With Otis, it was all about feeling and expression. Most of his songs had just two or three chord changes, so there wasn’t a lot of music there. The dynamics, the energy, the way we attacked it, that’s hard to teach. So many things now are computer-generated. They start at one level and they stop at the same level, so there isn’t much dynamic, even if there are a lot of different sounds.
I miss Otis. I miss him as much now as I did after we lost him. I’ve been to the lake in Madison, Wisconsin, where they have the plaque. The best explanation I’ve read is that his plane missed the runway on the first approach and it circled around over the lake when the wings iced up. That was December 10, 1967. It’s been difficult for me to listen to Otis since then. It brings back too many memories, all great except for the end.”
—Steve Cropper, guitarist, bandleader, songwriter, and consummate sideman, on his friend, Otis Redding