Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Story Goes... Satisfaction

From Elvis and The Beatles on Ed Sullivan to Eric Clapton playing "Crossroads" with Cream in a tribute to idol Robert Johnson (1968, Winterland Ballroom), The Story Goes segment could go on indefinitely, but we're looking at those moments that truly affected what was yet to come. While "The Day the Music Died" (February 3, 1959) is an extreme example metaphorically of the 50s evolving into the 60s (in nearly the same way that Altamonte signaled a death knell to the 60s), each of these events led to little inherent and dramatic change in the genre. And while Bob Dylan "plugged in" at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1965, Keith Richards awoke to find that his new reel to reel was at the end of its tape, still spinning. 

Puzzled, he rewound it to find rock and roll's greatest guitar riff along with the words "I can't get no satisfaction," and followed by forty minutes of his own snoring. "I was asleep, I woke up and without even knowing it, I pushed play on my little early cassette player, played it, went back to sleep, and didn’t remember a thing about it until I saw the tape had run to the other end," Aside from the snoring, there was enough for him to play the now iconic riff, the most recognizable in rock, to Mick Jagger, who envisioned its potential (though it took a while) and swung into action, finishing the song. With verses written by Jagger, the Stones took the song into Chess Studios in Chicago just three days later, May 10, 1965, and completed it on May 12 after a flight to Los Angeles and an 18-hour recording session at RCA. It was there that Richards hooked up an early Gibson version of a fuzz box to his guitar and played the riff he initially envisioned being played by horns. Though the Stones at the time were already midway through their third U.S. tour, their only bona fide American hits to date were "Time Is On My Side" and the recently released "The Last Time." "Satisfaction" was the song that would catapult them to superstar status. 

It's not often that AM and Rolling Stone are on the same page, but with this, "That spark in the night…was the crossroads: the point at which the rickety jump and puppy love of early rock and roll became rock," RS is spot on.

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