Friday, December 2, 2011

Their Satanic Majesties Request (2)

Actually, where was Ian Stewart in last post's story? Nowhere near really, because Stu disgusted (the making of) "Their Satanic Majesties Request". Even on a topic that he might have liked, Andrew Oldham's leaving, Stu showed a lot of distance (all them 'they's') to what was going on at the time. Ian Stewart: At some stage the band realized that Andrew Oldham's ideas on producing were only ideas he'd got from them in the first place.

There must have been some sort of bust-up with Amdrew 'cause all of a sudden they wanted to get rid of him. Before they started "Satanic Majesties" a lot of time was booked at Olympic. Andrew was supposed to be there as producer. And he was there only in a literal sense. We went in and played a lot of blues just as badly as we could. Andrew just walked out. At the time I didn't understand what was going on. They were probably a bit fed up with Oldham wanting to be the record producer and not really producing.

With less distance, and with a lot more of emotion, Stu (in Bill Wyman's Stone Alone) describes Brian Jones' estrangement from the Stones. "The only time Brian looked like coming into his own was when they did that awful "Satanic Majesties", where he got the chance to dabble with the mellotron. It was a terrible shame. He'd do anything. He would turn up at the studio with saxophones, and he even played harp on one number. He had the ability to actually sit down and fiddle with it, and got something out of it fairly easily.

The talent and ability was there, but he just screwed himself up. It was tragic, because Brian really was a good player, but all he wanted to do was fiddle about with reed instruments and Indian drums. He just dabbled and was too out of it to play anything. Being a star just got to him totally". As an illustration of his disliking of the album, Stu just played (some) organ on one album track, Bill Wyman's "In Another Land". Almost all other keyboards on the album were played by Brian Jones and Nicky Hopkins, who by now had found his place in the inner circle of the band.

Adapted from the following sources:
Ian McPherson, Time Is On Our Side (website, original source unsure, maybe Melody Maker).
Bill Wyman, Stone Alone, Penguin Books, 1990.


  1. February 9-24, 1967: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England.
    The Rolling Stones: In Another Land (Wyman) (3:15)
    Bill Wyman: "In Another Land"
    I went to the studio one night and when I arrived at the studio Glyn Johns said, The session's canceled. So I said, oh, what a drag, 'cause it was quite a drive for me, about a 45 minute drive. And he said, well, got any songs you want to
    mess around, try and demo and things? Nicky Hopkins was there on keyboards. I'm not sure whether Charlie was
    there or not. I can't remember. And I said, yeah, 'cause I'd been messing with this song. It was a bit, what I thought
    was kind of spacy, you know, a bit kind of Satanic Majesties-like. And psychedelic in a way. And he said, we'll have a go at it and I just used those players and next door, in the other studio, were the Small Faces who were recording. And Steve Marriott came in and Ronnie Lane and they sang with me 'cause I just didn't want to sing. So I used that tremolo effect on the voice 'cause I was really uptight about my singing - which I still am. And we just used effects and we tried all kinds of things and it came out quite nice and I went home sort of reasonably satisfied, with an experiment, if you like. And next day I got to the studio and we were just chatting about what we were going to do tonight and Glyn said, hey, hang on, he said to Mick and Keith and Brian. He said, hang on, have a listen to this, and put the tape on, played them a rough mix. They said, that's really good, what is it? He said, Bill. He did it yesterday. And so they all liked it and they thought it fitted in so we put it on the album.

    670209A 9th - 24th February: London, Olympic Sound Studios. Producer: The Rolling Stones. Sound engineer: Glyn Johns. Incl.
    - In Another Land I (Wyman) - 14th February, unverified early version (under title Bill’s Tune)
    - In Another Land II (Wyman) - 22nd February, unverified early version (under title Acid In The Grass).

    Note: The ‘Satanic’ album track was recorded on July 13 at Olympic Sound Studios.

    Line-up: Bill Wyman (voc, p, org, bass)/Steve Marriott (gtr, bvoc)/Ronnie Lane (bvoc)/Nicky Hopkins (harpsichord)/Charlie Watts (dr)/Mick Jagger (bvoc)/Keith Richards (gtr, bvoc)/Brian Jones (mellotron)/Ian Stewart (org).

    entry 671208A