Black Limousine

  Composers: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood
  Recording date: January-March 1978, June-October 1979 & April-June 1981
Recording locations: Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France & Atlantic Studios, New York City
Producers: The Glimmer Twins        Associate producer & chief engineer: Chris Kimsey
       Performed onstage: 1981-82, 1995

Probable line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Electric guitars: Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Vocals: Mick Jagger
Harmonica: Mick Jagger
Piano: Ian Stewart
 

We used to ride, baby, ride around in limousines
We looked so fine, baby, you in white and me in green
Drinking and dancing all inside our crazy dream

Well now look at your face now, baby
Look at you and look at me

I get so scared just to see you on the street
The living dead, you're all the same, you never speak
You're wrecked out now, washed up high up on the beach

We used to shine, shine, shine, shine, say what a pair, say what a team
We used to ride, ride, ride, ride, ride in a long black limousine
Those dreams are gone, baby, they're locked away and never seen

Look out, yeah
 
 

TrackTalk

There's a... guitar player called Hop Wilson. I got songs that I wrote like Black Limousine from him, those kind of licks.

- Ron Wood, 1994


Black Limousine came about from a slide guitar riff that was inspired in part by some Hop Wilson licks from a record that I once owned, mislaid for years, found again and finally lost again... And there was another guy called Big Moose, who I've never heard of before or since... He was an old slide guitar guy who had one particular lick that he would bring in every now and again. I thought, That's really good, I'm going to apply that - and so subconsciously I wrote the whole song around that one little lick, building on it, resolving it and taking it round again... That was something that clicked musically straight away with the guitars and drums and Mick, and then we immediately got into sparring about the lyrics for it, since it was obviously crying out for some words. Once again the riff was taken care of and I let Mick do the words... Mick's got his own style and that's why I let him interpret it in his own way. It's only fair really. But I let that song slip through my fingers. I fought until I was blue in the face to get the credit, going on and on: I wrote that, I wrote that. One of the lessons I had to learn was that if you want to get a credit, it has to happen there and then in the studio, as you're recording it.

- Ron Wood, 2003


That's the most played track after Start Me Up. Can you imagine that? A straight blues... Black Limousine is just a fast mid-tempo blues of no specific nature. I don't think it's particularly wonderful. I almost left it off the album. I just managed to get room for it in the last minute.

- Mick Jagger, September 1981


(That song does have a more generous view of relationships with women.) Yeah, because time marches on, etc. And also, I guess, because the women in our lives at the moment have made a change in our attitudes toward it. I guess because everything that comes out from the Stones is just as it comes out. I mean, you just turn on the tap and it POURS out. That's how we used to feel about it, and that's how we feel about it now. This is purely a guess, because I haven't really thought about it, but it seems logical that the people you're with are the ones who are gonna influence you most, whWether you intend it or not. Mick might intend to sit down and write a real Stones song - you know: Blechhh! You cruddy piece of shit, you dirty old scrub box! But obviously, that's not the way he's feeling now. It's not the way I'm feeling now.

- Keith Richards, 1981



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