I'm a serious man, I've got serious lusts

January 1, 1996: The Rolling Stones decide to cancel their plans to tour the Far East and perform
    additional concerts in South America.

    January 1996: The Charlie Watts Quintet record their third studio album at Olympic Sound Studios in London,

    February 13, 1996: Mick Jagger hangs out at the Bottom Line in New York City.

    Early March 1996: Mick Jagger records the song Streets of Berlin in London, England, for the movie Bent.

    March 1996: Mick Jagger records demo tracks, possibly for a projected solo album in Atlanta. Keith Richards brings
        the X-Pensive Winos to Jamaica to work on the Wingless Angels project, but decides the combination does not

    May 1996: Ron Wood exhibits his art work in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    June 10, 1996: The Charlie Watts Quintet's album Long Ago & Far Away, their second album of standards sung by
        Bernard Fowler, is released.

    June 25, 1996: Mick Jagger hangs out with Pete Townshend on Sports Day in London, England.

    June 29, 1996: Ron Wood joins Bob Dylan onstage at the Prince of Wales Trust Concert in London, England. Mick
        Jagger attends.

    July 1996: Keith Richards records a song in Woodstock, New York, with Scotty Moore, D. J. Fontana and The Band.

    July 4-6, 1996: The Charlie Watts Orchestra kick off a short tour of North America with concerts in Montreal and
        Toronto in Canada.

    July 5, 1996: Mick Jagger starts filming his role as a transvestite in the movie Bent in Glasgow, Scotland.

    July 10, 1996: The Charlie Watts Quintet performs on U.S. TV's The David Letterman Show.

    July 11, 1996: The Charlie Watts Quintet perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City, which Keith Richards attends.

    July 13-15, 1996: The Charlie Watts Quintet end their North American tour with concerts in San Francisco and
        Los Angeles. Mick Jagger attends the concert in Los Angeles.

    July 23, 1996: The Charlie Watts Quintet performs at London's Shepherds Bush Empire.

    September 1996: Keith Richards attends the film festival in Venice, Italy. At his home studio in Ireland, Ron Wood
        jams with Bob Dylan on demos for the latter's Time Out of Mind album.

Late September-early October 1996: Mick Jagger starts working on songs for the Rolling Stones' next
    album with the Dust Brothers in Silver Lake, California.

Mick Jagger (1997): The Saint of Silver Lake

I didn't know what I was doing sometimes when I was sitting in the Dust Brothers' studio in Silver Lake and it's just me and I've got absolutely nothing to start with and I'm going, I wonder if this is really such a good idea I'm doing this. And they've got this little drum machine going, which is called an 808 which everyone uses, and it's just tinkling away in the back there, like, in this teeny way and I'm quite used to all that but... So I'm sitting there playing my keyboard and playing Saint of Me and I'm thinking, Sounds like shit, this is terrible, how is it ever going to work out? And how I am gonna... And it was very, you know, it's quite slow. I was having fun with it, but it's very low tech in that studio and I just didn't know how it was gonna build up.

But then, as it goes on, you know, and I took the tapes, transferred them and then went to the studio and Charlie sort of played on them. And then I'd bring them back and... it comes in piece (by) piece. It still had to really take shape but it was quite fun doing that. I mean, it was just good to do it in another way, really, and I had a lot of fun with that one.

There are many, many ways to make a Rolling Stones record... (But y)ou can only push it so far. We used to try and sound like Howlin' Wolf. But we never ACTUALLY sounded like Howlin' Wolf, because it's always going to sound like the Rolling Stones. You can run 89 loops, and it STILL sounds like the Rolling Stones.


    October 1996: Mick Jagger is spotted in Los Angeles with model Jana Rajlich and actress Uma Thurman. For a third
        time in their twenty-year relationship (1982, 1992), these affairs make the scandal sheets, as Jerry Hall threatens
        and considers divorce publicly once again.

