Rolling Stones – You Got The Silver

I posted the song Happy a while back and I was commenting on Keith Richards lead vocals. He always would sing songs that reflected him and his voice. I heard this song in the 80s and fell in love with it.

This is one of the times that Keith Richards sang the entire lead vocal. They did record a version with Jagger singing lead but decided to release the one with Richards singing.

Supersession man Nicky Hopkins played piano and organ on this. He played with The Stones on albums from Between The Buttons through Black And Blue. Along with Ian Stewart and Billy Preston, Hopkins was one of the three major contributors on keyboards for The Stones. Hopkins also played with The Beatles, Who, Kinks, and Jeff Beck.

The song was included in the Michaelangelo Antonioni 1970 film Zabriskie Point…but it wasn’t on the soundtrack. This song was the B side to the Let It Bleed single…also it was featured on the album Let It Bleed.

Supposedly Keith Richards wrote this about his then-girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg. She was with his bandmate Brian Jones before leaving Brian for Richards. This didn’t help Brian’s mental state at the time.

Brian Jones played the autoharp on this track. Jones played many unusual instruments for The Stones, and this was one of the last songs he contributed to. To be fair he rarely showed up to the Let It Bleed sessions and was not always functional when he did.

Personally, I’m a Brian Jones fan. When they got rid of him they lost their ultimate utility knife. He flavored the music with different instruments and they never sounded the same again. As much as Mick Taylor made so much of their sound from here on…that variety that Brian provided was missed.

I do understand why Mick and Keith did what they did but…it’s no secret that they dominated the songwriting and did not want songs from anyone else in the band. Taylor had to sue to get credits for songs he helped write years later after he left the band.

George Harrison and Brian Jones were close because they were in a similar situation with their respective bands. George at least got some songs on albums, unlike Brian. I would recommend any Stones fan to read Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones by Paul Trynka. Brian could be nasty and also a good guy…in other words, he was human. Sometimes it gets overlooked that Brian started The Rolling Stones.

The Stones didn’t play this live until 1999, but then it became a regular part of their otherwise hit-packed setlists. Richards was surprised how well it went over with fans.

You Got The Silver

Hey babe, what’s in your eyes?
I saw them flashing like airplane lights
You fill my cup, babe, that’s for sure
I must come back for a little more

You got my heart you got my soul
You got the silver you got the gold
You got the diamonds from the mine
Well that’s all right, it’ll buy some time

Tell me, honey, what will I do
When I’m hungry and thirsty too
Feeling foolish (and that’s for sure)
Just waiting here at your kitchen door?

Hey baby, what’s in your eyes?
Is that the diamonds from the mine?
What’s that laughing in your smile?
I don’t care, no, I don’t care

Oh babe, you got my soul
You got the silver you got the gold
If that’s your love, just leave me blind
I don’t care, no, that’s no big surprise

Rolling Stones – Happy

I had to double-check my index to make sure I didn’t post this song before. Well no I haven’t and I can’t believe it because it’s WAY up there in the top 3 of my favorite Stones songs. My order probably goes as follows… 1. Memory Motel, 2. 100 Years Ago, and 3. Happy.

This song is on one of my favorite double albums. Since I made a short list of my top 3 favorite Stones songs…I’ll make a short one of my favorite double albums. Number 1 is also my favorite album of all time…The Beatles The White Album, 2. would be Exile On Main Street (and that is where Happy is found), and number 3 The Clash London Calling. I’m thankful none of them were trimmed down.

I love Keith Richard’s voice. I wish he would have had lead vocals on more than he did. I think Jagger is terrific and the perfect singer for them but it’s a raw quality about Keith’s voice that I like. I’ve read that he sang in the choir as a youngster until cigarettes and other substances made it a little raw. The song is great and I can’t believe that Mick didn’t fight to sing this one.

I love the studio version but I also like the 1972 tour version of this song with Mick Taylor with his fat Gibson-sounding guitar driving it also. Everyone who reads me knows I’m a huge Mick Taylor fan. It’s not that I don’t like Ronnie Wood…he fits them perfectly but his and Keith’s guitar sometimes sound too much like each other with the same tones. There was no mistaking Taylor.

A few years ago Mick Taylor joined them onstage and they had that sound again as soon as he was chugging away at the chords. I want to mention one more thing about that era. Mick Taylor contributed as I said but also Jimmy Miller their producer. He needs a hell of a lot of credit for the success they had with that 5-album stretch. Without Jimmy Miller who knows if those albums would have had the same sound. Once he left…so did that sound.

Happy was recorded at Keith’s Villa Nellcote in France when The Stones left England to avoid paying taxes. They used the basement as a recording studio but had a hard time getting everyone together at once because of the party atmosphere. The only people to play on this were Keith (guitar, bass, vocals), producer Jimmy Miller (drums), and horn player Bobby Keys (percussion). Horns were dubbed in later.

The song peaked at #22 on the Billboard 100 and #9 in Canada. The B side was a song that is just as good as this one… All Down The Line. Exile On Main Street peaked at #1 on The Billboard Album Charts, Canada, and the UK in 1972.

Keith Richards:  “That’s a strange song, because if you play it you actually become happy, even in the worst of circumstances. It has a little magical bounce about it. I wrote it one afternoon when we were cutting Exile on Main St. in France and the studio was in my basement. And Bobby Keys was with me and they got this lick going. So we went down and I recorded it with just guitar and Bobby Keys on baritone saxophone. While we were doing that, Jimmy Miller, who was our producer at the time, came in. And he was a very good drummer as well. So we said, well let’s put down a dub, we’ll just sort of sketch it out and play it later. But it’s another one of those things that ended up being on the record. It was just one of those moments that you get that are very happy. And I can play it now and it gives you a lift. I don’t know why except for maybe the word.”

Happy

Well I never kept a dollar past sunset
It always burned a hole in my pants
Never made a school mama happy
Never blew a second chance, oh no

I need a love to keep me happy
I need a love to keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy

Always took candy from strangers
Didn’t wanna get me no trade
Never want to be like papa
Working for the boss ev’ry night and day

I need a love to keep me happy
I need a love, baby won’t ya keep me happy
Baby, won’t ya keep me happy
Baby, please keep me

I need a love to keep me happy
I need a love to keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy
Baby

Never got a flash out of cocktails
When I got some flesh off the bone
Never got a lift out of Lear jets
When I can fly way back home

I need a love to keep me happy
I need a love to keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy
Baby, baby keep me happy
Baby

Happy, baby won’t you keep me
Happy, baby won’t you keep me
Happy, baby won’t you keep me
Happy, baby won’t you keep me
Happy, baby won’t you keep me
Happy, oh, keep on, baby, keep me
Happy, now baby won’t you squeeze me
Happy, oh, baby got to feel it
Happy, now, now, now, now, now keep me
Happy, my, my, my, keep me
Happy, keep on baby, keep me
Happy, keep on baby, got to
Happy, my, my, baby keep me happy

Miss O’Dell: Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton… by Chris O’Dell and Katherine Ketcham

I enjoyed this book immensely. It’s almost like a fantasy book. You are a fan and suddenly you get thrown into the world with The Beatles as friends and co-workers. You move from the Beatles to the Stones, CSNY, Bob Dylan and the list kept growing. 

