Bryan’s last three lectures for Writing New York have traced the development of the West Village, East Village, and Downtown cultural scenes from Ginsberg and the Beats through Dylan and then the Velvet Underground, up to the CBGB’s scene. As part of last weeks’ reading, students were able to read some excerpts from the uncorrected proofs for his forthcoming 33 1/3 book Television’s Marquee Moon, due out on June 16.
For Monday, the students have excerpts from my 33 1/3 book, The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls, which juxtaposes the history of the band with the history of New York City in the Seventies. Here’s an excerpt, which happens to highlight a point of connection between the Stones and Television, with some hyperlinks added:
My first record player was a Panasonic combo-unit with both a turntable and a tape player. Not audiophile-worthy, but it served me well while I was in high school. The first album that I bought was the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), but the second was the Stones’ compilation album Hot Rocks 1964-1971. By the time I got to the end of Side 3—”Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Gimme Shelter”—I knew which side of the fence I was on. Andrew Loog Oldham, whom Keith Richards describes in his autobiography Life as “the great architect of the Stones’ public persona,” deliberately constructed a public image for the Stones that made them out to be “the anti-Beatles.” Stones vs. Beatles? After side 3 of Hot Rocks, it was no contest as far as I was concerned. (Richard Lloyd, the guitarist for the legendary New York punk band Television, once said something similar: “When I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, I thought it was interesting. Musically it was okay. But I really liked the Rolling Stones. So there were two camps: The Beatles camp and The Rolling Stones camp. So I was definitely in the Stones camp. Much darker.” Television would include a cover of the “Satisfaction” in their live shows, and two different versions are preserved for posterity on The Blow Up and Live At The Old Waldorf, both recorded during the band’s 1978 tour.
The quotation from Lloyd comes from an online interview, which you can read in full here.