Tim Hinkley at Pathé Marconi studios ,1978.
Has this already been posted ?
it was during the fall of 1978 and i was playing piano on an elkie brooks tour of the uk when engineer, chris kimsey called and asked me if I could come to paris and replace some of ian maclagan's keyboards on the current rolling stones recording sessions. we worked out that I could leave after the show in newcastle, england, fly to paris, work on the tracks that evening and fly back the following day to do the next elkie brooks show in southampton, england. it would be tight and the tour promoter wasn't to pleased but agreed to let me go.
after the show in newcastle I had a car and driver booked to drive me the 300 miles to london's heathrow airport where i was due to fly out to paris, france. it was a long drive through the night and and i slept for most of the time. after a diversion to my london house for some overnight bits and bobs i finally boarded the 12 o'clock air france flight to paris.
i arrived at general de gaulle airport where a driver and car were waiting for me. i was driven to a small hotel and directed to my room. i showered and had coffee and waited, and waited, and waited. i had no phone numbers (this was pre cellphone remember) but i knew we were going to be recording at pathe marconi studios. i called pathe marconi but got connected to an automatic answering machine.
finally at 8.30pm chris kimsey called and informed me that they would pick me up and we would be going out to dinner in one hour. we dined until around 12.30pm which is pretty quick in french dining time. the assembled crew were moaning about money and the rolling stones infamous meaness when it comes to paying. i was to have personal experience of this later.
we finally got to the studio just after 1.30am, early morning !
there was some cocaine around i can't remember who had it but it was there. kimsey and i started out doing lines and ronnie wood and a few others joined in later. it seemed that there was a plentiful supply and we all got pretty high.
these were the old days of 16 track tape recorders on which most of the instruments and vocals were recorded in mono until everyone was satisfied. then the 16 tracks would be mixed down to a stereo master. this was limiting in as much as replacing keyboards necessitated wiping the original. i was a little apprehensive but we got through two or three tracks, me replacing ian maclagan's original hammond organ, fender rhodes and wurlitzer electric pianos.
mick jagger arrived at about three thirty in the morning with a whole entourage of people. he was wearing a dark green shiny silk suit and sporting a beard. i told him he looked very temple hill (the estate where he lived grew up in dartford,kent ) he was a bit taken aback. i also grew up in dartford and actually went to college there. i remember mick and keith and a bunch of other guys who were a couple of years older than me. they were mods and into american r&b. they carried chuck berry and muddy waters lp's around with them showing everyone how hip they were !
on one particular track there was no vocal so i asked mick if he could just lay down a rough guide. he went into the vocal booth and sung..... 'so i stuffed it up her twat' .... as a rough guide.
we finally finished up at about 10.30 in the morning and went back to ronnie wood's suite at the hotel california (yes that one !) where we carried on doing cocaine and playing music for another three hours. finally we were all very spaced out and i stumbled back to my hotel where i showered and got ready for my car to the airport. i had been offered two hundred pounds for my work at ronnie's hotel but didn't get it as they asked for a contribution for the cocaine.......so basically i didn't paid for the sessions.
the sessions resulted in the lp that was released in july 1978 as 'some girls '. i didn't get a credit on the original sleeve and nor did ian maclagan. later cd reissues also neglected to credit either myself or ian maclagan. i can hear some of my key work on the tracks and although ian has been documented as playing keys on some tracks i am certain that chris kimsey wiped all the original ian maclagan tracks and replaced them with my keyboards. i can only surmise that when the original 16 track masters were brought to light the credits of ian maclagan on the tracks had not been changed. i haven't listened to the album for years but i remember recognising some of my licks on the tracks. i seem to remember the album being pretty rough like most of the stones records.
i did try and contact the stones office at one time with a view to getting paid and also to rectify the credits but it's like trying to get through to the pope. i also tried contacting chris kimsey but did't get anywhere either. i know that i played on those tracks and so does chris kimsey, ronnie wood, mick jagger and ian maclagan....c'est la vie.
years later i worked with mick taylor, one of the world's greatest living blues guitarists. he told me that he had the same problems getting paid even though he was a full member of the rolling stones and had played on eight albums so maybe my one night of unpaid session work is a mere drop in the ocean of rolling stones unpaid bills.
© 2004 Tim Hinkley
I am a Frenchie ,as Mick affectionately called them in the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1977 .