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Tuxedomoon’s bizarre version of the Stones’ ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ might trigger yours
09:00 am


Rolling Stones

SecondHandSongs lists over 30 covers of the Rolling Stones’ 1966 single “19th Nervous Breakdown.” The song was Mick Jagger’s takedown of the neuroses of overprivileged youth—and according to Simon Philo in British Invasion: The Crosscurrents of Musical Influence it may have even been a swipe at model Chrissie Shrimpton, who was Jagger’s girlfriend until the year that song came out. But I suspect its durability lies more in its catchiness—the interplay between Brian Jones’ and Keith Richards’ bouncy guitar lines probably held more appeal for the dozens of artists covering the song than Jagger’s contempt for poor-little-rich-girls.

But there is one cover that eschews basically everything that makes the song recognizable—even the lyrics—and surely qualifies as the single strangest cover of the song in existence, stranger even than Nash the Slash’s. I refer to the version by San Francisco’s Tuxedomoon. Like Pere Ubu and Cabaret Voltaire, Tuxedomoon were way ahead of the pack, forming and codifying familiar post-punk tropes during a time when punk itself was still on the rise. They were part of a wildly experimental Bay Area scene that included the likes of The Residents, Chrome, MX-80, Pink Section, and Dead Kennedys, and as such they were part of the compilation Can You Hear Me? Music From The Deaf Club in 1981, a collection which includes their Stones cover.

The Deaf Club, located at 530 Valencia Street, was discovered by Robert Hanrahan, the manager of The Offs. The small space—full name the San Francisco Club for the Deaf—was in fact a social club for deaf people to hang out in and could be rented on a nightly basis. As far as the regulars, they were content with the music being played as loud as the bands wanted. The San Francisco Chronicle once reported the temporary closing of The Deaf Club due to neighbor complaints with the amusing headline: “Deaf Club Closed Due to Excessive Noise Levels.” (Edward Jauregui, executive director of Deaf Self Help told Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, “We all like to dance, and we can feel the vibrations.” When Caen asked about the neighbors, Jauregui told him “They’re going crazy. They keep calling the cops, complaining the noise is deafening. Isn’t that rich?”). John Waters even stopped by when he was in San Francisco to see what the fuss was all about.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Stoned: That time Pussy Galore played all of ‘Exile on Main St.’
08:53 am


Rolling Stones
Exile on Main St.
Pussy Galore

Supply and demand, my ass! Where’s my fucking 30th anniversary coffee table book and expanded 180-gram vinyl reissue with download code and hand-woven T-shirt for Pussy Galore’s Exile on Main St.? It is the jewel of their catalog, you monsters! PledgeMusic and Kickstarter, j’accuse!

The NYC scum rock quintet issued their Exile on a limited run of 550 cassettes in 1986. If memory serves, it had something to do with Sonic Youth’s frequently repeated threat that they were going to cover all of the Beatles’ White Album, which they never (really) made good.

But Pussy Galore “walked the walk.” Listen. To readers familiar with the original 1972 double album, it might sound as if England’s newest hit makers, the Rolling Stones, have caught the plague. And isn’t it about time they did? A few buboes in the groin and armpits might put the Glimmer Twins back in touch with those old country blues. On the other hand, Pussy Galore fans who haven’t heard the ‘86 Exile already will likely be surprised how faithfully Spencer, Cafritz, Hagerty, Martinez and Bert try to play these eighteen songs. The band gathers a terrible momentum over the tape’s 55 minutes, and some of the tunes are even recognizable.

Discogs presently has just one of these tapes for sale at $150. Alternatively, Jon Spencer is selling a “lame bootleg CD” for $20, while we offer it at a deep discount of $0 below.

It’s NSFW unless your boss is cool with Julia Cafritz hating everyone’s fucking guts.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Pinball machine featuring the Stones, Elton John, The Who, AC/DC, KISS and many more

The pinball arcade was where the boys in leather jackets hung out. The guys into Heavy Metal, Hell’s Angels and books by Sven Hassel. That’s what I recall from growing up. The pinball machines were always situated at the far end of the arcade—past the lines of slot machines with itchy-fingered retirees spending their hard-earned cash and the whey-faced office clerks on their lunch break in off-the-peg suits and white socks.

In those days smoking was permitted indoors—so the back of the room where the pinball machines and the boys in denim and leather hung out was always thick with blue cigarette smoke. Just go down to the back of the room and inhale a few breaths—it saved you on the cost of buying smokes.

