The Rolling Stones Bring a Bigger Bang to Tinsel Town

 

39 Years.

That’s a long long while since a “Long Long While” played second fiddle to the “A” side of the UK single, “Paint It Black” … then the current chart topper by Rock’s Bad Boys back in Summer ‘66.

And yep!  I waited 39 years and a long long while to see the return of  “therollingstones*” to ….. The Hollywood Bowl.  From teenager to fifty-something, I am wai-ting … ting … I am wai-ting … ting … oh yeah oh yeah!

On 25th July 1966, Buffalo Springfield opened for therollingstones* … but I was no longer a 17 year old kid and now had a lifetime of concert memories embedded in this old grey-matter & matted brain. Yet, few memories stood out as brightly as that warm, glowing, exciting July night in ‘66.

They only played 6 or so songs that night over maybe 30 minutes:  Not Fade Away …  Spider & The Fly … 19th Nervous Breakdown …  Lady Jane … Mother’s Little Helper and to close the show …  Satisfaction.

Then, “woooosh!” …. like Kaiser Sose, they disappeared, off to Hawaii, not returning to the concert stages in the USA until fall 1969 … losing Brian Jones (to a tragic drowning incident that’s still under investigation) in the process.

But this wasn’t “just” a return to the US, it was a return to:

“The Hollywood Bowl!!” —

No venue in Southern California is as historic or important as The Hollywood Bowl!!

This time I had the pleasure of taking my wife, who had never seen “therollingstones* LIVE” and had been convinced by others in her past life that: “therollingstones* are terrible live, so bad that we walked out before it was over, etc., etc…..!”

Add to that the common belief that only “bad girls and outlaws” liked therollingstones*, the rumours of Keith’s drug habits ….. the decadence …. all the ususal Satanic Majesties mumbo-jumbo .. Sympathy for the Devil and all that lot … and you can see why I was excited to know that…….:

#1 – This was going to be an event … #2 – this was going to be historic ……. #3 – this was gonna change my wife’s life!

Was what she was about to see was going to be life changing? Without a doubt.

So, upon hearing the announcement of the TheHollywoodBowl presenting “therollingstones* – ‘abiggerbang’ tour” … It was a no brainer…we’re there!

So ….. Let’s play the record (this record should be played …. LOUD!):

Side One~ *Celluloid Heroes*

Track One~ *Road Trippin’*

We depart on Friday, 4th November, from the Northern California Redwoods through the central valleys in an uneventful yet pleasant trip to North Hollywood to visit my family home and

old haunts. 30 years gone, the old neighborhood, ain’t even there no more. Like Chrissie Hynde said, “I went back to Ohio, but my city was gone.” Nonetheless, we stopped and took a photo of my childhood home and my Grandmother’s home in old North Hollywood, agonizing over the changes for the worst…ugly paint jobs, overgrown foliage, ill kempt yards…all the usual things one laments seeing happen to Maple & Oak Street, Everytown, USA.

Track Two~ *2001 Hollyhill Terrace*

Still Freaky Friday…. we pass down Cahuenga Blvd. from Universal City, carving out a path toward Hollywood, TheHollywoodBowl and the infamous corner of Hollywood & Vine, Sunset & Vine, dig? Then we cruise back on Hollywood Blvd. from Laurel Cyn. up to Vine St., picking out some shops & stops to make on Saturday before “abiggerbang” goes off.

Then it’s up Laurel Canyon past Frank Zappa’s old house, through the winding lanes of the famous canyon (warm smell of Colitas, rising up through the air) of the Stars & wanna-bes, desperados, celluloid villains and heroes, and the stories and legends that still abound from them.

Then, onward to Thousand Oaks, out of the bright lights, big city, and  toward some peace and sanity … Sleep, sweet sleep, after almost 600 miles of travel.

