I am, I see here, marginally endowed, if I read Keith’s sniggering aright. I do not sing well, either. I am not polite to employees; indeed, I have even been known to say, “Oh, shut up, Keith,” in band meetings. I do not appreciate the authenticity of the music or the importance of what we do. I want to “lord it over” the band, like James Brown. I am “insufferable.” I slept with Anita.
Most of that is in just the first quarter of this overlong book, but a tattoo of my failings sounds all through it and culminates in almost 20 full pages of rambling invective near the end.
I don’t mind this, really, for reasons I hope are understandable and will get into later. This is all from a guy pushing 70 for whom gays are still “poofters” and women “bitches.” I think so many things about Keith. We were close, the two of us, for many years. We had known each other in grade school, if you can believe it, in the same undistinguished eastern suburb. Then we bumped into each other in a train station at 18 or so and started talking about the blues. We were different; I’d already been on TV with my father, who was a fairly notable expert on physical education at the time. Keith was … rougher, let’s say. For the next nearly 10 years, we were rarely apart. Even after we were famous, we lived at each others’ flats or houses. We were still very young, and, like puppies, we’d cluster together. (more….)
Written and sung primarily by Keith, “Happy” kicks off album two of Exile On Main St.
Robert Christagu was one of the first rock writers to praise Exile On Main St upon its release in 1972. Pretty spot on if you ask me.
“More than anything else this fagged-out masterpiece is difficult–how else describe music that takes weeks to understand? Weary and complicated, barely afloat in its own drudgery, it rocks with extra power and concentration as a result. More indecipherable than ever, submerging Mick’s voice under layers of studio murk, it piles all the old themes–sex as power, sex as love, sex as pleasure, distance, craziness, release–on top of an obsession with time more than appropriate in over-thirties committed to what was once considered a youth music. Honking around sweet Virginia country and hipping through Slim Harpo, singing their ambiguous praises of Angela Davis, Jesus Christ, and the Butter Queen, they’re just war babies with the bell bottom blues.” A+
Here’s the lead off track, “Rocks Off” from Sydney ’73:
In pondering what would be an appropriate album for Phish to cover for their musical costume at Festival 8 (10/30 – 11/1/09 in Indio, CA), I thought of an old favorite of mine, The Stones’ Let It Bleed. As the Stones pondered their fate whilst Brian Jones was unceremoniously ousted from the band, they wrote and recorded this instant classic. From the first notes of the all-hell’s-breaking loose fury of Gimme Shelter to the final notes of the philosophical masterpiece, You Can’t Always Get You Want and everything in between, this is the perfect album. You can feel sleaze and grit, the throbbing of Let It Bleed and you feel as if Mick may truly has a knife in his teeth while recording Midnight Rambler. Monkey Man is grit, moxie and swagger set to music.
I can vividly envision Jennifer Hartswick vocally churning and burning the backing vocals with Phish on Gimme Shelter a’la Merry Clayton (RAPE!!! MURDER!!! It’s just a shot away…). Mike covering Mick isn’t too much of stretch (he’s done it before with Emotional Rescue) and could channel him again on Monkey Man. The band would then unveil a choir to sing the finale You Can’t Always Get What You Want.
It’s not too far of a stretch is it? They’ve done The Beatles, Pink Floyd and The Who. Anyway, It’s just one man’s suggestion.
Looking ahead to March 6, 7 & 8, when Phish returns to the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA. Opening in 1970, the space-ship looking structure has scores of legendary shows, from Elvis Presley, Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Phish and Dave Matthews. The last show Cliff Burton performed with Metallica before his death in 1986 was performed at the Coliseum. It was home to the American Basketball Association’s Virginia Squires, several professional wrestling events, dozens of basketball tournaments and two teams in the American Hockey League. We have decided to focus on just a few of the stellar musical performances here.
Click here for a great Dead show at Hampton from 1981.
The Band Formerly Known As The Warlocks on 10/9/1989:
The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” from 1981:
Elvis Presley with “I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”:
Phish playing “Piper” on 11/20/1998:
One of the Stones’ great early blues covers. Written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Howlin’ Wolf, the Stones recorded and released it in 1964 and had quite the little blues/pop hit in Great Britain, reaching #3. Here are the Stones playing at Atlantic City in the late 80’s. Roughly in the same period when Mick stole Eric’s “bird”. Eric was apparently in love with Carla Bruni and she couldn’t resist Mick’s charms. Well she’s now married to the French president, Sarkozy. Funny how things happen, eh?
Here are the guys backstage in 1981: