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More on Brian Jones
Posted by: Cafaro ()
Date: March 4, 2005 16:18

I've been listening to the Brian Jones Stones discs lately. One thing that came to mind is that Brian's guitar playing that with the exception of his slide work, sort of lacked a truely distinctive sound or style. When ones hears Clapton, Beck, Page, Keith, Dave Davies, Ronnie, or other guitarists from his era (yes I know , Ronnie played bass) you know it's that guitarist immediatley. I don't seem to get that from listening to Brian. He seemed to be more of an overall musician vs. a guitar player with his own voice.

Thoughts?

Keith of course is completely straight

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: Rorty ()
Date: March 4, 2005 17:04

I hear the same 'lack' of personality in Brian's playing also. It looks like that he didn't have time or patience to develop a distictive style of his own. Probably he was much more talented musician than Keith in the first place but where Keith really devoted himself to playing and improving himself as guitarist and master the instrument, Brian just could shine so easily with his natural and instinct skills, that he hasn't energy for mastering any instrument not to mention create a typical style of his own. His jumping from one instrument to other, so called 'multi-instrumemntalism', reflects also a lack of concentration that many master musicians need to have.

But you know, if Keith has passed out after Satanic Majesties I think there wouldn't be any distinct Keith Richards sound to be recognized - oh yeah, the guy who played the riff of "Satisfaction"... Keith is also a hero of hard work and devotion!

- Doxa

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: hot stuff ()
Date: March 4, 2005 18:02

WELL. brian didn't live long enough to have one.. but if you listen to last time or its all over now, i think it showed his style.. and showed why he was better than clapton, beck, page or keith.. in 1962 to 68 no one could play like he could. in fact no one could play all that he did! he just didn't live long enough.. he was a master.. and if he lived for another 36 years god knows how great he could have been!

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: Cafaro ()
Date: March 4, 2005 18:57

Good point, Hot Stuff. I never looked at it that way. But you would think that by 1967 he would have developed his own sound and I just don't hear it.

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: hot stuff ()
Date: March 4, 2005 19:15

sadly by 1967, he was arrested, had major drug problems and had depression..
charlie watts said that he doesn't know how brian could handle all the problems he was facing with the police.. he was given all kinds of drugs by his doctors and when you think of all the other drugs other people gave him...well, its very sad..he worked well with keith and i think if he could have gotten back to playing and lived longer he may have got his own style.. or was he so good, like mick taylor, that he could play each note, clear.. and or make the guitar sound like chuch berry, clapton or anyone for that matter was playing it! that how great he was..he could play the guitar, note for note the same as anyone..and sound like they were playing it.

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: stone-relics ()
Date: March 4, 2005 21:10

Brian is totally unique. Listen to his lead on Reelin' & Rockin' from the Chess Studios outtakes. And dont tell me thats Keith, because AINT. He had a tremendous sense of Rhythm, and its ALL over the early rockers. Remember, HE was the rhythm player most of the time (except for the Slide songs, and the songs he played blues harp on), not Keith. And dont get me wrong, I LOVE Keith's early playing. They were TREMENDOUS TOGETHER. AND, Brian and Keith INVENTED guitar weaving. No other early Brit invasion bands could touch them. It was only the original Blues masters that were on their par.

There would have been NO Rolling Stones without him. So quit bashing him.

JR

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: Cafaro ()
Date: March 4, 2005 21:29

Take i easy..there is no bashing of Brian here. I simply feel that he didn't have a truely distinctive sound. I think he was a brilliant musician. I was listening to Aftermath yestrday and couldn't help notice how strong his acoutic guitar playing was. High and Dry and Out of Time really come to mind.

I think we all know it WAS Brian's band to start with. I've always wondered why he didn't get involved with writing songs.

Keith of course is completely straight

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: DGA35 ()
Date: March 4, 2005 22:12

Brian didn't get involved with the songwriting because Andrew got Mick and Keith to start songwriting. Also, from what I've read in numerous books, Brian didn't have the songwriting talent or was too nervous to present any of his songs to the rest of the band. Even Mick and Keith said that the first song that they wrote that they felt really confident to present to the rest of the band was The Last Time.
As far as his guitar playing, he was basically the rhythm guitar player except for the slide guitar songs like I Wanna Be Your Man, Little Red Rooster, No Expectations, etc. When the Stones started recording at RCA in Hollywood he began to experiment with all of the instruments laying around the studio and kind of lost interest in playing guitar, which really gave the Stones a whole new sound in the mid to late 60's.

