Friday, October 13, 2006

Beggars Banquet

My blog buddy Haahnster did a series on “creative outbursts” of artists – and did a damn good job of it, at least for my money – but I digress.

I have been listening to The Rolling Stones today. Just woke up in that kind of mood and did a quick tour through Beggers Banquet and Let it Bleed.

Wow, what a great creative outburst which continued until enough coke, heroin and blowjobs derailed the boys sometime after Exile on Main Street.

Musically and lyrically, these albums were an incredible mix of sex, drugs, and of course, rock and roll………..

I’m one of those guys that always sits and imagines what someone was thinking of when they wrote a song. I can see John Lennon writing “A Day in the Life” very easily. I have no idea where “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding” could ever come from. Which is why Bob Dylan will always command the stratosphere of songwriters in my book. I sense something buried deep in Elton John’s “Burn Down the Mission” but am completely lost on some of his later fluffy stuff. And I guess to be fair, songs like “Wooly Bully” just don’t do it for me at all.

But I’m digressing again.

So many of the songs in this particular Stones time frame were actually very thought provoking. I was 12 when I first heard “Sympathy for the Devil” and can still remember the chill bumps I got while listening. I burned grooves in that vinyl.

So today I have chosen the song “Jig-Saw Puzzle” as my lyrical theme for the day. This song, kind of like “A Day in the Life”, tells a story of observation of life. I don’t think there is any deep meaning here, just stuff that came through the fog of the Glimmer Twins just hanging out at the house. It was recorded on March 25, 1968.

There’s a tramp sittin’ on my doorstep
Tryin’ to waste his time
With his mentylated sandwich
He’s a walkin’ clothesline
And here comes the bishop’s daughter
On the other side
She’s a trifle jealous
She’s been an outcast all her life

Me, I waiting so patiently
Lying on the floor
I’m just trying to do my jig-saw puzzle
Before it rains anymore

Oh the gangster looks so frightening
With his luger in his hand
But when he gets home to his children
He’s a family man
But when it comes to the nitty-gritty
He can shove in his knife
Yes he really looks quite religious
He’s been an outlaw all his life

Me, I’m waiting so patiently
Lying on the floor
I’m just trying to do my jig-saw puzzle
Before it rains anymore

Oh the singer, he looks angry
At being thrown to the lions
And the bass player, he looks nervous
About the girls outside
And the drummer, he’s so shattered
Trying to keep up time
And the guitar players look damaged
They’ve been outcasts all their lives

Me, I’m waiting so patiently
Lying on the floor
I’m just trying to do this jig-saw puzzle
Before it rains anymore

Oh, there’s twenty-thousand grandma’s
Wave their hankies in the air
All burning up their pensions
And shouting, “It’s not fair!”
There’s a regiment of soldiers
Standing, looking on
And the queen is bravely shouting
“What the hell is going on?”

With a blood-curdling “tally-ho”
She charged into the ranks
And blessed all those grandma’s who
With their dying breath screamed, “Thanks!”

Me, I’m just waiting so patiently
With my woman on the floor
We’re just trying to do this jig-saw puzzle
Before it rains anymore

So there it is – social commentary? Bored night at home? Mescaline?

Who knows????

But I do love me some Rolling Stones and wish them green lights and cool nights.

And I wish that for you too!


Blogger haahnster said...

Thanks for recalling my entries. I love this period of Stones stuff, too!

You might recall I referred to this specific timeframe and gave the Stones a big honorable mention: "And, of course, the Stones put out BEGGARS BANQUET (1968), LET IT BLEED (1969), GET YER YA-YA'S OUT (1970), STICKY FINGERS (1971), and EXILE ON MAIN STREET (1972) in succession!!! Now, Ya-Ya's was a live album. However, Exile was a double-album. So, there you go. Jagger/Richards is probably the greatest songwriting duo in rock history, and this was arguably their creative peak. However, that is still two guys."

So, my top 4 ended up being guys who wrote the vast majority of their stuff without cowriters (Fogerty, Hendrix, Young, Dylan).

You are absolutely correct about how good these Stones albums are, though.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Ben Heller said...

I can't argue with yours and haansters comments. The glimmer twins were at their absolute peak during this period.

My personal favourites are "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile..".

6:12 AM  
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10:35 AM  

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