I felt I should do something Monday to mark the passing of James Brown, but aside from switching up the song on my MySpace page, I wasn’t sure where to start.
I sometimes feel a sense of loss when an artistic great dies, mainly because their talent seems to be taken for granted while they were alive.
One day my kids — or at this rate, my nieces or nephew — may ask if I ever saw James Brown in concert. Unfortunately, I’ll have to say no.
It does get me thinking about all the great, aging musicians who I should absolutely see at least once before they pass. The master of the sitar, Ravi Shankar (Norah Jones’ father), is always near the top of my list. If you’ve ever seen the documentary for 1968′s Monterey Pop Festival or heard The Beatles’ foray in Middle Eastern music, then you know what I talking about. Although it may sound a little morbid, every time he passes through the city I happen to live in and something else comes up, I can’t help but feel that I may have missed my last opportunity. Currently, he’s not touring because of an injured shoulder.
I’ve always felt the same way about legendary reggae singer Yellowman, because when he does make a rare public appearance, frankly, he tends to look close to death.
B.B. King is 81 years old and still going strong, and thankfully I’m able to say I’ve seen him a couple of times. I also have a 15-minute videotape of a candid one-on-one interview with him from the back of his tour bus that I need to dig out of storage, as I’m sure it will come in handy one day — but hopefully, not anytime soon.
So my question to you my dear blog readers is this: which musician do you absolutely need to see before they die?
Slideshow: James Brown
Slideshow: Celebrities Who Died In 2006