Bootleg City: James Brown, 11/27/87

We did it! More specifically and much less modestly, I did it — I won Tuesday’s election!

My victory even got some coverage from Associated Press national political writer Liz Sidoti, who wrote, “A slew of cities selected mayors …”

A win-win all around!

No question it was an exciting campaign right up to the very end, what with David Byrne dropping out of the race just one day before the election. He said it was a show of solidarity with Afghanistan’s Abdullah Abdullah, another big fat quitter, but I think he just couldn’t take the heat.

Green Party candidate Bob Marley, on the other hand, was a cool customer, never raising his voice at any of the debates or even bothering to give a concession speech Tuesday night. Then again, he’s been dead since 1981. (In case you were wondering, the “green” his party represents isn’t exactly the kind Ralph Nader supports.)

And then there’s Matt Wardlaw. Poor, poor Matthew. He didn’t take his defeat very well. He was probably still drunk when he shot me this e-mail Wednesday morning: “You must not have seen the final poll results, and apparently the steel-toed boot that I hired to kick your sorry ass out of Bootleg City went AWOL.”

Sorry, Mr. Wardlaw, but the guys I hired from Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission say I received 99.9 percent of the votes that were cast, compared to Mr. Marley’s 33.5 percent and your -32.5 percent, so don’t get your hopes up about a recount — numbers don’t lie. People do, but not the guys from the IEC. (They told me they used the metric system.)

Mr. Wardlaw went on (and on and on) in his e-mail to say, “Nevertheless, I will be saving Mr. Marley a spot in my cabinet, and we’ll be working together, along with Mr. Byrne, to deliver a newly improved Bootleg City that all of the citizens will be able to be proud of, at long last.”

You mean your kitchen cabinet, Matthew? Because that’s the only place you’ll be stuffing Jamaica’s most famous human export, though it’s obviously not a proper resting place for the country’s ambassador of reggae.

This week’s featured bootleg is James Brown & the Soul Generals with Maceo Parker, performing at Klein Auditorium in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on November 27, 1987. It was a charity concert to benefit disabled and handicapped children, and the Godfather of Soul donated his entire paycheck for the night to the cause.

That’s how we Georgia boys roll, you see. Not that I’ve ever donated any paycheck of mine to a worthy cause, unless you count Bootleg City’s Anti-Prostitution League, which is run by former prostitutes, but I was under the impression that it was a “fight fire with fire” sort of deal. It turns out I was wrong.

The J.B. bootleg comes from Matt Boles, who wrote me from somewhere in the Ozark Mountains on Wednesday to say, “Well, man, I checked out the CNN. They kept talking about some bullshit election in Virginia and another in South Canada or someplace like that. But I finally saw it along the scroll, dominating exit polling data that gave the experts the ability to call you the projected winner with 10 percent of the precincts reporting.” Wow! Even more national coverage!

Matt B. added, “I realized I actually did some work with that very charity back when I was in high school. I was a freshman in college by the time this concert came around. I would like to think I could have been there. Small freakin’ world, huh?”

Yes, it is, Matt. But there’s still a lot of it to see, which is why I’ve decided to take my vacation now.

Election campaigns can really take it out of a mayor, you know? And the postvictory honeymoon always ends so quickly. That’s right when the criticism begins, and who needs that kind of pressure? That’s why I’ve decided to spend my first 100 days in office out of the office this term. In my place you’ll be hearing from some other citizens of Bootleg City, like Mr. Wardlaw, as well as government-distrusting mountain man Matt Boles, the “self-proclaimed Minister of Fast Food and Entertainment” for our fair city. See you in January!

[opening jam]
[intro]
Give It Up or Turnit a Loose
Living in America
Doing It to Death
Georgia on My Mind
Get on the Good Foot
What My Mama Said
Make It Funky
There’s No Business Like Show Business
[civic announcement]
How Do You Stop
I Got the Feelin’
It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World
Super Bad
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
What My Mama Said [Pt. 2]
What My Mama Said [Pt. 3]
Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
Please, Please, Please
I Got You (I Feel Good)
I Got You (I Feel Good) [Pt. 2]
Out of Sight
[outro]
[closing jam]

Before I leave the office without actually leaving office, I’ll leave you with a campaign contribution from the King of Grief. I was hoping he’d contribute cash, seeing as how he’s royalty and all, but instead he gave me a remix of Yes’s “Leave It,” as heard in the end credits of the band’s 9012Live concert:

Leave It [Hello, Goodbye Mix]