Book Review: James Brown The GodFather of Soul: An Autobiography

James Brown is the hardest working man ever in show business.

When it comes down to it, music is judged and enjoyed on how well you write songs and play live. That’s really it. Reading from this book, you can feel how much James Brown LOVED playing live. He needed it. He lived for it. Nothing was gonna stop him. Getting inspiration from how hard his dad worked, James Brown gave it all his every single time.

This book feels like I am across from James Brown at some restaurant having dinner with him. That’s how casual and engaging the words in these pages are. Every anecdote gives you a glimpse on his thinking process and the obstacles that he had to overcome.

My two favorite stories are when he was younger in a juvenile center and how he helped Boston during the Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination.

So a young James Brown found himself in some trouble and was put in a juvenile center for some time. Well there was a girl there that caught his eye and luckily he was friends with one of the guard. Well the guard suggested that there was a corner in the laundry room that could give the two lovebirds some privacy, and voila ! BAM! James Brown took that girl there.

My other favorite story is during the Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, who was a really good friend of James Brown’s, civil unrest was about and he was doing everything he can to prevent riots from happening. So even with the mayor wanting to cancel all public events for safety, he said “No. Im gonna throw this show.”

And because of how powerful that show was, dedicating it to Martin Luther King Jr. Peace was kept. Some fans bumrushed the stage and fortunately, James Brown told the guards, that he could handle and let the people dance with him. And they did.

What I really learned from this book, and what I can apply to my own songwriting is, that you have to give it your all, all day everyday. This man was playing 2 -3  shows for the whole year. Jesus Christ ! And that at the end of the day, a musician’s job is to help people forget about their problems.

A musician’s ability to play live is literally his bread and butter. And that everytime Im feeling a little bit lazy and don’t want to play an open mic, I will always think of what James Brown did.

He is The GodFather of Soul. He is James Brown.

James Brown: The Godfather of Soul

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