Friday Freak-Out: Booker T and the MGs' "Green Onions" (1967)

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Friday Freak-Out: Booker T and the MGs perform "Green Onions" on the Stax Volt Tour of Norway, 1967. Following this are more smoking numbers by Arthur Conley, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd, the Mark-Keys, and, yes, Otis Redding. The video is in six parts. All of these artists can be heard on the essential box set "Stax Volt: The Complete Singles 1959-1968." (via Greg Dulli/@twilitekid)


  1. Awesome video.  Thanks!

    It’s amazing how young Duck Dunn and Steve Cropper look, in this.  I had never seen them before the Blues Brothers movie came out, so I’ve always kinda imagined they were born as 40-something-year-old men.  And I still dig Cropper’s angular solo on that vintage Telecaster.

  2. I can’t access YouTube from where I currently post, I’ll have to watch the clip later.

    Meanwhile, may I recommend the group’s album ‘Melting Pot’?

    1. It’s a bit disorienting to hear it at this faster tempo, kind of like hearing Miles Davis take “So What” much faster on live recordings.

  3. Killer.  I highly recommend “Back to Back”, the double album featuring The Mar-Keys and Booker T. & The MG’s.  It is a hot and tight recording of a live show from 1967.

  4. I so love the audience – it’s like every stereotype of the (Norwegian) youth of the 60s was just confirmed for me. :D

  5. I’ve heard this tune approximately 437 million times and it never gets old.  This is a great version, too.  I was in the mood for some righteous organ music a few weeks ago and posted a few choice cuts here .

  6. This used to be the background music for 101 KGB-FM’s “PM Hotline” for about a million years, when they’d talk about upcoming local music events.  I don’t think I realized it was an actual song (as opposed to just library background music of unusually groovy quality) until about the 4,000th time I’d heard it.

    I could still listen to it all day.

  7. Fantastic group – and as stated, the basis of a lot of the sound that came to be identified with the Blues Brothers Band.

    I’ve had a Pandora station dedicated to these guys for years.

  8. Hey, where’s that guy to tell us that this isn’t Black Power enough to be real music?

    Al Jackson, Jr. was the greatest drummer who ever lived. He played on a number of Al Green hits as well. My favorite MG’s song is a b-side, “Red Beans and Rice”, though “Can’t Be Still” will levitate the dancers as well. So much goodness.

  9. All praises to the four geniuses that were Booker T. and the MGs! 

    And thanks for posting this, I hadn’t seen it before and after having watched it twice, I’m now on Otis marathon, which reminds me that even on his most marginal tunes he was the king (currently listening to “Treat Her Right”)

    Is it my imagination, or is Cropper far more enthusiastic when Redding is on stage?

  10. I never realized they had Marshall Stacks that far back. 

    Plus Duck Dunn’s bass totally carries the whole set. They could not have paid him enough ever.

  11. @MrJM:disqus Booker T is indeed still going – he played the WOMAD festival here in the UK last weekend. 

    @boingboing-bd06a90b7fbe27046d58f83f899560b0:disqus “That far back”? Oi!  :-)

    Ken Bran designed and built Jim Marshall’s first amp in the autumn of 1962.  It was a lead guitar amp and put out about 35 watts.  The rest, as they say, is history…

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