Songs That Reference Steve McQueen: Rolling Stones – Star Star

I wanted to think of some theme that would be fun and take us through Thanksgiving. I watched Papillon last week and wondered how many songs reference Steve McQueen…the King of Cool.

Those of you who are sensitive to sexual phrases and words…you should STOP NOW. The song is really GRAPHIC

They mention not only Steve McQueen but also his then-wife Ali McGraw and for good measure…John Wayne also.

It’s catchy but it’s the Stones at their most blatant. The F-Bomb is plentiful in this song.

Atlantic Records who distributed the Stones records were afraid of legal troubles with Steve McQueen. They wanted the Stones to change the lyrics…The Stones would not budge and Ahmet Ertegun said “let’s send a copy to McQueen and if he okays it then the single could be released.” He okayed it and the single was released. What is funny, is why Atlantic would not have insisted that Ali McGraw also okay it, however, no one could hear clearly what was actually said on the record.

To most, it sounds like Jagger speaking to the groupie saying ”yeah I’m really not mad with you for” Jagger did not clarify the matter and it slid past. Same with the John Wayne line. Most think that it says “your man” However when one listens to the live bootlegs, the line is clearly Ali McGraw as well as John Wayne. Steve was amused by the song.

A drummer I played with a band in high school wanted to play this song in a fall talent show at school. He said it would really “shake them up”…uh…yea it would have shaken us out of school for 5 days at least. Cooler heads prevailed and we played Jumping Jack Flash instead.

From Songfacts

This song is about groupies. Songwriters often write about subjects they’re familiar with, and Mick Jagger was an expert in this area.

Originally, this was called “Starf–ker,” which is slang for a groupie. Atlantic Records made them change it, eliminating “f–k” from the title, although the band always refers to it by the original title.

Feminist groups were outraged at the negative portrayal of women. Mick Jagger did not apologize, saying he was just describing what he saw.

This contains the lyric, “She’ll get John Wayne before he dies,” but John Wayne refused permission to use his name. Engineer Andy Johns put some echo over the lyric and convinced the record company that it was unrecognizable, which it wasn’t. When Goats Head Soup came out on CD, the lyric was not distorted.

The Stones blew up a giant, inflatable penis when they performed this on their 1975 tour.

This was banned by the BBC.

In contrast to John Wayne, Steve McQueen was reportedly amused by the reference to him in the lyric. In addition to the John Wayne lyric, references to ‘keeping her pu**y clean’ was also distorted at the original release and subsequently restored in later issues (US only..in Europe they came through unscathed). 

During The Stones 1975 tour, Mick Jagger said: “People always give me this bit about us being a macho band, and I always ask them to give me examples. “Under My Thumb”… Yes, but they always say Starf–ker, and that just happened to be about someone I knew. There’s really no reason to have women on tour unless they’ve got a job to do. The only other reason is to f–k. Otherwise, they get bored, they just sit around and moan. It would be different if they did everything for you, like answer the phones, make breakfast, look after your clothes and your packing, see if the car was ready, and f–k. Sort of a combination of what (road manager) Alan Dunn does and a beautiful chick.” 

Star Star

Baby, baby, I’ve been so sad since you’ve been gone
Way back to New York City
Where you do belong
Honey, I missed your two tongue kisses
Legs wrapped around me tight
If I ever get back to Fun City, girl
I’m gonna make you scream all night

Honey, honey, call me on the telephone
I know you’re movin’ out to Hollywood
With your can of tasty foam
All those beat up friends of mine
Got to get you in their books
And lead guitars and movie stars
Get their toes beneath your hook

Yeah, you’re a star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
Yeah, a star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
Star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star

Yeah, I heard about you Polaroid’s
Now that’s what I call obscene
Your tricks with fruit was kind a cute
I bet you keep your p**** clean
Honey, I miss your two tone kisses
Legs wrapped around me tight
If I ever get back to New York, girl
Gonna make you scream all night

Yeah, you’re a star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
Yeah, a star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
Star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker star
Yes you are, yes you are, yes you are

Yeah, Ali McGraw got mad with you
For givin’ h**d to Steve McQueen
Yeah, you and me we made a pretty pair
Fallin’ through the silver screen
Honey, I’m open to anythin’
I don’t know where to draw the line
Yeah, I’m makin’ bets that you gonna get
John Wayne before he dies

Yeah, you’re a star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
Yeah, a star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
A star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star

Yeah you are, a star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
A star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
A star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star

Yeah, a star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star
Star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker
Star f**ker, star f**ker, star f**ker, star, yes you are, yes you are