Dystopian Book Club Podcast, Jheri Curl June Edition: The Memoirs of Rick James

It didn’t take a stroke of genius to come up with the idea for this year’s Jheri Curl June podcast. Rick James may be the most important architect of the genre we call Jheri Curl Music who we hadn’t already commemorated with a long-term feature. He also has a hell of a story: one he told in not one, but two posthumous memoirs–2007’s Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Superfreak and 2014’s Glow–which makes him a perfect candidate for the Dystopian Book Club. A “habitual line-stepper” in both life and art, James was vital in bridging the gap between 1970s P-Funk and 1980s Jheri Curl; his later decline into drug addiction and imprisonment was unfortunate, but could only somewhat dampen his boundless talent and charisma. So join us on this most sacred of occasions as we celebrate Mr. Cold Blooded himself: a man whose artistic potential was the only thing bigger than his larger-than-life personality and appetites. Gimme some ganja!

00:00:00   “Give It to Me Baby” by Rick James (from Street Songs, 1981)

00:00:56   Our Previous Dystopian Book Club Podcasts on the Memoirs of Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley

00:01:36   Find Out More About John Bonham’s Shoe-Shitting Incident in Stairway to Heaven: Led Zeppelin Uncensored by Richard Cole

00:06:18   The Inspiration for Pulp Fiction? You Be the Judge

Why does the cover of Rick James’ first memoir look EXACTLY like the poster for Pulp Fiction

A post shared by Zach (@poorlonelycomputer) on

00:07:10   “Super Freak” by Rick James (from Street Songs)

00:21:29   “Standing on the Top” by the Temptations and Rick James (from Throwin’ Down, 1982)

00:28:51   “You and I” by Rick James (from Come Get It!, 1978)

00:30:52   The Great White Cane: One Thing We Can Confirm Rick James is Telling the Truth About

00:37:13   “Ghetto Life” by Rick James (from Street Songs)

00:43:26   “Cold Blooded” by Rick James (from Cold Blooded, 1983)

00:49:15   “Bustin’ Out (On Funk)” by Rick James (from Bustin’ Out of L Seven, 1979)

00:54:50   “Boys” by the Mary Jane Girls (from Mary Jane Girls, 1983)

00:57:57   More of Us Being Mean about the Mary Jane Girls

01:02:45   “Call Me Up” by Rick James (from Street Songs)

01:07:31   “Fire It Up” by Rick James (from Fire It Up, 1979)

01:08:11   Zach’s Very Long Post about Rick James and Prince

01:13:12   “Too Sharp” by Process and the Doo-Rags (from Too Sharp, 1985)

01:15:16   An Amazing Album Cover: Just One of the Many Things Wonderful and Lovesexy Had in Common

© Warner Bros.

01:15:29   “I Believe in U” by Rick James (from Wonderful, 1988)

01:19:00   (The Rise of Prince 1958-1988 by Alex Hahn and Laura Tiebert)

01:20:41   “Big Time” by Rick James (from Garden of Love, 1980)

01:29:46   “Fire and Desire” by Rick James and Teena Marie (from Street Songs)

01:30:25   The Infamous Chappelle’s Show Sketch

01:38:27   “Glow” by Rick James (from Glow, 1985)

Jheri Curl June Continues Next Monday!

2 Replies to “Dystopian Book Club Podcast, Jheri Curl June Edition: The Memoirs of Rick James”

  1. I read “Glow” a couple of years ago, after I finished I literally felt like I had conjured up evil spirits. I actually felt creeped out. Poor Rick he was straight up thug.

    1. Yeah–it gets dark for sure! I’m constantly surrounded with a protective layer of ironic distance so it didn’t affect me that deeply, but that “rock bottom” moment in the early ’90s was pretty horrifying.

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