to this day!" -------------------------- [end, excerpt]

This Zenas Sears was a disc jockey, concert promoter, and radio station owner.  I like to read the above Sears quotation, because of the way he packs a lot of ideas into a short paragraph. 

Ideas, thoughts, descriptions, statements, observations, equivocations, plus detours and sidecars to all of the above...

A paragraph bursting with energy.


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