The British Invasion

World Atlas

There are more annoying places than listservs in academia. They are called “blogs” Out there and open for public consumption. The Free Speech Commons.

I see one has posted 12 different versions of Honky Tonk Women. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what the term meant. So I looked it up. I know Madonna, but the Rolling Stones are out of my time orbit. I know the Rolling Stones exist, but I don’t bother to examine them as cultural icons except to understand what my fellow law professors post about so I can only get irritated. A very poorly conceived pastime or form of professional development.

“Honky Tonk Women” (also released as “Country Honk” on Let It Bleed) is full of suggestive lyrics that turned some heads back in the day, and the band played that up even more in their live show, famously performing it in front of giant, 60-foot inflatable women on their 1989 Steel Wheels tour. But while lines like “she blew my nose and then she blew my mind” aren’t as big of a deal as they were when it was initially released, the song is still apparently too scandalous to be performed in China. In 2014, Jagger announced onstage that the Chinese government had prevented the Stones from playing the song, telling the crowd, “About now we’d usually play something like ‘Honky Tonk Women,’ we played it last time we were here in 2006, but it’s been vetoed.”

Revisiting the 15 Most Controversial Rolling Stones Songs, InsideHook, April 23, 2021

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Nadia Ahmad

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