And now Christmas Day will celebrated with Live at the Apollo.
According to the AP Obit, The Godfather was scheduled to perform New Year's Eve at B.B. King's on Times Square, so he had a shot at making a more dramatic exit; that said, who wants to see Mr. Please, Please, Please expire at an overpriced tourist destination that caters largely to white folk? Christmas Day will do.
And what's with The New York Times not having a full JB obit on file? (I'd provide a link, but I'm sure Jon Parles will have a complete piece up soon enough.) The bulk of that fucker could've been written by 1988.
As for my James Brown, I saw him perform live in the late 1990s, by which point The Godfather was a desexualized parody of the guy who, in his prime, could work an auditorium full of women to multiple orgasms during the course of a show. He still had the energy and the moves, and I'm grateful to have seen arguably the greatest soul of all time in person, but it wasn't the transcendent experience I'd longed for.
As for my favorite JB song, that would be the title of this post, particularly as it's performed on the aforementioned live LP, which is the greatest live soul recording ever and a must-own for anyone who gives a shit about good music.
And, yes, the guy could be a monster in his private life. The important thing to remember is that no one who praises his artistic achievement is disputing this; sainting any of the great soul troubadours, with the exception of Otis Redding (though he didn't exactly lack for darkness; his complexity just hasn't been adequately documented), would be to deny the inner turmoil that brought them to us in the first place. But playing up the "wife beater" element at the near exclusion of the music is just as dishonest as claiming the greatness of the music somehow excused said behavior. This should be common sense, but I'm sure there will be those looking to diminish James Brown the artist on the way out.