Wednesday, July 18, 2012


It's Ian Stewart's birthday today, and here's a nice compilation of Stu pictures. Thanks to viejorlinga (Stonesforum).

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mahoney's Last Stand

In May 1972 Faces members Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood started recordings for the soundtrack to the film 'Mahoney's Last Stand' at Olympic Sound Studios, London. The album represented Wood and Lane's only joint venture outside of the Faces, although they were joined on several tracks by fellow band members Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones. Lyrically 'Mahoney's Last Stand' is very much a Ronnie Lane influenced recording, despite the trademark guitar and harmonica contributions from Ronnie Wood.

'Mahoney's Last Stand' was originally intended to be released in North America as a promotional vehicle for the film of the same name, but contractual wrangles meant the film was delayed for almost two years and the soundtrack for three years. The album is the first clear indication of the direction Ronnie Lane would eventually pursue when he quit Faces following this recording, midway through their 1973 USA tour.

In addition to Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan, Ron and Ron were joined by Pete Townshend, Rick Grech, Ian Stewart, Bobby Keys, Jim Price, Micky Waller, Bruce Rowland and Benny Gallagher (who later went on to form with Lane the band Slim Chance). The soundtrack was recorded by Glyn Johns. Ian 'Stu' Stewart plays piano on one track, the instrumental 'Woody's Thing', with Ron Wood on guitars and Bruce Rowland on drums.

Adapted from the following source: Terry Rawlings, Mahoney's Last Stand, liner notes to the soundtrack album.

Fact sheet: Exile On Main St.

Exile On Main St., recorded mainly in 1971 and released in May 1972, is considered to be the greatest album The Rolling Stones ever made. Author James Hector puts the record in some fine perspective: "What Exile captured was a band wholly conversant with their own limitations. By defining their own terms, and by not falling foul of contemporary fads and fashions, the Stones touched base with what inspired them in the first place.

The act of collective music-making, in the leisured ambience of a kitchen/basement, enabled them to fulfil what they weren't able to achieve back in 1962. And now able to draw on all the sources they'd accessed during their ten-year career, their vast musical education enabled them to fully control those influences, rather than let themselves simply become the sum of them. There's nothing ostentatious, or even immediately gripping about the results. But rarely has a group reacquainted itself with both the original, and a contemporary vision of itself, and emerged with a hybrid that seemed quintessential, and yet wonderfully out-of-sorts with both".

Ian Stewart played piano on three tracks, 'Sweet Virginia', 'Stop Breaking Down', and 'Shake Your Hips'. Other members of the keyboard department on this record were Nicky Hopkins (piano on 12 tracks) and Billy Preston (piano and organ on 'Shine A Light'). May 2010 saw the re-release of 'Exile', including a second disc with ten previously unreleased alternates and leftovers, originally recorded in 1970-1971. Nicky Hopkins played on all but one of these tracks, while Stu contributed a piano line to 'Dancing In The Light' (with new vocals by Mick Jagger).

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

Suggested further reading:
Bill Janovitz, The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main St., Continuum, 2007.
John Robinson, Exile On Main St., The Ultimate Music Guide (from the makers of Uncut)
Charles Shaar Murray, Party On (album review), Mojo Special Edition, 2003.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Exile summer

By the spring of 1971 the Rolling Stones owed more in taxes than they could pay and the band left the UK before the government could seize their assets. Mick Jagger settled in Paris, and Keith Richards rented a villa, Nellcôte, in Villefranche-sur-Mer, near Nice. The other members of the band also setttled in the south of France. Eventually Keith's basement at Nellcôte became a makeshift studio to record, using the band's mobile recording truck.

In his autobiography, Life, Keith Richards recalls what happened: "We looked at studios in Cannes and elsewhere, reckoned up how much money the French were going to suck out of us. Nellcôte had a large basement and we had our own mobile studio. The Mighty Mobile, as we called it, was a truck with eight-track recording machines that Stu had helped to put together. We'd thought of it quite separately from any plan to move to France.

