(Video link here.) In 1983, James Brown and band were playing the Beverly Theatre in Los Angeles with legendary blues man B.B. King. Halfway through the set, Brown asked “another fantastic people” to join him onstage: 25-year-old Michael Jackson watching the show ignognito in the audience. Brown’s words are as astonishing as Jackson’s 30 seconds of pure joy.
We got another fantastic people for you. He’s too much to be a person, so he’s just a people because he’s so beautiful and I love him for so many years. A surprise is here: a young man I watched grow and grow like I said…the audience was so beautiful you had to jump back some time and kiss yourself and count the blessings and thank God each and every day. It just keeps happening. I got a new inspiration and a new motivation because…it’s just certain things happen to you make you feel good.
Brown seems to jump from talking about Jackson to talking about inspiration— “It just keeps happening” — and where it comes from for him. In Jackson’s beautiful riff, he reinterprets the moves of his mentor and friend, who was clearly his inspiration…Witness this short clip of James Brown doing his thing, the precursor of what Jackson would create in his own way a generation or two later. (Video link here.)
top video via Laughing Squid