Monday music: “Mannish Boy”

On Thanksgiving Day 1976, The Band played what was billed as their farewell concert at the Wintergarden Theatre in San Francisco. (The Band, minus guitarist/songwriter Robbie Robertson, would re-form a few years later.) They had a ton of guests, and Martin Scorcese also filmed the concert for a movie, called The Last Waltz.

Muddy Waters was one of the guests, and he did two songs, “Caldonia” and “Mannish Boy,” and the latter is below. It was also almost not in the movie, due to the changeability of the titles to old blues songs. Scorcese, not recognizing the title “Mannish Boy,” tagged that as a song where they could change the film in the cameras. By the time the song started, and Scorcese realized it was the song he knew as “I’m a Man,” it was too late — except it wasn’t. One camera operator, knowing what song it was, kept filming. Which is why the song is all one long tracking shot. But it worked out for the best……

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