Rolling Stones songs: 2120 South Michigan Avenue
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Written by: Nanker/Phelge
Recorded: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA, June 10-11 1964
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
2120 South Michigan Avenue is located in Chicago, Illinois. It was the legendary home of Chess Records where The Rolling Stones recorded many of their early tracks. The location was so important to them that they created an instrumental with the title and released it on their 1964 album 12 x 5. The place has been turned into a tourist attraction of sorts by the Blues Heaven Foundation, not just a studio but an educational center where everyone can learn about blues and early rock and roll.
This was written by Stones then bassist Bill Wyman who explained in Rolling With The Stones: “I played the bass riff for 2120 South Michigan Avenue and then everyone picked up on it. It was credited to Nanker Phelge.” Nanker Phelge is a pseudonym that refers to all the members of The Rolling Stones.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
“2120 South Michigan Avenue” clearly refers to the address of Chess
Studios and Chess Records in Chicago, founded by Leonard Chess in 1947
as Aristocrat before being renamed in 1950, when Phil joined his brother
Leonard in the crazy enterprise. It must surely have taken an inordinate love
of the blues on the part of these two Jews from Poland, as well as a
distinctly reckless streak, for them to commit themselves to the promotion
of a musical style that up to that time had been of sole interest to the
African American community, a community that was poor, despite its
overwhelming majority, and subject to the implacable laws of racial
segregation. Who could have imagined that a decade later, Muddy Waters,
Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, and Chuck Berry would have become the
mentors of the baby boomers of aged, prudish England, the architects of an
incredible musical revolution?
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?
I’ve been to 2120 S. Michigan Ave twice. First time in the 1970’s and it was turned into a Ballet Studio. Then again, in 2018, and it was turned into the Chess Records Museum. The tour they gave was interesting, Worth the stop.