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Subject: Rolling Stones FAQ [1/4]
This article was archived around: 1 Mar 2000 07:00:09 GMT
Rolling Stones' Mailing list/newsgroup FAQ
COPYRIGHT 1994-2000 (c) Anthony J. Rzepela (editor)
This collection of four works is under the copyright of the editor,
who may, at his discretion, relinquish said copyright to the authors
This collection may not be broken up, or be made available
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The editor of this FAQ retains all rights for use of it.
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attempts to publish this shared work-in-progress may interfere
with legal commitments individual authors may privately hold
This FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list is intended for
new subscribers to the USENET news group alt.rock-n-roll.stones,
where updates are furnished monthly, and the Rolling Stones'
Internet mailing list (and digest) 'Undercover':
It is a four-part FAQ list, with the following sections:
Part 1: basic question list. You are reading it now.
Part 2: Live and Unreleased recordings - a history
Part 3: a bibliography of Rolling Stones-related material
Part 4: a skeletal discography of official releases
Latest "official" versions (i.e., versions archived from
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Last revised - February, 2000
How to use: In the body of the document, you can just skip to the next
----------- question by having your software SEARCH for the next
occurrence of "@Q"
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------------ to provide you with any more information than is provided
here on locating those items. Particularly where unauthorized
recordings are concerned, do not write anyone whose name is
listed here as an author and ask if they can help you get
your hands on such-and-such a recording.
Please realize that when you do so, they are being asked by
a perfect stranger to give advice in writing on how to carry
out an illegal act.
The authors of this document make no guarantees about the
quality of workmanship or service you will get from
patronizing a publisher, CD house, or magazine listed here.
Inclusion of a vendor's name does not imply an endorsement
With respect to official releases, the exact versions of
recordings available and in print at any point in time
from the Stones' catalogue may suddenly change, without
the record companies bothering to let us know personally,
rendering the current document obsolete. As with any
purchase, it is wise to confirm with the seller exactly
what it is you are buying.
For part II (Live and Unreleased recordings), we thank D.H. ("Mr. X.")
For part III (the bibliography), we thank Stephen Carter (e-address below).
For part IV (EPs and albums), we thank Anthony Rzepela (e-address below).
Contributors to Part I of the Rolling Stones FAQ list are:
Jens Backlund (email@example.com)
Jon Brode (also the major inspiration)
Stephen D. Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ken Pennington (email@example.com)
Steve Portigal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dan Ream (email@example.com)
Anthony J. Rzepela (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bjornulf Vik (email@example.com)
We'd also like to thank the fine-tooth brigade: our FAQ helpers/
Todd Furesz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Russell T. Haines of Severe Tire damage
Michael Honig (email@example.com)
Princess Margaret (PrincssMxx@aol.com)
Mark C. Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finally, we would like to thank the Rolling Stones, for....whatever.
Maintenance: Maintenance on parts one, three, and four are carried
------------ out by Anthony J. Rzepela. Discussion/disagreements
concerning any of all four parts should take place on
the mailing list 'Undercover'.
Summary of questions:
1. Who ARE the Stones - what is the band lineup/history?
2. Hey! Do they get email???
3. What Stones-specific online resources are there?
4. Where can I get online lyrics/chords/tabulature/GIFs?
5. Where can I get an online discography?
6. Hey! Why isn't this discography complete?
7. Well, where *can* I get a complete one?
8. What about CDs? What do I need for a complete
set? How do they sound???
9. Can you at *least* tell me about the solo records????
10. Where can I get bootlegs?
11. Which bootlegs are best? Which will have my favorite song?
12. How can I get that Keith sound in the comfort of my own home?
13. Wouldn't it be neat if there were a Stones "museum"?
14. I'm a novice. Can you recommend the best...
d. home videos
15. What is/who are
a. "Nanker Phelge"
b. "The Glimmer Twins"
c. "Rock and Roll Circus"
e. "Cocksucker Blues"
a. How many times have they been arrested?
b. How many times have they been married?
c. Will the band break up?
d. Are they going to tour?
e. Do you think this is the last time, really?
f. How old ARE they?
17. What gives with:
a. that tongue logo all over the place
18. Myths & legends:
a. Did Keith really get his blood changed?
b. Do they worship satan?
c. Is Paul dead?