Track Three~ *Valley Girl*

Up fairly early…off to make the ’rounds in the San Fernando Valley and show my Lady all the places of my youth. Lunch at the famous Italian Deli, Lucchese’s, on the Sun Valley/Burbank border where the best submarine sandwiches ever can be found. I’d bragged about this place for years and we now sampled the proof that it’s legend lives up to it’s reality.  A cast of characters, past and present, as well as locations “changed so much as to be unrecognisable” are narrated by yours truly to my patient Lady, who nods her head at the appropriate moments so not to make me feel a fool to cry.

Track Four~ *Within You and Without You*

Winding through the roads and mazes, the masses of humanity found in every city, huge in size, we wound our way through Chevy Chase and the Los Feliz District of Glendale, finding our way to Hollywood’s Forest Lawn. We drove the hills and winding ways of this legendary resting place

of so many famous people until we found the “Sanctuary of Golden Slumbers” and paid our respects to Paramahansa Yogananda, Guru to George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, in solitude, laying a beautiful Lily beside his resting place.

Track Five~ *It’s All Part of My Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy*

With our responsibilities behind us, we traced white lines on the freeways and through the streets of Glendale to Sunset Boulevard, cruising it from East Hollywood, passing landmark locations that made Rock and Roll History,  such as… The Hullabaloo/Aquarius Theatre, TheWhisky, The Roxy and The Rainbow Club as I told my Lady stories …. music history & debauchery that I’d witnessed or been part of during the 1960s and ‘70s, walkin’ on Sunset, for what it’s worth.

We then followed Sunset Blvd. through Beverly Hills, past Dead Man’s Curve to its end at the beach and Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades.  Pacific Ocean Blue … Beach Boys … Surf’s Up Daddy-O! …. Malibu beach bunnies in itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikinis.  Some things never change. Surfin’ USA…

Track Six~ *My Big 10 Inch….Record*

Now it was time to make way toward our Thousand Oaks home base, up Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu, east through winding road & tunnels of Malibu Canyon toward Agoura & Kanan Road where only the ghosts of yesterday’s madness remember the times …. but we were sidetracked!  I needed to take my Lady to the best Italian Restaurant in the world, Little Toni’s in old North Hollywood… but first a trip to Tower Records …. and back to Sunset Blvd., home of Norma Desmond.

A couple hundred dollars lighter, spent on videos such as “Alice’s Restaurant” starring Arlo Guthrie, plus some Christmas CDs by Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, and Brian Wilson, we leave Tower,  and then…. like jumpin’ jack flash….we’re off to sample the Best Pizza on Planet Earth at “Little Toni’s!!”

It’s always 3:00 am inside Toni’s … the sunshine bores the daylights out of Little Toni’s …. dark, private, one imagines Al Capone doing some nasty business in the wee hours of these red & white checkered tablecloths and naugahyde unholstered booths.  No fingerprint files are kept at Little Toni’s …. Can’t cha hear me knockin’?

The Little Toni’s delights lived up to their long standing reputation…my Lady said it was the best dough, sauce, cheese and pepperoni she had ever tasted. The Caesar Salad was great too, and the leftover’s made for a great snack the next afternoon before “abiggerbang!!”

Side Two~ *abiggerbang*

Track One~ *Walkin’ On Sunset*

Up early….rushing about to Hollywood in the morning haze to visit with friends over

coffee and conversation, until we needed to take a couple hours to rest up for *abiggerbang* and a short shopping spree on Hollywood Boulvevard.

 Track Two~ *Celluloid Heroes and Villains*

Hollywood bound…we arrive almost 3 hours early and nab a parking spot in the Odin lot of the Bowl which enables us a very fast getaway when the show is over. We take off on foot down Highland Blvd. to Hollywood Blvd. and head east to find Herb Jeffries’ Star on the Walk of Fame. Herb, my adopted Father, is a movie star and Jazz/Blues Legend that made movies in the 1930s to present and sang for Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson and Count Basie as well as having a successful solo career. Herb received his Star on his 93rd Birthday on 24 September 2004 at a gala event celebrating his contribution to the arts and sciences of film and the recording industries.

