Posts Tagged ‘Keith Richards’

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“Bridges To Buenos Aires” is the latest concert film release from The Rolling Stones’ archive. The full-length show from their five night sell-out residency at the River Plate Stadium in Argentina’s capital city has been restored in full, and features a very special guest appearance from Bob Dylan.

Filmed on April 5th 1998, by this point, the band had played to over two million people on the first two legs of the tour in North America and Japan. Amongst many highlights in this show, special guest Bob Dylan joins the band onstage at River Plate for a unique performance of his classic ‘Like A Rolling Stone’. The band only played a further two dates in South America on the triumphant, year long Bridges To Babylon tour, before they headed back to North America, and Europe.

A new trailer for Bridges to Buenos Aires features a few snippets of Dylan’s appearance, while it also teases renditions of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Flip the Switch” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Bridges to Buenos Aires is to be released as a two CD set with either a DVD or Blu-ray. It will also be issued on digital video, digital audio and a limited edition translucent blue, 180 gram triple vinyl LP. The concert film was restored from the original master tapes, while the audio was remixed and remastered from the live multitrack recordings.

The band only played a further two dates in South America on the triumphant, year long Bridges To Babylon tour, before they headed back to North America, and Europe.

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Watch: The Rolling Stones Perform “Mercy, Mercy” for First Time in 50 Years

The Rolling Stones kicked off their rescheduled North American No Filter tour dates last Wednesday evening at FedEx Field in Landover, MD, outside Washington, DC, and the legendary UK rockers reached back in their extensive catalog to unearth a cover they hadn’t played live in just under 50 years.

In a set that featured classics and staples like opener “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Tumbling Dice,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Paint It Black,” “Start Me Up” and “Brown Sugar,” the Stones threw it back to their early days by offering their rendition of “Mercy, Mercy,” a tune originally by Don Covay that was included on the Stones’ 1965 album Out of Our Heads. Last night was the first appearance of the song in a Stones set since they played it at London’s Hyde Park on July 5th, 1969. Before playing the cover, frontman Mick Jagger dedicated the performance to former Stones guitarist Brian Jones, who passed away 50 years ago to the day on July 3rd, 1969.

Below, watch fan-shot video of last night’s “Mercy, Mercy”

The song “Mercy Mercy” (1st time live since 1969) & Rocks Off (Fan Voting Choice) & You Cant Always Get What You Want, Rolling Stones, FedEx Field, Washington DC 7/3/19; No Filter North American Tour, Night 4 of the tour

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The Rolling Stones release a special, limited edition of “She’ s A Rainbow” (Live) at U Arena, Paris 25/10/17.

She’s a Rainbow is a song by the Rolling Stones and was featured on their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request. It has been called “the prettiest and most uncharacteristic song that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote for the Stones, although somewhat ambiguous in it’s intention.

The original song includes rich lyricism, vibrant piano by Nicky Hopkins and Brian Jones‘ use of the Mellotron. John Paul Jones, later of Led Zeppelin, arranged the strings of this song during his session days.

Backing vocals were provided by the entire band except for Charlie Watts. Notably, all of the vocals sound like soft background singing with the music overshadowing them to the point of the lyrics being difficult to hear. The lyrics in the chorus share the phrase “she comes in colours” with the song of that title by Love, released in December 1966.

The song begins with the piano playing an ascending scale, which returns throughout the song as a recurring motif. This motif is developed by the celesta and strings in the middle 8. Humorous and ambiguous devices are used, such as when the strings play out-of-tune and off-key towards the end of the song,

In 1986, relations between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were at an all-time low. The Rolling Stones were on hold while Jagger toured as a solo act behind his 1987 album Primitive Cool, and the two traded endless insults in the press.

So Keith Richards decided to do something he’d always held off on: form his own solo band. The X-Pensive Winos featured an eclectic crew including Waddy Wachtel (Warren Zevon, the Everly Brothers), drummer Steve Jordan (who played with Richards in the Chuck Berry tribute concert film Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll),  bassist-drummer Charley Drayton and keyboardist Ivan Neville.

