In 1976, the Stones pulled a vast crowd to Knebworth. It was a day of surprises, not least how late everything ran. In 2007, Classic Rock delivered this eye witness account
““We were supposed to finish by midnight,” Bannister remembers, “and it eventually ended at about 2am, I think David (now Lord) Cobbold, who held the licence, got fined £2,000.” As The Who’s Baba O’Riley provided the triumphal soundtrack to our first stumble into an unlit ditch, we staggered off into the breaking dawn. It took four hours to find the car, but as we’d just seen Keith Richards smoking a cigarette, we didn’t mind a bit.”
“He’s nude in all of them, because I got the original inspiration from a Picasso piece called ‘The Dancers’ and they were all prancing about in the nude. And I thought, why not? You know, it’s a good form of expression.” Talking about Watts, who died aged 80 in August, Wood said it meant a lot to them that he gave him their blessing to carry on touring and use Steve Jordan in his place on drums.
The Rolling Stones live club gig at The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, Canada Thursday Sept. 4, 1997
Source: The Horseshoe Tavern
From the Ultimate 60s Fan Page
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“It was an incredible shoot, I think, 36 hours or something,” said Keith Richards in a statement. “I remember not remembering everything towards the end… but it was fun… we went through two audiences… wore one out… it was great!”
I remember very clearly when this album Goat’s Head Soup came out. I was in Grade 8 and we were have a contest and the prize was that album. I never one. Thanks Allan.
You went to Switzerland beforehand to do a little bit of writing with with Mick, and that’s where you wrote “Angie.”
Yeah, I remember “Angie” I wrote in Switzerland, in a Swiss restroom. At that time, Mick was really on the other side of the world. So we got together a few weeks before we actually went to Jamaica to put all of the bits and pieces we got together into some coherent songs. Mick had “Silver Train” and “Starfucker,” and I was working on most of the others. It was a different way for us to work, you know: “Hey, I’ve got this, but I need a bridge.“ “Oh, I got a bridge that suits that!” We were tailoring it up as we went along.
Did you know “Angie” was special at the time?
I don’t quite remember how the decision was made on “Angie.” I was very happy with it, because it took the Stones on that singles market in that era. It gave us another flavor, another place. In a way, it reminded me of when we put out “Little Red Rooster” [in 1964], which was a surprise at the time. As I say, through the mist of time, I can’t remember how “Angie” actually became a single.
Do you remember when the song came to you?
Yeah, out of sheer boredom. My daughter Angie had just been born recently. The weird thing is, at the time, we didn’t call her Angie, because that was actually a name given to her by Roman Catholic nuns, because she was born in a Catholic hospital. “You have to have one [from] this list of names.” Anita was calling her things like “Dandelion,” you know, it was that time. But weirdly enough, the Angie thing always stuck in my mind. And that was actually the name later on she chose to go by.
Read it all at Source: How Keith Richards is Spending His Quarantine – Rolling Stone
Do you think of Goats Head as a particularly druggy album?
Druggy? Was it a druggy album? It’s not got a lot of druggy subject material, apart from perhaps “Coming Down Again,” but you’ll have to talk to Keith about that. I mean, my guess is that could be a drug reference. [Laughs.] But the rest of it … there’s a drug reference in “Heartbreaker,” but I wouldn’t really characterize it as the most druggy Stones record.
At the time when it came out, you said you felt closer to this album, you liked it more than Exile.
I say stupid things like that when I’m promoting albums. You gotta take that with a pinch of salt. “Course it’s better! This album, if you liked Exile, this is even better!” I can imagine myself saying that.
Read the whole sorry mess at Source: Mick Jagger on the Future of Live Music, the Next Stones Album and More – Rolling Stone
Playlists were supposed to render the greatest-hits album obsolete, but it seems no one’s told the Rolling Stones. On Friday, the veteran rockers released their 4,832nd compilation, Honk, which comes a mere seven years and one new album after their previous compilation, GRRR!. Honk is essentially a tracklist update disguised as a new best-of collection, supplementing the group’s biggest hits from their post-ABKCO years with the tacked-on bonus tracks from their most recent best-of collections, and a smattering of blues covers from 2016’s Blue & Lonesome.
