The sidemen that accompanied John Lee Hooker’s guitar and vocals are a veritable who’s who of session musicians. The Funk Brothers of Motown Records’ fame provided the backing. Included among the band were the following musicians: Joe Hunter on piano, James Jamerson on bass, Benny Benjamin on drums, Larry Veeder on guitar, Hank Cosby on tenor sax, and Mike Terry on baritone sax.
Hooker said that he was inspired to write the song from a female Detroit bartender. Since Hooker was frequently tardy for his gigs at the Apex Bar, the barkeep would say, “Boom, boom – you’re late again.” Hearing the phrase enough, he was inspired to write the song.