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.