I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock hits of all time. Keith Richard’s three-note guitar riff drives the song.
But it might never have happened if Richards had not had his guitar and a recorder nearby in the middle of the night.
“There would be no ‘Satisfaction’ if I hadn’t been sleeping with the guitar in the bed that night,” Richards told the New York Times. “Apparently I woke up in the middle of the night and hit a button on this new thing at the time, a cassette machine…Without that guitar being right next to me, I wouldn’t have done it.”
No, I’m not suggesting you sleep with a musical instrument and recording device. But I am urging you to keep a notepad and pen by your bed, next to your favorite chair and in your carry bag. If writing’s not your style, use your iPhone’s QuickVoice recorder.
Ideas are fleeting — here one second, gone the next — so capture them while they’re in plain sight. You never know when a momentary idea might eventually become a monumental hit.