I sang The Kinks’ “Celluloid Heroes” out loud as we walked down Hollywood Boulevard, noting that Bing Crosby’s star was only a few steps away from Herb’s. Fittingly so, since Herb was Bing’s favourite singer. Aft’ some shopping for tees ‘n’ trinkets to commemorate our trip to Tinsel Town, we headed back up Highland to TheBowl and took our places in the queue filled

with …. “The Human Zoo of Hollywierd.”

Snagged a programme to keep company with the one I have from *thelasttime* therollingstones* played there in ’66 {when I sat one section closer}, and nabbed a couple *abiggerbang* Hollywood Bowl tees  … we trenched our way with, and through, the masses of Freaks and Straights, the In-betweens, all the pretentious L.A. Trash that makes the City of Angels so crass and superficial, decadent and moldy, the daylyte vampyres, ghosts in drag, witches & wizards, heartbreakers and the heartbroken, toward our “abiggerbangbenches” to await the arrival of 6 magic words:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones.”

Track Three~ *The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in The World*

The wait of an hour and a half  raised the anticipation higher and higher until ….  without warning … the lights went out ….. starkly……

Explosions and fireworks blew off ……  each side of the stage with a torch of flames rising 50 feet high ……lighting the skies and hillsides of with the unmistakable announcement that:

The 39 year wait was over and the return of therollingstones* to the Bowl was upon us …

NOW!!!

The bombastic opening riff of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” pushed & pulled out of Keith’s blonde Telecaster and two white Ampeg amps…. just as my Wife had predicted….!!

Her 1st Stones concert and, damn, she calls the opening song beforehand!

Thus, therollingstones* begin a two hour tour’de’force that had more power and emotion behind it than anything they have ever done in my experience, (except maybe during the hey-day of the Mick Taylor years).

The slightly slower, punchy arrangement of JJFlash combined with the raw power behind Keith’s riff, supported by the incomparable Charlie Watts (who really may have been “the” Star of the night), was pure rock power.

Behind the stage was a spectacular screen, showing the current performance interwoven with nostalgic old video footage, the boys rocked the house with a rousing rendition of “It’s Only Rock and Roll,” (a song originally inspired by Ronnie back before he was a “Stone”). Much to my pleasure, Keith ripped through the Chuck Berry influenced licks of this one with his walnut finished ES 345 with that beautiful Bigsby Vibrato on it.

This screen, with incredible crystal clarity, would bring the audience closer to, and more personal,  with the band. It really enhanced the show for those of us who sat far enough back to enjoy it.

First surprise, the ‘too-cool-tale’ of “Live With Me!” …. I’d have never believed we’d see this one. Such a classic … a bass driven rocker (originally by Keith on bass, though Daryl Jones pushed this one along full tilt) from ’69’s “Let It Bleed.”

Nasty Habits indeed!

I hoped for a song tonight that came from this same stage 39 years ago…. would all my love be in vain?

Track Four~ *Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Dice*

Keith switches to the Tele and the wonderfully familiar intro to “Tumblin’ Dice” fills the air, much to the crowds pleasure. Leaden with a heavy groove, the veins of “Exile” permeate the atmosphere of the Hollywood Hills and the vibe increases significantly as “eau de grasse” breezes by the rows upon rows of standing fans, all  rockin’ to the unmistakable groove being laid down.

A new one is pulled out of the hat, and “Oh No Not You Again” is powered, again,  by Keith’s ES 345. One of the most rockin’ numbers off the new CD, it goes over perfectly with the audience. Seemed to me like a perfect track for the L.A. crowd with its cynical story of a “used to be” coming back to haunt someone….. “On no not you again, *@#!%in’ up my life!” …

I know … I know this story …  I’ve lived this story….oh no, not YOU again!

Now we get introduced to “Mississippi Mick, Delta Bluesman!”

