Hot-Tempered Soul Singer Once Almost Killed Isley Brothers During Odd, Heated Dispute?

Posted On : March 3, 2021
The Isley Brothers: (Bottom row, L – R) O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley; (Top row, L – R) Ernie Isley, Chris Jasper, Marvin Isley, Rudolph Isley

Can you believe that back in the day singer, Wilson Pickett, decided to play a game of ‘shoot em up bang bang’ against The Isley Brothers?!! It’s true, but the only problem is that Pickett was the only willing participant in this situation. You see, the Isley’s weren’t actually in on the game, as a matter of fact, it wasn’t a game at all. Our man, Pickett, was stone serious when he tried to land a few bullets in a couple of the Isley’s!

How did this even happen, you ask? Well, on one typical night in December 1975, Wilson Pickett was flat out drunk that; and after he and the Isley’s got into an argument, all HELL broke loose. I guess it’s never wise to mix pistols, alcohol, and quick tempers together in one setting.

What Had Happened Was…

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Wilson Pickett and The Isley Brothers went on a hunting trip in Andes, New York, when the incident occurred. According to police reports, a drunken Pickett started causing a disturbance in The Andes Hotel. Rudolph Isley and O’Kelly Isley, along with two other men, tried to get Pickett to tone his temper down approximately a thousand notches, by taking him into a parking lot to reasonably talk to him. As they were trying to calm down “Wicked” Wilson Pickett, a fight broke out between all of them and the drama only escalated from there.

The Isley Brothers and the two unidentified men eventually went into a hotel room and locked the door, but Pickett sniffed them out…just as drunk and angry as he was moments earlier. So, he did what any quick-tempered drunk man with a pistol would do – he fired shots right through the door of The Isley Brothers’ hotel room, with a .38 caliber two-shot Derringer.

Needless to say, the police showed up and arrested Wilson Pickett, charging him with first-degree reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a dangerous weapon. He was released on $500 bail.

Not sure what Pickett’s relationship was like with the Isley’s after that incident. After all, what does one say to their fellow colleagues after trying to shoot them? ‘Hey man…look here, I apologize for trying to pump bullets into y’all, I didn’t mean any harm, I was drunk?’ Crazy, right? The Isley’s likely never let their guards down around Wilson Pickett again.

Pickett’s Reported Violent Incident With Former New Jersey Mayor

The Isley Brothers incident wasn’t “Wicked” Wilson’s only riled up moment. He once allegedly became angry at the then-mayor of Englewood, New Jersey, Mayor Donald Aronson, and decided to do what he presumably believed to be the most logical thing to do when one doesn’t like someone. Pickett reportedly did donuts in his Cadillac right there on the front lawn of the mayor’s house, while shouting threats at the mayor…WOW. That Wilson Pickett was something else, I tell ya.’

There’s no denying that Pickett and the Isley Brothers are incredible artists, despite the drama. And besides, we, soul music fans, would much rather vibe to their music, which grown folks can make LOVE to…not WAR. Can I get an Amen somebody?!!

-ILoveOldSchoolMusic, old school news with a new point of view

[Source: Jet Magazine]