98% Funky Stuff: My Life in Music by Maceo Parker

By Maceo Parker

Revealing the nice and cozy and incredible tale of an influential jazz legend, this own narrative tells the tale of a man’s trip from a Southern upbringing to a occupation traveling the realm to play for adoring enthusiasts. It tells how James Brown first chanced on the Parker brothers—Melvin, the drummer, and Maceo on sax—in a band at a small North Carolina nightclub in 1963. Brown employed them either, however it used to be Maceo’s signature variety that helped outline Brown’s model of funk, and the word “Maceo, i need you to blow!” turned a part of the lexicon of black track. A riveting tale of musical schooling with frank and revelatory insights approximately George Clinton and others, this definitive autobiography arrives simply in time to rejoice the seventieth birthday of the author—one of the funkiest musicians alive—and might be loved by means of jazz and funk aficionados alike.

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I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I had an enormous amount of confidence in our band. That feeling had a lot to do with our family’s constant encouragement. We weren’t really nervous about performing—we were anxious to see how people would respond. As we kicked off our first tune, the audience watched us with mild interest, probably expecting us to be barely tolerable, if not downright terrible. But, by the end of our first song, I noticed people were genuinely smiling and clapping, surprised that a group of kids could play like that.

For my parents, music was a spiritual thing and an escape of sorts. Not until I was much older did I realize how hard they struggled back then. They were masters at creating a lighthearted atmosphere around the house, despite the cramped conditions and scarcity of money and food. Music helped hold everything together. It’s difficult for me to imagine just how hard my parents worked to scratch out a living, but to them it was just a part of life. Coming of age in the 1930s the way they did—being two generations removed from slavery and living through the worst economic depression our country had ever seen—meant nothing came easy to them.

My group of friends seemed to look down on those whose addresses were tacked up on boxes on rural routes rather than on the fronts of houses on proper streets. I feel bad about it now, because I know those people had rough lives. Working in the cotton and tobacco fields was not easy, and I doubt that I would have ever had time for music had my family been tied to the land like that. The old upright piano followed us to our new house, and so did choir practices. I still stood by the edge of the piano and watched whenever someone was playing and tried to cue in on what they were doing.

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