THE ROLLING STONES CHRONICLE

1985
 

We're heading for the heartbreak



    January 2, 1985: Ron Wood marries Josephine Howard in Denham, England, with Keith Richards and Charlie Watts
        as co-best men. Bill Wyman, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton and Peter Cook are also in
        attendance.
 

    Early-to-mid January 1985: Bill Wyman produces more Willie and the Poor Boys recording sessions in Cookham,
        England.
 

    January 7, 1985: Mick Jagger leaves New York City and arrives in Paris, France, to promote his upcoming solo
        album.
 

    January 11, 1985: Keith Richards arrives in Paris, for the Rolling Stones' upcoming recording sessions.
 

January 11-19, 1985: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards hold songwriting/demo sessions for the Rolling
    Stones' next album in Paris, France.
 

    January 20, 1985: Ron Wood arrives in Paris.
 

    January 23, 1985: Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts arrive in Paris for the recording sessions.
 

January 23-February 28, 1985: The Rolling Stones start rehearsal & demo sessions for the album Dirty
    Work at EMI-Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris, France.
 
 

Mick Jagger (January 1985): A new album

(It')s very nice to be back with the familiar faces, back to all the jokes you have and the grooves and tunes you can say Let's do that one! There's hundreds of tunes that the band can play. So that's nice... There's a certain tension at the beginning of any recording session. Even if it's the Stones. How's it going to work out? Until you get something under your belt you're a little nervous.


 
Bill Wyman & Ron Wood: Starting Dirty Work

Bill: The Dirty Work sessions started off kind of slow but that's because we hadn't played together for a while, and we live in different countries. So, it's like, Hello, mate! What's you been doing? How's the wife? How's the kids? Oh, the kid passed some test at school, you know, you get all that jive. And then you just sit around and jam for 3 weeks or something, play a lot of early blues and '50s stuff, Eddie Cochran, Muddy Waters blues. You just play anything that comes into anybody's head. And you just JAM and get your chops back in.

And then you start laying down rough ideas for songs. And then you just go through those and then you slowly pick out and play odd demos more and more and more... We messed around for weeks because Mick was still buggering around with his solo album instead of working with us. He would fly back to London in the middle of it which, I might add, is a thing that nobody else has ever done, because when it's Stones work, everybody drops solo projects. It kind of caused a bit of resentment in the band.

Ronnie: (On the) Dirty Work album, Mick and Keith were at a low writing ebb, and they gladly accepted my songs..


 

    January 25, 1985: Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts & Ron Wood attend a birthday party in a Paris
        restaurant for Keith's father, Bert.
 

    February 25, 1985: Mick Jagger's first solo album, She's The Boss, is released.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Keith Richards (1985): A Keith Richards solo album and Hoagy Carmichael

This is in other people's minds. Oh, I could put together a boxed set! But I don't feel any necessity. There's nothing in the can that I'd want out. If you put it in your head, I'm gonna do a solo album, and you make a deal, then you gotta make a record, and you've got that extra record company pressure.

I haven't really thought about doing anything with it. Not in so many words, no. For me, doing all that stuff is a way of keeping my hand in. I've got all KINDS of stuff, I enjoy playing everything. Some of it is stuff that you couldn't possibly do with the Stones, even on tour. I mean, Bobby Keys and I recorded an old Hoagy Carmichael tune once (*note: The Nearness of You). Then about a year later I was in Barbados and there was a phone call. It was Hoagy Carmichael, 86 years old, six months before he died. He'd somehow heard the tape and called me up to tell me how much he liked that. Things like that are the highlights of my life...


 

    March 1, 1985: Keith Richards arrives back in New York City.
 

    March 1-14, 1985: Mick Jagger holidays on the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean with Jerry Hall and their
        daughter Elizabeth.
 

    March 11-12, 1985: Willie and the Poor Boys, including Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts (and Ron Wood), shoot
        videoclips at Fulham Town Hall in London, England.
 