In his patented and perfected Muddy Waters blues style, (learned at the feet of the Master himself during the early 60s, and again later in the 70’s while sharing the stage together), Mick shows us his new bottleneck blues guitar prowess.  Compin’ the opening groove/riff, now, Mick opened “Back Of My Hand” solo, then as the band filled in he switched to some harp, bluesin’ his way ’round the stage until he and Ronnie started playing slide …..  with and against each other, beautifully, to the end of the song.

39 years earlier I’d seen Mick strut this stage, harp blowing …. Spider and the Fly … struttin’ ‘round the swimming pool (that was removed many years ago) … so memories of ‘66 resound and echo through the letters of the Hollywood Sign in the distance …. the purple hills glowing in the light of sunset.  The ghost of Brian Jones?  Me wonders.  I saw Brian make magic on this same stage.  I saw Brian play harmonica, dulcimer, and SMILE on this same stage.

Absolutely great! …. Unbelievable!

Now…out of the basement rooms of their past comes the countrified and silk upholstered chairs of “Dead Flowers.” Keith switches back to the blonde Tele for the country licks and fills. Mick strums along on acoustic with his country-western swagger and sway.

You’ve got to love the way therollingstones* take it upon themselves to put everything they’ve got into what they do, be it folk dabbling’s …  da blooze … R&B …. country-western.

I intuitively knew this meant that some other surprises awaited. Would I be right?

Have I mentioned that Keith was a powerhouse of guitar playing this night?

Did I mention that Keith dominated the stage, as if to say:

“Hollywood, I’m back, and listen to this…….!”

Ronnie was wonderful too, but, to be honest, guitar-wise, this night belonged to Keith!

Track Five~ * Dante’s Inferno*

Keith’s ” Gibson TV Yellow Les Paul Special” in hand, the crunching chords of “Midnight Rambler” pierced the night air, with Mick’s harp tempting the crowd, taunting and teasing us with tales of the madness and mayhem that awaits those who make a wrong turn on a dark city street …. in the wee hours of night.

This is the song that pushed this show into being one for the ages, a one of a kind performance that makes this night shine a light above all others.

Mick was like a possessed soul, a modern Robert Johnson, Mick and the Devil … Mick as

“The Devil”  …… commanding the stage in response to Keith & Ronnie’s guitar assault.

No peace was to be had here …. not tonight …. not on this stage ….. not anywhere in Hollywood tonight!

The Rolling Stones* were in town and that means, MADNESS!

Charlie power-housed this song from the start to finish and it appeared as if he was refusing to let it end. His drumming was stellar, power driven, like a runaway locomotive in its momentum, like a diesel drummin’ …. all down the line…………

As charismatic and charming, yet dangerous as hell as Mick the Midnight Rambler can be,  with his posse of guitar slingers who, like somebody’s mother, are always standing in the shadows, it was Charlie Watts who stole this show.

A man recently recovering from cancer therapy cannot be expected to perform at this level, a level I’d never witnessed from Charlie before….but he did!  A man half his age would be ‘tested’ to play this hard, but Charlie blew through Tinsel Town with the finesse and dynamics of the world’s greatest drummers, and he did it with ease!

The crowd went $*#@ing crazy!

And just when you think things cannot gain any further momentum,  Ronnie lets it loose, givin’ Mick Taylor a run for his money during a fantastic “All Down The Line.” This song was so charged up. Keith comped those phat chords on the Tobacco Tele, pushing Ronnie to slam slide licks thicker, harder, and phatter than ever!  Ronnie did not disappoint!

The Art of Weaving, as Keith calls he and Ronnie’s guitar interplay, was knitting perfectly tonight!

Ecstatic…the crowd roared with appreciation. Where can they go from here? I mean, where? What can they pull out of the proverbial “magician’s hat” after all these feats?

