I loved, loved, loved The Brothers Johnson, and used to dance to their albums all the time in high school. I am not musically inclined, and never played any instruments, but I still say if I could learn how to play one instrument it would be the base because I’d get to bang out all those funky beats.
Louis Johnson, aka “Thunder Thumbs”, of The Brothers Johnson played those funky beats alongside his brother, guitarist, George “Lightning Licks” during the 70’s and early 80’s, before parting ways to work on separate projects. Louis was always in high demand to work on other artist’s albums, including George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Michael McDonald, Steve Arrington, and was the bassist on Michael Jackson’s, Billie Jean. He is also said to be the originator of the slap bass method of playing the instrument where one ‘slaps’ the strings with the right thumb and ‘pops’ with the right hand fingers, giving a percussive characteristic to a note’s sound.
Sadly, Louis Johnson passed away on May 21st, 2015 at the age of 60.
I have to play two songs of The Brothers Johnson because while the first is I think my favorite, it doesn’t show the fierce funk that Louis was capable of. So, here is Strawberry Letter 23, followed by Get The Funk Out Ma Face.
Rest In Peace, Thunder Thumbs.
Strawberry Letter 23
Get The Funk Out Ma Face
Photo credit: www.wikipedia.com