Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

A famous — or infamous — dance practice of [James] Brown’s: directing and correcting his band by dancing in front of them, doing the slide across the stage with his back to the audience, while flashing hand signals to the musicians. The audience assumed it was all part of the act, but Brown resorted to this tactic when he heard a wrong note or noticed unshined shoes. The hand signals with splayed fingers that pulsed to the beat were not to keep rhythm, but to alert the particular band member to a five-dollar fine for each pulse of Brown’s hand: five pulses, twenty-five dollars!

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