RESPONSE TO ESKY'S POSITION THAT '71 UK SUCKED.
Date: December 23, 2004 10:49
started a thread on the 1972 North American Tour and its implications for the band as well as the titanic pressures on the band to produce a follow up to "Sticky Fingers" that would up the ante, so to speak.
In the middle of composing this post, my computer froze up.
So, let me keep things simple by offering some points for discussion, OK?
1) After Farewell UK Tour, Stones sign w/Ahmet Ertegun's Atlantic Records. Their upcoming release, "Stick Fingers" will earn them more than for that single record that all of their past records combined.
2) The follow up to SF was gonna have to be really really good, almost in the same vein as Beggar's Banquet was to Satanic Majesties.
3) Keith's heroin use increased to the point that he was no more than an ambulatory corpse. Nellcote was convenient for the musicians and their families to live in and make the new album in the wine cellars. Nellcote was also convenient for the international sycophantic/drugs bearing/groupie offering yobs, who would have have a lot more trouble entering the United States, if the band was recording the new record there.
4) Ahmet became concerned over the stories filtering out of Villenfranche-sur-mer about the drugs use and general lack of interest in focusing on laying down the basic tracks for the album. The plan was to lay down the basic tracks in France (where the band chose as their domicile in order to avoid paying English supertax for the year of 1971, and, I believe, 1972).
5) Mick was absorbed by and preoccupied with the birth of his daughter, who was born on 21/10/71. With Mick away, and Keith and Gram Parsons getting high day and night, there was no leader to push the band along. Add to this that not only Keith, but Mick T. were regularly taking (snorting/injecting) heroin/cocaine/methedrine. The situation was a mess.
6) LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of money was riding on the upcoming album and tour. So, in November, everybody migrated to Los Angeles and set up camp at Sunset Studios. Mick J. and Keith spend the next few months mixing and overdubbing the tracks they managed to put down in Villfranche-sur-mer.
7) The upcoming 1972 Tour was critical for the band. They had to give 100% on their worst night and 200% on a good night! Amazingly, despite two months and a killing tour schedule, nobody who saw the STP tour walked away moaning about what a rotten show it was.
8) After the STP tour and the release of "Exile", the Stones were at the very tippy top of the game again.
9) Finally, Mick DID taken over the major decisions for the band until Keith came out of his heroin haze.
To sum up, Esky's post about '71 not being up to snuff was really an obvious reference to Mick's dawning realization that he was going to be running the band until further notice.... that being when Keith got offa the junk.
"The wonder of Jimi Hendrix was that he could stand up at all he was so pumped full of drugs." Patsy, Patsy Stone