Rolling Stones songs: Turd on the Run
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
I boogied in the ballroom, I boogied in the dark/ Tie you hands, tie you feet, throw you to the sharks…
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: Nicky Hopkins (piano), Bill Plummer (upright bass)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Mick Jagger’s pen is once again dipped in vitriol to express the resentment
he feels toward a woman guilty of a thousand and one betrayals. The
second verse is a masterpiece of its kind. Reading between the lines, it
seems that the mistress of the unfortunate narrator has taken the diamonds,
leaving her ex-lover, as her only parting gift, a dose of venereal disease…
His desire for somewhat drastic retribution is expressed over a boogiewoogie
rock groove on amphetamines. Electric guitar, honky-tonk piano,
harmonica in the ancient swamp blues tradition—the Stones alchemy is irresistible.
From Far Out magazine:
There aren’t many Rolling Stones songs that have been spared the ignoble fate of being analysed to death. When you’re a band as massively popular and incredibly influential as The Stones, you’re not going to have many deep cuts, especially on an album that is almost universally cited as your best.
But that’s the best way to describe ‘Turd on the Run’, the second track on side three of Exile on Main St. As of writing this article, ‘Turn on the Run’ is one of only two tracks from the original release of Exile that doesn’t have its own Wikipedia page (the other being album closer ‘Soul Survivor’), and the amount of ink spilt in covering the song is minuscule compared to the volumes of essays you can find on tracks like ‘Tumbling Dice’ and ‘Sweet Black Angel’.
Everything about ‘Turd on the Run’ is shrouded in either mystery or indifference. The exact lineup for master take is uncertain, putting Mick Taylor’s participation into question, and the band never attempted it live. Not even revivals from acts like Pussy Galore and Phish are enough to move the needle. What gives? Why is ‘Turd on the Run’ barely mentioned within The Rolling Stones’ history, especially given its prominent place on Exile?
Maybe it’s because, as you could probably guess from the title, ‘Turd on the Run’ is just one big poop joke. This is made clear in the second verse when Jagger hangs on tight as the centre of his affections makes off with his diamonds, leaving him with only a single parting gift: venereal disease. The venereal part isn’t specifically mentioned, but it can be assumed by naming the song ‘Turd on the Run’ in the first place because otherwise, the scatological title doesn’t have any meaning besides Jagger possibly feeling crappy about his lost love.
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