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Soul Power

tn_soulpower
Soul Power is one of the first documentaries to show a shirtless Bill Withers having lunch with Muhammad Ali and Don King in Africa

SOUL POWER is kind of like a prequel to a favorite documentary of mine, WHEN WE WERE KINGS. Remember how there was that music festival at the Rumble in the Jungle, it was supposed to be the same week as the fight, but Foreman cut his eye and the fight got delayed? Well, they were shooting footage of the festival too, so here’s a separate movie about that.

The star of the show is James Brown (with mustache). Also on the bill are Bill Withers, The Crusaders, The Spinners, B.B. King, Celia Cruz, Miriam Makeba and some African musicians.  The movie shows about 1 song per performer, but it’s also about setting up the show. There is priceless footage of a party held back in the states before they all leave for Zaire, James Brown making a speech and everything. On the plane they’re all singing and playing guitars, drums and flutes. I didn’t notice JB or any of the big icons during these scenes, but it’s still amazing to see a plane full of people having so much fun. Then when they arrive there’s a ceremony set up for their arrival. The highlight is the huge smile on Muhammad Ali’s face when he goes up to shake JB’s hand.

mp_soulpowerBefore the show there’s some hanging around, some of Ali’s training, some behind the scenes with the white dudes setting up the stage, all interesting. One thing that might bother some people, but that I really liked, is that it doesn’t offer much explanation of anything. It just plunges you in, direct cinema style, and you can figure out some of what was going on. There are no talking heads added in this time. I had some questions, but I didn’t mind. I only wish they’d labeled who the musicians were at the beginning and not just the end.

It’s an amazing time capsule not just of an incredible event, but also a place in American history. In some ways it’s sad to watch, because as far as I know all the excitement they had about black Americans reaching out to Africans never turned into much. They seem so sure this is the bridge to the future. And here’s Don King talking pro-black, but these days he’s just known for ripping off Mike Tyson and making funny rhymes. Motherfucker stumped for Bush, for cryin out loud. Only in America. Not in Africa.

Ali talks about why he must win, saying it’s his duty to stand up for the black man in America, because the musicians won’t say what needs to be said. Sure enough he has some mildly tense moments with some of the musicians teasing him about what he says about black men not being free, or goofing around in boxing gear while he’s intensely training. There’s a shot of him in the ring peering out as somebody (B.B. King?) is making the press laugh clowning around with the punching bag. Poor Ali looks so alone. Nobody else is on the same page with him.

I don’t know if any of you guys have seen it, but there’s an episode of The Mike Douglas Show on DVD where Ali is one of the guests and Sly Stone is the guest co-host. Ali’s in a real serious, political mood, and he gets into it a little with the other guest, some politician. Sly tries to goof around to ease the tension, and Ali doesn’t respect this. Watching SOUL POWER I realized Ali was right. He really did make sacrifices standing up for what he believed, like when he refused to join the army and lost his title and boxing license and had to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. Musicians more often talked a good game but couldn’t deliver in the ring (metaphor). They were really about party and bullshit.

But there’s something to be said for JB’s corny “I am somebody” message that ends the movie. Maybe he didn’t have the impact of Ali, and politically he was much more conservative anyway. But I think he did make a difference. Just seeing those dudes looking and being so fuckin cool probly gave some people an idea of how to be confident in themselves. And I mean, if you were black, how could you listen to some of that music without being proud? Man, that’s ideal struttin music.

And then there’s Bill Withers. I don’t know if all of you know who that is. He’s a great soul singer known for “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Just the Two Of Us” and “Lean On Me,” but also he has great, less worn out songs like “I Can’t Write Left Handed” and “Grandma’s Hands”:

So much emotion in those songs. He was so good at the sad and the bittersweet, but also at the joyful. I think of him as one of those positive, humane soul singers along with Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye who can sing about little pieces of humanity and project them through a filter that just shines out life in all its beauty. I swear I’m not stoned I just get that way trying to describe songs like that.

In the behind-the-scenes footage Withers looks a little shy and distanced from the other musicians, and he talks very earnestly about his intent to learn from this experience and from the African musicians. On stage we see him sitting with an acoustic guitar singing “Hope She’ll Be Happier.” It’s been established that most of the crowd doesn’t know much English, but there’s so much emotion in his voice that you can see why they’re cheering for him even if they don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Maybe they don’t know what he’s singing, but they can definitely feel it.

