Brian Jones at the Manger Motor Lodge in Savannah, Georgia
These incredible pictures of the Rolling Stones relaxing during their 1965 tour of the U.S. were found a couple of years ago at a flea market in Saugus, California, by a musician named Lauren White. They date from the first week in May 1965. The Stones had played the Academy of Music in New York City on the first of the month and did a brief tour of the South before heading back up north to Chicago. On May 4 they played the Hanner Gymnasium at Southern College in Statesboro, Georgia, and on May 6 they played the Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. These pictures were taken right around that time.
To put it in perspective where the Stones were at this juncture, one month later, on June 6, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” would get its U.S. release (the U.K. release was later on in the summer). This is arguably one of the last moments that the Stones were not mega-superstars.
White suspects that the pictures were taken by a woman: “In a lot of the images, the guys are looking directly into the lens. It’s hard to get boys to be that vulnerable, especially in front of a camera. They are also sort of showing off. I think a girl is the only thing that could convince them to allow those kinds of shots. It’s hard to imagine a dude is evoking these intimate moments, but you never know.”
If you’d like to find a similar score, White says that her favorite flea markets in California are: “In Los Angeles, the Fairfax Flea Market, the Topanga Vintage Market and the Pasadena City College Flea Market. Rose Bowl overwhelms me. I also like the Alemany Flea Market in San Francisco.”
Mick Jagger, poolside in Clearwater, Florida
Keith Richards, somewhere between Savannah and Clearwater
Bill Wyman, somewhere between Savannah and Clearwater
Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, poolside in Clearwater, Florida
Sticky Fingers: The Stones at the peak of their powers, the catastrophe of Altamont right in their rear-view mirror, “Sister Morphine,” “Wild Horses,” “Brown Sugar,” an attention-getting album cover with a shot of a man’s crotch and an actual zipper—all of that courtesy of Andy Warhol, of course. In its own way Sticky Fingers is as 60s as anything that ever happened, even if it was released in April 1971.
That zipper would bring its own share of headaches—it made the album impossible to stack easily, leading to lots of scratched returns. Oh, and by the way, the album also featured the first-ever use of the Stones’ tongue logo, designed by John Pasche.
If you want to see a megastar with a relaxed sangfroid that even Kanye West would envy, check out this suave letter to Andy Warhol getting him started on the Sticky Fingers project: “Here’s 2 boxes of material you can use, and the record.” Hilariously, Jagger warns him that extra elements in the cover design may lead to problems down the line, but then emphasizes, “I leave it in your capable hands to do what ever you want” before asking him, in so many words, where the truck should deposit the huge heaping mounds of cash. “A Mr.Al Steckler ... will probably look nervous and say ‘Hurry up’ but take little notice.”
In short, everything any designer would want from a client. World fame, money, creative freedom, and heedless to all consequences.
This time, before there could be any serious preparations for a 50th anniversary tour – something Richards wanted to see happen – Jagger made it plain that there would have to be some sort of reckoning. The details of whatever transpired between the two men remain private, but as Wood commented, things were “tense and awkward.” There was even a rumor that Richards’ position as the Rolling Stones’ rhythm guitarist might be in peril. Some thought he was having trouble playing – that perhaps his hands were growing afflicted with arthritis or that his steady intake of alcohol affected his musical agility. Following a critical review of his performance at a 2007 Rolling Stones concert in Gothenburg, Sweden, in which it was suggested that the guitarist was “super-drunk,” Richards demanded an apology from the reviewer, Markus Larrson, who replied that he wasn’t going to apologize to “a rock star who can hardly handle the riff to ‘Brown Sugar’ anymore.” According to a source close to the band, when the Rolling Stones convened in London in December 2011, it wasn’t merely for rehearsals but, as far as Jagger was concerned, to see if Richards could still get the job done.
Yikes! Doesn’t Keith sound like a drunk Jandek? And Gwen Stefani? Keith Urban? This is whole thing seems so preposterously godawful. The current Stones tour could be the last time, it may be the last time, it bloody well should be the last time (but I don’t know…).
At least Mick and the boys will be eternally youthful on YouTube, even if this 50th anniversary victory lap is rather obviously a consumer fraud… In the clip below, David Frost introduces the Stones performing “Honky Tonk Women” when it was high in the charts in 1969. Nevermind if the band is actually playing live, or else this is a doctored track with live vocals (I really can’t tell), in 1969 Keith Richards was one of the greatest rhythm guitar players alive. Time waits for no one…
Also seen in this outtake from Gimme Shelter is a fellow unknown to all but the most hardcore Stones freaks, original member Ian Stewart, the “sixth Stone” who didn’t really fit in on a looks level with the rest of the band, and who became their dedicated, meticulously organized, golf-loving road manager.