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: john r ()
Date: March 5, 2005 19:12

I do think Brian was a terrific guitarist when he played - some really aggressive rhythm, an interest in harmonics that colored and andded to the 'bigness' of the sound, & of course slashing (I Wanna Be...) or ghostly (No Exp.) slide. He was not interested in becoming a virtuoso a la Beck.I know its heresy, but I dont think EC had much of a personal conception til Cream (i.e the solo on "Sweet Wine"). Brian's non-guitar contributions are usually brilliant. But I don't buy this "the Stones didnt find themselves til '68" idea - they had the vision & personality & confidence & talent by '64 and were clearly world class, influencing the Byrds, all mid 60s US garage punk, etc long before BB, and of course were taking giant steps (like all the greats) in '66-'68...And Keith was integrating Hendrix into his own dryer conception on Buttons (All Sold Out, etc) - I mean compare the quite spotty first 2 Kinks to the first 2 Stones albums (and I love the Kinks) - thank god those Kinks albums are expanded on cd...

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: rovalle ()
Date: March 5, 2005 19:14

love this post , love brian...BUT jeff was the guitar monster during "brit invasion" times...dirty loud and fluid..nooooo one touched jeff...after the invasion times i think a lot of people caught up but jeff was G-A-W-D!!! he left slowhand in the dust...and you're right brian was the rhythm player...

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: davido ()
Date: March 6, 2005 01:33

Brian was a Stoner who
ultimately wasted himself,
his great potential. I wish
it weren't so but sigh alas
it's true. Ultimately we are
responsible for ourselves.
We can't blame anybody else.
Haven't we had this debate
before?

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: neptune ()
Date: March 6, 2005 02:00

Great post, john r. The idea that the Stones 'found themselves' in 1968 also irks the hell out of me. As you say, by 1964, the Stones already had discovered their 'sound' and swagger. By 1968, they had accomplished so much! That was a magical run they had during the sixties. They truly were the ROLLING STONES back then. Davido, enough with the insinuations that Brian had 'wasted' himself. Yes, Brian had problems, but let's not focus entirely on that. In his short life, he formed the Stones, introduced bottleneck guitar to white folk, contributed on ten Stones albums, wrote a film score, and produced a Morrocan album. He helped spread the gospel of blues and rock n' roll to the world. Let's remember him more for his incredible accomplishments rather than his hang ups . . .

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: davido ()
Date: March 6, 2005 07:36

Sure neptune, I'll grant you all that, and
am glad for it too, but can't help but feel
there was so much more possible potential
that he ultimately wasted. Well, I suppose
we'll never know....................

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: March 6, 2005 12:16

hot stuff Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> WELL. brian didn't live long enough to have one..
> but if you listen to last time or its all over
> now, i think it showed his style.. and showed why
> he was better than clapton, beck, page or keith..
> in 1962 to 68 no one could play like he could. in
> fact no one could play all that he did! he just
> didn't live long enough.. he was a master.. and
> if he lived for another 36 years god knows how
> great he could have been!


You're kidding right? Brians' contribution to the Stones was encredible the first 2 years, he was an encredible blues harp player and a good pianist and over-al musician, but as a guitarist he never got beyond the 3-chord blues progression. Aside from I Wanna Be Your man he didn't do ONE single solo. Yes, No Expectations has a beautiful slide part, but technically anyone who can tune a guitar to open E can play it.

Mathijs

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: LA FORUM ()
Date: March 6, 2005 13:11

The point is that all Brians playing has a typical ghostly Brian over it. The guitar on Little red rooster is my favourite solo. The mellow marimbas on Under my thumb or the sitar on Paint it black. Etc etc. His style is the ghostly but dominant soung of a bluesy soul.

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: neptune ()
Date: March 6, 2005 20:31

Other solos from Brian Jones:

1.)Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

2.)Tell Me- the poised, slower pace is more Brian's than Keith's

3.)I'm a King Bee

4.)Mona

5.)What A Shame

6.)Grown Up All Wrong

7.)I Can't Be Satisfied

8.)Under The Boardwalk

9.)Down in the Bottom


It's true that Brian didn't play many guitar solos, but that wasn't really his style. He was heavily influenced by the blues greats from 1950's Chicago. Yet, his slide solo on I Wanna Be Your Man in 1963 has to be considered one of the best, most influential in rock history- concise, balls to the wall, electrifying, rock n' roll to the max! Even Keith was impressed! Brian Jones was ceratinly not an average guitar player. You don't have to be a soloist in the vein of Mick Taylor, Jeff Beck, et al. to be considered a great guitar player. It's how one implements the guitar in making a song special that constitutes how good of a player one really is. Never would I believe that Joe Satriani is a better guitar player than Brian Jones or Keith Richards!

