Rolling Stones Remastered Exile on Main Street
Rolling in L.A. with the Stones
On May 18, the Rolling Stones’ 1972 classic Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street will be re-released in three editions: the remastered album, a version with bonus tracks and a superdeluxe set with vinyl, DVD and booklet (rumors of a super-duper-deluxe set complete with hypodermic and burnt spoon remain unconfirmed). The DVD is a super-cool behind-the-scenes during the making of “Exile on Main Street” in the early 1970’s. A must see for rock music fans and Rolling Stones fans.
Time has justified The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street mythological standing as a masterpiece of murk, an uber-bluesy collection of spooky grooves. Fans know of (and have mythologized) the band’s infamous sessions at Nellcote in the south of France . And while it’s true that most of the album’s basic tracks were recorded there, where the Stones had been taxed into self-exile, Exile was actually wrapped and mixed right here in Los Angeles .
The sunlight, the drive to work, the way the girls look. L.A. ‘s got a very strong set.
president of Rolling Stones Records
After the French heat got hip to Nellcote’s pharmaceutical follies, the Rolling Stones fled and arrived in L.A. on November 29, 1971. ” L.A. added a whole dimension to Exile’s mixing and assembly,” recalls Marshall Chess, who, as president of Rolling Stones Records, was privy to the inside. “The sunlight, the drive to work, the way the girls look. L.A.’s got a very strong set.”
Chess says Mick Jagger was in charge of sessions at Sunset Sound Recorders, still open for business today at the same location: 6650 Sunset Boulevard, at Cherokee. “We utilized Dr. John and Billy Preston for help. Dr. John got us backup singers. Billy brought that gospel sound to the vocals. They were crucial to the overall sound of the tracks. In some ways they might’ve been called part-writers. A lot of times it’d be stagnant and Billy Preston would put his shit on it and it would change the riff and texture.” Chess remembers “Happy,” “Casino Boogie,” “Ventilator Blues,” “Torn and Frayed” and “Loving Cup” getting extensive overhauls at Sunset Sound.
Former Beatles employee Chris O’Dell was personal assistant to the Stones at the time: “Keith [Richards] was going through his usual Keith stuff. They weren’t organized in the studio. I remember many nights being there for hours. It felt like it didn’t ever click. Maybe that’s the way they recorded. I was used to the Beatles and how refined their sessions were.”
O’Dell leased homes for Jagger, Richards and Mick Taylor in Bel Air, while Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts usually stayed at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. “They were the toast of the town. They got invited to everything that happened,” O’Dell recalls. “Mick’s a very social person. Always has been.” The boys partied with Papa John Phillips and Natalie Wood and visited Ike and Tina Turner’s studio in Inglewood.
O’Dell’s then-boyfriend, former Band road manager and Mean Streets producer Jonathan Taplin, recommended photographer Robert Frank for the album cover and sent Jagger a copy of Frank’s heralded photo collection The Americans. Frank was flown in from New York and they all went down to L.A. ‘s Skid Row on pre-gentrified Main Street to shoot, hence the album’s title.
“I just remember how easygoing it was, just walking down the street and people following us and everybody getting high,” says O’Dell. “The street people came out and went, ‘Heeeyyy, are you Mick fucking Jagger?’ He’d laugh and they’d follow us.” Frank used a Super-8 movie camera and the Stones stills on Exile’s cover are frames from that film.
Chess says 1 a.m. business meetings with lawyers were not uncommon, and fondly recounts regular jaunts with Keith to Canter’s on Fairfax for strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream. Both he and Keith bought Ferrari Dinos at Hollywood Sports Cars, a legendary dealership that’s no longer in business. But there was a dark side too.
“After Altamont there were death threats from the Hell’s Angels,” says Chess. “When we got to L.A. , Mick and I bought pistols. I had a .38 hammerless Smith & Wesson. Mick was paranoid about the Angels.” But overall, Chess says, L.A. was a positive experience that put the icing on one of the great rock & roll albums of all time. “They were drawn to all things American. The Stones love American music and fit really well in L.A. ”
Bringing it all back to 2010, it’s the jones for new music on the bonus tracks that has Rolling Stones freaks scratching. Don Was, the Stones’ producer since 1993, was brought in last year to mix and oversee overdubs for unfinished outtakes. He recounts his marching orders: “Keith sent me a fax sayin’, ‘You don’t have to make it sound like Exile. It is Exile.'”
Was explains what he believes to be the key to Exile’s off-kilter sound: “It reminded me of what Miles [ Davis ] was doin’. There’s this apparent looseness to it, but it’s holdin’ together. The thing that makes [the Stones] great is that they all feel the beat in a little different place. If you listen to the tracks individually, you go, ‘This is a mess.’ When you put it all together, it creates this looseness, but it still grooves. There’s a centrifugal force that holds the band together. With Exile, they pushed the centrifugal force as far out as you can and still have the center hold.”
