ON THE TURNTABLE: Beggar’s Banquet/ Let It Bleed

Beggars Banquet :The Best Album of 1969

Even though it was released in December of 1968, BEGGAR’S BANQUET was my most played album of 1969. I got that record the moment it was released and it very rarely left my turntable for one full year. Side 1, Side 2, back to Side 1, and on and on. There are very few albums I can said that about, very few albums I listen to in its entirety without getting bored by a clunker or two. I was enamored by this collection of Stones tunes. The slick printed cover (American version which was completely different from the British cover), the photo spread inside, and the music. These songs were individually and collectively a great relief, a wonderful change in direction from the ROLLING STONES ’67 set of THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST, which I owned but never played all the way through. The only tunes I liked on TSMR were 2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME and SHE’S A RAINBOW. The rest were rubbish.

Before SATANIC MAJESTIES I was stuck on BETWEEN THE BUTTONS(1967) (US version), especially side 1 which we played endlessly at my buddy George’s house.TSMR is/was nothing like BUTTONS. But then, BEGGAR’S BANQUET is released and with that a new STONES approach to the blues.The BB album was the real deal, and foreshadowed what would become of the STONES over the next few years and releases.  To my ears Beggar’s Banquet was a Keith album as Brian Jones due to “personal reasons” is limited here to slide guitar on NO EXPECTATIONS, a harmonica on PARACHUTE WOMAN, DEAR DOCTOR and PRODIGAL SON. It was the last ROLLING STONES album to be released during Brian Jones’ life.

Side One Track 1, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, just listen to the title before you put the needle down, WHAT? Sympathy for whom? Are you kidding me? Conga, screams, maracas, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and THE WORDS…PLEASE TO MEET YOU, seriously this is not Satanic Majesties at all. WOW.Then the voices, Get down,hit it, guitar riffs…six minutes plus of sheer ecstasy . I danced around my room so many times shaking imaginary maracas.

Track 2:NO EXPECTATIONS, Keith on acoustic, Brian in a semi-sober moment plays slide. Bill with a few bass thuds,I still play this tune on my guitar, “never in my sweet short life have I felt like this before”.

Track 3: DEAR DOCTOR, humorous to say the least..”Help me please Doctor I’m damaged”…“preserve it right there in that jar”. Sang this tune with like minded folks, very poor off keyed singers after a few cocktails.

Track 4:PARACHUTE WOMAN: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, some echo added to vocals, and Charlie beating it down, “join me for a ride”.

Track 5: JIGSAW PUZZLE: The drum beat is awesome, I played it thousands of time, Charlie was the man. “Me, I waiting so patiently, lying on the floor”.

SIDE TWO Track 1 STREET FIGHTING MAN: The guitar intro and then the drums…this was the tune revolutionaries were using as their theme song, well, pseudo- revolutionaries. Hey, it was a sign of the times.

Track 2: PRODIGAL SON: Not a Stones tune but a remake that they called their own.Charlie’s high hat work is exceptional, Mick’s vocals is a take on a blues man.

Track 3: STRAY CAT BLUES: This was sex, straight out.”I bet your mama don’t know you can scream like that”…

Track 4: FACTORY GIRL: I first thought this was the same riff from 2000 light years, but no. As I was working in a factory at the time this tune made so much sense.”Waiting for a factory girl…”

Track 5: SALT OF THE EARTH: This is the one that did it for me. Aren’t we all salt of the earth? and when the drums kick in….”Let’s drink to the uncounted heads”…these words made so much sense to me…and then the mention….  “A choice of cancer or polio”.

Salt Of The Earth

The Rolling Stones

Let’s drink to the hard working people

Let’s drink to the lowly of birth

Raise your glass to the good and the evil

Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier

Spare a thought for his back breaking work

Say a prayer for his wife and his children

Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd

A swirling mass of gray and

Black and white

They don’t look real to me

In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people

Let’s drink to the uncounted heads

Let’s think of the wavering millions

Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter

His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows

And a parade of the gray suited grafters

A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd

A swirling mass of grays and

Black and white

They don’t look real to me

Or don’t they look so strange

Let’s drink to the hard working people

Let’s think of the lowly of birth

Spare a thought for the rag taggy people

Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Let’s drink to the hard working people

Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Let’s drink to the two thousand million

Let’s think of the humble of birth

So, I’m stuck on the STONES, not really shouting it out but I do like their most recent stuff (1968) more than the Beatles or anyone else at this time. Then, LET IT BLEED is released …

LET IT BLEED December 1969, I have it before Christmas and bought another copy to give my girlfriend as part of her Christmas gift package.

SIDE ONE: Track 1; GIMME SHELTER, Merry Clayton, just a shout away.  Charlie hitting the cymbals, harp playing. fade out, nicely done.

Track 2: LOVE IN VAIN: another stolen tune, but one that everyone, including me plays.I saw FACES do this one night and after they finished Rod Stewart said, “I gave it a try but Mick owns it”.

Track 3:COUNTRY HONK: Didn’t make sense until you put it in perspective of HONKY TONK WOMAN. I really like this tune. Thanks Graham, I know this was you.

Track 4:LIVE WITH ME: Charlie lays it down, Bill bass lines are straight on, …“Don’t you think there is a place for you between the sheets”. What a great line but don’t try to use it. Bobby Keys nails this solo on sax, and I actually tried at the time of release to find out who this guy was.

SIDE 2: Track 1:LET IT BLEED:”There will always be a space in my parking lot”…No longer is music “I Wanna Hold your hand” we are now in a dirty, filthy basement, yeah man.

Track 2:MIDNIGHT RAMBLER: I had no idea what to make of this song, played it hundreds of times, trying to decipher what it was. THEN, I saw it live. My Lord. Now I knew. And about that moment I saw it live the ROLLING STONES became one of my all time favorite live bands.

Track 3:YOU GOT THE SILVER:It’s KEITH, say no more.The future of THE STONES.Brian is in there somewhere, so they say, but I don’t hear him.

Track 4:MONKEY MAN: A bit of Satantic Majesties kick off but then “all my friends are junkies” we are going down fast…I’m glad you are a monkey woman ,too”. Nicely, done.The guitars are intense.

Track 5: YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT: No words describe what I heard as a 17 year old male. The chorus, the horn, the acoustic guitar, Mick’s intro, “ but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need”….are they talking to me?

It’s the STONES I played all of 1969, saw a few others bands, but 1969 was…THE STONES and I saw them.

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 11,1980-THE RAMONES@Wollman Rink

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 11,1980-THE RAMONES(4)@Wollman Rink in Central Park This is becoming a summer tradition.The first four albums were a blast but this END OF THE CENTURY shit is not too good. But I was adapting to MARKY (MARC BELL from DUST and VOID OIDS) RAMONE on drums.(Getty Images has some great photos from that evening.For the life of me I have no recollection nor notes on an opening act.

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: August 11,1978-TALKING HEADS@ ENTERMEDIA THEATRE

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: August 11,1978-TALKING HEADS@ ENTERMEDIA THEATRE,2nd Avenue,NY NY

My brother is finally out of the hospital and wanted to see T.Heads. He is on steroidal medicine, looked fat faced and started losing his hair. At the door, we got the last two tickets for this show, the second of the weekend, while listening to the band do a sound check of TAKE ME TO THE RIVER. Dinner was at the now defunct O’HENRY’S, a fav of ours for years.There is a record company promo, about 1/2 hour in length of this show. Pretty neat and we are in it.A few nights prior to this evening the LI radio station WLIR broadcasted a T.Heads show recorded weeks before at HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY.The bootlegs are out there folks.

