Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rolling Stones – "She's a Rainbow" (1967)

She comes in colors everywhere
She combs her hair
She's like a rainbow

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned recently that Lilly Pulitzer clothing is now available (but only for a limited time) at Target stores.

In the sixties and seventies, the Lilly Pulitzer shift dress was de rigeur resort wear for affluent "Eastern Establishment" types.  If you were a female Kennedy, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, or Whitney – or knew someone who was – you wouldn't think of wearing anything else when you jet-setted to Palm Beach in the winter or to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket in the summer.

Here's Jackie Kennedy in a Lilly Pulitzer shift:

The classic Lilly Pulitzer color palette was dominated by hot pinks and greens.  Here are a few examples of vintage Lilly fabrics:

Lilly's preppy designs seemed very dated by the time Ms. Pulitzer shut down her clothing business in 1984.  But in 1993, a company called Sugartown Worldwide, Inc., revived the brand.  Today Lilly Pulitzer fashions are sold in upscale department stores (e.g., Nordstrom) and smaller independently-owned shops, and in 23 company-owned retail stores, which are located mostly in tony suburbs (like Bethesda, Greenwich, and White Plains) and posh beach communities (like Boca Raton,  East Hampton, and Palm Beach).

I stumbled across an almost-new Lilly Pulitzer store at one of my local malls yesterdays.  It was full of brightly colored shift and maxi dresses, skorts, tank top rompers, palazzo pants, beach totes, and flip-flops.  (You don't want to wear Lilly Pulitzer if you're hoping to sneak up on some one unawares – you can see her clothes coming a mile away.)

While Lilly items aren't prohibitively expensive, they aren't cheap either – a cotton shift goes for $198, while linen beach pants will set you back $128.

But the Lilly Pulitzer line that just went on sale at Target is a lot more affordable.  You'll only have to shell out thirty or forty bucks for a Lilly shift, pants, or bikini at Target.  

However, there are even better deals out there.  I spent some time at the Walmart in my home town (Joplin, Missouri) last week, and it was crammed fun of blindingly colorful women's and girls' clothes for even less:


There's one thing you'll find at the fancy Lilly Pulitzer store at my local mall that you find at any Walmart: this Lilly-patterned Jeep:

But if you're into hot-pink Jeeps, this electric model one is available at Walmart for only $99 bucks.  (I hear it gets great mileage.)

"She's a Rainbow" was the first track on side two of Their Satanic Majesties Request.  The Stones' producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, quit before the album was finished, "jumping from what had already become a rudderless ship" (in the words of Glyn Johns, the Stones' chief recording engineer).  

Bill Wyman described the chaos that was characteristic during the recording of the album:

Every day at the studio it was a lottery as to who would turn up and what – if any – positive contribution they would make when they did.  Keith would arrive with anything up to ten people, Brian with another half-a-dozen and it was the same for Mick.  They were assorted girlfriends and friends. I hated it!  Then again, so did Andrew (Oldham) and just gave up on it.  There were times when I wish I could have done, too.

Mick Jagger later admitted that the album desperately needed a strong producer:

There's a lot of rubbish on Satanic Majesties.  Just too much time on our hands, too many drugs, no producer to tell us, "Enough already, thank you very much, now can we just get on with this song?"  Anyone let loose in the studio will produce stuff like that.  There was simply too much hanging around.  It's like believing everything you do is great and not having any editing.

Having said that, there's a lot of good music on Their Satanic Majesties Request – including "She's a Rainbow," which Allmusic called "[t]he prettiest and most uncharacteristic song Mick Jagger and Keith Richards ever wrote for the Rolling Stones."  

The best thing about the song is probably the piano of Nicky Hopkins.  The strings were arranged by John Paul Jones, who later became the bass player for Led Zeppelin. 

Here's "She's a Rainbow":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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