Friday, December 9, 2011

Surrey Rehearsals

It's often been said that a mind unlocked by psychedelics is better equipped to perceive simple truths. The Beatles' cure for an LSD-induced hangover was a return to rock 'n roll ("Lady Madonna"), while Bob Dylan re-emerged with an album of country songs. The Rolling Stones also started work on a new album within this back-to-basics framework, with new producer Jimmy Miller in control.

Songs were worked on prior to the sessions, and time, plus a grim determination to put the musical uncertainties of the past eighteen months behind them, all contributed to a new mood of optimism. And with Andrew Oldham out of the picture, and Brian Jones slowly but unquestionably fading, the Jagger-Richards partnership had become absolutely central to the quest.

March 1968 The Stones, except for Brian Jones, but with Ian Stewart in tow, started rehearsals for the forthcoming new album in the small, but familiar R.G. Jones Studio, Morden, Surrey. "I'll Coming Home" is a fine example of the energetic jam sessions, during which many songs were worked on for the first time. It's pretty clear that the band intended to shift their style back to the blues, with a harder rock edge and feel.

Adapted from the following source: James Hector, The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Rolling Stones, Omnibus Press, 1995.

1 comment:

  1. February-March 15, 1968: Redlands (Keith Richards’ home)/R. G. Jones Studio, Morden, England (1968 Surrey Rehearsals).
    Rehearsals for the upcoming album Beggars Banquet (mostly without Brian Jones). Producer: Jimmy Miller. Sound engineer: Eddie Kramer. Additional musician: Ian Stewart on piano.

    The Rolling Stones: Highway Child (Jagger-Richards) (5:24)
    The Rolling Stones: Hold On! I'm Coming (Hayes-Porter) (4:09)
    Bill Wyman and Glyn Johns: Hiring Jimmy Miller
    Bill: I think that everybody knew that we had to get back to our roots, you know, and start over. That's why we got Jimmy Miller as a producer and came out with Beggars Banquet and those kinds of albums after, which was reverting back and getting more guts - which is what the Stones are all about.
    Glyn Johns: Jagger came to me after Satanic Majesties and said, we're going to get a new producer, so I said, ok, fine. He said, we're going to get an American. I thought, oh my God, that's all I need. I don't think my ego can stand

    having some bloody Yankee coming in here and start telling me what sort of sound to get with the Rolling Stones. So I said, I know somebody! I know there's one in England already and he's fantastic, and he'd just done the Traffic album: Jimmy Miller. And it was a remarkably good record he made, the first record he made with Traffic. I said, he's a really nice guy. I'd met him, he'd been in the next studio room and I said, I'm sure he'd be fantastic. Anything but some strange lunatic, drug addict from Los Angeles. So, Jagger actually took the bait and off he went, met Jimmy Miller and gave him the job.

    Keith Richards: Brian deteriorating
    Brian, in many ways, was a right cunt. He was a bastard. Mean, generous, anything. You want to say one thing, give it the opposite too. But more so than most people, you know. Up to a point, you could put up with it. When you were put under the pressures of the road, either you took it seriously or you took it as a joke. Which meant that eventually - it was a very slow process, and it shifted and changed, and it is so impossible to describe - but in the last year or so, when Brian was almost totally incapacitated all of the time, he became a joke to the band. It was the only way we could deal with it without getting mad at him. So then it became that very cruel, piss-taking thing behind his back all the time. But even though he wasn't really contributing anymore, there was no immediate necessity to go through the drama of replacing Brian because no gigs were lined up. We first had to recognize the fact that we needed to make a really good album. After Satanic Majesties we wanted to make a Stones album.