The doctor wants to give me more injections

“Connection, I just can’t make no connection.” The Rolling Stones, Connection

Today I woke up to news that an old professor of mine has become the favorite to lead a fairly large political party in Europe. The move would be part of the party’s rejuvenation process after a poor performance in the recent EU parliamentary elections. It might not happen, but it brought back memories of his class which was one of the best I took back in college. At the time he seemed to have a pretty promising career and at the personal level he was a pretty bright guy, with a good sense of humor and great social skills. He could teach too.

“My bags they get a very close inspection. I wonder why it is… that they suspect ’em

It’s not that I had forgotten about that class, or the teacher, until this morning, but what I had forgotten that he had a blog! He shut it down soon after my class with him ended, but I remembered checking it out a few times back then. It wasn’t a blog about politics, just a kind of personal blog where he posted interesting articles, book recommendations and, as you might have guessed, music he liked. I liked that.

“They’re dying to add me to their collection, and I don’t knooooow if they’ll let me gooooo”

The year was 2008 and Martin Scorsese’s documentary Shine a Light (mentioned in a previous post) had just come out. My friends and I were a bit disappointed by the film, but 2 hours of listening to The Rolling Stones is never a bad choice so it we still enjoyed it overall. The problem was that it wasn’t The Last Waltz, it wasn’t No Direction Home and that it would even later pale in comparison to his next documentary about George Harrison (which I loved).

“Everything is going in the wrong direction”

Weeks after seeing the film, during the semester I was taking the class in question, I went on to the teacher’s blog and was surprised to find an entry linking to a live performance of Connection, a Rolling Stone’s song I really like. The next day after class I caught up with him during a break, or after class, and couldn’t help but mention his blog. He kind of laughed it off saying something like “Oh yeah, the blog. I like posting things every now and then”. But I didn’t really give a fuck about the blog, I wanted to know why he’d posted Connection. So I followed up with a mystical comment along the lines of “So Connection…”

“But all I want to doooo, is to get back to youuuu.”

So we got down to music…. and he admitted to being a Keith Richards fan but not that big on the Stones, poor ignorant… (well, probably not poor and definitely not ignorant). He told me he’d been to see Shine a Light, had also thought it wasn’t great but had enjoyed revisiting a few songs he hadn’t heard in a while, such as Connection. With that answer he passed my test. He posted a few other songs before closing the blog which were completely atrocious, but I decided to give him a pass solely on Connection. I hope he gets chosen to lead the party, partly because back then he seemed to have the chops to make for a good political leader, but mostly because there was a point in his life he decided to post Connection on a shitty blog. That, I respect.

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Let’s do some living, after we die

“I have my freedom… but I don’t have much time” – Rolling Stones, Wild Horses

When I was in college I watched a bunch of documentaries about my favorite artists. No Direction Home had come out not too long ago and I was searching for others that were just as good. I watched the incredible The Last Waltz and loved another Dylan documentary called Don’t Look Back, but for some reason the one I liked most at the time was the Stones’ Gimme Shelter.

The fact that the documentary was focused on the Altamont concert the Stones gave in 1969 was very appealing. It was famous because the band had hired the Hells Angels to run security and midway through the concert a man carrying a gun was stabbed to death by one of the Hells Angels.

From the documentary there are two scenes I remember vividly…

The first is the Stones in a studio actually looking at the footage of the man taking his gun out and getting stabbed. They make comments as they watch the scene several times and even freeze the image every now and then so they can see the gun and the stabbing.

The second is a scene where the band listens to one of my favorite Rolling Stone songs they’ve just finished recording, Wild Horses. It’s a rare breed for a song, one of those I like more over time. It helps that it’s not overplayed and whenever I hear it I rarely feel that I’ve heard it not too long ago. Yesterday, when watching the documentary Muscle Shoals (not great, unfortunately), I was excited when I saw the exact same scene which I remembered perfectly from 8 or 9 years ago. Coincidentally it was recorded at a Muscle Shoals studio and the scene, in my opinion and I hope in everybody else’s too, stole the documentary.

The clip has a lot of character: Keith Richards mouthing the song, Charlie Watts looking at the floor, Mick Jagger burying his head in his hands but softly clapping with a smile on his face when it’s over…. it’s just memorable.

It’s a song that’s been with me the last ten years, I’ve listened to it with girlfriends, with friends and mostly on my own. Yet to this day I have doubts as to what are “Wild Horses”, I have an idea but whenever I listen to the song with somebody I ask them what they think and how they interpret it.

“Wild, wild horses we’ll ride them some day.”