Tunesday (Rocktober Edition): The Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”

It’s Tuesday so that means at ilisteniwatch.com, it’s Tunesday! Every Tuesday, we will share a song with you that we love and hope you will too.

Happy Rocktober, muh nerds. Can we talk movies real quick? One of my favorite horror movies is Stir of Echoes. You may be more familiar with its alternate title, That Ghost Movie from 1999 Starring a Boy and a Famous Actor, No, No, Not the One with Bruce Willis, the One with Kevin Bacon. It’s probably been about ten years since I’ve seen that movie, so I no longer remember enough to write knowingly about it. On a scale from Bomb to Five Stars, though, I would give it a rating of Not Quite Awesome Enough to Purchase But Enough to Search for It on Netflix and Amazon Prime Streaming Every Four to Six Months.

One thing I most definitely still remember about Stir of Echoes is the way it used the Rollings Stones song “Paint It Black” to supreme creepy effect as part of the plot. Here’s a scene that has particularly stayed fresh in my mind (no spoilers): Kevin Bacon’s character has the guitar riff from “Paint It Black” stuck in his head, but he can’t quite place where he knows it from. He’s tried listening through his old records, and is trying to sound it out on his guitar, but can’t quite find the right notes. Then his son, who is coloring on the floor in front of him, turns around and moves Bacon’s fingers to the correct position on the guitar fret: “Like this, daddy.” Then he goes back to his coloring as though he didn’t just do the creepiest thing in the whole world.

When I first saw Stir of Echoes, I didn’t know much about the Rolling Stones. I knew they became popular around the same time as the Beatles, I knew that Mick Jagger had a mild case of caricature-face, and I knew they were still doing shows in the late 1990s while everybody made lame dinosaur jokes. But somehow I knew almost nothing about their music. “Paint It Black” turned out to be a nice introduction to the depth and breadth of what the Stones could do. Did it help that Stir of Echoes included a punk cover version by Gob that spoke to me in a clearer voice in the early 2000s? Well, yes, yes it did. But while I still think that Gob’s is a perfectly competent rendition, the Stones’, with Jagger’s superior singing and that awesomely creepy sitar, is a special joy to listen to, especially on a crisp Rocktober Tunesday like today.

Read more from Jeremy here and on Twitter: @jereminate.