The music of Booker T Jones has been heard in 1000s of homes and arenas with his unique playing supplying the backbeat to many well-known hits to come out on the world famous Stax record label. With Booker now in his 70’s this autobiography published by Omnibus Press is a timely look back at the man’s extraordinary life.
As an integral part of the world famous quartet Booker T and The MG’s, named after a car one of the producers owned, it’s staggering the body of work this band were able to achieve. The bands exquisite playing touches genius on the likes of Otis Redding, Irma Thomas, Sam and Dave (‘play it Steve’ (Cropper)) and dozens more. As you are no doubt aware the line-up and indeed the Stax label were firmly multiracial as were the MG’s which is brought to life with Bookers tales of growing up in the segregated South of the United States.
With Church music making its way into the popular charts hits of the time it was no surprise on Green Onions, Funk Onions as it was known when the band first started playing it, but renamed at a fear from the band that it would scare off listeners at this time of heated goings on in the world. Indeed Jones contemplates vividly these injustices of race of the time.
When he describes his time writing and recording music he opens up with some wonderfully engaging remarks. His time he describes finding different chords is particularly intriguing and is evident on the bands work with Hip Hug-Her where he remembers seeing Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn pulling on the strings of his bass so hard he thought they might snap plus he particularly pleased a multitude of kids have tried to learn the keyboard parts to Green Onions, but who hasn’t!?.
Overall an at times thought provoking but highly enjoyable autobiography that details key moments in the life of one the all-time great musicians of the 60s.
Time Is Tight can be purchased via this link on Amazon.com