Sources used in this FAQ list:
(full publication information on these books can be found in part three of
the FAQ list, The Bibliography From Hell)
The primary resources used for fact-checking this part of the document are:
Aeppli, Felix - "The Rolling Stones 1962-1995: the Ultimate Guide"
Dalton, David - "The Rolling Stones - The First Twenty Years"
Giuliano, Geoffrey - "The Rolling Stones Album"
Wyman, Bill - "Stone Alone"
Weiner, Sue & Lisa Howard - "The Rolling Stones A to Z"
@Q1. Who ARE the Stones - what is the band lineup/history?
The first Rolling Stones long-playing album was released in 1964, to
enough advance excitement to encourage the band's management to
release it with only a portrait of the band on the front. Once you
understand that, all the rest really just falls into place.
Originally comprised of Mick Jagger (vocals), Brian Jones (gtr),
Keith Richards (gtr), Ian Stewart (piano), Charlie Watts (drums), and
Bill Wyman (bass), Ian Stewart was 'demoted' by de facto manager
Andrew Loog Oldham by the time of their first album release, because
he did not look the part of a Rolling Stone. Although Ian did not
appear in group photographs or get listed in band personnel
information, he played, credited, on records and in concert with
the Stones up until his death in 1985.
The first 'real' personnel change took place with the dismissal of
Brian Jones in 1969, who died several weeks later. Before his
death, his slot was filled by a young guitarist named Mick Taylor,
who had been in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and who stayed with the
Stones until December 1974.
Ron Wood, already a star from his work with Rod Stewart and the Faces,
joined the Rolling Stones as a 'special guest' in 1975 for their
US tour and became a non-guest by the end of the year. In 1993,
bassist Bill Wyman, then 56, officially quit after years of rumours
and speculation, and Ron became a full and equal partner soon after.
As of this writing, no permanent replacement has been announced
for Mr. Wyman, although Daryl Jones, ex- of Miles Davis, Peter
Gabriel, Sting, Madonna and other high-profile professional gigs,
has played on all Stones concerts from the start of the 1994/95
'Voodoo Lounge' tour through the last Summer 1999 dates on the
"No Security" tour.
@Q2. Hey! Do you think they read email???
The Stones in the Internet Age is a long strange trip. The short
answer is that if they do have email addresses, no one has seen
fit to share them with the world at large. Nevertheless, the
Stones are not Luddites and have gradually warmed to the
promotional and interactive aspects of the Internet.
As part of promotion for the "Voodoo Lounge" tour, Mick and Keith
each participated separately in "online" Q&A sessions, but
these very first ones were more batch than online, with questions
submitted in advance by online service users, then to the band
at once by representatives, after accumulating them.
Things have improved since then. Keith's second online
Q&A session took place live as the Stones were about to take
the stage in Oakland, California in 1994, all four Stones had
individual chats take place on AOL during the "Bridges To
Babylon" tour, and the Stones have often tried to create special
interactive efforts, sometimes (unfortunately) at the
"bleeding edge" of technology.
Early in their 1994 tour, a five-song portion of a Texas
concert was put out 'live on the Internet', and was widely
hyped as the first concert ever treated that way. In reality,
the band "Severe Tire Damage" holds the honor, beating the Stones
to the punch by more than a year, doing a show online in June
of 1993. This was well before the Stones even announced their
1994 tour, let alone any special events connected with it.
Before the US tour ended that December, the Stones made some
of the films used in their first-ever CD-ROM.
In December 1995 Jagger, who had already done online Q&As for
AOL and Prodigy, went live on a CompuServe forum which was
supposed to demonstrate the latest in Internet-ready interactivity
applications (live video, for example). In it, Jagger cited his
lurking on unnamed Internet forums devoted to the Stones as one
source for 1995 set list suggestions. (He could have been referring
to the Usenet news group alt.rock-n-roll.stones, or the list
'Undercover', or traffic from the officially sanctioned chat
areas of commercial online services. No one knows for sure,
but all of these were active at the time.)
An article in the February 1997 issue of "AV Video & Multimedia
Producer" claims that the first official Stones web site (the
now static and occasionally still-available http://www.stones.com)
was put together with a lot of input from the Stones "people" and
that Jagger personally logged in while on the road with the Voodoo
Lounge tour to check on its progress and have final approval.
The third official web site released on the Stones behalf was a great
leap forward. In addition to offering online sales of souvenir
merchandise, timely news updates, concert ticket contests, and
"Bridges To Babylon" tour setlists, the site offered users the
chance to 'vote' for a song from a nominated list they'd like to
hear played at the next B2B show. There was a point about one-third
of the way into almost every B2B show where the top vote-getter was
played by the band. URL: http://www.the-rolling-stones.com
Some of that site's content was incorporated into the 1999 "No
Security" site (http://www.therollingstones.com), which is the
band's current official Web site. An enterprising soul managed to
grab the domain "the-rollingstones.com" for a fan site, but
that is not an official entity.
In November of 1997, it was announced that Mick Jagger had formed
a multimedia company, "Jagged Internetworks", whose sole purpose
seems to be holding the rights to netcasts of cricket matches. The
has a brief note from jagger introducing the site and its purpose.
As for the email question, there are no publicly known
email addresses for the Stones' members, and we suspect that
were some to come to light, they'd quickly be changed and
rendered useless. A number of vendors along the way have
claimed at one time or another to manage email accounts for
band personnel, to the point of publicly announcing addresses.
There was never any reasonable indication that this was
anything but hype, however.
@Q3. What Stones-specific online resources are there?
Lists and newsgroups
The longest-running Stones-related Internet resource is
'Undercover', a true mailing list for Stones discussion,
established in 1992, which is also available in digest form.
Subscription requests should be sent to
the majordomo server at
and they MUST be of one of the
four following forms:
SUBSCRIBE UNDERCOVER [your email addeess]
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There is also a USENET newsgroup (news:alt.rock-n-roll.stones)
dedicated to the Stones, a number of privately run Web chat
areas, and a busy message area on AOL. Except for the brief time
that 'Stonesworld' was associated with the Stones, and ran
a Web message board, there was never any online forum which
enjoyed "official" affiliation with the band.
Here are some other USENET newsgroups which could conceivably
hold some online Rolling Stones content:
The current official WWW site for the Rolling Stones is
The preceding official WWW site for the Rolling Stones was
Their first official World-Wide-Web site was established in
1994 at the beginning of the Voodoo Lounge tour, and is at
http://www.stones.com ; the "/retro" section still houses
live audio and video from the 1994 US tour, photographs
taken by Ron Wood, and selected other goodies, including a
band history authored by Stones expert and former fanzine
publisher Bill German. Mr. German's former official fanzine
("Beggar's Banquet") ceased pulp-publication and
is now on the Web at: http://www.beggarsbanquetonline.com/
Former Stones have sites, too.
Gary Paranzino's site, dedicated to former Stone Mick
Taylor (www.micktaylor.com, nee http://www.paranzino.com/),
hosts exclusive audio, a messaging area, the Sw-5
mailing list, an exhaustively researched career history,
and is just an all around wet dream for Taylor fans.
It is also used for selling Mick Taylor CDs, which is as
official as it gets.
Bill Wyman's "Sticky Fingers" restaurant has a site at
http://www.stickyfingers.co.uk/ with a strong Stones-history
For an up-to-date list of hypertext links guiding you
to currently operating Stones-related Web offerings,
see the page
This is a constantly updated sheet of pointers to others'
Stones' resources: FTP sites, guitar tab archives, and other
Web sites run by individuals, such as John A Artukovich's
"FingerPrint File" (http://www.primenet.com/~united86/)
dedicated to the history of live Rolling Stones recordings,
The home page for the 'Undercover' list
has recently mailed digests, selected Stones' lyrics,
1995 and 1997 tour reviews, databases covering Guest
Appearances by Stones' personnel on others' recordings,
lists of cover versions of Stones' songs, and more.
The Rolling Stones were just one music act with lyrics,
pictures and more archived at what was once 'THE' Internet
music-related FTP site, The University of Wisonsin-Parkside.
We say 'were' because as of 1996, this long-overwhelmed
site stopped offering service.
And in general, it looks like the days of huge archives of
lyrics have passed, due to legal pressures from publishers,
who tend to frown on their property being offered for free.
Other specific types of resources are detailed
in some of the following questions.
@Q4: Where can I get online chords/tablature?
The legal status of guitar tablature has recently come
into question. You can always find the latest updates
on who is still brave enough to carry guitar tab
repositories for your fetching pleasure by using OLGA
(The On-Line Guitar Archive) at http://www.olga.net/
If you have access to USENET news, look at the groups
rec.music.makers.guitar.tablature and the more raucous
and free-wheeling alt.guitar.tab for guitar tablature
and breaking news on availability. People will often
post chords or tablature to popular songs (including
Stones' songs) on these groups.
If you have chords and/or tab for a song, feel free to
post it to those groups. Due to their large size and
limited interest, it is usually not appropriate to
post tabs to a general-interest mailing list such as
Undercover (although it's been done before, that doesn't
mean it's appropriate).
If you are posting Stones tablature on USENET, perhaps
the best solution is to post it to the newsgroups and
just indicate on Undercover that you have done so.