Stewart, who died of a heart attack in 1985 at the age of 47 in a doctor’s waiting room, played organ and piano on key Stones tracks such as “Honky Tonk Woman,” “Brown Sugar” and “Sweet Virginia.” He was an offstage keyboardist on many Stones tours as well as playing piano on Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” and “Boogie With Stu” (which is named for him, obviously). When the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they asked that Ian Stewart’s name be included as a member of the group.
A young Mick Jagger and Keith Richards relax playing “I’ve Just Seen A Face” and “Eight Days a Week,” as an unamused Charlie Watts looks on. From the upcoming expanded version of Charlie is my Darling, Peter Whitehead’s seldom-seen film documenting the Stones’ 1965 trek across Ireland:
ABKCO Films presents a meticulously restored and fully-realized version of this first-ever, legendary, but never released film. Shot during a quick tour of Ireland just weeks after (I Can t Get No) Satisfaction hit # 1 on the charts, The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 is an intimate, behind-the-scenes diary of life on the road with the young Stones. It features the first professionally filmed concert performances of the band and documents the early frenzy of their fans and the riots the band s appearances inspired. The band is shown traveling through the Irish countryside by train; dashing from cabs to cramped, basement dressing rooms through screaming hordes of fans. Motel rooms host impromptu songwriting sessions and familiar classics are heard in their infancy as riff and lyric are united. Charlie is my Darling is the invaluable frame that captures the spark about to combust into The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World.
The way the Rolling Stones classic “Sympathy for the Devil” was developed in the studio is well-known, with an almost real-time documentation (at least it feels like real-time) of the recording sessions shown in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1968 film, One Plus One AKA Sympathy for the Devil. The film featured long, uninterrupted takes of the Stones working the song up in the studio and the number’s basic structure is changed several times over before they finally hit on the sound they want (The rest of the film shows scenes of supposed Black Panthers, newsreel footage of the Vietnam War, pans across a bookstore’s comic, girlie magazine and political book covers and features hefty doses of Marxism and Maoism in the voice-over, this being Godard in the 60s, after all.)
The original sessions took place in Olympic Studios in London, between June 4th to the 10th, 1968. The working title of the song was “The Devil Is My Name.” In the film, the group goes through several iterations of the song, from almost a bluesy, folky ballad (similar to “Jigsaw Puzzle”) to the freaked-out samba it ultimately became. During the session, the words were changed from “who killed Kennedy?” to “who killed the Kennedys?” after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Although the song was primarily a Jagger composition, its lyrics inspired by the great Russian novel, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, it was Richards who came up with the song’s samba arrangement, playing both bass and lead guitar. The druggy dissolution of Brian Jones is seen unvarnished in Godard’s film, his usefulness in the studio coming to an end (he is not heard on the finished track). Rocky Dijon played the congas, Bill Wyman is heard on maracas, and frequent Stones sideman, Nicky Hopkins is on piano. (In the Godard film, Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, producer Jimmy Miller, Wyman and Richards are seen recording backup vocals, but the “whoo whoo” backing vocals were overdubbed in Los Angeles by Miller, Jagger and Richards alone).
Charlie Watts told the authors of 2003’s According to the Rolling Stones: “‘Sympathy’ was one of those sort of songs where we tried everything. The first time I ever heard the song was when Mick was playing it at the front door of a house I lived in in Sussex… He played it entirely on his own… and it was fantastic. We had a go at loads of different ways of playing it; in the end I just played a jazz Latin feel in the style of Kenny Clarke would have played on ‘A Night in Tunisia’ - not the actual rhythm he played, but the same styling.”
The Stones in the studio from Jean Luc-Godard’s One Plus One AKA Sympathy for the Devil. This is all of their bits from the film minus the Maoist sloganeering and Black Power sermonizing of the rest of it.
This 1967 Rolling Stones promotional film for “We Love You” reenacts the trial of Oscar Wilde with Mick Jagger, Keith Richard and Marianne Faithfull standing in for Wilde, the Marquess of Queensbury and Lord Alfred Douglas. The fur rug is a not so sly reference to what the otherwise naked Faithfull was wearing at the time of the infamous Redlands drug bust, as described below in this except from the exhaustively detailed Rolling Stones entry on Wikipedia:
Jagger, Richards and Jones began to be hounded by authorities over their recreational drug use. In early 1967 when News of the World ran a three-part feature entitled “Pop Stars and Drugs: Facts That Will Shock You”. The series alleged LSD parties hosted by The Moody Blues and attended by top stars including The Who’s Pete Townshend and Cream’s Ginger Baker, and alleged admissions of drug use by leading pop musicians. The first article targeted Donovan (who was raided and charged soon after); the second installment (published on 5 February) targeted the Rolling Stones. A reporter who contributed to the story spent an evening at the exclusive London club Blaise’s, where a member of the Stones allegedly took several Benzedrine tablets, displayed a piece of hashish and invited his companions back to his flat for a “smoke”. The article claimed that this was Mick Jagger, but it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity—the reporter had in fact been eavesdropping on Brian Jones. On the night the article was published Jagger appeared on the Eamonn Andrews chat show and announced that he was filing a writ for libel against the paper.
