Friday, January 20, 2006

To Wilson Pickett From Mustang Sally

"Ride, Sally, ride." Wilson Pickett

My first, best car back in the day was a 65 Mustang. Cobalt blue with white leather interior. My name, in case you haven't noticed, is Sally. You do the math.

I loved that Mustang. It took me out of high school, into college and all over America. I cruised the West Philly streets of the Penn campus, tooled down the shore, drove to California and back, blasting my signature Wilson Pickett song.

I hit the road to Connecticut for long summer weekends. When I met Bob Dylan on one of those weekends, even he called me Mustang Sally.

That car and that song are indelibly linked to my Boomer youth. Much of the music from those days was like that. It was stellar. It shone. Sparkled. The galaxy of our generation was lit by megawatt powerhouses like Wilson Pickett.

There's value in the music of today. But most of the younger artists still take their cues from the original masters of Motown and rock and soul. The tribute paid Wilson Pickett by the movie The Commitments is sincere and evocative and, as we use to say, right on.

In Favorite Movies - Some Capsule Reviews, I didn't mention Mr. Pickett by name, but I should have. The brilliantly distilled essence of his talent and style resonates throughout the film. Rent it, buy the soundtrack.

Listen to Mustang Sally and In the Midnight Hour. You'll thank me. And more, you'll thank Wilson Pickett for breathing soul into your spirit.

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