As I noted in a post last summer, there have been rumors that the Rolling Stones wrote “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” while at a Savannah motel in 1965.
In comments on that post, Stan Deaton of the Georgia Historical Society noted that “Satisfaction” was finished in Clearwater, Fl. right after the stay in Savannah, but that doesn’t mean that their night in Savannah or their gig at Georgia Southern College in Statesboro might have spawned the breakout hit.
Thanks to writer, journalist, and music fan Dana Brown, we now have a little more detail on “Satisfaction” directly from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Andrew Loog Oldham, who managed the Stones in the critical early years of their career.
Here’s Oldham’s recent reply to Brown’s query on Twitter:
@danabrownsav at clearwater hotel in FL, building now a scientology center. 6th floor.
— Andrew Loog Oldham (@loogoldham) January 10, 2014
Yes, the Fort Harrison Hotel — where the Stones wrote “Satisfaction” — is now a Scientology religious retreat. Again with a hat tip to Dana, take a look at Technorati’s The Fort Harrison Hotel, Where Scientologists Check In… But Minds and Wallets Check Out.
[UPDATE: Click here for a more detailed account of what went on in that Clearwater Hotel room.]
But maybe “Satisfaction” was still about Savannah or Statesboro or the inauspicious opening days of the band’s southern tour?
From Stanley Booth’s The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones:
Back to the motel, nothing to do in Clearwater but sit by the pool. […] Mick and Keith were working on a song that had developed from their failure, the last time they were at the Chess Studios, to record Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Streets.” Keith didn’t like the new song because the guitar figure was simple-minded, but the song expressd real feelings in strong, direct terms. While Mick and Keith wrote “Satisfaction,” Brian quarreled with his girl, an airline stewardess, hitting her, and one of the road managers slugged him, cracking one of his ribs.
For lots more info about that brief stay in Savannah and the poorly received show in Statesboro, check out When The Rolling Stones stayed in Savannah. . .