As Tears Go By

I didn’t read Keith Richards’ Life, but my lovely wife did.  She loved it, which means I had large chunks of the book narrated to me.  I particularly liked the story of the Rolling Stones’ manager, Andrew Oldham, locking Richards and Mick Jagger (then both 21 years old) in the kitchen of their apartment and not letting them out until they had written their first song.  He thought the Stones had to expand beyond covers, as the Beatles had done.

What they came out of the kitchen with was a sweet little pop ballad called As Time Goes By.  Not Stones material.  Also, turned out there was already a song called As Time Goes By.  Who knew?  So Oldham changed the title to As Tears Go By, and they gave the song to the incredibly young Marianne Faithfull.  Here she is singing it in 1965 (aged 18).  Was she told not to move an inch during the taping?

Here is the Stones version, which was released as the B-side of 19th Nervous Breakdown later that year.  Jagger sings, Richards plays the guitar, and there is a string section; the rest of the Stones are nowhere to be found.

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