December 25, 2006
|JB Is Gone||Culture|
James Brown, one of the true giants of 20th century American music, is gone. When I was a Penn undergrad, JB played homecoming one year and absolutely tore the place up. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed seeing him and his impeccably funky band assault that Ivy League citadel of white privilege. He rocked the house like literally no one else could. No compromises, no prisoners. This was just a few years before his astonishing performances in Zaire that you can see in the superb documentary When We Were Kings. Rest in peace, JB.
JB's one-time "funky drummer" Clyde Stubblefield has for years been a staple of the music scene here in Madison, playing three or four gigs somewhere around town most weeks. A beautiful, sweet cat with a beatific smile, who's still got the funkiest chops around, but sadly his health, too, has been failing of late. Wishing you all the best, Clyde.