I first heard this song when a 15- or maybe 16-year-old kid played it at, wait for it ... the campfire on the last evening of a week-long 1967 Boy Scout camp out. The song doesn't pretend to be inherently great, but its performance that summer in the Great North Woods made a huge impression on me: one dorky looking kid, with one guitar, and the balls to stare us all down with an emo song like that ... wtf? At the time I heard this, I was mostly into trading baseball cards and fart jokes. Subsequently around that very time I started listening to my transistor radio real seriously ... I'd already heard the A-string Satisfaction riff coming through my bedroom window so already had that 99-cent single, and I went on to spend my paper route money on Rubber Soul and Highway 61 Revisited as my first two LPs. As I am inordinately and obnoxiously proud to note.
Forty years on, As Tears Go By is not in the Who Am Us Anyway Field Guide to Pop Music Top Ten Rolling Stones Songs, but in the unlikely event, like tonight, I happen to come across it, I always give it a listen, as it is so notable in the legendary mind movie sound track of my epic life (jk) for being, in it's time & place, a campfire performance that was brave and new and sparked me to thinking. It is in fact one of the 4 or maybe 5 moments I can remember from the entire Year of Our Lord 1967.
And hey man, this chick is all of 17 years old and already had the Stones writing a song about her (true story) so shut up:
The third LP to join the Beatles and Dylan courtesy of my (truly) hard earned coin was, I am not ashamed to say, Paul Revere and the Raiders and -- shut up one more time because behind their Where the Action is TV Shindig comedy act they were a great garage band. Even as a young 'un I loved, loved, how, unlike some pompous 60s bands I can think of, the Raiders flat-out refused to take lip synching seriously.