Ever since Whitney Houston died, I’ve been meaning to write about, well, Otis Redding. My love for Otis Redding. I’m a white girl and black music has meant the world to me my whole life. My grandfather played the trumpet. Jazz was his life. When I was a kid and we played 20 Questions in the pool somehow Dizzy Gillespie was always the answer.
I was an adolescent in the ’80s and I remember life before MTV but MTV changed all our lives, the music lovers. I wasn’t a reader. It was music for me all the way (until about age 14 when No One Here Gets Out Alive, the Jim Morrison biography changed my life again).
But back to Otis Redding. I forget how old I was. Maybe 14, 15, 16 and I had just bought a double album compilation “greatest hits” from the Atlantic R & B label and on side one I found Try A Little Tenderness.
It’s hard to convey to young people today life in a less media-saturated world. The stores and malls and Starbucks (not that there were Starbucks!) and tv commercials and EVERYWHERE were not filled with the latest cool stuff or the cool stuff from older years. For example, it never fails to shock me to hear the Velvet Underground when I go into any random store in Brooklyn. I mean, once upon a time… it was secret. The good music was secret.
Otis Redding was never a secret but I remember the first time I heard that song, with headphones on and… I think the ones born a little bit after me got a taste of him from that John Hughes movie (Pretty in Pink?) but for me it was a stereo, a record, a needle, a big black disc, big clunky headphones and probably a day like this one — quiet, but after school. Just me and the music.
So at first I was going to write about the fallen divas, some great women artists who left this world too young.
Otis died before his Saturn return. Go back and listen to those songs that you have heard a zillion times and pretend it’s the first time if you can. That voice. Gives me chills just to think about it.
Of course I had to look up his chart. Sun conjunct North Node in Virgo in the 6th! I wonder if he ever knew the awesome beauty of his voice. Neptune in his 6th House too. Pluto in his 5th squaring a Taurus Moon. Ah no wonder. The sweetness of his voice is in that aspect. The sweetness of Taurus and the yearning of Moon square Pluto.
Saturn in his 2nd House. Yeah, he probably never knew his strength or his gift despite Aries rising and an Aries Mars in the 1st House. I just took a quick look though. This is by no means a comprehensive analysis!
Jupiter in Gemini in his 3rd: big communications, right? And that Jupiter squared his Virgo stuff but was supported by his Mars and his Pluto and his Venus in Libra in the 7th, a trine.
If he had lived? Maybe he would have lived long enough to have been as rewarded as we have been blessed by his music. I kinda doubt it though.
Oops – sorry for the gloom! I’ll be back later to cheer y’all up. 🙂