Are you living on The One?
"Those that have ears hear and those that don't that don't get funked up, baby."
- Bootsy Collins
Anybody who knows me, knows that I'm a huge fan of James Brown, Funkadelic, Parliament, The Rubber Band and one of the funkiest pioneers behind them all: Bootsy Collins. I love funky music, but what is 'the one'? Well, legend has it that when Bootsy first joined James Brown, he was playing crazy lead bass lines and James Brown stopped Bootsy, looked at him and said "Son, where is the one?".
What he meant was, he wants to know and hear where the first beat is of every measure, emphasising the one. Bootsy says that he's not even sure if James knew what he was talking about when he first said it, but it soon became the backbone of every song they went on to play, the core of the groove. When Bootsy departed from James, he took 'the one' with him as he joined George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic set-up and kept it for his own Rubber Band, with an even heavier emphasis on the oneness of the declarative downbeat.
So what is the significance of 'the one'? The one has a significance greater than just in music, it resonates in all aspects of life. At the time, the one was a rather unique concept because everybody else was hittin' it on beats 2, 3 or 4. The one brings everybody together at the start of every bar and then they may go off and do their own thing, but when beat one comes back around, they get back together in perfect harmony. For me, this is an ethos to live by.
Your 'one' could be your core values, your friends, family, important tasks to do that day, week, month, or year. When you hit your day on the one, you get your important tasks done, you achieve what needs to be achieved, you create a good start to the day and that makes you feel great - Let success beget success. You synchronise with the universe. In-between each one, you can do what you feel like, embrace a little freedom and chaos. Improvise, play whatever makes you feel good, but make sure you remember what matters to you and play the one.