Topic: "Blue Christmas" (2)
There are some who capture attention, just by walking into a room. When James Brown performed everyone paid attention to the stage, albeit not necessarily to the same things. For some, it was the lyrics that tied the beat into the mood and produced dialogue; and Papa had a brand new "bag." The costumes glistened without either rhinestones or a lack of good taste; they were surprisingly upscale. The choreography intermeshed the routine with the spontaneous and taking ones' eyes off the prize was therefore unthinkable. Finally, there was the music itself, whether it was to wail love's desire or to move the legs and hips of an audience, it never failed to offer an avenue for self-expression by the listener. Yes, dear reader, James Brown was a mighty man, and now he is no more.
Frodo remembers one aspect of this personality not covered well by the pundits this evening. James Brown was a peacemaker. He was used on several occasions by concerned levels of government to quell the emotions of the otherwise disenfranchised. His words were delivered in person or by the media to throngs threatening to turn to violence against injustice, and people listened to what he had to say. It is the greatest compliment Frodo can give on this day, to remember a man because he stood for peace and non-violence.
It goes without saying that James Brown was a flawed man, but artists are expected to experience depression and mood swings simply because of the creative process itself. Bad behavior is bad behavior however, and even James Brown had to pay the price for unacceptable conduct. That does not mean that he was any less an entertainer, or lacked musical artistry. James Brown took command of the changing tastes and emotions of his audiences and let them move to a new definition of the audio intake.
Frodo has been plagued however, by a single phrase in a single song for many years. Have you, dear reader, ever seen anyone dance the "Jump Back Jack?" Alas, perhaps on some dance floor somewhere Frodo will be taken by the hand and taught the solution to what portends to be one of those mysteries which live on after all of us. It would be wrong to make something up on his own and simply call it the "Jump Back Jack", because Frodo knows that James would be watching him, and laughing. Hobbits have big feet.