Friday Factoid: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

The-Rolling-Stones–By Brandon

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” depicts the optimism, disillusionment, and pragmatism of the 1960s. The song was recorded in London in 1968 and featured the London Bach Choir on the song’s opening. The choir, which tried to have its name removed from the album once it learned that the album title was Let It Bleed, served as the Rolling Stones’ answer to the Beatles’ inclusion of an orchestra on “Hey Jude” the year prior. The Stones’ drummer, Charlie Watts, is not featured on this song. He was unable to get the desired rhythm, so the Stones’ producer, Jimmy Miller, played on this song (and several others) – performers should note the importance of getting one’s rhythms correct for job security. Miller is one of the potential candidates in the reference to “Mr. Jimmy” in the song’s third verse. The other plausible candidate is Jimmy Hutmaker from Excelsior, Minnesota, where the Stones played on their first U.S. tour. Legend has it that Mick Jagger went to a drug store to get a cherry Coke (at the time, a Coke with real cherries in it). Unfortunately, the drug store was out of cherries. The disabled Hutmaker, who was in line behind Jagger, commented “Well, you can’t always get what you want.” But through a little luck and happenstance, we find we get what we need.