Well, Lisa and Sir Mick had some cards up their sleeves and tipped their hats to Brother Ray Charles, and wowed the house with an incredible version of Ray’s “Night Time Is The Right Time.”  Keith causally sat upon Charlie’s drum riser, playin’ that beautiful ES 345 again and getting the mood set in motion, before standing up and groovin’ this R&B classic along.

Lisa raised the bar midway through the song, leaving Mick no choice but to rise to the occasion, bumping’ and grinding’ together, where Mick took the torch, rolled up his R&B sleeves and let it wail.  Never have I heard this man hit notes so high. Have I mentioned that Mick was on fire?

Challenging therollingstones* behind him to gather no moss, Mick pushed them to highs and lows, dynamics galore.

This is a BAND … a very well seasoned BAND ….  a gumbo of  “rivers of tears” … tears gone by, borne of sweat and blood, death and taxes, exiled, torn & frayed, yet ready to take on the world at the drop of a hat.

…….therollingstones* can righteously play R&B…but we knew that, no?

The traditional band intros appeared at this time. Although all were warmly received, it was blatantly apparent that Keith was the recipient of the most applause and hooting’ ‘n’ hollering’. We had the usual suspects including Lisa, Bernard, Blonde Chaplin (a one time Beach Boy) and the Legendary Bobby Keys, along with Chuck Leavell on keys, and a slew of other horn players.

They may have not played “As Tears Go By” tonight, but tears were brought to these eyes by the wonderful, simply moving, utterly beautiful version of Keith’s “Slippin’ Away” from Steel Wheels.

Framed like a Renaissance painting on the screen behind the stage, Keith sang better than I’ve ever heard before. A simply stunning performance, accented by the charming way he drapes his wrist around the Mic., timidly whispering his vocals. Intimacy is what Keith’s solo spots give the crowd.  Keith “is” intimate with the fans who adore him.  Keith lets you know …in everything he does …. that, you are his friend, and he is yours, one of us, one with you, grateful to be there, grateful to be here, and as he says,

“I’m grateful to be ANYWHERE!”

A survivor’s survivor, Keith is not a Rock Star, he is a Star of the people, who he clearly loves.  And the people love Keith, like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Though I’d hoped for a showing of  “Happy,” I was still thrilled by this moment in time..weeping at the preciousness of the moment I was sharing with the man who was my first Guitar Hero. The Blonde Tele in hand, a shy Keith bowed before 18,000 adoring fans who all knew exactly how important the moment they’d just been witness to was.

“Infamy” was next…the closer from “abiggerbang*” and another Keith song. A slightly different and more potent version than the one on the record, it was wonderfully received and appreciated by a crowd who obviously loved this outlaw and rebel who hides behind a guitar and speaks through his amp. I was really happy to see Keith playing Gibson’s so much, and for this one, he chose that Gibson ES 345 again.

Next up …… Keith is out with the Blonde Tele and they get it on with “You Got Me Rocking.” Not much to say about this one, a crowd pleaser, lots of  “sing-along” in the choruses.

Unlike the larger venues, the expanding stage could not be used do to limitations with The Bowl’s  layout and small size, so a roughly 30×30 foot section of the front of the stage (that Mick, Keith and Ronnie had been working their mono on)  was now used for the whole band in a “Stripped” down capacity.

Charlie’s drum riser was pushed forward, the intimacy highly increased, especially for those $1800 seats that you see the mandatory L.A. showbiz types & celebs sitting in … they’re front row centre, at every event, everywhere, everyday.  It’s LA … ya gotta be seen, or you don’t exist.

Un-moved by the superficial squatters in the “up close, personal, and jewelry rattling seats,” all with “trophy women (or boys) on their arms,” Keith straps on an acoustic guitar and the tell-tale opening “rake of pick over strings” introduces “Wild Horses” …. met with resounding applause.

This was the one song my Lady had hoped for above all others. A little quirky, maybe by design, maybe not, the slightly different groove of this classic nonetheless worked perfectly. Watching Keith and Mick sing together in this intimate setting was worth the price of admission itself. One of the things I miss the most is Keith and Mick harmonising like they did on all the old classics … the sound of their voices together is, to me, priceless.

