He was the nephew of Temptations singer Melvin Franklin; a boy who watched and listened, mesmerized from underneath cocktail tables at the shows of Etta James and Miles Davis. He was a vagrant hippie who wandered to Toronto, where he ended up playing with Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, and he became a household name in the 1980s with his hit song “Super Freak.” Later in life, he was a bad boy who got caught up in drug smuggling and ended up in prison. But since his passing in August 2004, Rick James has remained a legendary icon whose name is nearly synonymous with funk music—and who popularized the genre, creating a lasting influence on pop artists from Prince to Jay-Z to Snoop Dogg, among countless others.
In Glow, Rick James and acclaimed music biographer David Ritz collaborated to write a no-holds-barred memoir about the boy and the man who became a music superstar in America’s disco age. It tells of James’s upbringing and how his mother introduced him to musical geniuses of the time. And it reveals details on many universally revered artists, from Marvin Gaye and Prince to Nash, Teena Marie, and Berry Gordy. James himself said, “My journey has taken me through hell and back. It’s all in my music—the parties, the pain, the oversized ego, the insane obsessions.” But despite his bad boy behavior, James was a tremendous talent and a unique, unforgettable human being. His “glow” was an overriding quality that one of his mentors saw in him—and one that will stay with this legendary figure who left an indelible mark on American popular music.
In this thoughtful, engaging, challenging book, Rick James dives deep into the New Testament’s teachings on spiritual wakefulness, calling Christ-followers to defy the darkness and remain awake as they await Christ’s return. Because being awake—continually in prayer, watchful for God’s will, expectant of open doors, cautious of sin, desiring to serve, eager to repent, continuously giving thanks, willing to witness, embracing of humility, overflowing with kindness, persevering in obedience—changes everything.
At the stroke of one minute past midnight, January 17, 1920, the National Prohibition Act was officially declared in effect in the United States. From 1920 to 1933 the manufacture, sale, importation and transportation of alcohol and, of course, the imbibing of such products, was illegal. Prohibition was already a bust in Canada and it wasn’t long before fleets of vessels, from weather-beaten old fish boats to large ocean-going steamers, began filling their holds with liquor to deliver their much-valued cargo to their thirsty neighbours to the south.
Contrary to popular perception, rum-running along the Pacific coast wasn’t dominated by violent encounters like those portrayed in the movies. Instead, it was usually carried out in a relatively civilized manner, with an oh-so-Canadian politeness on the British Columbian side. Most operated within the law. But there were indeed shootouts, hijackings and even a particularly gruesome murder associated with the business. Using first-hand accounts of old-time rum-runners, extensive research using primary and secondary documentation, and the often-sensational newspaper coverage of the day, Don’t Never Tell Nobody Nothin’ No How sets out to explain what really went down along the West Coast during the American “Noble Experiment.”