I will say this… as a Beatle fan, this book gave me insight that I never had before. Chris O’Dell happened to meet Derek Taylor (press officer of the Beatles) in Los Angeles in 1968…she worked for him for a few weeks in LA as a PA. He told her she should come over to London to check out the new company that The Beatles were starting called Apple. He didn’t promise her a job but she took a chance and sold her records and borrowed from her parents to go to London. She was like Alice down the rabbit hole, O’Dell stumbled upon a life even she could not have dreamed of.

She took a chance and went over and that started her career working at The Beatles record company Apple. It took her a few months to get hired full time but after the Beatle’s inner circle knew she could be trusted she was there. She met Paul on her very first day. She said all of them were extremely nice and made her feel welcome. She spent the first few months showing up at the office and making herself useful and securing her place. She was especially close to George as a friend and later Ringo as a little more. 

Chris O'Dell George

After all was said and done…she had 3 songs written about her. Two by Leon Russell called Hummingbird, Pieces Apple Lady, and George Harrison’s Miss O’Dell. She was also the “Mystery Woman” on the Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street cover. She was in the Joni Mitchell song “Coyote” with the line He’s got another woman down the hall…the song about Sam Shepard who Chris O’Dell and Joni Mitchell were seeing. She ended up singing on the Hey Jude recording in the final Na Na chorus.

She was one of the first if not the first female tour manager in rock. The tours she worked on were The Rolling Stones, CSNY, Santana, Bob Dylan, Earth Wind and Fire, Jennifer Warnes, Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Led Zeppelin, Phil Collins, Echo and the Bunnymen, ELO, and more.

We also get a glimpse into the personalities of Bob Dylan, Jagger and Richards, CSNY (and the disfunction), Eric Clapton, and more. 

Chris O'Dell's Rockstar Life Revealed

Like all of us through life…she made some cringe-worthy decisions. I’m not trying to play it down but most of the time everything worked out in the end. She was in the right place at the right time and took advantage of that. She remains close friends with Pattie Harrison, Ringo Starr (her son’s Godfather), and many of her old famous acquaintances.

This is not a kiss-and-tell book and she doesn’t trash people which made me happy. The only person to come out of this book bad at all is Eric Clapton who was admittedly jealous of Pattie and Chris’s friendship. After the Stones tour, she got into drugs really bad but managed to quit them only to start up again. She, later on, became a drug counselor and helped people. 

This book is for more than just Beatle fans…it gives you what life was like on the road in the 1970s. Some of the highlights in the book for me were: 

  • How the Apple Office worked including the Hell’s Angels visitors
  • How even the biggest stars had deep insecurities
  • Bob Dylan forgot his harmonicas before the Isle of Wight concert and Chris O’Dell arrived by helicopter to give them to him.
  • Keith Richards sending her to pick up a “package” in LA in the middle of a tour
  • Reading about David Crosby’s complaints of no “cross ventilation in his hotel room”
  • When Roger Taylor of Queen realized that she was Miss O’Dell from George’s song.
  • Insight into Pattie Boyd and Maureen Starkey who is hardly covered in Beatles books
  • Reading about how Bangledesh started and how George got his musician friends to participate. 
  • Being on the roof during Get Back brief concert

Chris O’Dell: I think being a Beatle became very difficult for them. They had a different set of problems than the Stones and CSN&Y.  They didn’t tour that much, they couldn’t go out of their hotel rooms, and they lived in a bubble. I think breaking up for them, and I can only guess, was a relief and very difficult at the same time.

Chris O’Dell:  It was like being let go in Disneyland. That’s what it felt like. It’s like here are the keys to Disneyland, go and enjoy yourself. And I was constantly aware that I was watching history in the making and that was exciting. So every day had some, or certainly every week, had something, a twist to it that made it really exciting

Chris O’Dell now: I am happily remarried to a wonderful man who supports me and accepts me as I am. My twenty-three-year-old son is amazing and gives me some credibility as a parent! I have a private practice in Tucson, specializing in addiction and mental health counseling.  My two dogs are happy and life is just better than I would have expected. 

Excerpt from the book: On being in a room with Mick and Keith before the 72 tour. 

“Listen to this fucking article in Rolling Stone about Harrison’s Bangladesh concert,” Keith said. He started reading from the article.
“The Concert for Bangladesh is rock reaching for its manhood.” Keith raised an eyebrow. “Under the leadership of George Harrison, a group of rock musicians recognized, in a deliberate, self-conscious, and professional way, that they have responsibilities, and went about dealing with them seriously.”
Keith looked at Mick and then at me. “Do you believe this shit? But wait, it gets better. Harrison is “a man with a sense of his own worth, his own role in the place of things… with a few parallels among his peers.”
“Bollocks.” Keith laughed, tossing the magazine on the coffee table. “What a fucking load of shit.”
I knew that Keith wasn’t really amused. He could be terribly insecure.
What a paradox Keith was- a sweet sensitive soul who wrote songs about needing love to be happy and yet he lived his life as if he couldn’t give a shit about anything.
But at that moment I wasn’t too interested in Keith’s feelings. I sat at the far end of the sofa, my legs and arms crossed, smoking a cigarette and drinking my Scotch and Coke as if it were straight Coke. I was pissed. Sure, I knew they were just being competitive, but I couldn’t stand listening to them make fun of George. I wanted to jump into the conversation and tell them to leave him alone. But what could I do? I worked for the Stones now, not the Beatles. This is weird, I know, and particularly strange in the context of the Stone’s remarkable longevity, but at that moment I had a sinking feeling that I was beginning my climb down the ladder. I’d started at the very top with the Beatles and now I was on the rung below. I found myself thinking at that moment that the Stones were sometimes a little too raw, too raunchy, too negative. I liked their music, and I liked each of them individually, but if I had to choose, the Beatles would win.
“You know,” I said, trying to smile but having a hard time of it,
“George is my friend.”
Mick looked over at me as if he had forgotten I was there. “Oh yeah, Chris, you’re a Beatle person, aren’t you? Sorry about that”
We let it go, then, but after I dropped Mick at his house and headed home through the dark canyons, I felt a sudden, intense longing to see Pattie and George. Mick was right. When it came right down to it, I was a Beatle person.”

Miss O’Dell

I’m the only one down here
Who’s got nothing to say
About the war
Or the rice
That keeps going astray on its way to Bombay.
That smog that keeps polluting up our shores
Is boring me to tears.
Why don’t you call me, Miss O’Dell?

I’m the only one down here
Who’s got nothing to fear
From the waves
Or the rice
That keeps rolling on right up to my front porch.
The record player’s broken on the floor,
And Ben, he can’t restore it.
Miss O’Dell.

I can tell you
Nothing new
Has happened since I last saw you.

I’m the only one down here
Who’s got nothing to say
About the hip
Or the dope
Or the cat with most hope to fill the Fillmore.
That pushing, shoving, ringing on my bell
Is not for me tonight.
Why don’t you call me, Miss O’Dell?

Why don’t you call me, Miss O’Dell?

Leon Russell – Pisces Apple Lady

I love Leon’s soulful playing and that voice. I’m reading a book now about a lady named Chris O’Dell who worked for the Beatles at Apple records. She dated Leon Russell for around 4 months before she went back to London to finish working for Apple. I’ll be reviewing the book in a few weeks…after the Beatles, she worked for Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and The Rolling Stones.