You should be willing to offer to mail it to
anyone who doesn't have news access.
@Q5. Where can I get an online discography?
Part IV of this document has a listing which includes all
Rolling Stones EPs and LPs released in the US and UK, excluding
out-of-print compilations. Original release dates, producer, song
lists, and maybe a biased comment or two, are added.
A section of it lists tracks which cannot be found on CDs as
of the time of this writing. But just about every book and/or
website on the Stones has discographies of varying depth
@Q6. Hey! Why isn't this discography complete?
To assemble a complete discography of the Rolling Stones is indeed a
daunting task. The band has, in its' long recorded history, multiple
versions of the same songs, multiple versions of an album depending on
country of origin, multiple record labels releasing their post-1970
recordings, mono and stereo versions of pre-1970 albums, mono and
stereo and "electronically processed" stereo versions of individual
songs, dozens and dozens of singles, dozens of European compilation
packages, and then, in the eighties, the re-release of three-quarters
of it all on compact disc. (!)
To give you an idea of the volume, take the experience of German
Stones' authority Dieter Hoffman, who put a book out in 1991 on
the topic called the 'White Book'. The work covers all these
issues in excruciating detail, and it required more than 560 pages
to do so.
So, in a nutshell - the field is wide open to do one online,
and do it right, and it could be you who does it, or it could
pop up tomorrow by someone working on just that.
@Q7. Well, where *can* I get a complete one?
Book buyers have a number of choices for references about the
band's recording career: from perfunctory sketches in CD-sized
paperbacks which go for $7, to painstakingly-researched, 500+
page career encyclopediae. The following three books are
ambitious, relatively current, and available without going to
the ends of the Earth.
In November of 1996, Stones authority Felix Aeppli released the
long-awaited followup to his 1985 book 'Heart of Stone'. Entitled
'The Rolling Stones 1962-1995: The Ultimate Guide To Their Career
In Recordings, Performances, Films & Solo Pursuits', the book covers
just what it says. With 2840 individual entries, more than 650
pages, more than 100 illustrations of single sleeves and
record covers, and coverage of film and television, there's not
much more even the insatiable could want to know. The A4-sized
tome (approx. 8.5 x 11") bears an ISBN of 0-907872-26-3 and
a price tag of 65 pounds/$US 125. Currently it is available
exclusively via mail-order. Ordering information can be found
at the following Web sites:
Although it has a mistake or two (out of thousands of opportunities),
Dieter Hoffman's 'Das Weissbuch' (German for the 'The White Book',
ISBN: 3980248940) lists all official releases, vinyl and CD, single and
LP, promos and dance remixes, in Germany, Japan, the UK and US, up
until the Spring of 1991. It is more than 560 pages long and includes
b&w photographs of covers and labels, and a detailed index of all known
recorded selections by the Stones, even those appearing on 'official
unauthorized' recordings (widely called 'bootlegs', see question 8).
Although now officially out of print, it was originally priced, as an
import, at about $US 90.00 for mail order. It has been spotted
sporadically at Tower Records stores for about half that price, as
recently as 1996. According to the fanzine "It's Only Rock and
Roll", copies are still available directly from the publisher
for 99DM + postage. (New Media Verlag
Mozart Str. 10
Winsen and der Luhe
Tel: (+49) 4171 64243
Fax: (+49) 4171 64355)
Published in 1997 at a reasonable price ($US 25 for softcover) is:
"It's Only Rock and Roll: The Ultimate Guide to the Rolling Stones"
James Karnbach/Carol Bernson
Publisher: Facts on File
11 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10001
Treads some of the same area as Aeppli's 1996 book, and supplements
dry historical review with collector/fan-oriented anecdotes, pictures
of desirable rarities, and previously unpublished information exclusive
to this project. Chapters are dedicated to the band's history in
live performances/tours, official recordings, television, and film.
(A book by Steve Appleford which is similar in price, format and
title also answers questions about officially released material, but
should not to be confused with the Karnbach/Bernson book.)
Stones "fanzines" can also be a good ongoing source for the
latest information for collectors and interested parties.
Please see the "fanzine" section in this document under
@Q8. What about CDs? What do I need for a complete set? How do they sound???
Part IV of this document also includes a brief summary on the
state of the Recorded Stones in _the_ format of the eighties
It briefly overviews who issues Stones CDs, what you need for
a complete set of Stones music on legitimate CD (short answer:
you can't do it just yet), and what kind of sound you can expect
for your purchase.
