Helios Creed Interviews James Brown
Thora-Zine Issue #6

Radio waves. Electrical charges oscillating in the dark voids of space. Long before we ever landed, we had received emissions from  various transmitters on the Earth’s surface. Strange noises, or sounds rather, which configured themselves in ways we had never perceived. Different from the sheer buzzes and dissonant signals from our home grid sector, these were sounds that together created what we then called Electromagnetic Radioactive Melody Units, or E.R.M.U. .s. We soon learned that these sounds were rather disparate. Some much more potent than others. Some that gave additional perks to our antennas. One particular sound engaged us like no other. A rhythmic creation where the emphasis of the beat fell on the one and the three in a bar of human music. It was like no other audio signal anyone in the universe had ever constructed through our vast information systems. We learned that the conductor of these strange sounds was one Mister James Brown.

Little did we know other travelers of the space time continuum had received the same pulsations. Soon it was decreed by the great space collective at the Thora-Zine Intergalactic HQ that a party must be selected and sent to study these perplexing sounds. After rigorous and often cruel tests subjected by Thora-Zine commanders Brent, Damon and Mike, three humanoid lifeforms were selected. They are in order of Earth size: Helios Creed, and Man or Astroman? Emissaries Captain Zeno and myself, Birdstuff. The trajectory was set. A great adventure was now ahead of us. Once on Earth soil assimilation would be the key to a successful mission. Adjustments to the atmosphere and chemicals would be difficult. Helios alien lungs would have to battle the dreaded contamination of noxious Earth fumes. We would have to climb out of our chrome colored jet-streamed space suits and into earth attire. We knew the risks, but there was no turning back because the coordinates were locked. We no had no choice but to uncover the enigma behind the sounds that we knew were truly from the great dark beyond. Target: Augusta, GA, Planet Earth: home and headquarters of the New James Brown Enterprises. What follows is the account of what transpired when the beacon was finally relayed….

The Godfather: Had you come into my office you would have seen that the astronauts have been with me three times. They say, not only am No. 1 in the country, but out of this world as well.

Birdstuff: What quality is it that you think has allowed you to become one of the most influential artists on Earth as well as in outer space?

The Godfather: Well, because first I believe in God and that’s where I get my inner strength from and then I get people around me who believe in God also, so I don’t have to search for that so far. Now I’m trying to get you to be… I’m not preaching to you ya know, it’s just, there is a God.

Birdstuff: That’s what kept you going.

The Godfather: But then I realize that I have been blessed to have an opportunity with a 7th grade education and all the money and all the things that have been taken away from me and yet still God has always uh got a restitution plan with humanity and made me get part of what I deserve back. But what I got, I thank God for that. I don’t want more and more, I just thank God for what I got. And I want to share with all the young people and make you realize that education, other than God is the most important thing in your life. Because if you don’t know it you can’t do it.

Birdstuff: That’s true. Mr. Brown, you were also around at the birth of rock n’ roll….

The Godfather: Oh I remember rock n’ roll when it first started, it started with Little Richie.

Birdstuff: Yeah, that’s when you were with the Famous Flames.

The Godfather: Yes.

Birdstuff: You were actually a drummer.

The Godfather: Oh I played drums as well, I played guitar, bass, piano… harmonica, all those things.

Birdstuff: How do you think the spirit of the music has changed since then, do you think the essence is still there in rock n’ roll?

The Godfather: Well, rock n’ roll will always be around, rock n’ roll was when the white kids were trying to get into funk and not play the blues and it comes out as rock n’ roll. Little Richie, what made him do rock n’ roll is because he’s sanctified holy see you know, and that’s what made it happen. If he sung the blues it would still come out rock and roll. Because he’s sanctified.

Helios Creed: Are there any James Brown records on the Voyager 1?

The Godfather: Naw, probably on what, what is it, the Enterprise? I’m sure Shatner didn’t take ‘em. I guess all my records Spock probably got ‘em put away somewhere.

Capt. Zeno: You were the creator of funk music, with the beats on the one and the three…

The Godfather: That’s RIGHT, you down with it.

Zeno: I was wondering what influenced you to do that?

The Godfather: What really influenced me is the fact that, with a seventh grade education I knew I could never do Mozart, Strauss, Montevanni, Chopin, people like that. I never could. Which, even in the big band you had to do it, you had to read the charts and everything. So I had to come up with something that nobody had but me. And I knew hambone on the leg and all that stuff you know. So I came up with something with the same syncopation. And developing something off beat, on the one and the three, I recorded “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag.”

Zeno: So you purposefully went off beat to try and get away from…

The Godfather: Oh yeah, I went away from it, I wanted to be different. I couldn’t get to their music but I had them beat. Cause they didn’t know what I’m doing. They still don’t know what I’m doing.

