Dead Flowers (The Rolling Stones song)
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|Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Sticky Fingers|
|Released||23 April 1971|
|Recorded||December 1969, April 1970|
|Genre||Rock, country rock|
|Sticky Fingers track listing|
Recording of "Dead Flowers" began in December 1969 at the Olympic Studios in London. The lyrics to the song are notably dark, and feature the line, "I'll be in my basement room, with a needle and a spoon", a reference to injecting heroin. The song was performed live on the 1970, 1971 and 1972 tours, as well as during the 1976 Knebworth show. It would take until 1989 before the Stones would perform it live again.
This was written during the period when the Stones were stepping into country territory, when Richards' friendship with Gram Parsons was influencing his songwriting. Jagger commented in 2003: "The 'Country' songs we recorded later, like "Dead Flowers" on Sticky Fingers or "Far Away Eyes" on Some Girls, are slightly different (than our earlier ones). The actual music is played completely straight, but it's me who's not going legit with the whole thing, because I think I'm a blues singer not a country singer - I think it's more suited to Keith's voice than mine."
A live cut can be found on their 1995 live album Stripped.
The song was also played during a September 2006 concert in Louisville, Kentucky because of the lyric, "making bets on Kentucky Derby Day". The concert was held at Churchill Downs, site of The Kentucky Derby.
The song has been widely covered. Townes Van Zandt included a version of the song on his album of live covers Roadsongs; this version was used in the film The Big Lebowski. New Riders of the Purple Sage covered the song on their 1976 album New Riders and as an encore during at least one concert in 1977. Gilby Clarke also did a cover of the song, on his first solo album Pawnshop Guitars. Steve Earle often plays the song live and has recorded it several times as a live track. GG Allin, the American punk rock singer-songwriter best remembered for his notorious live performances, covered the song live on his album The Troubled Troubador with The Disappointments. Jerry Lee Lewis released a version of the song on his 2010 album, Mean Old Man, which featured Mick Jagger. Poison also covered the song on their 2007 album Poison'd!, and Six Organs of Admittance have covered the song for their Somewhere Between Her Shoulder and God EP and in numerous live performances, some of which have appeared on various bootleg recordings. Guns N' Roses also performed the song since 2009, notably at the 2012 London O2 Arena concert, where their former member Izzy Stradlin joined the band on stage to play the song. Caitlin Rose covered the song on her, 7 track, Dead Flowers album in 2009 Cœur de pirate made a cover of the song in her album Trauma released in 2014.
- Mick Jagger - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
- Keith Richards - Rhythm guitar, harmony vocals
- Mick Taylor - Lead guitar
- Charlie Watts - drums
- Bill Wyman - bass guitar
- Ian Stewart - piano
- "The New Riders of the Purple Sage Recorded live on 31 December 1977 at Winterland (San Francisco, CA)". Wolfgang's Vault. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- "The Troubled Troubador". Aware One Records. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Jerry Lee Lewis, Mean Old Man Retrieved 16 June 2012.