Thursday, 5 December 2019

Taylor Made

Made in the Shade was one of the Rolling Stones' first attempts at putting out a Best Of; though in all honesty it was more of a So Far - the Stones in a holding pattern; condensing Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., Goats Head Soup and It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, it drew a line under the Mick Taylor era, giving the band time to woo his replacement, Ronnie Wood. Taylor, as I've said here numerous times, was way too good for Mick and Keith. And, anyway, leaving the band probably saved his life: he wasn't as tough as Keef, yet still tried to take as many illegal substances as his indestructible employer.

The origin of the album's artwork has always ben shrouded in mystery. However, the cover of the Laid in the Shade bootleg kinda gives the game away.

The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses (1971)

Monday, 2 December 2019

In the Can

I've been chronicled. It was all very painless, I can assure you. Let me explain - over the last couple of years filmmaker Steve Oliver has been chronicling local musicians for an online series of short films he puts up on Youtube under the banner The Random Sessions. Shot in one of Nottingham's finest watering holes the format couldn't be simpler: three tunes (two originals and a cover), a couple of beers and a bit of inter-song chit chat and, hey, before you know it, Episode 89 was in the can. A big thank you to Steve - it was great fun to do.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Don't Believe a Word

When Thin Lizzy were recording their 1976 album Johnny the Fox, their head honcho Phil Lynott had been working on a new song: it was a stripped down, bluesy affair that spoke of broken hearts and romantic deceit. The tempo of the song suggested it was probably best heard at three in the morning wafting from a smokey subterranean speakeasy.
However, Brian Robertson, the band's young hotshot lead guitarist at the time, heard it and told Lynott in no uncertain terms he thought it was shite. Lynott was crushed and left the sessions, not returning till a several days later. In which time Robertson had written a new riff to it and speeded it up by a factor of 3X.

still prefer the original arrangement - featured here with Gary Moore, it's from a 1979 episode of the Whistle Test and Moore's instrument looks it's about to be read its last rites. No matter, even with the five remaining strings he gives the rest of the band* a guitar masterclass.

Gary Moore - Don't Believe a Word 

* Billed as Gary Moore and Friends, of the five musicians on stage only two of them are on the right side of the grass

Gary Moore (1952-2011)
Phil Lynott (1949-1986)
Cozy Powell** (1947-1998)
Scott Gorham (1951-)
Don Airey (1949-)

** Until today I was blissfully unaware that Cozy Powell's real name was Colin Tevor Flooks