I'm giving this a five because there don't seem to be too many other books about Otis out there and this is a pretty good read.
The writer gives his take on Otis' life coming from Macon Georgia, the same town where Little Richard and James Brown were born.
Like Carla Thomas says in 'Tramp!', 'You from the Georgia woods!'
Otis grew up on the streets. His father was preacher, had been a sharecropper. They lived in tough neighbourhoods until Otis got money.
According to Freeman Otis was pretty much a saint except about money, where he could be mean.
Most, or a lot of Freeman's information seems to come from the people Otis grew up with and played with, all of whom had a very high regard for him as a person as well as a musician, although a number of them flagged up his ability to be tough on the street, and hardnosed attitude to business.
However it seems like he always loved to be around his family and friends from home, although towards the end his life got very hectic.
There's a lot of speculation about where Otis' life was going around the time he was killed. There's a lot of stuff about the high regard he was held in by many other musicians including the Beatles, Dylan and most of all Janis. Well, why wouldn't they?
Highlights for me include Freeman's willingness to take a sidetrack here and there to explore the lives of players in Otis' life, especially Johnny Jenkins. Another key character would be Steve Cropper, seemingly the guy that held Stax together for many years at least in terms of personalities and the music. No surprise there.
There are a number of terrific stories in here, and I won't spoil the book, but the best one would be when James Brown invaded a gig where Joe Tex was playing with the Pinetoppers because he didn't like the way Tex took him off.
Like I said, a good read, and it leaves some unanswered questions, but when you're talking about a man who re corded one of the best albums ever made, by anybody, in any genre, I don't mind a little mystery.