Watching James Brown in action in video of his performances in the 1960s and '70s, it's difficult to imagine someone so assured and in control of himself and his band descending into drug-induced chaos. He even insisted his musicians remain drug-free, which alienated some, including Catfish and Bootsy Collins, who departed for Parliament-Funkadelic where experimentation with drugs was more a qualification than a fire-able offense.
But the '80s took their toll on the "Soul Brother No. 1" as he started using PCP. He was arrested numerous times before, in 1988, he reportedly pulled a shotgun on a man for using the toilet in his office before fleeing, leading police on a chase near the border of Georgia and South Carolina. He was convicted of possession, driving under the influence, carrying an unlicensed pistol and assaulting a police officer and sentenced to six years in jail; released in three. He continued to have problems with the law for the last 15 years of his life, most often owing to charges of domestic violence.