I love James Brown. But I realize I can take a number. This is sort of like saying you like Paris in the spring, or enjoy strawberries covered in chocolate. It’s easy to like great classics of any kind.
But I came to James Brown a bit late. My intro to soul music was the Supremes when I was quite young. I went back to roots a bit more slowly. My life has been plagued by what I’ll call “secondary sources.” That is, I thought the Doors wrote “Whiskey Bar.” I thought Blood Sweat and Tears wrote “God Bless The Child.” I thought T.S. Eliot wrote “Those are pearls that were his eyes.” O.K. I was ignorant. I probably heard Tower of Power sing “I’ll still be diggin on James Brown” before I really knew James Brown.
But that was long ago. I’ve been dancing to James Brown for decades, once very embarrassingly so. Clad in some less than attractive sweats, I was jumping up and down going “shake your money maker” when my young teen daughter poked her head in and recoiled in horror. “I know it’s not worth much,” I had to say, to her continued disgust. “Oh, get out,” I said. And she fled.
So it was a thrill to see the bridge dedicated to James Brown in Steamboat Spring, Colorado.
It is totally nondescript, in this otherwise charming tourist town.
You can read some back story at http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4900392
And you can get up off of that thing and dance and you’ll feel better.