Jake Austen, unsurprisingly, has more on Dancin' Man | Bleader

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jake Austen, unsurprisingly, has more on Dancin' Man

Posted By on 11.11.11 at 01:00 PM

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George Clinton, Perry Kanlan, K-Rek (hidden in back), Jake Austen
  • George Clinton, Perry Kanlan, K-Rek (hidden in back), Jake Austen
This week's B Side cover story on Dancin' Man is hardly the first time I've worked with Jake Austen, so it didn't surprise me when the piece came in almost 300 words longer than the 2,000 I'd planned for and then continued to grow throughout the editing process. Given how much interview material Jake collected while preparing this story, I'm convinced he could've filled the entire B Side, if not the whole paper.

In fact he was still amassing information and chasing down quotes when we had to go to print. He wrote me late last night to share the following:

As so often happens when you're putting a story together, some of the best stuff comes in just past deadline. As the story on Perry "Dancin' Man" Kanlan was going to press, I got a call from Tito Jackson's management, arranging for me to get a quote via telephone from Jackson (who had just returned from an overseas tour, then had to turn his attention toward the verdict in his brother's wrongful death trial). "I definitely remember Dancin' Man," Jackson said. "My whole family admired him, and Michael really liked his dancing. In his prime he was one of the best dancers we ever saw."

Another thing about deadlines is you realize that some things just won't fit, and one set of details I had to leave out was the names of the members of Dancin' Man's mini entourage at the Funkadelic show. As the above photo with George Clinton shows, the quartet included Dancin' Man, K-Rek (a young rapper whose claim to fame is being Flavor Flav's hype man, he's mostly hidden in back), myself, and Lavon Pettis (not pictured, since she's holding the camera), who I know from her work helping manage Phil Cohran. Pettis initially introduced me to Dancin' Man, so without her I wouldn't have been backstage with a weary Dr. Funkenstein—and I wouldn't have been able to share the unique Chicago story of Dancin' Man.

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