It was the only mobile recording unit around. We didn't realize when we put it together how rare it was - soon we were renting it out to the BBC and ITV because they had only one apiece. It was another one of those beautiful, graceful, fortuitous things that happened to the Stones. So one day in June it trundled through the gates and we parked it outside the front door and plugged in. I've never done any different since. When you've got the equipment and the right guys, you don't need anything else in terms of studios".

And so Nellcôte and the Mighty Mobile became the center of the Stones' 1971 Exile recordings. A lot has been written (and filmed) about this long hot summer in the south of France, but very little is known about Stu's whereabouts. For sure he, as managing director of the mobile unit, must have been around, but where did he live? And did he take part in any recording sessions, or was Nicky Hopkins the only piano player the band relied on at the time? Someone?

Adapted from the following source: Keith Richards, Life, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010.

Suggested further reading and viewing:
Bill Janovitz, The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main St., Continuum, 2007.
Dominique Tarlé, Exile, Genesis Publications, 2001.
Stones In Exile, Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd., 2010 (DVD).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fact sheet: Sticky Fingers

April 1971 the Rolling Stones finally released their new studio album "Sticky Fingers" on their new record label Rolling Stones Records. Author Graeme Thomson puts the record in some fine perspective: "Sticky Fingers is the bridge that carried the Stones out of the '60s and into the '70s, pieced together over two years in the gaps between two major, somewhat mythical tours; various legal shenanigans; the integration of Mick Taylor as a fully fledged Stone; and their departure from Decca to form their own record label.

A three-day stopover at Muscle Shoals, Alabama in December 1969 delivered 'Wild Horses', 'You Gotta Move' and 'Brown Sugar'. The rest - the sickly 'Sister Morphine' aside - was recorded throughout 1970 at Stargroves, Mick Jagger's country pile, and tidied up at Olympic Sound Studios in London. It was, according to Jagger, a 'heavy time', and you can hear it in the music. Unlike most other Stones albums, however magnificent, "Sticky Fingers" is an emotional as well as a visceral ride".

Ian Stewart played piano on two tracks, 'Brown Sugar' and 'Dead Flowers'. Other members of the keyboard department on this record were Nicky Hopkins, Jim Dickinson, Billy Preston, Jack Nitzsche, Jim Price, and even Bill Wyman (electric piano on 'You Gotta Move'). A busy affair, with Stu being a constant factor, and Billy Preston the coming man.

Adapted from the following source: Graeme Thomson, Sticky Fingers, The Ultimate Music Guide (from the makers of Uncut).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Let It Rock

March 4, 1971 the Rolling Stones kicked off their first proper UK tour since autumn 1966, after having announced that they were becoming tax exiles and decamping to the South of France, which they did shortly after finishing the tour. The tour was not lengthy (March 4-14, 1971), but audience numbers were enlarged by playing two shows on almost every night.

Although "Sticky Fingers" was still not released, the band expanded the number of selections from it played compared with the previous European tour. Nicky Hopkins took over from Ian Stewart the role of stage keyboardist. On March 26 the band went to the Marquee Club to film a TV special. For this special occasion Stu took over from Nicky Hopkins again, and played piano on almost all songs, including Chuck Berry's 'Let It Rock'.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Headley Grange Sessions

During their 1971 recording sessions at Headley Grange, East Hampshire, England, British rock band Led Zeppelin were using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio and were accompanied by Ian Stewart, who ended up jamming with the band on piano. Two songs (or rather jams) saw the light of day: 'Rock And Roll', based on a classic twelve-bar blues pattern, appeared on Zep's fourth album (1971), while 'Boogie With Stu' earned its place on 1975's "Physical Graffiti".

According to guitarist Jimmy Page both songs would not have emerged had it not been for the particularly informal 'live-in' environment at Headley Grange: "Some of the things that happened there, like 'Boogie With Stu' where Stu turns up and plays a piano that's totally unplayable, were incredible. That was too good to miss because Stu wouldn't record, he wouldn't do solo stuff. All of these things wouldn't end up on albums as far as other people were concerned, but they did with us".

Adapted from various wikipedia pages.