(ENTERMEDIA -SECOND NIGHT-set list)

NO COMPASSION

WARNING SIGN

THE BOOK I READ

STAY HUNGRY

ARTISTS ONLY

THE GIRLS WANT TO BE WITH THE GIRLS

UH-OH,LOVE COMES TO TOWN

WITH OUR LOVE

LOVE GOES TO A BUILDING ON FIRE

DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT

THE GOOD THING

ELECTRICITY

THE BIG COUNTRY

NEW FEELING

PULLED UP

PSYCHO KILLER

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

FOUND A JOB

THANK YOU FOR SENDING ME AN ANGEL

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:AUGUST 11,1976- ELTON JOHN@Madison Square Garden

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:AUGUST 11,1976- ELTON JOHN (sixth time)/KIKI DEE@Madison Square Garden. WPLJ ,the NY radio station gave buttons to the attendees of this seven night stand at THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA. The band consisted of the musicians playing on his last two endeavors, ROCK OF THE WESTIES and BLUE MOVES.Tonight they opened up with GROW SOME FUNK OF YOUR OWN, performed LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS, DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART with Kiki Dee(the #1 Hit record in America that day),and closed with SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT (for Fighting) before being called back for YOUR SONG and PINBALL WIZARD. Well worth the price of admission.

 

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: August 11,1970-TEN YEARS AFTER @ CAPITOL THEATRE, PORT CHESTER,NY

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: August 11,1970-TEN YEARS AFTER @ CAPITOL THEATRE, PORT CHESTER,NY

AUGUST 11,1970:We haven’t seen Ten Years After enough since June 25th (5 times) so it was time to travel by car to Port Chester, New York, as a four some. Haystacks Balboa (Leslie West’s brother), second time seeing this ensemble and again they sucked. Haystacks I could do without forever, Cactus was loud and “boogieing” not too shabbily that evening. I liked them. And TYA did a new set of tunes, even the opener  LOVE LIKE A MAN was brand spanking new.  Alright, this was the TYA I liked.

 

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 11,2013-TODD RUNDGREN @Westbury Music Fair.

 

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 11,2013-TODD RUNDGREN @Westbury Music Fair. Two of my buddies had tickets for the show. They told me where they were seated, so I went on-line and bought the one next to them.Surprise.(Thanks to setlist.com for the list)

Real Man

Love of the Common Man

Buffalo Grass

Kind Hearted Woman Blues
(Robert Johnson cover)

Determination

Lucky Guy

Can We Still Be Friends

Espresso (All Jacked Up)

Love Is the Answer
(Utopia song)

It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference

Lost Horizon

Flaw

Soul Brother

I’m So Proud
(The Impressions cover)

Ooo Baby Baby
(The Miracles cover)

I Want You
(Marvin Gaye cover)

Hawking

I Saw the Light

Courage

Drive

Couldn’t I Just Tell You

Hello It’s Me

A Dream Goes on Forever

TICKETS TORN IN HALF August 10,1990-SONIC YOUTH@ ROSELAND/ALBERT KING@ROADHOUSE

TICKETS TORN IN HALF August 10,1990-SONIC YOUTH@ ROSELAND/ALBERT KING@ROADHOUSE

(NYT Aug 10)Once considered the heroes of New York’s underground rock scene, the members of Sonic Youth are fast becoming the antiheroes of the mainstream. After eight years recording for independent labels, the band recently released its major label debut, ”Goo,” on DGC Records, and it is to perform tonight amid the kitschy grandeur of Roseland Ballroom.

Throughout the 1980’s, Sonic Youth was one of the most popular yet staunchly independent bands in the United States. Formed in 1981, the group combined the competitive drone of avant-garde composers like Glenn Branca with the unruly noise of hard-core thrash music and the raw live energy of pre-punk bands like the Stooges. A result, heard on the 1982 EP ”Sonic Youth” and the 1983 album ”Confusion Is Sex,” was minimalist art rock that would occasionally explode into decibel-crunching chaos.

(My recollection)Okay so a few NYC bands opened the show as we waited patiently for SONIC YOUTH to take the stage. I had a few beers at a partially empty back bar where I befriended if only for a few seconds ADAM CLAYTON the bassist for U-2. Finally SONIC YOUTH assaulted our ears with about an hour of their music, ending with a five minute or so Thurston Moore’s guitar feedback while he sat in a chair watching Joe Franklin on televison???? WTF . We heading across the street in a roundabout way to catch two sets from the legendary ALBERT KING.