O’Dell was Peter Asher’s personal Assistant and she booked studio time for the Beatles and other artists. George Harrison was working on a Jackie Lomax session and needed a piano player. George wanted Nicky Hopkins but he was in America so O’Dell mentioned Leon Russell who visited Apple earlier that day. George was ecstatic and later on, Ringo and George played on Leon’s sessions at Trident studio. After work, she walked into the studio and they were recording this song. She began to figure out it was about her (she is a Pisces) and that was Leon’s way of saying he fell in love with her.

This is not the only song inspired by Miss O’Dell. George Harrison wrote a song called Miss O’Dell and Leon wrote another song about her called Hummingbird. Both Pisces Apple Lady and Hummingbird were on his debut album released in 1970 along with his song about Rita Coolidge that Joe Cocker covered… Delta Lady.

Leon was able to get Ringo, George, Charlie Watts, Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Bonnie and Delaney, Steve Winwood, Jim Gordon, B.J. Wilson, Mick Jagger, Joe Cocker, and more…on this album.

The album Leon Russell peaked at #60 on the Billboard Album Charts in 1970.

Leon Russell: “I met her when she was working at Apple Records. We had a little thing for a minute. She wrote an autobiography, and she sent me an advance copy. I’m sorry to say, as a young man, I was capable of some actions I’m not proud of. So I was afraid to read the advance copy, I gave it to Jackie [his bass player Jackie Wessel] and I said, ‘Will you read this and see if there’s any untoward activity in it?’ He read it and said, ‘It’s a beautiful little show-business autobiography. There’s no untowardness in it.’ So I was happy.”

Pisces Apple Lady

Get off your bottleGo down and see a friendHe’ll know what to do, lordyWhen you tell him how bad it’s beenHe said you oughta get awayTo the English countrysideThis cryin’ won’t help you now boyWhy don’t you look how many tears you’ve cried

When I got down to ChelseaI had no expectationsOh, But to get away from the delta girlAnd the painful situationBut I hardly had the timeOh, to laugh and look aroundAnd I found my heart was a-goin’ againLike a-English leaps and bounds (yeah)

And she’s a Pisces apple ladyWhen she speaks softlyShe screams,(She really got herself together) whoa-whoa (oh-oh)And she’s a Pisces apple ladyTook me by surpriseAnd I fell into a hundred piecesI said a-right before her eyes

Now were togetherAll the way to L.A.I know she that loves me‘Cause she can brighten up a smoggy dayIf I believed in marriageOh, I’d take her for my wifeAnd move on down into high gear babyFor the rest of my natural life

And she’s a Pisces apple ladyWhen she speaks softlyShe screams,(She really got herself together) yes she does (oh-oh)And she’s a Pisces apple ladyTook me by surpriseAnd I fell into a hundred piecesI said a-right before her eyes

Rolling Stones – Midnight Rambler

Sorry if you have seen this already today but it vanished in the reader so I’m republishing it. it…thank you.

Today we look at a song that is best known by the live version. Midnight Rambler is up there with Sympathy For The Devil for setting an eerie atmosphere. I’ve always liked this one…partly because it’s not worn out like many other Stones songs of this era.

The Boston Strangler was the likely inspiration for this song. As for the song, while the lyrics do not directly relate to the case, Jagger implies it when he sings, “Well you heard about the Boston…” before an instrumental stab cuts him off.

n 1965, Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler), who was serving time in a mental institution on rape charges, confessed to the murders and was later sentenced to life in prison. There was no clear physical evidence that DeSalvo committed the crimes, however, and his confession has been questioned, with some forensic experts stating that there may have been multiple killers. DeSalvo died in prison in 1973; new evidence has come up in the case from time to time.

This song was on their great Let It Bleed album released in 1969. But the version that is more known is the version on what I think is their best live album… Get Your Ya Ya’s Out…it was released in 1970. They recorded the version in Madison Square Gardens on their 1969 tour. The sound they had with Mick Taylor was fantastic. His guitar tone was raw and fat and it is instantly recognizable. When he joined the Stones onstage recently…the Stones had that great sound again. Since Mick Taylor left they sound really thin live…to me.

Brian Jones is credited with percussion on the studio version. Even though he died before this album was released, a few of the songs were recorded during the Beggar’s Banquet sessions in 1968.

Keith Richards: “When we did Midnight Rambler, nobody went in there with the idea of doing a blues opera, basically. Or a blues in four parts. That’s just the way it turned out. I think that’s the strength of the Stones or any good band. You can give them a song half raw and they’ll cook it.”

Mick Jagger: “That’s a song Keith and I really wrote together. We were on a holiday in Italy. In this very beautiful hill town, Positano, for a few nights. Why we should write such a dark song in this beautiful, sunny place, I really don’t know. We wrote everything there – the tempo changes, everything. And I’m playing the harmonica in these little cafés, and there’s Keith with the guitar.”

Studio Album Version

Midnight Rambler

Did you hear about the midnight rambler
Everybody got to go
Did you hear about the midnight rambler
The one that shut the kitchen door
He don’t give a hoot of warning
Wrapped up in a black cat cloak
He don’t go in the light of the morning
He split the time the cock’rel crows

Talkin’ about the midnight gambler
The one you never seen before
Talkin’ about the midnight gambler
Did you see him jump the garden wall
Sighin’ down the wind so sadly
Listen and you’ll hear him moan
Talkin’ about the midnight gambler
Everybody got to go

Did you hear about the midnight rambler
Well, honey, it’s no rock ‘n’ roll show
Well, I’m talkin’ about the midnight gambler
Yeah, everybody got to go

Well did ya hear about the midnight gambler?
Well honey its no rock-in’ roll show
Well I’m talking about the midnight gambler
The one you never seen before

Oh don’t do that, oh don’t do that, oh don’t do that
Don’t you do that, don’t you do that (repeat)
Oh don’t do that, oh don’t do that

Well you heard about the Boston…
It’s not one of those
Well, talkin’ ’bout the midnight… sh…
The one that closed the bedroom door
I’m called the hit-and-run raper in anger
The knife-sharpened tippie-toe…
Or just the shoot ’em dead, brainbell jangler
You know, the one you never seen before

So if you ever meet the midnight rambler
Coming down your marble hall
Well he’s pouncing like proud black panther
Well, you can say I, I told you so
Well, don’t you listen for the midnight rambler
Play it easy, as you go
I’m gonna smash down all your plate glass windows
Put a fist, put a fist through your steel-plated door

Did you hear about the midnight rambler
He’ll leave his footprints up and down your hall
And did you hear about the midnight gambler
And did you see me make my midnight call

And if you ever catch the midnight rambler
I’ll steal your mistress from under your nose
I’ll go easy with your cold fanged anger
I’ll stick my knife right down your throat, baby
And it hurts!

Rolling Stones – It’s All Over Now

To show how little things change. I found my high school journal. We all had to write a journal and our English teacher would read it.  This was my first entry.  Tuesday, September 6, 1983: On Sunday I played music with a couple of my friends. I play bass and my friends play guitar and drums. We play rock, mostly like The Beatles, Who, and The Rolling Stones etc… I’ll leave the rest of the page out.

