Monday, July 18, 2011

Hey Crawdaddy! (2)

Here's just a little bit more on the Stones' crucial residency at Giorgio Gomelsky's Crawdaddy Club, this time from the inside. Listen to Bill Wyman, Giorgio Gomelsky, Stu and Charlie Watts. Bill Wyman: We weren't a pop band, we just got together and played the blues music we liked to play. And if we could play in front of a few people who liked it - well that was the ultimate at that time. We didn't even face the audience. We used to take stools with us, these old rusty metal stools, and we'd sit on these and never face the audience, let alone play it. We used the harmonica a lot back then - in a different way than the Beatles did on ""Love Me Do" - and maracas, and tambourines, and that Bo Diddley jungle rhythm format. We tried to get that really earthy thing because we liked it. It wasn't fake. It wasn't pseudo. It was really down to earth, and very, very exiting.

Giorgio Gomelsky: the band's manager at the time: The Stones played their shit. Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, things that weren't too difficult. But they were playing with guts and conviction. They were playing blues, but they weren't an academic blues band. The Rolling Stones were more like a rebellion. It was a ritual thing, and the Stones were nothing but ritual, really. In the end, at the Crawdaddy Club, people just went berserk.

Ian Stewart: The Station Hotel was the most important thing 'cause it was at the Crawdaddy that you really started seeing exitement. It was at Richmond that they finally started to get up off their backsides and move; within two months they were swinging off the rafters. But the Station Hotel lasted about ten weeks, because they wanted to pull the place down, and it's still standing there yet. It had a very low ceiling, with girders, so of course they're leaping about among the girders, they're goin' barmy.

CharlieWatts: At Richmond we became sort of a cult, in a way. Not because of us, it just happened. There were so many people, and because there was no room to dance they used to invent ridiculous dances. There was no room for Mick to dance onstage and he used to just wiggle his arse, which sort of made...I don't know, was lovely. I mean the Crawdaddy was like - it was nice to have a dance. It was nice to be there, and the Crawdaddy was always like that. That was really the best time for response of them all. I mean, it got a bit wearing, if you did the same set, and you knew at a certain time everything would explode. And sure enough it always did, and it always ended up in an absolute gyrating riot.

Source: Ian McPherson's wonderful website,

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