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Setting the records straight
March 7, 2006 9:14 AM   Subscribe

This guy designed the famous Rolling Stones logo. Not this guy. Talk amongst yourselves.
posted by punkfloyd (61 comments total)

 
What's there to say? It is a common misperception that Warhol designed the tongue logo, but he did not. He designed the Sticky Fingers album cover though, with zipper and penis in relief.
posted by ericost at 9:25 AM on March 7, 2006


I was never under the "misperception" that Warhol designed the tongue.
posted by Plutor at 9:29 AM on March 7, 2006


Pasche, lips. Warhol, banana.

Lips + "banana" (NSFW!) = Rolling Stones.
posted by digaman at 9:38 AM on March 7, 2006


you know, I'd never thought about who designed the tongue, but this fpp made me think "huh. I could see warhol doing that. wait. wait, I JUST FOUND OUT he didn't."

now I suspect I'm going to think warhol did it for the rest of my life. I swear to god my brain simply doesn't function properly.
posted by shmegegge at 9:46 AM on March 7, 2006


Glad I could help shmegegge.
posted by punkfloyd at 9:49 AM on March 7, 2006


That 1972 American Tour poster is one of the best.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:51 AM on March 7, 2006


you know, I checked the guy's site, and it turns out the tongue image was first printed on the "sticky fingers" liner notes, so that explains the confusion.
posted by shmegegge at 9:51 AM on March 7, 2006


This discussion of who actually designed the lips logo is academic. For general purposes, it's actually best just to assume Warhol designed every work of graphic art that was produced in the Sixties.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:58 AM on March 7, 2006


I didn't design the Google logo, but now shmegegge will think I did.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:00 AM on March 7, 2006


That logo must be bad luck, because its adoption marked the period of their precipitous decline. "Sticky Fingers" was the last Rolling Stones album that might still be said to contain a good song. (They got good long enough to produce a few decent moments in "Some Girls," but the only really standout on that album was "Before They Make Me Run.") Everything else the Rolling Stones did from through the seventies until today is so unbelievably horrible that it makes me wonder if what my brother once declared is true: The Rolling Stones never wrote any of their best songs. (His candidate was Graham Gouldman.)
I mean, can you believe that two songwriters brilliant and versitile enough to come up with works of genius as varied as "Sitting on a Fence," "Who's Been Sleeping Here?," "Satisfaction," "She Comes in Colors," "Backstreet Girl," and "Honky Tonk Woman," would suddenly go absolutely and utterly dry in the early 1970s? It makes no sense. This is one of the great mysteries of pop music.
(Of course, Paul McCartney went from genius to talentless vinyl-waster almost overnight, too. So maybe it is possible.)
Your conspiracy theories welcome.
posted by Faze at 10:07 AM on March 7, 2006


Faze. Your theory seems dead on to me. They absorbed sounds (if not stole) from those around them (Beatles, Ry Cooder, Chuck Berry, Gram Parsons, disco). Sometimes they got lucky and it worked. More often than not, it didn't.
posted by punkfloyd at 10:13 AM on March 7, 2006


Faze, your comments have me shattered. Look at me, I’m in tatters!

All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter ’bout shmatta, shmatta, shmatta!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:15 AM on March 7, 2006


And speaking of lasting and non-lasting elements of the Stones, WTF was Mick Taylor thinking?
posted by HTuttle at 10:21 AM on March 7, 2006


Duh! Couldn't this have been posted under yesterday's Rolling Stones thread?
posted by furtive at 10:23 AM on March 7, 2006


Astro Zombie -- Okay, "Shattered" wasn't so bad. They were really under a lot of pressure from the punk and new wave crowd that year to prove they weren't washed up. Even though they were. I mean, in the early days, they even did the great Rice Crispies commercial posted by lilboo yesterday.
posted by Faze at 10:23 AM on March 7, 2006



That 1972 American Tour poster is one of the best.

