No serious Rolling Stones fan would ever include either this song or the album it's from on their list of favorite Stones' material. So I suppose that's exactly why Their Satanic Majesties Request is on mine. I enjoyed it because it was so different. It didn't sound anything like The Rolling Stones, while at the same time, of course, it couldn't be anybody else but them. Their Satanic Majesties Request, was a blatantly psychedelic, drug-soaked, effects-ridden musical response to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper. After ten releases, it was also the first Stones LP to receive bad reviews. Stories about the recording sessions (carried out while the boys were in and out of court for drug busts), and the acid fueled photo sessions for the weird and wonderful 3D cover and all its hidden imagery— gave it a certain allure for someone like myself who knew nothing about those sorts of things. I imagined it was what an acid trip might sound like — if I had ever had the nerve to take one. And I didn't. It was one of the few records I could listen to with headphones on…in the dark… and it would scare me — in contrast to the playful and safe psychedelia found on Sgt. Pepper.
Years after I bought the LP for $3 at Moles Record Exchange, a used record store in Cleveland Heights, I worked on a documentary about the astronauts who had been to the moon. Interestingly, three of the men we interviewed all related feeling the same unnerving sensation that reminded me of the song I've chosen for today. Ed Mitchell, Jim Irwin and Alan Shephard all recalled standing on the surface of the moon and looking back at the Earth and experiencing this incredible rush of profound sadness and separation as the same thought ran through their mind: “What if I can't get back? What if I can't get home?” I remember being particularly struck by that comment because I had only ever read about how beautiful earth looked from the perspective of standing on the moon. But here was each man who had seth foot on the moon saying the one unsettling thought they had was how terribly distant they felt — a sensation that seemed to haunt them all the rest of their lives. The Happy Medium Song of the Day is “2000 Light Years From Home” by
The Rolling Stones.
The Rolling Stones.