Stars stare down in sympathy
January 1-Late February 1969: Brian Jones and Suki Poitier remain in Sri
Keith's mother: A surprise from Brazil
I didn't know Anita was expecting. Keith simply asked me if I could do some knitting for them (laughs). I remember when they came back from South America, Anita pointed to her tummy and said, Marlon's been to Brazil. Keith looked like Jesus Christ then, wearing this big white robe. It seemed like he was floating on air. Anita looked like a schoolgirl when I first met her. They were very lovey-dovey in the beginning. Keith told me they were gypsies. He told me they ate like gypsies and packed like gypsies. In his flat there would be one whole room with clothes on the floor.
February 10-28, 1969: The Rolling
Stones resume recording sessions for Let It Bleed at Olympic
Sound Studios in London, mostly without Brian Jones, starting work on You Got the Silver and
February 24, 1969: Mick Jagger records an interview for BBC radio's Scene
March 1-March 31, 1969: The Rolling
Stones continue recording sessions for Let It Bleed at Olympic
Sound Studios in London, working on Honky Tonk Women, Love in Vain and Sister Morphine among
& Mick Jagger: Ry Cooder, "Sister Morphine" & "Love in Vain"
Keith: (Ry Cooder) came over with Jack Nitzsche, and we said, Do you want to come along and play? The first thing Mick wanted was to re-cut Sister Morphine with the Stones, which is what we got together. He's also playing mandolin on Love In Vain or ... he's on another track too. He played beautifully, man.
Mick: (Marianne Faithfull) wrote a couple of lines (for Sister Morphine); she always she wrote everything, though. She's always complaining she doesn't get enough money from it. Now she says she should have got it all... (Cousin cocaine...), that's the bit she wrote. ... It's about a man after an accident, really. It's not about being addicted to morphine so much as that. Ry Cooder plays wonderfully on that.
Keith: For a time we thought the songs that were on that first album by Robert Johnson were the only recordings he had made, and then suddenly around '67 or '68 up comes this second (bootleg) collection that included Love in Vain. Love in Vain was such a beautiful song. Mick and I both loved it, and at the time I was working and playing around with Gram Parsons, and I started searching around for a different way to present it, because if we were going to record it there was no point in trying to copy the Robert Johnson style or ways and styles. We took it a little bit more country, a little bit more formalized, and Mick felt comfortable with that.
March 4, 1969: Bill Wyman starts a new round of producing sessions for
The End in London.
March 18, 1969: Brian Jones enters the Priory clinic in Richmond, Surrey,
April 1969: Brian Jones starts seeing Anna Wohlin.
Early-to-mid-April 1969: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards holiday in Positano,
& Mick Jagger: Italy & "Midnight Rambler"
Keith: (We wrote some of the songs for Let It Bleed in) Positano, south of Naples in (Italy). We'd been there before. We knew the place vaguely and someone offered us their house there. It was empty, barren, very cold. Huge fires and we just sat and wrote. Did Midnight Rambler there, Monkey Man and some others.
Mick: Midnight Rambler is a song Keith and I really wrote together. We were on a holiday in Italy. In this very beautiful hill town, Positano, for a few nights. Why we should write such a dark song in this beautiful, sunny place, I really don't know. We wrote everything there - the tempo changes, everything. And I'm playing the harmonica in these little cafés, and there's Keith with the guitar.
Mid-April 1969: The Rolling Stones
hold rehearsals at their London warehouse studio, plan a re-
shoot of their Rock & Roll Circus segment at the Coliseum in Rome in late June.
April 17-30, 1969: The Rolling
Stones resume recording sessions again at Olympic Sound Studios,
working on Monkey Man and Downtown Suzie.
April 23, 1969: While Keith Richards is absent, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts,
Bill Wyman, Nicky Hopkins and Ry
Cooder record a prolonged jam at Olympic Sound Studios in London, that would eventually be released
Jamming with Edward.
