Saturday, May 11, 2013

Broken Head Blues

Still hot from their 1973 European tour, the Rolling Stones entered Musicland Studios, Munich, West Germany, to record material for a new album planned for a quick release. Guitarist Mick Taylor missed the sessions (November 13-24) because of illness, but with the help of keyboard players Billy Preston and Nicky Hopkins the band recorded early versions of tracks that would appear on the new album.

Ian Stewart contributed some trademark boogie woogie piano to 'Broken Head Blues', an instrumental jam that would develop into 'Black Limousine', a track from 1981's "Tattoo You" album. The jam also featured Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood, who was present at the sessions for one night, and got a co-credit on the final track. The song symbolized a return to basics, and is said to be a tribute to Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed, the latter's 'You Don't Have To Go' not being far away.

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.

1 comment:

  1. November 13-24, 1973: Musicland Studios, Munich, West-Germany.
    The Rolling Stones: Ain't Too Proud To Beg (Holland-Whitfield) (3:32)
    The Rolling Stones: If You Can't Rock Me (Jagger-Richards) (3:46)
    Mick Taylor: Knowing Ron Wood first
    Ronnie Wood is an old friend of mine. He's probably the guy that I've known longest. I know him since I was 15, we used to play together when he was in the Birds. I always knew that Ronnie Wood was going to take over from me when I left. Most of that year, me and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were helping Ronnie Wood on a solo album. In fact, it was me who went there first. I went to his house first because I knew Ronnie, and then Mick and Keith started coming out there. And they ended up playing on it as well. I don't actually think they knew Ronnie that well. They knew Rod Stewart and they knew the Faces, they knew Ronnie a little bit but they didn't know him that well. But him and Keith became good friends.

    731113A 13th - 24th November: Munich, West-Germany, Musicland Studios. Producers: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (The Glimmer Twins). Sound engineers: Keith Harwood and Andy Johns. First recordings for the upcoming album ‘It’s Only Rock’n Roll’. Mick Taylor missed the sessions because of illness. His contributions were overdubbed at later sessions. Incl.
    - Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (Whitfield-Holland) - Billy Preston on piano and clavinet
    - If You Can’t Rock Me (Jagger-Richards) - Billy Preston on clavinet
    - Black Limousine (Jagger-Richards-Wood) - with Ron Wood (who was present for one night) on guitar; early instrumental version aka ‘Broken Head Blues’.
    - Fingerprint File (Jagger-Richards) - Billy Preston on clavinet, Nicky Hopkins on piano; unverified early version
    - Slow Down And Stop (Jagger-Richards) - Nicky Hopkins on piano; nearly instrumental.

    Line-up: Mick Jagger (voc, gtr)/Keith Richards (gtr, bass, bvoc)/Bill Wyman (bass)/Charlie Watts (dr). Additional musicians: Ray Cooper (perc)/Ed Leach (perc). Note: overdubbed during later sessions.