rolling stones can't be seenCan You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Can’t Be Seen
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They set us up so they can shoot us down/ Put us six feet underground/ It’s just too deep for me, baby…

Written by: Jagger/Richards
Recorded: Air Studios, Montserrat, March 29-Apr. 1989; Olympic Sound Studios, May 15-June 29 1989
Guest musicians: Chuck Leavell (organ and piano), Matt Clifford (clavinet), Bernard Fowler (backing vocals), Luis Jardim (percussion)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
“Can’t Be Seen” is a Keith Richards song performed by… Keith Richards. I just can’t be seen with you… It’s too dangerous, baby… In Life, he explains that this song describes the first stirrings of his relationship with Anita Pallenberg, which were kept secret from the unfortunate Brian Jones. Twenty years later, here he is returning to the subject of the famous trip to Morocco, where it all started. Particularly revealing of the consequences of this nascent love affair, “Can’t Be Seen” is transformed by Keith into a song not merely about clandestine love, but about forbidden love: Yeah it was just a dream with you/Yeah because you’re married anyway.

In this song, Keith Richards also almost certainly harks back to the relationship between Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith. When the Stones bassist met Mandy in 1983, she was only thirteen years old. Their liaison remained secret until the tabloids found out about it in 1986 and accused Bill Wyman of being a dangerous corruptor of youth. This new scandal within the Stones universe would come to an end with the marriage of Bill and Mandy (during the mixing of Steel Wheels!).