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Old 09-12-2019, 01:12 PM
Kennedy1960 is offline
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What are your opinions on the Brian Jones era of the Rolling Stones?


Brian Jones founded the Stones in 1962 and was in the band from the inception of it until June 1969. He had a troubled final year with the band due to a combination of depression, drug & alcohol dependency, and a loss of interest in the band as well as personal conflicts with Mick and Keith (mostly Keith). He was essential in the band until the second half of 1968 and from there on coasted musically, his last credit of note being an autoharp on You Got the Silver from Let it Bleed. He has been mostly written out of music history it seems, but he played on almost every track of Beggar's Banquet and also played a great majority of the non-guitar instruments on Their Satanic Majesties' as well as sitar on Paint it Black and Street Fightin' Man and slide guitar on a great number of songs. He also may have co-written Ruby Tuesday with Keith Richards.

Some later credits most people don't know he's responsible for:
Ruby Tuesday - Piano and Recorder
She's a Rainbow - Mellotron
Citadel - Mellotron, flute, and soprano saxophone
Child of the Moon - Soprano saxophone
The Lantern - Organ
Jumpin' Jack Flash - rhythm guitar
Dandelion - Soprano Saxophone and possibly organ
We Love You - Mellotron
Jig-Saw Puzzle - Mellotron
Parachute Woman - Harmonica
Stray Cat Blues - Mellotron
Street Fightin' Man - Sitar & Tanpura

His last performance with the band was at the Rock N' Roll Circus in Dec 1968, and his last photo session with them was on May 21st, 1969. He would depart the band on June 3rd.

Am curious about your feelings on his era/him.

Last edited by Kennedy1960; 09-12-2019 at 01:12 PM.
  #2  
Old 09-12-2019, 02:06 PM
Tamerlane is offline
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Originally Posted by Kennedy1960 View Post
he played on almost every track of Beggar's Banquet
My understanding is that he was already checking out by this one, showing up randomly during sessions to add similarly random touches and not really participating much creatively in the making of the album.

That said Jones should get all due credit for creating the band and adding creative touches. But it is clear he was not the driving talent in the band. I know some folks prefer the more psychodelic period of the Stones, but even then he wasn't writing the songs. The musical flavor he added shouldn't be dismissed, but I don't think he was ever indispensable in any real sense once the band was a going concern.

IMHO it was a better band with Mick Taylor, but de gustibus non est disputandum as always.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:33 PM
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This may be a first ...


... I find myself concurring with (almost) every single word in this thread thus far.

Granted, that's only two posts, but still.

Here's what I can add:

Brian's marimba playing ("Out of Time," "Under My Thumb") was a nice touch.

His excursions to Morocco and recordings of the Master Musicians of Joujouka were an indication of how far apart his tastes had grown from most of the other Stones'.

That The Rolling Stones in Mono box set could well be subtitled "The Brian Jones Years, Plus a Smidge." If you're a Jones-era Stones fan, I recommend it highly.
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Last edited by mjmlabs; 09-12-2019 at 03:37 PM. Reason: misspelled "Joujouka," dagnabbit
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:45 PM
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I think Between The Buttons is the best Stones album, so you can probably guess how I feel about Brian Jones.

No doubt Mick Taylor was a better guitarist; however, the Stones' sonic palette took a huge hit when Brian died. There is a sameness to the cuts on Exile on Main Street that never would have happened if he had been involved.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:19 PM
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I like the stones with Brian Jones.she said yeah.ruby Tuesday are really good stone songs.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:01 PM
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I'm a fan. Too bad how he went out.

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Originally Posted by mjmlabs View Post
That The Rolling Stones in Mono box set could well be subtitled "The Brian Jones Years, Plus a Smidge." If you're a Jones-era Stones fan, I recommend it highly.
I'd also recommend The Rolling Stones Singles Collection* The London Years
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:20 PM
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The years with Jones were some of the best, but the band peaked with Let It Bleed, which Jones was scarcely a part of. I guess you could say he led them to that point, but couldn't join them at the top. Like Moses, perhaps.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
My understanding is that he was already checking out by this one, showing up randomly during sessions to add similarly random touches and not really participating much creatively in the making of the album.