This is one of the first songs I learned on guitar. It’s a great song for beginners. This one was not written by the Stones but they do a good cover. This was before they started to write more of their songs.

I like the Brian Jones era of the Stones and I try to post as many songs as possible from that period. Besides his bizarre death, Brian gets forgotten. George Harrison and Brian Jones became friends because they had a lot in common. They were in a similar situation in their respective bands. The big difference was George had more of a support system than Brian did in his band. John and Paul had a monopoly on songwriting but they would help George and he was given a chance to grow as a songwriter within the group. The Stones didn’t work that way…it was basically the Mick and Keith show in songwriting.

Brian could be his own worst enemy and had a hard time handling fame but he was a very talented musician. Probably the best musician in the band.

New York disc jockey Murray the K gave The Stones a copy of The Valentinos’ version of this song and suggested they record it. Bobby Womack wrote this song and hated the Stones version of it. He changed his mind when the royalty checks came in and he tried to get them more songs.

They recorded this during their first US tour at Chess Studios in Chicago. During these sessions, they also recorded “Time Is On My Side.” The song peaked at #24 on the Billboard 100 and #26 in Canada in 1964.

Keith Richards:  “We cut that in Chess Studios the first time in Chicago. The year before we were playing bars in England, you know. And then we’re walking into Chess Studios which was where all of these records that had been made that were so important to us. Now and again in life you get this feeling that you’ve died and gone to heaven. Luckily, neither was true. American studios at that time were so much more together than in England. I mean, they had some good stuff in England but they didn’t have knowledge of how to record it. We were lucky. There were a couple of guys like Glyn Johns in England who had a rough idea of recording. But the way you’d get a sound in an American studio in those days was the difference between day and night, compared to working in England or Europe. I mean these cats, in America, they’d done it already. So to work in Chess was our first taste of American record.”

It’s All Over Now

Well, baby used to stay out all night long
She made me cry, she done me wrong
She hurt my eyes open, that’s no lie
Tables turn and now her turn to cry

Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now
Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now

Well, she used to run around with every man in town
She spent all my money, playing her high class game
She put me out, it was a pity how I cried
Tables turn and now her turn to cry

Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now
Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now

Well, I used to wake in the morning, get my breakfast in bed
When I’d gotten worried she’d ease my aching head
But now she’s here and there, with every man in town
Still trying to take me for that same old clown

Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now
Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now

Because I used to love her, but it’s all over now

Rolling Stones – Claudine

You won’t find this song on one of their original studio albums. They recorded it for Some Girls but could not include this on that 1978 album because of legal issues. It’s a cool country-sounding song covering a grim subject. The song’s official release date was November 21, 2011. It appears as track number 1 on the 2011 deluxe edition of the Stone’s Some Girls album.

Claudine Longet: The Singer Who Killed Her Olympian Boyfriend

Claudine Longet and Spider Sabich

Claudine Longet was charged with fatally shooting her boyfriend, Olympic skier Vladimir “Spider” Sabich on March 21, 1976. At the trial, Longet claimed the gun discharged accidentally as Sabich was showing her how it worked. Throughout the whole court case, her former husband, the singer Andy Williams was by her side as she told her story.

 Sabich was one of the most well know American ski racers in the late 60s and early 70s. Claudine claimed that she was showing the gun to him when it went off.  She informed detectives that their relationship was under no duress. Friends of the couple said he was about to leave her at the time. Claudine Longet and Spider Sabich met in 1972. Claudine was a well-known French actress and singer…likely most famous for her marriage and subsequent divorce to Andy Williams. They were the Aspen celebrity couple.

Longet was only charged with a felony of reckless manslaughter which resulted in spending just a few weeks in jail, at her convenience. This was because she had children from her previous marriage and the judge didn’t want her to be away from her children for too long. With that, Longet spent most of her jail time over weekends. She took years to serve her sentence of 30 days.

Cocaine was alleged to have been found in her system, and details in her diary allegedly contradicted what she had told the police about her and Spider’s relationship. However, in a blow to the prosecution, the blood and diary were deemed inadmissible to the case because they were apprehended without a warrant.

At the time Saturday Night Live also got on board with this story with a skit called The Claudine Longet Invitational

You had the SNL announcers describing someone skiing down a hill and then…

Uh-oh! He seems to have been accidentally shot by Claudine Longet! Yes.. and I’m afraid Helmut Kindle is out of this race!

Longet’s lawyer wasn’t laughing, and he sent SNL a cease-and-desist letter. In the following week’s episode, the announcer Don Pardo read a statement on air…the show’s first public apology: “It is desirable to correct any misunderstanding that a suggestion was made that, in fact, a crime had been committed. The satire was fictitious and its intent only humorous. This is a statement of apology if the material was misinterpreted.”

Claudine is 80 years old now and stays out of the news.

Keith Richards: I wished, and I think all of us did at the time, that that should have been on the original album, but there was some legal difficulties and stuff. But otherwise, she was a perfect ‘Some Girl.’

Claudine Longet: He was my best friend

Claudine

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again, Claudine

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
She only does it at weekends
Claudine

Now only Spider knows for sure
But he ain’t talkin’ about it anymore
Isn’t it, Claudine?

There’s blood in the chalet
And blood in the snow
She washed her hands of the whole damn show
Claudine

She shot him once right through the head
She shot him twice right through the chest
The judge says ruled it was an accident Claudine
Accidents will happen

And Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again, Claudine

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again, Claudine

Hey go baby
Go baby

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again, Claudine
Oh Claudine
Oh Claudine
Oh Claudine

Now I threaten my wife with a gun
But I always leave the safety on
I recommend it, Claudine

Yea she pistol-whipped me once or twice
But she never tried to take my life
What do you think about that
Claudine

Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
She only does it at weekends Claudine

Oh Claudine
Oh Claudine
Oh Claudine

What about the children, Claudine?
Poor, poor children
You’re prettiest girl I ever seen
Only see you on the movie screen
Hope you don’t try to make a sacrifice of me Claudine
Don’t get
Don’t get too trigger happy with me Claudine
Itchy fingers

Yeah Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again Claudine

Yeah Claudine’s back in jail again
Claudine’s back in jail again Claudine
Uh uh Claudine
Poor, poor, poor Claudine

Rolling Stones – As Tears Go By

The Stones were covering old blues songs at the start of their career. They needed a hit and one day they ran into two songwriters in 1963. Right in front of the Stones…John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote a song that was in the Stone’s style. It was called “I Wanna Be Your Man” and became The Stones’ first UK top twenty record. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were amazed at this display of songwriting prowess, which stuck with them.

The two bands stayed friends after that often coordinating releases so as not to release in the same week. Mick and Keith realized that if they were going to have staying power…they must start writing. Their manager Andrew Oldham locked them in a kitchen and told them they were not getting out until they wrote a song…obviously, it worked.

This was one of the first songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The Stones manager gave it to a singer he also managed named Marianne Faithfull, who released it in 1964. It was going to be the B-side of her first single, but the record company decided to make it the A-side and it became her first hit. The Stones recorded it a year later. In 1966 Faithfull became Jagger’s girlfriend and that would last 3-4 years.