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: RnT ()
Date: March 7, 2005 11:17

How about 'I'm moving on'? That's Brian on slide, right?

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: jss ()
Date: March 7, 2005 12:37

brian was the original flambouyant rock and roll star...hendrix, dylan, morrison
they all wanted a piece of whatever brian had...i think that if anyone in that band had glimmer, it was brian...i think that aftermath is brian's best work...i know that the slide is basic but it is so out front on doncha bother me...another great what would've happened if....

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: Rorty ()
Date: March 7, 2005 13:56

One thing realated to Brian came in to my mind while reading these differing opinions of his contribution... Namely, we are discussing so much this Taylor vs. Wood issue and I think at least the taylorities might think that it was a very difficult situation for Ronnie to replace great fluidy Taylor in that position. Taylor was a master of his own art.

Maybe he was irreplaceable, at least in terms of technical ability. But for a change, now think the situation when HE took the place of Brian Jones? I mean, although Brian had been a kind of disfunctional for two years or something, he was a big star, figure better known than Keith Richards in the eyes of big audience. Brian was a an essential Rolling Stone. I remember reading an interview of Taylor where he admitted that he was horrified in that situation and it wasn't easy to take the place of a big name (although he did have a sort of experience of that with Mayall's band). Although as we hardcore Stones diggers know he filled that place beautifully and helped the Stones going into a new direction in greatness. But thanks to his low profile and the really Glimmering Twins, he never had any spotlight in his years with the Stones. He really never took the frontline role of Brian. The Stones took all his brilliance and that work for them, but not so much to the man himself (like many people who listen to the golden era Stones, automatically think that the great solos presented there are Keith's, like some people think of their Jones-era stuff also, as I can see here). Mick Taylor is largely unknown person to a masses - now and then. Just look the list of 200 best guitar solos in the other threat? Where is the one and only real virtuoso guitarist of the Stones? It is just another stupid list, but it is a good incation of the status of his legacy and name.

So when Ronnie took the post he was already bigger name than Taylor ever was. Musically he couldn't match Taylor virtuoso playing, but he had something of his own to add and transform the Stones sound. For 'outsiders' his joining to the Stones was good profilic move, and he fit the spot quite nicely for the band's active years (till 1983).

Summa summarum.. neither Taylor nor Wood ever took the place left by Brian; they were good guys and great musicians to give the sort of expertisism the band needed at the time, but if there really is anyone who fill that place, his name is Keith Richards. So my point is to claim that Brian should not be judged by the same criteria as Taylor or Wood; he wasn't their 'forerunner' - the dynamics and the balance of the band really changed dramatically during the last half of the 60's. And the winner is Keith Richards.

- Doxa


Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: Cafaro ()
Date: March 7, 2005 16:48

I never knew that Brian never played solos except for slide. I have been listening to the pre Jimmy Miller stuff for the last 2 weeks and I have now developed a new admiration for Keith's playing. I always thought that it was Brian on Down the Road Apiece,Heart of Stone, It's All Over Now,It's not Easy etc.. I would be interestd to learn about who played what parts on songs like Cry to Me, I've Been Loving You Too Long,Pan in My Heart and some of the other soul stuff.

Boy, I guess drinking and drugs really took their toll on Keith.He could have been absolutely brilliant without that stuff........but then again, we probably all could have been smiling smiley

BTW: Picked up Solomon Burke's new Disc....great stuff!

Keith of course is completely straight

Re: More on Brian Jones
Posted by: neptune ()
Date: March 7, 2005 19:04

Yes Rorty, Keith, surely with the encouragement of Anita Pallenberg, essentially took the place of Brian Jones as the band's no. 2 charasmatic figure. His style and persona changed dramatically in the 70's, as he became more confident and outgoing. However, no one could replace Brian. He was an icon, legend that could never be replaced. Keith was not as 'dangerous', fashionable, talented, and mercurial as his deceased bandmate. Visually, the Stones took a big blow when Brian died. The band became the Mick Jagger show with a few spotlights every now and then on Keith. With time, KR has received more of the spotlight, but increasingly became a clownish figure over the years, with all the silly 'knee bending' postures, arm waving, etc.

Re: More on Brian Jones
Date: March 12, 2005 13:29

"His style and persona changed dramatically in the 70's, as he became more confident and outgoing." Keith was a junked out mess during most of the 70s, but I guess he was more of a presence than when Brian was with the band.

You are entirely correct, Brian WAS the original Rolling Stone, fathering illegitmate children when Mick was still doing Basil's enforced gymnastics before he left the house!!

"The wonder of Jimi Hendrix was that he could stand up at all he was so pumped full of drugs." Patsy, Patsy Stone



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