Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Rolling Stones


An urban legend containing gay sex, famous people and an anti-authoritarian stance: what's not to love?



It all began in 1970, when the Rolling Stones, at the top of their commercial and artistic power, decided to switch labels: they were leaving Decca for their own label, Rolling Stones Records, with the famous tongue-and-lips logo. However they still owed Decca a final single per contract. Being the Stones, which meant they were going to fulfill their contractual obligations their way, they did indeed record a song. It was, however, a special song.

They borrowed the melody from Dr. John's 1969 song The Lonesome Guitar Strangler and changed the lyrics to the saga of a small town schoolboy that goes to London to get some action and he does, with a policeman and his big stick. The song is called C*cks*cker Blues (with the alternative title of Schoolboy Blues for the faint at heart.

The lyrics certainly pulled no punches: the chorus went:
Oh, where can I get my c*ck s*cked?
Where can I get my a** f*cked?
I may have no money ("I may not be good looking" in the 1978 version)
But I know where to put it every time

It was 1970, remember, and there was no way that this song would be a Rolling Stones' single. The track was refused by Decca, although promotional 12" singles of it were pressed in the United States. The song did surface briefly in a compilation in West Germany in 1983, but it was quickly withdrawn.

At the time, most of us music fans were only being fed bits and pieces: we had heard the rumor that Jagger was bisexual and that he had a "thing" with Bowie, we had also heard that there may exist a song by the Stones with gay explicit lyrics. The existence of the (unreleased) 1972 documentary by Robert Frank chronicling their US tour from that year, called (you guessed it, C*cks*cker Blues, only helped make the rumors flare up. No one we knew, however, had ever heard the song and no one had seen it in physical form. There were rumors that it could be found in bootleg single form in a rare records' store in Amsterdam, but there was no one to verify it at the time.


Then the Internet came and over the years it became obvious that everything could be found in the Internet. One of the first songs that I searched for when I finally had my connection was this and I was deliriously happy when I found it. It wasn't an urban legend after all.





This is a longer and harder version, probably from rehearsals in 1978:


2 comments:

  1. After all these years, "Cocksucker Blues" still has the audacity to remain shocking.

    It's a genuine lament from a very horny boy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree with that, @rayban. Thanks for commenting!

    ReplyDelete