The original title was As Time Goes By but they changed it so it wouldn’t be confused with a song with the same title in Casablanca. The song peaked at #1 in Canada and  #6 on the Billboard 100 in 1966. Marianne’s version peaked at #22 in Canada and #9 on the Billboard 100, and #9 in the UK in 1964.

This was released as a single in the US and Canada because ballads were popular there at the time. The release in England was delayed 6 months because they did not want to compete with Yesterday by The Beatles. When they finally did release it there, it was as the B-side of 19th Nervous Breakdown.

Marianne would record this three times. The original version in 1964, for 1987’s Strange Weather, and again on 2018’s Negative Capability.

Keith Richards“suddenly, ‘Oh, we’re songwriters,’ with the most totally anti-Stones sort of song you could think of at the time, while we’re trying to make a good version of (Muddy Waters’) ‘Still A Fool.’ When you start writing, it doesn’t matter where the first one comes from. You’ve got to start somewhere, right? So Andrew locked Mick and myself into a kitchen in this horrible little apartment we had. He said, ‘You ain’t comin’ out,’ and there was no way out. We were in the kitchen with some food and a couple of guitars, but we couldn’t get to the john, so we had to come out with a song. In his own little way, that’s where Andrew made his great contribution to the Stones. That was such a flatulent idea, a fart of an idea, that suddenly you’re gonna lock two guys in a room, and they’re going to become songwriters. Forget about it. And it worked. In that little kitchen Mick and I got hung up about writing songs, and it still took us another six months before we had another hit with Gene Pitney, ‘That Girl Belongs To Yesterday.’ We were writing these terrible Pop songs that were becoming Top-10 hits. I thought, ‘What are we doing here playing the f–king blues, and writing these horrible Pop songs and getting very successful?’ They had nothing to do with us, except we wrote ’em. And it took us a while to come up with ‘The Last Time.’ That was the first one we came up with where Mick and I said, ‘This is one we can lay on the guys.’ At the time we were already borrowing songs from the Beatles – ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ – because we were really hard up for singles. So they gave us a hand. In retrospect, during the ’60s the Stones and the Beatles were almost the same band, because we were the only ones in that position.”

Mick Jagger: “I wrote the lyrics, and Keith wrote the melody. It’s a very melancholy song for a 21-year-old to write: The evening of the day, watching children play – it’s very dumb and naive, but it’s got a very sad sort of thing about it, almost like an older person might write. You know, it’s like a metaphor for being old: You’re watching children playing and realizing you’re not a child. It’s a relatively mature song considering the rest of the output at the time. And we didn’t think of doing it, because the Rolling Stones were a butch Blues group. But Marianne Faithfull’s version was already a big, proven hit song… It was one of the first things I ever wrote.” 

Marianne Faithfull: “a marketable portrait of me… a commercial fantasy that pushes the right buttons.”

As Tears Go By

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Smiling faces I can see
But not for me
I sit and watch
As tears go by

My riches can’t buy everything
I want to hear the children sing
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
I sit and watch
As tears go by

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doing things I used to do
They think are new
I sit and watch
As tears go by

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

Elmore James – Dust My Broom

I first heard about Elmore James from a Rolling Stones book…Brian Jones was a huge fan of the blues artist. The song also helped bring Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Brian Jones together to form the Stones.

On November 23, 1936, Robert Johnson was in San Antonio Texas for his debut recordings. The first song he did was “Kind Hearted Woman Blues” in two versions, his second song was “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” and his third was “Sweet Home Chicago.” Johnson is usually credited with writing all three songs. Elements of this song can be traced back to several other blues songs. In 1934 Kokomo Arnold was in the studio in Chicago. He recorded Sagefield Woman Blues at a session, which contains maybe the first mention of the phrase “Dust My Broom” in the lyrics.

Elmore recorded and released his version in 1951. On the single, the song was credited to Elmo James. The song peaked at #9 in the R&B Charts in 1952. Elmore James’s version is probably the most popular version of the song. James’ “Dust My Broom” was inducted into the Blues Foundation Blues Hall of Fame in 1983… it was stated that it received more votes than any other record in the first year of balloting for singles.

Artists who have covered this song include Johnny Winter, Derek Trucks, ZZ Top, Ike and Tina Turner,  Robert Jr. Lockwood, John Littlejohn, Hound Dog Taylor, Homesick James and Frank Zappa.

Bill Wyman (bass player for the Rolling Stones): “The very first time Brian heard it, he played Elmore James’ ‘Dust My Broom.’ And Brain said the earth shattered and seemed to go off its axis, it was such an important moment in his life. He just went away and just tried to learn to play like Elmore James. And he sat in with the band, the Alexis Korner band, and played ‘Dust My Broom.’

By pure chance, that day Mick and Keith and a couple of their mates who’d been trying to put a band together in Dartford – unsuccessfully – went to see the Alexis Korner show as well, after reading about it in the music press. And they saw Brian Jones sitting onstage, this little white cat, sitting onstage and doing Elmore James, and it blew them away! So that was the Stones. Elmore James was a very, very important part, and if that hadn’t happened – that moment – maybe the Rolling Stones wouldn’t be here.”

Derek Trucks: “You can remember almost every Elmore James solo by heart because he was playing songs. Nothing’s wasted. Nothing’s throwaway. It doesn’t feel like somebody’s practicing in front of you, or running scales; these are melodies that are pouring out, and those are the players that I listen to. They move me.

Dust My Broom

I’m gettin’ up soon in the mornin’
I believe I’ll dust my broom
I’m gettin’ up soon in the mornin’
I believe I’ll dust my broom
Out with the best gal I’m lovin’
Now my friends can get in my room

I’m gonna write a letter, telephone every town I know
I’m gonna write a letter, telephone every town I know
If I don’t find her in Mississippi
She be in East Monroe I know

And I don’t want no woman
Want every downtown man she meets
No I don’t want no woman
Want every downtown man she meets
Man, she’s a no good doney
They shouldn’t allow her on the street, yeah

I believe, I believe my time ain’t long
I believe, I believe my time ain’t long
I ain’t gonna leave my baby
And break up my happy home

Rolling Stones – I’m Free

This song has been underappreciated throughout the band’s history. It’s a good song that sometimes comes off better live than the studio version they recorded. The song sounds like an anthem, and it deserves to be heard. The song was played a lot in 2008 because it was released on the DVD Shine A Light. Shine a Light was a 2008 concert film directed by Martin Scorsese documenting The Rolling Stones’ 2006 Beacon Theatre performances during their A Bigger Bang Tour. 

I saw them on the Bigger Bang Tour at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Although Churchill Downs is well known for its horse racing it was not built for concerts. Alice Cooper opened and he sounded great but they never could get the Stones sound right. On top of it all…it rained all through their performance. The next day I went home and actually downloaded a bootleg of the show so I have it for always which is cool. My dream tour of the Stones would be them just playing the Brian Jones era. They are the Stones…they could get by with it. 

The song was released on their Out Of Our Heads album in the UK and later on December’s Children (And Everybody’s) album in America in 1965. They seemed to be listening to their competition because the line Hold me, love me, hold me, love me was in the Beatles Eight Days A Week. It’s a great B side to Get Off Of My Cloud.  Rolling Stone Magazine rated it 78th best Rolling Stone song. The magazine had this to say about it:  “A tambourine-spangled folk rocker with chime-y, Byrds-like guitar, this offhandedly libertarian tune wasn’t a big hit, but it’s one of the Sixties’ most pliant anthems.”