Recording outside Quebec, the chemistry was clear when they laid down the swaggering opener “Take it So Hard.” “I went back to the house going, ‘we’ve conquered Everest already?’ Wachtel said later. In his autobiography Life, Richards agreed. “There’s no way you can stand in front of the Winos without getting off. It’s a surefire high. It was so hot you could hardly believe it.”

The result was Talk is Cheap, an endearingly ragged classic considered by many fans the best Rolling Stones-related release of the last three decades. From the stomping open-G anthem “Take it So Hard” to the Memphis soul ballad “Make No Mistake,” it captures Richards nailing everything he’s good at – hear the throwback Sun-style in the rocker “I Could Have Stood You Up.”

To celebrate its 30th anniversary on March 29th, the album will finally be reissued as a huge box set that includes the album on CD and vinyl, six unreleased tracks from the sessions and an 80-page book featuring a new interview with Richards. There an even more extravagant “super deluxe” box set that comes in a case that replaces Richards’ guitar case made by the Fender Custom Shop.

“This album holds up,“ Richards said. “I’ve been listening to it and not through the mists of nostalgia either because it doesn’t affect me that way. This is more than the sum of its parts. I really admire it. We were having fun and you can hear it.”

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Some will naturally think that this is simply a reaction to 2016’s Rolling Stones’ Blue and Lonesome where the English band covered many of their favorite Chicago blues songs. Yet, this project, Chicago Plays the Stones, was envisioned before that album was released. It was inspired by the Chicago residency of the Rolling Stones’ 54-year-spanning, world-touring exhibit Exhibitionism.

The new, multi-artist Rolling Stones tribute album Chicago Plays The Stoneswas released yesterday . Among its delights are contributions by Keith Richards — who shares guitar features with Jimmy Burns on the latter’s update of ‘Beast Of Burden’ — and Mick Jagger, who you can hear on harmonica and call-and-response vocals with the Stones’ old friend Buddy Guy, as he remakes ‘Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)’ from 1973’s Goats Head Soup album.

Track – 03 from “Chicago Plays The Stones” 12 all-new recordings of iconic Rolling Stones songs, re-imagined in the Chicago blues style and played by today’s greatest Chicago blues artists.

The Stones first met Buddy Guy in 1964 when the American bluesman was recording ‘My Time After Awhile’ at Chess Studios in Chicago. As Guy is quoted by Rolling Stone: “Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon walked straight in my studio while I was singing with a bunch of white guys, who lined up against the wall, I got pissed off: ‘Who in the hell are these  guys?’ I had never seen a white man with hair that long and high-heeled boots before.”

That inauspicious start prefaced a notable friendship, confirmed when the Stones invited Guy to open for them as they toured Europe in 1970, just as they had championed his fellow blues giant B.B. King. Further live guest appearances followed for Guy, who duetted with Jagger on the 2006 version of ‘Champagne & Reefer’ featured in Martin Scorsese’s concert film Shine A Lightand the accompanying album in 2008. ‘Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)’ marks the pair’s first studio pairing.

Billy Branch “Sympathy For The Devil” (2017) [Rolling Stones Cover] – From the 2017 Raisin’Music Records release “Chicago Plays The Stones.” Twelve all-new recordings of iconic Rolling Stones songs, re-imagined in the Chicago blues style and played by today’s greatest Chicago blues artists.

Among other local blues musicians featured on Chicago Plays The Bluesare Ronnie Baker Brooks, who covers ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’; Billy Branch, who reads ‘Sympathy For The Devil’; and Carlos Johnson, who tackles the more recent Stones song ‘Out Of Control.’

The album is a collaboration between Grammy-nominated producer Larry Skoller’s Raisin’ Music Records and Chicago Blues Experience, which is due to open in the city in 2019. Artists featured on the album will play selected US dates in October and November.

