By Mel Cooke—-
Tell you truthfully
About this good world and me
I want peace of mind don’t you see
I’m gonna get it
I know it’s there somewhere for me
Gonna get love I know that I will
Satisfaction won’t come until
Don’t you fret now I’ll get love yet
Got this faith within me just you wait a minute
— Satisfaction, Carl Dawkins
Satisfaction is Carl Dawkins’ signature song, on which his precise vocals show their mettle and range to memorable effect. Ironically, though, it was written from a sense of dissatisfaction.
“I was so dissatisfied with the music, the fraternity. Is long time it’s been going on, going, going,” Dawkins said.
The song came out of a fraternity of another kind, yet intertwined with music – football.
“I play soccer and the beat, like a train coming at you. It’s like a heartbeat,” he said.
However, Dawkins cautioned, an overdose is possible. “You have some people overdose. Coffee can overdose you. Sunlight can overdose you too, you get cancer,” Dawkins said.
So, when Satisfaction came to Dawkins “I wanted peace of mind. The only time I find that peace of mind is when I am with my friends – Tony Russell, Andy Bugs, Audley Rollins. You get so happy when you are with them and you can speak about the people you try to avoid – the modelling crowd”.
Music and football blended, as after the match was over there were two guitars and herbal matter around. There was also the meeting of minds, after “everybody gone and is just singer and herbman”.
Satisfaction came “in a bunch”, Dawkins said. However, it was not all of what came to him after the soccer and the smoke that came out.
Dawkins complains that the JJ Records producer, which put outSatisfaction, cut out the bridge. “We elevated our minds, so we transposed the bridge. It was so hard to catch the man say ‘lef off tha part deh’,” Dawkins said. “It get lef’ off so that’s why it so short.”
Satisfaction was recorded at Federal studios (now Tuff Gong), with Jackie Jackson on bass, Winston Wright on keyboards, Winston Grennell on drums and Lyn Tait on guitar. The change of chords was set up by Mitten Henry.
Describing his interaction with Jackson, Dawkins said “when I go in the studio Jackie Jackson hug up the bass and say ‘what you come with this time, Mr Dawkins?’.”
What he came with was special. “It make magic, that song,” Dawkins said.
However, the magic took a while to catch on. “It stayed eight months before we sold 10 boxes,” Dawkins said.
“Ken Boothe was at number one with Freedom Street,” he said.
When Satisfaction caught on, though, Dawkins said it stayed atop the charts for several weeks and “it took seven deejays to move me. It was a monster”.
And, having found the magic, Dawkins did not hesitate to follow it as far as he could. “Is about six tune me put in the vein,” he said, naming This Land and Give Me the Right Love among them.