Rocks in Your Head and James Brown

July 13, 2009

I used to work at a great record store called Rocks in Your Head. It was in Soho and had been there since the 70’s but unfortunately like many record stores it is no longer around. It was a pretty amazing place to work and I got turned on to a ton of new music there. This little basement store was literally so packed full of music records, tapes, cds, books, movies, posters, stickers, magazines etc, that if they ever took all of the stuff out it seemed like the building would collapse. There were some real musical treasures to be found in Rocks, a lot of which, were behind the counter and not even available to the public. One of my greatest finds there was a bunch of old VHS tapes stuffed in a cubby hole behind the counter. I started watching the tapes and found out that they were bootlegs of some amazing concerts. My favorite one out of the bunch was a James Brown concert. I must have watched this concert 30 or 40 times, it was the best live show I had ever seen. I never knew the context of the concert other than what I was able to discern from watching it so many times. Last year a documentary came out called The Night James Brown Saved Boston and I realized magnitude of this concert I had watched dozens of times. Here is a brief description of the DVD, “The night after Martin Luther King was assassinated in April 1968, James Brown, self-proclaimed Godfather of Soul, performed a legendary concert in Boston. While more than a hundred other cities around America burned, in a nationwide outpouring of rage among the black community, Boston was spared a similar fate, thanks to Brown’s performance, a symbolic ambassadorship for calm.” Above is a video of the concert.

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