The Rolling Stones supported their "Goats Head Soup" release by nearly 30 European shows (September 1 - October 19, 1973). The tour, considered by many as one of the band's best, proved to be guitarist Mick Taylor's last, but also marked the live debut for keyboard player Billy Preston. Preston, who had been around with the Stones since 1969, replaced Nicky Hopkins, member of the band's touring party since 1971.
In his biography of Nicky Hopkins, author Julian Dawson recalls the thin man's departure from the Stones' live ranks: "Nicky was suddenly no longer in the touring party and his keyboard duties were shared between Ian Stewart and opening act, Billy Preston. What was no doubt intended as a temporary absence, due to conflicts between his Stones commitments and the demands of his solo career, in fact became permanent and Billy Preston was waiting in the wings, eager to replace him".
In the meantime, Stu remained where he was: 'managing the road' for the band, and playing piano during some shows, on assorted songs, that is.
Adapted from the following source: Julian Dawson, And On Piano....Nicky Hopkins, Backstage Press, 2011.