Bobby Womack and Ron Wood, 1975
There’s a fantastic Guardian interview with Bobby Womack online, conducted recently in his hospital room, after getting the all-clear from colon cancer:
…everything he says is fascinating, an endless stream of anecdotes with an impossibly starry cast drawn from what may be the most remarkable CV in music: he is, as Albarn notes, “like Zelig”. He formed his first gospel group with his five brothers before he had reached his teens. A few years later, their father kicked them out when they announced they wanted to play secular music. They were mentored by Sam Cooke, who moved them to LA and whose band Womack joined, touring a segregated America. “Sam used to tell me, whenever you got some money, you go get yourself a good ring and a good watch. Why would I need that? And Sam would say, you might have to get outta town quickly, before you get paid, and you can always hock that ring and that watch.”
He played with James Brown and Ray Charles and toured with a young Jimi Hendrix. He wrote It’s All Over Now, which the Rolling Stones turned into a global hit…
He spent time as a session guitarist in Memphis, where he played with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and on Dusty Springfield’s Dusty In Memphis. He also played on Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds, which didn’t impress him much either. “People say: ‘What did you think of Elvis Presley?’ I say: ‘He wasn’t shit. Everything he got he stole.’”
Here’s a great new site of Bobby’s history — I was so excited to see Bobby in Houston next weekend, but now they’ve postponed the show until June 30th. Still, I feel lucky he’s still coming!
Here’s a little Rdio playlist of his career I put together: