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Old 09-13-2019, 08:29 PM
Kennedy1960 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by Flare4roach View Post
Granted, Brian may have felt that but by this time Mick and Keith were directing the band. They were not always interested in Brian's dabbling in other instruments versus his earlier contributions as a guitarist. It's fair to say that since they wrote the songs, they dictate what goes where. I'm positive that Brian would say not and again..."how about this?" and they agreed it was a grand idea. But considering they were primarily a rock band...his disinterest in rock guitar and interest in the recorder only goes so far.
Yeah but this is the mid to late 60s we're talking about, when experimentation was THE thing musically. I mean you have The Beatles doing tape loops and such. The guy played 25 instruments for the Stones; such wild experimentation yielded a lot for them. It may be Mick and Keith's song structurally, but if Brian comes in or Mick Taylor comes in and puts something on it that's unique and different - that's their touch. You could argue that guitar solos are little more than color, really. You can't paint one guy as a core member, and one as not, because one primarily plays the guitar and the other doesn't. You also can't blame Brian for trying to add something to exotic songs written by Mick and Keith. I mean, does a soaring Santana-style guitar solo really fit on a song like, Dandelion, say?

I think rock got pigeonholed into being this one dimensional, sort of guitar based party music in the 70s. And that's fine for what it is. But what, really, were the Stones doing differently from Free or Led Zeppelin or Aerosmith in the 70s? Rock had become this arena focused formulaic thing by the mid 70s. Maybe the Stones did it better, but even that scene got old and they experienced their greatest success commercially when they did Some Girls with Ronnie Wood - and that's more experimentation. In general, I feel the 1960s are much more musically interesting for rock music than the majority of the 70s because of this wild experimentation. For the Stones, the Brian and (early) Ronnie Wood years strike me as the most interesting. You get a bit of everything in both eras.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree here. I'll concede that Brian played on the vast majority of their songs but his contributions in hindsight were as the color on top. Mick and Keith did the yeoman's work in creating the core of the songs. George Harrison did a wonderful job adding melodies to many, many Beatle songs but that doesn't take away from John and Paul's creativity, does it?
Again not necessarily and it depends on the song. You've got songs like Paint it Black where he's playing both sitar and rhythm acoustic and the rhythm is key to it. You've got songs like 19th Nervous Breakdown where he's playing a solid Bo Diddley rhythm. But then on the more exotic songs, Under My Thumb - the marimba is the main instrument. Or take a song like Citadel. He's playing the mellotron set to a mandolin setting, which acts as one of the core instruments. On top of that he's playing a flute to accent the choruses. At the end of the song he comes in with a saxophone that highlights Mick's verses and then plays a counter melody to Keith's guitar during the outro. There's a lot of songs like that where he's actually playing something that MAKES the song.

Go have a listen to Jig-Saw Puzzle. Kinda a rudimentary thing where Mick is trying his best to channel Bob Dylan. But then Brian adds this very, very eerie sounding mellotron to it which plays off Keith's slide guitar. Things like that. You can call it color - i call it the most memorable part of a track.

Take a Taylor era song like Sway. The guitar solo at the end isn't an essential element, it's color - but it's something that leaves a mark and lifts the song from being OKAY to being really interesting. That sort of thing - making other people's song HIS by virtue of doing something really out there - was Brian's forte.

I agree with you in that Brian was incapable of truly producing anything by 68'.
Your mileage may vary on Beggar's but Brian didn't exactly light that record up. He's hardly on it.
By the end of 1968. The record was finished in the early summer. He's on 7 out of 10 songs. His harmonica playing on Dear Doctor and Parachute Woman add a nice bluesy feel to those tracks. The aforementioned mellotron on Jig-Saw. The lead slide guitar on No Expectations. The aforementioned work on Street Fightin' Man - the electric feel of the song is driven in part by his tanpura during the choruses since there's actually no electric instruments on the song.

According to many accounts, he was losing his mental grip and spiraling out of control. Copious amounts of mixing drugs and alcohol seriously contributed to his disintegration as a functional musician. When he did turn up to the studio it was heavy odds against him being able to perform at any level whatsoever. "What can I play?" Jones said to Jagger. "I dunno Brian, what CAN you play?" was his response. All you got to do is watch Goddard's "Sympathy for the Devil" to see Jones circa 68' in the studio. He was burnt, paranoid and disinterested. This is precisely what the Stones didn't need as they were working to push forward in the late 60's. For all intents and purposes, Jone made himself a useless pariah. Mick and Keith certainly lost all respect for him. Wyman never cared for him. Watts too has said he was difficult to work with because he was more focused on being a star than a musician. Ian Stewart hated the guy. [/quote]

I think that's been blown out of proportion as the years have gone by. I also think there seems to be a sort of Mandella Effect going on with the Godard film. People conflate that film, which I've watched in full several times, with the footage of Brian stoned from the music video for We Love You that the Stones used in 25 x 5 and have ever since to make Brian look bad.

Also, as far as Godard's film:

I don't see a burnt out, useless guy here. He seems very engaged and those bluesy bends and licks are his. From the same time period (early 1968), we also have this. Brian is playing slide here on this outtake from the Beggar's sessions:

I haven't heard a great deal of live Stones from 66' or 67' so I won't comment. However, I disagree with you on Jumpin' Jack Flash at the Circus. Brian is barely in the mix. If at all.
Unfortunately, he was mixed very low for the Circus after the fact. Someone I know isolated the guitar track from the Circus. He's doing the bassy tuned guitar on JJF:

It adds a nice, rough undercurrent to Keith's more treble sounding lead and the strumming is solid and not weak or out of time or anything. Also, power chords during the chorus and middle 8 are pretty cool IMO.

On Parachute Woman, with it isolated, he's doing a 50s style Chuck Berry rhythm:

There was no point in mixing it so low, really. The classic Chuck Berry rhythm there actually plays quite nicely off Keith's and is quite like their earlier interplay.

He isn't playing out of time or off key or anything if you listen (easier with headphones). The only song he doesn't seem to really provide anything of use for is You Can't Always Get What You Want outside of the intro. He plays a single C note for the duration of the song.

Last edited by Kennedy1960; 09-13-2019 at 08:31 PM.