Tag Archive: Sympathy for the Devil


aftermath

About this time two years ago, the Stones announced that their Zip Code tour would be rolling through the Capitol City and that they would be playing at the holy shrine of collegiate American-style football, the Olde Horseshoe on the muddy banks of the Olentangy.  Well, I was interested in going, but the ticket prices were pretty steep, and I had half a mind to do what I did back in ’97 when the Stones came through town and sit on a hill outside the stadium and listen (Saylor Moon joined me that night).  It is an open air stadium, after all.  But then myyoungestniecia texted me because she wanted to buy a ticket to the concert for ma soeur for Mommy’s Day.  And since ma soeur was going, I decided to go too.  But then I thought I should get a ticket for mi madre too, as she is a huge Stones fan.  And then mon frere decided to tag along as well, so I became a family affair (and actually the same group that took me to Dylan, Petty, and the Dead back when I was a wee lad).

So the day of the concert was also my last day as a Cowboy, as I had recently been promoted, and we were gradiating the most recent class of cowboys and cowgirls.  And the Math Professor was retiring, and I wanted to put in an appearance at his farewell party.  Also, there was a minor monsoon hovering over the Capitol City, and it was threatening to put a damper on the evening’s festivities.  So I wound up running pretty late, and I was worried I would miss the rendezvous with my family, which was pretty important, since I had everybody’s ticket.  But it didn’t matter because my family was running late too, and when they finally arrived, I laughed to see the mon frere had duct taped ma soeur’s front bumper on after it had fallen off at a gas station in Medina.  So typical of my family!  Well, the monsoon was still raging and no-one really wanted to see Kid Rock perform as the opening act, so we hung out and had a few adult beverages before the show.  Then, miraculously, the clouds parted and the rain stopped just as we left for the ‘Shoe.

I had a tip from a friend that the parking lot by the Schottenstein Center would be free and mostly empty (a good combination), but it is quite a hike from there to the stadium.  And mi madre was in a wheelchair, but we all took turns pushing and we got there just before the Stones took the stage.  Now I had shelled out the big bucks for mi madre, ma soeur, and myself, but mon frere had opted for the cheapest ticket possible.  However, mi madre had a special ticket in the wheelchair section, and mon frere pushed her in like he belonged there and noone ever said anything to him.  So actually, he was the closest to the stage and he paid the least!  In retrospect, I gotta admit I wish I had thought of that.  Ingenious!  The concert itself was excellent.  A huge stage, three large video screens, and plenty of pyro-technics.  But all of that was just window dressing, because the band actually sounded great.  Kieth Richards actually sort of stole the show from Jagger…every strum on his guitar seemed to cut through the evening air and he had a huge smile like he was having more fun than anyone in the world.  Jagger was good too though, dancing like he was thirty years younger and generally being the archetypical leading man.  They played pretty much everything I wanted to hear, including “Sympathy for the Devil” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, the latter of which featured the choir from the other university named after the state of Ohio.  My only complaint was they didn’t play “Dead Flowers”…it was one of four potential songs in a pre-concert online vote and it lost out, not-surprisingly, to “Paint It, Black”.  Oh, and did I mention they had a Scarlet and Gray version of the famous mouth logo!  It was practically the perfect evening.

As for this album, meh.  I hate to say it, but I don’t really dig early Stones.  This is from the 60s, before they had their epic run in the 70s.  As such, it doesn’t really have that bad boy rock and roll identy of later Stones albums.  There’s some blues (“Dontcha Bother Me”), some county (“High and Dry”), some psychedelica (“Paint It, Black”), and weirdly even a little baroque (“Lady Jane”).  It’s a hodgepodge, but it just doesn’t gel.  I bought it for $11.88 off of Amazon Prime.  It’s the American version…the British version has a vastly different track list and order, adding four songs but deleting “Paint It, Black”, about the only song I really dig on the album.  Overall, it’s not bad, it’s just not great either.

Other lists: “Paint It, Black” and its oddly placed comma rank at #176 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Ch-ch-changes:  The ripple effect of Kid A has dropped this album one spot from its original spot at #108.

My favourite track: “Paint It, Black”

Honourable mention: “Under My Thumb”

Quote: “It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black.”

 

Beggars Banquet

 

So I remember going to see “Interview With the Vampire” back home at the Ashtabula Mall.  I can’t remember exactly why I went to see it, because I really don’t dig vampire stories (don’t tell the Princess) and I pretty much hate Tom Cruise (“Collateral” is basically the only movie of his that I enjoy…and he was the bad guy in that one too), but whatever, I was there.  IMDB lists the release date for the movie as November 1994, so it was probably over my first winter break from college and I was probably with Black Cloud and the Gear Head.  And if that was the case, I was probably nursing some pretty grievous wounds that had been inflicted by Her.  But regardless, my favorite part of the movie was most certainly the ending credits, and not just because I didn’t have to watch Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt fight over who was better looking anymore, but mostly because the Guns ‘N Roses version of “Sympathy for the Devil” played over the closing credits.  I even went out and bought the CD single release of the Guns’ version of the song.  And when I listen to it today, I admit its a bit over the top (in the way only Axl Rose can do), but it was my first exposure to the song and as covers go, it’s pretty great (even if it did lead directly to Slash leaving the band).

But of course, the original is great too, and it’s here on this record.  Actually, it was the only song on the album that I had heard before when I found it at the Half Price Books by me on Bethel Road (Bethel Road, where all the bad boys hang out…) for $8.99 (minus my huge edumacator discount) on a night when the Princess was searching for geometry books.  And to be honest, it’s a fun record, but there aren’t really any other tracks other than “Sympathy” that really jump of the album.  It’s kind of funny that Jagger gives us a Biblical lesson in “Prodigal Son” right before he tries to pick up an underage runaway (and her friend) in “Stray Cat Blues”.  I guess he had his bad boy image to protect.  The album is actually very acoustic and bluesy, and I guess you could say that every Friday for the past 15 years I’ve had more than just a few drinks for the salt of the earth (yup Mick and John, a working class hero is still something to be!)

Other lists: “Sympathy for the Devil” is #32 and “Street Fighting Man” is #301 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the the Top 500 Songs of All Time.

Ch-ch-changes: This album also dropped one spot from the original list due to the rise of “Meet the Beatles!”

My favourite track: “Sympathy for the Devil”

Honourable mention: “Salt of the Earth”

Quote: “Let’s drink to the hardworking people, let’s drink to the lowly of birth.  Raise your glass to the good and the evil: let’s drink to the salt of the earth.”