The Rolling Stones, Wild Horses

Posted in The Rolling Stones on July 21st, 2012 by Willie

There is something about “Wild Horses,” something quite emotional.  I remember driving home one snowy night when I was a 19 year old, thinking how perfect the song was against the lightly falling snow.  Every time I hear it, time just seems to slow down, and it feels like the whole world is listening, all strung out on this gorgeous song.  I really don’t have much to say about this song that hasn’t already been said.  This post is just to honor a classic, plain and simple.  The footage is taken from the “Gimmie Shelter” documentary, famous for unfortunately violent concert the Stones threw at Altamont Speedway, California in 1969.  At that concert, a member of the Hell’s Angels stabbed a man to death, a public slaying at what was supposed to be a happy event, horribly caught on film.  Today, everyone is still reeling from the shooting at the Colorado movie theater, another massacre at what should have been an otherwise fun public spectacle.  I don’t really have much commentary about that except for guns are evil, and the Rolling Stones “Wild Horses” casts the appropriate somber atmosphere for these grim times.  Lastly, my heart goes out to the victims and there families.  RIP.

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The Rolling Stones, Gimmie Shelter, First Performance Ever!

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on September 28th, 2011 by Willie

Like the title says, this video represents the first time the Rolling Stones played, “Gimmie Shelter” in public.  They played the song on “Pop Go the Sixties,” a variety show no doubt, (the 60s were rife with them,) and they pull it off as good as they ever would.  Made for the brilliant Let it Bleed record, “Gimmie Shelter” was Richard and Jagger’s genius abstract mashup of all the apocalyptic violent atmosphere dominating the hearts and minds of people across the world in the late 60s.  It’s one of the best songs of the Vietnam era, and it just drips cool and burns with bluesy hellfire.  The song also reflected the tumultuous time the Stones were going through themselves what with increased heavy drug use from Richards, the death of Brian Jones, and killing at their massive free Altamont Concert.  Oh, and I can’t end my little entry without mentioning how legendary guest vocalist Merry Clayton, the female vocalist who burns her voice into music history with her lines, “Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away, its just a shot away.”  Of course Mick performs that part in the live performance, but still, timeless.

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The Rolling Stones, Play With Fire

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on August 1st, 2011 by Willie

“Play With Fire,” a 1965 B-Side by the Stones, was credited to Nanker Phelge, a pseudonym the Stones used when they attributed the songwriting to all the members.  Still, its mainly the work of Jagger and Richards, with Phil Spector on bass oddly enough.  In fact, Mick and Keith are the only Stones to appear on the track. It was recorded on a late January night in 1965 Los Angeles; what a scene that must have been.  This song is pure attitude.  Richards came up with the perfect guitar line to match Jagger’s ferociously deadly delivery.  It’s one of my favorite Stones songs ever, and the video below captures the Victorian hellishness of the song’s power.  The Rolling Stones were truly a one of a kind phenomenon coming along at the ground zero for rock and roll phenomenons.  This song is proof of their unique singularity in music history.  Enjoy.

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The Rolling Stones, Like a Rolling Stone (Live)

Posted in Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on May 13th, 2011 by Willie

Part 61 of my youtube countdown rocks on with the Rolling Stones performing Bob Dylan’s classic “Like a Rolling Stone,” from their 1998 Bridges to Babylon tour.  The Rolling Stones have performed this song for decades, I guess a bit ironically, as an unofficial band anthem, though not really.  I mean, did they just want that live moment in their act to announce their band name in a song?  Or, was it Bob in 1966, who had Rolling Stones on the mind when he wrote his most famous chorus ever?  Possibly yes, possibly no to both questions.  It doesn’t really matter because the song is epic, and the performance here is really tight and joyful.  Mick is playing his harmonica really well, the band sounds together, and oh yea, Mick sings the song great.  Of course they are all wearing horrible outfits, and the Stones sound way better in a small club then in a stadium, but still, there is some old magic here worth checking out.  Rolling Stones forever.


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The Rolling Stones, Angie

Posted in The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on May 3rd, 2011 by Willie

Part 52!  Oh, I don’t know, should I keep tracking the parts?  Does it matter anymore?  Who’s counting anyways?  Well, for this chapter, we have the Rolling Stones making another appearance with their 1973 #1 smash, “Angie,” from the Goats Head Soup album.  This song was written by Keith Richards after the birth of his daughter Dandelion Angela, (see, even in the 70s celebrities were giving their children crazy names.)  Mick of course, did write the lyrics, save the Angie part, and his vocal delivery is a crushing example of his voice’s perfection.  What else do we got here?  Oh, the fantastic Nicky Hopkins on piano, and the Stones looking cool as hell on this TV promo as Richards and Taylor have roses on their guitar heads, and flower petals flutter down on them.  No one really makes music like this much these days, but luckily, it WAS made, and so, great, here it is.

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Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones

Posted in Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones, Youtube Favs on April 14th, 2011 by Willie

In part 35 of my youtube favorites countdown, we take a trip to rock school.  In our lesson we’ll look at two thunderously classic clips.  The first features the immortal Muddy Waters leading his band through his genre defining blues cut “Rollin’ Stone.”  This song, as you probably know, was the original inspiration for the Rolling Stones’ name, as well as Bob Dylan’s classic “Like a Rolling Stone.”  Beyond that bit of history making, the song itself, which many people aren’t familiar with, is a snarling bit of cool contained electric blues.  Muddy kicks it off with a peculiar wish, to be a catfish, swimming in the deep blue sea, where presumably, a whole bunch of sexy ladies will be fishing after him…Hmm, pretty strange, yet awesome imagery.  The second clip unites Muddy with his disciples, the Stones, hammering out a nasty good version of “Mannish Boy.”  Now “Mannish Boy” is probably where you’ve heard Muddy proclaim his Rolling Stone status more famously then the actual “Rollin’ Stone” song, where the proclamation was more of a throwaway.  This video is a lot of fun.  Muddy sounds fantastic, and looks like he’s having a great time grooving with his “children.”  I like that Muddy seems more bemused, and not annoyed as Mick dances, struts, and vamps all around him.  When Mick takes the mic, his vocal interactions with Muddy are just too cool, as Muddy cheers him on in the slickest way possible.  Thus endeth the lesson.

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James Brown, Please Please Please

Posted in James Brown, Youtube Favs on March 8th, 2011 by Willie

Welcome to part 16 of my youtube favorites countdown.  In this edition we’ll be bringing down the house with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.  Helped out by his Famous Flames, this performance of Please Please Please, is from the TAMI rock show, a 1964 concert movie.  This performance, considered by Prince to be the greatest in rock and roll history, was the second to last act of the evening.  According to legend, the Rolling Stones had the option to appear before or after James, and they chose to close it out.  Keith Richards said it was the worst decision they ever made as Brown blew the roof off the joint, and the Stones, while playing well, couldn’t hope to match the energy JB created.  This video is worth watching from beginning to end.  James is in full control of his voice and body.  Every grimace, yelp, and shake is one of utter perfection, the true work of a master.  So, here you go, bow down to James Brown.

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