New Heathens

Like a Spider to a Fly

Had a great rock 'n' roll reunion on Saturday with my friends in the band The Goods. We jammed at Smash Studios all afternoon, and then went and saw a Black Crowes concert at night.

For about six years, from 2001 to 2007, The Goods gigged hard all around Manhattan. Now some of the guys in the band are married with kids. Some live in other states. Every time we get together now, which is about once a year, we marvel at how much time has passed. In the beginning we called ourselves a "bar rock band." Now it's been suggested that we are a -- gulp -- "dad rock band."

When we warmed up on Saturday, Rusty, the rhythm guitarist, played the chord progression for the old Rolling Stones song, "The Spider and the Fly."

"What was that last lyric?" Ryan, the drummer, asked.

I gave a professorial explanation. When the Stones first recorded their story of an on-the-road liaison between a young man and a slightly older woman in the mid-1960s, songwriters Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were in their early 20s. The last lyric went, "She was common, flirty, she looked about 30."

When the Stones re-recorded the song in 1995 for their live album Stripped, Mick -- then 52 -- sang, "She was shifty, nifty, she looked about 50." (Mick's subtle allusion to the band's advanced age was the subject of a New Yorker "Talk of the Town" piece in December 1995.)

We realized that it's been 18 years since Stones remade "The Spider and the Fly."

"What would they sing if they played that song on this tour?" Ryan asked, laughing.

On cue, Rusty sang:

"She was hazy, shady..."


(The Goods, glory days...)

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