SHOCK flashes back to the time when THE ROLLING STONES sort of made a horror movie.
In 1983, venerable rock ‘n’ roll Gods THE ROLLING STONES were looking to re-invent themselves for the modern age; rather, front man and co-founder/songwriter Mick Jagger was looking to re-invent them-and thus, himself- for the modern age. His partner Keith Richards, however, was keener to keep chugging out the same, tried and true dirty blues sound that the band made their bones on.
The resulting creative tensions resulted in one of The Stones’ darkest and most underrated offerings, UNDERCOVER. And while its blistering lead single “Undercover of the Night”, with its amalgam of new wave, pseudo-reggae percussion and grim lyrics served as the ideal primal scream to announce the leaner, meander incarnation of the Jagger/Richards machine, there’s a track on the album that is of specific interest to horror fans…
“Too Much Blood” was Jagger’s almost experimental riff on violence in the media and in horror films. It’s also a loose musing on the macabre case of Japanese born Issei Sagawa, who murdered and cannibalized a Dutch girl in Paris in 1981. Sagawa has since become a celebrity in Japan and, at one point, was even writing restaurant reviews…
Jagger’s lyrics contain many gruesome passages:
A friend of mine was this Japanese
Who had a girlfriend in Paris
He, he had to date her for six months
And eventually she said yes
You know, he took her to his apartment
Cut off her head, put the rest of her body
In the refrigerator, ate her piece by piece
Put her in the refrigerator, put her in the freezer
And when he ate her he took her bones
To the Bois de Boulogne
By chance, a taxi driver noticed him
Burying the bones, you don’t believe me?
Strong stuff from Jagger who, truthfully, never really shied away from confrontational lyrics. STONES classics like “Gimmie Shelter”, “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Paint it Black”, were essentialky pre-punk, proto-Goth expressions of darkness. “Gimmie Shelter” was even famously covered by Goth godfathers THE SISTERS OF MERCY.
But “Too Much Blood” is over the top.
In another section of the song, Jagger takes a swipe at Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE:
Did you ever see ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’?
Horrible, wasn’t it?
You know people ask me, “Is it really true
You know where you live in Texas
Is that really true what they do around there, people?”
I say, “Hey, now every time I drive through the crossroads
I get scared there’s a bloke running around
With a fuckin’ chain saw
Oh, no, he’s gotta cut off me
Oh no no! Don’t saw off me leg, don’t saw off me arm”
Incredibly, “Too Much Blood” was released as a 12′ single in 1984.
In fact, British filmmaker Julien Temple made a video for the track, using a slightly sped up, more dance-floor friendly version as the basis.
And man…what a video!
In it, a woman watches Frank Henenlotter’s BASKET CASE on TV (!) before THE ROLLING STONES take over the airwaves, performing in a kind of stone mausoleum while Keith Richards and guitarist Ron Wood chase Jagger around with freaking chainsaws!
Meanwhile, blood pours out of the TV, out of faucets, from the heroine’s nose…
It’s just all kinds of insane. And MTV effectively banned it.
What’s that? You don’t believe me?
Well…watch it yourself below!