Now came the moment I had waited for, a song I heard them play 39 years ago when they shared this same stage with The Standells and Buffalo Springfield. Strapping back on the walnut Gibson ES 345, the opening riff to “Get Off Of My Cloud” rang loud in the air and the crowd went full tilt bozo!

Tears welling up in my eyes and images of the past floating in my head of Brian Jones on this same stage smiling and happy were so bittersweet. Did the hills of Hollywood recognise the music.  The hills of Hollywood have long memories … so do I.

I’ll always remember … I sit and watch, as years go by ………

Ronnie, (as he did on 9 July 1975 at the Forum in Inglewood CA), took a spill on stage. I’ve seen Ronnie take a few spills over the years. This time he fell backwards onto his bum, ending up sitting on Charlie’s drum riser. This drew laughter from my Wife … but, like a cat, Ronnie’s up on his feet in the blink of an eye, as if nothing ever happened, and  right back to business.  One might wonder if Ronnie’s hoping that the crowd either missed it, or like that cat, wants ‘em to think he “meant to do it!”

Mick bids “I’m outta here” to the crowd as he walks past Charlie and out of sight toward the rear of the Bowl and deep into the dark as the drum riser is pushed backwards ….. the lights go down leaving the stage completely dark ….. black as night, black as coal.

Flames burn out of the towers to the right and left of the stage, blowing flames 50 feet high with spouts of fire, everything is now black and red….the stage is set for Lucifer’s Rising!

Chuck Leavell’s piano starts to pound out the introduction that Lucifer had sent us, The Inferno is lit, the atmosphere is thick with anticipation. Shakers and drums in unison clamber for attention as His Satanic Majesty makes his way to the celebration.  The Rolling Stones machinery is in full swing … Blonde and Lisa and Bernard, all of ‘em are shake, rattle and rollin’ something to that sympathetic symphony of sound …. all the players are in position, battle lines being drawn, nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong ………..

Suddenly “He” is there … in black hat, long coat & tails. He tells us of his conquests …..boasting, taunting and teasing. Lucifer dares us to embrace him…..

Keith responds with Gibson fueled licks, shotgun blasts that pierce the night-quiet like war on the fields of regret and shame.  Like a flamethrower, Keith’s guitar shoots machine gun, stinging notes around the hills of Tinsel Town.  Ricocheting from canyon to canyon … Keith’s natural chorus line …. Keith takes this moment and makes it his own, strutting the stage …. showing that when the whip comes down ….. it will be fired from His guitar!

Lucifer ain’t got nothin’ on Keith, baby!  Keith can chew Lucifer up ….. and spit him out like a lamb ….. with his magnum charged guitar licks and riffs.

Keith will be standing on the fields of conquest when the Satanic Majesty is on his knees, begging, “have mercy, have mercy baby, have mercy, have mercy on me.”

But “The Prince of Jagger” returns to claim the ravaged battlegrounds for his pride…it’s a battle of  “The Dark Prince vs.  The Pauper.”

Pleased to meet you, I’m a man of wealth, and taste!

Keith tugs back at what is now growing “out of control’ fighting with stinging guitar licks .. bends and growls .. slurs and hammers ….while Lucifer chants and lures the crowd into his tangled web of decadence, lies and deceit.

Dante? What circle of Hell is this?

…The tension breaks .. then builds …  breaks …. builds …..again and again ….

…..time stands still………………….

Ronnie steps out from the flames and shoots some bullets from his sunburst Stratocaster ….. taking sides with Keith … both battling for power … battling each other …. battling together against “His Satanic Majesty” ……..they call and answer, moan and wail …. but, alas … Lucifer wins the battle ….  with devilish trickery ….. strolling across the wreckage of his battlefront ….. counting the winnings ….  ravaging the spoils …. looking over the carnage,  and taunting his foes …… pleased to meet you, guess you ALL know MY name ….!

