Rolling Stones – The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man

What if I told you this was one of The Rolling Stone’s largest selling singles in America? It was… but it was a package deal…the song on the other side of the single was Satisfaction.

Not the most well-known song by the Stones but a lot of Americans owned it. I bought the single Satisfaction in 1979 and flipped it over and found this oddly named likable song. This was the American B side to Satisfaction. Not exactly Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out but a likable single all the same. The song was released in 1965.

The song is about George Sherlock who was the London Records promotions man who accompanied the Stones to California. This was their response to having a chaperone who was a music executive in the early 60s. The Stones did not hide their disdain for him, giving him the nickname Surfer Baby, and they crystallized their feelings in the song.

The Stones recorded this in Chess studios in Chicago.  This song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who were becoming a great songwriting team. They likely borrowed the lick from Buster Brown’s song Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae peaked at #1 in the R&B Charts and #38 in the Billboard 100 in 1960. He received more attention in 1973 when his song “Fannie Mae” was included in the film American Graffiti Soundtrack.

Buster Brown – Fannie Mae

Well, I’m waiting at the bus stop in downtown L.A.
Well, I’m waiting at the bus stop in downtown L.A.
But I’d much rather be on a boardwalk on Broadway

Well, I’m sitting here thinkin’ just how sharp I am
Well, I’m sitting here thinkin’ just how sharp I am
I’m an under assistant west coast promo man

Well, I promo groups when they come into town
Well, I promo groups when they come into town
Well they laugh at my toupee, they’re sure to put me down

Well, I’m sitting here thinking just how sharp I am
Yeah, I’m sitting here thinking just how sharp I am
I’m a necessary talent behind every rock and roll band

Yeah, I’m sharp
I’m really, really sharp
I sure do earn my pay
Sitting on the beach every day, yeah
I’m real real sharp, yes I am
I got a Corvette and a seersucker suit
Yes, I have

Here comes the bus, uh oh
I thought I had a dime
Where’s my dime
I know I have a dime somewhere
I’m pretty sure

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

24 thoughts on “Rolling Stones – The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man”

  1. This is the kind of music that got them inspired to start their band. It’s fun to hear, and to know it’s a dig at their chaperone, haha. The song title is great. And ya, the similarity to Fannie Mae is definitely there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is a lot of fun. I flipped the single over and loved it. It was like wondering what surprise you would find in a Cracker Jacks box… sometimes you found a winner of a B side.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I quite like it, both sound and lyrics. Intro reminded me just a bit of “Do You Believe in Magic?”. Also, interesting record sleeve you showed – I always assumed the title was “(I Can’T get no ) Satisfaction’…. but Decca said “I can”!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are right! That must be a misprint…I looked up other sleeves and they said Can’t….

      Sometimes there was gold in B sides. I don’t know if you did but I would guess you did…turn over that hit single just to see what the B side was all about.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great B-side, Max, love it! A perfect song for the Stones. That title is just priceless. I also think the original is great and wished Messrs. Jagger and Richards would have given Buster Brown a co-credit.

    In general, the Stones did a commendable job at introducing white American audiences to Black Chicago blues artists like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. As such, I forgive them in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea I like it for the title alone!
      They did a good job I agree. I remember that video of Brian Jones introducing Howlin’ Wolf…you can tell his heart was truly into those artists.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It is a great little number, and yes, the whole song is founded on ‘Fannie Mae,’ but the lyrics are oozing with sarcasm and humour – the way Mick drags out ‘seer-sucker suit- which most don’t associate with the Stones. But there’s this, ‘Dear Doctor’ ‘Faraway eyes’ ‘Do You Think I Really Care’ ‘Claudine.’ OK, maybe more sarcastic than giggly/silly, but still. Oh yeah, ‘Mothers Little Helper,’ and there must be others…
    Finding a sweet ‘B’ side is a nice bonus extra, I agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claudine I’ve always liked it and I remember the SNL sketch on the Longet…uh “accident”

      Dear Doctor and Faraway Eyes are great…They actually did Faraway Eyes when I saw them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, ‘Faraway Eyes’ That’s a song to sing around the campfire!
        And Claudine Longet, in her best doe-eyed little french waif voice; ‘Ze gun, Your Honour, ‘onstlee, eet juuust went ‘Boom.’ (Cue tears.) Or should I give her zee benefit of the doubt, as the judge did- accidents will happen!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL thanks Deke… I’ve been listening to Triumph all week. I seen some documentaries on youtube and interviews…it’s a shame they broke up when they did…I’m going watch that new doc they have.

      Liked by 1 person

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