Album: Tattoo You
. . .
As we’ve established previously, Keith Richards was never as much of a — let’s say — ladies man as either Mick Jagger or Bill Wyman, as his twin penchants for heavy monogamy and heavy drugs (mostly) precluded him going out looking to fuck somebody new every night.
And that why most of the Stones’ songs about groupies, from the “Spider and The Fly” on were written by Mick. Which isn’t to say that he was a saint — I mean, we’re talking about Keith Richards, for fuck’s sake — but it does kinda make sense that he came up with his groupie song during the period where he was (relatively) clean and (relatively) in between his relationships with Anita Pallenberg and Patti Hansen.
In fact, “Little T & A” was written for Emotional Rescue but inexplicably left it off that record, for reasons, I guess. Dominated by yet another killer Keith riff, “Little T & A” opens with Keith singing what just might be the highest compliment he could think of.
She’s my little rock ‘n’ roll
She’s my little rock ‘n’ roll, baby
And yeah, I could see docking it a couple of points for the language, but it never feels (to this white privileged cis male) like he’s being derogatory, because the mood is so light-hearted, and as the momentum crests forward — aided by some killer rhythm guitar — it gets kinda nuts in the third verse, which gets broken up at random parts.
So Keith sings:
You got to shock them, show them
She’s my little rock ‘n’ roll
Shock, shock, shock, oh my, my, my
Which is followed by Keith and Ronnie’s guitars in perfect mesh, longer than you’d expect.
Well the sense is sensing
That the juice keeps pumping and I know why
This is followed by a quick lead as Keith exclaims “HEY!” as the lead continues through the last part of the verse.
The bitch keeps bitching
Snitcher keeps snitching
Dropping names and telephone numbers and all
I’ll admit that I always though that Keith was singing “jellybeans and telephone numbers and all”
Near the end there’s also a cool breakdown near the end where Charlie mixes up the beat for a second, just for the hell of it, but mostly it’s just squealing guitars and Keith & Mick singing “she’s my little rock & roll” over and over and over.
Unlike “Happy” or “Before They Make Me Run” or even “You Got The Silver” no one would ever mistake “Little T & A” for an Important Keith Song, and yet it still captures something ineffable about the man, and it also felt like the last song he sang on a Stones album that didn’t feel like the result of a negotiation with Mick.
“Little T & A”
“Little T & A” Live in Hampton, 1981
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