For some reason pinball machines were associated with being tough. I was never really quite sure why. Manliness and the ability to use flippers dexterously meant—obviously in some secret code I was unable to fathom—that you were a tough guy. These boys sneered at punk. Tolerated Prog. Hated Glam and Mod—which was strange as most liked Slade and The Who. What they did like was Black Sabbath. Deep Purple. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. AC/DC. And The Rolling Stones—post 1968.

Their bravado was all front—like the flashing lights and bells of the pinball machines they played. The pinball was a totem for their nascent identity. In a few years time, some of these boys would be in their own off-the-peg suits playing slot machines during their lunch breaks.

Pinball has always had that macho outsider image—which probably explains why certain hard rockin’ bands and artistes have opted to merchandise their product through pinball machines.
More rock and pop pinball machines, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Watch the ‘restored’ Rolling Stones video for ‘Child of the Moon’ in HD
01:30 pm


Rolling Stones
Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Since it never really appeared on a “proper” Rolling Stones album—it’s on More Hot Rocks and a few other, lesser compilations—“Child of the Moon,” the dreamy B-side to 1968’s “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” single (a lunar love song to Marianne Faithfull) has remained one of the group’s more obscure 60s “deep cuts.” Then again it’s a Rolling Stones song, just how obscure could it really be? Mileage may vary.

Having said that, the promo film that was made for the number—a somewhat Kenneth Anger-inspired short directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and probably shot by Michael Cooper (who in fact lensed Anger’s Lucifer Rising, note the similarities in these stills, it’s even the same 16mm film stock)—is far less well known. A shitty version of this popped up on YouTube and Dailymotion briefly in late 2014, but it was a nth generation dub, black and white—more like black, white and green—and nearly unwatchable, with the essence—and the borderline disturbing sexual menace element—leeched right out of it. You could tell what was going on, but that was about it. It was new to me.

There’s a cosmic law that dictates: “Anything that can be uploaded to the Internet in crappy quality, can and will be uploaded in awesome quality if you just wait long enough.” This looks like legit HD video to me. On a large flat screen TV it looks fantastic. Is there a Stones video comp similar to the recent Beatles #1 Blu-ray on the way? Let’s hope.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones in “Child of the Moon”...

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Rolling Stones’ 1989 ‘Steel Wheels’ tour was only rock & roll, but I liked it
12:36 pm


Rolling Stones

One Sunday afternoon in Fall of 1989 I was walking around Greenwich Village and I popped into Bleecker Bob’s record store to see if my old friend Nate Cimmino was working that day. He wasn’t and so I used a pay phone (remember them?) to call him to see if he wanted to have lunch and go record shopping. As the phone was ringing, I saw him walk briskly past me and make for the phone right beside the one I was using.

“Hey! I was just calling you!” I said.

“And oddly enough, I was just about to call you,” he replied. “Guess where you’re going?”


“To see the Rolling Stones at Shea Stadium.”

“Really? When?”

Right now. Let’s get on the subway and go. We’ll get there in time for the opening act if we leave right away.”

Via Stufish Entertainment Architects

Although I was bummed that I didn’t have any pot on me—yes, I still recall this tiny detail a quarter of a century later—we jumped on the subway and made our way out to Shea Stadium in Queens—then home of the NY Mets—to see “the world’s greatest rock and roll band.” This was the “Steel Wheels” tour, a trek that some wags in the media had termed “Steel Wheelchairs.” The band first started getting called “The Strolling Bones” around then, too. Ah, if they only knew then what we now know… But this was when the Stones were really only just starting to get shit about getting too old to rock and roll. Recall that at one point Mick Jagger was saying in interviews that he couldn’t picture himself still singing “Satisfaction” onstage over the age of 30. In 1989 he was 46 and still singing it, but as the Stones hadn’t toured since 1982—Mick and Keith had been feuding for seven years at this point—they got a pass because everyone wondered, as the rumor mill had it, if this would be the final Rolling Stones tour.

That seems farcical now of course, but I will contend that this was the final tour before the Rolling Stones simply became a Rolling Stones cover band. It was the final tour that bassist Bill Wyman made with the group. It was also the last time they’d tour with both a hit album and a hit single. The Steel Wheels album went to #2 on the Billboard chart and the single “Mixed Emotions” was a top five hit. The video played constantly on MTV and radio loved the song, but again it was this implied threat that “this could be the last time” that made people flock to these shows the way they did, I think.

