Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

The Stones first US #1

July 10, 1965
Rolling Stones Satisfaction

But first…on July 10, 1961 

Rolling Stones Satisfaction
Bobby Lewis

On July 10, 1961 “Tossin’ and Turnin'” by Bobby Lewis became the #1 song. It remained there until August 27. Not a bad run.

Frustrated love. Can’t sleep. Kicking blankets off. Flipping pillows. Written by Ritchie Adams and Malou Rene, both Americans, one wonders what the British listener thought about a guy tossin’ all night.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Four years later, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” became #1. The first US #1 song for the Rolling Stones (their fourth #1 in the UK). More frustration. Its ambivalent lyrics had us giggling if we were still young, nodding if we were old enough.

It was a great air guitar song, especially with a tennis racket. That’s what I was doing a lot of that summer at Cedar Grove Beach Club in New Dorp, Staten Island.

Kevin Hagerty and I played tennis for hours with my sister’s transistor radio blasting. Every time “Satisfaction” came on we stopping playing (by the way, playing more than generously describes our jejune tennis prowess) and starting strumming. That’s if Kev could find his racket after tossing it into the weeds  following another poor shot.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Keith’s dream

The story is that Keith Richards started to record some guitar doodling and the famous riff before falling asleep with the tape still running and recording snoring.

Keith intended the famous fuzzy guitar intro to suggest horns and horns were supposed to replace that fuzz. Others disagreed. Others wanted that sound.

That sound became part of rock and roll’s DNA.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Mono

Stereo recording was around in 1965, but mono still dominated. For some today, mono is the preferred listening choice. In any case, it was not until later releases that stereo versions appeared. Jack Nitzsche, who played the tambourine on the original recording, has some piano on the stereo offering.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction

Best ever?

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” makes every top ten list and always near the top. Rolling Stone magazine said it’s the second greatest rock song ever. [It said Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone was #1]

And as popular as the Rolling Stones were before its release and success, following it put the Rolling Stones on others’ list of greatest rock and roll band in the world.

Rolling Stones Satisfaction
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Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

A happy birthday (or a belated happy birthday)

June or July?

Sources agree on the year, 1947. Sources agree on the date: the 10th. Sources disagree on the month: June or July. The majority say July, so here we are.

Arlo’s page only uses the year. I suppose once one approaches their eighth decade, a month really doesn’t matter.

Arlo’s site says, “Arlo is the eldest son of Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of The Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, and America’s most beloved singer/writer/philosopher/artist Woody Guthrie.”

Growing up the child of American icons has both its pros and cons. A pro: name recognition from the start. A con: name recognition from the start.

Many Americans associated the name Guthrie with Communism at a time when the Cold War to defeat the Red Menace was still at its height.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Woody’s Friends

Friends of his father, Woody, friends like Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman and Lee Hays (The Weavers), Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee were part of Arlo’s early life.

Arlo was also one of the many young artists who gravitated to Greenwich Village’s folk scene.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Alice’s Restaurant

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

For many, myself included, our first encounter with Arlo Guthrie was hearing “Alice’s Restaurant.” It came at a perfect time: anti-Vietnam War fervor peaking, anti-Establishment in tone, and simply a great story.

For many of those same listeners, Thanksgiving has meant listening again to Arlo’s masterpiece as much as watching the Detroit Lions play.

The song also likely played a big part in his invitation to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. He didn’t sing “Alice’s Restaurant” that misty night, but he did declare that the “NY Thruway was closed!”

Not true, but a Woodstock myth too good to not hold onto.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

City of New Orleans

And as funny and reaffirming as “Alice’s Restaurant” is, “City of New Orleans” is comforting and nostalgic. A yearning for the slower times and relaxed travel by train.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Activist Republican

For a bit, Arlo joined the Republican party because he felt it needed more people with his type of views, but lately he’s back to the Democratic Party.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Retirement

On October 23, 2020, Arlo posted the following on his Facebook page.