Aug 10,1990: ALBERT KING @ Roadhouse After the Sonic Youth show across the street we headed over to THE LODESTAR ROADHOUSE where We caught two sets of ALBERT KING and met up with him after the show. He is tall man with mighty powerful hands and is an all around gentleman.

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: August 10,1988-BRYAN FERRY @ RADIO CITY

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: August 10,1988-BRYAN FERRY @ RADIO CITY

Aug 10,1988: BRYAN FERRY @ Radio City (Jon Pareles NYT)

Love is all-consuming in Bryan Ferry’s songs; it’s a raw need like drug addiction, a spiritual sacrament, a paradise and an eerie limbo. His concert Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall, starting a three-night stand, opened with a swirl and chatter of percussion and the sight of a censer wafting the smoke of frankincense – invoking a ritual – as Mr. Ferry emerged to play his self-created role as idealized romantic crooner. Dressed in a formal suit and black necktie and performing with stylized, slow-motion gestures, he sang with a closed-in tone and a slight bleating quality, without the warmth of ordinary pop delivery, but sounding all the more vulnerable to the pains of love.

Mr. Ferry’s set roamed from his recent solo albums to the songs he wrote for Roxy Music in the 1970’s, and it suggested that he has taken his own romantic messages to heart. His early Roxy Music songs, such as ”In Every Dream Home a Heartache” and ”Casanova,” were clever and angular, with lopsided melodies and lyrics that implicated the outside world in his lovers’ deceptions and tribulations. Through the years he has rounded off those edges; his recent songs use rolling, swirling funk, often with a Caribbean undercurrent in which his words can be, like his characters, swept away by a beat or a feeling. The lyrics of his current album, ”Bete Noire,” are almost all cliches bobbing to the surface of the music and then drifting away. The effect is atmospheric rather than literary, enraptured rather than analytical.

The band was geared to Mr. Ferry’s newer songs. It played the Roxy Music songs dutifully, inserting jazz-rock and heavy-metal solo flourishes rather than Roxy’s clattering, anarchic noise. But when it came to the smooth, slightly ominous funk of ”The Main Thing” or the subdued rock of ”Kiss and Tell,” the band enfolded Mr. Ferry’s voice the way romance envelops his characters, shutting out everything but the nuances of passion.

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 9,1995: THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND@Jones Beach.

ABB 2009

TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 9,1995: THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND@Jones Beach. My 13th ABB show.They opened with Statesboro, and later Chris Robinson from BLACK CROWES joins in for SOUTHBOUND. Funny, I waited a few tours from the 92 show before I jumped back in, I was afraid of being disappointed. Tonight was the same line up as my last viewing (92) but the outdoor thing loses me a bit.

STATESBORO

MIDNIGHT RIDER

YOU DON’T LOVE ME

BLUE SKY

AIN’T WASTING TIME NO MORE

THE SAME THING

DREAMS

SOUTHBOUND

END OF THE LINE

BACK WHERE IT ALL BEGINS

HOOTCHIE COOCHIE MAN

NO ONE TO RUN WITH ANYMORE

IN MEMORY OF ELIZ REED

ONE WAY OUT

RAMBLIN MAN

TICKETS TORN IN HALF August 9,2007: MERLE HAGGARD- Alabama Theatre, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

TICKETS TORN IN HALF August 9,2007: MERLE HAGGARD- Alabama Theatre, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. What a treat to see a legend, one who truly appreciated his audience. This was a fantastic show and only cost us $35.00. I was so looking forward to hearing “Mama Tried” and so was the motherfucker who sat next to me, who sang along at the top of his lungs. After the song he said “Wow, wasn’t that great”. Being south of my comfort zone I hid my NY attitude and replied nicely, “Idiot”.