A week later on Sunday 12 February, Sussex police, tipped off by the News of the World, who in turn were tipped off by Richards’ chauffeur, raided a party at Keith Richards’ home, Redlands. No arrests were made at the time but Jagger, Richards and their friend Robert Fraser (an art dealer) were subsequently charged with drugs offences. Richards said in 2003, “When we got busted at Redlands, it suddenly made us realise that this was a whole different ball game and that was when the fun stopped. Up until then it had been as though London existed in a beautiful space where you could do anything you wanted.” On the treatment of the man responsible for the raid he later added: “As I heard it, he never walked the same again.”
In March, while awaiting the consequences of the police raid, Jagger, Richards and Jones took a short trip to Morocco, accompanied by Marianne Faithfull, Jones’ girlfriend Anita Pallenberg and other friends. During this trip the stormy relations between Jones and Pallenberg deteriorated to the point that Pallenberg left Morocco with Richards. Richards said later: “That was the final nail in the coffin with me and Brian. He’d never forgive me for that and I don’t blame him, but hell, shit happens.” Richards and Pallenberg would remain a couple for twelve years. Despite these complications, the Rolling Stones toured Europe in March and April 1967. The tour included the band’s first performances in Poland, Greece and Italy.
On 10 May 1967—the same day Jagger, Richards and Fraser were arraigned in connection with the Redlands charges—Brian Jones’ house was raided by police and he was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis. Three out of five Rolling Stones now faced criminal charges. Jagger and Richards were tried at the end of June. On 29 June Jagger was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for possession of four amphetamine tablets; Richards was found guilty of allowing cannabis to be smoked on his property and sentenced to one year in prison. Both Jagger and Richards were imprisoned at that point, but were released on bail the next day pending appeal. The Times ran the famous editorial entitled “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?” in which editor William Rees-Mogg was strongly critical of the sentencing, pointing out that Jagger had been treated far more harshly for a minor first offence than “any purely anonymous young man.”
While awaiting the appeal hearings, the band recorded a new single, “We Love You,” as a thank-you for the loyalty shown by their fans. It began with the sound of prison doors closing, and the accompanying music video included allusions to the trial of Oscar Wilde. On 31 July, the appeals court overturned Richards’ conviction, and Jagger’s sentence was reduced to a conditional discharge. Brian Jones’ trial took place in November 1967; in December, after appealing the original prison sentence, Jones was fined £1000, put on three years’ probation and ordered to seek professional help.
You don’t see lots of Rolling Stones TV performances from the Goats Head Soup album, but here are the boys doing “Silver Train” and “Dancing With Mr. D” on The Old Grey Whistle Test, along with quite a long Mick Jagger interview.
Originally telecast on October 2, 1973.
After the jump: A TV commercial for Goats Head Soup, complete with Wolfman Jack voice-over.
Hard to remember it now, but it was well into the 1980s before VCRs were commonplace in America life. I lived in lower Manhattan at the time and there were very few video rental stores there. The only ones I can recall are Kim’s Video (originally sharing space with a dry cleaner, then several locations, now down to one again) and the New Video mini-chain, now a DVD distributor. By mid-decade the “tape trading underground” was starting to organize itself (aided by the then burgeoning zine scene) and an unlikely character named “Dan the Record Man” became a key node in that machinery.
“Dan the Record Man” was probably in his mid 50s when I met him, but he was in such terrible shape that he looked far older. He was a classic example of what eating SHITTY FOOD 24/7—in his case dirty water sauerkraut and mustard slathered hot dogs sold by street vendors outside of the Canal Street flea market where his stall was located—could do to a human body. My god did he just reek of poor health and future strokes and heart attacks, but he was a super cool old guy who had been a dancer on Hullabaloo and knew everything about music and had records so rare it made my head spin. Case in point he had copies of The Great Lost Kinks Album as well as the live Yardbirds LP and the novelty record “Stairway to Gilligan” both which Led Zeppelin’s lawyers had yanked off the market. Once he knew you were “cool”—he was really paranoid—he’d pull back the black curtains covering the top shelves in his overstuffed corner booth and show you the bootlegs (there were thousands) and the real treasure he had, the bootleg videos.