Leon Gast is credited as director of WHEN WE WERE KINGS, and he’s seen shooting footage in this movie. The editor of that one, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, is credited as director here, since he put it together out of 125 hours of outtakes, but I feel a little weird about that since he didn’t shoot the footage. (I never knew before that some of it was shot by the great Albert Maysles. Makes sense, though.) From what I understand there was stuff they couldn’t use because of music rights, I’m not sure what, but I do know that which ever companies are responsible should burn themselves to the ground in shame for stopping the world from seeing this stuff. Still, I’m thankful we get to see this much of it.

Soul Power comes out on DVD in the US January 26th, but it’s already available in Europe as part of the Masters of Cinema series I believe.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 at 1:32 am and is filed under Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

48 Responses to “Soul Power”

  1. How in Allah’s name does Europe have this already and the U.S. does not? This documentary sounds phenomenal, even if the purpose of the events that it documents never amounted to much for the people of the Kinshasa. The bugs there are out of control – – – I don’t know how men managed to box in that infested atmosphere, but maybe it was milder back then – – – and a lot of Zaire’s citizens still live in clueless near-squalor. No matter what romanticized notions this footage might give you about that part of Africa, trust me, we got it a helluva lot better in the States. The jungle is my least favorite place.
    Mr. Vern, I didn’t realize you were a fellow fan of James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, and Bill Withers. The late JB’s still the only musical artist who makes me want to dance, and the late Mr. Superfly is the only man I somewhat envied who operated with a high pitched voice.

  2. Don king, loves bush, loves chavez, damn i hate him. The night james brown saved…detroit? I dont know he saved a city and that’s a great documentary too

  3. BOSTON! I dont know who saved detroit, sorry

  4. Robocop saved Detroit, only he did it with bullets rather than funk.

  5. Thanks again , Vern , and I think you’re right on the money when you say that this is a time capsule . I will track down Facing Ali and Soul Power not only because they’re documentaries , but also because I never experienced directly that timeframe . A lot of older people I know , well , they get very sentimental about Ali and all the political and social movement of that period , and some of them even cried when Obama was finally elected . I was thinking , man , you should be happy, this is history right here , but then I realized what a long road it was for them. I think that for a younger audience , like me , this is required viewing .

  6. And since Majestyk is talking about Robocop , I just realized that there’s not a review of Total Recall on the site ( or I wasn’t able to find it ). I re-watched it last night , and it’s fucking amazing , and hardcore . It also has a political undertone more in line with the current times ( people vs corporations ) , and in more than one way ( Schwarzenegger ). Vern , I hope you will write about Total Recall , someday .

  7. For the record, Majestyk is ALWAYS talking about Robocop.

    But fuck yeah, the lack of TOTAL RECALL is seriously hindering this sight’s quest for excellence.

    Also, I think Vern should give THE ROCK a chance. I watched it for the first time since it came out last night and I think it might have the best cast ever assembled. In addition to Connery, Cage, and Harris, we’re talking David Morse, William Forsythe, Michael Biehn, John C. McGinley, Tony Todd, Bokeem Woodbine, Philip Baker Hall, Stuart Wilson, Raymond Cruz…and that’s not even counting all the familiar faces you see pop up for just a second here and there. Tom Towles and Marshall Teague are in there somewhere. I know Michael Bay is a four-letter word around here, but his style in this one seems positively Eastwoodian compared to contemporary action and that cast simply must be seen to be believed.

    What movie were we talking about again? Oh yeah. SOUL POWER. I love Bill Withers. “Who Is He (And What Is He To You)” is an all-time favorite and “Lovely Day” is a self-fulfilling prophecy of a song. Anybody see that recent documentary about him?

  8. Majestyk : Yeah , I know what you mean. There’s always a part of my brain trying to explain reality with Verhoeven-related references . Totall Recall is an alternate reality of the recall election that gave birth to the Governator . Schwarz is fighting Cohaagen ( who kind of looks like Gray Davis ) , he is an outsider in every sense of the word ( he comes from Earth , and he’s an implanted personality ) and he wins . Then in the movie they talk about a lot of political issues , like the taxes for air or unemployment in the mines ( because the reactor was found ) . In my mind that’s how it really happened , Schwarzy was helped by Kuato.

  9. Plus , in Europe , Schwarzenegger won an award for “taking action against climate change” ( I think that’s the translation from an Italian article , correct me if I’m wrong ). Don’t you get it ? In Total Recall , he makes Mars’ atmosphere breathable by stopping a corporation plan ! Verhoeven is a prophet !