Shake Your Hips

Right after their 1970 European tour the Rolling Stones returned to Olympic Sound Studios and Stargroves (with the Mobile) to work on tracks for "Sticky Fingers", and also on songs that would appear on later albums. The Stones' version of Slim Harpo's 'Shake Your Hips' ended up on the "Exile On Main St." album. The song is played in rockabilly fashion. Charlie Watts tick-tacks the rhythm throughout on the drum rim while the lead guitars interweave authentic fifties sounds. Mick Jagger warbles on harmonica as the song fades out. Ian Stewart is on piano.

Adapted from the following source:
Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Cherry Red Books, 2002.

Suggested further reading:
Bill Janovitz, Exile On Main St., Continuum, 2005.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A funky piano

Autumn 1970 (August 30 - October 9) the Rolling Stones toured Europe, for the first time in more than three years. It happened to be the first Stones tour to include other stage personnel in order to enhance the sound. Brass instrumentation (Bobby Keys, Jim Price) now was a standard part of the set. Ian Stewart joined the band on five or six songs every night, although still not visible to the audience.

Here's how New Musical Express reviewed one of the shows: "But the biggest surprise was the appearance of the Rolling Stones Plus Three, which brings the performers on-stage up to eight. The Plus Three are unbilled and unadvertised. They are Jim Price, Bobby Keys, and the Stones' own Man Friday, Ian 'Stu' Stewart, who plays a funky piano".

Quite obviously Stu appeared on the show's three Chuck Berry tunes: the well-rehearsed 'Little Queenie', 'Let It Rock' and 'Roll Over Beethoven', which replaced 'Carol' in the setlist, but also on three original Stones compositions: 'Honky Tonk Women', 'Brown Sugar' and the country-tinged 'Dead Flowers'.

Adapted from the following sources:
Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Cherry Red Books, 2002.
Christopher Hjort, Strange Brew. Eric Clapton & The British Blues Boom 1965-1970, Jawbone, 2007.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stop Breaking Down

On 1972's "Exile On Main St." the Rolling Stones touched base with what inspired them in the first place. On 'Stop Breaking Down', another "Exile" track that dated back to the 1970 recording sessions, the band, with Ian Stewart in fine boogie woogie form, once more returned to their blues roots. The song, a Robert Johnson twelve-bar classic, got arranged by the band into a semi rhythm & blues mould.

Instrumentally the lead on this Johnson rendition is shared by Mick Taylor, who plays a rasping slide solo, and Stu, with his rhythmic timing on piano. Mick Jagger plays rhythm guitar and harmonica. At the overdub stage echoed compressed 'oohs' were used to good effect. According to author James Hector this was exactly the kind of song Brian Jones wanted the band to make during the "Beggars Banquet" sessions. They didn't, but two years later, Mick Taylor was on hand to turn in some measured slide guitar.

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

Suggested further reading:
Bill Janovitz, Exile On Main St., Continuum, 2005.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sweet Virginia

During their 1970 recording sessions (March-May, June-July, and October) at Stargroves (with the Rolling Stones Mobile) and Olympic Sound Studios the Rolling Stones worked on some 30 tracks, which ended up on the upcoming* "Sticky Fingers" album, but also on the band's 1972 masterpiece, "Exile On Main St.". Piano and organ parts during these sessions were shared by Ian Stewart, Nicky Hopkins and newcomer to the Stones' inner circle Billy Preston, who had found brief pop fame with the Beatles in 1969 when he had played keyboards on 'Get Back' and 'Don't Let Me Down'.

'Sweet Virginia', which was finished in 1971-1972 and included on "Exile", originates from the June-July sessions, and features Stu on piano. Author James Hector on this pure (but also drug-related) country song: "The nearest the Stones ever got to a round-the-campfire song, though Baden-Powell probably wouldn't have appreciated the refrain. "Got to scrape the shit right of your shoes" suggested that the song may have been an obscure slant on the old standard 'Walkin' Blues', but the blues (and the reds and the greens for that matter) referred to in the song were in tablet form. If one Stones' song was written by Keith Richards and Gram Parsons up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 'Sweet Virginia' must have been it".

