20 Day Music Challenge – Day 9

One album per day for 20 days – DAY 9 – ROLLING STONES – Tattoo You

I was pretty naive in 1981 – I turned 15 in July, and I only knew music from what I heard on the radio and saw on Countdown – pop and light rock, with some New Romantic stuff being all the rage.

Then I saw The Stones on Countdown. I look at the video for Start Me Up now and think, yeah that’s Mick, Keef, Ronnie, Charlie, Bill… pretty young looking, strutting their stuff, probably off their tits on the devil’s dandruff and a thousand spliffs and a bottle of JD each.

But when my 15 year old eyes first saw it, it was like a lightning strike. I can still remember it. I was sitting in one of the horrible wicker chairs Mum had in the living room (the nice sofa was in the room without a TV OF COURSE!) and watching the show, and when this came on I got out of the chair to sit on the floor closer to the tele.

Keef and Ronnie, I distinctly recall joking at the time, looked like “a zombie and a werewolf”! SO OLD. Who knew old people could rock?!?! (Mick had not long turned 38, Keef was still 37, Ronnie just 34 – babies!) And the song rocked. It’s perfect. Immediate, raw – that riff! Everyone knows that riff.

Thus, Tattoo You was the first Stones LP I bought – and arguably their last great album. It’s chock full of good shit – favourites of mine include Slave, Little T&A, Black Limousine, the raucous groove of Neighbours (cool music video), Worried Bout You and of course, the beautifully understated ballad Waiting On A Friend – featuring the legendary Sonny Rollins on sax.

Shane Pinnegar
Shane Pinnegar is an author, chef and music/pop culture writer who lives in Western Australia. He has a lovely wife, two rambunctious dogs with no respect for personal space, especially on the sofa or bed, twenty-something koi, a flock of itinerate galahs who visit regularly, and a never-comprehensive-enough rock n' roll record collection.

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