That said Jones should get all due credit for creating the band and adding creative touches. But it is clear he was not the driving talent in the band. I know some folks prefer the more psychodelic period of the Stones, but even then he wasn't writing the songs. The musical flavor he added shouldn't be dismissed, but I don't think he was ever indispensable in any real sense once the band was a going concern.

IMHO it was a better band with Mick Taylor, but de gustibus non est disputandum as always.
Not necessarily, no. The Beggar's Banquet sessions were in the Spring and early Summer of 1968. The album was set to be released in July; fighting with the label over the cover pushed it's release back to December but it was more than done. Brian's slow exit from the band didn't start until his second bust on May 20th 1968. He was actually actively promoting the then new single Jumpin' Jack Flash with Mick, moreso than Keith even, prior to that point. Between May and December you see a decline in his participation and interest and in his health. The thing of him being sporadically at sessions is conflated with the Let it Bleed sessions, which began in November 1968. He was sporadically at those sessions.

On Beggar's he plays:

Sympathy for the Devil - backing vocals, acoustic guitar (mostly mixed out but you can hear it at points)

No Expectations - Slide Guitar

Parachute Woman - Harmonica

Dear Doctor - Harmonica

Prodigal Son - Harmonica

Street Fightin' Man - Sitar and Tanpura

Jig-Saw Puzzle - Mellotron

Stray Cat Blues - Mellotron

Also plays guitar on Jumpin' Jack Flash, and soprano sax on the B-Side, Child of the Moon.

He wanted to quit in early 1967 over the whole Anita Pallenberg debacle, but was convinced at that point to stay by Jagger who evidently found him to be necessary (Jagger was quoted as saying that Brian knew more about music than any of them - and at the time that was true; he was the only classically trained musician in the band; Keith later said that in 1967 he was far ahead of the rest of the band in terms of what was "new" - He introduced a not well known Jimi Hendrix at Monterey Pop in '67 for example)
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:27 AM
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His vision for the band was "blues purists." My three favorite Stones albums were the first three.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:38 AM
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I think he was a very talented man, and his era of the Stones was the best. However, I would probably say Sticky Fingers was their best album.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:11 AM
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HUGE Stones fan here. I sympathize with the fact that Jones burnt himself out completely by 27 years old. When you step back, it's a very sad situation. Obviously he was extraordinarily talented as a musician but the truth is, the Stones were quite talented on their own that his demise didn't really slow them down. Of course he brought a lot of coloring to the music but by 65/66' he had lost interest in playing guitar and continuing the interplay that he and Keith masterminded. He began to drift into other instruments. This helped the Stones in the studio on occasion but wore them down as a live band...in other words they had to carry his weight on tour. It was apparent that Brian didn't really care about his responsibilities to the Stones. He was more interested in getting drunk/stoned and would regularly miss gigs and make their life unbearable at times. Puts them in a bad situation. Yes, Brian could provide beautiful touches (Ruby Tuesday, Street Fighting Man, We Love You, Under My Thumb) but became such a weak, paranoid junkie in everyday life that it forced the remaining Stones to buckle up and carry on without him. I'm guessing it got to the point where Mick and Keith just thought...we don't have time for his nonsense. Jones phased himself out of the Stones somewhat like Syd Barret in Pink Floyd. They both were gifted musical visionaries but eventually simply couldn't function within the framework of a team. The Stones were working their asses off in the mid 60's and needed reliability. (Imagine if George Harrison did this) It stands to reason that if one of the guys flaked out, the others would harden towards that guy and move on. I'm with the Stones. I liked his contributions but I think the Stone truly flourished as a rock band once Taylor was inserted. I still love the pop sounds of the London label years but I much prefer the rock sounds of 69 onward.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flare4roach View Post
HUGE Stones fan here. I sympathize with the fact that Jones burnt himself out completely by 27 years old. When you step back, it's a very sad situation. Obviously he was extraordinarily talented as a musician but the truth is, the Stones were quite talented on their own that his demise didn't really slow them down. Of course he brought a lot of coloring to the music but by 65/66' he had lost interest in playing guitar and continuing the interplay that he and Keith masterminded. He began to drift into other instruments. This helped the Stones in the studio on occasion but wore them down as a live band...in other words they had to carry his weight on tour.
He actually still played guitar live and their sound, especially for the time pre good amps was pretty huge and heavy. He didn't abandon the guitar totally, either; just felt he was more useful on other instruments. As far back as 1964 Brian said he didn't consider himself a guitarist. He stated he was more considered with giving songs the sound they needed. Also it helped them more on "on occasion." He plays on every track of every record up to BB and even then he's only not on 2. He plays literally at times multiple instruments on TSMR and many of those form the core track of the song, not just color on top.

