Don Ostertag: Off Stage

James Brown @ Orchestra Hall

There is no argument that James Brown was a musician and musical entertainer of the highest echelon. And there is no argument that James Brown, as a deep thinker, was…Well, as a musician and musical entertainer he was hard to beat.

          He was a friend of presidents and senators. President Johnson declared him a role model for the youth of the day. LBJ was as far off base on James as he was on Viet Nam. He based his observations of Brown on the fact that James went from abject poverty to the top of the music business. And James was also a crusader for education and civil rights, and against drugs, alcohol, violence, racism.  And yet, drugs, alcohol, guns, violence and even stretches in prison were as much a part of his life as his music.

          His contradictions is best exemplified in…

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