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Satisfaction: Clearwater Rock ‘N’ Roll

The song is 50 years old, but it has aged well: Satisfaction has inspired a lot of musicians, and really crystallized something in the Rolling Stones sound.

It’s a great rock and roll story, one that has had legs for years, and one that gets Stones fans pretty excited. Keith Richards is a legend for many reasons, but the thing that underpins it all and fuels all those other rock and roll exploits is the music – particularly his ability to turn out those amazing riffs that drive the Stones music.

They were always a little less safe than The Beatles, while the Liverpool group wanted to hold your hand the Stones were out trawling for Brown Sugar. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was pretty pivotal for Mick and Keith and the rest of the world, and it has a Clearwater connection. The story goes that the song was written here in The Fort Harrison Hotel, now a religious retreat for Scientologists the world over.

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Rock & Roll History
In The Fort Harrison

It’s kind of nice when you find that your fellow countrymen have ties to the place where you live, especially when it tied to a building that has significance in your own life – I love the Fort Harrison and have been to many events there. Back in Suffolk in England, Bill Wyman lived less than 20 miles from me, and it was one of those things that local people were pretty proud of. Mick Taylor, lead guitarist between 1969 and 1974 also resided in Suffolk.

Back when it was known as the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel, the lyric was supposedly inspired by the poor service at the hotel, but the way the riff was born is one of those great offhand creative moments that capture the imagination and make people want to be rock stars. That riff was initially recorded as Keith woke up briefly, picked up his Gibson Les Paul, laid it down on a tape recorder, and then promptly fell back asleep. Interest had recently stirred again when some never-seen-before pictures of the Stones sat around the swimming pool in Clearwater surfaced, and the birthday of this song is one of those things that leaps off the rock and roll calendar of significant events.

Clearwater still has a great and thriving art community, and the Fort Harrison itself has played host to Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Buddy Rich. It is a great thing to be able to advertise and people who visit surely hope to tap into some of that creative inspiration that these creative talents have imbued the place with.