The new compilation distinguishes itself slightly by giving the band’s oft-derided post-’80s catalog more than a passing glance, but the very title of Honk serves to further entrench the popular perception of the Stones as brash, harmonica-slobbering blues-rock purists. It’s the conceit that their entire brand has been built on since day one. The press-fabricated rivalry between the Stones and the Beatles was largely waged on aesthetic terms: the bad-boy rockers versus the sophisticated pop band. But over the years, it’s come to represent the ideological poles that every rock’n’roll artist since has had to navigate—the perennial push/pull between primitivism and experimentation.
The truth is, the Stones could be every bit as musically adventurous as the Beatles. But their experiments remained just that—brief trial runs that never fundamentally altered their DNA. Anytime they’ve strayed from their base to explore more au courant sounds, they’ve always been sure to hedge their bets by counterbalancing their albums with songs that reassure us how much they still love rockin’. Even their most atypical genre exercises rarely break free from traditional verse/chorus/verse schematics. The Stones are essentially like those foodies who are eager to Instagram the most exotic dish at their neighborhood’s new poke bar, only to hit up the McDonald’s drive-thru on the way home.
There’s been just a handful of magical moments where they’ve transcended themselves completely. The tracks collected below would’ve been considered extreme outliers in the Stones catalog at the time of their release, and in some cases, met with outright derision by old-school fans. Now, there’s a real case to be made that they’ve aged far better than canon fodder like “Brown Sugar.” Any tune with Mick Jagger singing on it will inherently sound like the Stones, but these songs represent the band’s boldest leaps beyond their usual muddy waters.
“I’d Much Rather Be With the Boys” (1964)
Appears on: The rarities collection Metamorphosis
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: the Ronettes
While pretty much every Stones original carries the Jagger-Richards imprimatur, this 1964 outtake is credited to Richards and the band’s first manager, Andrew Loog-Oldham. Though it’s sung from the perspective of a guy who prefers to hang out with his pals over his date, “I’d Much Rather Be With the Boys” sounds tailor-made for an innocent girl group, complete with a Spector-sized backbeat and high-pitched harmonies that waft through the song like a gentle breeze. Feeling it was a touch too off-brand for a band with a nasty reputation to uphold, the Stones handed the song off to fellow Brit beat combo the Toggery Five (whose version changed the chorus to “I’d rather be out with the boys,” reportedly to defuse the original’s homoerotic undertones). A half-century later, the song finally found its rightful home when Ronnie Spector covered it (as “I’d Much Rather Be With the Girls”) for her 2016 album English Heart.
“We Love You” (1967)
Appears on: Singles Collection: The London Years
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: psychedelic Beatles
The Stones’ relationship with psychedelia was, to put it mildly, complicated. Though their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request has held up better than its second-rate-Sgt.-Pepperreputation suggests, the Stones never made for the most convincing hippies; check out Mick’s thoroughly unenthused “I can’t believe my mom dressed me as a wizard for Halloween” look on the album’s front cover. Their brief flower-power flirtation did yield a few eternalclassics, the most underrated of which is this non-album single from the summer of ’67. Recorded while Mick and Keith were embroiled in an infamous drug-arrest scandal, “We Love You” is psychedelia dripping with cynicism. They clang jail-cell doors and turn hippy-dippy platitudes into sneering taunts directed at the police and prosecutors. With the song’s needling piano line, buzzing mellotrons, thundering drums, and ecstatic harmonies (courtesy of an uncredited John Lennon and Paul McCartney) all sucked into a cyclonic swirl, “We Love You” is essentially the Stones’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” (Also check “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” B-side “Child of the Moon,” aka the Stones’ “Rain.”)
“I Just Want to See His Face” (1972)
Appears on: Exile on Main St.
