Brown invented go-go music, which defines the independent alt. culture history of Washington D.C. as the capital of the African diaspora.  Music theorist and visionary. Culture czar of Chocolate City.

“It’s about love, the communication between performer and audience,” Mr. Brown said of go-go. “When you’re on stage, the people put that love to you and you give it back. There’s no other music like it.”

Next time you hear a politician say he’s running against Washington, think of Chuck.

My go-go at the Smithsonian epiphany: I went down to the brown bag lunch time lecture on D.C.’s indigenous music, expecting a crowd of perhaps 50 — the usual size for these esoteric yet superficial talks.

There were at least 3,000 people there, all of them in crisp creased blue collar uniforms. The subway drivers, the UPS guys, the janitors, the mailpeople, the bus drivers, the dental hygienists and LPNs in their pink scrubs, the people you always wondered about how they kept their shit together to send their children to Catholic school and on to college. The answer? Go-go. The godfather of go-go, Chuck Brown, was there. Everyone had mind-bogglingly sophisticated questions about studio technology, entertainment law, music theory and so on, and Chuck Brown — also amazingly groovy after 180 years of playing rough, nut-cuttin’ crowds at the Ibex — oh, the Ibex — had nothing but the sweetest love and brilliant advice to give back.

Everybody had both a right livelihood and a right vocation, as Buddha in his Noble Eight-Fold Path recommends. I call this my go-go vision.

Keep what you got
Until you get what
You need y’all
You got to give a lot
Just to get what
You need sometimes y’all
Gimme the bridge now
I feel like busting loose
Busting loose

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