So which is it? A “fourth dimension” that is independent of events but in which events occur in sequence, or simply part of a fundamental intellectual structure in which we sequence and compare events?
When I’m feeling adventurous I hold with the former (hey, if it was good enough for Newton it’s good enough for….), but since I perennially (sic) seem to be running behind it, and often find myself wishing for more of it, I’m far from an authority. Still, I do happen to agree with the incisive Ambrose Bierce, whose take on time can be found in his definition of the word, “day” (à la the “The Devil’s Dictionary”): “Day n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.”
Time is tight and with Christmas Eve swiftly sneaking up on us, it’s feeling tighter all the time. Back to Booker T & the M.G.’s (you may recall “Green Onions”) who were primetime by the summer of ’67 after backing Otis Redding at Monterey Pop. They were all set to take Woodstock by storm as well, but drummer Al Jackson, Jr. didn’t want to ride in the helicopter that would get them to the stage…so they didn’t play.
All of which made little difference to the Beatles, who always seemed to be at the vortex of musical trends and had limousines sent to the airport to collect them when they arrived in London for their “Hit the Road, Stax!” tour later that summer. John Lennon was quoted as saying that he’d always wanted to write an instrumental for Booker T. and the M. G.’s, or as he laughingly referred to them, “Book a Table and the Maître D’s.”
The following year the group recorded a soundtrack album for “Up Tight,” a now forgotten remake of John Ford’s film, “The Informer” which moved the setting from 1922 Dublin to contemporary Cleveland. Perhaps like me you’re unable to place the movie, but you’ll no doubt recall this track from the album, which reached Number 6 (their second biggest hit) on the Billboard Charts in 1969. Sometimes “Time is tight” in a very good way.