Godfather of go-go ready to rock in Silver Spring
Chuck Brown to celebrate album release with free concert
About a year after a go-go concert in Silver Spring ended in dozens of arrests and citations for fighting, the Godfather of go-go Chuck Brown promises his upcoming concert in downtown Silver Spring will be nothing but "global grooves" and generations of fans cheering him on.
"Go-go has nothing whatsoever to do with fights," he said. "...I don't have that problem. I've got about four generations coming to my shows. I have people who are 60 years old who say, My momma used to be at me for sneaking out to get to your shows.' "
So when Brown stops into town to perform songs from his new album free at noon Tuesday, he said he's not expecting any trouble. This prediction came when asked about a concert promoting nonviolence in March 2009 that went off without a hitch until the very last act, a go-go band, took the stage.
During that final band's performance, a fight broke out and spread away from the stage to the surrounding blocks in downtown Silver Spring before about 45 officers joined the roughly 30 officers and private security patrolling the event to help quell the violence, Montgomery County police said at the time. Thirty-five people were arrested or cited for offenses including assault and disorderly conduct. Of the 35, 18 were adults and 17 were juveniles, police spokeswoman Lucille Baur told The Gazette at the time.
But even Lt. Bob Carter of the Third District said he has no concerns beyond the normal concerts held downtown.
"We're going to be more aware that's going on, and if we need to, we'll shovel some of our forces over there, but we're not going to overstaff for Chuck Brown," he said, excitedly adding, "It's Chuck Brown! It's the godfather of go-go!"
Carter said police will be careful to work out arrangements for the increase in cars and foot traffic.
For Brown, 74, performing in Silver Spring holds a special place in his heart. About 45 years ago, he worked as a bricklayer building apartment buildings, housing developments and hotels in Silver Spring, he said. A string of hit records later, he said he can't wait to get back out there and hear the crowds chanting his name as he promotes his new album, "We Got This."
"It's a wonderful feeling to get out there and see all those people," he said. "They raise the party. I feel like bustin' loose! ...It's a wonderful thing when you get to be my age, and people still have some use for you. It's a triple blessing."
Brown said his new album is special, because it has guest tracks with artists he admires, such as Jill Scott and Ledisi. The album has five studio tracks, a live concert CD and a DVD.
When he takes the stage next week, he said he'll play whatever people want to hear, as long as they give him a little something in return.
"I wanna hear that Wiiiind me up Chuck,' " he said. "That's the first thing I hear when I get on the stage. If I don't hear that, I'm like Why am I here?' I say I can go to Europe; get me outta here.' "
Chuck Brown Concert
-What: Chuck Brown, free in concert, in celebration of his new album "We Got This." Get your copy of the new album personally autographed after the show.
-When: noon, Tuesday
-Where: By the fountain at 908 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring