Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Feb 2006

ABC Edits Rolling Stones' Lyric Malfunction

Many years ago, when the Rolling Stones played on the Ed Sullivan Show, Mick Jagger was forced to change "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's Spend Some Time Together." The world has changed in many ways, but the Stones still can't sing their songs on national television. ABC bleeped two words from two songs at last night's Super Bowl halftime show. If the Rolling Stones' lyrics are offensive, why were they booked?

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 06 Feb 2006

37 comments, Last at 14 Feb 2006, 1:04am by Shane S.


by lagfish (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 10:17am

The 2 words bleeped were come and cocks. How offensive!

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 10:35am

They should have bleeped out their instruments.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 10:41am

Actual exchange between my father in law and me last night during halftime:

Bob: You know, for a 62 year old, he sounds pretty good.

Me: Bob, the key phrase there is "for a 62 year old."

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 10:49am

Also, am I the only one that thought the National Anthem was an insult to everyone?

Performances like that are why i'd rather do away with that particular pre-game tradition all together.

by vijay (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 10:52am

Aaron Neville might have the worst voice since William Hung. He SUCKS and so does Aretha. Argh, what a disgrace. Have someone who can sing please.

Now I did like the Stones, but yeah, they did "sound good for a 60+ year old"... U2 for pre-game and halftime from now on...

by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 10:52am

If you asked me, they should have bleeped out the entire Star-Spangled Banner. I know the song isn't the most musical in the world, but holy cow, that was horrible. Franklin was somewhat tolerable but Aaron Neville was just painful.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 10:59am

ABC bleeped two words, I muted the whole half-time show.

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 11:06am

The whole time Aretha was singing all I could think of was:

Aretha: We got two honkies out dressed like they in the C.I.A or somethin'.

Matt Guitar Murphy: Say what?

Aretha: They look like htey in the CIA!

Matt Guitar Murphy: Well what they want to eat....

Aretha: The tall one wants white bread, toasted, dry, nothin' on it.

Matt Guitar Murphy: ELWOOD!

Aretha: And the fat one wants FOUR WHOLE FRIED CHICKENS and a coke.


by Setzer (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 11:06am

re: #5

Totally agree. U2 should do all pre-game, half-time and post-game entertainment. Music that most people can at least tolerate, no offensive lyrics, classy presentation (9/11 tribute).

by Jake (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 11:19am

Before one of the Championship games (can't remember which one) they had a trumpeter do an instrumental Star Spangled Banner. That was a refreshing and understated change of pace.

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 11:24am

That was the AFC title game.

Best damn chicken in the state!

by Aaron N (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 11:39am


Please. That 9/11 tribute is horrible. I was angry when I saw it in concert and I was angry again when they did it at the Super Bowl. When the memory of your loved one is reduced to background effects for a pop-group that thinks it's more important than it is, it pisses me off.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 11:45am

Aaron N,

Now, now, just because they didn't care for your rendition of the national anthem is no reason to get testy.

by David (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 12:00pm

I completely agree with #12. I anticipate with joy the time when those posturing ponces are finally deemed, once and for all, over the hill. I dislike the Stones simply because they ensure that Bono will be able to do his rebel act for as long as they have.

Check out the movie "Sonic Outlaws" if you want a view of why some find the hypocrisy of U2 unbearable.

by John P (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 12:01pm

re: #12

Couldn't disagree more and I think it was the best halftime show ever. You might not like U2 but that was one classy performance at that difficult time.

by kleph (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 12:16pm

we just had to have an irish band come in and do it for us.

by Shelley (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 12:17pm

Re: #4
Adam, I totally agree. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to the anthem. It has a specific tempo and specific melody, and I don't think I've ever heard anyone sing it correctly at a major sporting event. Dragging out the notes for some kind of dramatic effect (or to cue applause) annoys the heck out of me.
I mean, the gospel choir part wasn't so bad, but I kind of wanted to shove that microphone down Aaron Neville's throat. Dr. John looked like he felt the same.

by John P (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 12:31pm

Yes, that had to be one of the worst rendition "attempts" at the national anthem. I can't believe that Peter King says it was the second best Super Bowl one he had ever heard. He must have been plastered from all the parties he was attending last week.

by Shannon (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 1:47pm

ehh, I couldn't stand U2 either - they've lost their voices and their music actually requires being able to sing (unlike the Stones')

They just need to pick some band, any band, with a lead singer under 40 and it'll be a better show.

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 2:06pm

"They just need to pick some band, any band, with a lead singer under 40 and it’ll be a better show."

