I've got to fly today on down to Baton Rouge
January 19, 1975: Keith Richards contributes to a recording session by
Alexis Korner in London, England. Keith
The mid-70s albums
The problem (with the Stones' mid-70s albums), which I was ignorant of for a long time, was studio musicians and sidemen taking over the band. The real problem with those albums was the band was led astray by brilliant players like Billy Preston. We'd start off a typical Stones track and Billy would start playing something so fuckin' good musically that we'd get sidetracked and end up with a compromised track. THAT made the difference.
February 10-March 1, 1975: Bill Wyman uses the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio
at his home in England to work on
compiling unissued old Rolling Stones recordings for the planned but never released Black Box album.
February 12: Mick Jagger attends a Led Zeppelin concert at Madison Square
Garden in New York City.
March 1975: The U.S.S.R. denies the Rolling Stones' demand to perform in
that country, claiming they would not
help Russians to achieve self-perfection.
(1975): Playing in Russia
In Russia we've tried very hard. And we've received a lot of rebuffs. But there's a genuine demand for the band in Russia, that I know. In China, though, I should think there's absolute zero. In Russia, there's a genuine knowledge of western music - jazz, rock, all types. Eastern Europe, everyone's been over there, all the English bands go there, but they're severely restricted. They wouldn't let us in, we're going to freak them out with some fucking weird show.
Mid-March 1975: Mick Jagger jams with Ron Wood and members of Wings at
the Record Plant in Los Angeles.
March 25-April 4, 1975: The Rolling
Stones continue recording sessions for Black and Blue at Musicland
Studios in Munich, West Germany, with guitarists Wayne Perkins, Harvey Mandel and Ron Wood.
Memory Motel, Hot Stuff, Hey Negrita and Hand of Fate are among the tracks recorded.
(1975): In the Munich studios
Basically, the Rolling Stones are a two-guitar band. As far as records go, it's no big hassle for me not to have another guitar player 'cause I'm used to doing all the parts. It's just I LIKE working with another player, that's the turn-on for me, hearing someone else fill in the spaces. We crossed the problem of Brian's death so successfully that it's actually harder to cross this one, 'cause Mick Taylor dropped out so naturally. A band doesn't stay together unless there's a reason.
As a guitar player I know what I can do. It doesn't matter about the B.B. Kings, Eric Claptons and Mick Taylors, 'cause they do what they do - but I know they can't do what I do. They can play as many notes under the sun but they just can't hold that rhythm down, BABY. I know what I can do and what I can't. Everything I do is strongly based on rhythm 'cause that's what I'm best at. I've tried being a great guitar player and, like Chuck Berry, I have failed.
Early April 1975: Ron Wood's home in Richmond, Surrey, is busted while
he is away and his wife Krissie Wood is
charged for possession of cocaine.
April 14, 1975: The Rolling Stones
issue a press statement announcing Ron Wood will accompany the
group on their upcoming tour of the Americas.
(1975): Choosing Ronnie
They can both play solo. I mean, Keith used to be a lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, remember? Maybe Keith's gonna have to do more solos. Now he's gotten kind of into this rhytm guitar thing.
I wanted someone that was easy to get on with, you know, that wasn,t too difficult and that was a good player and was used to playing onstage. It's quite a lot to ask of someone to come and do a big American tour with a band like the Stones, you know? I mean, not that I think the Stones are any really big deal, but it tends to be a bit of a paralyzing experience for people. You know what I mean? And I wanted someone that wasn't going to be phased out.
He can sing... a little. He'll probably say a lot about that! He can sing. He's starting to get it togehter... Onstage he's got a lot of style. And it's gotta be fun on the road. That's what it's all about, isn't it?
April 26, 1975: The Rolling Stones
arrive in New York City.
Late April-May 1975: The Rolling
Stones start tour rehearsals at Warhol Church Estate in Montauk,
Long Island, New York.
Learning the catalog
I remember learning 150 of their repertoire (laughs). I gave up trying to remember which key each one was in or the chord sequence to a lot of them. I did a lot of it by feel in the end, you know. Had to, it's impossible to log all of those songs.
It was intense - to get hit with all of those Mick Taylor lines, to echo what Brian had done, then to add my own bluesy input to it all.
Living in America?
