I'm Not Havin' It

Album: Fire It Up (2021)

Songfacts®:

  • Steve Cropper, the guitarist in both Booker T & the MG's and The Blues Brothers, didn't release many solo albums, but during the quarantine in 2020 he got together with producer Jon Tiven to work on Fire It Up, which was released in 2021. Many of the songs came out of ideas from sessions Cropper did with Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals. Tiven considers "I'm Not Havin' It" one of the standout tracks.
  • The rocker Roger C. Reale wrote the lyric and did the vocal on all the non-instrumental tracks from the album, including this one. He told Songfacts: "Like most of the tracks, once we got started, I'd get two at a time, and usually work on them together. The tracks that Jon (Tiven) and Crop would send were basically rhythm tracks, fully formed, but I knew that Crop would add more guitar later on.

    This track is not necessarily about anything specific. I went, as I did on many of these tracks, for a feel, or an attitude, so that each track would have a certain identity, but also so that the project could hang as a whole piece. I also was always fully aware that this was Crop's album, not a group as such, so I was a piece of the whole thing, even though I hadn't heard his bits when I was recording the vocals.

    This track was originally a bit longer, with some great changes at the end, which, happily, Crop and Eddie Gore, the engineer, kept most of."
  • Before this song went to Roger C. Reale, Donald Fagen took a crack at writing the lyrics and topline melody. "He asked me if I had an idea for the melody, so I put on a saxophone line and sent it back to him," Jon Tiven explained. "But still he couldn't get anything he was happy with, so he turned it back to me and Steve. Roger didn't get the benefit of hearing my horn line, so his melody was completely different from what we'd originally conceived of, but Steve liked the horn line so much he kept it in the song."

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