As far as their live act, again, he still played guitar live and their sound was huge. Listen to this from their 1967 European tour:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX1M3Z0IHwQ&t


Quote:
It was apparent that Brian didn't really care about his responsibilities to the Stones. He was more interested in getting drunk/stoned and would regularly miss gigs and make their life unbearable at times. Puts them in a bad situation.
In the 7 years he was in the band, he missed precisely 12 shows. 5 of those in November 1964 on account of a serious flare up of asthma which landed him in the hospital as recounted by Bill Wyman, and none after November 1964. The Stones did over a dozen tours and roughly 1,000 concerts between 1964 and their brief retirement from touring in 1967 (They literally retired from touring because of Mick, Keith and Brian's legal troubles combined with exhaustion and not enjoying performing - Mick actually stated early in 1968 he desired to never tour again).

Missing 12 shows out of 1,000 is not really...anything. As Keith has gotten older, he has gotten more and more bitter and not only distorted history, but done his best to malign Brian's reputation and downplay his role. If you go back and read interviews closer to when the events actually happened, like his massive 1971 Rolling Stone interview he was more positive and more honest.

Brian's disinterest in being a Stone stems less from drugs than it does as more putting time into a job you're not happy at anymore, and that disinterest didn't actually manifest into being problematic until the Let it Bleed sessions in the Fall of 1968 and Spring of 1969.

Quote:
Yes, Brian could provide beautiful touches (Ruby Tuesday, Street Fighting Man, We Love You, Under My Thumb) but became such a weak, paranoid junkie in everyday life that it forced the remaining Stones to buckle up and carry on without him. I'm guessing it got to the point where Mick and Keith just thought...we don't have time for his nonsense. Jones phased himself out of the Stones somewhat like Syd Barret in Pink Floyd. They both were gifted musical visionaries but eventually simply couldn't function within the framework of a team. The Stones were working their asses off in the mid 60's and needed reliability. (Imagine if George Harrison did this) It stands to reason that if one of the guys flaked out, the others would harden towards that guy and move on. I'm with the Stones. I liked his contributions but I think the Stone truly flourished as a rock band once Taylor was inserted. I still love the pop sounds of the London label years but I much prefer the rock sounds of 69 onward.
But in many cases, these were more than touches. On Ruby Tuesday he plays the two core instruments of the song: the piano, which drives the main rhythm, and the recorder. Mick Jagger has openly admitted to having had NOTHING to do with writing the song, and it has been reported that Ruby Tuesday was co-written by Brian and Keith. Marianne Faithful has said Brian brought an early version of it to Keith and Keith wrote lyrics to go with the melody; another individual said Keith wrote the lyrics and then Brian and Keith finished the music together.

Glynn Johns (engineer who worked with the Stones) credited Brian with transforming the song 2,000 Light Years from Home entirely from nothing special to an awesome song.

Street Fightin' Man the sitar is one of the lead instruments and was recorded onto a cassette while Keith played acoustic and Charlie Watts played a toy drum, and that's Spring 1968 where he is collaborating on songs in a core band member context. That's 6 years in.

It's forgotten but he played on more records than any of his successors. He played on 12 records in total and most of those were rock oriented.

Quote:
but I think the Stone truly flourished as a rock band once Taylor was inserted. I still love the pop sounds of the London label years but I much prefer the rock sounds of 69 onward.
You do realize that at least in terms of the studio, Keith was responsible for the sound of the Taylor era, right? On Let it Bleed for example, Brian Jones plays on two tracks, and Mick Taylor plays on two. That's it. Keith plays all other guitar parts. On Sticky Fingers, Taylor does not play on the finished version of Brown Sugar or Sister Morphine. On Exile, many of his parts on the first side were wiped by Keith (ex. being Rock's Off - he's totally wiped from that track except for a second lead bit as the song closes). The album he contributes to the most is Goat's Head Soup, due to Keith being drugged out on heroin and Bill Wyman testifying at his girlfriend's rape trial. He plays most of the guitar parts there. But by the next year, Mick Taylor has become bored and disinterested with being a Stone and only plays on 7 out of 10 tracks on It's Only Rock N' Roll.

Most of his contribution to the band was live, and the several ballads he co-wrote with Mick Jagger or with Mick and Keith (Sway, Moonlight Mile, Time Waits for No One, Till the Next Goodbye).

As far as the band becoming a greater rock band and Jones - you can look backward at songs like Get off My Cloud, Satisfaction, Heart of Stone, The Last Time, Paint it Black, and listen to their live concerts from 1966 and 1967 to see just how powerful they were even before Taylor live, or listen to Jumpin' Jack Flash and the Rock N' Roll Circus to see that they were capable of being a great live rock band with Brian.

Under My Thumb, live, 1966. The same arrangement would be used in their 1981-1982 tour. No marimbas, just two guitars chugging out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9E5rCU3Vqs
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:31 PM
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He actually still played guitar live and their sound, especially for the time pre good amps was pretty huge and heavy. He didn't abandon the guitar totally, either; just felt he was more useful on other instruments.
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.

Quote:
As far back as 1964 Brian said he didn't consider himself a guitarist. He stated he was more considered with giving songs the sound they needed. Also it helped them more on "on occasion." He plays on every track of every record up to BB and even then he's only not on 2. He plays literally at times multiple instruments on TSMR and many of those form the core track of the song, not just color on top.
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?

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Brian's disinterest in being a Stone stems less from drugs than it does as more putting time into a job you're not happy at anymore, and that disinterest didn't actually manifest into being problematic until the Let it Bleed sessions in the Fall of 1968 and Spring of 1969.
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. 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:
But in many cases, these were more than touches. On Ruby Tuesday he plays the two core instruments of the song: the piano, which drives the main rhythm, and the recorder. Mick Jagger has openly admitted to having had NOTHING to do with writing the song, and it has been reported that Ruby Tuesday was co-written by Brian and Keith. Marianne Faithful has said Brian brought an early version of it to Keith and Keith wrote lyrics to go with the melody; another individual said Keith wrote the lyrics and then Brian and Keith finished the music together.
Even if that is true...that's one song. One.

Quote:
Glynn Johns (engineer who worked with the Stones) credited Brian with transforming the song 2,000 Light Years from Home entirely from nothing special to an awesome song.
I agree. The mellotron at the end of the song is outstanding. It's a nice touch.

Quote:
Street Fightin' Man the sitar is one of the lead instruments and was recorded onto a cassette while Keith played acoustic and Charlie Watts played a toy drum, and that's Spring 1968 where he is collaborating on songs in a core band member context. That's 6 years in.
And? It's a nice touch but it doesn't MAKE the song. It's a cool minor contributing feature but that's about it.

