I hope you all are ready to get Funked to death on a Friday, folks.
Do you realize that when you look at this picture, you're looking at the greatest and most important drummer of our lifetimes?
And when you see this one, do you know you're looking at his central partner in crime over the last 50 years, with whom he essentially invented the rhythmic basis of the music of our age, almost out of whole cloth?
They were born one year and two days apart and the drum dude is turning a big ol' 70 today. His buddy with the bass is 71 a couple of days ago.
The grooves they invented, and the hypersyncopated mayhem they produced and still occasionally collaborate upon, are an alpha/omega influence on everyone to have even looked at a musical instrument since 1969.
I know I sound like I'm toking deadly hits from The Hyperbole Pipe this afternoon. But none of what I just said is at all any sort of exaggeration.
As part of one of our epoch's most seminal bands, they architected it all. If what they play doesn't make you get up and move your hips, you better get a toetag, cuz you dead.
If you had a dollar for every minute I've spent practicing the drums along to a Meters record, you could buy the internet and put a down payment on the galactic center.
The synergistic rhythmic momentum created when these two cats get together on a stage or in a studio sets bodies bopping at 40 paces, and cannot be extricated, in terms of imitation and influence, from the totality of all music made by humans since this dastardly duo first hit 50 years ago.
The tape I'm gonna share -- which I just spent the last 48 hours cooking to a Gumbotastic perfection in the remaster lab -- will illustrate beyond doubt what I'm talking about, in the unlikely event you don't already know.
01 No More Okey Doke
02 My Name Up In Lights
03 Be My Lady
04 Look-A-Py-Py/Let Me Have It All
05 They All Asked for You
06 Funkify Your Life
Total time: 46:24
Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste - drums
Willie West - vocals
Leo Nocentelli - guitar & vocals
David Batiste Sr. - keyboards & vocals
George Porter Jr. - bass & vocals
Mario DeMaurier - guitar & vocals
sounds like an off-air FM master reel; taped from WNOE-FM in New Orleans
remastered and restored by EN, Dec. 2018
353 MB FLAC/December 2018 archive link
This is the funkiest tape I will ever post on here, and may be the funkiest tape ever recorded in known history. It makes James Brown seem like Tiny Tim.
No really. It also documents a hitherto undocumented incarnation of The Meters, when the Nevilles left to become The Neville Brothers and the grotesquely unsung Willie West sang with them before they broke up.
You can read the text file if you need to know what I did to make this perhaps the mother of all Meters boots, or at least to slot it in to the sonic space that most unleashes its devastating qualities.
I will return Sunday and Monday to finish out the year in the correct style, but today you better thank whatever gods you do or don't believe in that in all the epochs of time in which you could have been born, you had the sense to come here at the same time as our birthday dudes: the already-immortal-and-not-even-dead-yet rhythm-section deities Ziggy Modeliste and George Porter, Jr. Yeah, you right!--J.