Friday Freak-Out: Brothers Johnson play "Strawberry Letter #23"

[video link]

Friday Freak-Out: The Brothers Johnson perform "Strawberry Letter 23," circa 1977, available on their album "Right On Time". I selected this song after BB commenter ThomDowting pointed out how the opening notes of Cults' "Go Outside," heard in our video premier Wednesday, recall the lovely 60s glockenspiel intro in Shuggie Otis's original 1972 version of "Strawberry Letter 23," listenable here.


  1. I remember watching this when I was a kid and thinking, “where the hell is the rest of the band.” Now I just think, “Why the hell was I watching this.”

  2. This is one of the very few instances where the cover is at least as good as the original. Even watching them lip synch here, it’s easy to see why they had the nicknames “Lightnin Licks” and “Thunder Thumbs.” You can’t buy nicknames like that any more.

    Loves me some Shuggie, loves me some Brothers Johnson. Throw in some Graham Central Station, some Undisputed Truth, and some Spinners to smooth over the rough spots and you have a perfect summer weekend stay home from Carmeggdon and fire up the barbeque mix.

  3. Now I’m gonna have to listen to some Information of an Inspirational nature. These Friday Freakouts are tasty!

  4. A song who’s overall lovableness is almost entirely derived from the anticipation of waiting for that fabulous circling, looping, beautiful guitar break. I love this song, and it’s for that reason more than anything.

    1. Your ears do not deceive. Dig the rest of the lyrics and all will be made clear. Check out the original version while you’re at it. Spiritual enlightenment will ensue.*

      *offer not valid in all locations. void where prohibited.

Comments are closed.