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June 8, 2011 / John Sieger

I Got To Laugh

Click: I Got To Laugh

If you write songs, one assignment you give yourself— and it’s right up there with yesterday’s memorable guitar riff—is to write a 6/8 soul ballad. Something like I’ve Been Loving You Too Long by Otis Redding or his amazing I’ve Got Dreams To Remember. Both of them are so gospel it isn’t funny. Oh Darling by The Beatles is another great example. I knew the Subcontinentals would do right by me when I came up with this one. It’s fairly recent and came in the middle of a slightly dry spell when my muse was hiding behind a very thin tree—and I’ve got a fat muse! Through luck and work, I got to have a couple conversations with Steve Cropper, the great Memphis producer/guitarist and member of Booker T & The MGs. He produced and wrote with Otis Redding. We were working on getting him the right guitar neck from Cream City Music, where I work and emails turned into phone calls as the situation got slightly bungled. Eventually we got it straightened out and kept everyone happy and I asked if I could send him a song. This kind of cold request is not my specialty, but I felt like I had to step up a little. He was very agreeable and I did wind up sending it. Have yet to hear from him, but that’s OK, you can’t expect everything like that to work out. It just felt right to send a song that was inspired by his work with the giants of soul and so I did. The guy had to finish “Dock Of The Bay” after Otis died and he must have had tears in his eyes as he put the finishing touches on that masterpiece. Can you imagine?

© 2011 John Sieger


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