Sunday, August 7, 2011


July 1963 the Rolling Stones recorded two songs, the Coasters' 'Poison Ivy' and 'Fortune Teller', originally a 1962 US rhythm & blues hit for Benny Spellman. Both tracks were intended to be released as the Stones' second single, but the record was withdrawn. On September 23 the band recorded five tracks for a BBC 'Saturday Club' radio broadcast. The Stones rock on all the tracks despite Ian Stewart's piano again missing from the session.

At the end of September, following the BBC recording, the Stones embarked on their first UK tour, supporting the Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley and Little Richard. The tour extended for the whole of October and offered two shows a day. In the meantime the Stones, Andrew Oldham and Decca, having considered and refusing the 'Poison Ivy' single, sought a follow-up to their first single, 'Come On'. Paul McCartney and John Lennon lend the band a helping hand and offered one of their unifinished R&B songs: 'I Wanna Be Your Man'.

The Rolling Stones recorded the track on October 7 at De Lane Lea Studios, London, and with the session coming to a close, the group had just thirty minutes to deliver a B-side. Surprisingly, perhaps, they eschewed the idea of churning out another well-practised R&B cover in favour of a jam based around Booker T. & the MGs' 'Green Onions'.

A perfect chance for Ian Stewart to shine! On 'Stoned', credited to Nanker-Phelge (a pseudonym used for group-wriiten songs), Stu's honky-tonk barrelhouse piano trades blue notes with Keith Richards' guitar, Brian Jones' Delta harp howled menacingly, and Mick Jagger's dilatory "Stoned...outta my mind" was delivered in his best Willie Dixon 'Walking The Blues' drawl.

Adapted from the following sources:
Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Red Cherry Books, 2002.
James Hector, The Complete Guide To The Music of the Rolling Stones, Omnibus Press, 1995.

1 comment:

  1. July, 1963: Decca Studios, London, England.
    The Rolling Stones: Poison Ivy (version 1) (Leiber-Stoller) (2:34)
    The Rolling Stones: Fortune Teller (Neville) (2:12)

    630700A July: London, West Hampstead, Decca Studios. Producer: Michael Barclay. Sound engineer: Gus Dudgeon.
    - Poison Ivy (Leiber-Stoller) - cancelled 7“-version
    - Fortune Teller (Neville) - cancelled 7“ version
    - What Kind Of Girl (Jagger-Richards) - unverified.
    Line-up: Mick Jagger (voc, tamb, perc)/Brian Jones (gtr, harm, bvoc)/Keith Richards (gtr, bvoc)/Bill Wyman (bass, bvoc)/Charlie Watts (dr).
    Note: The Coasters’ Poison Ivy and Fortune Teller, originally a 1962 US R&B hit for Benny Spellman, were intended to be released as the Stones’ second single, but the record was withdrawn.

    October 7, 1963: De Lane Lea Studios, London, England.
    The Rolling Stones: I Wanna Be Your Man (Lennon-McCartney) (1:47)
    The Rolling Stones: Stoned (Nanker-Phelge) (2:13)
    Mick Jagger: "I Wanna Be Your Man"
    We knew The Beatles by then and we were rehearsing and Andrew brought Paul and John down to the rehearsal. They said they had this tune, they were really hustlers then. I mean the way they used to hustle tunes was great: hey Mick, we've got this great song. So they played I Wanna Be Your Man and we thought it sounded pretty commercial, which is what we were looking for, so we did it like Elmore James or something. I haven't heard it for ages but it must be pretty freaky 'cause nobody really produced it. It was completely crackers, but it was a hit and sounded great onstage.

    631007A 7th October: London, Kingsway, De Lane Lea Studios. Producers: Andrew Loog Oldham and Eric Easton.
    - I Wanna Be Your Man (Lennon-McCartney) - 7“-version
    - Stoned (Nanker-Phelge) - 7“-version; Ian Stewart on piano. Line-up: Mick Jagger (voc)/Brian Jones (gtr, harm, bvoc)/Keith Richards (gtr, bvoc)/Bill Wyman (bass)/Charlie Watts (dr).