The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are a British long-running rock band (1963 - present). Bandmembers Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Bill Wynan and others wrote many hit songs, such as: "Satisfaction" (1965), "Paint It Black" (1966), "Sympathy For The Devil" (1968), "Gimme Shelter" (1969) and "Angie" (1973). The group started out as a blues rock band and throughout their career they've covered many blues standards by artists like Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo, Bo Diddley, Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Slim, Robert Wilkins, Howlin' Wolf, Magic Sam, B.B. King, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and Tampa Red, as well as early rock 'n' roll classics by Chuck Berry.
The Rolling Stones became a rival to The Beatles in popularity and fame, though with a more subversive, dangerous public image. During some of their concerts riots broke out.
References to The Rolling Stones in Zappa's music
- In Interview by Bob Marshall, 22 October 1988, Zappa explained why he and the Mothers wore dresses in Melody Maker in 1967: "The original headline for that was "Meet a Mother". It was the front page of Melody Maker, and the reason that I did it was we had a bunch of pictures taken with all the guys in the Mothers Of Invention wearing dresses because I think the Rolling Stones had just done a drag photo. Only they tried to make it look glamorous. And so, we had probably the ugliest band on the planet at that time. You want to see an ugly guy in a dress? Look at this son of a bitch."
- Uncle Meat Film Excerpt: "Look, I've seen everybody around, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Arthur Brown, and his fire and his head . . . Oh, man, I've never got so hot as long, I've ever got so hot until I started to, to use the chicken head to measure it with it."
Zappa and The Rolling Stones
Zappa often said that he preferred The Rolling Stones over The Beatles, because they were more blues-inspired. John Smothers was once a bodyguard for The Stones, while Gary Kellgren worked as an engineer for them. Robert Martin contributed to a Rolling Stones tour before he joined Zappa.
Mick Jagger visited Zappa in 1968 at The Log Cabin and helped him to pull a wooden splinter from his toe. This anecdote is described in The Real Frank Zappa Book. In Pauline Butcher's Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa, based on her diaries, Jagger visited on July 11, 1968 but only stayed 10 minutes.
Zappa liked The Rolling Stones album Between the Buttons (1967) and mentioned it as one of his Top 10 Favorite Records in Faves, Raves And Composers In Their Graves (June 1975). Zappa claimed that when he told Brian Jones how much he liked the album Jones discretely belched and turned away. In the sleeve of We're Only In It For The Money Zappa's speech balloon also says: "Between the badges".
Keith Richards is interviewed in Ein Leben Als Extravaganza - Das Genie Frank Zappa (1994).
Zappa about The Rolling Stones
Interviewer: The best thing about the Rolling Stones was that they didn't do that very long.
Zappa: "Yeah, but when they did it, it was funky. It wasn't necessarily colored-sounding blues, but it was really funky."
Interviewer: Yes, British working-class funk.
Zappa: "And it was valid for that, except when they tried to do too much Chuck Berry."
- Quoted from Frank Kofsky interviews FZ, 1969.
"The success of the British groups forced a change in the way new American groups were put together. They now had to be self-contained, because every bar that hired live music wanted its own little U.S. version of the Beatles or the The Rolling Stones." - Frank Zappa in The Real Frank Zappa Book, 1989.
"I liked The Rolling Stones. (...) I did like his [Mick Jagger] attitude and the Stones' attitude. Ultimately, though, the music was being done because it was product. It was pop music made because there was a record company waiting for records." - Frank Zappa. Interview in Playboy, 2 May 1993.
"I generally liked the Rolling Stones better than the Beatles during that era; they were a little bit more to my taste because they were more involved in the blues." - Frank Zappa in: Frank Zappa: The SongTalk Interview, 1994, Vol. 4, Issue 1.