Rick James

Rick James

    "The Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Super Freak,"penned by the late funkateer, Rick James will keep the reader so engrossed in the words on the page that they will feel as if a dish filled with tasty delicacies has been placed before them as they deliberately try in vain to avoid swallowing for fear of losing the flavor.  Written in his own words, Rick James tells the story of his life, making it come alive in the mind of the reader.  While seemingly leaving no stone unturned, Rick takes his literary audience on a whirlwind tour, starting with his humble beginnings as James Ambrose Johnson in the once industrialized Western town of Buffalo, New York and ultimately his rise to glory and later demise in the riches of Hollywood.  No one is spared in this no-holds barred autobiography, regardless of one's celebrity status. 

    "Memoirs of a Super Freak" takes the reader on an interesting journey through Rick's history in the music world that may not be common knowledge to most.  A legion of adoring fans came to love the musician and persona in the 1980s known globally as ‘Rick James' but one can bet that many are unaware that in the mid -1960's he was the lead singer in a rock band called the Mynah Birds that formed in Canada which also included Neil Young of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young fame.  The Mynah Birds eventually signed with Motown until Rick James was court-martialed for deserting the armed forces, another lesser-known factor of his life.   

    The music that made Rick James soar to phenomenal heights was typically autobiographical.  The insight into what inspired many of his hit records is mentioned in great detail in this book, as is his highly publicized struggle with drug addiction.  This eye-popping read is filled with stories of his sexual liaisons with hundreds, if not thousands of women, many whom are well-known actresses and musicians.  Written primarily while imprisoned at the Folsom County Correctional Facility, "The Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Super Freak"admittedly provided a necessary therapeutic outlet for Rick.  This rehabilitative period also presented the solitude needed for Rick to focus on his songwriting, which he did by writing some of his very best compositions.   

    The infamous blend of bold rawness that the personality of Rick James was known for is often coupled with humor and audacity throughout the book.  His rivalries and close relationships with artists like Teena Marie, Prince, George Clinton, Eddie Murphy and Jim Brown amongst the many others that are mentioned in the book are quite interesting, to say the very least.  Most importantly, "The Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Super Freak"allows the audience to view the humanistic side of a compassionate and very lost soul who yearned for true love and understanding, while taking in his exceptionally creative ability to master the art of songwriting.  It seems that "The Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Super Freak"comes to a close as Rick develops a sense of self-realization, spiritual awareness and a devoted interest in bettering himself for his wife and estranged children.  However, the story ends, as did the life of Rick James, the man that so many adored.

    Detrel Howell

    Available Music