November 6: The Rolling Stones’ “Get Off My Cloud” hits No. 1

On March 18, the Stones’ limo pulled up to a filling station, and bassist Bill Wyman asked if he could use the bathroom. The attendant said there wasn’t one. Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, and another in their entourage joined Wyman to ask again. The attendant yelled, “Get off my forecourt!” so Jones made faces and danced around singing, “Get off my foreskin!” They went down a side street 10 yards away and pissed against a wall. Manager Andrew Oldham made sure the press knew about it, embellished that Jagger had sneered, “We piss anywhere, man!” The case went to court, and on July 22 Jagger, Jones, and Wyman were fined £5 for “behavior not becoming young gentleman.”

Most listeners assumed the cloud in “Get Off My Cloud” came from a joint. The song was a prime example of how to remake your smash hit the same but different. The “hey-hey” hook from “Satisfaction” was recycled for crowd sing-alongs, and Charlie Watts’ instantly recognizable drumbeat set the kids dancing to the proto-Hustle of the Chez Vous Walk (also known as the Marvin Gaye Walk). Keith Richards’ distorted guitar snarls in aggravation at being hounded by the record label to top “Satisfaction” just eight weeks later. Jones simplifies the “Last Time” riff into the stoned shrug of “What, me worry?” Recorded September 6 and released September 25, “Cloud” became their second No. 1 on November 6.

In the song, Jagger’s just wants to chill, but a guy starts banging on the door trying to sell him detergent — a riff on a recent series of commercials in which a man knocked on housewives’ doors to see if they had his brand. Then Jagger’s neighbor yells at him to turn down the stereo, just as every kid’s parent did. Irate, Jagger drives off and takes a nap in his car, only to wake up with a parking ticket on the windshield – a nod to Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in which he warns the listener to watch their parking meter. The song’s title could have been inspired by their heroes Solomon Burke’s hit that year, “Got to Get You Off of My Mind,” or by Jones’ gas station crack.

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