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On September. 30th, 2016, ABKCO Records released a massive box set including all of the studio albums released in mono by The Rolling Stones in the 1960s. The Rolling Stones in Mono, available in both 15-CD and 16-LP vinyl configurations, as well as Standard Digital, Mastered for iTunes and True HD (96k/24 bit, 192k/24 bit and DSD), contains a total of 186 tracks, 56 of which had never before been heard in mono since the advent of the digital age, according to the original announcement from ABKCO, which retains the rights to the Stones’ early recordings.

The Rolling Stones in Mono covers the formative years of 1963-69 featuring hits like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Get Off Of My Cloud,” “19th Nervous Breakdown” and “Paint it Black,” to name a few. The idea behind releasing the collection, the 2016 press release explained, is that, “Most rock and pop recordings were originally recorded in mono, with stereo often an afterthought, dealt with only following the completion of the original (mono) version of a given track.”

Recording engineer Dave Hassinger, who worked with the Stones from 1964-66, explained how he mixed the Stones in mono: “They always played together at the same time,” he is quoted as saying. “They would run the parts down, work out the changes here and there, nail it down, then start recording.”

Fast forward to May 22nd, 2018, and ABKCO has released an official lyric video for the group’s 1967 smash hit, “Ruby Tuesday,” to coincide with The Rolling Stones’ 2018 #NoFilter tour of the U.K. and Europe.

From the announcement: “For this hauntingly beautiful ballad the goal was to create a romantic and evocative visual inspired by 60s design and an independent, free-spirited woman. To enhance the wistful, baroque feel of the verses, densely decorative floral and paisley patterns which form throughout each scene create a rich tapestry of detail. The choruses cut to kaleidoscopic patterns set against a bright ruby red backdrop, ensuring a big hit of colour in contrast to the verses.”

More on “Ruby Tuesday” from the announcement: “The song was written, for the most part, by Stones guitarist Keith Richards in 1966, inspired by Linda Keith, his girlfriend at the time, who had recently left him for a poet named Bill Chenail; soon thereafter she began dating rising star Jimi Hendrix.” “That’s the first time I felt the deep cut,” Richards recollected in his 2010 autobiography Life. “The thing about being a songwriter is, even if you’ve been fucked over, you can find consolation in writing about it, and pour it out . . . It becomes an experience, a feeling, or a conglomeration of experiences. Basically Linda is ‘Ruby Tuesday.’”

The recording features Brian Jones on recorder, Bill Wyman fretting a double bass (with Keith Richards bowing it) and outside help from arranger/composer Jack Nitzsche who played piano on the track. Initially released in January 1967 as a B-side to “Let’s Spend the Night Together,”

“Ruby Tuesday” was featured on the American release of the 1967 album, Between The Buttons. This version features Mick Jagger on vocals, Keith Richards on guitar, Charlie Watts on drums, Ronnie Wood on guitar, Bill Wyman on bass, Matt Clifford on keyboards and French horn, Bobby Keys on saxophone, Chuck Leavell on keyboards, Bernard Fowler on backing vocals, Lisa Fischer on backing vocals, Cindy Mizelle on backing vocals, and the Uptown Horns.

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In 1965, The Rolling Stones were on the cusp of true rock ‘n’ roll greatness, and the album “Out Of Our Heads”, released on the Decca label, would further entrench their reputation. One of my absolute favourite Stones albums is their third British release ‘Out Of Our Heads’. Issued in 1965 on Decca, this album sounds so much punkier and heavier than the two blues/R&B albums preceding it. As soon as ‘She Said Yeah’ smashes through your speakers like a sledgehammer it’s a full on experience until ‘I’m Free’ closes the album.
I realise that other countries had a different track selection for this album but I’ve always found the British issue to be the best because Decca didn’t pad it out with singles.
Available as the killer Mono issue (pushing around £200 for mint copies) and the Stones first album to be issued in (very poor) Stereo in Britain (much rarer but still around £200). An essential album.

Having returned from an American tour, the band were cocked and primed with a collection of soul material, much of which remained unknown to the bulk of English teenagers at the time, meaning that The Stones could record their own versions safe in the knowledge that whatever they presented was as fresh and exciting as anything from the other side of the Atlantic.