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: gospel as remixed by Lee “Scratch” Perry
The Stones’ 1972 double-album messterpiece was born in a heroin-induced haze of glamor and squalor, as the Stones hid out from the taxman in the dank basement of Keith’s French Riviera mansion, letting the tape roll into the wee hours. Amid Exile’s burnt-spoon blend of blues, country, soul, and rockabilly, the uncanny “I Just Want to See His Face” raises you from the moldy cellar like a fleeting out-of-body experience. It’s ostensibly a church hymn, but one whose murky, mercurial production and warbling electric-piano tones make it sound like it was surreptitiously recorded at Sunday service through a pocket dial.
Album: Goats Head Soup
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: Astral Weeks
Arriving after one of the most hallowed four–album runs in rock history, Goats Head Soup revealed the first chink in the Stones’ armor, showing early signs of the aesthetic power struggle between trendspotting and traditionalism that’s played out on pretty much every Stones record since. But the divine “Winter” exists in a universe all its own. Though seemingly cut from the same cloth as strung-out ballads like “Moonlight Mile” and “Wild Horses,” it possesses a celestial aura and stream-of-consciousness drift that elevates it to an astral plane the Stones would never strive toward again.
“Time Waits for No One” (1974)
Appears on: It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: It’s tempting to say Santana, but the iconic “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” already pulled off that trick more blatantly, so let’s go with “tropicália Steely Dan.”
Though he was a member of the Stones for less than 10 percent of their existence, guitarist Mick Taylor was a crucial contributor to the band’s early-’70s canon, with soulful solos that brought a greater degree of melodic sophistication and emotional depth to even their raunchiest rockers. This Brazilian-spiced standout from the otherwise workmanlike It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll, Taylor’s final album as a Stone, serves as a fitting epitaph for his brief but fruitful tenure in the band. The Stones could always jam with the best of ‘em, but Taylor’s graceful extended fretboard workout pushes them to uncharted realms of psych-jazz improvisation.
Appears on: Some Girls
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: Neu! 75
“Shattered” is probably the most well-known Stones song included here, making regular appearances on past compilations and set lists. But that doesn’t make it any less of a bizarre anomaly in their canon. The song was famously part of the Stones’ response to punk, but in contrast to fellow Some Girls aggressors like “Lies” and “Respectable,” it doesn’t rock in a typically trashy garage-band fashion. Rather, the dry, vacuum-sealed production and relentless motorik minimalism of “Shattered” stake the middle ground between CBGB and the Autobahn, while the band’s stoner-doo-wop backing vocals goad Jagger into the most hysterical performance of his career. (For more quality Stones-on-punk snarl, check out Emotional Rescue’s “Where the Boys Go,” in which Mick goes full Pete Shelley.)
“Dance (Pt. 1)” (1980)
Appears on: Emotional Rescue
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: peak hour at the Paradise Garage
If the Stones’ 1978 club crossover hit “Miss You” was the sound of Mick cooly slinking into the discotheque at sunset, the more intoxicated “Dance Pt. 1” finds him still on the floor several hours later, soaked in sweat, grinding his teeth, and jabbering nonsense into random strangers’ ears.
Appears on: Tattoo You
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: chillwave
While Tattoo You marked the Stones’ exile from beat street, the album’s ballad-heavy second side still gave Jagger plenty of opportunities to flex his smooth falsetto for a slow dance. Amid the canon of mellow Stones songs, none are as strange and sublime as “Heaven.” Atop a featherweight snare-rim rhythm, Jagger’s eerily airy voice blurs into a vapor trail of guitar lines and wind-chimed mysticism, yielding a song that’s as alluring and ambiguous as a desert mirage.
“Too Much Blood” (1983)
Appears on: Undercover
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: an Arthur Russell 12-inch
Intimations of violence were always baked into the Stones’ mostpowerful songs, but as their music got slicker and more streamlined, their attempts at provocation became more flagrant—and, in some cases, more laughable. “Too Much Blood” has the distinction of boasting both Jagger’s most cringe-worthy vocal turn (in the form of a spoken-word freestyle about cannibalistic serial killers and Texas Chainsaw Massacre hot takes) and one of the Stones’ most hypnotic grooves—a strobe-lit, proto-house pulse that cranked up the cowbell-clanking freakiness even more in Arthur Baker’s companion dub remix.
“Almost Hear You Sigh” (1989)
Appears on: Steel Wheels
The closest the Stones ever got to sounding like: yacht rock
Even the most committed Stones fan has to concede that the band’s catalog stopped feeling vital from the mid-1980s onward, as they settled into their role as elder statesmen of the stadium circuit and released increasingly sporadic albums. To the group’s credit, they resisted the slide into syrupy dentist-office pop that knee-capped many of their fellow ’60s-rock survivors during the ’80s. However, this sleek mid-tempo ballad from the better-than-you-might-remember Steel Wheels suggests an adult-contemporary Stones might not have been such a bad thing. With its glassy piano strokes, new-agey acoustic picking, and shoulder-rubbing “ooh ooh oohs,” “Almost Hear You Sigh” is just begging for a cover by Bon Hornsby.
Keith Richards seems genuinely moved that, after 57 years as a band, the Rolling Stones will be playing to stadium crowds this spring in the U.S. – the country he calls the band’s “original hunting ground.” “I really can’t put words on it,” he tells Rolling Stone, when asked what a 20-year-old Keith Richards would have thought about playing stadium shows when the band first played stateside in 1964. “It’s just amazing, man. I never expected to get around to Louis Armstrong status, you know?”
The latest leg of the band’s No Filter tour, which kicks off April 20th at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, will mark the group’s first U.S. shows since 2015’s Zip Code tour, and include cities like Jacksonville, Florida, which they haven’t played in decades. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. Here, Richards talks about what songs he wants to play, the magic of Charlie Watts and the Stones’ first original album since 2005’s A Bigger Bang.
What have you been up to?
Lately, uhh, not a lot. Mick and I got together for a few days a month or so ago in the studio, just playing around. Apart from that, there might be a session sometime in December, but I’m not crossing my fingers on that.
How was the session with Mick?
It was great, man. We knocked out a few songs together with [producer] Don Was. We’re just working things through. We had a great time — got some nice stuff out of it.
Do you have any idea when you might put that record out?
Oh man, no. Like I say, early stages. I would say if I’m looking at it, we’re going to do this tour, so maybe this time next year, I would say. Maybe. That looks like a reasonable projection.
Anything you can say about the sounds you guys are making in the studio?
No, I can’t describe it – you know that! It’s guitars, drums and bass.
And you have a lot of stuff coming up. I saw the tour’s second leg opening night in Dublin. How did that leg feel to you?
I remember that show – it was a cold night, but a very warm crowd [laughs]. Actually it’s probably one of the reasons we’re doing this one. It felt so good, that last tour. And it was mostly Britain. But it ended and everyone looked at each other saying, “No, we’re just getting going!” In a way, that feeling is why the idea came to especially play the states – which we haven’t done for a while – and it’s really our first hunting grounds.
How do you decide to do a tour? Is there a meeting where you all get in a room or is it just emails and phone calls?
Well, actually I think the idea was thrown out just at the end of that last tour. And in its very basic forms, it’s, “Lets do another one — and where?” Sometimes it seems to be quite haphazard, how it happens. But in a way there’s an inner clock in the Stones when they feel that they’re timing things right – as a band and for themselves. After all, we’ll have been off the road nearly nine months by the time we start this one. And so we’re going to have quite a long rehearsal [period], because we have to. You can’t just jump in after nine months and expect it all to fall together. Quite a lot of work goes in beforehand, you know.
After playing for decades, what is the necessity of rehearsal?
On the surface of it, I understand that question. But if you’re not doing it all the time, it’s a matter of all of us getting together again and clicking through the gears. It’s kind of like pulling out a great car that’s been sitting on the blocks for nine months. You’ve got to break it in again. Also, rehearsals are great fun. They’re great times where you can say, “Hold on, let’s try that again or let’s try this.” It’s where the actual show takes its form – the setlist, how you’re gonna start it. It grows during the rehearsals.
