Thursday, 5 February 2009

Feelin' James (no Gok Wan)

Back in issue 3 of the Beastie Boys' vanity magazine Grand Royal there was an article by Russell Simmins (member of the rawk group Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, rather than that Russell Simmons) about a mid-to-late seventies cable tv show James Brown had called Future Shock in the vein of Soul Train which sounded like the greatest thing ever with him captured during his PCD-ed out, semi-disco Body Heat period performing live in the studio and hosting a dance contest for young, gifted and black ATLiens to get on their good foot to various hit from the J.B and People Records catalogue.

Alas, any grainy fifth generation VHS tapes of it were out of reach for your boy and when I've checked Youtube in the past they only had dribs and drabs of it and not the full mythical dance contest the magazine article gushed about in detail until a bored Youtube search this snow-laden morning when listening to Cooky Puss revealed it in all its flamboyant glory :

This was filmed in JB's hometown of ATLanta for cable television so there's no way those kids could have ever have been exposed to the breakdancing which was going on in areas of NYC around the same time yet their boogieing is strangely similar, if altogether more theatrical. It's interesting that you had these two sets of young'n's from different regions of America with no connection whatsoever other than a love of the funk as well as the Crip-Walkers in L.A and the Northern Soul dancers in the UK all coming up with these bugged-out outrageous moves around the same time in the mid seventies which ushered in a whole new style of dancing that Michael Jackson and Prince would later adapt in the 80s. Now this is online for everyone to see can the Bronx 4 elementz pension-plan crew ease back with their claims of how breakdancing was this unique dance phenomenom which they invented, plz?


Anonymous said...

the guy dancing with the duffel bag on his head..


Conroy said...

this shows us that a lot of the body poppin styles were coming from the funk and soul train style dances and just evolving from that, there must have been a big cross over in those early days when a lot of these kids were starting to get into hip hop and adapting the moves they already had.