Via Stufish Entertainment Architects

“Steel Wheels” was one of the most successful tours of all time. And the biggest, carted around on 80 trucks. It was the very first stadium rock show I’d ever seen and it did not disappoint. What a spectacle. The Stones have long had a (well-deserved) reputation for being an extremely sloppy live band, but they were a well-rehearsed music machine—with many quality side musicians augmenting the band—on the “Steel Wheels” tour. The stage was huge. The light show and pyrotechnics were impressive and they were simply damned good.

So with my fond memory of the show, I was curious to see the latest installment of the Stones archival “From the Vaults” series, Live at the Tokyo Dome 1990. The band’s first ever dates in Japan saw the end of the “Steel Wheels” tour in 1990 with ten shows, one of them taped for television broadcast. I wanted to see if it meshed with my own recollection of the show. It did! The quality of this new release is excellent and although the Blu-ray disc’s content is in standard (nicely uprezed) video definition, the Tokyo Dome show is absolutely superb. My favorite Stones on film will always be Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, then Gimme Shelter, but lemme tell ya, the sequence of songs that begins with “Paint It Black” followed by “2000 Light Years From Home” (this was the only tour this song was ever performed on a nightly basis, and I thought it the absolute highlight of the set) “Sympathy For The Devil” and then “Gimme Shelter” is pretty impressive here. Dramatic, with a wow factor the Stones haven’t really mustered since.

This show has been bootlegged a lot over the years but the new release by Eagle Rock, with its 5.1 HD DTS Master Audio soundtrack mixed by Bob Clearmountain is definitely worth the upgrade. It sounds simply fantastic. In fact it’s much better than I thought it would be, to be honest. On every level. If you’re a Stones fan, especially if you saw this tour, this DVD is a must.

Buy Live at the Tokyo Dome 1990 on Amazon.

Here’s a clip from Live at Tokyo Dome 1990 for what was then the Stones big hit single, “Mixed Emotions”:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
This short 1976 Rolling Stones documentary captures the band at their most ‘Spinal Tap’
01:06 pm


Rolling Stones

“What’s wrong with being sexy?”

In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Mick Jagger admitted that Their Satanic Majesties Request wasn’t a particularly good album. Interviewer Jann Wenner actually compared it to Spinal Tap, and perhaps unable to deny the resemblance to “Listen to the Flower People,” Jagger answered, “Really, I know.”

However the hippie-dippy experimentation of 60s Stones is in no way their most Spinal Tap era—that would be the mid-70s. In 1975 Jagger would ride a giant inflatable phallus onstage. In ‘76, they released Black and Blue with the very Smell the Glove-reminiscent advertisement you see above; the feminist group Women Against Violence Against Women protested until it was removed from the Sunset Boulevard billboard it adorned. The tour that promoted Black and Blue was a singularly debauched affair, complete with elaborate riders and highly specific luxury travel demands.

This 1976 mini-doc is a great record of the period, with footage of the band, crew and adoring fans. Highlights include a crew member trying to explain the inflatable pee-pee stage design; watching Mick and Bianca taking pulls off a champagne bottle celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary; a short Keith Richards makeup tutorial, and a surprisingly candid Charlie Watts reflecting on his ambivalence towards fame. There is a tension to the film. A fan made the Beatles/Stones comparison, despite the Beatles being long gone at this point, and the the interviewer actually questioned the band on a final album.

If he only knew…

Via Network Awesome

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Dead Flowers’: Watch the Rolling Stones get their country honk out at the Marquee Club, 1971
04:34 pm


Rolling Stones

I don’t know about you, but as the years go by, I find that I really have to struggle to justify buying a CD or DVD anymore—not to my wife, I mean, but to myself. There’s a higher threshold for me spending ten bucks on a Blu-ray today than there ever was for me spending $59 for a VHS back in 1985 when I had far less disposable income.

Like with movies, if there’s little chance of repeat viewings, why would I want to own it? The last time I went to LA’s gigantic record emporium, Amoeba Records in Hollywood, I came home with seven DVDs and Blu-rays purchased with store credit and not one of them has even had the cellophane cracked on it yet. In fact, I doubt that I will watch ANY of them in the next twelve months. And perhaps not during the year after that. Or ever. And do I really, really NEED to own The Wizard of Oz on Blu-ray when it’s probably streaming in HD on Netflix? Why? What’s the real difference if it’s on a disc or digitally pumped into my house like a utility? Why did I bother?

Furthermore, I’m planning to move soon so I’m sizing up everything in my office with a wary eye, and most of what I’m keeping are straight up “in concert” DVDs with 5.1 soundtracks and stuff like that. Gorillaz. Pulp. Nick Cave. The Grateful Dead Movie. Born to Boogie. Paul McCartney and Wings’ Rockshow. Magical Mystery Tour. Yellow Submarine. The Monkees movie, Head. Tommy. The Last Waltz. Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones. Things like that. Things with “playability.”

I’m only boring you with this information, dear reader, to let you know that the latest release “From the Vaults” of the Rolling Stones, The Marquee Club Live in 1971, which comes out tomorrow on SD Blu-ray (and various other formats) from Eagle Vision, is one such “keeper.” If you’re a serious Stones fan, this short set showcasing some songs from the soon-to-be-released Sticky Fingers album and shot for American television (it doesn’t say for what exactly, or if this ever aired in the liner notes) is a must own. To my mind, this release, which has been lovingly remastered in DTS-HD Master Audio by Bob Clearmountain from the original multitrack masters (and they’ve done a great job with upscaling the video) belongs in the “essentials” of a Rolling Stones collection. Next month sees their Hyde Park concert of 1969 coming out, too. Can an unexpurgated release of Robert Frank’s notorious document of the Stones’ drug and groupie fuelled 1972 American tour Cocksucker Blues be far behind?

Tonight at the The Perfect Exposure Gallery in Los Angeles is the opening of a show of photographs taken at the Marquee by Alec Byrne from 7-9pm. The show will be running until the 28th.

Below, “Dead Flowers,” a clip from the Rolling Stones famous Marquee Club performance of 1971, shot in front of an audience of VIPS that included Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Rolling Stones recorded ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ 50 years ago today
12:06 pm


Rolling Stones

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” a song that, arguably more so than ANY other, even “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” has served as a badge for British Invasion-era rock, was recorded by the Rolling Stones 50 years ago today, on May 12, 1965. But had things worked out differently, we might be accustomed to hearing a very different song. A version of the song was recorded two days prior, at Chess Studios in Chicago, reportedly with Brian Jones on Harmonica. (I have no idea if that recording has ever emerged anywhere, and if a better Stones maven than myself could point me in the right direction, I’d sure like to hear it.) But that version was jettisoned, and the version we all know very, very well was recorded later that week in Los Angeles, at RCA Studios. From Stanley Booth’s The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones:

The Stones tried but failed to record “Satisfaction,” flew the next day to Los Angeles, went the day after to RCA Studios, started working at 10:00 A.M. and by 2:15 A.M., more than sixteen hours later, had recorded six new songs, one of them “Satisfaction.” They went back to their hotel, slept a few hours, then [Stones manager] Andrew [Loog Oldham] and RCA engineer Dave Hassinger returned to the studio and began mixing the tracks. At 1:00 P.M. the Stones showed up to re-record certain parts, Bill, Charlie and Brian leaving at 9:00 P.M., Mick and Keith staying at the studio adding vocals till nine o’clock the next morning. They had a new album and a single that would be the most popular they had ever done.

Mick and Keith offered the following in Mark Paytress’ The Rolling Stones Off the Record:

During the Chess sessions, the Stones make their first attempt at recording a song written by Mick and Keith a few days earlier in Clearwater, Florida…
Keith: “A week later we recorded (‘Satisfaction’, again, at the RCA Studios) In Los Angeles. This time everything went right. Charlie put down a different tempo and, with the addition of a fuzz box on my guitar which took off all the treble, we achieved a very interesting sound.”
Mick: “We cut ‘Satisfaction’ in Los Angeles when we were working there. We cut quite a lot of things and that was just one—contrary to some newspaper reports, it only took us just half an hour to make it. We like it, but didn’t think of it as a single. Then London said they had to have a single immediately because “The Last Time” was long gone and we had a Shindig TV date and had to have something to plug. So they released ‘Satisfaction’ as a single.”

“We like it, but didn’t think of it as a single.” Does that not sound like EVERY story about a world-changing record? That song that the Stones didn’t think of as a single would become their first US #1 record, and be the band’s definitive work for fifty years and counting. Since you’ve heard the canonical single a million times, here’s a neat stereo mix that was released on the German edition of Hot Rocks (this is why I gave up the hunt for the Chess version—trying to run down session details for EVERY release of this song is way more spelunking than a 24-hour day allows for). I love how the acoustic guitars take prominence in this mix.