I think the song stands up with their hit songs at the time. They must think the same because it ended up on a lot of live albums. I’ve always liked B sides because sometimes you hit gold. Give me a choice between Get Off Of My Cloud and I’m Free…I’ll take I’m Free. The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. You could see the growth in their songwriting after Lennon and McCartney gave them I Wanna Be Your Man. 

John Lennon: We were taken down to meet them at the club where they were playing in Richmond by Brian Epstein and some other guy. They wanted a song and we went to see what kind of stuff they did. Mick and Keith heard we had an unfinished song – Paul just had this bit and we needed another verse or something. We sort of played it roughly to them and they said, “Yeah, OK, that’s our style.” But it was only really a lick, so Paul and I went off in the corner of the room and finished the song off while they were all still sitting there talking. We came back, and that’s how Mick and Keith got inspired to write … because, “Jesus, look at that. They just went in the corner and wrote it and came back!” You know, right in front of their eyes we did it. So we gave it to them.

I’m Free

I’m free to do what I want any old time
I’m free to do what I want any old time
So love me, hold me, love me, hold me
Cause I’m free any old time to get what I want

I’m free to sing my song though it gets out of time
I’m free to sing my song though it gets out of time
So love me, hold me, love me, hold me
Cause I’m free any old time to get what I want

Yeah

Love me, hold me, love me, hold me
Cause I’m free any old time to get what I want

I’m free to choose whom I please any old time
I’m free to please whom I choose any old time
So hold me, love me, love me, hold me
Cause I’m free any old time to get what I want, yes I am

Rolling Stones – Stray Cat Blues

Mick sounds sinister and ominous in this track and the guitar is absolutely filthy. I feel the need for a shower after I listen to it.  It’s raunchy and sleazy…but a great album cut.

I once had a girlfriend and being around me she started to appreciate the Beatles. I thought that was cool because I never pushed them on her…then I played her some Stones. After around a week of listening to Beggars Banquet, she told me…Max, The Beatles seemed to progress so much as they went on…The Stones…they are low rent.

She was paying attention. She didn’t mean that in a bad way but yea…that is the essence of the Stones…showing the seedier side in their songs…and believe me…this song does. As humans…The Beatles could be as nasty but they didn’t usually reflect that in a lot of music…The Stones went out of their way to do so.

Stray Cat Blues is off of my favorite album by the Rolling Stones…Beggars Banquet. Would this song fly today? NO…oh pardon me… let me reword that…HELL NO… It’s hard to believe it flew back in 1968. I could be wrong but I doubt you would hear this on very many classic radio stations today.

Keith Richards is on top of his game in this one. Mick seemed to be testing or provoking audiences with this one.

This was the first album to start the stretch of 5 albums (Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, and Goats Head Soup) that helped make the Stones what they are today. In 1967 after failing to live up to Sgt Pepper with Their Satanic Majesties Request (although I do like that album) they came back retooled with a new producer Jimmy Miller

The Stones got back doing what they do best…playing country rock blues…although with a different sound than Little Red Rooster. A weary Brian Jones was still in the band at this time and contributed to all but two songs…but it’s mostly Keith on guitar. Brian, because of the state he was in, was used more as a touch-up artist…filling in some holes with sitar, tambura, guitar,  blues harp, and mellotron. It would also be the last studio album Brian would work on.

I’ve always related Beggars Banquet to the White Album. They were both released in 1968 and both were raw and honest. No studio trickery with either…a big departure from the psychedelic era of 1967.

The album peaked at #5 in the Billboard Album Charts, #3 in the UK, and #3 in Canada in 1969.

The lyrics were bad enough with I can see that you’re fifteen years old/
No I don’t want your I.D…. when playing it live on the 69 tour it became I can see that you’re thirteen years old/ No I don’t want your I.D. Mick seemed to be jabbing and provoking seeing how much he could get by with.

When you listen to it I would suggest the studio version. Many of the nuances are lost in this live version. I always try to pick a live version around the time they made the song but this one is not the best I heard.

Cat Scratch Blues

I hear the click-clack of your feet on the stairs
I know you’re no scare-eyed honey
There’ll be a feast if you just come upstairs
But it’s no hanging matter
It’s no capital crime

I can see that you’re fifteen years old
No I don’t want your I.D.
And I’ve seen that you’re so far from home
But it’s no hanging matter
It’s no capital crime

Oh yeah, you’re a strange stray cat
Oh yeah, don’tcha scratch like that
Oh yeah, you’re a strange stray cat
Bet your mama don’t know you scream like that
I bet your mother don’t know you can spit like that.

You look so weird and you’re so far from home
But you don’t really miss your mother
Don’t look so scared I’m no mad-brained bear
But it’s no hanging matter
It’s no capital crime
Oh, yeah
Woo!

I bet your mama don’t know that you scratch like that
I bet she don’t know you can bite like that

You say you got a friend, that she’s wilder than you
Why don’t you bring her upstairs
If she’s so wild then she can join in too
It’s no hanging matter
It’s no capital crime

Oh yeah, you’re a strange stray cat
Oh yeah, don’tcha scratch like that
Oh yeah, you’re a strange stray cat
I bet you mama don’t know you can bite like that
I’ll bet she never saw you scratch my back

Rolling Stones – Hang Fire

I remember this song well. In 1981 I was 14 and after I bought the Start Me Up single I went out and bought Tattoo You. Tattoo You was a good Stones album. In fact, I would say it was their last great album. I did like a few of the albums that would follow but this one had everything.

The Stones had dug down deep in their vaults for several songs. Some songs came from the Mick Taylor era. The Stones first recorded this song in 1978 at the Some Girls sessions. Lyrics were added and it was repackaged for Tattoo You.

The song is said to be pointed at the UK. The Stones rarely performed in England because of the huge taxes that were levied on entertainers… it was much more profitable for them to live and work elsewhere.

Hang Fire means a delay or delayed in taking action or progressing. The original title was said to be “Lazy Bitch,” supposedly aimed at a certain British prime minister.

The tour for this album was massive. I remember vividly wanting to go but they didn’t come to Nashville. It was the first rock tour I remember being publicized as an event rather than a concert. You must remember the Stones were getting “old.” People were saying this could be it for the band because they were over the hill. Mick was a whopping 38 years old in 1981. If only we knew what was coming!

The American leg was sponsored by Jovan which yea…I went out and got their cologne.  It was the largest grossing tour of 1981 with $50 million in ticket sales. Roughly two million concert goers attended the concerts, setting various ticket sales records.

Most importantly about this tour. It was the last time the Stones toured without backup singers and musical help on stage. Yes, they sounded more ragged on this tour but…that fit them perfectly. I would have rather heard Keith sing backup than pitch perfect backup singers. I did get to see them in the 90s and in 2006.

A film of the tour was released in 1983 called Let’s Spend the Night Together directed by Hal Ashby. 

From Songfacts

A “hang fire” is a delay from when a trigger is pulled on a flintlock gun and when it actually fires. The expression means a delayed response, but in this song could apply to the lazy people who won’t take action. It’s also a great phrase to sing, which Mick Jagger does a few different ways throughout the song, sometimes stretching out “fire,” and other times keeping it contained.