I'm not sure I'd be allowed to move here permanently. I might be able to. I haven't asked. I like America very much, it's a good place, but I like Europe too. I'm afraid that England at the moment is... without sounding... well, if I did 50 shows I'd get the money from one of them if I lived in England. Which may sound fair or unfair, but that's the situation. I don't need it, but it just seems to me slightly off. Maybe they should give me two shows - which would double me up. But it's difficult to live there right now, because the tax is 94 percent.
May 1, 1975: The Rolling Stones,
with Ron Wood, announce their 1975 Tour of the Americas by
performing Brown Sugar on a moving flatbed truck down 5th Avenue in New York City.
(1975): The last time?
The last time? I don't know where that comes from. Nobody in the band gives off that impression or even thinks that. They said it in '69; they said it in '72; why the fuck should THIS be the last time? What else are we gonna do? Get a job in an ad agency?
(1975): Reasons for doing the tour
That's like me asking you if there's a specific reason for you doing an interview with me. I mean it's my job, it's my vocation... no musician is beyond that, no musician is until they get too old. That's my vocation, or my pleasure.
May 17, 1975: Mick Jagger smashes his hand through a restaurant window
in Montauk, Long Island, requiring
twenty stitches on his wrist.
May 20-25, 1975: The Rolling Stones
rehearse on their stage set at an airport in Newburgh, New York.
May 26-28, 1975: The Rolling Stones
rehearse in Montauk, Long Island again.
May 31, 1975: The Rolling Stones
are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, going through the last rehearsals.
(1975): In Baton Rouge
We're starting in Baton Rouge because it's always nice to start in a quieter place. You can get yourself together straight-away. It's a bit more relaxing and you can concentrate on the show. I had to get used to the stage. It slopes up about 5 feet and I got terribly tired the first hour on it just from having to lean back to compensate for that angle.
31, 1975: The Rolling Stones' first compilation album on their own label,
In The Shade, is released in the U.S.. (Released
in the UK on June 13.)
June 1, 1975: On Ron Wood's 28th
birthday, the Rolling Stones open their 1975 tour of North American
stadiums and arenas with two concerts at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where they
perform for the first time. This is the only time on the tour the Rolling Stones perform two concerts
on the same day, a frequent occurrence on previous tours.
June 3-6, 1975: The Rolling Stones
perform concerts in San Antonio, Texas and Kansas City to 53 000
at Arrowhead Stadium. The inflating penis balloon during Star Star is not used in San Antonio,
following police pressure.
(1975): No balloon in San Antonio
Well, yeah, I just thought that practically it'd be better if we didn't use it because if we were arrested we wouldn't be able to use the fucking thing at all anymore. They'd be waiting for us everywhere. The cock has now reached minimal proportions, rather than if we'd said, Oh, fuck 'em. I thought of that, of course I did. You just have to realize where you are and whether it's really worth it. It's not compromising so much as being a bit more far-sighted.
(1975): Songs for the tour
We may put (Sympathy for the Devil) back into the show, though it needs rehearsing. So it'll be part of one's makeup again. We prefer to play the newer songs. I would prefer not to do any of the old ones at all. We have a lot of new ones that we don't do, that I'd like to do, like Time Waits For No One.
June 4, 1975: The Rolling Stones
hold a photo shoot at the Alamo.
(1975): Not a lonely rock star on the road
I'm very happy. (I'm not l)onely... no, not lonely at all. Why should I be? I have my dearest friends with me, Keith, Charlie... most of the band are my friends, and a lot of other people who have been my friends for years. It's not like I'm on tour and I'm the Lonely Rock Star. I mean forget it, doesn't apply to me.
6, 1975: Against the Rolling Stones' wishes, ABKCO Records releases Metamorphosis,
an album of unreleased Rolling Stones and Andrew Oldham Orchestra/Jagger-Richards
recordings/demos from 1964-1969.
See, we're coming in and we're going to tour here, right? And he's just trying to cash in. And he doesn't have anything new. Klein has nothing. All he has is a lot of old things. He doesn't have any new artists or new product... But we have to take life as it comes.
June 8-18, 1975: The Rolling Stones
swing through the north, performing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin;
St. Paul, Minnesota for the first time; Boston; Cleveland to a record 82 000; Buffalo, New York; and
Toronto for two concerts at the Maple Leaf Gardens, the sole Canadian stop on the tour.
