Friday, January 20, 2006

So get up, don't fight it, you've got to feel it.

My very second memory of Wilson Pickett is not ever being able to remember that name of a lame pop trio, and calling them Wilson Pickett instead. Overpraise, I see now, although at the time it was just entertaining confusion.

For a long time in my rather uninformed youth, I seem to have believed that the best music was the smoothest, most fussed-up music. You know, rarified synth, perfect around the edges. I heard on the radio this morning, though, that when Wilson Pickett would record his songs, it was one take, that's it. What they played is what you get.

And that is still part of the pleasure of those songs--the voice a little rough around the edges, but with those great big horns, and the whole thing just about to slide off the edges. That roughness makes it real. You can understand why he was soul singer everybody gravitated to in The Commitments.

The long and the short of it is that Wilson Pickett makes you wish that you too were a midnight mover, an all night groover, a midnight teaser, and a real soul pleaser, and he gave us the tunes that let us all believe, here and there, that maybe we were.

RIP, Wilson.

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