May 1-May 31, 1969: The Rolling
Stones continue recording sessions at Olympic Sound Studios,
working on Country Honk, Honky Tonk Women, Let It Bleed and Live with Me among other tracks.
May 1969: Brian Jones crashes his motorcycle into a shop window near his
home and is hospitalized. Keith
Richards purchases an apartment on Cheyne Walk in London, near Mick Jagger's.
May 5-6, 1969: Keith Richards plays bass at a Billy Preston recording session
at Trident Studios in London,
along with George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
May 7, 1969: Jean-Luc Godard's One Plus One opens in England.
May 21, 1969: The Rolling Stones
hold their last photo shoot with Brian Jones, near Tower Bridge in
London, resulting in the cover used for the compilation album Through The Past, Darkly.
May 23, 1969: Mick Taylor performs his last concert with John Mayall's
May 28, 1969: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull are arrested at their
Cheyne Walk apartment for possession of
cannabis. They are brought to court, charged and released on bail.
May 31, 1969: Mick Taylor starts
recording with the Rolling Stones, playing on Live with Me.
Mick Taylor & Keith Richards: Mick Taylor joining the Rolling Stones
Ian: The band weren,t really worried about replacing Brian because in ‘68-69, they WERE top of the heap. They could have had anybody they wanted, including GOD himself. Clapton came to a recording session. Mick Taylor was very quiet and shy, but they got him playing. He was right. He could play.
Taylor: Mick was in a side room doing an interview with the International Times, and Jimmy Miller was just sitting there. Keith turned up 3 hours later. It was like a bolt out of the blue, taking me completely by surprise. As soon as it was offered, of course, I wanted the job. It was very loose, nothing was discussed. I just went to the studio and played.
Keith: Mick Taylor turns up and plays like an angel, and I wasn't going to say no. I thought I'd let the guy develop, because by then I thought I was an old hand - I was all of 25 years old! That's what four years on the road would do to you. You came out at the other end and you were already 50; you'd seen a lot of things.
June 1-July 2, 1969: The Rolling
Stones continue work at Olympic Sound Studios, recording or
overdubbing on Honky Tonk Women, Jiving Sister Fanny, Monkey Man, Loving Cup and I Don't
Know Why, among other songs.
June 7, 1969: Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg suffer a car crash near
Redlands. Mick Jagger and Marianne
Faithfull attend the Blind Faith Hyde Park free concert in London.
June 8, 1969: Mick Jagger, Keith
Richards and Charlie Watts visit Brian Jones at his home in
Cotchford Farm and tell him he has to leave the group. They issue a press statement that Brian
Jones is leaving the Rolling Stones.
& Ian Stewart: Firing Brian
Mick: We felt like we had a wooden leg. We wanted to go out and play but Brian couldn't. I don't think that he really wanted to and it was this that really pissed me off. He didn't have any desire to go onstage and play... It was difficult (firing him). Not as difficult as I thought. It's terrible to think about, but when you get there although it's pretty awful, it's not that bad. I wasn't used to kicking people out of the band. But we had to have more than two people. I think Charlie believed in what we did. We had to. It was either stand up or fall over. I elected to stand up.
Ian: I don't think Brian was all that upset about leaving. He was past being bothered. They were very fair to Brian. He had all the time in the world to get himself together. When the break was made a lot of people rallied round him.
June 12, 1969: The Rolling Stones
do a photo shoot with Mick Taylor.
June 13, 1969: The Rolling Stones
hold a press conference at Hyde Park, London, announcing the
arrival of Mick Taylor and their Hyde Park free concert on July 5.
(June 1969): Joining the Rolling Stones
I was pretty sure at first but I felt I wanted a little time to think things over. I examined my own reasons for wanting to do it. And they were for the experience and the musical reasons more than for the recognition and the money. It was so unexpected. It's all a bit strange for me, but I don't really feel a part of the group yet and I won't do until I have been with them for quite a while and played with them on gigs.
What they do is a mixture of soul, folk and blues and I like all those things.
