Friday, February 21, 2014

Rolling Stones Friday: Before They Make Me Run

1977 was not a good year for Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones. Richards' arrest in Toronto for heroin possession made time in prison a real possibility. While all that was hanging over their heads, with the band's future seriously in jeopardy, and amidst the ensuing media circus, The Stones recorded Some Girls, released in 1978.

One of the best and most enduring songs on Some Girls is Richards' composition "Before They Make Me Run", a defiant, nearly mocking ode to his situation. Its greasy sound, Keith's raw vocals and unapologetic lyrics are exhibit A for how the Stones earned their rep as rock and roll's bad boys:

Booze and pills and powders, you can choose your medicine
Well here's another goodbye to another good friend [editor note: Gram Parsons?]

I wasn't looking too good  
But I was feeling real well 

Of course, in the end Keith did walk. He did move while it was still fun, in fact went on to have quite a bit more fun.

We'll give you three versions today of "Before They Make Me Run":

The studio version on Some Girls:    
Keith taking center stage very recently for a live version, this vid also reflecting the grand and effective staging of the Stones's modern day concerts:
And lastly, a fantastic cover by WYMA hero Steve Earle, a guy who knows a thing or two about the song's subject matter, backed by Seattle rockers The Supersuckers:
This week's Rolling Stones Friday was suggested by one of you out there (thank you good sir!). Nothing better than getting requests here. Please send them my way any time in the comments section here at WYMA or any way you know how to reach me.  

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