Tune It Up: Midnight Rambler by The Rolling Stones

Many of my earliest music memories elude me. The four-day bender I had recently probably has something to do with that. However, those I do remember have and will continue to endure the impromptu beer floods that inevitably occur when old friends visit town.

One of the most vivid of these musical memories rattling around in my noggin is of hearing, for the first time, Midnight Rambler off the Stones’ 1970 live release, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! It was at a time when I was actively seeking out my next musical boner. Boy, did this song deliver — figuratively speaking, of course; it’s about the Boston Strangler after all. What drew me in was that fucking groove, man. That sleazy, sinister rock ‘n’ roll groove. And it rattles along for nine minutes! With tempo changes! And Mick gives that harmonica every chance of getting lost in those massive lips of his! And Keef’s guitar tone is dripping with so much filth and attitude that it’s a miracle nobody drowned onstage! And Mick Taylor! Fucking Mick Taylor! If you don’t know him, there’s a void in your life that you now know about. Midnight Rambler by The Rolling Stones. Tune it up.