(June 1969): Gladiators in the circus
I have just made arrangements for the new Stones to appear at the Colosseum in Rome... We chose Rome for the concert becaue it is a very good visual thing. And the other reason is that I wasn't satisfied with the Rolling Stones part of the Rock & Roll Circus film we made and we want to do it again in the Colosseum, the first ever circus.
June 16, 1969: The Rolling Stones
with Mick Taylor perform in London for U.S. TV's David Frost Show.
June 23, 1969: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull appear at Marlborough
Street Magistrates' Court in London
where they request and receive a delay until September 29, because of their filming commitments.
(June 1969): Preparing for Ned Kelly
(I)'ve been reading about Ned Kelly. I don't mind doing it.. I'm really only interested in music. I don't like to stop working, we've been in the studios all the time, but it's good to do something else and come back with renewed vitality.
July 2, 1969: Brian Jones is found
dead in his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm late in the evening.
The Rolling Stones are informed while working at Olympic Sound Studios.
(July 1969): Brian
I am just so unhappy. I am so shocked and worldless and so sad. Something has gone. I have really lost something. We were like a pack, one family in a way. I just say my prayers for him. I hope he becomes blessed, I hope he is finding peace... and I really want him to.
July 3, 1969: The Rolling Stones
tape an appearance on BBC TV's Top of the Pops.
4-5, 1969: The Rolling Stones' single Honky Tonk Women is released.
July 4, 1969: The Rolling Stones
rehearse for their Hyde Park concert at the Beatles' Apple Studios
July 5, 1969: The Rolling Stones
perform their first full concert in over two years, headlining a free
concert in Hyde Park in London to over 250 000 people, now dedicated to Brian Jones' memory.
The Family and King Crimson also perform, among other acts.
(July 5): Brian
Brian will be at the concert. I mean, he'll be there! But it all depends on what you believe in. If you're agnostic, he's just dead, and that's it. When we get there this afternoon, he's gonna be there. I don't believe in Western bereavement. You know, I can't suddenly drape a long black veil and walk the hills. But it is still very upsetting. I want to make it so that Brian's send-off from the world is filled with as much happiness as possible.
July 5, 1969: In the evening, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull witness
Chuck Berry and The Who perform at
the Royal Albert Hall in London.
& Keith Richards (July 1969): Hyde Park
Taylor: Yes, I feel I am a Rolling Stone now. I didn't at first. It wasn't like being part of the group until we did that concert in the park. I've done quite a bit of recording with them now, and I'm playing what I want to play. I don't want to play solos all the time - I like to play songs... (W)e want to do a tour next, probably a world tour in the autumn.
Keith: I can't stop dreaming about it. It had to be the biggest crowd I've ever seen. They were the stars of the show; like some massive religious gathering on the shores of the Ganges. I was a bit shaky at first but then I started enjoying myself and it was just like it was two years ago.
Integrating into the group
They certainly never made any comparisons between me and Brian. As far as they were concerned it was a new phase in their career. I was aware of being tested as a personality, but I never felt intimidated as a player. I was a bit overawed by it. I was very tense, very nervous and probably very introverted. They did what they could to make me feel relaxed. On a social level I was very much the new boy of the group. But I always felt we shared a musical rapport. I had to find my own level to become a part of their situation. It took me a long time to find myself within the group. It was a gradual process of fitting in with the band, playing in a way which contributed not only to the sound but to everything.
July 6, 1969: Mick Jagger tapes an interview for UK radio's Scene and
July 7-9, 1969: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull leave London for Sydney,
Australia. Marianne Faithfull
lapses into a coma for several days following a drug overdose.
July 10, 1969: Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman attend Brian Jones' funeral
in Cheltenham, England.
July 13-September 10, 1969: Mick Jagger films his part for the film Ned
Kelly in Australia, where he composes
Brown Sugar and also hurts his hand during shooting.
I wrote Brown Sugar in Australia in the middle of a field. They were really odd circumstances. I was doing this movie, Ned Kelly, and my hand had got really damaged in this action sequence. So stupid. I was trying to rehabilitate my hand and I had this new kind of electric guitar, and I was playing in the middle of the outback and wrote this tune.