    March 15, 1985: Mick Jagger arrives in New York City.
 

    March 18, 1985: Patti Richards gives birth to her and Keith's first child together, Theodora.
 

    March 20, 1985: Keith Richards contributes to a recording session for Nona Hendryx at the Power Station in New
        York City.
 

    March 21, 1985: Mick Jagger holds a live across-the-USA radio interview from New York City to promote his solo
        album.
 

    March 22, 1985: Bert, Keith and Marlon Richards watch Eddie Murphy perform in New York City. Mick Jagger
        watches Prince & the Revolution perform at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York.
 

    March 23, 1985: Ron Wood flies in to New York from Paris. Mick Jagger catches Eddie Murphy.
 

    March 28, 1985: Mick Jagger and Ron Wood visit Keith Richards in New York to see his baby daughter.
 

    March 30, 1985: Mick Jagger leaves New York City for London, England. Ron Wood flies back to Paris.
 

    Early April 1985: Mick Jagger shoots a videoclip for Lucky in Love in London.
 

    April 3, 1985: Keith Richards returns to Paris.
 

April 5-June 17, 1985: The Rolling Stones hold proper recording sessions for Dirty Work at EMI-Pathé
    Marconi Studios in Paris, France, with co-producer Steve Lillywhite.
 

    April 25, 1985: The charity, Bill Wyman-produced oldies album Willie And The Poor Boys is released, starring Bill
        Wyman and Charlie Watts.
 
 

Keith Richards (1985): Hiring Steve Lillywhite & Dave Jerden

Mick and I suddenly realized that it had been a long time since we'd had a real outside influence in the studio helping produce records - ever since Jimmy Miller left in 1973, really. Mick and I talked about it. We had Dave Jerden - Bill Laswell's guy - engineering. He and Steve Lillywhite turned out to be an incredible team. 

The first day Steve walked into the studio, I said, Maybe you don't want to be the meat in this sandwich. But he handled every aspect superbly... Steve would encourage us, arrangement-wise, to put in a break. Whereas by ourselves we might try it once, say, It's too much goddamn trouble, and just steamroll through it. He'd encourage us to get it right. It's dynamics. When you don't use a producer those are the things you allow to escape. It's just too much trouble to play it and be in the control room listening to it. When you're leaping about doing two jobs at once, dynamics and arrangements are the first things that suffer... 

Speaking for myself, this is one of the best teams I've ever worked with, Dave Jerden and Steve. THEY haven't worked together before either, so that magical mixture, the chemistry behind the board, has been one of those things that comes along for the Stones once in a while, like with Miller for Beggars Banquet.


 

May 22, 1985: The Rolling Stones decide not to perform at the charity concert Live Aid, after being
    visited and asked by Bob Geldof.
 
 

Keith Richards: The Stones not doing Live Aid

The Stones were asked to play as a band but they were not a band anymore. They'd already broken up.


 
Charlie Watts (2001, 2003): In a bad way

During this period, I was personally in a hell of a mess and as a result I wasn't really aware of the problems between Mick and Keith and the danger these posed to the band's existence. I was in pretty bad shape, taking drugs and drinking a lot. I don't know what made me do it that late in life - well, to Keith, it wasn't late enough! - altough in retrospect I think I must have been going through some kind of mid-life crisis. I had never done any serious drugs when I was younger, but at this point in my life I went, Sod it, I'll do it now - and I was totally reckless.

What scared me was that I became a completely different person by going down that path, a totally different person to the one that everybody had known for over 20 years... This phase lasted for a couple of years, but it took a long time for me, and my family, to get over it.

I was another person, I was Dracula in the mid-'80s. I used to go out at night, it was ridiculous... It was the life of a junkie, without being really down there. I saw it before I really got down there. And it's a thing that frightens me, actually... I can't explain it, I don't know why I did it.



    June 24, 1985: Keith Richards flies back to New York City from Paris. In London, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts & Ron
        Wood do more video work for Willie and the Poor Boys.
 