The first televised performance of ‘Satisfaction’ after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Lucifer rising: When the Rolling Stones got evil
02:12 pm


Rolling Stones
Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Call me disputatious—or not, it’s entirely up to you—my favorite Stones album has always been Their Satanic Majesties Request. It’s the only one I still play all the way through these days. It sounds so amazing as one great big, trippy chunk, that it would be a shame not to experience the whole thing in one go. It’s a fantastic headphones album, too, the closest they ever got to Dark Side of the Moon. Many Stones fans and critics hated it when it came out and saw the album as a weak attempt to out weird the Beatles after they’d unleashed Sgt Pepper’s on the world, but time has been very kind to Their Satanic Majesties Request. To me, it’s just a thing of beauty, with the normal blues-based Stones sound thrown out the window, and replaced with a colorful sonic palette the likes of which they would never return to. I’m not saying that it IS the best Stones album, I’m just saying that it’s MY favorite. (For the record, my favorite Stones song is “Monkey Man,” followed by “Stray Cat Blues,” then “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)”—dark horses, all, I grant you. I’m also partial to “I Don’t Know Why,” but the Glimmer Twins didn’t write that one—it’s a Stevie Wonder cover.)

The Stones “demonic” phase, inaugurated if you will, by their association with the Magus of Cinema, Kenneth Anger, was when the Stones were truly on fire. Mick was still quite into his Satan/Lucifer thing well into the Let It Bleed/Gimme Shelter era, but after Altamont, Jagger was often seen wearing a crucifix around his neck, perhaps seeking to put down all the hoodoo Age of Horus energy he’d raised? Have sympathy for the poor devil. Jagger had a shamanic current running through his body during the Sixties that killed quite a few of his friends and contemporaries. Today, like a rock and roll Dorian Gray, he hardly looks any worse for the wear.

Below is the once very seldom seen pop video for “2000 Light Years From Home.” It seems so heavily influenced by Kenneth Anger that pre-Internet, some people (myself included) thought that perhaps he’d directed it, but it’s actually the work of Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Let it Be). This was possibly shot by photographer Michael Cooper, who shot the iconic image for the Satanic Majesties album jacket (which was originally issued with a fantastic 3-D lenticular cover) and Anger’s Lucifer Rising.

Although the song’s multi-generational familiarity has leached out quite a bit of its “evil” over time, just imagine what this short film communicated to someone in 1967!!! I have no idea if this outrageous clip was ever seen on television at the time—I suspect not.

Much more, including a Rolling Stones video that you have probably never seen before…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Rolling Stones’ studio receipt for recording ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘Brown Sugar’
08:53 am


Rolling Stones
Muscle Shoals

Bill Wyman, Jimmy Johnson, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Marshall Chess (president of Rolling Stones Records), Ahmet Ertegun (president of Atlantic Records) and Terry Woodford
Is Sticky Fingers the Stones’ best album? What do you think? There’s a lot of competition, Let It Bleed, Exile on Main Street, Beggars Banquet...... Sticky Fingers is up there, though.

Sticky Fingers was one of the first albums recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, in Sheffield, Alabama, having been founded by the Swampers just a couple years earlier. Over the course of the 1970s a lot of great music was recorded there, from Paul Simon and Rod Stewart to Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and beyond. Cher’s album 3614 Jackson Highway takes its title from the studio’s address. In 2009 Akron’s the Black Keys came down to Muscle Shoals to cut Brothers, which ended up winning a Grammy.

As it happens, only three songs off of Sticky Fingers were recorded at Muscle Shoals, but two of them were the album’s only two singles and are without question the most immortal tracks off the album: “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar.” (The third song recorded at Muscle Shoals was “You Gotta Move.”)

(Click on the image for a larger version.)
Here’s the receipt that Muscle Shoals remitted to the Stones, or more precisely ABKCO, being the company founded by one Allen B. Klein, the shark tasked with managing both the Beatles and the Stones for a time. The Sticky Fingers sessions ran from December 2 to 4, 1969, with the rest of the album being recorded during much of 1970. This session was one of the last times Klein would be their manager, as the Stones would jettison him (as much as was possible) as soon as they could. As you can see, the receipt helpfully says “The Rolling Stones / Wild Horses” right on it. 