@Q9. Can you at *least* tell me about the solo records????
Fair enough. For our purposes we are not, at this time, including any
appearances by band members on others' recordings, or band members'
efforts at producing or presenting other artists, but restricting
ourselves, in the interest of brevity, to recording projects prominently
featuring the member, his name, or some variation thereof (e.g., the
Charlie Watts Orchestra, Willie and the Poor Boys), and excluding
singles and configurations that do not present previously unavailable
The history of the Stones' solo careers goes something like this:
Although considered the first 'solo' effort by a group member, 'Memo
From Turner', sung by Mick Jagger in the movie 'Performance', released
in 1970, is credited to the 'Rolling Stones' on European compilations.
The soundtrack, which is still in print, says 'Sung by Mick Jagger'.
No one, apparently, was all fired up to collect similar credit for
Mick's vocal from the movie soundtrack for "Ned Kelly": "The
Wild-eyed Colonial Boy", a traditional song sung by Mick's character.
After years of languishing unseen (and largely undemanded) the movie
came out on videocassette in 1993, and a CD rerelease of the soundtrack
appeared on Ryko in 1998.
Next up, in 1972, was a collection of lukewarm 'jams' which took place
several years earlier in the studio while the Stones were 'waiting for
our guitar player to show up'. The effort was called "Jamming With
Edward", and it features the talents of Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Mick
Jagger, and non-Stones Nicky Hopkins and Ry Cooder. It was released on
the Stones' own record label, rereleased on CD in 1995 by Virgin
Records in Europe, and in 1997 in the States.
Bill Wyman released two solo albums on the Stones' record label
in the mid-1970s, contemporaneously with Ron Wood's first solo
work in his long (but still pre-Stones) career. Keith Richards issued
a single in 1978, and ex-Stone Mick Taylor had a CBS album with his name
on it in 1979. Bill Wyman had a certified international hit single
in 1981 ("Si, Si, je suis un Rock Star") and in 1988, Keith's
first solo album was released, making him the last Stone
to release his solo debut album.
The recordings listed below should be fairly straightforward.
Promo-only versions have an asterisk. "LP" does not mean that
the title is available on vinyl. Many of these titles have
been released on CD only. "LP" in this section indicates only
that the release was a full-length album, and not a CD single
or promo disc.
Jagger, Mick "Don't Look Back" sgl (1978)
(billed as a co-lead vocal w/Tosh in some countries)
"State of Shock" sgl (1984)
(billed as a co-lead vocal w/Michael Jackson)
She's the Boss LP (1985)
"Hard Woman" sgl (1985)
(German 7", re-recorded version of the LP track)
"Lucky In Love" (4:51*, 4:45, and 3:57* versions)
"Lucky In Love" (extended, and a 6 min. + dub version)
"Dancing in the Street" (duet w/ David Bowie)
"Ruthless People"/"I'm Ringin'" sgl (1987)
Primitive Cool LP (1987)
"Let's Work"/"Catch as Catch Can" sgl (1987)
(re-recorded for a BBC TV show) song (1993)
Wandering Spirit LP (1993)
"Sweet Thing" 12" single
("Mick's Extended Version", "Mick's Dub",
"Instrumental of Extended Mix", "Extended Remix",
"Stripped Down Version", "Instrumental of
Stripped Down Version") 12" (1993)
"Sweet Thing" CD5
("Mick's Extended Version", "Mick's Dub",
"Extended Remix", "Stripped Down Version",
"Instrumental of Stripped Down Version", "LP Mix")
"Everybody knows About My Good Thing"
"Sweet Thing (Funky Guitar Edit)"
(both selections are found on the "Don't Tear
Me Up" European CD5)
"Wild Eyed Colonial Boy" song (1998)
(Rykodisc rerelease of soundtrack to the
1970 MGM film "Ned Kelly")
Richards, Keith "Run Rudolph Run"/"The Harder They Come"
Talk is Cheap LP (1988)
"Make No Mistake" (single edit) sgl (1988)
"Make No Mistake" (extended edit) 12" (1988)
Live at the Hollywood Palladium LP (1991)
Main Offender LP (1992)
"Eileen" US CD5 (has 4 extra non-LP tracks:
"Gimme Shelter", "Wicked As it Seems", and
"How I Wish", all live, plus "Key to the Highway"
with Johnnie Johnson)
"The Nearness of You" (song) (1996)
(KR's 1980 recording of the old chestnut
is used in the Julian Schnabel film "Basquiat",
but does not appear on soundtrack CD)
