GoGo Live 2015
TVOne highlighted the life and legacy of Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go Go in an amazing way tonight. Now, to most of you this is not a big deal; especially if you are not from the Washington, DC Area.
I rarely Blog about “niche” type topics as I really want whatever I write to be felt across all borders, however, THIS post is For, About and To My DC Sisters and Brothers.
In DC we have a genre of music called Go Go. Go Go is just as important if not more important to DC natives as are the countless monuments and museums. Most of us can recite decades of Go Go music faster than we can name the collection of Smithsonian Museums. It is the heartbeat of our city. You can catch the Unsung Episode to learn about the ups and downs of Go-Go and enjoy a glimpse of the life of The Godfather of Go Go told through the eyes of those closest to him. It’s a great story.
As I watched the episode, I was filled with a great appreciation for those instrumental in crafting Go Go. The process was quite intricate. Chuck Brown was very calculated in each progression he made. I could not help but to compare Chuck’s passion and purpose and action against the Godsons and Daughters he left behind to continue to write the story of DC Go Go. Suddenly my mood changed.
There is a clear difference in the level of success Chuck had and the current state of Go Go. For some time, Go Go was tarnished with episodes of crowd violence and bad press. To those “in” Go Go, this was the downfall. This was what prevented Go Go from growing to a national level. This is was kept Go Go “Kept”.
While I do believe this negative energy was not great for the progression of Go Go, I do not believe it was or is the true problem.
You see, Chuck’s journey made sense. His actions matched his life happenings. He birthed Go Go on Purpose, literally. Go Go was something “in” him. When life sat him down in prison for 8 years he asked someone to make a guitar. He and that guitar partnered with his purpose to create a significant sound. That HAD to happen at that time to him. It was destined. It made sense.
As he traveled through the ebb and flow of life he realized his passion for this newly created sound. His passion became perfectly aligned with his purpose. Wow!
I have had the pleasure of sharing a few conversations with Mr. Brown and on each occasion his spirit was evident. It was happy. It was content. It was sure. It made sense.
I say all of this to say; the Go Go bands of today are not focused on their passion or purpose. They continue to work from a place of greed and stature.
In tonight’s episode Chuck’s band members spoke highly of him and his accomplishments. They spoke of instances they didn’t understand or even agree with at times, but they trusted him and followed his lead. They loved him. They undoubtedly struggled along with Chuck, in times that were nowhere near as luxurious as today. But……It wasn’t about the fame or the money. It was about the craft. That’s it, That’s all.
Many Go Go bands remain relevant today, although the next level is unclear. I believe it is unclear because they have lost sight of the core principles of Chuck Brown’s success. Do it because you love it. Stay true to it even if you don’t eat. You don’t have to be the best. And lastly, It’s a Movement. Unite & Conquer.
Then you will win.
*of Note – Special recognition to my long time friend, Kato Hammond of TMOTT GoGo. The DC Area’s most trusted Go Go publication for working relentlessly within his purpose. He has made so many extreme contributions to the Go Go Community. It was great to see him share knowledge and experience on the Big Screen. XOXO