Quote:
You do realize that at least in terms of the studio, Keith was responsible for the sound of the Taylor era, right? On Let it Bleed for example, Brian Jones plays on two tracks, and Mick Taylor plays on two. That's it. Keith plays all other guitar parts.
Exactly. I prefer the Stones without Jones. Keith is the man.

Quote:
On Sticky Fingers, Taylor does not play on the finished version of Brown Sugar or Sister Morphine.
Understood. Cooder did a great job.

Quote:
On Exile, many of his parts on the first side were wiped by Keith (ex. being Rock's Off - he's totally wiped from that track except for a second lead bit as the song closes). The album he contributes to the most is Goat's Head Soup, due to Keith being drugged out on heroin and Bill Wyman testifying at his girlfriend's rape trial. He plays most of the guitar parts there. But by the next year, Mick Taylor has become bored and disinterested with being a Stone and only plays on 7 out of 10 tracks on It's Only Rock N' Roll.
I'm not so sure about the Exile side one thing but assuming that is true, ok...and? My original point is I prefer the Taylor era so much more than the Jones era. I have dozens of bootlegs that clearly establish Taylor as a wonderful live guitarist in the Stones during this period.

Quote:
As far as the band becoming a greater rock band and Jones - you can look backward at songs like Get off My Cloud, Satisfaction, Heart of Stone, The Last Time, Paint it Black, and listen to their live concerts from 1966 and 1967 to see just how powerful they were even before Taylor live, or listen to Jumpin' Jack Flash and the Rock N' Roll Circus to see that they were capable of being a great live rock band with Brian.
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.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:55 PM
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Just to lob this in: My understanding is that one of precipitating events -- maybe the proverbial last straw, maybe just an unfortunate circumstance, dunno, wasn't there -- in Brian's sacking was the imminent '69 US tour: with two drug busts on his record, Brian definitely wasn't going to get a US work visa to tour the States, so the band would be touring without him like it or not.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:07 PM
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Just to lob this in: My understanding is that one of precipitating events -- maybe the proverbial last straw, maybe just an unfortunate circumstance, dunno, wasn't there -- in Brian's sacking was the imminent '69 US tour: with two drug busts on his record, Brian definitely wasn't going to get a US work visa to tour the States, so the band would be touring without him like it or not.
Keith said in '71 that the issue was more that at their meeting on June 3rd 1969, Brian expressed that he didn't feel physically or psychologically up to touring again. One must remember that the last time they turned - 1967 - was entirely different from 1969 musically. For the Stones previously, it had been screaming girls and not being able to hear themselves and riots every single night. Go look one day at their list of tours - they relentlessly toured almost the entirety of 1964, 1965, and 1966, with a final limited tour in the spring of 1967. Touring was a drag, and Brian didn't want it. He actually expressed a desire to leave the band during a late May 1969 recording session, according to Bill Wyman.

The fact is things moved very fast. Mick in the spring of 1968 was quoted as saying he would never tour again. Early spring of 1969, he goes to see Blind Faith perform at Hyde Park and sees things could be different than they had been in the past as far as performances go. Yet, at the same time, on May 21st 1969, the Stones do a massive photo shoot with Brian. Two sets of photos, many of which Brian is in front and center, at two different locations (Look up Ethan Russell May 1969 Stones). You don't do a massive shoot with a guy who is going to be departing soon. Around this time, Brian expresses a desire to leave. The Stones have Mick Taylor audition on May 30th. Mick, Keith and Charlie drive up to Cotchford Farm on June 3rd and a decision is reached where Brian leaves.

Keith, 1971: "Brian got very fragile. As he went along, he got more and more fragile and delicate. His personality and physically. I think all that touring did a lot to break him. We worked our asses off from ’63 to ’66, right through those three years, non-stop. I believe we had two weeks off. That’s nothing, I mean I tell that to B.B. King and he’ll say, “I been doing it for years.” But for cats like Brian . . . He was tough but one thing and another he slowly became more fragile. When I first met Brian he was like a little Welsh bull. He was broad, and he seemed to be very tough.