* The "Sticky Fingers" album, now almost complete, was left in the can until the outcome of publishing rights trials. The album featured a host of musicians and took seven months to record but, due to protracted record company deals and various law suits, was not released for a further six to eight months.

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

Suggested further reading:
Bill Janovitz, Exile On Main St., Continuum, 2005.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And on piano....

In the last couple of weeks I've had other things on my mind, but I will resume posting soon. In the meantime I would like to recommend an awesome book on....Nicky Hopkins. Author (and musician) Julian Dawson wrote a great book about "the extraordinary life of rock's greatest session man". Ian Stewart and Nicky Hopkins were good friends, but their ways of treating the keys were quite different.

Stu's widow, Cynthia, had a lot to say about her husband's and Nicky's time with the Rolling Stones. Both men died too young but one positive memory spoke eloquently of their talents: "I can remember Nicky coming round to the house where there was a little sunroom and in this tiny space was Stu's old 'joanna' upright piano and a baby grand that the Stones had lent him. I remember Nicky sitting at the grand and Stu at the upright, making unbelievably beautiful music.

Stu never read a note of music in his life, whereas Nicky was a classically trained pianist, and I noticed the difference between their hands. Nicky's fingers were long, pale, thin and hairless and Stu's were hairy with strong fingers. Stu did not finger the keyboard the way a proper pianist would, but Nicky changed chords professionally, classically. Their music was very beautiful".

Adapted from the following source: Julian Dawson, And On Piano....Nicky Hopkins, Backstage Press, 2011

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Howlin' Wolf: The London Sessions

On May 1, 1970, Howlin' Wolf arrived in London to record with British players, especially guitarist Eric Clapton. He was accompanied by producer Norbert Dayron, Chess company chief Marshall Chess, Wolf's life-long guitarist Hubert Sumlin, and harp player Jeffrey M. Carp. In an interview Dayron recalled that he secured the co-operation of Clapton earlier in the year, but it is also safe to assume that the well-connected Glyn Johns, engineer at Olympic Sound Studios, was instrumental in gathering the musicians who eventually appeared on the sessions (May 2-7, 1970).

On the first studio day (May 2) a hurriedly put-together assembly consisting of Eric Clapton, Ian Stewart, bass player Klaus Voorman and Ringo Starr backed the Chicago contingent on three tracks, but Voorman and Starr in particular had trouble adjusting to Wolf's needs, and both of them decided not to return to the sessions. They were replaced by Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. Wyman and Watts have a natural affinity for the music and, teamed with Stu's piano, probably no other British rhythm section could so well approach the true Chess sound as these three.

Adapted from the following source: Christopher Hjort, Strange Brew. Eric Clapton & The British Blues Boom, Jawbone, 2007.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


During Rolling Stones recording sessions at Olympic Sound Studios and Stargroves (with the Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, March-May 1970) Ian Stewart, together with brass players Bobby Keys and Jim Price, also recorded with Detroit-based band Sky. In 1970, Sky, whose members included Doug Fieger, John Coury and Robert Greenfield, was achieving local success in Detroit.

In a display of youthful bravado Fieger and Coury sent a letter to producer Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones, Traffic, Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith) saying that if he ever found himself in Detroit he should come by and listen to their band, and to everyone's  surprise, Miller took them up on the offer. With Miller on board, and Andy Johns engineering, Sky released two albums, "Don't Hold Back" (1970) and "Sailor's Delight" (1971).

Besides Stu, Keys and Price, other well-known musicians that turned up at the sessions included Nicky Hopkins, Chris Wood (Traffic) and Gary Wright. After their return to the US in 1971 the band broke up and members went their separate ways. Here are two songs from 1971's "Sailor's Delight", with Stu on piano.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rolling Stones Mobile Studio

The Rolling Stones entered 1970 with already five songs for a new studio album in the can. 'Sister Morphine', with Ry Cooder on guitar, already got recorded early 1969, while 'Brown Sugar', 'You Gotta Move', 'Wild Horses' and 'Dead Flowers' were first taped in December. But due to several (legal) reasons the release of the new album, "Sticky Fingers", was postponed until April 1971.