Absolutely
posted by hwestiii at 10:26 AM on March 7, 2006


As for Mick Taylor quitting--I never got why he did it. He was the best ever.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:40 AM on March 7, 2006


Faze, I liked many of the Side B tracks from 'Tattoo You.' That side of the album still sounds very un-Stones to me. So I guess I'm disagreeing with you, in part, but I will say that after 'Tattoo You' I never bought another Stones album.
posted by NationalKato at 10:48 AM on March 7, 2006


Here, in the Mick Taylor story HTuttle links to above, is testimony from Taylor himself that the Stones were astoundingly inadequate to their percieved achievements:

"Taylor remarks, 'I just couldn't believe how bad they sounded. Their timing was awful. They sounded like a typical bunch of guys in a garage. Playing out of tune and too loudly. I thought: How is it possible that this band can make hit records?'"

How could this band have written both "Ruby Tuesday" and "Brown Sugar?" "Play with Fire" and "Take it or Leave It?" Great, great songs. But from Keith Richards?
posted by Faze at 10:49 AM on March 7, 2006


"Sticky Fingers" was the last Rolling Stones album that might still be said to contain a good song.


Woah, wait woah wait woah wha? Have you listened to Goats Head Soup? Go listen to that and come back and say that again. I dare you.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:50 AM on March 7, 2006


DOUBLE dare you!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:52 AM on March 7, 2006


Triple dare?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:52 AM on March 7, 2006


Ditto what's been said above, particularly Faze's comments. Having said that, Keith Richards wrote some of the all time great riffs ("Happy", "Honky Tonk Blues", "Shattered", "Brown Sugar", even "Start me up"), even if the songs that contained them ranged from mediocre to not so great .

I still do think that Exile on Main Street is a highly listenable record, and "Let it Bleed" is something of a dingy masterpiece. but one of the greatest bands evar? Not even close. Maybe people think that the because love 'em or hate 'em they do epitomize a certain aesthetic that has become inextricably related to how people think of rock stars.
posted by psmealey at 10:53 AM on March 7, 2006


Hey ... he did covers for Art of Noise too. Cool.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:53 AM on March 7, 2006


Ah, whatever. 100 Years Ago is brilliant.

Not to mention Ange.

And Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker).

(and Dancing With Mr. D)
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:54 AM on March 7, 2006


They absorbed sounds (if not stole) from those around them

No! Say it isn't so! A rock band "absorbed sounds" from those around them? Sounds gross.

Some Girls was a great album -- delicious decrepitude with attitude, a perfect representation of the vibe of its time.
posted by digaman at 10:55 AM on March 7, 2006


er, Angie. And the "whatever" was me giving up in regards to my own dare, not the comments that succeeded it.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:55 AM on March 7, 2006


now for extra credit, tell me who first said the following:
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 10:57 AM on March 7, 2006


Faze, it's not inconceiveable that a band would "lose it's touch" or more, lose their connection with the audience.

U2 and Aerosmith are my best examples at the drop of a hat. I still enjoy both, but not NEARLY as much as some of their earlier stuff. (The Joshua Tree and Get a Grip being FAR superior to either's current round of work.)
posted by Imperfect at 10:57 AM on March 7, 2006


> tell me who first said the following:
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."

Whoever really said it first, he/she must get awfully tired of reading endless Net-thrashes in which the mildly amusing remark is attributed to either Frank Zappa, John Cage, Elvis Costello, and Laurie Anderson by self-important pundits who are convinced that it's the Last Word on music criticism.

Do I get my extra credit now?
posted by digaman at 11:02 AM on March 7, 2006


I know it's only David's hole, but I like it.
posted by furtive at 11:02 AM on March 7, 2006


*or, not and
posted by digaman at 11:02 AM on March 7, 2006


100 Years ago is incredible. I think the greatest guitar solo ever is "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" where Taylor follows the sax solo note for note. He just holds those notes forever--what sustain! The bending is perfect and the melody is addictive. Hell, I'm putting it on right now.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:09 AM on March 7, 2006


"That 1972 American Tour poster is one of the best"

I bought one of those on the Bay a couple of years ago. I spent a stupid amount of money on it because the seller said it was a rare, huge size. Whoops... it wasn't.
posted by hatchetjack at 11:12 AM on March 7, 2006


psmealey - I'm curious, what bands (name a couple) would you consider the greatest ever?
posted by davebush at 11:13 AM on March 7, 2006


I'll say this for the Stones' 80s output: mostly crap, but without it we wouldn't have the Folksmen's bluegrass version of "Start Me Up," and that would be a damn, damn shame.

