Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Blog: Honky Tonk Women by The Rolling Stones

Last Saturday the Northwestern Wildcats faced the Indiana Hoosiers winning by three points in Big Ten football action. One of my favorite blogs, Two Penny Opera is written by a Indiana fan. The author Ian and I decided we would guest post on each other's blog to honor of our teams.

We both wrote about "Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones, bellow are Ian's thoughts on this classic.

As the probable prologue to this post indicates, this article is the spoils of the first ever Purple Reaction/Two Penny Opera Trophy game. As you know, Kingsley is a Northwestern alumnus and I attended Indiana University. On Saturday, the Northwestern Wildcats beat my Indiana Hoosiers, 20-17 in my adopted hometown, Bloomington. It’s not as if this will be an annual game anymore, as the new Big “10” alignment will have this game happen about once every three or four years.
About a month ago, we agreed that the alum of the losing school would write about “Honky Tonk Woman” by the Rolling Stones.



In a way, it’s almost fitting that this song was chosen, as it has a lot in common with my Indiana Hoosiers. The team that IU has is a middle of the pack team in a talented conference. If this team were in the MAC or any other mid major, they would be conference champions. But they have to play Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Northwestern.

If another band had written and produced “Honky Tonk Woman”, it would be the best song that band would have done. With a portfolio containing “Paint it Black”, “Satisfaction”, “Gimme Shelter” and “Sympathy for the Devil”. In fact, “Honky Tonk Woman” wasn’t even the best song from the single (the B-Side was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”). Plus the song will always have the distinction of being Brian Jones’s swan song. He died the day before it was released in the UK.
The song spins a tale about the sexual adventures of a guy who likes to find drunk and vulnerable women. Ranging from a gin-soaked barfly in Memphis to a divorcee in New York, the storyteller is trying to get over a woman who had wronged him. He tries to imply that he is unwilling to lay down with these women in both stories, but he seems to be all about the honky tonk women.

The song certainly lacks the depth of meaning that most of the early Stones songs had, but it’s one of the more fun and upbeat songs that they created. They went from social commentators that talked about manipulative advertising (“Satisfaction”), drug usage (“Mother’s Little Helpers”) and mourning the loss of a loved one (“Paint it Black”) to party band that’s really into inconsequential sex. “Honky Tonk Woman” is all flash, but has very little substance and isn’t to be taken seriously.
Just like the Hoosiers.

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