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Boot-Leg - Booker T & the MG's Live 1965

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Published on Feb 13, 2013

Booker T & the MG's recorded live at the 5/4 Ballroom in August 1965 with Booker T Jones on keyboards. "Though it's often assumed that Booker T. Jones played on all M.G.'s records, in the mid-1960s Jones was often studying music full-time at Indiana University. Stax writer/producer Isaac Hayes usually stepped in on the occasions when Jones was unavailable for session work, and on several sessions Jones and Hayes played together with one on organ, the other on piano. However, Hayes was never an official member of the M.G.'s, and Jones played on all the records credited to "Booker T. & The M.G.'s"—with one exception. That exception was the 1965 hit "Boot-Leg", a studio jam recorded with Hayes on keyboards in Jones's place. According to Steve Cropper, the song was recorded with the intention of being released as by The Mar-Keys (another name used to release singles by the Stax house band.) However, as recordings credited to Booker T. & The M.G.'s were meeting with greater commercial success than those credited to The Mar-Keys, the decision was made to credit "Boot-Leg" to Booker T. & The M.G.'s, even though Booker T. himself does not appear on the studio recording." This live version was recorded August 7-8, 1965 at the 5/4 Ballroom at 54th and Broadway in South Central Los Angeles (3 miles or so north of Watts) with Booker on keyboards, three days before the outset of the Watts Riots. The announcer on the record is R&B disc jockey Magnificent Montague, whose radio catch phrase was "Burn, Baby, Burn!" which also became a catch phrase associated with the 1965 Watts Riots (and subsequently retired from use). The band could see smoke rising from the city as they took off from LAX heading back to Memphis. Burn, indeed!

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