Coming off the James Brown bio-flick “Get On Up” and Andre 3000’s upcoming Jimi Hendrix motion picture, can you imagine the life of Rick James brought to the silver screen? One of the most charismatic funk guitarists and vocalist of all-time has an incredible and dramatic life story that would easily entertain an audience for a couple of energetic hours. Here’s a quick countdown of my TOP 10 Rick James’ fun facts that you could imagine recreated by a creative film director.
1. Rick is rumored to have slept with his high school teacher and dropped out at 15 yrs old, soon afterwards he enlisted in the Navy.
2. Rick James first band, The Mynahs, was a virtual unknown four piece band that included Neil Young (yes, that Neil Young). After going AWOL, Military police arrested Rick when he was with the Mynahs and the group had to take a one year break while he was incarcerated.
3. After years struggling as a Motown songwriter, Rick released his first album “Come and Get It”. It goes platinum and “Mary Jane” and “You and I” both go Top 10. Prince opened for Rick on tour and they quickly became rivals.
4. Rick dated Linda Blair from “The Exorcist” and Dukes of Hazard sex symbol, Catherine Bach, aka Daisy Duke!
5. Early 80’s, Rick is dominating the charts with “Super Freak”, “Give It To Me Baby” and his Teena Marie duets like “Fire & Desire” that sparked their storied romance.
6. Rick produced Eddie Murphy’s “Party All The Time” and his side group “The Mary Jane Girls”. “Standing On The Top” goes Top 10 when Rick James teams up with the legendary Temptations
7. Late 80’s and 90’s, crack cocaine is a helluva of a drug. Rick’s life becomes a mess and he’s sent to Folsum State Prison along with his 17 year old girlfriend after they reportedly kidnapped and tortured a woman who was going to part of their three-way.
8. Who comes to Rick James rescue? Eddie Murphy’s brother, Charlie, becomes best friends with Rick and helps resuscitate his career.
9. Rick has a stroke on stage in 1998. By 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle is lampooning his crazy life. “I’m Rick James, Bitch!” become a national catch phrase.
10. Rick passes away in 2004 with an alphabet soup collection of drugs in his system. His 4000 pound tombstone is inscribed with his song lyrics, “”I’ve had it all, I’ve done it all, I’ve seen it all. It’s all about love – God is love.”
Can you just imagine this movie with an all-star cast and Rick’s funk music amplifying the intensity of each scene? Terrence Howard feels like he could bring Rick James’ image to life and Eddie Murphy is probably looking for some work these days. If anyone wants to run with this screenplay, don’t forget where your idea came from 🙂