The US edition of the album opens with Don Covay’s 1964 soul hit “Mercy, Mercy,” and while not quite as superb as the original, The Stones do a pretty good job all the same in at least capturing the song’s essence. Next is Marvin Gaye’s “Hitch Hike,” where the English quintet assert their ever-growing sophistication in emulating American black music, albeit with an English bent.

Apparently “The Last Time” owes its origins from an old gospel tune, given a complete Phil Spector makeover (i.e. his famous ‘wall of sound’), and transformed into something else entirely. Backed with the spiteful ballad “Play With Fire,” both tracks would prove to be one of their most popular and strongest singles yet of self-penned material. Another original (a rarity for this album) is “The Spider And The Fly,” a R&B/Jimmy Reed inspired number and one that would become a staple of their early shows throughout this period.

The band’s cover of Bert Russell’s soul classic “Cry To Me” and Sam Cooke’s “Good Times” are both strong cuts, despite Jagger’s vocal limitations . Otis Redding’s (although written by Roosevelt Jamison) “That’s How Strong My Love Is” is given a fine reworking, so too “I’m All Right,” a recording which first appeared on the EP Got Live If You Want It.

A special mention should be made of founding member Brian Jones, whose spirited playing shines throughout this record, and whose contribution to The Stones sound and look when starting out should never be forgotten, nor underestimated. Just listen to the way he wails his harmonica on “The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man,” and his acoustic guitar during “Good Times.” Jones may not have been much of a songwriter, yet his presence and talent as a musician was just as important as Jagger and Richards themselves.

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is arguably the standout track, with Jagger’s insouciant delivery and Richards’ tough as steel main riff. Along with “The Last Time,” “Satisfaction” was the song which helped propel the group to #1 in both the UK and US, a position from which they rarely deviated off from this point onwards.

From an historical perspective, Out Of Our Heads is just as important as anything the band would go on to record over the next few years. This was largely raw, gritty English R&B the way it should be. And even after all this time, it hasn’t dated one iota.

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The official promo video for ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’, the 1974 single by the Rolling Stones. ‘Aint’ Too Proud To Beg’ was originally performed by the Temptations in 1966 and was composed by Norman Whitfield and Edward Holland Jr. The Rolling Stones recorded the song at Musicland, Munich in November 1973 and it was released in October 1974 and peaked at number 17 on the billboard charts. It features on the album It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll. The track features Mick Jagger on lead vocals, Keith Richards on rhythm guitar, Charlie Watts on drums, Mick Taylor on lead guitar and Bill Wyman on bass, along with Billy Preston on keys and clavinet, and Ed Leach on cowbell. The video was directed Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who directed many promos for the Rolling Stones including ‘Child Of The Moon’, ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and ‘Start Me Up’. Ain’t To Proud To Beg (single version)

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This week in 1974: The Rolling Stones scored their 5th US chart topping album with their 12th British & 14th American studio release, ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll’, released on Rolling Stones Records (it peaked at #2 in the UK); the LP’s success was fueled largely by its two main singles the title track & a cover of the 1966 Motown hit for The Temptations, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”  it was the first album that Keith Richards & Mick Jagger produced together for the band, under their adopted moniker of ‘The Glimmer Twins’

Recorded in the 1970s, ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)’ is as iconic a Rolling Stones song as any that the band cut in the 1960s. It is a song with a tangled web of a history having first been recorded on 24th July 1973, not in a traditional studio but at The Wick, Ronnie Wood’s home in Richmond. According to Bill Wyman, who admittedly wasn’t there, “On Tuesday 24th July, Mick and Keith went to Ronnie Wood’s house, the Wick in Richmond, and recorded a version of ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’, with Ronnie, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagan.” Ronnie, Jones and McLagan were all in The Faces along with Ronnie Lane and Rod Stewart. Other reports have David Bowie at Ronnie’s house, but that Keith was not there.
Whatever the truth that has been long forgotten, as to who was there and who wasn’t, this was the genesis of the song. Sometime later in the year Willie Weeks, an American session musician who worked with both George Harrison and David Bowie around this time, added bass to the song. In April 1974 the basic track that was recorded at Ronnie’s house was used to finish the song, at this time Ian Stewart added his distinctive piano to the track.

