You Can’t Always Get What You Want

For five years, Donald Trump has closed his rallies with one of the Rolling Stones’ signature songs, despite the band’s protestations. Like nearly every rocker whose songs Trump has appropriated (Bruce, Tom Petty, Elton John), the Stones have ordered him to cease and denounced his
politics, but the president’s people have largely chosen not to comply because, well, Trump.

And how fitting that this odd number, the closing track on 1969’s Let It Bleed, be the sayonara song for the president and his minions. What they want (what they really really want) is for history and reality to be denied and for Trump to remain president, despite losing to Biden by more than seven million votes. But reality isn’t going anywhere.

Marianne Faithfull, Mick’s girlfriend at the time of its composition, claims she was its inspiration and that it was about junk and junkies, like her. Like any addict, Trump’s supporters have been high on his bullshit for years and now they’re starting to crash. Even Fox News can’t be counted on to keep the buzz going. Newsmax must seem like methadone to them.

I always thought “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was the Jagger-Richards version of the First Noble Truth, and obvious to any child. The fact that we know this and keep wishing and even acting as if it wasn’t so is the stuff of rock and roll, politics, and other addictions. Here’s hoping the Trumpies keep holding their lighters aloft, long after their leader has left the building. And may they someday heed the final message of the song’s Mr. Jimmy (Stones producer Jimmy Miller): “He said one word to me and that was ‘dead.'”

One thought on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want

  1. Two of my one-liners, and I stand by them; 1.) How can someone– Jagger– sleep with everyone from Marianne Faithfull to Francis Bacon and have nothing to say.; and 2.) In the end there are only three bands… Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra, The Count Basie Band, and the Rolling Stones.

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