Thursday, February 21, 2008

Masterpiece One--"Dock of the Bay"

This is the first in what will be a string of posts revealing what IMHO are masterpieces. Songs, pictures, phrases, whatever. I can't define them, but I know them when I see them--better than good, greater than great.

(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay was recorded only hours before the untimely death of the great Otis Redding in December, 1967 and released a month later. At the time I was five years old and living in San Diego. The dock of the bay for me will always be the submarine pier where we would go for an occasional, extra special tour of the boat, sometimes topped by a dinner in the ward room. With Boston cream pie for dessert. A diesel submarine--what an adventure for a five year old boy! All these years later I can still smell diesel and creosote, still hear the sound of the band playing Sousa marches as subs departed and returned from six month WestPac cruises, and still be enthralled by the crispness of orders barked and salutes snapped.

For Redding, it was something completely different, I'm sure. "Two thousand miles I roamed, just to make this dock my home." It can get no better than that.

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