So that’s that: In 1969 recorded two of rock music’s greatest songs and paid a cool grand for the privilege. That amount of money translates into about $6,500 today.

Here are some wonderful pics of the Stones (found here) recording parts of Sticky Fingers at Muscle Shoals:

Mick Taylor, Keith Richards, and Ian Stewart (standing)

Charlie Watts

Bill Wyman, Jimmy Johnson, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, and Ian Stewart

Mick Jagger recording the percussion on “Brown Sugar”

Mick Taylor working out on the congas

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama
via Blue Arrow Records

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘I Got You Babe’: The Rolling Stones camp it up miming to Sonny and Cher, 1965
04:49 pm


Rolling Stones
Cathy McGowan

Hosting Ready Steady Go! in September of 1965, The Rolling Stones camped it up in this “mime contest” version of Sonny and Cher’s hit—then at the top of the pop charts—“I Got You Babe.”

First Ready Steady Go!‘s co-host “Queen of the Mods” Cathy McGowan stands in for Cher before a vest-clad Brian Jones puts on his sunniest Sonny impression (and quite charming it is). Keith, on tuba, puffs away nonplussed.

Then it’s Mick’s turn to flounce around coquettishly taking Cher’s part to manager Andrew Loog Oldham’s turn as her decidedly more butch duet partner. Charlie and Bill just look suitably embarrassed to be a part of these shenanigans.

All but forgotten now, young Cathy McGowan was a hugely influential style icon of “Swinging London” and the idol of Twiggy and Vogue’s Anna Wintour. She had her own fashion line at British Homes Stones and helped popularize the miniskirt. McGowan’s Mary Quant-ish look seen on television every week is said to have been one of the key factors opening up the minds of young British working class women to the world of fashion in the 1960s.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Superstars In Concert’: Jimi, Cream, Rolling Stones, Ike & Tina Turner & more in obscure classic

When the question of “What’s the best/great rockumentary of all?” is asked, the answers can range quite widely obviously, from something like Don’t Look Back or Let It Be to The Last Waltz or Stop Making Sense (which both seem to make almost everyone’s lists) to something totally out of left field and life-affirming like Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King. I really loved the new Pulp: a Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets... and wouldn’t “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” be in the running for all-time best rockumentary? Of course it would be!

It’s an impossible question to answer, but sidestepping it somewhat, if I had to pick the best overall “time capsule” of the rock era to preserve for future generations, it would probably be Peter Clifton’s Superstars In Concert.  Also known as Rock City in a different edit, the film was directed and produced by Clifton (The Song Remains the Same, Popcorn, The London Rock and Roll Show) and is a hodge-podge compiling (mostly) his promotional short films and snippets of concert performances shot between 1964 and 1973 by the likes of Peter Whitehead (Wholly Communion, Charlie Is My Darling, Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London), Michael Cooper (who shot Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising), Ernest Vincze (the cinematographer responsible for the 2005 Doctor Who reboot) and Ivan Strasburg (Treme).

Featured in the film are The Rolling Stones (several times), Eric Burdon and The Animals, a typically demure appearance of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Otis Redding bringing the house down, Cream, Steve Winwood, Blind Faith, Cat Stevens (a stark Kubrickian promo film for his “Father and Son” single) , The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Donovan, Joe Cocker, a segment with The Ike and Tina Turner Revue that will bring a smile to your face, Pink Floyd and Rod Stewart and the Faces. Pete Townshend is seen getting in his digs at the Stones for promoting pot use, managing to make himself look like a blue-nosed twat in the process, while Mick and the boys are seen doing “Jumpin Jack Flash” in the (decidedly more evil) warpaint version of that promo film (there were two, this is the one that was NOT shown on The Ed Sullivan Show for obvious reasons) and in their promo film for “We Love You” which features Keef in a judge’s wig, Marianne Faithfull as a barrister and Mick nude wrapped up in a fur rug (a sly joke that if you don’t get, then google “Rolling Stones,” “Redlands,” drug bust, her name and “Hershey Bar.”)

Superstars In Concert came out in Japan on the laserdisc format and that’s how I first saw it, in the late 80s. Since then, other than the various clips showing up cut from the film on YouTube, it’s remained an obscurity. Apparently there was a Malaysian bootleg and then in 2003 a Brazilian magazine called DVD Total gave away the film for free with one of their issues. So far fewer than 200 people have viewed the video.