  10. Dear Sir,

    I hope you’ll take time out of your busy schedule of posting awesome stuff to accept this silly but quite sincere Fruity little award.

    http://thingthatdontsuck.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-grinch-heart-grows-three-sizes-this.html

  11. I thought I reviewed TOTAL RECALL when I saw it in 70mm a couple years back? If not that was stupid.

  12. I think you often talk about Total Recall in other reviews , but I tried looking for it in the review page and searching for it in the search engine , but there’s nothing .
    Maybe on another site ? Or a Tells It Like It Is column ?

  13. TOTAL RECALL is really good at times and pretty cheesy at others. Once he gets to Mars, the movie looks like it was shot with two dozen extras on a tiny set. Not a good way to portray an entire planet. I have the same problem with Tim Burton’s PLANET OF THE APES – the ape “city” appears to be three houses total.

  14. rainman : Some of the sets are a little cheesy , yes , especially when they show the red rocks of Mars . But I like all the Earth sets and special effects , and the ending reactor sets . The puppets are fantastic , Kuato , Benny and the mutants . Plus the bullets wounds , in every Verhoeven movie , are the best ever .

  15. Majestyk: Totally agree on THE ROCK. In fact, it is the only Michael Bay-related movie I voluntarily watch portions of, and that’s saying a lot. As far as best cast ever goes, I think it’d have to be decided in an all-out fight between the ensembles of THE THIN RED LINE and THE ROCK…maybe we should make it a tournament and give THE EXPENDABLES, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, DEAD MAN, JOHNNY HANDSOME and a few others a fighting chance.

  16. Mr. Majestyk – Man just come out of the closet already and just say you like Michael Bay.

    Don’t go all Lindsay Graham or Charlie Christ on us, ok mate? :)

  17. I remember watching WHEN WE WERE KINGS for the first time and being all, “James Brown was there?! Why isn’t there an album or film of this? I don’t think Mr. Dynamite ever had an off night in his life, so that can’t be it. It’s The Man, right? Gotta be.”

    Looks like The Man has come around; this looks to be quite a treasure. And hell yeah to Bill Withers (I sure am glad we’re not referring to him as “the late Bill Withers” here). “Use Me” is a stone funk classic. Plus, every time Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” starts, I always pause for a moment to wonder if I’m going to be honored with “Grandma’s Hands”. It’s a good win-win situation to be in (throw in the remix, with little hits of MJ’s “Billie Jean” sprinkled in there, and you start to understand why I sometimes say it’s the last song that went to #1 that I liked).

  18. RRA, I’ve been out and proud since the beginning of these message boards when I got into a fight over whether or not liking Transformers 2 made me an idiot (it ended in a stalemate, I believe). I don’t much care for Armageddon and I’ve never seen Pearl Harbor but I enjoy all of his other work. I doubt he’ll ever top Bad Boys II (I was leading that bandwagon long before Hot Fuzz, thank you very much) but I very much enjoy the man’s peculiar brand of overkill.

    I don’t know who those people you mentioned are. Are they crazed Michael Bay fans?

  19. Mr. Majestyk – First off, I didn’t call you an idiot. I just made fun of you and your racist ghetto robots. Big difference.

    Second, Not a stalemate as much as I agreed to a truce after you got sick of people picking on you for defending TR2 and well I kinda felt bad for you. Fair enough.

    Those people btw are major Republican politicians who in office have passed anti-gay legislation…yet while they may or may not be pinko themselves.

    I’m glad you left the closet. :)

  20. RRA, it wasn’t you I got in that fight with. It was some other guy. It was totally my fault, though. I was on the defensive and I may or may not have called him an asshole without knowing all the facts. I’ve mellowed since then.

  21. I fucking hate Michael Bay . But I too enjoyed The Rock on a , I don’t know , cellular level ? Primordial level ? Maybe it’s the cast , but I also think that it’s one of the less confusing Bay pictures .The elements are all here ( like the elementary school-level jokes and the sexist machismo . I think Sean Connery in that movie delivered the line ” the best cheerleader at school ? I fucked her” or “the winner fucks all the cheerleaders”, or something like that ) , but the point is Bay was still trying to figure out his style , and now we know that style : more racism , more omo-jokes , more confusing and more elementary school level.

