Thursday, July 12, 2012

'You can't always get what you want ....'

"But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need..."

Been rocking out to the Stones all day today; it seemed like the right thing to do.  Fifty years ago today, the Rolling Stones took the stage for the first time in a little pub called The Marquee Club in London, thus beginning the most epic career in the history of rock and roll.

All day long as the songs played, memories of the times came to mind, helping me relive my misspent youth with the Stones often there providing the music.  At the time I liked them better than the Beatles, I think just because of the harder edge to their music, music that had lyrics that sometimes made you think, sometimes made you laugh and almost always made you want to dance or led you into other pursuits suitable to the age of the world and the age of the person.

Getting caught by a policeman while parked and making out with Heather Smith in my 1964 Corvair Spyder while a radio station played every song on the Aftermath album.

Getting an unexpected Saturday night off when we ran out of parts on the assembly line at the Chevrolet engine plant and racing home to shower and dress and head for the nearest bar with a rock and roll band.  Buffalo had a lot of those at the time. We had dressed in three-piece suits and went to one of the better ones where we met two girls and danced with them until the band quit then offered to take them home.  Home turned out to be Toronto which didn't stop us for a minute.  I abandoned my car on a side street and we drove the Queen Elizabeth Way in Bill Toth's new Chevelle, the song of the moment: "Hey you, get off of my cloud."  I remember that experience every time I hear that opening line: "I live alone in an apartment on the 99th floor of my block..."  We spent the rest of the weekend in Toronto and when I finally returned to my regular life I learned the police were looking for me.  A resident on the street where I left my car had seen me run from it and jump into my friend's. She called the police thinking it might be stolen.  The police ended up calling my parents who of course immediately imagined the worst possible scenario.

Friday night college parties that didn't really begin until I went to the stereo and played those first notes of "Satisfaction."  Years later when some poll had decided that was the greatest rock and roll song of all time, I heard an interview with Keith Richards who described how the famous guitar riff came to be.  He said he always kept a tape recorder at his bedside.  And one night he woke up with that riff in his head and played it, falling back asleep almost immediately.  When he woke up in the morning he had on the tape 15 seconds of Satisfaction and 45 minutes of himself snoring.

Then there were the parties at drive-ins where we rocked and danced until the movie started with Stones music to get us going.

This could go on.  I bet fully half the songs in their book raise some sort of memory and listening to most of them today brought a lot of those memories back. 

Also, listening today I realized what's missing in a lot of rock music today: Lyrics. Something to say.  Often it was about love, of course, but there were others too, and some mysterious and difficult to decipher.  I still haven't totally figured out this one:

Sympathy For The Devil lyrics
Songwriters: Jagger, Mick; Richards, Keith;

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and fate

I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moments of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a General's rank
When the Blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
What's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched the glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the Gods they made

I shouted out
"Who killed the Kennedys?"
Well after all
It was you and me

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game, ooh yeah

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails just call me Lucifer
I'm in need of some restraint

So if you meet me, have some courtesy
Have some sympathy and some taste
Use all your well learned politics
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, mmm yeah

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, mmm yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, get down
Woo hoo, ah yeah, get on down, oh yeah

Tell me, baby, what's my name?
Tell me, honey, baby guess my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name?
I'll tell ya one time you're to blame

What's my name?
Tell me, baby, what's my name?
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name?


There are too many to pick a single favorite, but that one certainly is on the list.  In addition to the hard rock edge they could sing beautifully as well. Take  "Angie," " Ruby Tuesday," and this one which I only started listening to more closely in the past couple of years:

I love the line from that song: "I have my freedom, but I don't have much time."

 I guess 50 years of good rock and roll is a lot to thank someone for, but it has been appreciated over and over again.  Mick Jagger will be 69 July 28.  That makes him less than a year younger than I am.  I am glad to have gone along for the ride.

As he approaches 70 and is still rocking, I have to wonder if  he still thinks, "what a drag it is getting old." I doubt it.


  1. Mick's birthday is July 26. ;) and he already is older than 70. He's five years older than me, but other than that, I couldn't agree more. We saw him in 2009 in Nampa, Idaho, of all places, and he was unbelievable. It's a small venue and we had the second-cheapest seats they were selling. With an audience of 10,000, and the Stones' stage that rolls out into the middle of the audience, it was almost like a personal performance.It was a couple of weeks after Mick Jagger's dad died, and about a week after Keith Richards fell out of a tree and had a concussion. Despite all of the challenges, they rocked liked nobody I've ever seen before, and I've seen a lot of live performers over the years. They didn't start until about 9 p.m., which is past my bedtime anymore, and I was cranky, whining that they'd probably play for an hour while whining at the audience, then leave, as Stevie Wonder had when we saw him a few years earlier. First up was "Jumping Jack Flash," and I told Gerry it already felt like I'd gotten my money's worth. Then they performed for three full hours, and they weren't winding down, they were still cranking it up. It was phenomenal. They are amazing.

    1. And i don't care what that newer song says, no one has moves like Jagger.


Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve