Western neuroscientists tweak Rolling Stones song to tell people to ‘stay at home’

Adrian Owen, Conor Wild, Hooman Ganjavi, and Tim Bussey perform 'Stay At Home', their rewrite of the Rolling Stones 'Start Me Up'. Screen capture from YouTube.

‘Stay at home. What we all need to do is stay at home.’

That’s how four Western University neuroscientists opened their cover of the Rolling Stones classic ‘Start Me Up’ as they rejigged the lyrics to encourage physical distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adrian Owen, Conor Wild, Hooman Ganjavi, and Tim Bussey have been bandmates for the past 10 years. The group of scientists/rockers typically play on campus or at local establishments. But when the province laid down strict restrictions on social gatherings and other measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in mid-march, the men lost their musical outlet.

“We can’t get together. It is hard,” said Owen. “So we thought how about we do something virtually. Given what is going on in the world right now it made sense to do something that was relevant to the times.”

The band selected the Rolling Stones tune as it is one they regularly performed on stage and rewrote the lyrics focused on the simple public health directive to “stay at home.”

“Of course stay at home is what people need to do right now and we as scientists felt some responsibility to try to hammer home that message. What better way to do it than with rock,” said Owen. “We were trying to balance something that might make people smile a little bit with a serious message.”

The neuroscientists changed the Stones’ iconic chorus ‘you make a grown man cry’ to ‘we’ve got to save more lives.’ They even managed to work in a line about Zoom, a popular video conference tool being used by many people working from home.

“Stay in your room. You can always meet your friends on zoom,” the reworked lyrics state.

Since being posted to YouTube on Monday, the video has received hundreds of views and shares on social media.

“It seems to have got a great reception, which is fabulous,” Owen said.