Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Your Tuesday Moment of Words Fail Me

You know, there are some days I think "Beast of Burden" is among the Top Ten best songs the Rolling Stones ever wrote. I'm also extremely fond of The Divine Miss M's cover of it.

That said, this particular video is...well, let us simply stipulate that it may be vastly more self-revealing than was intended at the time.


Which is to say, as a friend noted, that some great art doesn't actually depend on subtlety.

I should add that the answer to Bette's question -- 'what's the matter with me?" -- is....absolutely nothing.


Anonymous said...

i like the song, too, but (yes, this is a "the day I gave up on the Stones" comment) it's always been associated in my mind with an amateurish performance of it by the Stones on SNL. I went back to youtube to see if I got it wrong, and the playing is not bad (a lot slower than Ms. M's version), but the singing was more like bellowing. I was easily disillusioned back then.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

I think that the Stones performance of BoB on Some Girls is one of the absolute finest example of what Mr. Richards described as "the ancient art of weaving". An opinion he further stated was a strongpoint of the Keith/Brian days. In addition, Charlie's drumming is superlative. What a groove.

I haven't listened to Bette's version in literally decades. I liked it very much back then and it has aged well. (She had great taste in her covers...remember Hello In There?)

And this video! Holy guaca-mackeral...Bette sure had a great set of...vocal chords. Ahem.

As the poster above points out, the Stones version on SNL didn't do it for me back then...and that was my peak period of devotion to my favorite band. Don't think I need to re-confirm that impression.



Anonymous said...

The Stones SNL appearance was a travesty. But, I suppose the show had to go on.

BoB is a groove song. I think it's a Keith thing. And it's now a fucking standard. It sounds a bit like the VU's Sweet Jane.

Never been a fan of Bette Midler, though obviously Mick and others are. She bugs me. Both her singing and acting. A bit much for me. Even though that's her schtick, I find myself choking on it the same way her tits smother. Oh well, different strokes, motor-boaters.

Here's a couple of other covers of the Beast:




Vickie Rock - I'm not too blind to see

Mark said...

Three things.

First, great version, Bette.

Second, visually, I could see a duet with a 1984-era Midler and a 1984-era Dee Snider.

Third, the scenic backdrop makes me think that this clip could've been a deleted scene from Mel Brooks' HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I.

Anonymous said...

Re: Beast of Burden on a personal level.

Late Spring 1978 and I'm afternoon cruising with a guy I've been friends with for over a year. Both of us are major players and have multiple relationships with other people. But I wanted to take us to the next level. The chemistry was amazing and our conversations were almost as good as sex. Well not really, but they were pretty good.

I was tired of waiting for him to make the first move. So I reached over the console and traced the outline of his rapidly growing love with my fingers. We exchanged glances and smiled.

"Beast of Burden" came on the radio. I sang it to him like a rock chick as I awoke his manhood.

"I'll never be your beast of burden. So let's go home and draw the curtains. Music on the radio, come on baby make sweet love to me."

He was hard enough. He was rough enough. He was rich enough.

The DJ was spinning magick as the next track was Fleetwood Mac's "Second Hand News." We pulled off the road and made love in a small park with a fountain in front of the Corona City Hall. It's a wonder we didn't get arrested. But sometimes you're on a different plane and are untouchable.

That guy and me wound up going to four Stones shows on the 1978 tour - Tucson, Anaheim 2x and Oakland. Unfortunately, while the Stones had put out their best album in years, the 1978 tour was their worst ever.

Mick was extremely coked out, Ronnie was tanked, Keith was whatever. They were very uncaring and extremely sloppy in their performance. In Anaheim, even Nicky Hopkins couldn't save the day. It just wasn't very good. They were too shattered to even phone it in. The crowd rewarded them with thousands of shoes lovingly hurled at the stage. We were up close and I hit Ronnie square in the chest with one of my sandals. He truly sucked the hardest. Absolutely awful.

Peter Tosh opened and he had a spliff the size of a baseball bat and walked through the crowd sharing it. He smelled bad. The Outlaws were second bill. I never cared for them and their boring guitar battles, but at least they came ready to play and were tight, unlike the Stones, who really disappointed.

I taped each of the four shows to cassette with VG, at best, results. I still haven't transferred all this stuff to digital yet. I pulled a shoebox of tapes from that time frame out and it’s got Patti Smith – Santa Monica 1978-05-12; Tom Petty – UC Riverside 1978-05-14; Dylan – Universal Amphitheater 1978-06-03; Tom Petty – Santa Monica 1978-06-05; Bruce – Roxy FM bdcast from reel 1978-07-07; and the four Stones shows I mentioned which have pretty shitty fidelity. I tried to tape Bruce at the Forum but I got busted and they took my deck away till the end of the show.

Speaking of Beast of Burden, here are the Stones doing it at Anaheim 1978. The guy who shot this silent film was with Vicki Vinyl. Don’t worry, somebody’s synched up the sound from the Return to Liver bootleg. How do the Japanese wind up with all of our shit?


And then there’s this cover.

Vickie Rock – I walked out of a matinee of “The Rose”, which I detested. I ended up going to the beach and then a Bob Dylan Gospel Tour gig at the Santa Monica Civic later that day. I liked Dylan’s band and there wasn’t much booing. People just walked out.
I went with a girlfriend who had recently divorced and moved to West L.A. She got a job cutting hair in a pretty upscale Beverly Hills salon. She left her husband because he was a paranoid schizophrenic. Oddly, he was at the Dylan show too and had become a totally insane Jesus Freak. I knew him but he wasn’t the same person anymore. He was gone. Soon he believed Stevie Nicks was flying over his home in a helicopter trying to contact him so that he could minister the gospel to her.:-)

Peter Power Pop said...

Hey Vickie: Thanks for the link to Garland Jeffries and Kira Puru's version of "Beast Of Burden". (It was second on your list of three other versions.) That performance was on the Australian rock music quiz show, RocKwiz.

It reminded me of another Stones song performed on RocKwiz: Chris Cheney and Chrissy Amphlett raising the temperature of the room with their duet of "Stray Cat Blues"...


It's one of my favourite RocKwiz duets.

Anonymous said...

Peter Power Pop:

I just noticed this.

Oh yeah! Very nice indeed! A few lyric stumbles but that's rock 'n' roll. Is this from 2005? She seems a bit fucked up. But it's perfect for the song.

Too bad about Chrissy. I mean how unlucky is it to get both cancer and MS. She was a treasure. A great loss.

She exuded attitude and sex. I would have sooo gone Lesbyterian for her. It'd be wildcats in heat. Succubus on Siren.

I gained even more respect for Chrissy when my Aussie cousin and I saw her in a production of The Boy from Oz. She fuckin' played Judy Garland. It was amazing. She blew me away and only then did I realize that she had way more up her sleeve than I ever imagined.

Thanks for posting this. I love it. Best cover of Stray Cat I've ever heard. Chrissy was one of a kind. When I saw the Divinyls do "Boys In Town" as an opener in the early eighties, they, particularly Chrissy, made a big impression on me. I didn't care about her teeth, I was in lust with the singer.

Still, nothing tops the salaciousness of Ya Ya's version IMHO. Plus, in the live version she's the proper age: thirteen. I can relate.

Fuck that PC fifteen shit.

Vickie Rock - No scare-eyed honey