Wednesday, January 25, 2006

WHMP RIP Edition 1-25-06




From: Scott
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006
To: Steve

Hey,

I did my best to find some connection between Chris Penn and Wilson Pickett, but the task was fruitless (and I ran out of time). I'm sure that out there, somewhere, someone can find a movie in which one of Pickett's songs appeared in a Chris Penn movie.

I was going to dedicate today's song entirely to Pickett, but I've always been a fan of Penn, even getting excited when he appeared on a recent episode of Everwood> So I thought it fitting to include a dedication to him in this week’s edition of the hump day song.

I first became exposed to “Wicked” Pickett in the summer of ‘87, when I went on a soul music kick after discovering Otis Redding in Washington DC. I had bought some Atlantic cheap-o compilation and wore it out. From there, I bought similar tapes by Aretha, Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett. Of those three, Pickett’s tape got the most use. The common thread of all four of these artists was the passion they brought to their music, whether it be a ballad or a balls out jam. But Pickett had an intensity about his voice that sounded dangerous. And I liked that.

I vividly recall cleaning out the red van the day after the Petty concert (I had too, thanks to Mr. Sprague) and listening to that Wilson Pickett tape over and over again. Brookshire was hangin’ out with me and he commented on several of the songs. At the time, he was kind of joking about the songs. However, there is a part of me that believes that Matt was attracted to Pickett’s intensity, too. I’m sure Matt liked the danger and the darkness of Pickett’s voice. That would have been something Matt dug. Instead of replaying “In the Midnight Hour” or “Mustang Sally”, here is a song I love. “634-5789 (Soulsville USA)”.

As for Chris Penn, like I said, I’ve always admired his work. While I am one of the few who saw “The Wild Life” (even Cameron Crowe seems to disown the movie), I thought he was funny/sad in the role. More poignant was his role in “All the Right Moves” as the football star who gets his girlfriend pregnant and they decide to wed. He thinks his life is going to be great... An extension of high school. But we all know where that guy is headed. He’ll work the steel factory the rest of his life ... Or at least until it shuts down. Great work. Of course, he really hit his stride in the 90’s as a character actor. Which brings us to “Little Green Bag” by George Baker.

I’ll never forget watching “Reservoir Dogs” in the basement of my house, drinking Seagram's... At about 4 in the afternoon. Strange experience, but I knew I was watching something special. Penn, of course, shines in this movie. Like most of his films, he had a natural ability to plan menacing and hurt at the same time. One need only watch “Short Cuts” again to marvel at his standout performance. The guy is going to be missed.

That’s it for this week.

Best,
S


From: Steve
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006
To: Scott

Another terrific message. This Wednesday ritual has become the eye of the hurricane for me. Thank you for the 8,392nd time for your thoughtfulness.

I tried to track down your blog not long ago without success. What's the address?

From: Scott
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006
To: Steve

www.augustone.com

Funny, I just came across this brief mention of today’s song on Roling Stone’s web site....

“When Pickett first heard this Eddie Floyd-Steve Cropper song, he called it "a piece of shit"; he and Floyd nearly came to blows. But the heated contrast of Pickett's bravado against the smooth groove and backing chirp of Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles made "634-5789" the hottest phone number in the land.”

Glad I can be of a service. Take care.
S

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