LAGRANGE, Ga. — Several hundred fans were torn Friday night over whether to give it to funk singer G.T. Stone and his band again after having given it to him once already during a set out of fear that he would ask for more, apprehensive sources confirmed.
“I don’t like giving it more than once, especially this early in the night,” said longtime Stone fan Marcia Stipp. “I mean, when does it end? I’ll give it to anyone once, sure. Then if they ask again, I’m more or less obligated, right? But here it gets tricky. Three times? Whoa. Four times? Now I feel like I’m being taken advantage of. Sometimes I don’t think these funk singers take into consideration what it means for people my age to give it up—or even turn it loose.”
Stone admitted there is a science to the give-it-to-me strategy, which dates back to the early days of funk.
“It’s the classic foot-in-the-door technique, developed by Stanford psychologists Jonathan Freedman and Scott Fraser back in, oh, I wanna say 1966?” said Stone. “It goes something like this. If I can get you to say yes to one thing, I can get you to say yes to another thing—and so on down the line. And it doesn’t matter if the ‘thing’ here is a simple hello or a million dollars in life insurance or something more nuanced, like the universal ‘it’ of funk, man. And don’t ask me what ‘it’ is again. I’ve been down that funk railroad too many times.”
Prize-winning funk historian Al “Lay-It-Down” Brown testified to being able to see both sides of the coin.
“It is indeed a slippery slope, and I myself won’t give it to a singer even once. Most singers coming up through the system try to squeeze out as many as they can from the audience,” said Brown. “Isaac Hayes used to average a good nine per night. One sweltering night in Newport News I saw a crowd give it to James Brown 73 times in a row—but that’s rare. No one will ever come close to that again. Fans have learned their lesson.”
At press time, Stone was heard saying, “Let’s hear it for the band one more time,” while the crowd deliberated over whether having already applauded twice was sufficient.