  22. Sorry to bring everything sort of back on topic, but I’d like to know if Mr. Vern or anyone is as upset by the death of Willie Mitchell as I am. Well, his death doesn’t bother me nearly as much as his life gives me reason to celebrate, so I guess it’s not such a downer that he died today. Still, damn. He will genuinely be missed.

    I’m the only person I know who put The Reverend Al Green’s The Love Songs (2003- – – not cheating!)compilation album at the top of my ‘Best Albums of the Decade’ list a couple weeks ago. The late Willie Mitchell figured prominently in those awesome older songs as well as The Reverend’s return to the bedroom in the 21st century, starting with I Can’t Stop. The world is a smaller, less joyful place today because of Mr. Mitchell’s passing.

  23. I saw a documentary on PBS not too long ago about Latin Music in America. Needless to say, everything after 1985 was watered down crap. But there was an entire episode based on the Fania label (of which Celia Cruz was a member) that was spectacularly good musically. You should check it out if it gets re-aired.

  24. Good call, Mouth. Willie Mitchell is one of only a handful of producers that you can identify from the first few bars of a song, whether you know it or not. I cannot say that I am upset about it as he got more than any of us could hope for. He was with us for 81 years and left a real mark. We should all be that lucky.

  25. sorry to bring things back off-topic, but kermit, that exact line from connery in THE ROCK (and in my opinion possibly the best line in this very entertaining movie, bay notwithstanding) is:

    “You’re best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen!”

    to which cage has a great retort that is difficult to convey here in print.

  26. You all ever heard that story about Bay and Ed Harris on THE ROCK?

    Here it goes: Apparently Bay, to no surprise, is a James Cameron fanatic. But since he lacks any common sense, he keeps bugging Harris on details of how Cameron shot this and that on THE ABYSS.

    Now mind you, everyone knows that Harris and Cameron had a….not so nice time on THE ABYSS. Harris don’t like to talk about it. I mean shit guys, Cameron was so (allegedly) abusive on Harris, the guy after a rough day cried. And dammit, Ed Harris is a tough guy who don’t cry.

    Now imagine this shithead repeatedly wanting to bring up that trauma. So Harris, very politely very nicely, told Bay to shut the fuck up with the Cameron questions. Bay did.

    And Bay wonders why nobody respects him.

  27. so a black guy doesn’t kill white judges with his dong?

  28. RRA : I knew that story about Bay and Harris . Man , I fucking love Ed Harris , and I was thinking about that in the previous post. Bay was trying to figure out his style…. by pissing off the King of Knightriders , asking him about the King of the World ! That , right there , is the very definition of Jackass . But , I always wondered , what if Harris was actually a little bit more nice to poor Michael Bay ? You know , giving him a little advice , like “grow up” or something ?

  29. He wasn’t trying to figure out Cameron’s style. Bay prides himself on being a tough taskmaster on his sets, much like Cameron, and he wanted to see how he measured up in those terms. Harris politely told him that, while he likes Cameron and thinks he’s “an okay guy,” he’s a total asshole when working and no one should ever attempt to emulate him. He goes on to say that Bay might talk tough but he’s actually “a sweetheart,” although he admits that the crew might beg to differ.

    I bring all this up because I don’t see why you guys can’t just hate Bay’s movies without trying to use every anecdote about him to prove that he’s not just a bad director, he’s also a bad person. First off, why does that matter? Harris’ story makes Cameron sound much, much worse than Bay, yet that doesn’t (and shouldn’t) affect anyone’s opinion of his movies. And second, does no one besides me find Bay’s shit-talking amusing? To be a big-time movie director, you pretty much need to be a raving egomaniac, yet most of them pretend to be regular joes. There’s no such false humility with Bay. He thinks he’s the fucking shit, and he’ll be the first to tell you that. Personally, I find his persona entertaining. His commentaries are full of so many brags and boasts that I wonder how much of it is tongue-in-cheek. He’s the Jeremy Piven of directors. I get the feeling that even when he was a nobody he had a “fake it till you make it” kind of personality that is probably a big reason why he is where he is today. If you tell enough people you’re the best, somebody’s bound to believe you.

  30. By “his style” I mean , Michael Bay was still trying to figure out his own style . In my opinion The Rock is way less confusing than everything he made after that , and I think before The Rock , the other big budget movie he directed was Bad Boys , so it’s reasonable to think that he was searching for a personal way to stand out , like a lot of young directors. I wasn’t talking about him ripping off Cameron , but asking for pointers to do his own thing .

