The Once and Future James

Two sides of the Godfather of Soul

Brown's monumentality had a downside. In addition to the Draconian discipline, C-note fines slapped down for scuffed Oxfords A the Godfather was getting bigger and bigger, and making musical forays without his band. Egos bruised, tempers flared, and in 1969 Ellis and Pickney jumped ship, with the rest of the band soon following. Though the intervening years have patched things up, Soul Pride and Universal James, so different in many respects, at least agree on one sad truth: What's past is past. Or, as Brown himself once sang, "There was a time."

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