DO NOT miss what’s perhaps the most intense version of Pink Floyd’s “Careful with That Axe Eugene” ever captured on film. This entire film is absolutely amazing from start to finish, but it jumps off the scale during that part (Otis Redding is no slouch, either!) I highly recommend letting it load first before you hit play, otherwise it’s kind of flickery. If you wait a while, it doesn’t hang up and looks and sounds great.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
BASS IN YOUR FACE: Isolated bass parts of Sonic Youth, Rolling Stones, The Police, Rick James & more

Poor bass players. In the hierarchy of rockbandland, even the mercenary backup singers get more love. Like a drummer, a crummy one can wreck your band, but unlike a drummer, even a superb bass player can fade into the background, seeming for all the world like a mere utility placeholder while the singer, guitarist and drummer all get laid. Before the ‘80s, the bass player was perceived as the would-be guitarist who couldn’t make the cut and got offered a reduction in strings as a consolation prize. Since the ‘80s, bass has been the “easy” instrument a singer hands off to his girlfriend to get her in the band.

It’s all a crock of utter shit. A good bass player is your band’s spine, and is a gift to be cherished.

An excellent online resource for bassists,, has links to an abundance of isolated bass tracks, from celebrated solos to deep cuts to which few casual fans give much thought. There are, of course, song-length showoffs like “YYZ” and “Roundabout,” but there are unassuming gems to be found too. Check out how awesome Tony Butler’s part is in Big Country’s kinda-eponymous debut single. It wanders off into admirable weirdness, but when the time comes to do the job of propelling the song forward, this shit is rocket fuel.


Though Sting has been engaged in a long-running battle with Bono to see who can be the most tedious ass to have released nothing of worth in over 25 years, listening to his playing in the Police serves as an instant reminder of why we even know who he is. The grooves in “Message In A Bottle” are famously inventive and satisfying, but even his work on more straightforward stuff like “Next To You” slays. You can practically hear the dirt on his strings in these.



Funny, as much of a trope as “chick bass player” has become, loads of time spent searching yielded almost no isolated tracks from female bassists. Which is ridiculous. The only one I found was Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, heard here on “Teenage Riot.” It takes a bit to work up to speed. Taken on its own, it’s a minimal, meditative, and quite lovely drone piece.


Here’s a gem—a live recording of Billy Cox, from Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, eating “All Along The Watchtower” for breakfast.


This one was a revelation—the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman on “Gimme Shelter.” I knew this was a great bass part, but there’s stuff in here I’ve never heard before, and it’s excellent. I should have been paying more attention.


But is there “Super Freak?” Oh yeah, there’s “Super Freak.”


I searched mightily to find isolated bass tracks from Spinal Tap’s gloriously excessive ode to both low-ends, “Big Bottom,” before I realized there would be absolutely no point in doing that. So I leave you with the unadulterated real thing.

Previously on DM: The incomparable James Jamerson: isolated

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Every Rolling Stones clip British Pathé just uploaded to YouTube
10:52 am


Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones
On Sunday newsreel archivist British Pathé uploaded 85,000 films, in high resolution, to its YouTube channel. An incredible, if sometimes a bit stodgy, resource that will be viewed countless of thousands of times in the years to come. Lots of things like the Hindenburg.

And pop culture too. I scoured the British Pathé YouTube presence for all of its Rolling Stones footage (mostly by entering in the term “Rolling Stones” in the appropriate place). This is what that quest produced: 12 videos covering the years 1964 to 1970. Some of them are collections of raw footage that made up some of the completed items you can also see here. A few of them have no sound at all. The concert footage from 1970 isn’t very good, esp. the sound (which is glumly conceded in the YouTube “About” area), but a number of the clips are excellent in their way.

The “Rolling Stones Gather Moss” video captures the Stones in their “Hard Day’s Night” phase, so to speak. They’re still in the Beatles mold—until you get to the performance section, where nobody would ever mistake these guys for the Beatles. The footage from Australia is pretty solid and the Hyde Park concert after the death of Brian Jones is also very good.

My favorite, though, is the weird footage of the audience at the Stones’ 1964 Hull concert. Someone’s going to make a pretty dandy experimental movie out of that someday.

