“Sympathy for the Devil” – Rolling Stones (live from the 1969 concert at Altamont from the documentary “Gimme Shelter”)


Here’s the infamous live version of “Sympathy for the Devil” from the December 1969 concert at Altamont where a Stones fan was stabbed to death (caught on camera for the documentary “Gimme Shelter”). However, contrary to popular belief, the stabbing took place during “Under My Thumb,” not “Devil.” However, one of the scariest scenes in any documentary comes in at about 4:10 into this clip when a certain Hells Angel (who has been hired to provide “security”) starts eyeballing Jagger. I can’t tell if he wants to f–k Mick Jagger or kill him … or both. In any case, that look he gives Jagger is really f–king scary.

“Whiskey Woman” – Flamin’ Groovies


From their nearly forgotten and severely underrated classic 1971 album “Teenage Head,” this the the Flamin’ Groovies arguably at their best. I hate saying that, considering the classic work they did with producer Dave Edmunds in 1976 with “Shake Some Action,” but “Teenage Head” and especially this track (“Whiskey Woman”) has been on constant rotation recently on my iPod.

No less than Mick Jagger at the time (who noticed similarities between what the Groovies were doing on this album and what the Stones were doing on “Sticky Fingers”) admitted the Groovies had the better take on the same theme.  Miriam Linna, co-head of the stellar Norton Records label, opined that this era of the Groovies sounded like the Stones, had the Stones sworn their allegiance to Sun Records instead of Chess Records.

“Backstreet Girl” – Social Distortion


Pre-major label Social D. covers one of the Rolling Stones’ most beautiful and most troubling songs.

The original is a lovely-sounding acoustic ballad, where the protagonist is a rich guy who tells his mistress in no uncertain terms what her place is in his life. As I said earlier about the Stones’ original, “Jagger and the gang could be doing an ironic Randy Newman-esque take on a sleazy, phliandering rich guy, which I would buy … except for the fact that I’m sure that the attitude of the song’s narrator is not far from the way they probably felt about women back in the day. A great song with contradictory and often troubling messages? Hmm … sounds like the Stones to me in a nutshell.”

Social D. says “Ah, bulls–t!” to such nonsense and just bashes through the song as Social D. is wont to do. I can’t say that they’re wrong in their approach.

“Memo from Turner” – Mick Jagger (from the 1970 film “Performance” dir. Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg)

From the decadent and extremely trippy late 1960s masterpiece by directors Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg is the infamous sequence where Mick Jagger’s rock star character changes identities with James Fox’s gangster character.  Things get very freaky very fast.  Do not watch under the influence of any mind-altering substances.

“Performance” is a notorious masterpiece from the late 1960s.  Its release was held up by at least two years by a skittish Warner Brothers.  It was given an X-rating and dumped into midnight screenings.  Some critics called it the most repulsive film ever made, one even describing it as the equivalent of someone sticking the dirtiest finger into the back of your throat to make you vomit.  I wouldn’t go that far.  But it’s still pretty intense.  The clip is not safe for work or little ones.

“Sister Morphine” – Marianne Faithfull

I find that this version of “Sister Morphine,” sung at the time when Marianne Faithfull was actually going through the hell of what she’s singing about, is more compelling than the version she did at the end of the 1970s. Yes, the Stones’ version on “Sticky Fingers” is damn good, but this version is better in my opinion.