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The book, written with David Ritz, was finished posthumously James died of a heart attack in , at age 56 and is out this week, alongside a digital box set of his Complete Motown Albums. James became one of the leading lights of funk in the late Seventies and early Eighties, but across the years, the singer was equally obsessed with sex and drugs. He also became friendly with Joni Mitchell they would stay up all night listening to jazz , and she recommended Neil Young, who joined James in a band called the Mynah Birds. They got signed to Motown and were ready to release a single — but it got shelved when the U. Street Songs James scuffled on the periphery of the music business for many years before breaking through, watching friends become famous, making money however he could including drug smuggling from India and Colombia and periodically ending up in jail. Now perfection had turned to pure shit. Which is how Rick James met Jim Morrison. His band was a bunch of snobs who never bothered to acknowledge my guys. I was just noodling. This bass line came out of nowhere.
James Ambrose Johnson Jr. February 1, — August 6, , better known by his stage name Rick James , was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York , James began his musical career in his teen years.
Rick James? Aw, man! The guy was a super freak. He invented punk-funk. What a dude! He was badass.