    Late June-July 9, 1985: Keith Richards holidays in Barbados.
 

    June 29-30, 1985: In London, England, Mick Jagger and David Bowie record their remake of Dancing in the Street,
        then shoot a videoclip for the song.
 

    July 1, 1985: Mick Jagger flies in to New York City from London.
 

    Early July 1985: Mick Jagger records a remake of his song Hard Woman with the band The Hooters in New York City.
 

    July 3, 1985: Ron Wood arrives in New York City.
 

    July 8, 1985: Mick Jagger rehearses with the Hall & Oates band at S.I.R. Studios in New York City for his performance
        at the Live Aid concert. From London, England, Bill Wyman is interviewed live for U.S. TV's Good Morning
        America.
 

    July 9, 1985: Keith Richards returns to New York City from Barbados.
 
 

Bill Wyman (July 1985): Dirty Work in progress and an autobiography

(The recordings) are good. You eventually end up with twenty sort of GOOD tracks, you know, really good tracks that you've worked hard on. And from that comes the album. And we're at the stage now - we just broke in Paris about three weeks ago - that, after four months, we cut just over twenty tracks which we'll be just tidying up and overdubbing in the next few weeks. And it'll be finished in September.

I'm working on a book - I have been for years and years. Obviously it's an ongoing thing but now I'm getting quite refined on it. And by this time next year, I hope to have the first manuscript of the first book: the Stones' history - and my life in it - which will be the '60s. I can't put the whole thing in. If I do one of the whole thing, it's going to be like Encyclopedia Britannica, yuu know, 47 volumes (laughs)... Buy one every month... And I can't do that. So we'll put one out on the '60s first.


 

    July 10, 1985: Keith Richards and Ron Wood perform onstage with Lonnie Mack at the Lone Star Café in New York
        City. Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon are in attendance.
 

    July 12, 1985: Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Ron Wood rehearse in Ron Wood's basement in New York City for
        Live Aid. Mick Jagger rehearses with Tina Turner and the Hall & Oates band in Philadelphia, at JFK Stadium.
 
 

Mick Jagger (July 12, 1985): Performing with Tina

I have to watch myself. I can't really take it too far... We both had to say that we wouldn't go too far, the way we normally would at a show. MTV might stay on, but I don't know about ABC.


 

    July 13, 1985: Mick Jagger performs onstage for the first time in three years - and for the first time as a solo artist - ,
        at the end of the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia at JFK Stadium, with guest star Tina Turner. Bob Dylan follows
        him, accompanied by Keith Richards and Ron Wood.
 
 

Keith Richards & Mick Jagger (1985): Doing Live Aid

Keith: Well, it's not the first time (I've played with Dylan)... (F)irst time before a paying audience. Course we didn't get paid (laughs). Would have been better if we'd gotten paid... Technically it was a very dizzy thing to do. Three acoustic guitars at the end of God knows how many hours of high-tech band stuff. We couldn't hear a goddamn thing except the band behind us tuning up to do We Are the World. But it was a real privilege to play with Bob. I'll work with that asshole anytime.

Mick: (I did it t)o raise a lot of money. That was the main thing - draw attention to the hunger in the world. Down the line, people can appreciate what can be done by an event of this magnitude. It was really a relatively nice, well-meaning event.


 

    July 14-15, 1985: Mick Jagger flies to Los Angeles to shoot a videoclip for Hard Woman, before returning to New
        York City.
 

July 16-August 17, 1985: The Rolling Stones resume recording sessions for Dirty Work at RPM Studios
    in New York City, with Charlie Watts absent for the larger half.
 

    July 16-17, 1985: Jimmy Page records with the Rolling Stones, on One Hit (to the Body), at RPM Studios.
 
 

Ron Wood: Playing drums on "Sleep Tonight"

(I played) drums on... Sleep Tonight - I could never get over the thought of playing instead of Charlie, I thought that would be a sacrilege, but he insisted because he was going through a lot of problems at the time and couldn't be at the studio. Keith said, Right, you're on drums, so I finally hacked it into shape and when Charlie got there I gave him the sticks and he said, No, I can't get it right, you play it. It worked out good.


