Waiting on a Friend

  Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
  Recording date: November-December 1972, October-December 1980 & April-July 1981
Recording locations: Dynamic Sound Studios, Kingston, Jamaica; Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris
, France; Mobile Unit, warehouse,
Paris, France; Atlantic Studios, Electric Ladyland Studios, Hit Factory & Power Station, New York City, USA

Producers: The Glimmer Twins          Chief engineers: Andy Johns & Chris Kimsey
Performed onstage: 1981, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013-14

Probable line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Bill Wyman
Electric guitar: Keith Richards
Lead vocals: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Piano: Nicky Hopkins
Saxophone: Sonny Rollins
Conga drums: Mike Carabello
Guiro: Mike Carabello
Claves: Mike Carabello
Cabasa: Mike Carabello
 

Oo-ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh, yeah yeah
Oo-ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh, yeah yeah

Watching girls go passing by

It ain't the latest thing
I'm just standing in a doorway
I'm just trying to make some sense

Out of these girls go passing by
The tales they tell of men

I'm not waiting on a lady

I'm just waiting on a friend

Mmm, a smile relieves a heart that grieves
Remember what I said

I'm not waiting on a lady

I'm just waiting on a friend

I'm just waiting on a friend
Just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend
Just waiting on a friend

Oo-ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh, yeah yeah
Oo-ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh, yeah yeah

Mmm, don't need a whore, I don't need no booze
Don't need a virgin priestess
But I need someone I can cry to
I need someone to protect

Making love and breaking hearts
It is a game for youth

But I'm not waiting on a lady

I'm just waiting on a friend, huh

I'm just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend

I'm just waiting on a friend

Oo-ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh, yeah yeah
Oo-ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh, yeah yeah
  
 

TrackTalk

This one dates from the Goats Head Soup sessions. We all liked it at the time but we didn't have any lyrics, so there we were. As well as the vocal, we stuck on that amazing sax solo at the end by Sonny Rollins. The lyric I added is very gentle and loving, about friendships in the band. At least I think that's what it was about. The influence of the video comes in here because when we scripted it we had me and Keith sitting round waiting for each other. But I can't actually remember now if that was the original idea of the song.

- Mick Jagger, 1993


Just let me be cynical for a moment. First of all, it's really NOT about waiting on a woman friend. It's just about a FRIEND; it doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman. I can see people saying, Oh, we're all much older now, Mick's writing this much more compassionate stuff, must be about a real person. But that's only in their perception of it.
- Mick Jagger, 1983



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