Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
The Rolling Stones, Ruby Tuesday. Album: Between The Buttons (1967)
The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during mid-1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting hippie fashions of dress and behavior, converged in San Francisco’s neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury. More broadly, the Summer of Love encompassed the hippie music, drug, anti-war, and free-love scene throughout the American west coast, and as far away as New York City.
Hippies, sometimes called flower children, were an eclectic group. Many were suspicious of the government, rejected consumerist values, and generally opposed the Vietnam War. A few were interested in politics; others were concerned more with art (music, painting, poetry in particular) or spiritual and meditative practices.
Inspired by the Beat Generation of authors of the 1950s, who had flourished in the North Beach area of San Francisco, those who gathered in Haight-Ashbury during 1967 allegedly rejected the conformist and materialist values of modern life; there was an emphasis on sharing and community.
Six months after the Human Be-In, June’s Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival virtually set the prototype for almost every music festival to follow. Held on the south face of Mount Tamalpais north of San Francisco, the show featured musicians such as Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane, and The Doors. In true environmentally responsible fashion, all litter was picked up and binned at the end of it all, leaving the lovely Mount Tamalpais as they found it.
Later that same month, the Monterey International Pop Music Festival further established the connection between music, drugs, and mass outdoor gatherings that were quickly coming to define the burgeoning hippie movement. The likes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin performed for as many as 90,000 people and the Summer of Love was truly now underway in ways that would resonate throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and across America.The fourth US #1 hit for the Rolling Stones, this ballad is about a groupie. It may have been inspired by Linda Keith, who was Keith Richards’ girlfriend. Richards said in According to the Rolling Stones: “It was probably written about Linda Keith not being there (laughs). I don’t know, she had pissed off somewhere. It was very mournful, very, VERY Ruby Tuesday and it was a Tuesday.”
Richards: “That’s one of those things – some chick you’ve broken up with. And all you’ve got left is the piano and the guitar and a pair of panties. And it’s goodbye you know. And so it just comes out of that. And after that you just build on it. It’s one of those songs that are easiest to write because you’re really right there and you really sort of mean it. And for a songwriter, hey break his heart and he’ll come up with a good song.”
Keith Richards and Brian Jones wrote most of this, but in keeping with Stones tradition, it was credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
Brian Jones plays the recorder (it sounds like a flute) in this song. He was their lead guitarist until he died in 1969, and could play just about any instrument.