Gone Fishing

It’s been a great 50+ years of being a working entertainer, but I reached the difficult decision that touring and stage shows are no longer possible. I’ve cancelled the upcoming shows, and am not accepting offers for new ones. That’s the short version. For the longer version continue reading…
As a folksinger, I never really thought much about getting older. It seemed to me that I could just continue year after year, decade after decade, singing and playing as I had done for most of my life. As the years went by, it got more difficult to keep touring, but I did it, mostly because I’d been doing it my entire life. It was the life I knew and loved.
In 2016 on April 1st, April Fools Day, I got really dizzy in the parking lot of the hotel, and started seeing as though I were looking through a kaleidoscope. That evening the show went on as though nothing had happened. I had no idea I’d just encountered a mini stroke until weeks later, when I was told about it. It didn’t appear to affect my performance, or my state of being. I continued touring for the next 4 years.
Then, on Thanksgiving Day 2019 (of all freaking days) it happened again. This time I was on my way to The Church / The Guthrie Center to help out with our annual Thanksgiving Dinner that we hold every year. I had pulled over to fuel up and realized I couldn’t continue to drive safely, as everything was spinning around, sort of like the old days, but without the help of illegal substances. I was taken to the hospital, and was under evaluation, when I broke out. I had an important gig at Carnegie Hall in New York – The end of an annual series I’d been doing for decades and it was Sold Out. I had to be there. It was imperative.
The next morning I left the hospital, took the family and headed for New York. And what a show it was! We wrapped up 50 years with a terrific evening with the entire family on stage. I really enjoyed it.
The following day I flew to my home in Sebastian, FL just as I had done for years, this time with the history of Carnegie Hall behind me. My girlfriend, Marti picked me up at the airport, and we settled into the routine of being on the river I loved. Two nights after arriving home, I awoke in the morning and was lurching from sIde to side. I knew something was wrong, and went to keep a doctors appointment we’d previously set up. The doc said “You need to go to the hospital – Now.”
So, Marti took me to the hospital nearby in Vero Beach. They kept me there for 3 days, running tests of all kinds, and essentially informed me that I’d suffered a stroke. This time was more serious, as I’d lost some ability to walk, and I wondered if if would be able to play music. I spent about a week in a rehab center to re-learn the basics, like walking. I went home after that, and began a regimen of playing guitar, walking… All the things I would need to continue touring and performing. During the entire time, Marti kept the family and close friends advised as to my progress, and took really great care of me. I needed all the help I could get. And she was there to see it done right.
By the the time our first shows began in 2020, I was at about at 80% and felt like I was improving. Then the pandemic hit. All the shows we had planned for 2020 were at first, postponed, then rescheduled and finally cancelled. My hopes for a gradual recovery onstage came to an abrupt end.
Meanwhile, I’d decided back in 2018 to move from the home in Florida. And just as I’d returned from our last gig in Tennessee, a buyer appeared, and we had a deal on the table to sell The CrabHouse. I wasn’t in any shape to go through the intricacies of selling a guitar pick, let alone a home with 30 years of stuff we’d collected. Marti ended up doing it all. She finalized the deal, and dealt with the stuff that either had to be sold, moved or thrown out. It was quite a lot. But, through garage sales, online markets, movers and friends, she’d pretty much emptied the CrabHouse of everything, and we moved into her place about a mile away.
We were there for a few weeks, before it was safe enough to return to The Farm in Massachusetts. That was in June 2020. Since then we’ve been holed up at The Farm trying to keep out of harms way, and also trying to provide some online entertainment for our friends who were, and continue to be, holed up wherever they are. My band and crew arranged a few short gigs that were filmed at The Church, but when I saw the play-back in the editing room I realized that it was not up to the standards I expected of myself, let alone the expectations that our friends and fans had come to enjoy.
A folksinger’s shelf life may be a lot longer than a dancer or an athlete, but at some point, unless you’re incredibly fortunate or just plain whacko (either one or both) it’s time to hang up the “Gone Fishing” sign. Going from town to town and doing stage shows, remaining on the road is no longer an option.
I don’t remember answering the question on the other side of that piece of paper when I was asked “Kid! Have you rehabilitated yourself?” But, the short answer is now clearly, “No!” In fact, I hope to be a thorn in the side of a new administration pretty soon. Tom Paine once wrote “To argue with a man who has renounced the use … of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead….” In other words, you cannot and should not argue with people who don’t care, or hold the caring of others in contempt. A healthy suspicion of authority, left, right or center has been the hallmark of my career since the beginning, and I will continue to poke fun at cultural, political, or personal absurdities as I see it. I’m actually looking forward to it.
I’m happy, healthy and good to go, even if I’m not going anywhere. I’ve taken back 6-9 months that I used to spend on the road, and enjoying myself with Marti, my family and friends. In short – Gone Fishing.

Despite the sad news, Guthrie and his music will continue to be a beacon for what is best about us.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie
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