Isaac Hayes 1942-2008

Click on the above and groove on it while you read this.

Lily, you know this song. Back in the day at the Castle 1.0 this was the tune that put a party over the edge. Jeff K’s favorite part was when Issac sings ‘cerebrum, cerebellum, and medulla oblongata’. I just love the whole damn thing. It was the soundtrack behind the ‘Drunk Batman’ incident. ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ is not only one of the best soul albums recordered, it is one of the best albums of the 20th century. I’ve been listening to it through vinyl, cassette, CD, and now I’ve got it linked to YouTube and it still affects me. Around 8 minutes in there’s an  absolutely beautiful keyboard solo that just gave me shivers for the thousandth time.

It goes without saying that should I ever find myself in the extremely unlikely position of being President of the United States I would scrap ‘Hail to the Chief’ for the ‘Theme From Shaft’ in a heartbeat. I have never admitted this to anyone but whenever I’m in a stressful or crazy situation I play this song in my head. It gives me courage and keeps me cool. ‘Who is the man who would risk his neck for his brother man?’ ‘Shaft!’ I can dig it.

Isaac was a Scientologist, and when he quit doing the voice of Chef because the Church of Scientology was upset that they got the same mocking treatment as everyone else I was so upset that I made ‘All Hail Xenu’ t-shirts and sold them over teh internets. The picture of that kid standing in front of the Scientology Super Secret Super Power Training Center fills me with no end of delight. Apparently he and the photographer were chased out of there pretty quick and had their photographs taken. It goes without saying that I am no fan of Scientology and feel that Issac was duped by them, but that doesn’t make the art that he made any less relevant or brilliant.

He grew up picking cotton. He dropped out of high school but went back and got his diploma at 21. He taught himself how to play music. He made millions, lost everything, and then made even more millions. He co-wrote ‘Soul Man’ and ‘Hold On I’m Coming’. He was the father to twelve, grandfather to fourteen, and great-grandfather to three. He was married four times. His family has my greatest sympathies.

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