Far Away Eyes

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: October-December 1977 & March-April 1978         Recording location: Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France & Atlantic Studios, New York, USA 
Producers: The Glimmer Twins        Chief engineer: Chris Kimsey
     Performed onstage: 1978, 1994-95, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2013, 2015

Line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Acoustic guitar: Keith Richards
Electric guitar: Keith Richards
Pedal steel guitar: Ron Wood
Lead vocal: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood
Pianos: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
 

I was driving home early Sunday morning through Bakersfield, listening to gospel music on the colored radio station
And the preacher said You know, you always have the Lord by your side
And I was so pleased to be informed of this that I ran 20 red lights in his honor
Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord

I had an arrangement to meet a girl and I was kind of late and I thought by the time I got there
She'd be off, s
he'd be off with the nearest truck driver she could find
Much to my surprise, there she was sitting in the corner, a little bleary, worse for wear and tear
Was a girl with far away eyes

But I'll tell you

So if you're down on your luck and you can't harmonize

Find a girl with far away eyes
And if you're downright disgusted and life ain't worth a dime
Get a girl with far away eyes

Well

Well the preacher kept right on saying that all I had to do was send 10 dollars to the Church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart of Jesus, located somewhere in Los Angeles, California
And next week they'd say my prayer on the radio and all my dreams would come true
So I did
The next week, I got a prayer for the girl - well, you know what kind of eyes she got

But I'll tell you

So if you're down on your luck
, I know you all sympathize
Find a girl with far away eyes
And if you're downright disgusted and life ain't worth a dime
Get a girl with far away eyes

So if you're down on your luck, I know you all sympathize

Get a girl with far away eyes

 

TrackTalk

(That was written by Keith and me in c)ombination. I wasn't out to make a disco record, making Far Away Eyes.

- Mick Jagger, 1995


We aren't using a pull-string or a lot of slide right now, but Ron plays pedal steel, a bit on Shattered and Far Away Eyes. Country music's a part of the way we do that kind of thing, and it comes through even if it's done with straight guitars sort of pulling up against each other.

- Keith Richards, 1982

(O)n Far Away Eyes, I'm playing piano, though Keith is actually playing the top part - we added it on after. But I wouldn't say this song was influenced specifically by Gram (Parsons). That idea of country music played slightly tongue in cheek - Gram had that in Drugstore Truck Drivin' Man, and we have that sardonic quality, too.

- Mick Jagger, 1978


I know (Mick) listens to - and used to - a lot of Merle Haggard (who hails from Bakersfield, California) ...When you think about it, he even sings Bakersfield in (Far Away Eyes)... I wonder why Bakersfield? I've got to ask him that. Maybe he don't even know himself. It must go back to him listening to a lot of Merle Haggard.

- Keith Richards, 1994


You know, when you drive through Bakersfield on a Sunday morning or Sunday evening - I did that about six months ago - all the country music radio stations start broadcasting live from L.A. black gospel services. And that's what the song refers to. But the song's really about driving alone, listening to the radio.

- Mick Jagger, 1978


It's mimicry, it is, it's parody...

- Mick Jagger, 1978


Mick feels the need to get into these caricatures. He's slightly vaudeville in his approach. Far Away Eyes is like that. He did it great every time except for the final take. It's good when he does it straight 'cause it's funny enough without doing a pantomime. It's the SOUND version of what he was doing wrong VISUALLY. When he sings it as a caricature it sounds like it would be great for a show. You expect Mick to walk out in his cowboy duds on an 18-wheeler set (laughs). Or sing it into his CB as part of his skit.

- Keith Richards, 1979


Currently, we're getting knocked for doing Far Away Eyes. Not so much in America, but abroad... where they don't really understand country music... Obviously, we can't play country music like authentic Chicago bluesmen. We do our best, but we can't copy - that's not the idea. And so it comes out the way it does... different!

- Mick Jagger, 1978


Yeah, she's real, she's a real girl...

- Mick Jagger, 1978



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