Unfortunately, there is only one band with a lead singer who even might be under 40 that is any good, and if you want to let Axl Rose go live in front of hundreds of millions of people on national televesion . . .

Actually, that might just be about the funniest thing you could ever do. Just so long as he didn't decide to cancel the gig at the last minute so he could stay home and watch the Superbowl.

On balance, maybe best to play it safe and stick with an oldie who has still got it. I think Vinnie Furnier is about due an upgrade from telling the good people of Britain that he's Alice Cooper and they're watching the NFL on SkySports. And they better, because he knows where they live.

by johonny (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 2:48pm

Perhaps the half time show should be them breaking down the game or something... I mean it's what they do every other week during the year. Why on super bowl sunday do I have to have an extra loooong half time and a musical act. The game was 7-3. Does the NFL really think people that watched the first half are suddenly going to not watch the second half unless there's some music act hook to keep them there. On the same coin is there any acted good enough to keep you glues to the set if the games a blow out?

by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 3:34pm

the NFL needs more wardrobe malfunctions. WHOOT!

by tmac (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 3:44pm

Do you think playing Super Bowl halftime (and forging alliances with tech companies)means that youve sold out?

by Chris I. (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 3:59pm

Actually, ABC didn't censor Jagger--he censored himself.

From today's Chicago Tribune: "NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said after the show that earlier in the week Jagger agreed to the NFL's request that he skip those lyrics. 'It's a collaborative discussion, and he agreed that he probably should not sing those particular words,' McCarthy said. 'They were fine with it.'"

by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 4:25pm

I'm tired of all this talk about the Stones being "over the hill." They were over the hill in 1982. They've long since crossed over the hill and started coming back around the other side. I thought they were surprisingly OK last night, it's more interesting to watch geriatric rockers than well fed middle aged guys. The geriatric Stones have recaptured some of the whiff of danger they had in the 1960s, even if now the danger is that Mick will have a heart attack or that Keith will snap a leg bone.

by Aaron N (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 4:32pm

re #15:

That's just it. I think U2 are a great great pop group. But that's what they are. A pop group. And no, it wasn't the best halftime show ever. That honor belongs to Sir Paul when he sang Hey Jude. Chills. Unreal.

by underthebus (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 4:46pm

The stones looked like the California Raisins.

by NF (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 4:47pm


Yeah, Paul McCartney's halftime show was incredible.

by Dark Star (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 5:30pm

well if they want these moldy oldies -- maybe Dylan can pull it off next year . . .

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 6:33pm

"Guys, I need you to change some of your lyrics. Instead of, 'What I got you gotta get and put it in you,' can you say, 'What I'd like, is I'd like to hug and kiss you?'"

"Wow, that's much better!"

by Snowbound (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 6:34pm

Why the f--- do we need a half time show anyway. They should keep half time to the normal length of time and let the analysts discuss the game.

Who wouldn't prefer to hear discussion of the game and see some replays, rather then listening to the drek that typically passes for a half time show for 1/2 hr followed by 10 second sound bites from each of the analysts.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 8:04pm

Re: 26 - Thank you! I still think Sir Paul was Best...Halftime Show...Ever. The Stones looked embalmed.

However, I agree that a halftime show is not necessary. In fact, my vote is just for 15 minutes of static - it would give us all a chance to use the facilities, get a little something to eat, and settle in for the second half. But of course that would never happen.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Mon, 02/06/2006 - 8:36pm

Re: #14

Got that right. I am so sick of the overrated self-important poseur act that is U2.

by kjbad (not verified) :: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 12:36am

You people are just begging to have the Riverdance for a future halftime show...

by Bill (not verified) :: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 2:19am

How about NO halftime show?

What? That'll cause a drop in ratings? You think ANYONE is tuning in to watch Paul McCartney? The Rolling Stones? The female demographic?

Fine. Show more commercials. Show a shortened Grey's Anatomy at halftime. It's outlived its usefulness.

by ABW (not verified) :: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 2:56pm

What, are U2 and the Rolling Stones the only bands in existence? God forbid that the halftime show include someone younger than 30 who doesn't get a lot of play on FM radio classic rock stations, because then the baby boomers might not recognize them. Maybe we should see if Journey is still around. Or the Who? They're still alive, right? Why should we try and think of something new to try when we could debate the marginal differences between two over-the-hill rock bands? OOOH, or we could pick PAUL MCCARTNEY. That's thinking outside the box.

Call me when Mos Def or Stephin Merritt is singing the national anthem.

by Shane S. (not verified) :: Tue, 02/14/2006 - 1:04am

When Seattle opened their new stadium, Geoff Tate, the lead singer from queensryche, sang the anthem, and it was awesome.