Helios: What do you think of the sound of modern digital studios versus the tube sound?

The Godfather: Tubes are the best. I just got two Fender amps, I got Ampeg bass amps, and I got the big size bass drums, like the old Salvation Army drum. I had it made that size. And my band is pumpin’ You got to get that sound.

Birdstuff: Do you prefer CD’s or Vinyl?

The Godfather: I like records, because I like to hear the noise. The good stuff.

Zeno: On a lot of the songs like “Mother Popcorn” and “Get It Together” where you calling out to the band on those songs was there a lot of improvisation going on?

The Godfather: Well you know it’s like when you’re building a house you get the basic plans and then you build on. That happens. You do it to the basic letter but not completely.

Birdstuff: With the invention of the sampler, and artists paying tribute to you by sampling your work, do you think you’ve influenced rap from its beginnings to the present with your work with Afrikaa Bamabataa?

The Godfather: Well, I did rap before he even came along, I did “Brother Rap” in ’69. All those other tunes, I’ve been doing that all my life. I’m very glad that the rappers realize where the funk comes from. See, what happened was, they took the music out of the schools in New York. So they went to look in their parents old record collection and 60% if the records in there were James Brown. And they started sampling mine and said ‘Well If we sample James Brown, maybe they would listen to what we got to say. And they thought it’s the new James Brown and all of a sudden it came right out. Yo-cool

Helios: Have you ever had a UFO experience or sighting of any kind?

The Godfather: I don’t know but I got off one myself and got down here. I’ve seen crazy lights and things I don’t even want to talk about. I been down with that for a long time. I believe that everybody didn’t get killed with Atlantis in the first place. I think, you know, we saw what we wanted to see.

Birdstuff: Would you ever like to go out there into space?

The Godfather: I’d love to.

Zeno: If you had a place on the space shuttle would you actually go up in it?

The Godfather: Yeah, of yeah. I’m not afraid. I volunteered to go to Vietnam when everybody else was running away from it. You gotta leave the good stuff to go anywhere.

Helios: In your career in music you’ve accomplished almost everything. Is there anything else…

The Godfather: What I accomplished, I’m accomplishing now young people, even space people, like you realize what’s going on. You’re in a position to change things. The disenfranchised people in America are in a position to raise the conscience. But ya’ll can change things. The Beatles did a great thing for this country, and Elvis did a great thing. Ya’ll can change things. That’s what’s important. You go to the blood bank, you want one thing. The type of blood that you like. You sit down to eat, you want food. You don’t care who made it. So we got to realize that there are certain situations that are waged on the unconscious to make them get into another frame of mind so that the greedy can take advantage of the needy. I’m glad I was a needy before I was wealthy, before I got to where I could be a greedy. I know how things taste. I know how potato pie tastes, I know how peach cobbler, blackberry pie tastes. Most people never even seen it. I know how corn bread tastes. I know how cracklin’ bread tastes, I know how chitlins taste. I wouldn’t have known before. I’m glad I know. I know about the world, whereas a lot of people born with a silver spoon in their mouth don’t know about nothing. I express love, knowledge and getting a education. And I express the danger of violence. It does not do anything, it just makes the problems worse. We need to work together; and use all our thoughts and prayers and our knowledge to make things better throughout the world. I admire you young people that come in here, I admire your guts, I admire your dignity about challenges, I admire your love and honesty, and most of all I admire your soul.

After decontamination, our interstellar music appreciator relayed the data behind James Brown’s intense message. These timeless transmissions continue to affect the inhabitants of Earth or any creature fortunate enough to come across the appropriate frequencies. James Brown has truly encompassed the space age, from being the first man to be played in outer space- Houston Control woke up the Apollo moon mission astronauts with “I Feel Good” – to preventing the Earth’s sun from going supernova, but you don’t know anything about that yet. James Brown, still on the Good Foot 1000 years into the future.

James Brown, Father of funk and space rock continues to have a massive audience and alter people’s lives with his message. As always, he is deeply concerned with the lives of young people. He has written over 6000 songs, recorded over 5000 and been sampled by over 3500 different artists. He has sold more records than any other entertainer in the history of music. He is currently in the process of completing a new record, the first single of which is entitled “Respect Me,” and has recently opened his own line of cookies.

Helios Creed and Man Or Astroman?: For reasons of either crash landing or mishap vacationing. Helios Creed and Man or Astroman have been permanent residents of planet Earth. Their records are available on Amphetamine Reptile and Estrus Records, respectively Helios Creed has a mind blowing new album, entitled “Planet X” and Man or Astro-man? have a new full length slated for Earth counters in February and persist in putting out hordes of strange 7”s and other EP’s about being from space and living on Earth.


