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KEITH RICHARDS RECALLS THE GENESIS OF THREE CLASSIC TUNES (Read 332 times)
Edith Grove
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KEITH RICHARDS RECALLS THE GENESIS OF THREE CLASSIC TUNES
Oct 26th, 2017 at 9:20am
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KEITH RICHARDS RECALLS THE GENESIS OF THREE CLASSIC TUNES


The Rolling Stones guitarist and style icon discusses the meaning behind some of the legendary band's biggest hits.




...
Keith Richards, photographed by Peter Lindbergh


As Told To Brooke Mazurek
Oct 26, 2017


"There are only two kinds of songs, honey,” growls Keith Richards. “The beautifully smooth ones that are plainly obvious when they come to you, and the ones that give you a hard time.” In the more than five decades he has spent churning out some of rock’s most enduring hits, the Rolling Stones guitarist has been unsurprisingly “lucky with the smooth ones.” Armed with a creative compass that guides him whenever the inklings of a new song arise, Richards, 73, explains that he “can almost always imagine where the music is gonna end up once it begins.” As the Stones embarked on their latest European tour, he shared the inspiration behind three legendary tracks.


SWEET BLACK ANGEL



Exile on Main St. (1972) “This one started as an island-lilt sort of thing when we were in Jamaica. After a while the words ‘Sweet Black Angel’ crept into it, and I realized Mick [Jagger] was writing about Angela Davis, the famous activist who was under arrest at the time. We had never met her, but we admired her from afar. Mick and I made the record and said, ‘That’s very nice,’ but it never seemed to really fit into a Stones show. We played it live only once, and it stuck out like a sore thumb. But anything can happen with the Stones. I’ll throw it in during rehearsal and see what happens. It’s still quite relevant, isn’t it? And that’s unfortunate. This stuff has stayed with us for too long.”


GIMME SHELTER



Let It Bleed (1969) “I had been sitting by the window of my friend Robert Fraser’s apartment on Mount Street in London with an acoustic guitar when suddenly the sky went completely black and an incredible monsoon came down. It was just people running about looking for shelter—that was the germ of the idea. But as we went further into, we went further into it until it became, you know, rape and murder are ‘just a shot away.’ I can’t think of a time I ever started a song off saying, ‘This is going to be a duet,’ but somewhere in the process of making the record it suddenly became obvious that we needed a female voice. Mick and I both looked at each other and said, ‘Man, we need a bitch in this!’ So [producer] Jack Nitzsche called up the singer Merry Clayton, and she was at the studio within an hour, and we cut it. Just like that.”


BEAST OF BURDEN



Some Girls (1978) “Those who say it’s about one woman in particular, they’ve got it all wrong. We were trying to write for a slightly broader audience than just Anita Pallenberg or Marianne Faithfull. Although that’s not to say they didn’t have some influence in there somewhere. I mean, what’s close by is close by! I’ve always felt it’s one of my best soul songs. It was another strict collaboration between Mick and me. I think I had the first verse—‘I’ll never be your beast of burden’—along with the hook, and we were still working very much in our traditional way: Here’s the idea, here’s the song, now run away and fill it in! Some of the theories surrounding it are very intriguing, but they’re about as divorced from reality as can be. I find it quite amusing that there are people in the world who spend a lot of their time trying to decode something that is, at the end of the day, completely undecodable. I mean, even I’ve forgotten the code!”


This article originally appears in the November 2017 issue of Harper's Bazaar.


http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/art-books-music/a13090699/keith-richards-in...
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Re: KEITH RICHARDS RECALLS THE GENESIS OF THREE CLASSIC TUNES
Reply #1 - Oct 26th, 2017 at 8:25pm
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We just got that in the mail yesterday...cant wait to get to it in my hands...thanks again Edith!! (Angelina is on the cover!!)
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Kilroy
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Re: KEITH RICHARDS RECALLS THE GENESIS OF THREE CLASSIC TUNES
Reply #2 - Oct 27th, 2017 at 12:42am
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thanks great read!
cant wait to get a copy
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The Core Of The Rolling Stones is Charlie Watts Hi-Hat/The Sunshine Bores The Daylights Out Of Me/And Then We Became Naked/After the Skeet Shoot & Sweet Dreams Mary & #9 11/22/1968 @#500 2/19/2010 @#800 4/09/2011 @#888 10/28/2011 @#1000 2/2/12
 
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Re: KEITH RICHARDS RECALLS THE GENESIS OF THREE CLASSIC TUNES
Reply #3 - Nov 7th, 2017 at 6:10pm
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They played SBA once? When?
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Re: KEITH RICHARDS RECALLS THE GENESIS OF THREE CLASSIC TUNES
Reply #4 - Nov 7th, 2017 at 7:32pm
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Thanks, Edith!
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