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.