You make a dead man... kum-bay-yaaaaaaa!
posted by COBRA! at 11:13 AM on March 7, 2006


I still do think that Exile on Main Street is a highly listenable record, and "Let it Bleed" is something of a dingy masterpiece. but one of the greatest bands evar? Not even close.

I think they're pretty close. But, then, I think The Sonics is the best rock and roll band ever.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:19 AM on March 7, 2006


And a reasonably good basketball team as well.
posted by bz at 11:22 AM on March 7, 2006


I'm outraged!
posted by sourwookie at 11:39 AM on March 7, 2006


For my money, any single band that is responsible for Beggar's Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out, AND Exile on Main Street certainly makes the top 10 for great rock bands. It's also worth noting that, if memory serves, those records are close to consecutive. (Not sure when Their Satanic Majesties Lonely Hearts Club Band came out.) The Stones had a pretty unparalleled run, in my opinion. I agree that they haven't lived up to it, but so what? I don't like Miles Davis' music after 1967 nearly as much as I like the stuff before 1967 - but I still think he was one of the greatest musicians who ever lived.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:40 AM on March 7, 2006


If the Stones had recorded only "Satisfaction," "Gimme Shelter," and "Ruby Tuesday," they'd be one of the greatest rock bands ever -- and they're not even one of my personal favorite bands.
posted by digaman at 11:48 AM on March 7, 2006


I'm curious, what bands (name a couple) would you consider the greatest ever?

Okay... you caught me in a some rock tawk hyperbole... certainly few bands can eclipse the Stones in terms of longevity and reach, I just think that the balance of their catalogue, redeemed somewhat by a handful of early gems, overwhelmingly leans to the mediocre. But then again, pop (appealing to the most people possible) is almost by definition about medicrity.

But just off hand, and because you asked, these are the bands that I put above the Stones in terms of "greatness" (an admittedly arbitrary combination of depth of catalog, influence, artistry, strength of song composition and performance):

The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, The Clash, Queen, Black Sabbath, Husker Du... and grudgingly, though I'll deny this later on: Led Zeppelin.
posted by psmealey at 11:52 AM on March 7, 2006


Note what always happens in discussions like this.

Someone mentions that Picasso was one of the greatest artists of all time, and people chime in with "Overrated!" Then you push them to say who's better, and they come back with their personal-favorite-and-unfairly-marginalized-minor-artist.

Mention the Beatles or Bob Dylan.

"Overrated, overplayed!"

Well, who's better?

"Will Oldham. The 13th Floor Elevators. Roxy Music."

All great, but er....


Queen?
posted by digaman at 12:22 PM on March 7, 2006


Hey, I could have said Guided by Voices, the Stooges, the Buzzcocks, Pere Ubu and the Smiths... all of whom are (to me) greater than the Stones, but those would have been a bit disingenuous, assuming standards for greatness have to be reasonably well agreed to. Yeah, Queen. They were huge and they were fantastically original, diverse and talented. Why not?

Though I do think I understand your reaction. If someone else had said "Jethro Tull" or "Lynryd Skynyrd", I'd probably recoil in disgust or disbelief somewhat as well.
posted by psmealey at 12:31 PM on March 7, 2006


fingers-of-fire -- You bring up a good point in favor of the argument that the Rolling Stones never really wrote their own material (see my earlier post above). How could the same band that produced "Between the Buttons" and "Aftermath" (my two favorite Stones albums) in quick succession, go on to record "His Satanic Majesty's Request" -- an album so wretched, I couldn't even bear to listen to on LSD. How did they then leap directly to the superb "Beggar's Banquet?" None of this makes any sense.
posted by Faze at 12:38 PM on March 7, 2006


I happen to greatly respect and/or love all the bands you mentioned. Queen, not so much for the music, but for Freddie Mercury's panache and chutzpah in building a huge following of teenage boys for the most high-camp rock music ever, prancing around onstage in leather brassieres, and naming the band Queen... without the boys catching on. Genius!

