Monday, April 4, 2011

"Something from Keith Richards' Book"

The following except from Keith Richard's book - about the Stones mid '80s breakup period - is interesting, especially in the way that what Keith says could very easily be applied to Axl's version of Guns post 1998:

Said Mick, 'The Rolling Stones ... cannot be, at my age and and after spending all these years, the only thing in my life ... I certainly have earned the right to express myself in another way.' And he did. The way he expressed himself was to go on tour with another band singing Rolling Stones songs.

I really believed Mick wouldn't dare tour without the Stones. It was too hard a slap in the face to deliver to us. It was a death sentence, pending appeal. And for what? But I was wrong and I was outraged and I was hurt. Mick was touring.

So I let him have it, mostly in the press. An opening shot was, if he doesn't want to go out with the Stones and then goes out with Schmuck and Ball's band instead, I'll slit his fucking throat. And then Mick responded loftily, "I love Keith, I admire him ... But I don't feel we can really work together anymore." I can't recall all the jibes and barbs I let loose - Disco Boy, Jagger's Little Jerk Off Band, why doesn't he join Aerosmith? - That's the kind of stuff I fed to the grateful tabloids. It got really bad. One day a reporter asked me, "When are you two going to stop bitching at each other?" "Ask the Bitch", I replied.

Then I thought, let the guy have his way. I took it like that. Let him go out there and fall flat on his face. He'd shown a total lack of friendship, of camaraderie, of everything that's necessary to hold a band together. It was a dump. Charlie felt even worse about it then I did, I think.

I saw a clip of Mick's show, and he had a Keef look-alike guitar player stepping in tandem, doing guitar hero moves. When it was on the road, I was asked what I thought, and I said that it was sad that a high percentage of his show was Rolling Stones songs. I said, if you're going to do something on your own, do stuff off the two albums you did. Don't pretend you're a solo artist and have two chicks prancing around doing "Tumbling Dice." The Rolling Stones spent a lot of time building up integrity, as much as you can get in the music industry. And the way Mick handled his solo career jeopardized all that, and it severely pissed me off.

Mick had misjudged something by a hundred miles. He took it for granted that any bunch of good musicians would be as compatible with him as the Rolling Stones. But he didn't sound like himself. He had great players, but it's kind of like the World Cup. England's not Chelsea or Arsenal. It's a different game, and you've got to work with a different team. Now you've got the best hired hands around and you've got to form a relationship with them. Which is not Mick's forte. He could certainly strut around and have the star on his dressing room door and treat the band like hirelings. But you don't get good music that way.

Thanks to: "Mr. Miser"

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