 

    July 19, 1985: Keith Richards records with Tom Waits at Quadrasonic Studio in New York City, for three tracks on
        Waits' Rain Dogs album.
 
 

Tom Waits: Keith Richards

Keith is such a strong personality. A completely intuitive musician. He moves like an animal. (Mimes the moving gestures of a panther.) Gosh, he is just pure theater - standing in the middle of a room and putting on his guitar and turning on his amp. All his stuff is irregular. He's a killer, man. A great spirit. Like a pirate. He's a complete gentleman.


 

    July 22, 1985: Mick Jagger holds a party in Greenwich Village, attended by members of Duran Duran.
 

    July 25, 1985: Ron Wood records with Don Covay in New York City, who is guesting on the Stones' sesions.
 

    July 26, 1985: Mick Jagger celebrates his 42nd birthday at The Palladium in New York City, attended by Keith
        Richards, Ron Wood, Bill Wyman, Jack Nicholson, Paul Young, Daryl Hall and others.
 

    August 1, 1985: In New York City, Bill Wyman appears on U.S. TV's Late Night with David Letterman.
 

    August 5, 1985: Charlie Watts arrives in New York City.
 

    August 8, 1985: Keith Richards records with Phantom, Rocker & Slick at Media Sound Studios in New York City.
        Also in New York, Bill Wyman tapes an interview for U.S. TV's Friday Night Videos.
 
 

Keith Richards (1985): Making the studio rounds

With this-aid and that-aid, you've got an awful lot more communication between artists.  It's not often you see everybody together. Seeing everybody backstage, people said, Hey man, I'm doing a session. If you're still in town come by! One of the advantages of Live Aid - apart from the obvious, intended benefit - was that everybody got interested in what everybody else was doing. It's a lot easier for us all to work together than we thought. And once I did a couple of things I realized how isolated and insulated you can get being in the Stones. It's very interesting to see other people's methods of working. You've got a lot more exchange of ideas and styles and, hopefully, some interesting records this year.


 

August 9, 1985: The Rolling Stones hold photo sessions in New York City for the Dirty Work album.
    Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts also join Bobby Womack also tape an interview
    for MTV.
 
 

Bobby Womack: Recording Dirty Work

(Mick) would always me, What did he (Keith) say? What was he doing? because they wasn't talking. And I think Bill might have had intentions not dt do another tour at the time. He came in and did his part. Charlie put his parts there somewhere else. You can't cut an album like that. Not and be a unit.


 

August 12, 1985: The Rolling Stones hold more photo sessions in New York City for Dirty Work.
 

    August 15, 1985: Bill Wyman leaves New York and flies to Europe to continue promoting Willie And The Poor Boys.
 

    August 16, 1985: Charlie Watts returns to England.
 

    August 19, 1985: Charlie Watts breaks a leg falling down his wine cellar in Devon, England. Mick Jagger and David
        Bowie's charity single Dancing in the Street is released.
 

    August 28, 1985: Mick Jagger's first son, and second child with Jerry Hall, James, is born in New York City at Lenox
        Hill Hospital.
 

    August 29, 1985: From London, England, Bill Wyman is interviewed via satellite for U.S. TV's Nightwatch.
 

September 10-October 15, 1985: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood hold mixing sessions for
    Dirty Work at RPM Studios in New York City.
 
 

Keith Richards (Fall 1985): The never-ending album

Nine months, man, we've been working on it. We've been sitting in there saying, I feel so PREGNANT (laughs), it's time for it to be born. It's like a baby, you're nursing it along. It gets to where you need some feedback from outside, so you play it for other people and watch them, how they get off on this or that. The ridiculous thing is honing it down, because once we get going I'm a prolific son-of-a-bitch. When we've got to make a record, that means we cut 30, 35 tracks. Not all of them will be in a totally finished state, but there'll be that many different songs. Obviously that's a much better position to be in than not having enough, but it creates its own problems, like when you're trying to figure out which ones really work together.

