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May 21, 2010 12:00 AM   Subscribe

James Brown and The Famous Flames on The T.A.M.I. Show: [ Part I | II | III ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon (31 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I actually searched for this on YouTube pretty recently, and the full set wasn't available. Everyone needs to see this once in their lives, it's the standard by which all live performances should be judged. Mick Jagger is probably still pissed off to this day about having to follow him.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:27 AM on May 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Same tape I've had for years
posted by hawkeye at 1:24 AM on May 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


Out of Sight (first link) stands up and above any test of time.
Thanks Blazecock! I feel better now.
posted by hal9k at 3:42 AM on May 21, 2010


........... and thats how its done.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:11 AM on May 21, 2010


This just came out on DVD for the first time for consumers EVER. It was never available on VHS. I'm guessing these clips are from the DVD instead of the numerous bootlegs of the show. It's been in my Netflix queue for ages with a long wait, I should probably just buy the thing it's such a landmark show.
posted by inthe80s at 4:36 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only way this could be better is if Toni Basil and Teri Garr were visible in the background.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:52 AM on May 21, 2010


I paid the cost to be the Boss
Look at me
Who do you see?
You see a bad mutha...

James Brown, The Boss


Now that's a man that understands how to perform. I'd put that show up against any other musical performance ever. (I've heard the tunes from that show, but never seen the video.)

Thank you so much for the links. I'll be smiling all day.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:04 AM on May 21, 2010


I want a pair of those frictionless-sole shoes. Though I'd probably just hurt myself with them.
posted by aught at 5:27 AM on May 21, 2010


"Once more, with feeling." - words James Brown never heard.

And, his dancing is tight.
posted by SNACKeR at 5:29 AM on May 21, 2010


One of these "History of Rock" documentaries that's floating around has a scene where they show James Brown in a performance turning around and going "I gotcha!" "I gotcha!". If you didn't know better, you'd think it was part of the act. The person commenting on the clip says that Brown was a meticulous bandleader--what was really happening was that he had caught some guy back in the band, like one guy on a trombone way in the back, missing a note, and he was going to fine him after the show.

Point being, the genius goes really deep here, in addition to the vocals and dance moves and things you see on the outside.
posted by gimonca at 6:15 AM on May 21, 2010


Blazecock! Blazecock! Can I take it to the bridge! Can I take it to the BRIDGE!

Goddamn this is the total bum-diddy. Thanks for the post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:22 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


My understanding of his choreography is that he's not only dancing, he's also conducting the band with his dance moves. Hardest working man in show business and soul brother number one always and forever James Brown amen.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:32 AM on May 21, 2010


Damn, the energy is just incredible. This man could do it like no other.

Woke me up and made me feel wistful about lost youth all at the same time.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:16 AM on May 21, 2010


"Like, it got very humorous because she was screaming and she was trying to look composed at the same time. But when James Brown goes into his thing, he goes. It's like a complete catharsis. He goes. Everything goes and there ain't no holding back. And it's beautiful. That's the technique of rhythm-and-blues singing, man, and no academy but the genuine tradition of a people can give it to you." -- Cecil Taylor on the difference between Petula Clark and James Brown, 1966
posted by blucevalo at 7:24 AM on May 21, 2010


Along the same lines as "I gotcha!", I remember hearing that the reason JB went through so many drummers is that he was positively fanatic about his drummer playing "on the one" at all times. Miss your emphasis "on the one" three times, ever, and you were replaced. Probably not a true story, but seeing him perform and hearing those other stories about how meticulously orchestrated his performances were makes this story seem believable.
posted by the painkiller at 7:28 AM on May 21, 2010


I'm totally entering my 10am meeting like that.
posted by stormpooper at 7:30 AM on May 21, 2010


Knockin' the white kids dead. Gotta love him. Can I get a amen.
posted by Trochanter at 7:44 AM on May 21, 2010


Painkiller, I remember hearing that there was a system of fines for missed cues...
posted by Trochanter at 7:47 AM on May 21, 2010


oops. should have followed the link.
posted by Trochanter at 7:48 AM on May 21, 2010


Best live performance of all time. Kieth Richards was qouted as saying that the only mistake The Stones ever made was following James Brown in 1964.
posted by gallois at 8:00 AM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The way the Flames dance in this is out of control, too. It's this funny, raggedy, loose take on that Temptations style of choreography. It's got all those synchronized steps and sways and claps but they're never QUITE together; someone's always a little off, throwing a knee in some odd direction. It looks drunken, you know? Obviously, they rehearsed the hell out of it, but they make it look like they're just making it up as they go along.
posted by StopMakingSense at 8:06 AM on May 21, 2010


I would love to comment, but I'm too busy listening. His live shows were amazing, both the music and his dancing. It's funny* that the impact of his death was less** than Michael Jackson's.

*As in "this cheese smells funny"
**Other than setting the record for multiple FPPs of course.
posted by ersatz at 8:08 AM on May 21, 2010


The way the Flames dance in this is out of control, too. It's this funny, raggedy, loose take on that Temptations style of choreography. It's got all those synchronized steps and sways and claps but they're never QUITE together...

Trombone player missing a note was in the back. Up front, a Flame misses a step there's an "I gotcha" plus they get knee'd in the crotch by JB. Too fast for cameras to detect.

It looks drunken, you know?
On a long tour the injuries add up.
posted by hal9k at 8:18 AM on May 21, 2010


I like the scene in The Commitments when they're watching James Brown and worried that he's hurt when he falls to his knees.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:46 AM on May 21, 2010


Entered my meeting, they put a cape on me. SUCCESS!
posted by stormpooper at 11:44 AM on May 21, 2010


God damn that man puts on a clinic in awesome.
posted by Uncle at 12:14 PM on May 21, 2010


I love you BP.

Saw JB in the mid-late-90s when his set involved two clothing changes and four costume changes. How's that? He started with a powder blue suit that he sweated to navy, then changed that for a mint green suit that he sweated to emerald. in two hours time, he fined everybody in the band, fired the lighting guy (telling him his best hope was mcdonald's), slipped into an involuntary full split (clearly painful) and danced through it, broke down weeping describing the death of his wife, and menaced every child in the place with a description of what happens to you if you don't stay in school - you end up in the state penitentiary, hand-tailoring every uniform you wear until every suit in the place fits you and only you.
posted by toodleydoodley at 12:29 PM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


and menaced every child in the place with a description of what happens to you if you don't stay in school - you end up in the state penitentiary, hand-tailoring every uniform you wear until every suit in the place fits you and only you.

Amen. Jump back, kiss myself.
posted by stormpooper at 1:57 PM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would love to comment, but I'm too busy listening. His live shows were amazing, both the music and his dancing. It's funny* that the impact of his death was less** than Michael Jackson's.

Not really - I think the disparity is more because James Brown was very old when he died, had been ill, and he had been musically done for some time already (I saw him live shortly before he died - it was a great show, but he had to sit down at the keyboards halfway through and you could tell he was just kind of going through the motions). Michael Jackson was still relatively young, still could have had another couple great albums in him, and died suddenly.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:17 PM on May 21, 2010


Also, Michael Jackson's greatest period of popularity was more recent than James Brown's, Brown's being the 60s-early 70s and Jackson's being the mid-late 80s.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:18 PM on May 21, 2010


I saw him on his last tour as well and it was clear he was too old to perform. On the other hand, for the last years of his life MJ's musical activities were overshadowed by his non-musical activities. It seemed many people revisited his music when he died.

Jackson 5 on the radio was a nice occurrence.
posted by ersatz at 4:09 AM on May 22, 2010


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