Monday, October 26, 2015

Let's Not Begin The Week In Denial

In case you haven't already seen Keith Richards perform "Gimme Shelter" live from the Apollo Theatre as a tribute to Merry Clayton, here it is. And if you haven't seen it, maybe you haven't seen all the posts talking about this as if it was the greatest thing since Coffee Mate Creamer.

Might I suggest starting off your week by admitting this is horrible. You will feel much better about yourself.


Anonymous said...

Hello please remain seated,

An empire in sunset...Keith bad-mouthing Sgt. Pepper, Mick joining Taylor Swift on-stage. Keith's new album, well, put it this way...I'm much more likely to Listen to Dirty Work or Undercover than to ever give that one another spin. Now this.

Yesterday, Mrs. RichD, showed me this clip saying "boy this song really doesn't work without Mick". True dat, hon. Meanwhile, K&M sing "don't let the sun go down on me".

Does anyone have Bill Wyman's number? Maybe he could talk some sense into these guys. Fellas...time to have the final all-star concert at Wembley or the Garden. Invite Eric, Paul, Bob, Pete, whomever. No, know what? At this point they'd probably fuck that up, too. They'd probably invite Ed Sheeran and Carly Rae Jepsen to sing Sympathy for the Devil and let Waddy take the lead. And Mike Love and Jeff Lynne can lead the "woo-woo" chorus. Christ....

yours crankily,

William Repsher said...

The empire was in sunset in 1988. I don't think the Stones should have ever stopped, but I do think they should have shifted gears, explored their influences more, produced more obscure artists who influenced them, sought out younger artists on the same wavelength to work with (not bullshit celebrity vocal duet appearances as they've done for a long time now). Instead they went on living in their rock-star cocoon, which I'd wager is a very comfortable way of life, especially when everyone constantly tells you how you great you are, never mind the money.

I don't mind older artists still working. I do mind them doing roughly the same damn thing to much lesser effect. It was boring in the 90's, and I don't even know what to call it now. Whoever thought rock and roll would need a retirement age? Do we recognize how ludicrous even asking a question like this is?

ag said...

"Pretty, pretty awful"

- Larry David/Bernie Sanders

buzzbabyjesus said...

All wrong.

Anonymous said...

Stuff like this makes me appreciate Robert Plant more everyday. Randy

hpunch said...

Makes you appreciate Mick after all.
Was that Waddy Wachtel or Lorraine Newman?

Anonymous said...

Actually except where Keith's solo goes off the rails at 3:50 I rather liked it!

Anyone out there agree with me?

Capt. Al

Anonymous said...

Waddy Wachtel is a great (even legendary) guitarist... So this clip drives home how hard it is to do that Keith-and-Ronnie Stones-y ebb-and-flow that seems effortless when THEY do it. Waddy really seems to be working hard to suck this much at it.

soundsource said...

Honestly I couldn't watch the whole thing and Waddy Wachtel's guita was really cool.

big bad wolf said...

I am with Capt. Al. Something odd happened at 3:50 for a little bit, but otherwise this was, i think, quite good.

The original studio recording surpasses, to my ears, all the live recordings, but that doesn't bother me. Keith made lasting art with that recording, using techniques he, rightly, thought produced a searing and magnificent sound. The stones never, ever, captured the beauty and the terror of the studio recording live, which, in my opinion made the song an outlier in their work. at some time or another, they nailed, or even surpassed, their great recordings, but they never did with gimme shelter.

part of this is mick. his vocal on record is spectacular. but, when i listen to the track without the vocal, i both appreciate how much mick brought and realized how astounding keith's instrumental parts are. it is a great and harrowing song without any vocal. it is a greater and more harrowing song with mick's 1969 vocal.

to the extent that this version fails, it fails because the studio effects, however primitive, cannot be reproduced. the feeling that an end is closing in and that shelter is necessary never can quite be captured when the song is played live. the act of playing it in a room, instead of projecting it on the room, diminishes it.

that said, the instrumental parts of this version sounds pretty good to me. it's oversung---as it has been by mick for years (he seems unaware that what made him great was his ability to be simultaneously detached and caught up in what he was singing, and so in attempting to reproduce 1969 he simulates passion, which was never what he expressed). merry clayton's vocal in the original was marvelous, in context. the error people made over the years was that you could separate that out as a performance and call it transcedent. no. it was great in context. as mick's vocal was. and the context was the artistic soundtrack of doom that keith was primarily responsible for. the vocals here, as with lisa fischer's fine (and yet unavailing) vocals on recent tours miss the point. it was never a bravura vocal performance that made gimme shelter; you can't stretch and strain to express that foreboding---it was a calibration of the vocals to the instrumentation that made the song great. i'd say keith and waddy do a respectable job here. i'd say we miss mick near his best. i'd say if i were 71 and played this way, i'd feel pretty damned good. i'd say anonymous gets it right in suggesting that. if waddy works this hard and it still ain't like the much-maligned ronnie, maybe there is more to ronnie than we give him credit for most times.

i'd say that, i our dreary lives moved into middle age and fighting on, lives in which we do our best or at least the best what we have to give that day, that we can perhaps relate to a talent like keith who still desires, even if he might not always be what we, or he, would wish