In this remarkable book, Douglas Wolk brings to life an October evening in 1962, at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem: an evening at the height of Cold War tensions. In great detail, Wolk pieces together what took place (and what was recorded) that night, and illustrates beautifully the enduring power of one of James Brown's - and popular music's - defining moments: Live at the Apollo.
Standing on the stage of the Apollo at a sold-out show on the night of October 24, 1962, screaming, James Brown would have looked out and seen 1500 people screaming back at him in the audience, split between the floor and the balconies. The walls behind them were a dark crimson; the balconies were decorated with the laurel wreaths that are the emblem of Apollo the god, recalling Daphne, who became a laurel tree to escape his lust. Most of the audience thought there was a good chance they'd be dead within the week.