    And I don’t find Bay’s shit talking amusing at all . Yes , a lot of great directors are a nightmare to work with, like Kubrick and Cameron , but at least they’ve got the skills to justify that , with bona fide masterpieces. Plus Bay sometimes goes way overboard , claiming things like putting Will Smith on the map , and saying that the director who will eventually replace him on the Transformers will have “big shoes to fill”. I’m sorry , but the guy just sounds like a jackass , thanks to his own words . And for the record , I don’t like Cameron’s “King of the World” line , either.

  31. I don’t know. I can see where Bay might be coming from in saying he helped create Will Smith the Movie Star. Prior to BAD BOYS Will Smith was primarily known for moving in with his uncle and auntie in Bel-Air. And as the guy who thought he could beat Mike Tyson. Would Emmerich have cast him as an action hero in Independence Day if he only had Six Degrees of Separation on his resume? Knowing full well how miserably he failed in his attempt against Iron Mike? Maybe, maybe not. But I can see where Bay might be coming from.

    Mr. Majestyk – I do find some of his bragadociousness entertaining. Though I don’t really keep up on his comments generally so most of the anecdotes I’m aware of come from the people here who enjoy following his remarks (or their out-of-context and distorted equivalents). And I agree that it seems somewhat unlikely he will ever top BAD BOYS II. But I’m gonna see every film he makes in hopes that he will.

    Tangentially, I’ve also really enjoyed Uwe Boll’s megalomaniacal antics a lot as well. Enough so that I really wish I agreed with him on how good a director he is. Unfortunately I didn’t like DUNGEON SIEGE, which is the only film of his I’ve seen so far.

  32. Anyone know what Bill Withers is up to today? He hasn’t released any new music since 1985 but appears to still be alive and in good health. A friend told me that he gave up music and became a teacher, but I can’t seem to find any confirmation of that online — his official website lists a biography which mysteriously stops at 85 with no explanation whatsoever. The guy’s a god in my eyes — as a musician myself, I can hardly think of anyone who I would consider a better songwriter, and he was a fantastic performer as well. Truly a fantastic talent too little recognized today.

  33. Mr. S: This is that documentary I was talking about, Still Bill. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1333117/

    I’m sure that’ll answer most of your questions.

    Jake: Boll’s latest, Tunnel Rats, is shockingly watchable, but the only movie of his that I can really recommend is Postal, which is at least trying to be an offensive, hilarious mess, unlike his other movies, which end up that way by accident. If you’ve ever wanted to see Scott Farkus from A Christmas Story beat up a retarded child for no reason, this is your movie. The commentary track is pretty epic in that he basically claims that he’s the only filmmaker alive with any balls and that he risked assassination for making a film that dares to make the controversial statement that terrorism is kind of stupid.

    Also Dave Foley walks around with his dick out.

  34. Mr. Majestyk – To be fair, I laughed good at that commercial where Bay boasts how awesome he is, and blows everything up. The dude is an asshole, and a hack, but at least he had a sense of humor for that ad. At least I think he understood. He could have been playing himself for all we know.

    As for Harris/Cameron, wasn’t Harris the one who REFUSED to do any publicity what so ever for THE ABYSS back in the day, only because of how bad that experience was? Maybe he’s being polite and nice (and diplomatic), but fuck man Harris gets to star in a summer blockbuster directed by that dude behind TERMINATOR and ALIENS.

    And he doesn’t do PR for it?

    I still stick to my story.

  35. Jake : I think it’s disrespectful to say something like that , even if he helped create Smith the movie star. Just don’t say anything , don’t brag , and be more of a class act . I think about Smith , he started as a rapper and had his fans in the hip hop scene ( in the 80’s ! ) , then went on trying his acting skills with tv and a movie before Michael Bay.That’s a lot of work . I think Bay choose Smith for Bad Boys as a result of Smith success as a tv comedian , just like Lawrence.

    Recently , there was bad blood between Bay and Megan Fox on the last Transformers set , and now Bay is talking about killing her off and “replacing her with another gorgeous young actress” . Yeah , I get the feeling that he thinks of his actresses as interchangeable pieces of ass , and if you see the college scene from his last movie you’ve got this idea of women : hot , dumb or both. I’m sorry , but he still looks like a jackass to me.

