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"You have to be kind of lucky to run across a man like Mr. Brown in your life"

B&S: What were the reasons that you did leave on the two occasions?

MP: Well, the first time I left, I got drafted so I had no choice. The second time was because I wanted to see what it was like on my own.

B&S: Was there any animosity when you left?

MP: No, no!

B&S: And did Mr. Brown mind you calling your band All The King's Men?

MP: Oh, no!

B&S: You were fairly successful, as far as recording goes — what made you come back that time?

MP: Like I said, I left to see how it would be on my own. And I found that I didn't know anything about the business like I thought I did. Recognising this after two years of scuffling, I had to look upon him to help me. It's like I'd left home to seek my own fortune for two years and I'd come back home again.

B&S: Would you say that the J.B.'s of today is the best band that Mr. Brown has had?

MP: Yes, I believe so. But it's kinda hard to actually just say that and leave it at that. But the band is always playing James Brown music and he, quite naturally, has a tendency to change what he is playing at times. In other words, five or six years ago we were still playing his ideas. But his ideas have changed since then, you see.

B&S: What about Maceo & the Macks?

MP: Well, it's really just Maceo now.

B&S: Are the Macks merely the J.B.'s with different hats?

MP: No, they are a group of different guys and they come out of Philadelphia. They still work down there under another name which I won't go into right now! So, that way I can get the chance to work as a J.B. and as Maceo & the Macks, too.

B&S: The last single released on you was listed just as Maceo. Does that mean that the Macks have been temporarily shelved.

MP: Er, no. But we were concentrating more on just me. And when you put other names on records, you find that when you do play a date, the people are looking for more than just me if I'm billed as Maceo & the Macks.

B&S: In the James Brown Revue at the moment, you do a couple of your own things in a solo spot — which songs do you include right now?
MP: We're doing "Parrty" and "Soul Power '74" right now.

B&S: Are you happy with the Maceo album?

MP: Somewhat. It was beautiful and it's the first album and I got the chance to do a variety of things, which I always wanted to do. But an artist is never completely satisfied. There are always things that you'd like to go back and do over but it's generally too late. I always feel that there are a thousand different ways you can do a tune but I guess the album was alright.

B&S: Are you recording for the future?

MP: Well, we're working on a 45 right now. In fact, the guys should be mixing it and getting it ready right now. It looks like it will be "Across The Tracks" as the A side It's another thing composed by the three of us — Mr. Brown, Mr. Wesley and myself. And it's back in that funky groove.

I tell you something, though — there's a lot of good musicians, good people out there who are jobless. And I'd just like to say that you have to be kind of lucky to run across a man like Mr. Brown in your life. Here's a man who is gonna work practically every week, every time he wants to work in fact. And you don't have to worry about your payments because they are absolutely safe.

Working for him gives you a real sense of security and that, for a musician, is something to cherish. And then you get your publicity and he'll teach you your business, too, so that you need never be cheated in your future.

He really is a firm believer in people learning about the business so that they don't have to get cheated. And for a man who has only had something like seventh grade education he knows more about just about anything than anybody I know of. And this is simply because he took it upon himself to learn what's going on as far as this whole business is concerned. And he has this ability to foresee a problem and more often then not, he'll solve it before it comes up.

B&S: He really does go to great lengths to carry out this family affair.

MP: Yes, it really is that way with him. And it's really a blessing to be a part of it and though it might get tiring to say it year after year, interview after interview, I'm proud to be part of the James Brown family.

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