On January 20, 1970 is was announced that the Stones had their own mobile studio installed in an articulated truck. The concept for the Rolling Stones Mobile Unit first came about in 1968 when the band decided they needed a new environment in which to record music. The band decided to use Mick Jagger's new country house, Stargroves, to record.

All the necessary equipment had to be brought to the house, so the idea of putting a control room into a van was brought up by road manager Ian Stewart. Under Stu's guidance a variety of top engineers and producers, including close friend Glyn Johns, were consulted in the project's creation. Originally only intended for use by the Stones, the mobile unit soon gained popularity among the likes of other classic bands, such as the Who, Led Zeppelin and Faces.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dead Flowers

Right after the Altamont disaster the Rolling Stones returned to the UK and went straight (December 9-10, 1969) to Olympic Sound Studios to finish off the three tracks recorded earlier at Muscle Shoals. In addition, treading now on ever more familiar ground, the first takes of "Dead Flowers" were recorded. "Dead Flowers" is another Nashville ringer but up-tempo. The song was written by Mick Jagger and features Ian Stewart on a joyous boogie-woogie piano roll.

The Stones' love for country and western was not simply a popular fashion or cheap imitation - the band seemed to have an in-built love for the music and country songs were to be included on most future albums, even if they were not treated as seriously as "Wild Horses". "Dead Flowers" was completed in 1970. After "Honky Tonk Women" and "Let It Bleed", the song completed Stu's 1969 trilogy...the sixth Stone in fine form!

Adapted from the following source: Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Cherry Red Books, 2002.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fact sheet: Let It Bleed

December 1969 the Rolling Stones released their eighth studio album, "Let It Bleed". Author James Hector puts the album in some fine perspective: "By the time "Let It Bleed" appeared, it had virtually been eclipsed by the band's winter tour of the States. The greatest noise of all came from the highly charged atmosphere of a bitterly divided America. Against this background, the group organised the free concert at Altamont, an ill-fated show which ended in the kind of chaos and murder that many felt was synonymous with the Stones' music.

Like "Beggars Banquet", "Let It Bleed" opened with the sound of cultural catastrophe, but while 'Sympathy For The Devil' was Mick Jagger in fantasy role-playing mode (albeit rather convincingly), 'Gimme Shelter' used no such distancing artistic device. No wonder the Maysles' Brothers closed their film of the band's US tour with the song: after the unrestrained violence which prevailed at the festival, and which provided the film's climax, the song's apocalyptic scenario seemed to be uncannily prescient.

But until that moment, "Let It Bleed", recorded during the last months of 1968 and the first half of 1969, was more a collection of personal revelations than the grand socio-political anthems that some of the songs later became. Things had altered considerably since "Beggars Banquet" provided the right cure for the psychedelic hangover. Brian Jones was sacked in May 1969, and his replacement, Mick Taylor, had little chance to leave his imprint on the album. By 1969 the Stones centred on Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, while exotic new courtiers, like Ry Cooder, Gram Parsons and Al Kooper were introduced into the inner circle for added musical muscle".

What about Ian Stewart? Stu played piano on the album's title track, and also on the non-album tracks 'Honky Tonk Women' and 'I Don't Know Why'. Nicky Hopkins (on four tracks), Leon Russell and Al Kooper were the other keyboard players on the album. Hector, on the album's title track: 'Let It Bleed' lays bare Keith's increasingly fluid slide guitar playing, prompted by his continued association with ex-Byrds guitarist and passionate country music fiend Gram Parsons. The song is also notable for welcoming pianist Ian Stewart back into the fold: with Nicky Hopkins almost always on hand, Stu only managed this one performance on the album".

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

Friday, January 13, 2012


Right after their US tour and the Muscle Shoals recordings the Rolling Stones headlined a free concert at the Altamont Speedway, California. Approximately about 300,000 people attended the concert, and some anticipated that it would be a second Woodstock festival, West Coast style. Instead, the event is best known for having been marred by considerable violence, including one homicide and three accidental deaths.