Dan had EVERYTHING you ever wanted or could ever want. And if he didn’t have it, he could get it for you (he scored Nancy Sinatra’s TV special for me as I recall). Tapes were $20 and he’d do trade if you had something really good, but in keeping with his Gollum-esque character, you had to have two really good things in order to get one of his really good things for free. Those were his rules and you could fuck the fuck off if you weren’t prepared to play by them. Old school record collectors out there will feel me when I say: you did play by his rules. Otherwise you were cut off from so much illicit bootleg goodness.
Every once in a while you could surprise Dan with something incredibly rare. At the time I knew Dan, I was working in a digital video studio that did Super-8, 16mm and 35mm film transfers. On one occasion, photographer Robert Frank booked time to make a film transfer from his little seen documentary of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 American Tour with the title Cocksucker Blues. The Stones had an injunction against Cocksucker Blues being screened (unless for charity) because, well, it was a fairly decadent and at times quite unflattering portrait of them, let’s just say. The staff were told that under no circumstances could we make our own copies of what Frank was coming in to transfer. Yeah right! So, uh, this friend of mine, yeah this friend of mine, made copy, a copy of which I then traded to Dan, for, as I recall, a live video of David Bowie’s “Heroes” tour from 1978 and Bowie’s “1980 Floor Show” performance from The Midnight Special. Whenever I saw a bootleg of Cocksucker Blues, I would always look to see if it was a generation or two (or ten) away from the one I traded to Dan. Over the decades, most of them were my copy’s progeny (I can tell by a warble in the opening credits) although this has changed in recent years as a far better version has surfaced on DVD and torrent sites.
In any case, my rambling anecdote about the VHS tape trading underground of the late 1980s is because I wanted you to know that the legendary Cocksucker Blues documentary has been posted once again by some kind soul for viewing on the Internet. My 25-year-old copy is NOT the parent of this version, which looks pretty good (Note: The film was shot on Super-8 film to begin with, so it’s never going to look much better than this. You can find torrents for a great looking DVD version all over the place).
Video filmed backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, from the Hampton Coliseum, Virginia, in 1981.
Alway wanted to know about the backstage antics???
Here’s your chance to be with the Stones before they go on stage.
I guess the routine of touring has gotten to the point of ...well this!
Warming the crowd before they go on is George Thorogood & the Destroyers, on stage in the background.
Your Backstage pass says “ALL ACCESS”.
Please follow through this door and onto your left!
Taken from the December 18 performance, this was broadcast as The World’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll Party on pay-per-view and in closed circuit cinemas - the first use of pay-per-view for a music event.
It’s interesting footage, inasmuch as it belies the backstage tales of excess most associated with the “World’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll” band.
A YouTuber saw fit to offer a transcript of this amusingly incoherent live Rolling Stones performance from 1976 where Mick Jagger simply refuses to form real words with his mouth.
Name that tune:
“Yah Awa bo anna craw fah huh cay Anna ho alamo in a try ray Buh ah ray ah now yeah and fad is a gay Oh ray now, a jumpin jay flay sa gas gas gah. Ah wa lay bah a toodleh beedeh hay. Ah wa sko wid a strap rahda craws ma bah. Bahda oh ray now en fad is a gay. Buh oh ray now jumpin jah flah sa da ga ga geh “
What freaking made up slurry LANGUAGE is he singing in, anyway? What drugs is he on? I want some!
The final photo session of Brian Jones with The Rolling Stones.
There isn’t tons of footage of Brian Jones, founder of The Rolling Stones, speaking on camera, so this is a real treat. Usually it’s Mick Jagger who the reporters would direct the questions at (or Mick who would always answer, I suppose) but seldom have we seen Brian speak for such an extended period of time. (Mick must’ve been knackered?).
The interview took place in Montreal in 1965 and the interviewer wanted to know what the Stones thought of America. They tell him.
Amazing and hilarious, especially the clip with the mother and child. Here are The Rolling Stones at their satanic peak doing promo clips for the 1969 ABC-TV show Music Scene. Wikipedia had this to say about this odd phenomenon:
Existing promos initially used to sell this show to ABC affiliates featured the improvisational group The Committee, which featured actor Howard Hesseman (then using the name Don Sturdy), as well as the Rolling Stones. The promos implied that the Stones would be appearing with some regularity on the program. However by the time The Music Scene went on the air, the Committee was nowhere to be seen and the Stones never appeared on the show.
This of course sent me scurrying about finding clips from the actual show. Richard previously posted this one of Sly and the Family Stone. Here are a few other great ones for your weekend viewing pleasure:
Three Dog Night doing Laura Nyro’s “Eli’s Coming.” Heavy Hollywood/ Satanic/ pre-Manson/ Rosemary’s Baby vibe going on here.