Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Keith's Royalty Statements™: Part III

Almost done with the Richards autobiography, and I must say that it turns out that the nuts-and-bolts details of drug addiction are a lot less interesting than the stuff about how certain classic songs got written.

I should also add that the drug stuff involving John Phillips is really cringe-inducing, and that I had completely forgotten that the Stones had served as his backup band on an album recorded in the 70s but not released (as Pay Pack and Follow) until after Phillips death in 2001. Keith deals with the sessions in passing in the book; here's a more detailed account from a review by Robert E. Martin:
Originally the album was recorded for Atlantic Records, but Ahmet Ertegun, the label's founder, didn't think it was right for Phillips and the Stones to be on the same label, so Phillips bought the masters back from him.

Even more intriguing, however, is the work of former Stone's guitarist Mick Taylor. According to another interview Phillips did prior to his death with Matthew Greenwald, at the time Taylor was reluctant to record again with Jagger & Richards.

"I was able to get Mick Taylor to come out of hiding," said Phillips. "He had quit the Rolling Stones a few years before, and they hadn't spoken to each other. I said, 'What the hell, come out and play. It's just music.' So he showed up and it was a pretty tense situation for awhile. We recorded "Very Dread" and after Mick Taylor played a tremendous solo on "Oh Virginia," Keith turned to him and said, ' Now I know why I never liked you!'"
Here's the aforementioned "Oh Virginia."

Listening to that solo, which is absolutely gorgeous, I sort of know what Keith meant.