Christian gets on the good foot with Alan Leeds tour manager for James Brown for many years (along with Prince, D’Angelo and Chris Rock), who has just released his memoirs working for Mr. Brown called, There Was A Time: James Brown, The Chitlin’ Circuit and Me from Post Hill Press. A behind-the-scenes look at the Chitlin' Circuit during America's most vital period of soul music - from the eyes and ears of a young Jewish kid from Queens who joined the team of the hardest working man in show business and learned the art of the music business at the hand of the performer who mastered it.
In the mid-'60s, Alan Leeds was a young DJ looking for his way into the music business. An interview with James Brown to promote a local show in Virginia led to an opportunity to promote one of Brown's concerts, which then led to Brown hiring him to help run his tours. Soon Leeds was wearing many hats and traveling around the country as Brown battled a complicated web of local promoters and managers, all too willing to try to rip him off.
In this riveting book - part memoir, part history - Leeds weaves a wholly new and remarkable portrait of Brown as an idiosyncratic iconoclast, determined artist, and forceful businessman. It is a rare look into a world little known to white America immediately following the Civil Rights Movement. Leeds discovers that Brown is a fascinatingly complex man, and their experiences, both business and personal, range from emotional to humorous. All the while, they navigate the complicated world of popular black music in America, told by someone who actually lived it.Alan Leeds (born January 26, 1947) is an American music executive, tour manager, production manager, writer and archivist best known for his work organizing performances and concert tours for artists such as James Brown, Prince, D'Angelo and Chris Rock. In addition to his career in management for artists, Leeds is recognized as an award-winning writer and music archivist. Leeds received a Grammy Award for Best Album Notes in 1992 for his work on the James Brown compilation Star Time. Leeds also penned the liner notes for the 1993 Prince box set The Hits/The B-Sides, and cowrote The James Brown Reader with Nelson George.
Alan Leeds was born in Jackson Heights, New York.Leeds' music career began as a music writer. He first became involved with James Brown as his publicity director in 1969, and worked as Brown's tour manager from 1970 to 1973. Beginning in 1983, Leeds managed tours for Prince during the peak of his commercial and artistic success, notably including the Purple Rain Tour. Leeds' work with Prince culminated in his eventual naming as president of Prince's vanity label Paisley Park Records in 1989.Leeds' career as a tour manager continued with D'Angelo, managing the successful Voodoo Tour in 2000. This was followed by stints with a variety of other artists, including Raphael Saadiq and The Roots. Leeds has also been involved in the curation of the James Brown: The Singles collections, and has spoken at events commemorating Brown's career and accomplishments.
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