  36. The words “class act” and “Michael Bay” should never mix. They’re like those two chemicals in Die Hard With A Vengeance.

    I am fully aware that he is an obnoxious, cocky prick. I definitely wouldn’t want to hang out with the dude, but he makes me laugh when I hear his commentaries and interviews. I think he just says what a lot of other directors only think, and I find that oddly refreshing. I think I get a better sense of what movie people are really like from him than I do from most other filmmakers, who just want to talk about how “great” everybody is.

    Besides, Robert Rodriguez said the same thing about George Clooney that Bay said about Will Smith. Making someone a movie star isn’t so much about discovering them; it’s about shooting them like movie stars so that the public sees them that way. Bay was the first one to do that with Will Smith. He went into that movie a sitcom star who’d been in a couple of movies and he came out a leading man. Even Will admits it. It doesn’t take away from Smith’s hard work prior to Bad Boys. It just took someone with Bay’s eye to display him as the movie star he was born to be.

  37. CallMeKermiT – Yeah, I can see your point, though I don’t know what Bay’s actual quote was so I probably shouldn’t even be giving my two cents. And you are right about Will Smith having his fans in the 80s hip hop scene. One of them was named me. To this day I wonder if Jaden Smith takes every opportunity to complain to his dad about how parents just don’t understand. I know if I was his kid I would.

    Mr. Majestyk – I didn’t know Rodriguez said that about Clooney but their team up did cross my mind when posting about Bay/Smith. I wish the TV actor turned star thing had worked out as well for Elizabeth Berkeley as it did for Smith and Clooney.

  38. Rodriguez wasn’t really claiming that he made Clooney a star. He just used the right camera angles to really showcase the way that Clooney could hold the screen, which is really what makes a movie star. It just takes a director who knows what he’s doing to play up that star quality so that the audience and the studios take notice.

    Bay was much less humble about his role in Smith’s ascent to stardom, but the point was the same.

  39. I really don’t like the Robert Rodriguez persona ( think about his kids , one of them is called Rocket Launcher or something , for Crom’s sake !) all that much , either , and I think that in every actor there’s a bit of a show off with an ego as big as an house, and I don’t need Bay to remind me that , mostly because I think that he didn’t say that to be more true or to show the real Hollywood to the fans , he said that just to brag a little more , because he is a prick . I sure as Hell don’t want to hang out with Bay , either.
    And the sad thing is that I liked that commercial with him blowing shit up , too , and I think that it shows Bay in another light , a more self-aware and funny side that I would like to see in his movies .

  40. Jake : I said 80’s hip hop scene on purpose . Can you imagine trying to make a name for yourself as a rapper in that period ? Well done Mr. Smith , well done . It’s just sad that now this guy that worked so hard in that scene is reading that he is a movie star thanks to a movie by a white prick , mostly criticized for his racial stereotypes and stupid jokes, true or not . But as Majestyk said up there , never mix “class act” with Bay . I should know better .

  41. The kid’s name isn’t Rocket Launcher. That would be absurd. It’s Rocket Valentino.

  42. I’m going to call my son Uzi Vernulator Caliber 45.

  43. Mr. Sub- I thought i heard an interview with Bill Withers recently on NPR’s Fresh Air, but when I looked for the transcript I only found one for another NPR interview he did, but it seems like it might answer some of your questions.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7236327

  44. nobody got my soul vengeance ref?

  45. ebonic_plague thanks for the link. Great interview although I was sad to see it was Tony Cox rather than my secret girlfriend Terry Gross who I absolutely do not have any kind of secret unhealthy obsession with. Cough. Um, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah. Its a good interview but they still don’t get around to explaining what he’s been doing for the last 20 years. Hoping STILL BILL holds the answers.

    (and Mr M, thanks for the lead on STILL BILL. Not on DVD or torrest sites yet but the trailer loks great [and includes footage from SOUL POWER, too]).

  46. Vern, that wasn’t BB King goofing around in the gym with Ali. I think it was the lead singer of the Spinners and one of his back up singers. BB King wouldn’t do goofing. He has a reputation of being sober off the stage. He likes poker and women. Fucking around with the world champ is not one of his hobbies. (yeah, I’m a fanboy)

  47. Soul Power is a musical interlude that always peps up my day. I play it while I clean the house or sometimes while I am entertaining. It was good to watch once or twice as a documentary, and then it became great background soul & chatter to bust out now & then.

    Now, time to check out Still Bill.

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