God knows what I'm on about on that song. It's such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go... I never would write that song now. I would probably censor myself. I'd think, Oh God, I can't. I've got to stop. I can't just write raw like that.
July 26, 1969: Ron Wood performs for the last time with The Jeff Beck Group.
August 1969: Ron Wood starts recording with the (Small) Faces as well as
on Rod Stewart's first solo album. He
picks up slide guitar.
I'd heard Duane Allman on record. I didn't know who was playing, but I just thought, That sounds great - that's the only direction to go in... I used (people like Hound Dog Taylor and Earl Hooker) as a starting block. I've gone my own sweet way since then.
August 10, 1969: Anita Pallenberg gives birth to her and Keith Richards's
first child, Marlon.
August 17, 1969: Marianne Faithfull leaves Australia to continue convalescing
August 30-31, 1969: Keith Richards and friends attend the Isle of Wight
festival in Great Britain, starring Bob
Early-to-mid-September 1969: The
Rolling Stones, without Mick Jagger, continue recording sessions
for Let It Bleed at Olympic Sound Studios.
September 12, 1969: Mick Jagger arrives back in London and joins the Rolling
Stones' recording sessions.
12-13, 1969: The Rolling Stones' second greatest hits compilation album,
the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2), is released.
September 14, 1969: The Rolling
Stones announce to the press they will tour the United States later
in the fall.
Mid-September 1969: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull's trial for cannabis
possession is postponed again until
October 1-15, 1969: The Rolling
Stones continue holding recording sessions at Olympic Sound Studios.
Early October 1969: Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman contribute
to recording sessions for Leon Russell
at Olympic Sound Studios, including an early version of Shine a Light, entitled Get a Line on You.
October 14, 1969: Prince Rupert Loewenstein advises Mick Jagger the Rolling
Stones should move to France for
two years to escape heavy taxes.
October 17, 1969: The Rolling
Stones fly from London to Los Angeles to prepare for their U.S. tour.
(October 1969) & George Harrison (1969): Stones to tour again
Keith: It's always been the Stones' thing to get up on stage and kick the crap out of everything. We were only just getting it together when we became famous. We've still got plenty to do on stage, and that's why the tour should be such a groove for us.
Harrison: I don't know how much they're doing it, ah... how much they're doing it to the idea of wanting to go on the road and how for, you know, to make a little bread. And again for the Stones it's a whole new scene again for them with their new guitarist who's a fantastic guitarist. And so that would have to put a lot of life back in the band.
(1969) & Mick Taylor: Going back on the road
Keith: I think we need it. You know a lot of people want to see us. But we really need to do a tour 'cause we haven't played - a tour's the ONLY thing that really knocks you into shape, you know. And especially that we've got Mick Taylor now. We really need to go through the pieces again, you know - sort of really get the band together. (I really miss it a)fter three years, man, yeah! And it's been three years exactly now since we finished touring so of course we think so. It's a long time to - you know, when you've been doing every night for four or five years and then just to sto suddenly and then pick up again - it's gonna be strange.
Taylor: Mick's always been a very ambitious person. And basically he wanted to get back out with a new guitarist, a new band and make lots of albums, you know, REACTIVE the whole thing. Becaue he felt they'd become... sort of a bit out of touch with the times and a bit stagnant, you know. And that's exactly what they did.
October 17-November 2, 1969: The
Rolling Stones finish recording and mixing Let It Bleed at Sunset
Sound and Elektra Studios in Los Angeles, working on Country Honk and Gimmie Shelter (Merry
Clayton's vocal) among others.
On Let It Bleed, we put that other version of Honky Tonk Women on because that's how the song was originally written, as a real Hank Williams/Jimmie Rodgers, '30s country song.
