News: Soldiers taste old-school funk
By Sgt. Mark Matthews
Multi-National Division – Baghdad Public Affairs Office
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – What do you get when you combine 105 years of musical experience, three legendary bands, a crowd of excited Soldiers and a whole lot of "Old-School" rhythm? The Legends of Funk performing live in Baghdad.
The United Service Organization sponsored funk bands the Bar-Kays, the Dazz Band and Con Funk Shun who banded together to form "The Legends of Funk" and took Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers on an "old-school" ride during their show at the Camp Liberty Post Exchange stage May 29.
"The 4th Infantry Division crowd was 'Live' out there," said Bobby Harris, saxophone and vocals for the funk band "The Dazz Band." "They were very enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about the music. We could see their appreciation that we were bringing something from home to them."
Harris said he was tired of seeing the Soldiers mission in Iraq misrepresented by the media and came here to entertain the troops and get a firsthand look at the situation.
No one knows what really goes on here until they see it first hand, Harris said. "When you come over here for yourself and see the dedication of the Soldiers – it's a beautiful thing. I was really blown away and touched by the whole thing."
The funk masters played a variety of original songs as well as a host of chart topping funk songs the entire crowd seemed know by heart like "Let it Rip," "Shake Your Rump to the Funk," and the "Electric Slide."
"I thought the show was great," said Sgt. 1st Class Velma Price, a native of Sumter, S.C., who serves with Headquarters Support Company, Special Troops Battalion, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B. "I think everyone had a great time dancing and singing with the group."
"The crowd was really into it," she added. "You could tell they were 'old-school.' I looked around and I knew everyone was taken back."
Although the band seemed to be having a great time just playing music, the bassist said playing for Soldiers was like nothing he had ever experienced before.
"Man, it was so touching just to see people smiling," said E.Q. Young, bassist and singer with The Legends of Funk. "A lot of you guys remind me of my son whose 24 years old. The whole night just moved me to tears."
The Legends of Funk will be performing five shows during their time overseas; one in Kuwait and four in Iraq two of which will be played on Camp Liberty.