Otis Redding erindret

11. december 2010

“The first time we saw Otis was in 1962, and he was driving a car for Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers out of Macon, Georgia. They had a moderate hit, an instrumental called “Love Twist,” and they wanted to record a follow-up in Memphis with my band, Booker T. and the MG’s. I saw this big guy get out from behind the wheel and go to the back of the truck and start unloading equipment. That was Otis. And we had no idea he was also a singer. In those days, instrumental groups always carried a singer so they could play the songs on the radio that the kids wanted to dance to.

We had a few minutes left at the end of the session, and Al Jackson, our drummer, said, “This guy with Johnny, he wants us to hear him sing.” Booker had already left for the day, so I sat down at the piano, which I play only a little for writing. Otis said, “Just gimme those church things.”

We call them triplets in music. I said, “What key?”

He said, “It don’t matter.”

He started singing “These Arms of Mine.” And, man, my hair stood on end. Jim [Stewart, co-owner of Stax] came running out and said, “That’s it! That’s it! Where is everybody? We gotta get this on tape!” So I grabbed all the musicians who hadn’t left already for their night gigs, and we recorded it right there. When you hear something that’s better than anything you ever heard, you know it, and it was unanimous. We almost wore out the tape playing it afterwards. “These Arms of Mine” was the first of seventeen hit singles he had in a row.

Otis had the softness of Sam Cooke and the harshness of Little Richard, and he was his own man. He was also fabulous to be around, always 100 percent full of energy. So many singers in those days, with all due respect, had just been in the business too long. They were bitter from the way they were treated. But Otis didn’t have that. He was probably the most nonprejudiced human being I ever met. He seemed to be big in every way: physically, in his talent, in his wisdom about other people. After he died, I was surprised to find out I was the same age as he was, because I looked up to him as an older brother.

When I wrote with Otis, my job was to help him finish his songs. He had so many ideas that I’d just pick one and say, “Let’s do this,” and we’d write all night long. “I Can’t Turn You Loose” was just a riff I’d used on a few songs with the MG’s. Otis worked it up with the horns in about ten minutes as the last thing we did one night in the studio. Just a riff and one verse that he sings over and over. That’s all it is. With Otis, it was all about feeling and expression. Most of his songs had just two or three chord changes, so there wasn’t a lot of music there. The dynamics, the energy, the way we attacked it — that’s hard to teach. So many things now are computer-generated. They start at one level and they stop at the same level, so there isn’t much dynamic, even if there are a lot of different sounds.

I miss Otis. I miss him as much now as I did after we lost him. I’ve been to the lake in Madison, Wisconsin, where they have the plaque. The best explanation I’ve read is that his plane missed the runway on the first approach and it circled around over the lake when the wings iced up. That was December 10th, 1967. It’s been difficult for me to listen to Otis since then. It brings back too many memories, all great except for the end.”

(Steve Cropper – Booker T & MGs – om Otis Redding)

I gÃ¥r var det Ã¥rsdagen for soulsangeren Otis Reddings tragiske død ved et flystyrt. Jeg faldt over Steve Croppers personlige og fine erindring om Otis. Bedre minderune kan man næsten ikke tænke sig…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

4 kommentarer

  1. AagePK kommentarer:

    Selv om man ikke har mødt Otis: bare ved at høre ham synge, f.eks “Sittin’ in the dock of the bay” véd man, at Steve Cropper rammer plet med sin beskrivelse.

  2. capac kommentarer:

    @AagePK: Ja, det var noget i den retning, jeg tænkte…

  3. AagePK kommentarer:

    Ganske off-topic: Du har ikke meget om klassisk musik; i morgen, søndag, kommer der lidt specielt pÃ¥ P2’s Amadeus, mellem 17 og 17.30, pakkekalenderen. Hvis jeg altsÃ¥ er heldig. Det er ogsÃ¥ noget om at være ærlig, og kæmpe for sin ret til at være her.

  4. capac kommentarer:

    @AagePK: Nej, jeg har kun skrevet meget lidt om klassisk musik og jazz. Det er ikke, fordi jeg ikke kan lide de to musikformer. Faktisk kan jeg rigtig godt lide jazz. Men det er et bevist valg. Jeg breder mig i forvejen meget inden for det pop, rock og tilgrænsende genrer. Så det vil kun ske undtagelsesvis, at jeg kommer ind på de to emner.

Skriv en kommentar

207 har læst indlægget