In each instance I have pasted the “About” text underneath the video. In one case there is a duplicate, the two Hyde Park videos appear to be identical, but we strive to be complete.
“Rolling Stones Gather Moss” (5:51, 1964)

Full title reads: “Rolling Stones Gather Moss.” Technicolor Material. Hull, Humberside.
More where these came from, after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Rolling Stones on ‘The Dick Cavett Show,’ 1972
08:30 am


Rolling Stones
Dick Cavett

Rolling Stones 1972 American Tour
The Rolling Stones’ U.S. tour of 1972 was a big fucking deal. Let us count the ways: The Stones had not played live shows in America since the infamous final show of their 1969 tour, at Altamont. The album they were supporting was one of the most epochal in all of rock and roll history, Exile on Main Street—which was released in America just a couple of weeks before the tour. (None of the Beatles’ late albums were supported by touring, keep in mind. Exile was, as were Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed in 1969.) With the Beatles scattered to the winds, the Stones had the pinnacle of rock and roll all to themselves—no coincidence, then, that their sobriquet “the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band” really began to be a thing around this time. 

This was the tour memorably captured in one of the all-time great rock and roll books, Robert Greenfield’s S.T.P.: A Journey through America with the Rolling Stones. Robert Christgau’s account of one of the NYC shows is worth reading as well. The tour also spawned two documentaries:  that Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones! and the outlaw verité flick Cocksucker Blues.

By this time Mick Jagger had made the crucial transition from “mere” rock frontman and quasi-proto-punk to a bona fide celebrity of the first order. In the 1960s Jagger’s closest peers and pals were John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan; by 1972 he was hanging out with Truman Capote and Hugh Hefner and Zsa Zsa Gabor. (From here, the trajectory to Studio 54 was inevitable.) Not for nothing was the tour nicknamed the “Stones Touring Party”—so much more easygoing than the Hells Angels of Altamont, although Keith Richards did carry around a .38 caliber revolver just in case those same Hells Angels sought retribution. It was simply a massive tour without the element of danger that their (arguably) even more mythic 1969 tour—in other words, tours of this type were becoming standardized. The Stones were the talk of the country and, when they hit Madison Square Garden in late July, the talk of the town. Stevie Wonder was the opening act; how can you beat that?

Capote quit covering the tour in New Orleans and then went on The Tonight Show and The Dick Cavett Show to tell tall tales about it before showing up for the last city of the tour, at Madison Square Garden. Cavett, whose show was on ABC, also received accreditation for the Stones’ appearance in New York, and secured some backstage interviews between the two (!) concerts held on Tuesday, July 25, 1972. An entire episode was dedicated to the Stones that featured substantial interviews with Jagger and Bill Wyman as well as two full songs from the concert. 

You have to give credit to Cavett for his unflappable cool. Whether interviewing the Stones’ adoring fans outside the venue or Jagger himself, Cavett has a knack for putting his subjects at ease. Noteworthy moments from the Stones interview: Cavett inquires what Jagger, a former student at the London School of Economics, for his take on John Maynard Keynes. While chatting with Cavett, Wyman puffs on a “cigarette” that some have insisted was a joint. I can’t tell, but certainly their cheeky repartee about the smoky treat would seem consistent with that interpretation. Later Cavett and Jagger jokingly entertain the engagingly silly notion of Cavett, a Yalie to the bone, joining the Stones onstage to do a rendition of some GIlbert & Sullivan. (This last seems entirely true to Cavett’s preppy essence. I once saw Cavett at the Dave Hill Explosion in New York do a kind of duet with the Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano: Gano performed “Blister in the Sun” while Cavett interrupted with verses by Rudyard Kipling.) Most amusingly, Wyman insists that he and the Stones will be retired by the time they reach the age of fifty.

In his studio bits taped later, Cavett treats the event much as a sociologist would, reading lyrics from “Brown Sugar” aloud for the attentive middle-aged midwesterners in the television audience and explaining that the frenzy in the audience was actually “peaceful.” Good for me, because I look at these clips much the same way: so that’s what a Stones concert looks like behind the scenes. It’s terrific footage, although the tape itself is a little muddy.

This playlist has all the essential parts of the show (there is a fifth part not included, but it’s just a couple minutes long and there’s nothing much on it). The first part has Cavett’s interviews with the fans outside. Parts 2 and 3 have an interview with Jagger and Wyman and then Jagger a second time. Part 4 has live performances of “Brown Sugar” and “Street Fighting Man.” Oh, and enjoy the Paul Lynde commercial and that one for Levis that wouldn’t look out of place in Yellow Submarine.

via Lawyers, Guns, and Money

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Cocksucker Blues: The 1972 film the Rolling Stones (still) don’t want you to see
Amazing Rolling Stones jam session, 1972

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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