October 1996: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood meet to discuss the Rolling Stones' future
    plans and decide on undertaking a new album and tour.

Mick Jagger (1997): Out go the solo album plans

I had a lot of songs that I was just writing last autumn (1996) and I had thought, you know, I was gonna do a solo record and there wasn't really talk about doing a Stones record, so I was just writing songs really. I mean, I was having a really nice time doing it. And I did write a lot all around the world but I was just sitting there doing these songs... And everyone said, We should do an album and tour. And I said, Well, isn't it a bit soon to do an album and tour? But I thought, Well, we might as well get on with it sooner rather than later. You can just wait and wait and wait, and then it gets more difficult to do. 

I had written a lot of songs coming into this project that I'd already done. I'd written them and they were all finished and completed. I didn't really necessarily know we were going to do a Stones record at that point.

Keith Richards (1997): Back on the road...

There is usually some sort of phoning after six to nine months (after the last tour). Well, you know, whaddya think?... I'm ready. It kind of starts from there. I guess in a way it's an itch.

I think there's a sort of inevitability about it (laughs). That was no sort of, Oh awwlright about it. I turned around and they said, Let's go! With the Voodoo Lounge tour, right up until the final show, the band was trying to cut itself every night. It didn't cruise at all, and that's what kind of keeps the edge on it. Towards the end of the tour it gets, you know, quite SHARP up there.

Mick Jagger (1997): Agreeing on a different approach

I talked to Keith about it. I talked to everyone in the band about it. I didn't want to do a record same as the last record, Voodoo Lounge - I don't want to do that record again. And if everyone wants to do that, I think it's a mistake. And I'm not interested...  The other thing was, if I write a song, or Keith writes a song, or we write one together, if I see it one way, I want to try it. I don't want to be some committee where everyone has 10 cents' worth of it. That's the bad part of being in a band. But if you have an idea of what a song should sound like, I want to be able to try it that way. So that's what I said; everyone seemed to agree with that. 


    October 12, 1996: Keith Richards attends a theater showing of the Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus in New York.

October 14, 1996: Eighteen years after its creation, the Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus is released in both audio and video formats by ABKCO.

Late November- December 17, 1996: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards start writing songs and recording
    demos for the next Rolling Stones album at Dangerous Music Studios in New York City and at Keith
    Richards' home studio in Connecticut.

Mick Jagger & Keith Richards (1997): Let's experiment

Mick: The plan was to... I mean, the last time at the studio... was very much a solid kind of band working in the studio. We went to Dublin, and we all sat in the room together more or less all the time and it was very much an old-fashioned or whatever word you want to use - I mean, a very straight-made record. So, I thought, well, if we're going to do this one differently, we'd have to take a slightly different approach to it... (S)ome (songs) that lend themselves to other treatments can be taken out of that live environment for a moment and brought back and rebuilt... And so Charlie and I talked a lot about the different ways of creating this. Changing the grooves a little bit, you know, 'cause from my mind a lot of certain songs lend themselves to this, to messing with the grooves, because you get a slightly different feel than you would get than if you play live.

Keith: Anything's better than being boring (laughs). A lot of it is experimentation, at least for the Stones. And I look upon that as a good thing - anything but sitting around, saying, OK, let's be the Stones... I start to feel good about records when I realize I can toss away the rule book. 

Keith Richards (1997): Demoing at Dangerous Music

We began writing this album around November), down in (Greenwich) Village (in New York City), in a little demo studio called Dangerous Music. I wanted to cut the whole album there, it was sounding so good, but it was a bit too small for everybody. Mick and I started Low Down there and Anybody Seen My Baby?, Already Over You, (Always) Suffering and Any Way You Look at It. We got 5 or 6 tracks together in a week there...


    Early December 1996: Scotty Moore and D. J. Fontana, along with Jeff Beck, visit Ron Wood at his home studio in
        Ireland to record a track for their album.


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