"People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul" (Edit) - Fred Wesley

"People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul" (PDF) from the James Brown album, Slaughter's Big Rip-Off.
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The secret to preventing something bad from happening is to not think about it.  Ignore it.  It is as simple as that.  The time and energy that you spend worrying about something could be spent towards making what you want to happen a reality.

Out on the city limits of Kalamazoo, Michigan, there is a gravel bike trail that extends westward towards the town of South Haven.  After navigating the paved streets of South Haven, you arrive at your final destination, the point when you can no longer travel west on your bike, the shore of Lake Michigan.

The approximate distance between Kalamazoo and South Haven is thirty-three miles.  Somewhere around mile ten, I realized that I was in over my head and that thirty-three miles was only the halfway point (I still had to return to Kalamazoo).  I thought about turning back, but a failed adventure is not as impressive as a disastrous adventure, so I kept pedaling.

Bad thoughts started to sink in.  "What if I bust a tire?" I thought.  "How I can find a ride home?"  But I told myself that if I focus on the bad things, then they will come to fruition.  Once I swore off bad thoughts for the day, I was able to pay full attention to the trail, my surroundings, and enduring on through the long day ahead.  With the help of a hearty lunch in South Haven, and Phish's Big Cypress "Midnight Set" on my iPod, I biked all sixty-six miles that day.

Yesterday, I finished this transcription.  It had been sitting on my shelf for a while, a loose end in my Fred Wesley collection, and I wanted something not too challenging to work on while in between other projects.  But once again, I was in over my head.  Upon doing some research about the history of this recording, it was revealed to me that this version, from the Slaughter's Big Rip-Off soundtrack, was edited down from the original nine minute version.

Check out the YouTube video.  It's great.  It's got a whole horn section thing going on in the middle, and more of Mr. Wesley doing his thing.  The full version was released on the compilation album, Motherlode, that I'll have to study someday.  It sounds like there's some funky good stuff waiting for me on that album.

The lake was cold.  I'm going to go grab some lunch, and then I'll get back on the trail with this tune.  Until then, think good thoughts.  To be continued...

Recommended Reading: Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman. Written by Fred Wesley Jr.. Published by Duke University Press.