In the UK, “Hang Fire” wasn’t released as a single, but in America it was the third single from the Tattoo You album, which hung around for a while. The song peaked at #20 in May 1982, 10 months after the album was released.

MTV launched on August 1, 1981, giving The Rolling Stones instant access to a new audience in America. They were ready, having made several videos (known as “promotional films” back in the day) already with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who returned to helm the Tattoo You videos. “Start Me Up” was the first in the set, showing the band performing the song on an empty set. This was typical, as Lindsay-Hogg kept the focus on the band, which were adept performers with a lead singer who could pull focus. “Hang Fire” had a similar look, but with posters of the album artwork adorning the set. These low-budget videos did very well on MTV, which was thrilled to have The Stones in rotation.

Hang Fire

In the sweet old country where I come from
Nobody ever works
Yeah nothing gets done
We hang fire, we hang fire

You know marrying money is a full time job
I don’t need the aggravation
I’m a lazy slob
I hang fire, I hang fire
Hang fire, put it on the wire baby
Hang fire, hang fire put it on the wire baby, go ahead
Hang fire

We’ve got nothing to eat
We got nowhere to work
Nothing to drink
We just lost our shirts
I’m on the dole
We ain’t for hire
Say what the hell
Say what the hell, hang fire
Hang fire, hang fire, hang fire, put it on the wire, baby
Hang fire, hang fire, hang fire, hang fire
Hang fire, hang fire, put it on the wire, baby

Doo doo doo
Doo doo doo
Doo doo doo
Doo doo

Doo doo doo
Doo doo doo
Doo doo doo
Doo doo, hang fire, hang fire, hang fire

Doo doo doo
Doo doo doo
Doo doo doo, hang fire, hang fire, put it on the wire, baby
Doo doo

Doo doo doo
Doo doo doo
Doo doo doo
Doo doo

Yeah ten thousand dollars, go have some fun
Put it all on at a hundred to one
Hang fire, hang fire, hang fire, put it on the wire, baby
Doo doo
Doo doo, hang fire, hang fire put it on the wire
Hang fire, hang fire, hang fire, hang fire
Put it on the wire, baby
Put it on the wire

Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

I’ve seen the Stones twice…once in 1997 and another time in 2006. If they would not have played Satisfaction it would not have bothered me in the least. Don’t get me wrong….it’s a great song…an iconic song but they could have subbed Happy or All Down The Line and I would have been happy. That is the way I felt at the time…but looking at it now…yea they are identified with this song. You probably could call it their signature song. This song made them international stars.

On May 6, 1965, The Rolling Stones played to about 3,000 people at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida while on their first US tour. That night, Keith Richards woke up in his hotel room with the guitar riff and lyric “Can’t get no satisfaction” in his head. He recorded it on a portable tape deck, went back to sleep, and brought it to the studio that week. The tape contained his guitar riff followed by the sounds of him snoring…no he doesn’t still have the tape.

The guitar riff is similar to Martha & the Vandellas “Dancing in the Street.” Richards thought that is where he got the idea, and was worried that it was too similar.

Mick Jagger wrote all the lyrics except the line “Can’t get no satisfaction.” The lyrics deal with what Jagger saw as the two sides of America, the real and phony. He sang about a man looking for authenticity but not being able to find it. Jagger experienced the vast commercialism of America in a big way on their tours, and later learned to exploit it, as The Rolling Stones made truckloads of money through sponsorships and merchandising in the US.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, The Uk…but…Canada was the rebel of the bunch…it peaked at #3 there.

Keith Richards about the Fuzzbox: “It was the first one Gibson made. I was screaming for more distortion: This riff’s really gotta hang hard and long, and we burnt the amps up and turned the s–t up, and it still wasn’t right. And then Ian Stewart went around the corner to Eli Wallach’s Music City or something and came around with a distortion box. Try this. It was as off-hand as that. It was just from nowhere. I never got into the thing after that, either. It had a very limited use, but it was just the right time for that song.” 

Mick Jagger: “It sounded like a folk song when we first started working on it and Keith didn’t like it much, he didn’t want it to be a single, he didn’t think it would do very well. I think Keith thought it was a bit basic. I don’t think he really listened to it properly. He was too close to it and just felt it was a silly kind of riff.” 

Mick Jagger: “People get very blasé about their big hit. It was the song that really made The Rolling Stones, changed us from just another band into a huge, monster band. You always need one song. We weren’t American, and America was a big thing and we always wanted to make it here. It was very impressive the way that song and the popularity of the band became a worldwide thing. It’s a signature tune, really, rather than a great, classic painting, ’cause it’s only like one thing – a kind of signature that everyone knows. It has a very catchy title. It has a very catchy guitar riff. It has a great guitar sound, which was original at that time. And it captures a spirit of the times, which is very important in those kinds of songs… Which was alienation. Or it’s a bit more than that, maybe, but a kind of sexual alienation. Alienation’s not quite the right word, but it’s one word that would do.” 

From Songfacts

Richards was staying at the Fort Harrison Hotel (known at the time as the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel) when he rolled out of bed with the idea for this song. The hotel still exists. In 1975, it was bought by the Church of Scientology and frequently hosts religious retreats.

This was released in the United States on June 6, 1965, just a month after Keith Richards woke up with the guitar riff in his head. In the UK, it wasn’t issued until August 20, since The Stones did not want to release it in England until they were there to support it. While they were touring in America, they became very popular in England, so they kept recording singles in the States to keep their momentum until they could return for a tour.

Richards ran his guitar through a Gibson Fuzz Box to create the distortion effect. He had no intention of using the sound on the record, but Gibson had just sent him the device, and he thought the Fuzz Box would create sustained notes to help sketch out the horn section. The band thought it sounded great and wanted to use the sound because it would be very unusual for a rock record. Richards thought it sounded gimmicky and did not like the result, but the rest of the band convinced him to ditch the horn section and use the distorted guitar sound.

There is some debate as to whether this is the first use of fuzz guitar in a rock song. Shiloh Noone sheds some light on the subject in his book Seekers Guide To The Rhythm Of Yesteryear: “Anne Margaret does have one claim to fame that embarrassingly whitewashes the rock generation, namely her studio recording of ‘I Just Don’t Understand’ which boasts the first fuzz guitar applied to wax, courtesy of Billy Strange, a one time member of Phil Spector’s session crew who later hit the charts with an instrumental version of Monty Norman’s ‘James Bond theme.’ ‘I Just Don’t Understand’ was later launched as a single by Freddie & The Dreamers and also played live by the Beatles at the Cavern. Billy Strange repeated his fuzz on ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah’ (Bob B Soxx & The Blue Jeans). So what’s the buzz about fuzz? Well it did launch the early stages of psychedelia and boost its prime exponents The Ventures, specifically their 1962 single ‘2.000lb Bee.’ Sure-fisted Keith Richards claims he revolutionized the fuzz on the ripping ‘Satisfaction’ while utilizing his new fuzz box, yet Big Jim Sullivan used it previously on P.J. Proby’s ‘Hold Me.’ Billy Strange exalted the riff that Link Wray had already laid claim to three year previous, so what’s the fuzz?”

