31 May 2010
To celebrate some minor triumph or other, I didn't actually get smashed ...
but went to see Booker T Jones (from Booker T and the MGs) perform at the Bath Arts festival. He was tremendous. We got 'Green Onions', and then he stood up and sang a series of about six songs. They all began along these lines: Here is a song that Otis and I played together. It's called Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.' He had a wonderful, effortless voice, and you wondered why he hadn't done more with it until you realised that had you played with Otis Redding, Bob Dylan and so on, you probably wouldn't open your mouth either. He sang 'Born Under a Bad Sign,' which he wrote for Albert King, and 'Ain't No Sunshine when She's Gone' which he recorded with Bill Withers, and 'Hold On, I'm Coming' which he played on with Sam and Dave. It was a tremendous evening. He was spry and in good shape approaching 70, possessing an unusual grace. He ended with a performance of 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' by Otis Redding. He reminded me of the way Bert Jansch plays Jackson C Frank and Nick Drake songs, to keep their legacy alive, having known them and lost them. I nearly cried twice.
His fingers brushed the bottom keyboard of his Hammond as he played the top. A song called 'She Breaks' was introduced with 'a reminder that woman loves everyone - the young and old - and sometimes getting close to such beauty destroys her, and sometimes getting close to such ugliness destroys her.' It was an instrumental.
Then went for a curry in Bath, and I had my first vindaloo.