Friday, August 1, 2014

Fellas, I'm Ready to Get Up and Do My Thing

foreword: the following is what results when a commitment to write a weekly blog post runs smack up against an 11th hour attempt to write about something -- anything -- that comes to mind. In this case, it was the Best of James Brown that brought out the goodness trainwreck you're about to read. Brace yourself, it's worse than a Sharnado jumping a snakes-on-a-plane/train wreck. Let's just say you've been forewarned.

The godfather of soul, James Brown, was apparently a tyrant in the studio. A perfectionist who was abrasive as he was petulant, Brown's band essentially hated him. As a result, his original band walked out on him, forcing him to create a new one.

Bobby! Should I take 'em to the bridge?

But his fans adored him. When Brown shouted out riffs like "take 'em to the bridge," he did it more than to announce a short instrumental solo linking two musical movements together. The chatty improv also served to link his audience to him through his band. While band members probably wanted to jump off the bridge, his fans couldn't get enough of him. It was because of this type of connection that made him such a popular entertainer.

Bobby! Should I take 'em to the bridge?

Take 'em to the bridge caused me to pause and think about the Wednesday Group ride. Specifically because the route literally takes us to a bridge -- the Mormon Bridge -- where we normally wait for everyone to regroup. Well, that didn't happen the last time I did this group ride. Nope. What happened was that I was dropped hard when some fool attacked on a closed section of Boyer's Chute road, where remnants of recent flooding still covered the surface. At the time, I was frustrated by the stupidity of the attacking there. It was stupid because it was unsafe. I intended to air my grievances when we regrouped at the bridge. But when I arrived, nobody was there. Frustration boiled over to anger.

Bobby! Should I take 'em to the bridge?


Queue: I'm ready to get up and do my thing. This lyric comes from the first single with Brown's new band, the J.B.'s. When the J.B.'s were formed, the course of funk was forever changed. Instead of a heavily scripted bass that had previously marked his sound, a busy, improvising one came from replacement bass player William "Bootsy" Collins (later of Parliament-Funkadelic). This was the new "thing" James Brown announced at the beginning of the single, Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine. That, and the other innuendos that that [sic] "thing" implied.

Fellas, I'm ready to get up and do my thing also sums up what I've been doing since my last group ride. For the past month, I've been singularly focusing on improving my time trialing skills in preparation for the USAT National Championships in Milwaukee, August 9th.

Developing time trialing skills are what I need at the moment. None of the group ride stuff matters for a triathlon.

I'd have to say that the self-imposed exile from group riding has been a good reprieve. It's given me a chance to work on my time trialing skills, as well as providing an opportunity for me to cool off. I've been enjoying riding by myself during this time, but I've also begun to miss being a part of the pack.

Until I return, Fred will be my proxy. He's a fine choice as he's plenty capable of providing funky good times. Yes, I do declare, Take it higher, Fred.

Fred, Fred, Fred?!?

And Maceo? Don't get me started on Maceo.

Well you've made it to the end. Let's recap: James Brown and time trialing. I suddenly have a massive headache behind my right eye. I need a nap. Or a blunt object. Or both.

Thanks for reading. Happy Friday.


  1. Plus - if you're putting out something like 1.21 gigawatts of power, I'd say you're ready. Just be careful you don't go back. Back to ... The Future!

  2. "Where's my limo?" "I ain't going nowhere til I get a limo!"