Monday, August 22, 2011

The Spider and the Fly

"My my my," said the spider to the fly, "Jump right ahead in my web."

OK, I'm flipping through cable channels Sunday night and I stop on HBO's Entourage. It's a show I've never seen (because I never had HBO until just recently), but I've heard a lot of good things about it. I think it's in its final season (I'm always late to the party!) Anyway, I noticed that practically every woman on screen was extremely fit and dressed to the nines - or what my fellow male vulgarians commonly term "hotties" - so naturally I obeyed my hard-wired biological impulses and kept watching. I noticed that there's a lot of sex (and sexual innuendo) in Entourage; apparently all people seem to do in LA is have sex, at least in between making deals and eating in fancy restaurants. But what really hooked me on the Entourage vibe was its "God is in the details" aspect - namely, the end credits.

"Prey, what have we here?"

The episode I watched featured a guy being duped into sleeping with a woman who was using him as a "revenge fuck" - you know, like an unsuspecting fly caught in the spider's web. And then the credits rolled with the perfect soundtrack: the Rolling Stones' "The Spider and the Fly," a song about sexual prey.
"Sittin' thinkin' sinkin' drinkin'; Wondering what I'd do when I'm through tonight; Smokin', mopin', maybe just hopin'; Some little girl will pass on by; Don't wanna be alone but I love my girl at home; I remember what she said; She said "My, my, my don't tell lies, keep fidelity in your head; My, my, my, don't tell lie, when you're done you should go to bed; Don't say Hi, like a spider to a fly; Jump right ahead and you're dead"

A lumbering Chicago blues-style song with "weaving guitar" interplay between Brian Jones and Keith Richards, it was penned by Mick Jagger (who blows the harmonica) and Keith Richards (writing as "Nanker, Phelge") and was first released on the US version of their 1965 album Out of Our Heads. In the UK, "The Spider and the Fly" was the B-side to their "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" single on Decca.

Satisfaction/The Spider and the Fly
(Decca 7", 1965)

"I wasn't really that mad about it," Jagger would reflect years later, "but when you listen to it on record, it still holds up quite interestingly as a blues song. It's a Jimmy Reed blues with British pop-group words, which is an interesting combination: a song somewhat stuck in a time warp."

Ah, but that's where I beg to differ with Mick because I am stuck in that time warp. I'm not a big Stones fan except for the early Brian Jones-era songs, and "The Spider and the Fly" is one of my favorites, and one of the reasons I picked up the Stone's Singles Collection: The London Years compilation that's heavy on that period.

Rolling through the London Years

Listen to the Stones' "Spider and the Fly."

I especially like the following lines that make me think of '60s Brit "Kitchen Sink Drama" films like Saturday Night and Sunday Morning:
She was common, flirty, she looked about thirty
I would have run away but I was on my own
She told me later she's a machine operator
She said she liked the way I held the microphone
I said "My, my, my" like the spider to a fly
"Jump right ahead in my web"

She was common, flirty, looked about thirty

Interestingly, the Stones dropped by to see that "about thirty" machine operator on their 1995 live album Stripped, wherein they updated her age from thirty to fifty (no doubt a nod at the Stones' own advancing ages).

Watch the "mature" Stones tout the "nifty 50" machine operator.

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