(Cross-posted at the Daily Gotham)
William Murrell, who had shuttled the music legend around for the past 15 years, drove Brown's body on an 800-mile pilgrimage from Augusta, Ga., to Harlem - a trip that took him from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. yesterday.Murrell had to hurry to get to the city in time. But, hey:
"I drove him in life, and I drove him in death," said Murrell, 47. "I can't say no to Mr. Brown."
The coffin had arrived too late at the funeral home for staff there to make a scheduled flight out of Atlanta. And the remaining flights that could carry the remains were all booked as well.
Without a second thought, Murrell yanked the backseats out of his Ford van and loaded up. He and a co-worker piloted the Ford Club Wagon van up I-95 with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the funeral home director and Brown's 24-karat gold-plated coffin in back.
"We talked the whole time," added Murrell who owns a transportation company in Augusta. "Old times, the good old days, all the fun that we had, all the people he touched, the lives that he changed. It went on and on."
And as soon as they reached New York, they flipped on the radio to find Brown's songs playing nonstop.
"Who's gonna stop us? We've got the Godfather of Soul in the car!"That just may be the greatest road trip ever taken...
Labels: James Brown