Rolling Stones songs: Rip This Joint
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Ying yang, you’re my thing/ Oh, now, baby, won’t you hear me sing…
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Rolling Stones Mobile, Nellcote, France, Jun.-Nov. 1971; Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA, Dec. 1971-March 1972; RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA, March 1972
Guest musicians: Bobby Keys (sax), Nicky Hopkins (piano), Bill Plummer (upright bass), Jim Price (trumpet and trombone)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
Mick Jagger’s vocals were mixed low and slurred. They contain some obscenities and sexual references, but they are very hard to understand.
The “Butter Queen” is a reference to a famous groupie known as “Barbara the Butter Queen.” Her real name was Barbara Cope, and she would do her thing when bands came through Dallas. She was very proficient, and had a killer gimmick: she would use a stick of butter when servicing the rock stars and crew. The butter supposedly made her activity smell like movie theater popcorn.
This was recorded during all-night jam sessions at Keith Richards’ villa in the South of France. The band rented houses in the area and used Keith’s basement as a studio.
Contains references to President Nixon and his wife Pat, but they are almost impossible to understand.
This song was particularly inspirational to Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. He told Rolling Stone magazine: “When I went to my first rehab, at a place called Hazelden, I brought Exile on Main St. on cassette. I remember waking up the first morning there and realizing I hadn’t been sober once for the past 12 or 15 years, from LSD to heroin and cocaine and acid. The only way I could get a buzz at that point was to listen to ‘Rip This Joint.’
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Mick Jagger was clearly in outstanding form when he wrote the lyrics to
“Rip This Joint.” While the song lists the names of the cities of the southern
United States where the band had given concerts—Tampa, Florida;
Memphis, Tennessee; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Dallas, Texas—it also
describes the zeal of the customs officers in their treatment of an English
rock ’n’ roll band with a reputation for consuming illicit substances. The
references and plays on words relating to this subject are many and, it has to
be said, particularly juicy.
The Deep South is evoked throughout the song. In addition to the
aforementioned cities, we encounter the Butter Queen, who is
simultaneously the Texas beauty queen and, in the colorful jargon of rock
’n’ roll, a groupie. The phrase Dick and Pat in ole D.C. in the third verse is
a derisive reference to Richard Nixon, at that time president of the United
States, and his wife Pat. While the presidential couple, logically enough,
were based in Washington, ole D.C. is phonetically very similar to “Ole
Dixie.” As for the expression Wham, bam, Birmingham, this is another of
Mick Jagger’s plays on words, clearly having a strong association with the
suggestive expression wham bam thank you, ma’am.
Support Rolling Stones Data!
Your donation helps to do what I do and keep updating the page daily. Thanks in advance!
Categories: Can You Hear the Music?
Leave a Reply