Monday, November 29

The Rolling Stones quit ‘Brown Sugar’ because they “don’t want the shit” of political correctness


Keith Richards confesses his desire to “resurrect that beauty in all her glory”, referring to his classic, criticized for dealing with rape, slavery and racism.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, in California, last Monday.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood, in California, last Monday.AP
  • Adios a Charlie Watts The Rolling Stones engine

For 52 years and 1,296 concerts, the song Brown sugar has accompanied the Rolling Stones. The group debuted the song at the Altmont Festival, dubbed “the Woodstock of the West Coast,” on December 6, 1969, and rolled it live on their 1969 US tour, a year before recording it on their elep Sticky Fingers, and since then it has been a fixture at their concerts. “We have played it each and every night that we have given concerts since 1970“, declared the singer of the group, Mick Jagger, to the newspaper Los Angeles Times.

Up to now. On their current US tour, the Rollings have decided that Brown Sugar don’t ring. The reason is obvious: fear of criticism. Brown Sugar is a song that deals with -or rather celebrates- the following themes: slavery, rape, sadomasochism, racism, loss of virginityAnd, if one has a bit of bad intentions – which, given the issues that the subject deals with, it seems almost obligatory – sex with minors.

The point is that the Rolling Stones, despite all the virtues that may be attributed to them, were never great lyricists, and the public has not noticed most of those meanings. For most of the people Brown sugar is, without more, a classic of the rock and roll, although it starts with two verses so little given to misunderstandings as “A slave ship from the Gold Coast heading for the cotton fields / sold in the market in New Orleans”, and continues, shortly after, as “they hear him whip slaves after midnight. ” Because, indeed, the theme tells how a white man buys a slave to rape her. That’s where the chorus comes from “Brown sugar, How come you taste so good?“.

Now on the tour No filter -which, paradoxically, means “without filter” -, the three survivors of the band have decided that these lyrics are problematic. As is usual in the group, there have been two explanations: the business (the Mick Jagger) y the visceral (from guitarist Keith Richards).

The best is Richards’s: “Didn’t they realize that this song is about the horrors of slavery? I hope we can resurrect that beauty in all his glory on this tour. “

Jagger’s version has all the excitement of a press release: “We have touched Brown sugar in all our concerts since 1970, and sometimes we say “let’s take this [cancin] and see what happens. “The tracklist for a stadium tour is complicated.” Jagger is the author of the topic. I wrote it in Australia, in a time when, in his own words, his life was centered on “drugs and girls”. In December 1995, in an interview with the magazine Rolling Stone (which, despite having almost the same name, have no relationship with the group), was more explicit, stating, literally, that the reference to ‘brown sugar’ is “to the heroine and to fuck.” Yes, with a certain racist touch: the original title was Black pussy. In other words: “Black coo”.

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