Southern Star Wars: as told by Cool Hand Luke Skyrocker & The Anonymous MF

“It all began sometime in late July,” I said, shivering with discomfiting retrospect. Stretched out on his Oiler-luv-ya-blue Naugahyde chaise, trying to exorcise the demons of my recollection. Horrific, towering Big Gulps full of pee-pee. I happen upon a fortuitous hug from my 38-21-36 female psychiatrist. Thank you.

“Y’know, you don’t have to do this,” informs Herr Doktor, “No, I must. My Publisher is making me.” And, oh shit, now he’s adding his own Southern story tellin’ to my documentation of “Mission Git Fonky.” In fact, some of these words are not even my own. A Publisher’s license is in use.

The following is an account of some of the events that led Thora-Zine’s Cool Hand Luke Skyrocker, Mr. Fuji and the Anonymous MF from Austin, Teas to Augusta, Georgia for a pre-destined interview with the controversial Father of the Funk, Mr. James Brown.

Once upon a time, Cool and MF were dining in a trendy Austin eatery when they happened upon a James Brown show flyer. Indistincts told them to immediately arrange a meeting between him and Mr. Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfer fame. Thora-Zine cover #6 in full-effect. Top that. Rolling Thora-Stone with full color Thora-Zima ads would soon be unleashed to the oppressed people. An indecipherable interview which would feast upon a buffet of loquacious palaver. We could cook up some “BUTT-SOUL!!!!!” Yes! Phat-ASS rad! THAT is the motherfuckin’ sweet-ill communication of the mo’fucky century!!! Fresh as Massengil Douche, niggy!!! However, Gibson the unaccountant couldn’t make it. Boo hoo hoo. The Devil couldn’t go down to Georgia. No, no, no the bad is all mine.

By the way, we did have plans, however, to kidnap Mr. Mayonnaise (Gibby) and take him to a remote Hill Country cavern where we could force him to eat rocks and learn to speak the ancient African Browinian dialect, “Yabba Dabba Doo.” But the fish got away before we could reel him in. Gibson was splitsville to his little Florida hideaway on the beach.

Now, let’s see, Florida is only about 8000 miles from Augusta. We could charter a hovercraft from Mississippi. Uhh, we got the shackles, the pharmacuticals on a stick, a invitation from R.R.M. to sleep-over in Athens, a list of all the topless bars between the two states and a promise from Mr. Brown to pose nude on his leopard skin carpet so Gibby can can paint yet another timeless portrait.

Aw, fuggit. Shucks. Now what? I know, we’ll get Jon Spencer to do the interview, no, the Beastie Boys, uhh, Mojo, yeah Blowfly, no, Michael Bolton and/or Al Jourgenson, fuck that, David Allen Coe, noooo, uhhhh. Of course, the big joker, Steve “Perry” Martin at Nafty Little Man suggested Chubbish Jackson. Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. How ‘bout Bolt Thrower, Steve! Jon’s in Washington State. The Beasties are in Tai-Pang. Shit, we’ll just get Mojo and Blowfly to do their OWN interview. Thora-Zine Theme Song Vol. II. “Mo’Fly!”

Of course, James Brown’s publicist had no idea of our intentions. And we were pretty much amazed that we even got our foot in the door. But after a lengthy series of fancy letters and cold-hearted threats to a Mr. Courtney Barnes at the Lee Solters PR Company, we finally landed ourselves an interview date. It was a cold October Friday night when we got the news. Mr. Barnes left a message on our lo-tech, Italian, coughing-bong answering machine. The message said, “Yo, it’s on muthafuckaz. Tyme 2 Phlyyyy!” Roughly. But… it was on! SOLID!!! That night it stormed harder than it ever had in this small, dusty Texas town. At least harder than it had in the two months I had lived here. The Gods had become aware of our plans, and they were angry. The storm raged on. It was raining from the ground up, towards the sky throughout outer-space. So hard that my apartment complex’s Satanic swimming swamp emptied. I knew we’d be in Georgia soon.

Mr. Barnes gave us one week! Wow. Shit. That’s so incredible. How in tha…

Say this real fast. “Uhh, Mr. Barnes? Like, our “star writer” can’t really make the date. Can, we, uhh, like post-pone the date?! (We kinda had some Soul Doubt.)

He said this real mean. “NOOOOO!”

Well, who in the heck are gonna get there inside a week? At this point the entire Thora-Zine staff was hanging from the rafters trying to rack our skills for ideas.

A quick check in the CD bin and… Hwah-Lah. Well get Estrus surf-space-cases, Man or Astro-man?, and AmpRep’s space-warrior, Helios Creed, and pit them against the Godfather in a taser-gun showdown!

Images appearing in this interview:

Front Cover