Although a lot has been written about the ill-fated Altamont festival, hardly any source mentions Ian Stewart being there. But he was, as author and photographer Ethan Russell, who was at the scene, recalls: "I followed Mick and Keith with my cameras. I hoped that once we were onstage things would return to normal. Covered with people, the stage was actually sagging under the weight of all the bodies on it. Hells Angels were roaming across it at will.

I saw the imperturbable Ian 'Stu' Stewart on the other side of the stage. Stu had left the group officially, but he still played with them on records and traveled with them as their equipment man and main man in general. On the 1969 tour Stu did what he always did: helped get the band on the stage, performed with them, and was, as Stanley Booth puts it, "the only grown-up". Stu had been with the Stones everywhere, been through everything with them. When I saw Stu on stage at Altamont, it was the first time I had ever seen him worried. I knew then we were in trouble".

Adds Keith Richards, in his autobiography Life: "As the evening went dark and we went on stage, the atmosphere became very lurid and hairy. As Stu said - he was there - "Getting a bit hairy, Keith". I said, "We've got to brass it out, Stu". Such a big crowd, we could only see in front of our immediate circle, with lights, which are already in your eyes, because stage lights always are. So you're virtually half blinded; you can't see and judge everything that's going on. You just keep your fingers crossed".

Adapted from the following sources (all suggested further reading):
Ethan Russell, Let It Bleed. The Rolling Stones, Altamont, And The End Of The Sixties, Springboard Press, 2009.
Stanley Booth, The True Adventures Of The Rolling Stones, A Cappella Books, 2000.
Keith Richards, Life, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2010.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Muscle Shoals (2)

"Wild Horses" is a classic Stones song of course, but so is "Brown Sugar". Even more so, "Brown Sugar" is literally a rock and roll overdose, with Ian Stewart playing a mean bar room rock and roll style piano. Sax player Bobby Keys also contributed enormously to the success of the song. His driving sax is inspirational, but Keith Richards created the foundation for the song with his open-G riff.

In his book The True Adventures Of The Rolling Stones author Stanley Booth mentions the frustrations felt by Ian Stewart during the recording of "Brown Sugar". Keith knew nothing about chords and Stu had to wait for Bill Wyman to interpret the right keys for him. Ian Stewart and a rock and roll overdose...hard to imagine, don't you think? Various versions of the song exist, e.g. this one with Eric Clapton on guitar, but the basic track was cut at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, on December 4, 1969.

Adapted from the following source: Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Cherry Red Books, 2002.

Muscle Shoals (1)

Right after their 1969 US tour (November 7-30) the Rolling Stones flew to Atlanta, Georgia, and then on to Sheffield, Alabama, for three days of recording sessions at the eight-track Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. During these sessions the Stones taped three songs for a future album release. The first night the band cut Mississippi Fred McDowell's "You Gotta Move".

The second night they did "Brown Sugar", with Ian Stewart on piano. And on their last night in the studio the band cut a country ballad, "Wild Horses", with Memphis session player Jim Dicksinson on piano. Dickinson? Why not Stu, who was around? In his autobiography Life Keith Richards recalls the sessions: "Oiled up and running hot, in early December we ended up at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. There we cut three tracks in three days. Muscle Shoals was a great room to work, very unpretentious.

Jim Dickinson was a beautiful piano player. Probably at the time I did take him for a country player, just because he was a southern guy. I found out later he was far more wide-ranging. Jim, who was the only musician there apart from the Rolling Stones and Ian Stewart, was perplexed when on the third day we started running through "Wild Horses" and Ian took a backseat. The song started in a B-minor chord, and Stu didn't play minor chords, "fucking Chinese music". That's how Dickinson got the gig of playing on the track".

On "Wild Horses" the influence of Gram Parsons, Keith Richards' blood brother at the time, was evident, and it was his Flying Burrito Brothers who first released the song in 1970. But the song has since entered the premier league of the Rolling Stones' self-mythologising songs. A core Stones song, even if it was written in a minor chord!

Adapted from the following sources:
Keith Richards, Life, Orion Books, 2010.
Bill Wyman, Rolling With The Stones, Dorling Kindersley, 2002.
James Hector, The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Rolling Stones, Omnibus Press, 1995.