JFS #98 The Melvin Van Peebles Interview…..

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You ever hear the expression, "you know this is really artistically appealing but not commercially viable."

If you have then you were probably pursuing an artistic endeavor that reeked of the truth, dripped with humanity and exposed the status quo.

My guest today heard this many times in his life as an actor, film maker, reporter, writer, astronomer, linguist and cable car grip man. He wanted to create black drama's that represented the Afro folk who he met everyday. Not some kabuki character who was artificially produced by the Hollywood Industrial Complex.

However, his films and point of view was anathema to behemoths like Columbia Which resulted in my guest paying out of his own pocket to get this media disseminated to the public even if his films might have only been shown in black porn theaters.

After spending time in the Bay Area he took his family to Europe to study astronomy, change his name to make it more Dutch became fluent in French wrote several short novels and interviewed Malcolm X.

He made some noise and came back to the States and wound up in the studio with jazz stalwarts Herb Buschler, Howard Johnson and Warren Smith. He made music that sang although he couldn't sing. He spoke of guts, determination and his frustrations with the American World View.

He personally funded "Sweetback's  Badass Song" which portrays a black prostitute who seeks to punish those who are corruptive and engages in multiple sexual encounters with many a willing female.

He was at the forefront of Blaxploitation films and his pontification is considered a pre-cursor to rap music except that he actually had something to say. He was the first African American Investment Banker on Wallstreet
and his blood line is strong as his son Mario is a renowned actor.

Melvin Van Peebles welcome to the JFS.

 

Melvin Van Peebles [Download]

 

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