In spring 1975, the Rolling Stones were planning their next American tour. They decided that quiet Montauk would be a great place to rehearse undisturbed, so Andy Warhol rented his compound, Eothen, to them.
In Exposures (Grosset & Dunlap, 1979), Andy wrote, "Mick Jagger really put Montauk on the map. The motels were overflowing with groupies. When Mick went into town everything stopped. Surfers chased him from White's Drugstore to White's Liquor Store." I remember seeing him in White's, where I often went to spend my 25¢ allowance on Regal Crown candies. There was a huge crowd of people in the store, but I couldn't figure out why. I pushed to the front where I saw a short man with longish brown hair. I asked the checker who it was as she rang up my candy. "Mick Jagger," she said.
One place Mick liked to eat was the Shagwong. The minute Mick walked into the Shagwong, "Get Off of My Cloud" went on the jukebox. This was apparently the only Stones record the Shagwong boasted. Andy wrote, "One night after ten 'Get Off of My Cloud's and ten pina coladas Mick got so fed up that he put on a black disco song, 'Shame Shame Shame,' and sang along in falsetto." ("Shame Shame Shame" had been a huge hit the year before.)
The owner of the Shagwong says that Bianca would go into the kitchen, roll up the sleeves of her designer dresses, and open clams. Mick and Bianca also liked to go to Gosman's, where Mick smashed his hand through the window, requiring twenty stitches.
But the place Mick really put on the map was of course the Memory Motel. Peter Beard, the photographer, says that he took Mick to the Memory only once: the older couple who owned the place didn't like the Stones, and the Stones were apparently not too fond of the motel either. Just the name.
Hannah honey was a peachy kind of girl
Her eyes were hazel
And her nose were slightly curved
We spent a lonely night at the Memory Motel
It's on the ocean, I guess you know it well ("Hannah honey" reportedly being Carly Simon.)
Sadly, the Stones never wrote a song about the Ronjo. (Although there's always another album!)
The Motel Ronjo
The tiki god outside
The rooms were smelly
And the staff was slightly snide
If you use these lyrics, please PayPal me $5, Mr. Jagger. Thank you. I'm a little taller than when you saw me last. · All posts about the Memory Motel [Curbed Hamptons]