By Michael Simmons Thursday, May 13 2010
Lightning in a Bottle Returns – Exceptional Art and Music Festival
Only a Southern California dance, art, and music festival can feature Daedelus and downward facing dog, but that’s exactly what the fifth annual Do LaB Lightning in a Bottle art and music festival will offer when it takes over 100+ acres of Irvine, California’s Oak Canyon Ranch over Memorial Day weekend.
The four-day, three-night festival bills itself as “equal parts music, art and green workshops.” Accordingly, those drawn to bone-crunching bass and funky rhythms can choose from over 90 artists including Booka Shade, The Album Leaf, The Glitch Mob, The Very Best, Daedelus, Daddy Kev, and Nosaj Thing.
Lightning in a Bottle will also feature a set from Krystee, the winner of the festival’s mix-tape contest that found DJ’s from across America looking for a chance to perform by submitting tapes using only Lightning in a Bottle acts.
Attendees can also explore other options, via green-living workshops that offer “practical, do-it-yourself lessons on creating a healthy, low-cost, sustainable lifestyle.” The workshops included “Small Space Container Gardening,” “How to Make Raw Chocolate” and “Growing & Using Medicinal Herbs.” Those looking to loosen up after three nights in a sleeping bag can increase their elasticity via an array of yoga courses taking place throughout the day.
An Art Festival as Much as a Music Festival
The artistically inclined may find solace in the festival’s art gallery, installation pieces, or its Lightning in a Paintcan Project, during which local artists will transform over-sized mural panels into paintings using recycled paint. The finished pieces will be sold in a silent auction, with proceeds going to Sonic Muze, a nonprofit group that provides underfunded schools with music instruments and art supplies. With three-day passes available for $190 (including camping), the festival figures to bring enough stimulation so that everyone will need to say Savasana by Monday night.
Ticket info on the Lightning in a Bottle website
May 20: Live Rock n Roll with “Nashville Pussy”
Nashville Pussy rocks! If you love rock and roll and good times, you don’t want to miss this show. In my opinion, they sound like a cross between AC/DC, Motorhead, and late 1970’s Ted Nugent, coupled with a good dose of long, curly blond hair, a really nice set ‘o titties, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a bad attitude. What’s not to love? Playing at the Key Club in Hollywood, Thursday night May 20th.
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If you’re interested in purchasing Nashville Pussy tickets, they are still available through the Key Club website and at the links below. Get your tickets today! Only $15. Pretty cheap for a really good time!
The Key Club
9039 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood Ca. 90069
Here are some links to Nashville Pussy’s music:
Give them a listen and come on down for the show. A really rare treat. Lovers of down-and-dirty, gritty rock and roll will be delighted!
LIVE ROCK AND ROLL WITH “TACK” AT THE VIPER ROOM
SATURDAY MAY 8TH
8852 W.SUNSET BLVD.
Tack is a kick ass rock band made up of incognito musicians and composers of the musical scores behind some of your favorite movies. This band is how they blow off some steam from the pressures of doing big Hollywood movie scores.
Stop by tonight to give Tack some love, appreciation, and support and listen to their unique brand of butt-kicking rock music.
1.?? a visionary live art exhibit
Featuring the art of:
Amanda Sage, John Park, Michael Pukac, Catherine Andrews, David Lawell & live high art model Natalia Iswara.
OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION
Friday, May 7th, 2010
6pm to 12 midnight
1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd
& Rik Sharaj on Sitar/ Cyrrus on Drums
The Watt From Pedro Show
featuring Mike Watt, Brother Matt, and Flea
If you’ve never listened to the The Watt From Pedro Show, perhaps you should consider doing so. If you have a love or an interest in punk rock from around the world that you are unlikely to hear anywhere else, TWFPS is where you should be.
Hear Conversations with Amazing Musical Guests
The Watt From Pedro Show was founded by punk rock legend Mike Watt, Bassist for such seminal bands as The Minutemen, fIREHOSE, Iggy and the Stooges, Porno for Pyros, Banyan, Hell Ride, and many others. All the music selections featured on the show are compiled and presented by Mike Watt. In addition to all the great music you will hear, The Watt From Pedro Show regularly features some amazing guest artists, such as Peter DiStefano (Porno for Pyros), Thuston Moore (Sonic Youth), Jack Brewer, Nels Cline, John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and many more. A truly unique show. Not to be missed!
Mike Watt is assisted by Brother Matt (former KXLU DJ on the Blues Shift radio show) who does the “Spin Cycle” portion of the show, featuring sounds from the electronic music era.
A recent guest was the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s extraordinary bass player Flea.
Go to the TWFPS site and look for:
You may want to download The Watt From Pedro Show Podcast. Log in to your iTunes account, click on “podcasts”, and search for Mike Watt or the Watt From Pedro Show. When you find it, just click on subscribe, and you’re good to go! When you subscribe to The Watt From Pedro Show, your account will always be up to date when a new show is uploaded and available for you to listen to. An alternate way to listen to the show is to go directly to http://twfps.com, and listen to the stream directly from the site. I have discovered many a new artist by tuning in to Mr. Watt’s exceptional show.