Then, putting an album together is another trick on its own, the art of being able to decide how one track follows another so that the whole thing flows. I've known many a good album that hasn't quite made it because somebody put a couple of songs in the wrong position so something that obviously should've started Side One turns up in the middle of Side Two and just doesn't have the impact.


 
Keith Richards (1985): Keeping Charlie & Bill in the loop

(Y)eah, (Bill and Charlie are) kept well up to date. Generously. I mean, it's really up to them. I'm not about to call 'em and play the latest mixes over the phone. But as long as they're in touch, they get cassettes. It doesn't make a difference how it changes until you actually get to the point when you say, That's it, and you always know when you reach that point when you start to look at each other and say, I don't know anymore. It's a natural ending to an album.


 

    September 18, 1985: Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall attend a benefit for the National Art Trust in New York City.
 

    October 12, 1985: Bono and Steve Van Zandt visit Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood at the Stones' mixing
        sessions at RPM Studios. Bono, Keith & Woody record Silver and Gold for the charity, anti-Apartheid Sun City
        album.
 
 

Bono and Keith Richards (1985): Meeting up

Bono: I'm pretty talkative. People say I have the gift of gab. Keith doesn't talk much. He prefers to play the guitar or the piano or to sing - country-and-western stuff, old Buddy Holly songs, blues. That's his dialogue; rock and roll music is his language of love. He was talking to me through his songs, and I had no reply, because I have no musical background. My collection starts with Patti Smith's Horses. U2 grew up saying fuck off to the blues. Every bar band in Dublin City played their own hack and hackneyed version of the 12-bar, and U2 walked away from that. But that night, Keith Richards beat the ivories with his knuckles and hollered those songs out. Then he looked at me as if to say, Now you sing YOUR songs. And I had no songs to sing. When I left, as much as I was very up from being there with Keith and Mick and (Peter) Wolf, I was very down about my own inability to put my hand into a bag and draw out such songs.

Keith: I don't think Bono had ever heard any blues before (laughs). His record collection started in 1976! I said, Boy, can we catch you up on some shit!


 

    October 17, 1985: Keith Richards and family fly to Barbados for a holiday. Mick Jagger flies to England.
 

    October 18, 1985: Ron Wood joins Bobby Womack onstage at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
 

    Mid-to-late October 1985: Mick Jagger and his brother Chris holiday for ten days in India.
 

    October 25, 1985: Ron Wood performs with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley in Los Angeles, with other musicians, for
        an HBO TV special.
 

    October 27, 1985: Ron and Jo Wood leave for a short holiday in Tahiti.
 

    Early November 1985: Charlie Watts organizes and starts rehearsing a 29-piece jazz orchestra in England.
 
 

Charlie Watts (2003): Getting the big band together

While the Stones weren't on the road, I got together an orchestra that consisted of all the musicians I liked, but who I'd never played with, as well as people that I had played with, and I ended up with this huge band. It's something I could never have done if I hadn't been in that state, but I'm very pleased I did, because I was able to work with some of the great people I had loved since I was a kid. So my bad period had its downside and its good side. I just wish that I had been more together when I did it because it would have been better than it was but, on the other hand, without the drugs I would never had had the courage to ask these guys to play with me.


 

    November 5, 1985: Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall attend Fashion Aid at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
 

    November 6, 1985: Keith Richards leaves Barbados and flies to England.
 

    November 8, 1985: Mick Jagger attends his son's christening in London.
 

    November 12, 1985: Mick Jagger flies to Bologna, Italy, to purchase a Ferrari. Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman meet
        Lady Diana in England.
 

    November 18, 1985: The Charlie Watts Orchestra makes its debut at Ronnie Scott's in England. Mick Jagger and
        Keith Richards attend. They see Ian Stewart for the last time.
 

    November 19-23, 1985: The Charlie Watts Orchestra performs more concerts Ronnie Scott's in England.
 

