Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mid-Week Musings

There's a moment in "Crossfire Hurricane," the new HBO documentary on the Rolling Stones, where you see and hear the band go from the greatest live rock and roll band to the worst. It's a transition that is not quite as subtle as it should be.

As I've mentioned here many times before, I am not one of those who thinks the Stones world ends with "Exile On Main Street." There is plenty of damn fine music to be had right on through 1989's "Steel Wheels." But, while watching the live clips one after another, and seeing it stacked so obviously before my eyes, the minute Ronnie Wood is introduced just 2 short years after Mick Taylor quits, the band instantaneously becomes a stiff parody of themselves.  Just my opinion.

Someone please explain to me the excitement over iTunes holdouts AC/DC finally getting their catalogue up for purchase? I've had a number of friends mention this as if they could finally breathe easy. I love this band and if you do too, why are compressed downloads at $10 a pop, more thrilling than every one of their remastered CDs being available for years for as low as $3 used and $8 new? Unless of course, you just want to pick and choose a few tunes at $1.29 a pop. (I might have answered my own question.)

I listened to the new Scott Walker record "Bish Bosch." It made me very nervous and yet I couldn't take it off. One friend said, "He is a true original," to which I replied, "An original what?"

Here's Scott Walker, 1966

Here's Scott Walker, 2012.  Good luck,


William Repsher said...

Give Ronnie Wood credit for one thing: Some Girls. That's the one album where I can gather that he must have had some kind of influence on the band, or sense his playing, at least. Ditto the song "It's Only Rock and Roll" -- which sounds like the first direct sampling Mick and Keith had of his talents and said, "Sign him up!" Those Paris sessions that lead to so much of Some Girls and more than a few songs to follow (like "Start Me Up") seemed like the last great creative stand they made.

What struck me in that doc was how teenage fans used to physically attack them onstage. You can see how frightening that was from a musician's standpoint -- over-exicted fan gets onstage, probably only thinking "I have to touch him," but is so crazed and filled with adrenalin that it turns into a full-on assault -- there's a scene of Brian Jones literally getting his ass kicked by a fan and chased around the stage -- unnerving stuff. (I gather this footage is from the new Charlie's My Darling doc that I don't have yet. So much of the footage from this doc was couched from already-existing docs that knowing fans recognize immediately.)

Peaches & Diesel by Clapton? That had to be the b-side of something, right?

Jeff Matthews said...

I dig the guy with the shofar.

Sal Nunziato said...

"Peaches & Diesel" is the last track on "Slowhand," and I think the b-side of "Wonderful Tonight."

As for Ronnie-- I don't disagree you with you, William. Love "Some Girls." I was really only talking about the band live. The difference between the last Mick T. clips and the first Ronnie clips is jarring. Even Jagger's voice suddenly became old.

Chris Collins said...

I had heard someone mention that exact same thing on a Sirius radio show and it's dead on. I think Ronnie Wood is a great talent, and he was exactly wrong for the Rolling Stones. His joining the band was bad for both of them. The sense of danger, of going for broke, the sense that ANYTHING was possible with the Stones was gone immediately in those clips. "It was more about fun", says Mick. Ugh.

It's unfair to blame Ronnie. The group just got lazy. And I agree that they did a lot of good work after that ("Slipping Away"!). But the golden age of the Stones certainly ended soon after Ronnie joined. That's for sure.

wardo said...

Ron Wood has always bugged me. When he's around Rod he thinks he's Rod, and when he's around Keith he thinks he's Keith, and one thing Keith doesn't need in his life is a yes-man. Granted, I'm sure there are plenty of moments on my faverave post-1974 Stones songs that are his responsibility, but I just don't like the guy. Mick Taylor always impressed me more.

Part of me still wishes that after the '80s hiatus, Keith, Bill and Charlie would have toured as a three-piece, preferably in smaller clubs and theaters without all the spectacle. But oh well.

steves said...

Once again, I have to agree with you, Sal. Signing Ron Wood was the worst move the Stones ever made. As you noted, they've had their sparks of greatness since then...most of the Some Girls album, Start Me Up, etc....but, in essence, they lost their mojo the minute he joined the band. I honestly think he was hired more as a drinking buddy for Keith than for his skills as a musician. it true that they're selling tickets with a $800 face value for the upcoming show at the Barclay's Center?

Sal Nunziato said...


Re: Barclays- yes. I went on TM and tried for a single. Very last section on the back right of the orchestra, prob. 200 yards away--total- $831!

Of course, I didn't buy it. But I had to see it for myself. At least Bill & Mick will show up.

steves said...

"Do you know what it means to miss your machines?"

I just caught this downstairs.

Very clever! (And you get double bonus points for displaying wit in the face of trauma.)

HippieGirl21 said...

Ok, someone explain to me this: Why is everyone hatin' on Ronnie Wood? I may not know much about The Stones, but I think Ronnie was a pretty good addition to the band. He has this calm, laid back funny nature to him that I think the band might have needed. Besides, from the way I hear it, Keith needed someone to duel on guitars with and Ronnie was the perfect one. There's alot of albums by the Stones that has Ronnie on it I like, such as Some Girls, Steel Wheels, Emotional Rescue, Tattoo You, they're all good. I like Ronnie, although I'm hoping he stays out of rehab; my dad keeps calling him "Rehab Ronnie"