According to Mick, “The idea of the song has to do with our public persona at the time. I was getting a bit tired of people having a go, all that, ‘oh, it’s not as good as their last one’ business. The single sleeve had a picture of me with a pen digging into me as if it were a sword. It was a light hearted, anti-journalistic sort of thing.”

The song became the title track for their 1974 album and was released as a single on 26th July 1974, three months before the LP came out. But the record company at the time were not sure it was a single, According to Keith there was opposition to it, but as he said at the time, “That song is a classic. The title alone is a classic and that’s the whole thing about it.”

The Rolling Stones‘ official promo video for ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It)’. The track is the title single from the album It’s Only Rock and Roll (1974). Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and produced by the Glimmer Twins, the song went straight to number one in the US charts when it was released.

The video features Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor dressed in sailor suits performing in a circus tent that fills with bubbles  that features the band in sailor suits, playing in a tent which gradually filled with bubbles. The froth was detergent and the reason they wore the sailor suits was because none of them wanted to ruin their own clothes. According to Keith, “Poor old Charlie nearly drowned… because we forgot he was sitting down.”

The video was directed by filmmaker Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who also directed the promo videos “Neighbours”, “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Child Of The Moon”. Lindsay-Hogg also directed promos for the Beatles and the Who.

It went top 20 in both America and the UK and has been played at just about every live show ever since.

In 1972 The Rolling Stones  With Stevie Wonder at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY July 26th

On JULY 26, 1972, Mick Jagger celebrated his 29th birthday on stage at Madison Square Garden as The Rolling Stones brought down the curtain on what was arguably the most chaotic tour of their career.

Promoting their Exile On Main St album, musically speaking The Stones were in ferocious form, as this rough-edged soundboard recording of Jumping Jack Flash taken from the soundboard at their NY show proves.

1972 was the year that the Rolling Stones became, as they loudly proclaimed on tour, the “Greatest Rock ’N’ Roll Band in the World!” Following the violent disaster of their Hell’s Angels–policed Altamont mega-festival outside of San Francisco on December 6th, 1969—where three people were killed in accidents and another, Meredith Hunter, was murdered—the Stones disappeared for a while. They went into exile, both real and imagined. Exile from the tax man in England that gazed hungrily on their collected bank accounts and exile as culture warriors—street fighting men—dedicated to the fanciful belief that they could change the world.

The Stones didn’t sit idle in their time out of from the spotlight. They locked themselves away in the sweaty, dank basement of Keith Richards’s mansion in Nellcôte, France, for months on end and came out with their magnum opus: Exile on Main Street. It was a double-album, 18 tracks total, that recounted the near-entire history of blues, country, soul and rock ’n’ roll in the grittiest, most exhilarating way imaginable. Released on May 12th, 1972, it sold nearly a million copies in its first week alone.

When plotting their upcoming tour of the United States, the band was intent on making a different impression than they had on their previous jaunt. These shows were going to produce some of the most in-demand tickets of all time, and the Stones and their handlers wanted to be professionals about it. They would do their best to mitigate the violence and mania that seemed to follow their every stop on their last tour, while moving through the country with a degree of style and class that rivaled any visiting foreign dignitary that the U.S. had ever hosted.

Everything about the outing was over the top. The Stones surrounded themselves with the beautiful and the important—Truman Capote, Hugh Hefner, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Woody Allen and Bob Dylan. They heavily courted the press. They blew their minds out with weed, cocaine and tequila, all while staging some of the most incredible sets of live rock music ever seen. Music was just part of what informed The Stones’ touring cavalcade. By this point in their career, the band had managed to bisect the worlds of music and celebrity, creating their own social enclaves, and enjoying what Keith Richards described as a piratical lifestyle.

