(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)


Subject: Standing in the Shadows of Motown
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2002 02:44:36 -0500
From: "Steven D. Silberstang"


Wednesday evening I went to my film class in the City and saw the most amazing documentary called "Standing in the Shadows of Motown".  I'm writing because it is a "must see".

You may be one of the few souls on the planet who can answer the questions I have posed to everyone I see, particularly those who have grown up with the Motown Sound.  Who was Smokey Robinson's band?  Aretha Franklin's band?  The Temptations' band?  Young Stevie Wonder's band?  Gladys Knight's band? (no, not the Pips, they were the backup singers)  Martha Reeve's band?  The Supreme's band?  And so on.  In the land of the famous, no one knows the musicians that played on all the classic Motown Tracks.  The answer is The Funk Brothers.  I had not heard of them until I viewed this documentary about them.  Amazingly, ONE SINGLE BAND, comprised over the years of about 12 to 15 jazz musicians, hired by Berry Gordy starting in 1959, became the studio band for his fledgling Motown Records and played all the great tracks through the sixties and the first half of the seventies.  They played on most of the Motown hits and had more number one songs than Elvis, The Beatles and the Stones COMBINED.  They recorded Tracks of My Tears, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Baby Love, Heat Wave, Do You Love Me, Shotgun, Cloud Nine, What's Goin' On, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.  And this is just a scratch on the surface.  About five or six of the musicians have died and most others have faded into obscurity when Motown packed up with almost no notice and moved to LA in the seventies.  Joe Messina, for example, the white guitarist from the "Oreo guitar section", had not picked up his instrument for thirty years, instead playing jazz harmonica for ten years then operating a car wash!  This was the end of the Motown Sound.  The Funk Brothers were the Motown Sound.

Alan "Dr. Licks" Slutzkey wrote a book about these heroes in obscurity that won the 1989 Rolling Stone / BMl "Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award".  The movie has been in the making for the last 14 years.  The Global Preview was last night at the Apollo, a showing of the film and a concert by the remaining Funk Brothers.  I tried, but was unable to get invited. The film is centered around a reunion of the Funk Brothers in Detroit, a return to their recording studios, jazz clubs, neighborhoods and culminating in a live concert with the best of the younger R&B singers.  This reassembled band was not a shell of their former selves, they were are the real thing and play as if they never left the Motown studio.  You recognize the tunes as soon as they start.  They have resurrected the original Motown sound.  Berry Gordy made the film possible by releasing the rights to all the Motown songs features gratis.

The documentary is not only an eye and ear opener but a true delight.  It is a love story about a group of musicians, their music and their camaraderie. They loved one another and created a sound and an industry.  However, until this day, they lived in the shadows of anonymity.  They eventually got paid OK but never saw the fame and fortune of the stars.  They have spent their lives hearing their music every ten minutes in elevators, supermarkets, movies, TV, commercials (remember the dancing raisonettes).

I could go on and on but there is a great website and you can/should/must see the film when it is released internationally.  I can't imagine this not being a blockbuster just on word of mouth.  And finally, The Funk Brothers will see a morsel of the recognition they have deserved for three decades.


* * *


Subject: The Evil Empire
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 22:27:50 -0800
From: "Michael Simmons" <>
To: "GROBES" <>
CC: "Al Aronowitz"

Dear sistas and bros:

I've sent another version of this out previously.  If I'm being redundant, I apologize.  The article cuts off at the end.  For full text check Moscow Times or for the original reference go to the LA Times website.

According to the article below that quotes the LA Times, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld plans to organize an entity that will carry out "secret missions designed to 'stimulate reactions' among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to 'counterattack' by U.S. forces."

In other words, our government will intentionally be provoking terrorists into, oh say, blowing up Los Angeles so that the US can have a reason to retaliate.

Those who have dismissed conspiracy theories concerning 9/11 take particular note.

How insidious does our government have to get before it becomes intolerable?

We are either part of the problem or we're part of the solution.

In Love & Rage,


Moscow Times Friday, November 1, 2002

Into the Dark

By Chris Floyd

This column stands foursquare with the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Defense Secretary, when he warns that there will be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large. We know, as does the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Defense Secretary, that this statement is an incontrovertible fact, a matter of scientific certainty. And how can we and the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Defense Secretary, be so sure that there will be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large?

Because these attacks will be instigated at the order of the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Defense Secretary.

This astonishing admission was buried deep in a story, which was itself submerged by mounds of gray newsprint and glossy underwear ads in last Sunday's Los Angeles Times. There -- in an article by military analyst William Arkin detailing the vast expansion of the secret armies being massed by the former Nixon bureaucrat now lording it over the Pentagon -- came the revelation of Rumsfeld's plan to create "a super-Intelligence Support Activity" that will "bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception."

According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization -- the "Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)" -- will carry out secret missions designed to "stimulate reactions" among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to "counterattack" by U.S. forces.

In other words -- and let's say this plainly, clearly and soberly, so that no one can mistake the intention of Rumsfeld's plan -- the United States government is planning to use "cover and deception" and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. Let's say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people -- your family, your friends, your lovers, you -- in order to further their geopolitical ambitions.

For P2OG is not designed solely to flush out terrorists and bring them to justice -- a laudable goal in itself, although the Rumsfeld way of combating terrorism by causing it is pure moral lunacy. (Or should we use the Regime's own preferred terminology and just call it "evil"?) No, it seems the Pee-Twos have bigger fish to fry. Once they have sparked terrorists into action -- by killing their family members? luring them with loot? fueling them with drugs? plying them with jihad propaganda? Messing with their mamas? or with agents provocateurs, perhaps, who infiltrate groups then plan and direct the attacks themselves? -- they can then take measures against the "states/sub-state actors accountable" for "harboring" the Rumsfeld-roused gangs. What kind of measures exactly? Well, the classified Pentagon program puts it this way: "Their sovereignty will be at risk."

The Pee-Twos will thus come in handy whenever the Regime hankers to add a little oil-laden real estate or a new military base to the Empire's burgeoning portfolio. Just find a nest of violent malcontents, stir 'em with a stick, and presto: instant "justification" for whatever level of intervention/conquest/rapine you might desire. And what if the territory you fancy doesn't actually harbor any convenient marauders to use for fun and profit? Well, surely a God-like "super-Intelligence Support Activity" is capable of creation nihilo, yes?

The Rumsfeld-Bush plan to employ murder and terrorism for political, financial and ideological gain does have historical roots (besides al-Qaida, the Stern Gang, the SA, the SS, the KGB, the IRA, the UDF, Eta, Hamas, Shining Path and countless other upholders of Bushian morality, decency and freedom). We refer of course to Operations Northwoods, oft mentioned in these pages: the plan that America's top military brass presented to President John Kennedy in 1963, calling for a phony terrorist campaign -- complete with bombings, hijackings, plane crashes and dead Americans -- to provide "justification" for an invasion of Cuba, the mafia/corporate fiefdom that had recently been lost to Castro.

Kennedy rejected the plan, and was killed a few months later. Now Rumsfeld has resurrected Northwoods, but on a far grander scale, with resources at his disposal undreamed of by those brass of yore, with no counterbalancing global rival to restrain him -- and with an ignorant, corrupt president who has shown himself all too eager to embrace any means whatsoever that will augment the wealth and power of his own narrow, undemocratic, elitist cliqu. . . . .##

* * *



The Blacklisted Journalist can be contacted at P.O.Box 964, Elizabeth, NJ 07208-0964
The Blacklisted Journalist's E-Mail Address: