Out Of The Past Again

From The 2004 Be the Boy archives, something about my favorite singer. This time with bonus features:

If you keeping score at home, and I know you are I’ve now played the same song over 7 times, make it 8, I just did it again. Why? Because at the moment the only thing I want to hear, the Otis Redding version of (Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.

Otis’ version of Satisfaction is, bar none, one of the 5 best covers ever done. If you’ve never heard it, seek it out on CD or even better find the DA Pennebaker documentary on the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Skip past all the hippie crap and check out Otis. If you can find it, there’s a split LP of Hendrix/Otis from that day, a historic pair of performances. Over the years Otis’ has faded somewhat while we have probably all seen the image of Jimi over his burning guitar. Not to take away from Hendrix but that was a parlor trick, a diversion if you will. In Jimi you have the paradox of a black man playing a variation on the blues to a white audience that didn’t understand the blues to begin with, not the real blues anyway. At times Hendrix opted for showmanship over everything else and because of that people hear the guitar but miss that flawed, beautiful voice.

Otis Redding only had his voice, but he brought with him backing band of no less Booker T. and the MG’s AND The Mar-Keys but even with the two best backing groups in the world behind him Otis Redding wasn’t rock and roll, he was a SOUL singer when that meant “not for white people”. I don’t think the kids at Monterey cared who Otis Redding was before he took the stage. He may have come on stage a soul singer in green suit but he walked off it a rock star. Given the short sets allowed because of the festival’s schedule the band rips through some of Otis’ best stuff and he hardly stops to take a breath through “Shake”, “Respect”, “Satisfaction”. Otis moves…well he moves like only he could move. By the time the set ends with “Try a Little Tenderness” only the kids on bad trips aren’t enthralled.

Here’s some music, click the links to download.

Otis Redding – (Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Otis Redding – Try a Little Tenderness

Here is the festival footage of the songs listed above:

Otis Redding also appears in the archives here.

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