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9 years ago

James Brown. Interview regarding Boston Garden concert being televised. April 5, 1968. from James Brown: Powderkeg

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James Brown. A clip from the documentary, "The Night James Brown Saved Boston", features interviews with Michael Ambrosino, KGBH who managed the live broadcast of the Boston Garden concert, April 5, 1968. Boston was like a powder keg ready to explode. James Brown did not realize the concert was going to be televised and wanted more money. He stood his ground and he was paid as he requested for the concert to be televised.
In the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, rioting broke out in cities across the country. James Brown had been scheduled to perform at the Boston Garden on April 5th. Boston Mayor Kevin White had initially wanted to cancel all public events, including James Brown's show. As there was concern that the cancellation of the show might cause an escalation of the crisis. it was agreed that James Brown's show would go on. The show, one of the greatest in Boston's history, went on and the city of Boston remained relatively calm. James Brown consoled his mourning audience, dedicated the show to the memory of Dr. King and was instrumental in keeping the peace on the streets of Boston.

Video transcript:

Up the shell, shell time, Boston itself was a power cake ready to explode. And I am just walking around, one is going away, one of was going away, one of you is going away. I wasn't sure. I was not sure.

Michael Ambrosino: Brown finally arrived in a wonderful dark suit and they [inaudible 0:00:27] of people. I have never been to a rock concert. I have never seen this kind of entrance and he looked really fine and I extended my hand to him and said, Mr. Brown, its very nice of you to allow us to televise this concert tonight because of the situation. And he looked at me and pause and said, what television? And I thought, oh gosh, now I am gonna have a problem.

James was kind of being aloof. He wants more money and the mass, well, gives you your damn money. And he said, that James [inaudible 0:01:07]. What you had was two arrogant people. Brown and myself.

Many want a savior today. Pay money.

I finally said, I will get your money. I will get you your money but get up in that stage and I want you to a pro performance. I don't mean a musical one either.

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