A US judge has ended a two-year legal wrangle between the wife and family of deceased soul superstar James Brown over ownership of his ‘Brand New Bag’, first purchased by Brown in 1965 and celebrated in song that year.
The bag was one of several heirlooms once belonging to Brown, and fought over by various friends and relatives, but lawyers say they were unable to ascertain who he intended to bequeath it to.
‘The item was mentioned in Mr Brown`s will, but I couldn`t make head nor tail of the instruction’ said Elliott Yowsah, of solicitors Yowsah, Yowsah and Yowsah ‘It said ‘I wish to betroth my bag thang, yes I do. It’s alright, outta sight, YOWL!!! I wanna testify, I wanna give it awaaay, give it away. And they can groove on that bag all night long…’ and so on for another three and a half pages of the will’
Overall responsibility for the family was finally bequeathed to his eldest son James Brown II, who will also be given custody his father’s mortal remains, such as his Good Foot and a jar of Cold Sweat – collected during his arrest in 1988.
However this has led to further rifts between the ‘hardest working man in showbiz’s’ sons and daughters, with his eldest daughter complaining at the apparent bias the judge showed towards Brown’s male children. ‘My brothers have inherited things like his ‘funky groove thang’ and his ‘the fever’. All I got was his ‘money maker’ with the instruction ‘shake me’; I’ve tried and it don’t do a dam’ thing any more! I tell you, this is a man’s, man’s, man’s world!’ she complained to reporters.
The ruling judge has also come in for criticism after awarding Brown’s stretch Limo to his youngest son James Brown XXIV. ‘He’s only 15 and hasn’t passed his driving test yet.’ said his mother Tomi Rae Hynie. ‘He keeps asking if he can take it to the bridge; I’m worried that he might inadvertently drive it right off the edge.’
A number of items will donated towards a charity auction for FUNKFAM. These include his Licking Stick and ‘That Thing’, believed to be some kind of stool, which the entertainer repeatedly asked his fans to get up off of. His last wife meanwhile will gain sole possession of the ‘Sex Machine’; although currently unavailable for comment, she has released the following statement: ‘I feel good – I knew that I would.’
(Written by myself and Ben ‘Skylarking’ Cohen, 30 May 2009)