Soulful DetroitArchives - July 2006 � Rick James' gravestone Previous Next

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Iris Smith (hellostranger)
5-Doyen
Username: hellostranger

Post Number: 225
Registered: 9-2004
Posted From: 4.159.71.99
Posted on Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 9:02 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi, I just received this newa article.

Gravestone shows a different side of funk star known for his wild
streak

By PATRICK LAKAMP
News Staff Reporter
8/6/2006





Charles Lewis/Buffalo News
Rick James' older brother Carmen Sims, left, stands with family
friend Ron Fleming at the funk icon's gravestone in Forest Lawn. Sims
said he anticipates seeing fans at the burial plot.

The music of Rick James left an impression that spans generations.
So will his gravestone.

A black granite monument that marks the funk legend's burial spot was
erected Tuesday in Forest Lawn, in time for the second anniversary of
his death today.

Fans won't see an extravagant gravestone to match James' swaggering,
outrageous lifestyle.

Instead, an etching of the Buffalo-born singer's portrait shows him
in a relaxed pose in the tight leather pants and jacket he liked to
wear and with his guitar.

"He's relaxed in that picture. I like that," said older brother
Carmen Sims, who visited James' plot Saturday.

The etching comes from a photo taken for his 1981 hit album "Street
Songs," which included "Give It to Me Baby" and "Super Freak." The
album sold 3 million copies and propelled him to superstar status.

James was in his early 30s when the photo was taken.

The monument for James Ambrose Johnson Jr. stands 4 feet 9 inches
high and has a base that's 4 feet wide. His ashes are interred at the
site. The monument weighs two tons, the biggest the cemetery allows
for a four-plot site.

Under his portrait are lyrics to an unreleased song:

"I'VE HAD IT ALL

I'VE DONE IT ALL

I'VE SEEN IT ALL

IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE . . .

GOD IS LOVE."

That's a far cry from the "Super Freak" lyrics about "a very kinky
girl, the kind you don't take home to mother."

James' daughter Ty picked the portrait and words, said Molly Amigone
of Amigone Funeral Home, who runs the company's monuments division.

The daughter sifted through hundreds photos before selecting the one
for the monument.

"Tasteful. Simple. Nice. That's how Ty wanted it," Amigone said.

Sims, a community residence manager at Ivy House for Alcohol and Drug
Dependency Services, watched a crew erect the monument Tuesday.

"I hadn't seen the words before," he said. "I thought they were
beautiful."

James' plot is in a section of the cemetery near the Delaware Avenue
S-curve, and it's close to Scajaquada Creek.

"All leather," Sims said of the etching. "He was into the leather."

Amigone described the monument as a jet-black half-serpentine granite
monument with a polished surface and beveled edges. The monument,
made in Barre, Vt., cost $13,000.

Sims has regularly visited his mother's grave in another part of
Forest Lawn since her death in 1991, and he will stop by his
brother's monument. He anticipates seeing fans at the burial plot.

Since Rick James died, fans have wanted to see his headstone, even
calling the cemetery office asking when it would be erected, Sims
said.

Sims supervised security for his rock-star brother for a decade, and
he saw firsthand the connection he had with fans.

"I don't think it will bother me," he said of seeing fans at the
grave site. "They love my brother. They're showing love."

In an interview before he died, James talked to a reporter for the
Detroit News about his past drug use.

"We would eat dinner and do cocaine," James told the newspaper. "We
didn't know anything about the Betty Ford Clinic then. The biggest
mistake I made is that I tried to become my alter ego. I wanted to be
Rick James, wild man, party machine, lady slayer, and the cocaine
told me I could. I forgot that I was James Johnson, a nerdy kid who
grew up reading "Dante's Inferno' on Saturday nights."

Sims said the monument reveals a softer side of his brother.

