Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Rolling Stones: Can't You Hear Me Knocking

I didn’t get The Rolling Stones’ 1971 album “Sticky Fingers” until several years after its release, so when I first heard today’s Bubbling Under hit, I was unaware of who it was. It was in 1974 and WAMX in Ashland, Kentucky played the most amazing album rock in the late evenings. I often would tape the station and go to sleep, and then later listen to the cassettes.

The first night I did this, “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” was at the very end of the tape and only a portion of one verse was preserved. I never knew who it was or the name of the song as such a short segment was captured. Although in retrospect, I should have recognized Mick Jagger’s vocals; however, for some unknown reason, I didn’t.

What a great cut it is. It starts with a riff that Keith Richards played in taropatch tuning (open G) on his guitar in the right channel and is joined by Charlie Watts on drums, Bill Wyman on bass, and Mick Taylor on second guitar in the left channel. Mick sings lead with Keith on back-up vocals.

The first part of the song also features Billy Preston on organ. Then abruptly the song changes direction with congas by Rocky Dijohn and Bobby Keys on sax. Producer Jimmy Miller adds some additional percussion and Stones’ road manager Stewart is there on piano.

Once the sax lead quits, Mick Taylor and his Gibson ES335 is there for very clean lead parts. This second portion of the song really was not intended to be recorded, but it happened to be a jam that the engineers caught on tape. The originally plan was to fade the song, but the jam was so good – the entire session was kept. The song ends cold – as it should. No fade was necessary.


  1. Últimamente voy un poco apretado y me falta tiempo para estar delante el ordenador. Hoy me he levantado temprano y me encuentro con la feliz noticia de que sigues adelante.
    En nombre de la música y de los que la seguimos te agradezco que sigas y es que gente como tu, aunque uno mismo no acaba de valorarlo,nos hacéis mas grandes, Gracias una vez mas.

  2. Gracias. Es mis visitantes que me convencieron para continuar.