When I saw James Brown listed for the main stage of Woodstock ’99 in Rome, N.Y., I made sure I was as close as possible in my role as music critic for the big daily.
In fact, the promoters made him the opening act.
The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Godfather of Soul … I was ready for the funk. So, too, was the flock on the infield of the former Air Force base.
He took a long time coming out, 20 minutes of his band funking it up. He wore a bright blue suit. He danced and sang, in a worn and gritty voice. He was James Brown.
Here’s a link to the piece I wrote for The Post-Standard the day after he died in 2006. It includes the short piece I wrote for the paper after that set in 1999.
I thought of that when I was getting ready to see the biopic “Get on Up,” the story of James Brown’s life, 1933 to 2006.
I loved the movie. It showed Brown as a complicated wise man, a guy who came from America’s backwood’s dirt and used his talent and brains to become very rich and very famous and very infamous, too. It shows the good, the bad, the ugly, warts and all.
Chadwick Boseman is stellar as this man of many sides, playing Brown from teens to 60s, a complicated soul of words, music and physical music. He should hear his name called come award nomination time for this one. There are many fantastic supporting roles, too.
To read my weekly Film Review blog, critiquing the movie on the Syracuse New Times site, click the link below.
Are you a fan of the biography films of music legends, and do you think they can tell the story behind the songs? With a performer such as James Brown, how much do you want to see about the darker side of the personality and life? Did you ever get to see James Brown in concert, and what is your favorite James Brown song?