Said the band’s tour manager of the time, Pete Rudge: “With the Stones you’ll meet Mick’s little gang – the Truman Capotes and the Princess Lee Radziwills. Then on the other hand you’ll meet Keith’s little gang – the Kenneth Angers and William Burroughs. You can be exposed to every aspect. You can meet anybody, and that tends to rub off.

Keith Richards Mick Jagger 1972

Over 500,000 people mailed in postcards for the mere chance to buy a pass to one of the four shows at Madison Square Garden. Purchases were limited to two per customer at a sticker price of $6.50, but the market was soon flooded with scalped passes that were being hawked at $50 or more.

After months of anticipation, the S.T.P. tour—which, depending on who you asked, either stood for the synthetic hallucinogenic of the same name or simply the Stones Tour Party—kicked off in Vancouver on June 3rd, 1972. The band and its managers picked this far-flung locale to start their summer swing so that they could knock off the rust before taking their show to more media-saturated markets in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The gig went well. The stop in Seattle went better, and by the time they made it to the Winterland Ballroom in the “City by the Bay,” they were cooking.

Over the next two months, the Rolling Stones and their coterie of crew members and hangers-on crisscrossed North America. At each stop along the way, the local citizenry paused their lives long enough to gawk at, rejoice in or denounce the “event of the year.” In Chicago, the band stayed at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion when they couldn’t get secure enough hotel rooms elsewhere. In Houston and Fort Worth, Texas, they brought out a Hollywood film crew to capture the show for posterity. Eventually, that footage would get chopped up and released as Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones.

A separate, more illicit documentary was also in the works that captured the band’s candid offstage exploits. That film, titled Cocksucker Blues, was produced by Stones manager Marshall Chess and directed by Robert Frank. Though it would never receive an official release, if you search down some of the darker corners of the Internet, it’s not too hard to find. Viewer discretion is advised.

“New York is New York is New York,” famed concert promoter Bill Graham explained to author Robert Greenfield, who tagged along for most of the tour and penned the book A Journey Through America with the Rolling Stones. “’Til you do it there, it hasn’t happened. They could have sold the Garden out for a year. They are the biggest draw in the history of mankind. Only one other guy ever came close—Gandhi.”

New York was ready for the Stones, and the Stones were more than ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple. The band’s four shows spread over three nights at Madison Square Garden were the unquestioned highlights of the tour, with the final night pegged as the can’t-miss gig. Everyone wanted in on the action.

The scene backstage before the last show is a madhouse. Television host Dick Cavett is on hand to interview Mick Jagger and the rest of the band for an hour-long special. This famous face and that famous face drift in and out of view hoping to get a coveted moment of personal time with someone in the band before they make their way out in front of the masses. Few are successful. Makeup is applied, last-minute documents are signed and the tequila sunrises flow like water.

Before the Stones can take the stage at MSG, the audience is treated to a searing set of music from the opening act, Stevie Wonder, who is just then promoting his latest album, Music of My Mind while on the verge of putting out an even greater work, Talking Book. It was a huge coup for the headliners to get the Motown piano virtuoso at this precise moment. His single “Superstition” is one of the biggest songs of 1972, well on its way to claiming the top spot on the charts a few months down the road.

Stevie Wonder is the perfect foil for the Rolling Stones. He isn’t going to compete with them on their terms like another white blues-based rock band like Humble Pie or the Allman Brothers might. He’s a different thing entirely. His stage show, while rapturous, is centered on his superb musicianship, his incredible songwriting and his own joyful persona.

A little under an hour after Wonder leaves, the Stones make their grand entrance and launch into “Brown Sugar.” Jagger appears dazzling in his sleeveless white jumpsuit, dotted with big sparkling sequins, and a long red sash tethered at the waist. A single, large aquamarine jewel is glued to the center of his forehead. His main foil and “Glimmer Twin” Keith Richards, ever the rock ’n’ roll pirate, is decked out in black leather pants and a flowing, white blouse, which is left unbuttoned to reveal his gleaming white, sweat-glazed chest.

