Booker T - Gettin' to the Funkamentals

New Orleans in the late `60s, near midnight, dead of summer. Alone, far from home, you wander through the tourist traps and clatter, garish vacation costumery, hurricane glasses and neon signs, obnoxious weaving drunkenness of amateurs having too much forced fun. Exotic voodoo for a young man. Thoughtlessly you veer off onto a quiet street offering relief and it hits you, softly at first, but beyond all debate, lasciviously undulating rhythm. It's a siren's call, even you know that, but there's no denying the lure, so you follow it like a trail of perfume until it leads to an open door. Inside an ungodly blue light glows and smoke swirls about like spirits dancing in slow motion.

It's not much of a room, really, big and square. Long bar, pool table, jukebox, cigarette machine, mirrored ceiling, brass pole. Neither full nor empty, patrons silent. The music pumps out of big speakers and bounces off empty walls - no vocals - only organ, drums, bass, guitar - grinding a patient, sturdy groove marked out in 4/4 time solid enough to build a house on. Every eye trained intently on the ********, and all you call say is - Ride Sally Ride. Now you understand why it's always worth going off the beaten track. This is the real deal - this is the source - the foundation - this is not funk(y) - this is not funk-ish - this is funkamental - this is the whosever what why and how of funk. Maybe Sam & Dave are in the kitchen, but right here, this is the basement.

Plum Nellie, once you got your hooks on me, there was no pretending I could ever turn back.
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
2 Responses Jul 13, 2007

I love your response. Booker T and The MG's were an incredible soul, funk band - they were also the house band for Stax records which produced many souls greats like Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, etc. This is just a little vignette about being 17, alone in New Orleans, and wandering into an obscure nightclub and seeing them perform. More like a short story than a typical EP musing. Check out Booker T, he is still twice as funky as a bow-legged monkey.