Taylor, Mick Mick Taylor LP (1979)
Stranger in This Town (live) LP (1990)
Too Hot for Snakes LP (1991)
(Mick Taylor & Carla Olsen)
Once in a Blue Moon LP
(Gerry Groom, Mick Taylor & Friends)
Coastin' Home LP (1995)
Stone's Throw LP (1999)
"Red House", "Separately" (1999)
(bonus tracks on a ltd. edition of "Stone's Throw")
Watts, Charlie Live at the Fullham Town Hall LP (1986)
(Charlie Watts Orchestra)
From One Charlie to Another
(CD plus book "Ode to a high-flying bird")
A Tribute to Charlie Parker
(Charlie Watts quintet) LP (1992)
Warm and Tender LP (1993)
Long Ago and Far Away LP (1996)
Wood, Ron I've Got My Own Album to Do LP (1974)
(aka "Cancel Everything" on CD)
Now Look LP (1975)
"Sweet Sunshine" (flipside to 'Big Bayou')
Mahoney's Last Stand (w/Ronnie Lane) LP (1976)
Gimme Some Neck LP (1979)
1234 LP (1981)
"It's Not Easy" song (1984)
(on soundtrack to the film "Wild Life", and a 1998
tribute CD of Stones-related covers called "Cover You")
Live At the Ritz (w/ Bo Diddley) LP (1989)
Slide On This LP (1992)
"Josephine ('In Your Face' mix)" (4:32) PromoCD (1992)
"Somebody Else Might ('Slidin' on This' mix)" (3:48)/
"Ain't Rock & Roll (remix)" (3:46) CD5 (1993)
"Seven Days" (appearance on Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary CD
CBS C2K 53230) song (1993)
Slide On Live (Plugged in and Standin') LP (1993)
"Stay With Me" (edit from live LP*) CD5 (1993)
"Somebody Else Might" (5:59 remix)
(both tracks are on US "Stay With Me") CD5 (1993)
"You Really Got a Hold on Me",
"I Don't Know what You've Got" (bonus tracks on
rerelease of 1993's SOL) CD (1998)
"So High", "Interfere" CD (1998)
(from a limited edition 4-track CD included with
copies of his Genesis Publications book "Wood on Canvas")
"Insurance", "Safety Pin Queen", "Anymore for Anymore",
"C&W Number", "My fault" CD (1999)
(five previously unreleased tracks from 1976's
"Mahoney's Last Stand", on a Japanese CD rerelease)
Wyman, Bill Monkey Grip LP (1974)
Stone Alone LP (1975)
Bill Wyman LP (1981)
Green Ice (film soundtrack) LP (1981)
Digital Dreams (video soundtrack) LP (1983)
Willie and the Poor Boys LP (1985)
("superstar" group w/ Charlie Watts,
Andy Fairweather-Low, others)
Stuff (Japan only) LP (1992)
Tear It Up LP (1994)
(Live W&TPB album, recorded 1992 in Sweden;
titled simply "Live" in Japan and UK)
Struttin' Our Stuff* LP (1998)
Anyway the Wind Blows* LP (1999)
(*Artist: "Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings",
another assortment of superstars doing
@Q10. Where can I get bootlegs?
Stones fans are pretty lucky when it comes to bootlegs. There are
hundreds of Stones' bootlegs available, many of them are even
high quality recordings. You can find all sorts of things
bootlegged: demos, rehearsals, outtakes, concerts and interviews.
Unfortunately, bootlegs are sort of illegal.
A legal loophole discovered by 'Swingin' Pig' records in 1986 created
an explosion in the "unauthorized recording" market, although it still
finds challenges in court by the likes of U2, Phil Collins, and others.
Many, (but not all) "unauthorized recordings" are not "bootlegs" but
were legitimate releases throughout much of Europe at the time they were
released. (You may, if you are lucky, find "unauthorized recordings" at
your own local mom-and-pop record store clearly marked *IMPORT*.)
Local authorities in Europe have been increasingly successful
at finding ways to crack down on the manufacturers as the 90s
draws to a close. In the US, 1996 saw a marked increase in raids
on manufacturers and record shows, and shutdowns of long-standing
retail outlets. But advances in computer technology have brought down
the price and expertise hurdle of creating music CDs in one's
living room, and many outlets which used to sell CD bootlegs
are now featuring home-made CD-Rs of the same unauthorized recordings.
With releases no longer tied to manufacturing plants and advance
planning, it's hard to predict with a straight face that this art
form will disappear any time soon. However, it IS still illegal,
Here are the 4 main ways to acquire bootlegs:
First, know your local record stores. Avoid the large chains - they
generally only carry legitimate items. The small, independently run
stores are good places to look, and used record stores are a good bet.
