As a young guitarist I was in awe of Steve Cropper, guitarist with Booker T and the MGs (Memphis Group). Listening to him play guitar licks such as those on Green Onions or Soul Man which were simple but his technique made them sound special.
We’d seen the Stax revue when it came to Manchester in the mid-60s and three years ago I had the chance to see Steve Cropper play at the Ramsbottom Music Festival supported by The Animals.
The Animals were good but I went to see Steve. It was a rain-sodden day but worth waiting for.
Steve played, and sang, a number of the songs he’d written for Stax artists. He wasn’t playing the Fender Telecaster that I remembered but what might have been a Schecter tele-style guitar – but it sounded good.
He also told stories about how some songs came to be written, for example “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”.
Otis Redding couldn’t really play guitar that well so he had his guitar tuned to an open E major chord.
All he had to do to change different chords was to slide his fingers up the neck. So there are no minor chords in that song.
It was a great evening. I was cold and wet but it was worth it!