Track This: Booker T. & The M.G's "Behave Yourself"
Booker T. Jones' organ playing is a thing of beauty -- serene, yet expressive, propelling a late night vibe or a Sunday morning, post-church feeling. Transcendental, his playing is unmatched and recognizable, especially on the opening bars of "Behave Yourself," a fine equal and b-side to the group's ubiquitous 1962 single, "Green Onions," on which the organist lays down nimble melodies.The rest of the group never slouches either. Lewie Sternberg's bass lines are measured and supremely funky, just bubbling under the surface throughout the piece and superbly melding with Al Jackson's simple kit work. Steve Cropper takes the lead from Jones' organ to lay down a nice southern soul guitar line once in awhile, but Jones is the master of the game here, varying his playing but vamping as the tight rhythm section backs him up. Alternating patterns of sweetness explode as the group holds down the tight vibe, Cropper's repeating guitar figures taking the lead towards the end of the short but perfect track, dueling with Jones' organ before the track simply fades out.
Act Two opens with Hood's “Let
There Be Rock,” which not only alludes to AC/DC's song of the same name but
addresses how both Betamax Guillotine and Hood grew up in the shadows of great
bands. While he never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd, he lists the bands he did see, while
the band works up a rock frenzy. Like most songs that purport to introduce the
power of rock music, “Let There Be Rock” attempts to be a blistering example of
the form, yet Hood's clever, yet straightforward, lyrics temper it. The narrator could be any young music fan
growing up in America during the 1970s, listening to music, doing drugs, and
drinking to excess. He drops acid at Blue Oyster Cult, is pulled over with weed
and booze, drinks vodka and almost dies. He juxtaposes each binge with his
experiences seeing classic bands. Both scenarios are equally important to his
future quest at being a rock god, or at least, writing about them. The refrain
reintroduces the rock: “And I never saw Lynyrd Skyn…