October 27, 1969: The Rolling
Stones hold a press conference at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Los
(October 27, 1969): Ticket prices
We aren't doing this tour for money, but because we want to play America and have a lot of fun. We're really not into that sort of economic scene. I mean, either you're gonna sing and all that crap or you're gonna be a fucking economist. We're sorry people can't afford to come. We don't know that this tour is more expensive. You'll have to tell us.
October 27-November 5, 1969: The
Rolling Stones rehearse for their American tour in Los Angeles,
in the basement of Stephen Stills' house, then at a Warner Brothers Studios lot.
October 28, 1969: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor
attend concerts by Chuck Berry, then
the Flying Burrito Brothers in Los Angeles. Gram Parsons is hanging with the group through their stay in L.A..
November 7, 1969: The Rolling
Stones perform their first ever concert in Fort Collins, Colorado,
performing for the first time in North America in over three years, and opening their 1969 U.S. Tour.
Watts: The 1969 rebirth and audience changes
People didn't scream anymore. The music was taken seriously. In '69 you had proper amplification. Suddenly you could hear everbody. Nobody had heard DRUMS before. We must have sounded a joke before. But in '69 you really had to be on top of it to play. That's how Hendrix and bands like Led Zeppelin came about.
I call that tour the Led Zeppelin tour, because it was the first time we had to go on and play for an hour-and-a-half. I blame it on Jimmy Page. Led Zeppelin had come to the States, and they would do a twenty-minute drum solo and endless guitar solos.
November 8-10, 1969: The Rolling
Stones perform five arena concerts in Los Angeles, Oakland (first ever)
and San Diego, California.
& Keith Richards: America in 1969
Mick: Well, it (was) a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage and burning... I think (the war influenced the album). Even though I was living in America only part time, I was influenced. All those images were on television. Plus, the spill out onto campuses.
Keith: Before, America was a real fantasy land. It was still Walt Disney and hamburger dates and when you came back in 1969, it wasn't anymore. Kids were really into what was going on in their country. I remember watching Goldwater-Johnson in '64 and it was a complete little sham. But by the time it came Nixon's turn in 1968, people were concerned in a really different way.
November 11-16, 1969: The Rolling
Stones perform eight concerts in Phoenix; Dallas; Auburn,
Alabama (first time); Champaign, Illinois (first time); and Chicago.
(1969): New audiences
(I)n Chicago, it was just like last time (1966): a lot of screamers, a lot of young girls, really young, like 12 or 14. And other places there were some who don't listen to the music AT ALL; it's just a fantasy experience for them. Like in Boston, that crowd had almost an identical response to what they gave us last time. But on the Coast, and a lot of other places, there was a very large cross section of people, all kinds of people, and they LISTENED. A lot of them did. That was new in some ways.
November 13, 1969: Newspapers report Marianne Faithfull has left Mick Jagger
for painter-director Mario
Schifano in Italy.
November 17-23, 1969: The group enjoys a near-week off tour, back in Los
November 18, 1969: The Rolling
Stones tape their last-ever performance on U.S. TV's The Ed Sullivan
November 24-25, 1969: The Rolling
Stones perform concerts in Detroit and Philadelphia.
(December 1969): On the road to Detroit
Compared to the way we sounded later along, we were terrible in San Francisco. Ragged. By the time we got to Detroit, I'd say, it was like a one hundred per cent improvement. The band got better. The sound system improved, and we got better accustomed to performing again. It's really a matter of confidence. It takes a while to get that up.
(With Mick Taylor, i)t's more of a BAND now. It's definitely a different band. It's fucking incredibly HARD now... And, with Mick - Mick's really GOOD - and it means Keith can sort of lay out and tune up in the middle of a tune. There's more time to think. And sometimes they'll get to tossing solos back and forth between the guitars, like on Sympathy for the Devil, and it's just great! It's beautiful to hear, and it's something we've never gotten into just that way before.
November 26, 1969: The Rolling
Stones hold a press conference at New York City's Rockefeller Center,
then perform a concert at Baltimore's Civic Center.
November 27-29, 1969: The Rolling
Stones perform their first ever concerts (three) at New York City's
Madison Square Garden, followed by two concerts at the Garden in Boston.
