Rolling Stones, Scorsese and Black Girls
"Black girls just want to get fucked all night
I just don't have that much jam"
I just want to put that out there because it's a funny, mean, maybe even important line. It's the very antithesis of the Beach Boys' categorization of females in "California Girls," and it's proof that at least into the late 70s the Stones still had a sense of humor, and a whiff of danger about them.
Mick Jagger does not sing that line in the version of "Some Girls" in the new Scorsese movie, Shine a Light.
There are a whopping four songs from the Some Girls album in Shine A Light, including the cover of the Temptations' "Just My Imagination" and a flat-out excellent performance of "Far Away Eyes." It makes some sense in that the album was the Stones' "New York City" record (despite the Cali references in "Far Away Eyes"), as Jagger has said. Shine A Light is shot there, and of course Scorsese and NYC are deeply entwined.
But man oh man, the NYC crowd Scorsese shows us in Shine A Light is not the decaying, exciting, dark NYC of 1978. And it's nothing like the NYC Scorsese made his bones showing us. There's smilin' Bill Clinton, Hillary, Hillary's mom, an 11-year old nephew... ugh. All right. Maybe Marty's poking a little fun at it all, but it sure doesn't seem like it.
Once all the early backstage nonsense of the movie is out of the way and it gets into the performance - yeah, it sounds pretty great. But there's not a single shot of the crowd where you don't see some tool with a cameraphone snapping away or texting his buddy ("Can you hear it? He's playing Brown Sugar! I love that song!")
But what about that cut out line from "Some Girls"?
I was prepared to blame Scorsese for this. I don't like how this movie is shot one damn bit (all tight close-ups, no full band shots), and so I thought perhaps this line was just carefully snipped out so that... I don't know why, maybe so it doesn't get rated R?
But then I saw this story on a blog in the Guardian.
I caught the line in "Some Girls" getting cut, but I missed the one excised from "Sympathy for the Devil." Yep, he leaves out the line "Who killed the Kennedys?/When after all/it was you and me."
What? Really? Are we afraid someone is going to take a shot at Bill Clinton in the balcony and create his own little Lincoln moment of martyrdom? Why else are you leaving THAT gem out? After 45 years are we still a little too sensitive to bring up the fact that one of our own took down our hero?
It's lame, Mick.
Come on old bean, you don't have to be scared of Ed Sullivan any more.
As Garrett Morris said on SNL when the Stones were on and the line about black girls wanting to get fucked all night still had a bit of edge to it (and that was thirty years ago), "I have one thing to say to you, Mr. Mick Jagger... where are these women?!?"