Have You Seen That Song? “Too Many Ads, Too Little Sex”

Posted on April 21, 2013

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A friend and I started a friendly song-photography contest. The rules:

1. Each photo should represent/ be inspired by a song

2. Photos are to be taken within 24 hours of the agreed flag-off

3. Photos should be taken low-tech, with mobile phone cameras (well, low-camera-tech, anyhow)

Here is my first entry:

Yes, please come on in

Yes, please come right on in

Kinda hard to tell innit? This is the song it reminded me of:

Here are the Stones railing against commercialism and sexual frustration on the Ed Sullivan show in 1966. The line “trying to make some girl”, which had been previously censored on other live shows, was left untouched here.

Like so many great songs, “Satisfaction” had humble beginnings – Keith Richards said the famous opening guitar fuzz riff was “just a riff” that he came up with in the middle of the night, and the iconic lyric that he penned to go with the riff could just as well have been “Auntie Miller’s Caught Her Left Tit in the Mangle”. [1] (To which I’d reply, no Keith, it could not have been. But what do I know about syllable counting.) Furthermore, Richards was not sanguine about the song’s potential success as a single, and it nearly did not get released as one. [2] Interestingly, Richards isn’t quite so blase about the song now – in 2003 he commented that he could “play satisfaction today or tomorrow and still find new stuff in there.” [1] Tsk, Keith. Looks like you did some satisfaction afterall.

Here’s a more enthusiatic Mick:

“I mean the fact that it’s driven me round the bend is neither here or there, but it’s obviously a good song!” [2]

Mick was right, the song is great. But what’s neither here nor there is really my photo. “Satisfaction” is blistering, furious, sexy and brazen, and I’ve not managed to get much of that in the photo, which shows two bored security guards lounging against a large ambiguously worded sign. The photo was meant to do double-duty – the subjects in it are gettin’ none, and at the same time it was a shout-out to those who are so starved of it that they interpret simple entry signs as, well, entry signs.

Of course the Stones catapulted that song to the Hall of Fame in the magazine of their namesake (2nd spot in “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, Rolling Stone mag, 2004) but while we’re all here, I’d like you to listen to Aretha and Otis’ renditions. Please. Please click on the vids. I’m not even linking them, I’m embedding them because they are serious badass shit.

Aretha Franklin, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

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Otis Redding, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards enjoyed Otis’ rendition, calling it “soulful” and “right” for recording it as a horn riff instead of guitar.

Well, despite my meh start I am pretty excited about this little contest. At the very least it will force me to look around at my surroundings while I’m shuffling about with my ‘phones plugged into my earholes.

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[1] “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, WebCite. http://www.webcitation.org/5iPw3UAuR

[2] “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, Sold on Song, BBC Radio 2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/indepth/satisfaction.shtml

[3] Richie Unterberger, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/song/i-cant-get-no-satisfaction-mt0004466934