Rolling Stones – Memory Motel

You’re just a memory of a love
That used to mean so much to me

When someone will ask me what my favorite Rolling Stone song is…this is the one I usually say. It rarely if ever changes. It probably wasn’t their best song but I’ve always liked it. Happy Friday to everyone.

The Memory Motel is in Montauk on Long Island. It’s near The Church Estate, which Andy Warhol bought in 1972. Arthur Schneider, who owns the Memory Motel, said that The Stones stayed at Warhol’s estate when they were on tour in 1975-’76.

Since the Memory Motel was the only place in the area with a pool table and a piano, The Stones would occasionally come by and hang out at the bar. The owners at the time were not impressed…they hated The Stones.

With Mick Taylor gone, The Stones were auditioning lead guitarists while recording Black And Blue. Harvey Mandel from Canned Heat played lead on this while session man Wayne Perkins played acoustic, but Ron Wood eventually got the job.

The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, #2 in Canada, #2 in the UK, and #4 in New Zealand in 1976.

Image result for rolling stones black and blue

It has a haunting melody and lyrics that stick with you. Some say the Hannah in the song is referring to Carly Simon and some say it’s Annie Leibovitz. Whoever the muse was, they inspired a beautiful song.

From Songfacts

It’s widely speculated that “Hannah Honey” with the curled nose is none other than Carly Simon. Jagger had been romantically linked to Carly around this time, and her physical traits are eerily similar to the song’s descriptions. One theory is that Simon wrote “You’re So Vain” after a one-night-stand with Jagger at The Memory Motel. Simon has never said who that song is about. 

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards duet on vocals. Richards did not play guitar on the track – a rarity.

Jagger played the acoustic piano, Richards the electric piano, and Billy Preston the synthesizer.

On their live album No Security, Dave Matthews duets with Jagger in place of Richards. Matthews joined The Stones onstage from time to time and also sang this with Jagger on a televised St. Louis concert in 1997

Memory Motel

Hannah honey was a peachy kind of girl
Her eyes were hazel
And her nose were slightly curved
We spent a lonely night at the Memory Motel
It’s on the ocean, I guess you know it well
It took a starry to steal my breath away
Down on the water front
Her hair all drenched in spray
Hannah baby was a honey of a girl
Her eyes were hazel
And her teeth were slightly curved
She took my guitar and she began to play
She sang a song to me
Stuck right in my brain
You’re just a memory of a love
That used to be
You’re just a memory of a love
That used to mean so much to me
She got a mind of her own
And she use it well
Well she’s one of a kind
She’s got a mind
She got a mind of her own
And she use it mighty fine
She drove a pick-up truck
Painted green and blue
The tires were wearing thin
She turned a mile or two
When I asked her where she headed for
“Back up to Boston I’m singing in a bar”
I got to fly today on down to Baton Rouge
My nerves are shot already
The road ain’t all that smooth
Across in Texas is the rose of San Antone
I keep on a feeling that’s gnawing in my bones
You’re just a memory of a love
That used to mean so much to me
You’re just a memory girl
You’re just a sweet memory
And it used to mean so much to me
Sha la la la la
She got a mind of her own
And she use it well
Mighty fine, she’s one of a kind
On the seventh day my eyes were all a glaze
We’ve been ten thousand miles
Been in fifteen states
Every woman seemed to fade out of my mind
I hit the bottle and hit the sack and cried
What’s all this laughter on the 22nd floor
It’s just some friends of mine
And they’re busting down the door
Been a lonely night at the Memory Motel

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

36 thoughts on “Rolling Stones – Memory Motel”

      1. Well there goes that Your So Vain theory of him….maybe.
        When I read Testimony I was surprised to hear that Robbie and Simon met earlier and he wouldn’t say if anything happened…but there was an attraction there. This happened right after Dylan’s motorcycle wreck.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Nice write up. Cool to see the real Memory Motel and to be able to make an educated guess about who it’s about. A lot of people don’t like Black and Blue. It wasn’t well received by the critics, but it has two of my favorite Stones songs on it–Memory Motel and Fool to Cry. I like when the Stones go to Country for inspiration and I love it when they go full out R&B.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL yea that is probably the right answer! The song affects me like a Beatles song…and rarely does that happen from the Stones…it’s nothing like the Beatles but it does…Ruby Tuesday is another song that hits me like that also.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. One I didn’t know until you mentioned it to me once before… quite good though I’d still pick “Fool to Cry” as the winner track from that album, but maybe due to familiarity. Hmm- he doesn’t sing about flying from the motel up to Nova Scotia to see an eclipse so probably not Carly, right? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NO that wasn’t here! lol. Yea I’ve heard this song many times because I had the album. It’s something about it different that caught my attention. Like I told Pam…it affects me like a Beatle song.


  3. I only remembered the title of the song, not the music. I also had no idea about the song’s background story. I actually studied on Long Island for two years back in the ’90s and went to Montauk a few times, though to the lighthouse, not the Memory Motel. Looks like it still exists – had I known…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you ever go back…pay it a visit! Funny how we all pick out a song and that one really speaks to us…hit or not…this is the one for me with the Stones.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do like Dead Flowers also…it IS different Christian…than their mostly rocking songs. This one draws from the same well.
        I love that era and them trying these different types of songs than from say Brown Sugar….I love Brown Surgar don’t get me wrong…but I like the country influence.

        Liked by 1 person

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