The Stones performed this on their third Ed Sullivan Show appearance, which took place February 13, 1966. The line, “Trying to make some girl,” was bleeped out by Sullivan’s censors, as it was a family show. Sullivan was perhaps the only host that could get away with this, as he helped launch the band in America. On their fifth appearance, Jagger agreed to sing “Let’s Spend The Night Together” as “Let’s Spend Some Time Together.”

This was included on the US version of the Out Of Our Heads album, but not the British. Putting singles on albums was considered ripping people off in England.

The stereo mix has electric instruments on one channel and acoustics on the other.

Jack Nitzsche worked with The Stones on this, playing piano and helping produce it. He also played the tambourine part because he thought Jagger’s attempt lacked soul. Nitzsche was a successful producer who worked on many early hits for the Stones, including “Get Off My Cloud” and “Paint It, Black.” He died in 2000 at age 63.

Otis Redding recorded this in 1966 at the behest of Steve Cropper and Booker T. Jones, who were part of his backing band at Stax Records. Otis hadn’t heard the song, and he didn’t like it, so he did a radically different version of the song, using horns and changing many of the words. Using horns was what Keith Richards originally had in mind for the song, and he lauded Redding’s take. His version was one of the first British songs covered by a black artist; usually it was the other way around.

The final take was recorded just five days after Richards first came up with the idea. Three weeks later, it was released as a single in the US. An instant hit, it made The Stones stars in America; it helped that they were already touring the US to support it.

There is a song by Chuck Berry called “Thirty Days” with the line “I can’t get no satisfaction from the judge.” Richards is a huge Chuck Berry fan and it is possible that this is where he got the idea for the title.

This was featured in the 1984 film Starman, starring Jeff Bridges. The movie is set on a deep space probe in the ’70s. >>

Sesame Street did a version called “(I Can’t Get No) Cooperation,” which is about a kid at school having trouble to finding someone to play jump rope or ride the seesaw.

Some of the artists who have covered this include Britney Spears and Devo. Another unusual cover was by The Residents, whose version is much more intense, with distorted, raging vocals, and a heavy guitar solo courteously of Phil “Snakefinger” Lithman. 

The Stones don’t own the publishing rights to this song. In 1965, they signed a deal with an American lawyer named Allen Klein and let him make some creative accounting maneuvers to avoid steep British taxes. He ended up controlling most of their money, and in order to get out of their contract, The Stones signed over the publishing rights to all the songs they wrote up to 1969. Klein, who died in 2009, still had to pay royalties to the songwriters, but controlled how the songs were used.

Richards says he never plays this on stage the same way twice. 

In 2006, The Rolling Stones played this at halftime of Superbowl XL. 

The phrase, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” is grammatically incorrect. It’s a double negative and really means, “I Can Get Satisfaction.” 

Keith Richards used his fuzzbox, but he also played clean guitar during the song, with Brian Jones strumming an acoustic throughout. This meant Keith had to switch between his two tones during the song, as multiple tracks were sparse back then and overdubs rare. If you listen to the song at :36 you will hear Keith switching on his fuzz with an audible click, just between Jagger’s “get” and “no.” At about 1:35, Keith is stomping his fuzz too late, slightly missing his cue, ending up playing the riff a little behind. At his next cue (2:33) he probably wants to be sure that his fuzz is on, so you can hear a short but audible fuzz note (accidentally?) played before the actual riff and slightly before Jagger’s “I can’t get.”

Despite the dig at TV advertising in this song (“When I’m watchin’ my TV, and that man comes on to tell me how white my shirts can be…”), Snickers wanted it badly for their “Snickers Satisfies” campaign, and got it for a price of $4 million, according to Allen Klein of the song’s publishing company, ABKCO. Klein said $2.8 million of that went to Jagger and Richards as writers of the song.

Further, Snickers didn’t even get the original song for their money. The commercial, which aired in 1991 used a version performed by studio musicians.

The song spent four weeks at #1 in America before getting knocked off by Herman’s Hermits “I’m Henry The VIII, I Am.” In the UK, it spent two weeks at #1, knocked off by The Walker Brothers “Make It Easy on Yourself.”

The Stones debuted “Satisfaction” on the ABC variety show Shindig! May 20, 1965, a few weeks before it was released in America. Months earlier, they had a UK #1 with “Little Red Rooster,” a song originally recorded by Howlin’ Wolf, an American bluesman who wasn’t well known in his home country. The Stones insisted that Wolf appear on the show, and they helped introduce his performance of How Many More Years.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m drivin’ in my car, and the man come on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more about some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination

I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no, hey, hey, hey
That’s what I say
I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m watchin’ my TV and a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But, he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me

I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no, hey, hey, hey
That’s what I say
I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no girl reaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m ridin’ ’round the world
And I’m doin’ this and I’m signin’ that
And I’m tryin’ to make some girl, who tells me
Baby, better come back maybe next week
Can’t you see I’m on a losing streak?
I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no, hey, hey, hey
That’s what I say, I can’t get no, I can’t get no
I can’t get no satisfaction, no satisfaction
No satisfaction, no satisfaction
I can’t get no

Rolling Stones – Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

If I had to pick my favorite Stones song they covered…this one would be high up there. I like the intro and Keith’s sloppy guitar solo that was perfect for it.

The Stones covered this song in 1974 on the It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll album. Later in 1978 they would cover another Temptations song called Just My Imagination.

The Stones originally planned for Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” as the only cover song on It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but they bumped it for this. Billy Preston plays the funky piano on this song, and it really makes it.

It’s Only Rock and Roll would be the last album that Mick Taylor worked on. Ron Wood would eventually replace him on guitar. Wood probably fit in with the Stones more than Taylor…but Taylor had a sound that was never replicated again. The albums he played on are considered to be the Stones best.

This was written by Motown writers Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland. Holland, who was part of the Holland/Dozier/Holland writing team, wrote the lyrics. The Temptations version peaked at #13.

Other covers of this song include Phil Collins, TLC, and the one and only Rick Astley… whom the Internet’s never going to give up..

The song peaked at #17 in the Billboard 100 and #14 in Canada in 1974.

Paul McCartney: “There were two songs I turned Mick onto that the Stones have done. One was She Said Yeah and the other was Ain’t Too Proud To Beg. Mick would deny it – ‘Wot? Never saw him, never met him’ – but I distinctly remember having him up into a little music room and playing it to him. He loved it and he went and did it. We’ve messed around with the track a little bit, but it is sort of like my memory of the original.”

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

I know you wanna leave me,
But I refuse to let you go,
If I have to beg, plead for your sympathy,
I don’t mind ’cause you mean that much to me.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

Now I’ve heard a cryin’ man
Is half a man with no sense of pride,
But if I have to cry to keep you,
I don’t mind weepin’ if it’ll keep you by my side.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

If I have to sleep on your doorstep all night and day
Just to keep you from walking away,
Let your friends laugh, even this I can stand,
’cause I wanna keep you any way I can.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.

Now I’ve got a love so deep in the pit of my heart,
And each day it grows more and more,
I’m not ashamed to call and plead to you, baby,
If pleading keeps you from walking out that door.

Ain’t too proud to beg and you know it,
Please don’t leave me girl,
Don’t you go,
Ain’t too proud to plead, baby, baby,
Please don’t leave me, girl,
Don’t you go.