Track Six~ *Leather ‘n’ Lace*

But the Show’s not over, not by a long shot.

With the Tobacco Tele in tow, the signature drone of Keith’s anthem to the “Ladies of the Evening” chimes through the thick, smokey residue left by Lucifer and his band of Devils.

“Honky Tonk Women” could easily  be an ode to the Women of L.A. … slinky ladies, clad in leather and lace. Vampyres, one & all … blood red eyes … in predatory pumps and low neck sweaters …. they could make a dead man _____ …… and they do …..

Now …. Charlie’s Darlings punch that open-G intro to “Start Me Up” …  they’re runnin’ though the pre-requisite “hits” now.  Gotta please the dedicated followers of fashion … before they make you run….. I second that emotion ….. fully charged, this machine called “therollingstones*” those “December’s Children,” control the crowd with the now familiar hits … Her Majesty (Keith’s nickname for Jagger) has them all on their feet … that demon life has got them in its sway.  The devoted obey, following their tutors instructions to the Ti-i-i-ime, is on my side …….. and it’s just about a moonlight mile, on down the road…. and if the ‘charged up’, open G chunk-a-chunk of “Start Me Up” wasn’t enough, Keith punches out some sweets that would surely please Virginia …

With the crunching chords of “Brown Sugar” as his canvas, Mick sings his ode to the slave ship refugees of the cotton fields in the American south, spinning tails of delights with those coffee-brown, midnight-whipped women. How come ya taste, so good….? Bobby Keys honks his horn as only he can do, spillin’ hot sauce and drippin’ brown sugar …. spill it all over the stage…. ….. I say yeah, Yeah, YEAH, Woooooooooooooo! It’s only rock and roll…..

Flames and Fireworks blast forth, lighting the skies and hills of the age old, decadent residential peace of Hollywood as the stage goes dark and therollingstones* disappear into the smoke filled

abyss  ….. it’s 10:18 pm….. black as night, black as coal…….

The Hidden Track~ *Satisfaction*

After 30 seconds of darkness ….. the sound of ringing chords, the into to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” ooze forth from Keith,  as he appears centre stage …. in the spotlight …. alone …… happy … dues all paid in advance …… he’s tumbled the dice, won, and survived to tell the tale of something that happened to him, yesterday… called LIFE …… the choir boy, rock and roll’s most original and most “true to himself”  bad-boy stands …….centre-stage, in the white hot spotlight …..

This is HIS band …..

This is his LIFE …..

And he’s shared 50 years of it with you and me ……

….that Tobacco Tele still in hand, he comps the chord progression over and over until Mick begins his narrative of obsession, excess, drugs, death and corruption …. all in an attempt to reinforce our faith and hope, keep us from having that 19th nervous breakdown:

“You Can’t Always Get What you Want…But If You Try Sometime, You might Find, You’ll Get What You Need.’

Lisa takes over the outro that dominates the song’s end with her pitch perfect, full blooded and full bodied voice that is strong enough to make the hills of Tinsel Town shake, rattle and roll.

We’re all lost….

We’re all captivated …….

The Rolling Stones* own us  ……

and we crave a soda in our favourite flavour, cherry-red … from that Chelsea Drug Store.

Lights out !!! … the concern that “it’s all over now” ….  permeates the crowd, temperatures rise, cold turkey sweats and chills … time waits for no one ……. time stand still, total silence can be heard even above the cheers for MORE !!  MORE !!! MORE !!!

……………….until….

CRUNCH!

Keith fires off the over-driven …. the most famous riff of all time from his Gibby ES 345 and begins “SATISFACTION” … (this is the second song of the night that was played here 39 years ago {also as the closing tune}) ….

