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Who Is Mister Jimmy? Rolling Stone Song Character Has Ties To Minnesota

(Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

He was at the drugstore – the Chelsea Drugstore, but in reality that wasn’t its name.  The narrator was standing in the prescription line with a gentleman named “Mr. Jimmy” – two strangers who decided to have a soda.  But what kind?  Ah, their favorite – Cherry Coke.  When the pop came back, it was plain Coca Cola – not cherry.  Sound familiar?

Those words form part of the basis of the Rolling Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.  The story is true.  It happened in Minnesota.  Mr Jimmy’s real name was Jimmy Hutmaker – the town ambassador of Excelsior, Minnesota.

Hutmaker was born April 18,in 1932 in New Germany, Minnesota and moved with his family to Excelsior, Minnesota as a teenager. Despite unspecified developmental disabilities, Hutmaker had an outgoing demeanor and an engaging personality and was given the honorary title of “roving ambassador” for the city of Excelsior.

At this point, you may have never known Mr Jimmy.  But there is more to this story.

It was in this capacity [as the Town Ambassador] that Hutmaker spent his days and nights wandering the streets of the city, chewing on a cigar, mumbling to himself, and greeting locals by name. Someone paid for business cards with this title for Mister Jimmy, and he carried them for the rest of his life. It is reported that he knew most Excelsior natives and their children by name, and also knew what churches they attended and their family history.

According to legend, it was in his capacity as town ambassador that Hutmaker attended a concert by the Rolling Stones at the Danceland Ballroom at Excelsior Amusement Park in 1964. The next day Mick Jagger was having a prescription filled at Bacon’s Drugstore when he encountered Jimmy again. Jimmy complained to Jagger that he had ordered a Cherry Coke but received a regular Coca Cola instead, then dismissed his own complaint, saying “You can’t always get what you want.” Five years later, on their 1969 album Let It Bleed, the Stones released a song titled “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – and references to a drugstore, a cherry soda, a prescription, and “Mr Jimmy” (Hutmaker’s nickname around town) all appear in the song. It is also told that Mr. Jimmy just so happened to be ill, as it is said in the song. A shorter version of the song was released as the “B” side of “Honky Tonk Women” in 1969, and it was named as the 100th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in its 2004 “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” Mister Jimmy’s business cards had the lyrics to the song printed on their back sides.

After the 1964 concert, the Rolling Stones never played Minnesota again until June 18, 1972.  Legend has it that Mick Jagger personally paid for a chauffeured limousine to bring Mr Jimmy to the show.

Jimmy Hutmaker – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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