(1975): Playing with Ronnie
You know with Ronnie we seem to be able to get back to the original idea of the Stones, when Brian was with us in 1962, '63. Two guitars has always been my particular love because I think there's more that can be done with that combination thean almost any other instrument. But what screws most of that up, and this is the bag I fell into with Mick Taylor - whom I love deeply and I think is one of the most incredible guitar players in that kind of music you'll ever get a chance to hear - is that there's this phony division between lead and rhythm guitar. It does not exist. Either you're a guitar player or you're not. And if you are a guitar player with another guitar player, there's no point in designing one thing to one... there's no freedom there.
This way with Ronnie is more like what it was with Brian, because we had basically the same ideas about guitar when Brian was still very interested in guitar. It's two guitar players and one sound.
June 22-27, 1975: The Rolling
Stones perform six concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana join in on encores.
June 29-July 2, 1975: The Rolling
Stones perform two concerts each in Philadelphia and Washington
D.C. (Largo, Maryland).
July 1975: A jury fails to reach a verdict at Krissie Wood's trial in England.
The trial is reset for the following year.
July 3, 1975: Ron Wood's second solo album, Now Look, is released,
featuring Keith Richards on a few tracks.
July 4, 1975: The Rolling Stones
perform in Memphis, Tennessee on Independence Day, with the
penis balloon inflated against police wishes.
July 5, 1975: On a drive down to Dallas, Keith Richards and Ron Wood are
arrested for possession of an illegally
concealed dagger in Fordyce, Arkansas, then released on bail. Cocaine is also found in the trunk of the car but
Keith & Ron manage to escape charges. The weapon charge is later dropped.
July 6, 1975: The Rolling Stones
perform at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
July 7, 1975: Now in Los Angeles, the Rolling Stones attend a surprise
birthday party for Ringo Starr at the Beverly
Wiltshire Hotel, which Keith Moon also attends.
July 9-13, 1975: The Rolling Stones
perform five concerts at the Forum in Los Angeles, California. George
Harrison and Ringo Starr are among the celebrities attending some of the concerts.
July 15-20, 1975: The Rolling
Stones continue their western swing with concerts in San Francisco,
Seattle, and Fort Collins, Colorado where Elton John guest stars for the entire concert.
July 15, 1975: Model Uschi Obermeier, whom Keith Richards had dated in
1973, rejoins him on tour in San
Francisco for a week, before leaving him.
(1975): Being a rock singer over 30
I've been playing rock and roll and blues, and I started playing blues when I was very young. Fourteen... and that was mature music compared to Venus and Blue Jeans which was the hit at the time I started. The band I was in at the time was playin' music by 40-year-old men. So this guy says to me the other day, You're over 30, how can you write rock and roll songs? But I started off by singing songs by 40, 50, 60-year-old men... You Gotta Move was written by a 70-year-old man. I mean what does it matter?
The thing about rock and roll is - I never wanted to be a rock and roll star. I've never been into singing teenage lyrics, and when I started I did these songs written by old people. Perhaps that's why people were sometimes shocked by my lyrics... well, not shocked, but interested, at a point where there was no real interest in lyrics...
There is a perpetual adolescent influence because what I was doing when I was 18 I'm doing now. I mean the room I had at the Olympic Hotel in Seattle is the same room I would have had in 1964. I mean it wasn't any grander, it was the same room. And I'm doing the same things, slightly different of course. Instead of travelling on commercial planes we've got our own, but it's still the same thing. And the responsabilities I have are much less than someone who used to come to our concerts when they were 17 and now they've gotten married and have five children and two cars and three mortgages. I'm married and have children and all that, but I don't sort of worry about it because I'm doing what I did before... when I was an adolescent.
I only discovered this really by looking at other people in rock and roll... it perpetuates your adolescence, for good or bad. I don't know if it's good or bad, because I can't evaluate it. It feels real nice and I don't give a shit... I don't feel responsabilities other people feel. Obviously, being in a rock band makes you more adolescent than if you worked in an IBM company and really had to worry about your future. I don't worry about the future. I'm living out my adolescent dreams perpetually.
July 23-28, 1975: The Rolling
Stones swing through the Great Lakes region, performing in Chicago,
Bloomington (Indiana) and Detroit.
July 30-August 2, 1975: The Rolling
Stones play concerts in the southeast, in Atlanta, Georgia;
Greensboro, North Carolina; and Jacksonville, Florida at the Gator Bowl.
People always give me this bit about us being a macho band and I always ask them to give me examples. Under My Thumb... Yes, but they always say Starfucker, and THAT just happened to be about someone I knew.
