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The Story Behind the Song: Jumpin' Jack Flash

Every Baby Boomer worth their Mickey Mouse ears knows this Stones’ classic. During the turbulent summer of 1968, it kept us revved up whether we were at the beach or protesting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Little did we know that song had been inspired by Keith Richards’ country gardener.

In ’68, Richards lived on an estate about 80 miles outside London, a 15th-century moated house called Redlands. The estate was tended by a local gardener named Jack Dyer. On a day in early March, Richards’ bandmate & writing partner, Mick Jagger had dropped round for a visit. It was raining heavily, yet Dyer was mucking about in the gardens near the house. Jagger asked his host about a loud thumping noise he kept hearing. Richards responded, “That’s Jack…it’s Jumpin’ Jack.” Just then, a huge flash of lightning occurred and before you knew it, the duo was busy converting that gardener into a giant figure of a demon “born in a cross-fire hurricane.”

And the rest is rock & roll history!

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