Get a phone book and personally visit all the stores listed. Bigger
cities and college towns usually have more of the stores you need.
Go to your nearest metropolis or campus and comb the stores.
Second, go to record shows and conventions. Even the ones that have
a "no bootleg" policy can be rewarding, as they often don't enforce
the rule very well. Check in area newspapers and with local record
stores for dates and locations. Goldmine magazine prints a national
directory of record show listings, but it may not list all of the
shows in your area.
Third, use mail order places. Record magazines, such as Discoveries,
(or "Record Collector", in the UK) abound with ads offering Stones
merchandise. Of course, there's always an extra risk involved when
dealing with mail-order places, but most that bother to advertise
in major magazines are reputable. If you're unsure of a vendor, start
small (buy one item) and work up to larger purchases. If they are
prompt and straightforward, then feel comfortable sending larger orders.
As a last resort, you can often resolve any dissatisfaction with
a vendor using the power of the purse: many credit card agreements
have "consumer clauses" which allow you to withhold payment
to a vendor if you can show that promised goods were not delivered
in a satisfactory or timely manner.
You can usually find a copy of Discoveries, Goldmine, or
Record Collector in record or book stores, or get in contact
with them directly.
Caveat emptor. Bootlegs are often over-priced and low quality.
Due to the legal gray area in which most bootlegs are sold,
sellers may not have a friendly return policy on them. Some
other vendors who offer bootlegs may refuse to do business
with credit cards to avoid the paper trail that gets left behind.
And one downside of the CD-R "revolution" is the huge supply of
noisy or unusable discs, some of which may play or fail depending
on the unit you try to play them on.
Fourth, trade tapes with friends. This is the cheapest way to build a
respectable collection of bootlegs. Buy a few discs and trade tapes
of them to get tapes of other things you were unable to buy or find.
If you make this economical method your main collection-building
strategy, it is probably worth the effort to pursue titles for
your purchases which are not very common. This will make tapes
of your purchased discs more attractive in trading circles.
@Q11: Which bootlegs are best? Which will have my favorite song?
Part two of this document is occupied with nothing but answering
this question. It is a concise history of the band's performing
career, and it includes remarks on availability of outtakes,
unreleased studio recordings, and live performances.
@Q12. How can I get that Keith sound in the comfort of my own home?
Two approaches, here:
If you want to play like Keith, well you *really* need a Fender
Telecaster ;-). As well, Keith plays in open G tuning, his own 5
string version. Take your low E string OFF the guitar and tune it:
(low to high) GDGBD. You can always tune the low E string to D as well
if you don't want to remove strings. Keith sums up his guitar playing
thusly: "5 strings, 3 fingers, and one asshole."
barre at the 5th fret (that's a C in open G tuning) and slam a few
chords... hammer on an Am7 form in fron of the bar.. that's an F... slam
a few more... repeat progression at the 2nd fret... noodle around on the
open G.... that'll get you through about 70% of all the solo albums and a
great deal of Stones stuff as well. A few tidbits... Keith uses talcum
powder on the neck before he plays...it speeds things up a lot, but if
you are really picky about strings, you will have to be religous about
wiping them when you are finished. And of course, never be so dull as to
actually play chords ON the downbeat... wait about 20 nanoseconds from
all major timing cues...get that one string about 2 clicks out of tune...
it's all in the tension, you know. And remember, no effects boxes and
keep in mind that "it only tightens up"...
@Q13. Wouldn't it be neat if there were a Stones "museum"?
Bill Wyman operates a restaurant called "Sticky Fingers" in the
well-heeled Kensington section of London. The food is much the
same general type of menu as you might find at Hard Rock. Cost
seems OK. The whole place is of course a shrine to a certain
well known band! Bill has decorated it with framed (etc)
posters, magazine covers, guitars, gold discs, etc etc. - even
an especially good blown up cutting on the right of the door
as you go out, headed 'Korner Cancels', referring to the
first real Stones Gig, on 12th July 1962. No trouble finding
things to read and gaze at while you await your meal. Most of the
time Stones music plays. Location: 1 Phillmore Gardens, London.
@Q14. I'm a novice. Can you recommend the best...
First.... a note on the worth of opinions. They are, as the saying
goes, like anal cavities. Everyone has one and they all stink. They
are also free, so remember that you get what you pay for.
