In the summer of 1965, I enlisted in the Air National Guard in Michigan where I was living. Before this time, I had listened to rock and roll on the radio and enjoyed the songs, but had not really felt what it means to actually hear rock and roll. I had never been to a live concert and had not seen what it could do to a group of dancing men and women. While at summer camp for the Guard, we went to Northern Michigan for training and one night the guys and I got leave to go to the nearby local town and live it up a little. We rode the bus into town, found a bar and went in for a night of drinking and fun. It so happened there was a band playing there that night and one of the first songs I hear as we went through the door was the Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Now, I had heard the song before, but never live and I had never watched actual people dance to it. I was blown away. It was a life changing moment. I could not believe what the music did for those people. I was entranced and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” has held a special place in my heart ever since. I would go so far as to say if it wasn’t for that night in Northern Michigan, in that bar, I might never had become the music fanatic I am today. I loved it at the time and I love it still.
1965 was significant for Keith Richards, also. Keith is, of course, the lead guitar for the Rolling Stones and one night when the band was in Florida, he couldn’t sleep. So, he got up and tossed riffs around in his mind. He couldn’t practice them because that would wake up his bandmates. In the morning, when everyone was awake, he played a riff he had visualized during the night. It was the opening to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The guys got together and wrote the entire song, so the writing credit is given to Keith and Mick Jagger.
“Satisfaction” (as it’s commonly known) was the Rolling Stones first number one in the United States. Some radio stations in England refused to play the song because they thought it had strong sexual overtones. It was played by pirate radio stations and despite the boycott became the Stones fourth number one in England. The song was actually recorded in the United States while they were here on tour. Some was recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago and the final version was recorded in the RCA Studios in Los Angeles.
Keith didn’t think that riff should be played by guitar. He thought horns would make a better song, but his mates disagree, so the intro to “Satisfaction” is as you hear it, done on guitar. The Rolling Stones at that time were comprised of Keith Richards (guitar,) Mick Jagger (vocals,) Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica,) Charlie Watts (drums) and Ian Stewart (piano.) Some of these names are as recognizable as the members of the Beatles, but the people changed, bringing in Ronnie Wood and others as time went by.
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” entered the pop charts in the United States on June 19, 1965 and spent four weeks at number one. The Stones would go on to have seven more number one songs over the next twenty years or so, becoming one the greatest bands in the world.
This video is one of the first times the Stones were recorded live. Check out the audience. Most of the guys are wearing suits and where are the screaming girls? They would come later. This is rather tame, but a small peak into the band as of 1965.