For a start, people were always laying stuff on him because he was a Stone. And he’d try it. He’d take anything. Any other sort of trip too, head trips. He never had time to work it out ’cause we were on the road all the time, always on the plane the next day. Eventually, it caught up.

Right until the last, Brian was trying to get it together. Just before he died, he was rehearsing with more people. Because it happened so quickly, people think . . .

Anita: They think he was really down. But he was really up.

Keith: And they also think that he was one of the Stones when he died. But in actual fact, he’d left. We went down to see him and he said, “I can’t do it again. I can’t start again and go on the road again like that again.” And we said, “We understand. We’ll come and see you in a couple weeks and see how you feel. Meantime, how do you want to say. Do you want to say that you’ve left?” And he said, “Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s say I’ve left and if I want to I can come back.” “Because we’ve got to know. We’ve got to get someone to take your place because we’re starting to think about getting it together for another tour. We’ve got itchy feet and we’ve got Mick Taylor lined up.” We didn’t really, we didn’t have Mick waiting in the wings to bring on. But we wanted to know if we should get someone else or if Brian wanted to get back into it again. “I don’t think I can,” he said, “I don’t think I can go to America and do those one-nighters anymore. I just can’t.” Two weeks later, they found him in the pool, man."

Last edited by Kennedy1960; 09-13-2019 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:29 PM
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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

[/quote]
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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAjC2L4hKBM

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LzVcliGicc


Quote:
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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h1sdp3-U-o

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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5wT3wYB0Po

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 07:31 PM.
  #17  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:57 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
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(Applause)

This has been a fine little history lesson for me. I’ve always loved the Stones but never read into their history as I have with, say, the Beatles. I just hope you two are accurate.

Now do the Kinks and the Who!
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Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 09-13-2019 at 07:58 PM.
  #18  
Old 09-14-2019, 10:18 AM
Wheelz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horatio Hellpop View Post
His vision for the band was "blues purists." My three favorite Stones albums were the first three.
My opinion has always been that the Stones were a good and clearly quite talented blues band, but not extraordinary.

Their early blues work, to me, seems bound by the conventions of the genre - almost rote. It was only when they moved away from pure blues and started to develop their own unique voice that they morphed into something special.

I canít say I have a strong opinion on Brian Jones one way or another, but if what you say is true, he was holding them back by wanting to be blues purists.
  #19  
Old 09-14-2019, 11:50 AM
Kennedy1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
My opinion has always been that the Stones were a good and clearly quite talented blues band, but not extraordinary.

Their early blues work, to me, seems bound by the conventions of the genre - almost rote. It was only when they moved away from pure blues and started to develop their own unique voice that they morphed into something special.

I can’t say I have a strong opinion on Brian Jones one way or another, but if what you say is true, he was holding them back by wanting to be blues purists.
The blues purist thing is kinda a myth. When he formed the band, the first to join was Ian Stewart. Then Mick, who brought along Keith. Mick and Keith replaced two guys who were blues purists in Brian's outfit, which Brian didn't want. Part of the reason he accepted them into the band was their willingness to do other things beyond the blues. He certainly, like Mick and Keith and Stu, loved the blues. But he also loved folk music like stuff by Richard Farina. He loved classical music. He loved R&B and considered Otis Redding the best artist of his lifetime. If you ever listen to the soundtrack he did (he composed it on his own and had Jimmy Page on guitar), most of it is either contemporary '60s sounding music, or Elizabethan style stuff like Lady Jane.

People have said that in the month between his departure from the Stones and his death he was heavily listening to CCR and wanted that sort of sound for his next project.

Last edited by Kennedy1960; 09-14-2019 at 11:51 AM.
  #20  
Old 09-14-2019, 03:29 PM
Gatopescado is offline
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Jesus, Kennedy, I feel like I should get college credits for reading your posts!
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