Saturday, May 18, 2013

Flowers: Dead Flowers

Keith Richards, Willie Nelson: Dead Flowers
[purchase  Sticky Fingers version link]

Anybody else late sending flowers to Mom this year? Hope yours arrived alive.
I was an impressionable 16-year-old (just) in 1971 when Sticky Fingers came out. I went straight out and bought the LP: the d*#&@d thing actually had a real zipper on the cover! Meaning what? Sticky Fingers?  From what? Anyone recall what was under the zipper? My memory tells me this was also the first time we saw the Stones’ iconic tongue logo as well. (Next up from the Stones: Exile on Main Street)
Also included on Sticky Fingers: Brown Sugar. (Way too much for a 16-year-old white boy). Wild Horses? (We were certainly wild enough).Sister Morphine!?
 But then there was “Dead Flowers”: needles and spoons, heroin, death. Pretty extreme. Various folk have postulated that this was a reference to Keith Richards’ addiction. Or flowers that Gram Parsons’s girlfriend sent overseas and that arrived beyond their prime/dead. Yet someone else points out that heroin is made from dead flowers. In any case, the Stones were way out beyond normal.
Very much a country song,  Jagger has said that his singing isn’t “legit”. He says that he faked it (on Sticky Fingers), and insinuates that most of his country music involves an element of faking it (Think: Far Away Eyes/Some Girls). He says that country is more suited to Keith’s style.
So … appropriately, Keith here, rockin' “Dead Flowers” with Willie Neilson, Ryan Adams & Hank Williams III.

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