Rip This Joint

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: July 1971 & October 1971-March 1972
Recording locations: Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, Keith Richards' home, Villefranche-sur-mer, France & Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA
Producer: Jimmy Miller      Chief engineers: Glyn Johns, Andy Johns & Joe Zagarino
Performed onstage: 1972-73, 1975-76, 1995, 2002-03

Probable line-up:

Charlie Watts

Upright acoustic bass: Bill Plummer
Electric guitars (incl. slide): Keith Richards
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Piano: Nicky Hopkins
Saxophone: Bobby Keys
Trumpet: Jim Price

Mama says yes, Papa says no

Make up you mind 'cause I got to go
I'm going to raise hell at the Union Hall
Drive myself right over the wall

Rip this joint, going to save your soul
Round and round and round we go
Roll this joint, going to get down low
Start my starter, going to stop the show

Oh yeah

Mister President, Mister immigration man
Let me in, sweetie, to your fair land
I'm Tampa bound and Memphis too
Well, short, fat Fanny is on the loose

Dig that sound on the radio
Then slip it right across into Buffalo
Dick and Pat in old D.C.
Well, they're going to hold some shit for me

Yin yang, you're my thing
Oh now, baby, won't you hear me sing?
Flip flop, fit to drop
Come on, baby, won't you let it rock?

Oh yeah
Oh yeah

From San Jose down to Santa Fe
Kiss me quick, baby, won't you make my day?
To New Orleans with the Dixie dean
Down to Dallas, Texas with the butter queen

Rip this joint, going to rip yours too
Some brand new steps and some weight to lose
Roll this joint, going to get down low
Round and round and round we go

Wham, bam, Birmingham
Alabam' , don't give a damn
Little Rock and I'm fit to pop
Ah let it rock


Actually, Rip This Joint was the fastest track the Stones ever cut - until Flip the Switch, which is a couple of beats faster. There's something about that speed when you cut it in half and the acoustic bass plays that tempo. I just love the air that you get. Same as the acoustic guitar. There's a power you can get from an upright bass if you record it right. It just has a different feel than electric bass. It doesn't thump so much. And it doesn't have such a precise note sound. There's a wider, fatter bounce on it. It puts the roll back into the rock.

- Keith Richards, 1997

The Butter Queens... They did loads of wonderful things with butter, apparently. I used to see them around all the time, but they never buttered me up. I used to avoide them like the plague. Anything that smacked of professionalism. We've got a plaster cast of Robert Plant's cock. Would you like to add yours to the collection? No, I never wanted to be part of anybody's collection. But mind you, there were some great individual operators out there.

- Keith Richards, 2002

Back to TrackTalk Menu.

Back to Exile On Main Street.

Back to Main Page.