Keith Richards Cool to “Sweet Neo-Con”
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was unhappy with the inclusion of the controversial “Sweet Neo-Con” on the band’s new album.
Street-fighting ‘Neo-Con’ (USA Today)
Sweet Neo-Con, Mick Jagger’s scathing indictment of U.S. foreign policy, isn’t just rankling conservatives. It rattled a usually unflappable firebrand. The song, due Sept. 6 on the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang, wasn’t warmly embraced by guitarist Keith Richards.
“I didn’t want this to be a diversionary storm,” he says. “I thought potentially it would detract attention from the rest of the album and be seen as cheap publicity. We don’t need that. But I told Mick, ‘If you really feel like you want to say that, I’ll back you all the way.’ “If I’m going to write a song, politicians are the last subject I think of. Neo-Con is like an old headline. Nobody will know what it means in 10 years. I like the oblique angles like Sweet Black Angel or Street Fighting Man. This one is a bit of a finger-pointer, but what’s wrong with a poke in the eye?”
Richards makes a good point about incredibly topical songs. It’s rare for them to stand up over time.
But Jagger gets in the best line in the article:
Jagger isn’t dodging the lyrics’ thrust. “I have my opinions, which I’ve stated in the tune. Maureen Dowd is no more qualified to have opinions than I am.”
You really can’t argue with that.