But yeah -- suggesting that Black Sabbath was greater than the Stones... fuhgeddaboutit. And I reiterate: I'm not a huge Stones fan. But I have some sense of gravity and history.

The Stones stole all their best shit from black people, except for Mick's stage presence, which he stole from black people and gay people. And they were one of the greatest bands of all time for knowing just who to steal from and when.
posted by digaman at 12:40 PM on March 7, 2006


suggesting that Black Sabbath was greater than the Stones... fuhgeddaboutit

yeah, yeah, I'll concede on that one. Though, Black Sabbath should, in my view, get props for being the greatest metal band of all time. Greatness in a subgenre doesn't really qualify for greatness in the general category. I do think, however, that Geezer Butler and Tony Ward were the best rock rhythm section of all time.
posted by psmealey at 12:48 PM on March 7, 2006


Goats Head Soup and Some Girls are teh suck, but the last great Stones album was Exile on Main Street, not Sticky Fingers.

I caught them live just once, in the Liverpool Empire in 1970, when I was 15, on the tour that would be immortalized on the Get Your Ya Yas Out album. They played two sets, an eight o'clock and a ten o'clock, each in front of about a thousand people and the line up had Billy Preston on keyboards and Jim Price and Bobby Keyes on Trombone and Sax.

I didn't have a ticket, and had gone along just to listen outside the concert hall, but in the interval, somebody came out and gave me a free ticket.

I don't believe there was a better gig ever, anywhere in the whole history of the universe. And I wouldn't consider myself a Stones fan.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:02 PM on March 7, 2006


Yeah, Queen. They were huge and they were fantastically original, diverse and talented. Why not?

How about because they sucked? Because they were rock and roll pastiche rather than the real thing? How about you try and name a single Queen track that has a zillionth of the power of Midnight Rambler?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:06 PM on March 7, 2006


technolustluddite: ask alan scott
posted by ?! at 1:28 PM on March 7, 2006


"Now I'm Here" has one zillionth of the power of "Midnight Rambler".
posted by psmealey at 1:31 PM on March 7, 2006


Goats Head Soup and Some Girls are teh suck

I don't know about Some Girls, but man, I'll fight you over Goats Head Soup. I've got my shirt off.

Also, Queen didn't suck. And neither does Ween for that matter, because the argument is the same.

Oh, and how about rock and roll being a Blues pastiche to begin with?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:27 PM on March 7, 2006


Oh, and I'll fight whoever said that bad thing about Satanic Majesties, and whoever agrees with whoever said it.

I'll even take my pants off at that point.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:34 PM on March 7, 2006


Ween is teh god. Dean Wizeen can take *my* pants off if he wants to.
posted by digaman at 2:56 PM on March 7, 2006


Someone mentions that Picasso was one of the greatest artists of all time, and people chime in with "Overrated!"

Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole.
posted by dhartung at 3:08 PM on March 7, 2006


The girls would turn the colour of an avocado
When he would drive down their street in his El Dorado
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:26 PM on March 7, 2006


He was only 5 foot three
Girls could not resist his stare.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:02 PM on March 7, 2006


Which would, of course, explain why Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole.
posted by klausness at 9:46 PM on March 7, 2006


Well done, lads. Let's go get us a beer, then?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:08 PM on March 7, 2006


By the way, I'm an idiot. Since posting to this thread a couple days ago, the Stones have come up more than a half dozen times in cultural references, musical references and in other ways.

Although arguably, all of their music has sucked since Some Girls, if not before, their early stuff has undeniable power and resonance even today. And no, I don't think the shallow product marketing engine they live off of or the decrepit husks of their former selves they have become can do anything to diminish that. They are probably not in my top 30/40 favorite bands, but yeah, I find myself having great difficulty NOT making the case that they are the second greatest band in the history of rock 'n' roll (I won't back off the Beatles as for the no. 1 spot, though).
posted by psmealey at 8:41 AM on March 9, 2006


Ya know, I saw the Stones a few years ago and they simply played straight through Goat's Head Soup. Oh, and Duck Dunn was on bass.
posted by stevil at 1:12 PM on March 17, 2006


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