Isaac Hayes was the emperor of all these places, some real, some just a state of mind.
One of my favorite Isaac Hayes moments has to be this one, filmed during the 1972 Wattstax Concert at Los Angeles Coliseum, in which Hayes’ supreme royalty is so matter of fact that even his mere silence overshadows the introduction he receives from Jesse Jackson, who had already opened the event with his famous “I Am Somebody” speech.
Speaking of Wattstax, the film coverage of this concert was made into a movie that played in theaters around the country, mostly in urban settings. It’s one of the most off the hook live concert movies you’ll ever see, featuring everyone, and I mean everyone!
You can buy the Wattstax DVD, which is way better than these YouTube clips. But in the meantime, look at this next clip — the opening sequence for the Wattstax film — for a great idea of what fashions and attitudes were like that year:
Isaac Hayes vibrated at a frequency and energy that resonated so completely with where an entire generation was at, that he became part of our D.N.A. He’ll continue to live inside each of us for all time.
By the way, few people realize that Hayes once owned a pro basketball team. In 1974 he was one of a group of new owners that took over the Memphis Tams of the American Basketball Association (A.B.A.).
They renamed the team the Memphis Sounds. But the Sounds struggled financially and its owners, under pressure from the league, were eventually forced to relinquish the team.
Visit the Stax Museum of American Soul in Memphis, which features Hayes’ peacock blue, gold trimmed, two door, sun-roof topped, 1972 Eldorado Cadillac as well as great souvenirs like my coffee mug.
Isaac Hayes. Brotha Man #1.