The reason why the BBC banned The Rolling Stones’ ‘Star Star’
On September 10th, 1973, the BBC deemed The Rolling Stones song ‘Star Star’ as being ‘unfit for broadcast’ due to what they regarded as being frightfully obscene lyrical content.
In their defense, the track was originally called ‘Star Fucker’ — a title that leaves little to the imagine about what the song was centred on if you have never heard the Goat’s Head Soup track. It’s fair to say that Mick Jagger was somewhat of an expert in this area and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more prolific celebrity lothario than The Stones frontman back in ’73.
The lyrics in ‘Star Star’ wouldn’t be regarded as particularly vulgar today but this was almost 50 years ago and the world was a lot less of a liberal place than it is today. Back then, the topic of the song was enough to even get the biggest band in the world blacklisted from the BBC. Some of the more on the nose lyrics include: “Honey, I missed your two tongue kisses, Legs wrapped around me tight, If I ever get back to Fun City girl, I’m gonna make you scream all night.“
Even by removing the expletives from the chorus of the radio edition of the track, it still wouldn’t have taken an Einstein to have worked out which word it was that had been blanked out which made the track a no-go for the Beeb.
When they performed the song on their 1975 tour they didn’t leave a single person in the stadiums guessing at what the song was about as they used a not-so inconspicuous phallic symbol when they shared the stage with a giant inflatable penis during the track.
The Stones not only received a ban from the BBC but they also found themselves at the centre of a backlash as people rallied and deemed the song overtly misogynistic, criticising the way the band wrote about women. It was something which Jagger took umbrage with. “People always give me this bit about us being a macho band, and I always ask them to give me examples,” he said. “‘Under My Thumb’ Yes, but they always say ‘Starfucker, and that just happened to be about someone I knew.”
“There’s really no reason to have women on tour unless they’ve got a job to do. The only other reason is to fuck,” Jagger said on stage during their 1975 tour, which doesn’t sound at all acceptable all these years later.
“Otherwise, they get bored, they just sit around and moan. It would be different if they did everything for you, like answer the phones, make the breakfast, look after your clothes and your packing, see if the car was ready, and fuck. Sort of a combination of what (road manager) Alan Dunn does and a beautiful chick,” he then added.
Watch The Stones play the track at the LA Forum as they are joined on stage with an inflatable penis the size of the whole of California.