What are the biggest differences touring the U.S. since when you first came here?
The difference is we used to do it in a station wagon. America was a very different place in the middle Sixties. Quite honestly, I can’t believe I’ve been around this long, man. I’ve watched this country grow up. I know it better than most Americans, because I’m older!
What do you make of where the country is right now?
Right now? I’m not gonna get into it because it’s not worth talking about. We all know what’s what. God help you. [Laughs]
What do you like about playing stadiums? Are they better than playing arenas?
I kind of like the mix. I love stadiums when the weather’s perfect, when there’s not too much wind, because you’re kind of in God’s hands. I do like to play indoors; it’s a controlled environment. But at the same time, you take chances outside. It could be pissing rain.
Personally, what do you get out of playing? What still drives you to do it?
It’s a living [laughs]. Um, it’s what I do, man. Give me 50,000 people and I feel right at home. The whole band does. As Ronnie and I often say before we go on, “Let’s get onstage and get some peace and quiet.”
It’s incredible. Do you see the blues continuing as an art form into the next generation?
Yeah. I hear a lot of new blues players. It seems to be really alive and kicking. Some great players. I don’t know their names, but great little bands I’ve heard. This is an essential part. It will always be there.
The new Gary Clark Jr. record coming out is incredible.
Yeah? Yeah, man. I love him.
So it’s still the No Filter tour, but you guys are going to get together and rehearse. It sounds like it might be a whole different kind of show than the one you’ve been doing.
Yeah. Different orders. We’ll try different things out. Mick sometimes has different ideas about staging for a certain number and you’ve got to figure things out. But basically just when we get the band into top form and top gear flight by April.
So you were doing “Like a Rolling Stone” on the last tour almost every night. What prompted that?
It was feeling great. Mick was having a lot of fun with it, especially with the harp at the end, which extends the song out a little bit. It’s a lovely song. Hats off to Bob Dylan, one of the best.
In Europe, the band played “She’s a Rainbow” which you don’t do a lot.
I know, it’s strange playing that. Because that song is like a music box. But it really is just that era, you know, we were trying different things. And also [organist] Nicky Hopkins really made that song so beautiful.
You also were doing “Sweet Virginia” and “Dead Flowers.” What are you going to be campaigning to play this time?
I was already throwing in the last time, but it didn’t get to the show, but it was “Cry to Me,” the old Solomon Burke thing we did. So I want to try that one on for size. See how it goes.
The video of you and Solomon doing “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” on the Licks tour is incredible. Do you ever see the Stones doing a theater tour again?
I don’t know. I take it one tour at a time really. I don’t really plan out. I’d love to. I love playing theaters: that’s heaven, you know.
Drumming is so physical and Charlie Watts is 77. How does he do it?
He’s a very secretive man [Laughs]. I think it’s just him. I don’t think he does anything particularly. That is just Charlie. That’s what’s so amazing about the man. It’s my privilege to play with Charlie Watts.
Do you stay up with Charlie and talk at the hotel sometimes?
No. Charlie usually keeps very much to himself on the road. And usually by the time you get back from a show, you’re kind of knackered. But if we go to the bar or something, he’ll pop in. And we’ll throw dinners occasionally. But yeah otherwise you’re usually very much in working mode on the road.
What about you and Mick? Did you have some good times on the most recent tour?
Yeah. Once you’re actually on the road, everybody pretty much does their own thing. There’s a couple nights you hang and a couple you don’t. We don’t all get in one room and play, being the Rolling Stones or anything. It’s a very professional event.
In the last year there have been a lot of retirement tours. What do you make of those? Rod Stewart recently said that Elton John’s three-year farewell tour was “dishonest” and “stinks of selling tickets.”
Well, you can look at it either way. If you mean it, that’s the way it is. I just haven’t gotten around to thinking in that head yet. I don’t know if you never know. Maybe this will be the last one, I don’t know.
Do you do anything physically to prepare for a tour?
I get up. [Laughs]