November 27, 1969: In New York City, Mick Jagger attends a birthday party
for Jimi Hendrix. During the party, Mick
pricks his finger and Hendrix's girlfriend, Devon Wilson, sucks the blood from his finger, which will lead Hendrix
to write the song Dolly Dagger ("She drinks her blood from a jagged edge"). Meanwhile, Keith Richards, Charlie
Watts and Mick Taylor witness a performance by The Lifetime with Tony Williams and John McLaughlin.
29, 1969: The Rolling Stones' 10th U.S. and 8th UK studio album, Let
It Bleed, is released in the U.S. (Released
in the UK on December 5.)
November 30, 1969: The Rolling
Stones officially end their U.S. tour by headlining a festival in West
Palm Beach, Florida.
December 2-4, 1969: The Rolling
Stones start work on Sticky Fingers at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
in Florence, Alabama, recording Brown Sugar, Wild Horses and You Gotta Move.
December 6, 1969: The Rolling
Stones headline a free concert at the Altamont Speedway in
Livermore, California, in front of 300 000, where Hell's Angels disrupt the performances and murder
a concertgoer near the stage. The Flying Burrito Brothers, the Jefferson Airplane, Santana and
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young also perform.
(1972) & Ian Stewart: Altamont
Mick: Of course some people wanted to say that Altamont was the end of an era. People like that are fashion writers. Perhaps it was the end of THEIR era, the end of their naïveté. I would have thought it would have ended long before Altamont.
Ian: Keith was a bit prophetic about it, 'cause when the site was being moved from one place to another, Keith said, For Christ's sake forget it. But the band had gone so far with it they more or less HAD to do it. We were down in Muscle Shoals doing Brown Sugar when these things were going on. We kept getting phone calls. It was a disaster right frmo the fuckin' start... Altamont has to be one of the few things the Stones did where they had no say. The Angels were in charge that day and there was no way gettin' round that. But the band didn't blame themselves. Although a lot of people would blame them, you really couldn't. That would be unfair because they made a geniune attempt to have a free concert. In many ways it represented the spirit of Haight Ashbury and all that, but it didn't work. It SHOULD have worked. The day after Altamont they couldn't get out of America quick enough.
December 7, 1969: The group flies back home to England. Bill Wyman and
Astrid Lundstrom holiday in Sweden.
December 9-18, 1969: The Rolling
Stones hold recording and mixing sessions at Olympic Sound
Studios in London, recording a new version of Brown Sugar with Eric Clapton, and starting work on
Performing country music
I love country music, but I find it very hard to take it seriously. I also think a lot of country music is sung with the tongue in cheek, so I do it tongue in cheek. The harmonic thing is very different from the blues. It doesn't bend notes in the same way, so I suppose it's very English, really. Even though it's been very Americanized, it feels very close to me, to my roots, so to speak.
December 12, 1969: The Rolling
Stones tape appearances for BBC TV's Pop Go The Sixties, Top
Pops and Ten Years of What?.
December 14, 1969: The Rolling
Stones perform two concerts at the Saville Theatre in London.
(December 1969): Playing the Saville
The first show was a bore; the second show was much better. The first house was full of fucking journalists... Don't feel sorry for me. It was just another gig for me. I felt sorry for them. The most blasé audiences in the world are in our own country, which is why we don't play here.
December 19, 1969: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull appear in court in
London and plead not guilty to
cannabis possession. The case is adjourned until January. Marianne Faithfull returns to Italy.
December 21, 1969: The Rolling
Stones perform two concerts at the Lyceum Theatre in London.
Late December 1969: Mick Jagger flies to Rome where he and Marianne Faithfull
get back together shortly, before
Faithfull: Breaking up with Mick
Mick's affairs DID bother me. But that wasn't as bad as the feeling of being pinned against the wall by the whole superstar thing. I sometimes think it might have helped if there had been more drink around instead of just dope. If Mick and I had got drunk together a few times, we might have stood a chance.
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