Rolling Stones songs: Star Star
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Honey, I’m open to anything/ I don’t know where to draw the line…
Also known as: Starfucker
Written by: Jagger/Richard
Recorded: Dynamic Sounds Studios, Kingston, Jamaica, Nov. 25-Dec. 21 1972; Village Recorders, Los Angeles, USA, Jan. 13-15 1973; Island Recording Studios, London, England, June 1973
Guest musicians: Ian Stu Stewart (piano), Bobby Keys (tenor saxophone)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This song is about groupies. Songwriters often write about subjects they’re familiar with, and Mick Jagger was an expert in this area.
Originally, this was called “Starfucker,” which is slang for a groupie. Atlantic Records made them change it, eliminating “fuck” from the title, although the band always refers to it by the original title.
Feminist groups were outraged at the negative portrayal of women. Mick Jagger did not apologize, saying he was just describing what he saw.
This contains the lyric, “She’ll get John Wayne before he dies,” but John Wayne refused permission to use his name. Engineer Andy Johns put some echo over the lyric and convinced the record company that it was unrecognizable, which it wasn’t. When Goats Head Soup came out on CD, the lyric was not distorted.
The Stones blew up a giant, inflatable penis when they performed this on their 1975 tour.
This was banned by the BBC.
In contrast to John Wayne, Steve McQueen was reportedly amused by the reference to him in the lyric. In addition to the John Wayne lyric,references to ‘keeping her pussy clean’ was also distorted at the original release,and subsequently restored in later issues (US only..in Europe they came through unscathed).
During The Stones 1975 tour, Mick Jagger said: “People always give me this bit about us being a macho band, and I always ask them to give me examples. “Under My Thumb”… Yes, but they always say Starfuckker, and that just happened to be about someone I knew. There’s really no reason o have women on tour, unless they’ve got a job to do. The only other reason is to f–k. Otherwise they get bored, they just sit around and moan. It would be different if they did everything for you, like answer the phones, make the breakfast, look after your clothes and your packing, see if the car was ready, and fuck. Sort of a combination of what (road manager) Alan Dunn does and a beautiful chick.”
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
A return to Rolling Stones style! Goats Head Soup concludes with a highly
controversial song. A rock star pines for a groupie who has introduced him
to an astonishing variety of amorous pleasures, and it is with considerable
excitement that he recalls their impassioned embraces, her legs wrapped
around me tight, her can of tasty foam. Indeed the young woman is so gifted
that the whole world wants her in their address book, and everyone wants to
get their tongues beneath [her] hood and make her scream all night. In
short, she’s a starfucker… But this is merely the appetizer. She now has her
sights set on movie stars, and in the fourth verse Mick Jagger brings out the
big guns. This groupie who lives in New York has not moved to Hollywood
for nothing: she has been givin’ head to Steve McQueen, which made Ali
McGraw mad, and plans to get John Wayne before he dies.
Starfucker is a term commonly used by rock musicians to refer to
groupies, and this was the original title of the closing track on the album
until Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records put his foot down. The song was
therefore renamed “Star Star,” both on the album and for the single (with
“Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo [Heartbreaker]” as the B-side) that provoked an
angry response from feminists upon its release in December 1973. A new
affront from the Stones? Mick Jagger would provide an answer in person by
straddling an enormous inflatable penis during his performance of the song.
The single would achieve only modest success, however, peaking at number
7 in Switzerland and number 32 in West Germany
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