As mayor of Bootleg City, I’ve decided to make some changes around these parts. You see, recently I noticed that our fair city really is fair. In fact it’s downright pale. We need to diversify, fellow Bootleggers! To paraphrase a pioneering African-American American of the 1870s: “Where all the black women at?”

Last week I asked Jeff Giles, the man behind the curtain who funds this puppet government, if he had any R&B he could send my way. He delivered, so today I give you one of the greats, Marvin Gaye, performing at Budokan in Tokyo on November 13, 1979. (See? I brought in Japanese people too. Bootleg City is diversifying so quickly!) Jeff posted this bootleg at Jefitoblog in January 2006 under the name “Immortality of the Soul,” but I can’t find that title anywhere else on Google, so Jeff must’ve been drunk. But so was the person who incorrectly listed “After the Dance” as “When I First Saw You,” which is the opening line of the first verse, and, in another instance, “I Want You” — that sentiment is expressed in “After the Dance,” but “I Want You” is another song altogether by the Motown legend. However, my favorite “Too Busy Thinking About My Budweiser” track listing was the one for “Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” whose name had been changed by another stubborn kind of fellow to “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” which is probably the response he gave to anyone who tried to correct him.

In 1979 Gaye was two years removed from his most recent pop and R&B smash, “Got to Give It Up,” and still three years away from his comeback hit, “Sexual Healing.” When he divorced Anna Gordy, Berry’s sister, in ’77, the settlement required that he give her all the proceeds from his next album, hence the name Here, My Dear (1978). Gaye also owed millions in back taxes to the IRS and was battling depression and drug addiction as the ’70s came to a close. Shortly after he returned to the top of the charts, his cross-dressing father, a conservative minister, shot and killed him on April 1, 1984, the day before his 45th birthday. Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order, Rent) and James Gandolfini (The Sopranos, Romance & Cigarettes) are set to star in a film about Gaye’s final years; it’s unlikely that writer-director Lauren Goodman will need to manufacture any extra drama.

Got to Give It Up
After the Dance
What’s Going On/Save the Children
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
A Funky Space Reincarnation
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
Trouble Man
Medley: Ain’t That Peculiar/You’re a Wonderful One/Stubborn Kind of Fellow/Pride and Joy/Little Darling (I Need You)/I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Medley: Hitch Hike/You/Too Busy Thinking About My Baby
Distant Lover

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners, and in 2013 he spearheaded 'Face Time, a collaboration with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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