The place goes totally crazy as Ronnie, Charlie and Daryl power the song along …. Mick tells us his tale of frustration ….. women on the road ….. 3:00 am television commercials telling him how white his shirts should be ….. what cigarette to smoke ……

Keith takes the spotlight ….. he commands the stage ….. riffing the most famous and powerful riff of all time from that Gibson, taking the audience in hand, maueuvering them with nuances of picking and bending that Monster Riff……………..!   He plays the crowd as he plays the guitar, with everything he’s got, everything he is … playing the rill that changed the world … noodling that riff for what it’s worth …. sharing it with us all, smiling, hair all awry, swaggering like a drunken pirate …. Captain Teague … the man who wrote The Code ….  and he’s layin’ it down for all to hear!

This is THE RIFF ….. THE RIFF that literally created, single handedly, the guitar over-drive/distortion “phenom” that exists to this day, the quest for the HOLY GRAIL of TONE – that elusive “something” that every guitar player is obsessed with …. and it’s all Keith’s fault ….

(Keith did it with a little help from a gadget called the “Gibson Maestro FUZZ-TONE”) –

…………and then it was OVER!

…….. bow after bow after bow, until, finally …….

The 4 Stones, arm in arm, stood centre stage ….alone ….

The Four Stones Alone:

-Founding member, Ian Stewart’s “Little Three Chord Wonders” …

-“The greatest rock and roll band in the world” …

-Andrew Loog-Oldham’s “Malchicks” ….

-Heirs to Her Satanic Majesties Throne.

-The Salt of The Earth.

-Midnight Ramblers.

-Harlem Shufflers.

-Born at the church of Chess Records, 2120 south Michigan Avenue, Chicago

– One is a “Knight of the British Empire”

– Another is one of the “Children of the Night” and author of “LIFE”

– “Charlie Is My Darling” and a writer & successful with his own jazz band

– The “new boy” is British Rock Legend and a world-class artist and painter

…..soaking in the just desserts of their labours ….to thunderous standing ovations, adoration, and smiling faces, their eyes edged with tears.

Then the stage goes dark …… as if someone had decided to paint it black ….

…….fireworks and flames continue to blow forth for five minutes, more, shooting flames 30-50ft in the air on each side of ‘The Bowl” ……. calling and end to the night’s ….. Performance!

…… this night would live forever in the hearts and minds of more than just myself and my newly recruited Lady, who at one point in the show broke into tears as I kissed her passionately.

…and, she smiled sweetly,

………..she smiled sweetly,

………..she smiled sweetly,

and said:    “………don’t worry, oh no, no, no!”

-Lew Campbell

The Rolling Stones

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Hollywood Bowl Hollywood, CA

Main Stage

  • Jumpin’ Jack Flash
  • It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • Live With Me
  • Tumbling Dice
  • Oh No, Not You Again
  • Back Of My Hand
  • Dead Flowers
  • Midnight Rambler
  • All Down The Line
  • Night Time Is The Right Time
  • Band Introduction
  • Slipping Away
  • Infamy

Front Stage

  • You Got Me Rocking
  • Wild Horses
  • Get Off Of My Cloud
Main Stage
  •  Sympathy For The Devil
  • Honky Tonk Women
  • Start Me Up
  • Brown Sugar

 Encore

  • You Can’t Always Get What You Want
  • Satisfaction

Tour band

  • Mick Jagger: lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
  • Keith Richards: guitar, backing vocals
  • Ronnie Wood: guitar, backing vocals
  • Charlie Watts: drums, percussion

Additional musicians

  • Darryl Jones: bass
  • Blondie Chaplin: vocals, guitar
  • Lisa Fischer: vocals
  • Bobby Keys: saxophone
  • Bernard Fowler: vocals
  • Tim Ries: saxophone, keyboards
  • Chuck Leavell: keyboards
  • Michael Davis: trombone
  • Kent Smith: trumpet

(Copywright Lew Campbell 2012)

Watch thebiggerbang concert in its entirety below

Posted by Larry Carta


Leave a Reply

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 2 plus 3?