Jagger & Keith Richards
First release: single, March 1991
Recording date: January 1991 Recording location: Hit Factory Studios, London, England
Producers: Chris Kimsey & The Glimmer Twins Chief engineer: Mark Stent
Never performed onstage
Bass: Bill Wyman
Electric guitars: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards (incl. leads) & Ron Wood
Lead vocals: Mick Jagger
Background vocals: Mick Jagger & Bernard Fowler
I thought it would be a good idea for the live album to have something new on it, not just the same old things again. And around Christmas, this is what everyone was talking about, what’s gonna happen in the gulf. War was on everyone’s mind… It comes from the thing where we get ourselves in these situations, boxed into corners, and we have to act one way or the other. There is a lot of division of opinion between the people who are gung-ho, who think war solves everything, and the people on the other side, who say it never solves anything. And in the middle is most everybody else.
It was one of those things that I played for people, but no one seemed to pick up on it. I didn’t know if it was going to come off, whether it was anything that anyone would want to hear. But it really just sounds like the Rolling Stones.
(I can mimic Keith's guitar playing style, including the 5-string open-G stuff.) I can't do it ALL maybe as well as him, but I can do a lot of it. Like on Highwire, I do it.
It's not about the (Persian Gulf) war. It's about how it started.
I don’t want it to sound like some cheap history lesson. It is about that, though. We built the armaments up to a point where 30 ago it might have been a very low-key affair. These days, it is not low-key. And this scenario of the mad dictator in the Middle East, it’s been talked about for as long as I can remember. One of these days, one of these guys is going to be loose out there with all this weaponry. And eventually these things come to pass… I don’t want to take advantage of this in terms of publicity, just because the new album’s coming out and all. But I think it’s good to be able to make a comment on something everyone is talking about. It’s a valid function of writers and artists everywhere.
This is not about the war. It's about how you build up some shaky dictator (by selling him arms). You can't build them up, 'cause then you've got to slam them down.