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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 05/25/2005

I'm Wound Up, Chuck


For Chuck Brown's fans, it seems that "We Need Some Money" has become more than a favorite song.

When the Godfather of Go-Go played at the D.C. Armory with Trouble Funk, Rare Essence and E.U. last month, tickets were $50 before Ticketmaster's hand went even deeper into the audience's pockets. With Trouble and R.E. on the bill, I was tempted to go, but $50? That's a psychological barrier I'm not ready to cross. (Maybe that's why I heard the place was half-empty.) A few weeks earlier, the "Spring Thang" with Raheem DeVaughn at the Warner Theatre was $46.50 before service charges.

And now I see Chuck's Warner Theatre show with The Original P this weekend costs at least $60.35 once the various fees are added on.

Yes, the man's a legend. He invented the go-go genre; he wrote "Bustin' Loose," an all-time great funk song that now serves the Nationals' anthem; the recently released double-CD "Best Of" is fantastic -- and I haven't even touched on his sumptuous playing with the late Eva Cassidy.

But outside of New Year's Eve, I don't think any other local artist could charge $50 for a show. (Well, tickets to a Fugazi reunion could probably bring that much, but charging more than $5 undermines the band's integrity.)

Maybe Chuck's trying to keep out the "undesirable element" that gives go-go such a bad name among politicians and police officials, or maybe he's just trying to make a buck; after all, bootleggers have hustled PA tapes of his shows on D.C. street corners for decades.

But here's the thing: I came to Chuck Brown late, after getting hooked on Northeast Groovers and Rare Essence and the Huck-A-Bucks and Backyard in high school. It'd be great to see Chuck on a stage with good sound and lighting with a full band, to be able to hear him play "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Go-Go Swing" without waiting until 1 a.m. or so at the Classics in Temple Hills on a Friday night.

-- Fritz

By  | May 25, 2005; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Music  
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Maybe it was half-empty because gog-go is played out and an art forms that only "DC Heads" have to enjoy...

Posted by: Bob Snotty | May 27, 2005 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Maybe people from outside the area dont apperaicate good live music....I find that many of the people who comment about go-go have never been to a live show, so until then, no comments PLEASE!

DC Native

Posted by: DC Native | June 23, 2005 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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