Rolling Stones songs: Far Away Eyes
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I had an arrangement to meet a girl, and I was kind of late/ And I thought by the time I got there she’d be off with the nearest truck driver she could find…
Also known as: Truckdriver Blues
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: EMI Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France, Oct. 10-Dec. 1977 / Jan. 5-March 2 1978
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
In “Far Away Eyes,” Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger tells a story about driving through Bakersfield, California, on a Sunday morning, listening to gospel music on the radio as he’s headed to see a girl. He said this really happened, and all he did to write the song was recall his experience.
Bakersfield’s country and western scene (led by Buck Owens) was a big influence on this song, as well as the gospel programs on Los Angeles radio stations. In a 1978 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Jagger said, “You know, when you drive through Bakersfield on a Sunday morning or Sunday evening, all the country music radio stations start broadcasting black gospel services live from LA. And that’s what the song refers to. But the song’s really about driving alone, listening to the radio.” Asked if the girl in the song was a real one, Jagger replied, “Yeah, she’s real, she’s a real girl.”
The twangiest song on the Some Girls album, “Far Away Eyes” was used as the B-side of a very different song: the disco-infused “Miss You,” which was the album’s first single and biggest hit.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
During his interview with Jonathan Cott in 1978, Mick Jagger claimed to
have noticed that “there were a lot of references to New York [on the
album],” and that there were connections between the songs, even though
“‘Some Girls’ isn’t a ‘concept’ album, God forbid.” The only exception
on the album is “Far Away Eyes.” The Stones singer elaborates: “You
know, when you drive through Bakersfield on a Sunday morning or Sunday
evening—I did that about six months ago—all the country-music radio
stations start broadcasting live from L.A. black gospel services. And that’s
what the song refers to. But the song’s really about driving alone, listening
to the radio.” Half-sung, half-spoken, “Far Away Eyes” is thus a song
about solitude for which Mick Jagger has taken his inspiration from the
preachers on the airwaves. Is salvation perhaps waiting for the driver at the
end of the road, when he finds love? What does he mean by the girl with far
away eyes? Is she someone completely absorbed in her own thoughts, who
has cut herself off from the outside world?
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?