Jagger eats up most of the attention, hopping across the stage, preening like a prized turkey. His arms flail all around, pointing in multiple directions one moment and enticing the crowd to clap along in the next. “Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields / Sold in the market down in New Orleans.” The subject matter is chilling, but the thousands singing along sound positively ebullient shouting back each word at their puffy-lipped Messiah.

The pace picks up even more on the next song, “Bitch,” which is played at a far faster clip than the recorded version. By the time they get to “Gimme Shelter” they’re locked in. The shot of adrenaline that comes from getting smacked in the face by 18,000 people simultaneously has worn off, and the Stones settle into their regular groove.

“They had a unique lighting system that they invented,” photographer Bob Gruen told me. The rig was designed by Woodstock MC Chip Monck, who installed a 40-foot by 8-foot array of mirrors near the top of the front of the stage. It was set at a 45-degree angle and had lights shined into it and reflected back onto the band.

Gruen explained, “Up until then in arenas, you had a large spotlight called a Super Trooper, this big carbon arc light up around the rafters in the arena shining down on the stage. They had eight Super Troopers at the back of the stage shining into this Mylar mirror, shining back onto the band. It was the brightest show I’ve ever seen.”

The Stones hit their marks with precision. Keith sounds appropriately cheery during his turn on the microphone for “Happy.” Charlie Watts keeps the party chugging along, crashing cymbals and kicking the hell out of his bass drum on “Bye Bye Johnny.” Mick Taylor sounds like a man possessed during his regular extended solo on “Midnight Rambler,” proving that he is the best pure musician in the band.

Still, it’s Jagger that the fans have come to see, and he doesn’t disappoint. The singer remains the ultimate icon of style and panache. Even with all the obvious effort and energy he expends on stage, he does so in a way that screams cool. When they reach the final song of the main set, “Street Fighting Man,” he’s flinging blood red rose petals over the heads of those screaming their vocal cords to shreds in the front row.

The night isn’t quite over yet. A few moments pass and the band reemerges for a rare encore with Stevie Wonder in tow to perform the latter’s hit “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).” As that song comes to an end, Richards kicks into the instantly recognizable riff to “Satisfaction,” and he and the rest of the band take flight.

The performance is breathtaking. Bobby Keys’s sax mingles with Wonder’s backing band, transforming the straight-ahead rocker into a full, swinging soul sensation. Jagger is giving everything he’s got left in the tank, pushing his voice harder and harder, straining to be heard above the cacophony.

As the last notes of their biggest hit ping across the cavernous walls of the basketball arena, a giant, burning cake is brought onto the stage to commemorate Jagger’s 29th birthday. The crowd is enticed to sing “Happy Birthday.” Somewhere, someone picks up a pie and a full-on food fight takes place in front of thousands of fans. Only Watts seems to be off-limits from the chaos. Once the supply of pies runs out, Mick jumps forward to give the crowd a salute and then he and the rest of the band depart for the last time.

A few hours later, the Stones and their crew, along with a host of the well-to-do, find themselves at the St. Regis Hotel to take part in a final party hosted by Atlantic Records head Ahmet Ertegun. In jarring contrast to the friendly atmosphere inside the Garden, the mood here is almost somber. Everyone in the band are all physically and emotionally spent. The party wraps sometime around dawn and they all scatter to the wind.

Set List

Brown Sugar
Bitch
Rocks Off
Gimme Shelter
Happy
Tumbling Dice
Love in Vain
Sweet Virginia
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
All Down the Line
Midnight Rambler
Bye Bye Johnny
Rip This Joint
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Street Fighting Man
Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Musicians:

Mick Jagger: Vocals
Keith Richards: Guitar
Mick Taylor: Guitar
Charlie Watts: Drums
Bill Wyman: Bass
Bobby Keys: Saxophone

chek out Corbin Reiff who will release his first-ever book, Lighters in the Sky: The All-Time Greatest Concerts, 1960-2016.