"It says, "I'm at peace,' " Sims said.
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NYC Diva (nyc_diva)
6-Zenith
Username: nyc_diva

Post Number: 524
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 24.193.31.205
Posted on Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 9:05 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are there any pictures available of the headstone?
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Iris Smith (hellostranger)
5-Doyen
Username: hellostranger

Post Number: 226
Registered: 9-2004
Posted From: 4.159.71.99
Posted on Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 9:09 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yes, I'm not sure how to copy it, but there was one with this article.
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Johnny Raven (johnny_raven)
5-Doyen
Username: johnny_raven

Post Number: 233
Registered: 7-2005
Posted From: 205.188.116.69
Posted on Sunday, August 06, 2006 - 11:43 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Right click on the picture and then choose "Save picture as"
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LarsC (the_norwegian)
5-Doyen
Username: the_norwegian

Post Number: 187
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 80.203.45.248
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 4:19 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The picture can be found here:
http://www.buffalonews.com/gra phics/2006/08/06/actualsize/08 06rjames.jpg

The article is published here:
http://www.buffalonews.com/edi torial/20060806/1059336.asp
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Charise (mistrivia1)
6-Zenith
Username: mistrivia1

Post Number: 2621
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 207.200.116.139
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 5:30 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice monument, thanks LarsC..:-):-)
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tresjolie (tresjolie)
6-Zenith
Username: tresjolie

Post Number: 2502
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 65.121.233.122
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 8:17 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That is beautiful.. Love the lyrics on the head stone. Interesting about him wanting to be his alter ego Rick James.

Rest in Peace James Johnson. You are loved.
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oli67 (ollie)
5-Doyen
Username: ollie

Post Number: 184
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 213.132.174.166
Posted on Monday, August 07, 2006 - 9:21 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wonderful lyrics on the Stone.
I just checked a DVD from a Stone City Band live Gig in Germany 82 Rockpalast', what a funk show.
Rick James had a lot of love for the people.
I have a lot of love for him. RIP Mr Johnson
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Richard Felstead (felstead2001)
6-Zenith
Username: felstead2001

Post Number: 1597
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 128.40.211.146
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 4:21 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A touching picture.

Thanks for posting the link.
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Lady Mystique (Maverick) (ladymystique)
6-Zenith
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 3243
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 192.108.124.40
Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 12:51 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

RIP papa...still missed by your #1 punk-funker...

That's wonderful how that looks...truly shows his essence.
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sdl (sdl)
4-Laureate
Username: sdl

Post Number: 108
Registered: 8-2005
Posted From: 70.106.46.178
Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - 12:41 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Beautiful Monument. Beautiful sentiment.
Well done daughter TY.
RIP Mr. Johnson.

Thanks for posting hellostranger.
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Dave Alan WQSR Baltimore (mediawatch)
2-Debutant
Username: mediawatch

Post Number: 15
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 170.20.11.116
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 4:39 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Growing up in Buffalo we often got a chuckle at the name of the Funeral Home...
"Am-I-gone"?
Well I guess you had to be from the
City of Good Neighbors to understand...
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Funkyone D.J. Dollar Bil (funkyone)
4-Laureate
Username: funkyone

Post Number: 133
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 70.54.186.89
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 - 5:39 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We still have their ads running up here.
First time I saw it was during a comercial break for MAD TV.
Thought it was a joke.
R.I.P. Rick James a local hero on both sides of the Niagara River.



(Message edited by funkyone on August 12, 2006)
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Brian T. (mrclemma)
6-Zenith
Username: mrclemma

Post Number: 516
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 4.229.42.85
Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006 - 10:44 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not to ruin the lovefest mood, but...
I would have bet a paycheck that the headstone read:

"I WAS RICK JAMES, BITCH!"
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Lady Mystique (Maverick) (ladymystique)
6-Zenith
Username: ladymystique

Post Number: 3361
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 192.108.124.40
Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 7:33 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You guyz must have missed my tribute:

Tribute to Rick James

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