There's really no reason to have women on tour, unless they've got a job to do. The only other reason is to fuck. Otherwise they get bored... they just sit around and moan. It would be different if they did everything for you, like answer the phones, make the breakfast, look after your clothes and your packing, see if the car was ready, and fuck. Sort of a combination of what Alan Dunn does and a beautiful chick.
August 2, 1975: The Rolling Stones
announce they are cancelling what would have been their first-ever
concerts in Latin America (Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela).
August 4-6, 1975: The Rolling
Stones perform in Louisville, Kentucky and, for the first time, Hampton,
August 8, 1975: The Rolling Stones
end their 1975 North American Tour with an added, extra concert
in Buffalo, New York.
(1978): On the 1975 tour being about spectacle and buffoonery
It may have looked like that, but I didn't feel like that. Which means I wasn't acting it properly... (I)t's easy to say: Ah well, they're not as good as they were before. It may be your eyes that are jaded, rather than US.
(1975): Wanting to tour more
I haven't been on a tour yet where I was bored. At the end of that tour we began to look around for dates, because for us it's just starting to get good. Because this is a brand-new band for us. It's got a lot more fire. The last band was too intellectual.
There ain't a band in the world that can survive without going on the road. If a band doesn't play in front of people and turn them on at least as much as we do, and I don't think we do it enough, then they're not a band. You rehearse for a month, get the tour going, crank it up, and just as you're hitting top gear the last gig comes and it drops for nine months.
August 13, 1975: Mick Jagger purchases bootleg records in New York City.
August 15-November 1, 1975: Ron Wood performs his last tour with The Faces,
playing North America again.
August 25-31, 1975: Bill Wyman holds recording sessions in Sausalito, California
for his second solo album. Mick
Jagger records unreleased solo material in Toronto, Canada.
September 3, 1975: Bill Wyman and Ron Wood jam at a Peter Sellers party
in Los Angeles with Keith Moon, David
Bowie and others.
September 8, 1975: Ron Wood contributes to a recording session for comedian
Peter Cook at Clover Recorders
in Los Angeles, produced by Steve Cropper.
September 10-15, 1975: Mick Jagger does interviews for UK radio.
Mid-to-late September 1975: Bill Wyman holds more solo recording sessions
in Los Angeles.
October 1975: Bill Wyman is back in France.
October 13, 1975: Mick Jagger attends Santana's concert at the Pavillon
de Paris in Paris, France.
October 16, 1975: Keith Richards' 1973 France conviction for possession
of heroin and cannabis is overturned,
because he has since undergone detoxification treatment.
October 19-30, 1975: Mick Jagger,
Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, with Billy Preston and Ollie
Brown, hold overdub sessions for Black and Blue at Mountain Recording Studios in Montreux,
November 1975: Bill Wyman returns to Los Angeles to continue solo recording
November 26, 1975: Mick Jagger,
Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts hold a meeting with business
associates in Geneva, Switzerland, discussing tour plans for the following year.
Early December 1975: Bill Wyman shoots the cover for his second solo album
in New York City.
December 19, 1975: Ron Wood formally
joins the Rolling Stones, following Rod Stewart's breaking up
of the Faces.
& Keith Richards: The Rolling Stones Mach III
Ron: Fortunately for me, I was in Switzerland, deep in throes of how after the second Faces tour that year - '75 - I was thinking like What do I do? What do I do? Suddenly I get an English paper, it says Stewart quits the band, you know, he's forming his own group. So that was tailor-made.
Well, the (Stones) didn't want to split the Faces up, and I didn't want to split them up either. Although, you know, the Stones were my first... musical blood as a unit, you know. The Faces was very, very enjoyable but my heart was where the Stones are.
I think I knew where (the Stones) were coming from. Even though they came from all different parts of England but - yeah, their direction, their whole approach of Nothing need be said really. I think the whole key is just sliding in, asking no questions.
Keith: This is an English band and the communication and the way it works is because everyone comes from within a radius of twenty miles, you know. And the minute Ronnie appeared, out of the blue, it was obvious. It had to stay that way. This is not a band that you can hire musicians from other parts. You need that certain communication that doesn't need to be spoken, doesn't have to be explained. You can give somebody a wink in a certain way and do it in another way and it would mean something different. It's just something that saves a lot of time and trouble and it still kept the Stones what the Stones really are, which is an English band.
Late December 1975: Mick and Bianca Jagger holiday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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