    November 19, 1985: Mick Jagger flies back to New York. Also in New York, Ron Wood joins David Bowie onstage,
        along with Iggy Pop and Steve Winwood, at The China Club.

 
  November 19-December 5, 1985: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & Ron Wood oversee final mixing for
    Dirty Work at Right Track Studios in New York City.


    November 20, 1985: Keith Richards flies back to New York. 
 

Keith Richards (1985): Dirty Work

I wanted to put out a real STONES album, which we always manage to do in odd periods. This was a real concentrated effort. We left a lot of good stuff, interesting stuff, in the can because everyone wanted to - if we could, if it could be done again - make a classic Stones record with certain themes that have recurred over the years, both musically and lyrically... The fact that everyone has been active has given this record much more of an edge, more of a defined FEEL as the Rolling Stones, because we didn't have to go in there and start from ground zero. It has a sort of coherence about it, more than anything since maybe Some Girls, for me.

Let's put it like this. It's a Stones album. If I've had a little more to do with it and a little more control over this one, it's the same to me as the middle-70s when Mick would cover my ass when I was out of it. Because of the timing of Mick's solo album, he wasn't there as much as the rest of us in the beginning when the mood was getting set. In that sense, yes, I took over the job. The same way he would do if it happened to me. We cover each other's ass. We've done it very well for each other over the years.


 

    November 23, 1985: Mick Jagger and David Bowie hang out at the China Club in New York.
 

    November 24, 1985: The Charlie Watts Orchestra performs at the Albany Empire in Deptford, England.
 

    November 25, 1985: Mick Jagger and David Bowie attend a Lily Tomlin show in New York.
 

    November 30, 1985: Mick Jagger joins Tina Turner onstage at a concert in Charlotte, North Carolina.
 

    December 5, 1985: Keith Richards, Ron Wood and wives attend the opening of the Metropolis Café in New York.
 

    Early-to-mid-December 1985: Mick Jagger leaves New York for the Caribbean.
 

    December 7, 1985: Keith Richards flies to London, England.
 

    December 9, 1985: The Charlie Watts Orchestra performs a concert at London's Fulham Town Hall.
 

    December 11, 1985: Rocket 88, with Ian Stewart, perform in Nottingham, England.
 

    December 12, 1985: Ian Stewart dies suddenly of a heart attack, at age 47.
 

    December 18, 1985: Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman visit Keith Richards in London for his birthday.
 

December 20, 1985: The Rolling Stones all attend Ian Stewart's funeral in Leatherheard, Surrey in
    England. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood then meet at Eric Clapton's to jam. Bill Wyman
    leaves with Jeff Beck.
 
 

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Bill Wyman (1985): Ian Stewart's passing

Mick: I'm going to miss him a lot. He really helped this band swing, on numbers like Honky Tonk Women and loads of others. Stu was the one guy we tried to please. We wanted his approval when we were writing or rehearsing a song. We'd want him to like it.

Keith: Why'd you have to leave us like that, you sod! At least he went out on an upswing. He was excited about the new album and was delighted about the Charlie Watts big band. But I thought he'd be the one holdin' the shovel, the one to bury all of US. What a hole he's left, such an obvious gap. He would always be there to comment on everyting, and sometimes you'd think he was crazy. But then you'd go and realize that he was right all along. I mean, no one has a bad word to stay about him. You know, I've had other friends pass on, and you'd go, Gee, it's a shame. But Stu was diffferent. I could think of a hundred other fuckers who should have gone instead of him.

Bill: Without him there would have been no Rolling Stones. He will be absolutely irreplaceable as a person and a member of the group. He always used to call us things like, My little 3-chord wonders. But we'd never go onstage until Ian Stewart said it was time to go on.


 

    December 23, 1985: Keith Richards and Ron Wood return to New York City.
 

    Late December 1985: Mick Jagger spends the holidays on the island of Mustique, along with David Bowie.
 
 
 
 
 

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