Detached, objective judgment of the worth of a particular period of
the Rolling Stones' career is a problem all its own. As Keith
Richards has said, people tend to be fond of what they were hearing
the first time they got laid.
If you are thinking of starting out with live albums or greatest-hits
compilations for an exposure to the Rolling Stones, (or for someone
else's benefit!), consider:
Their early work (the first eight years), originally on DECCA records
(London Records in the USA), is covered by any of the greatest-hits
compilations that are now being released on CD by ABKCO.
"Hot Rocks 1964-1971", the double-CD set, is a near-definitive
collection of the hit singles that established them as legends.
Alternatively, you could pair up the single CDs "High Tide and
Green Grass (Big Hits)" and "Through the Past Darkly (Big
Hits Part 2)" for a collection of equal length with a slightly
different impact. Or, get the 1989 ABKCO 3-CD set called "The
London Years", which is stuffed with just about anything
the band put out as a single in these years. It includes everything
found on the American versions of the two "Big Hits" compilations,
everything from "Hot Rocks 1964-1971" with the exception of three
HR songs, and it has several somewhat rare selections otherwise
unavailable on CD anywhere.
(As of June 1995, the three compilations mentioned in the paragraph
below seem to be off the shelves indefinitely and _superseded_ by the
1993 European compilation "Jump Back". If you can find any of these
three compilations on your store shelves, consider that they may
be gone forever soon. It's mostly no big deal: Two of the three
have material that is available elsewhere. 1981's "Sucking in the
Seventies", however, has several tracks on it which remain
unavailable elsewhere on CD.)
Several compilations cover their post-ABKCO work. "Made in the Shade"
was originally released in 1975, and "Rewind (1971-1984)" in 1984.
Unfortunately, the CD releases of these two albums have an overlap of
four songs. "Rewind" is the better value for your CD money. "Sucking
in the Seventies", from 1981, is of interest largely to collectors.
It has three tracks otherwise unavailable on CD, including a live
song from 1978, and the single/promo edits of 6 other Stones
numbers released after 1975.
A 1993 compilation, entitled "Jump Back", was not released in the
US, but has, on a single CD, everything found on the "Rewind" CD except
for "Hang Fire" and "Heartbreaker"; plus, thrown in for good measure
are "Bitch", "Wild Horses", "Respectable", "Mixed Emotions", and "Rock
and a Hard Place".
The Rolling Stones have released six "live albums" (seven if
you count 1995's "Stripped" which has a limited number of
live performances) and except for 'Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!',
released in 1970, everyone seems to hate something about
all of them.
Moving on to "regular" releases, many people are strongly persuaded that
the Rolling Stones' years with Mick Taylor, and just before, are an
artistic peak that no one before or since has been able to touch. To
acquire that era, you can obtain the albums released from 1968 to 1972.
(In order of release: 'Beggar's Banquet', 'Let It Bleed', 'Get Yer
Ya-Ya's Out' (live), 'Sticky Fingers', and 'Exile on Main Street').
While an investment in the ABKCO compilations provides a fairly complete
overview of the best of the Rolling Stones' first eight years, the band's
first three American releases ('Newest Hit Makers', '12 X 5', and 'Now!')
stand as a powerful documentary of what all the fuss was about.
'Aftermath' is also a favorite among many aficianados.
What one critic has referred to as their 'silver age' occurred in the
late 70's-early eighties, after many had given the band up for dead.
The albums "Some Girls", "Emotional Rescue", and "Tattoo You" (released
from 1978 to 1981) show a veteran outfit churning out top-notch material
which was a critical and commercial success. Common rock criticism to the
contrary, this rejuvenation was NOT just the result of the appearance of
punk rock and the Sex Pistols in the world. After all, the punk
phenomenon didn't seem to do much for Led Zeppelin or the Who.
The Rolling Stones are the focus of several films that have
still not made it to the home video market.
Their film history is somewhat chaotic. Part of the reason you
can't see them all at your leisure may have as much to do
with technical feasibility as court injunctions.
(Any movies that were subsequently released to the home video
market are listed under part d. of this question, "home videos")
'Cocksucker Blues' -
A concert film cum tour documentary, widespread exhibition of
this film has been frustrated by much legal wrangling over the
years. See question #15.
'Ladies & Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones' -
A concert film by which all others surely must be judged. High
excitement prevails in this film of two concert performances from
their 1972 American tour. Originally released in Quadrophonic
sound, the original soundtrack, recorded as it is on film
in an unusual manner, requires considerable labor to screen
properly. That effort is occasionally undertaken, as it was for
a September 1996 screening at Lincoln Center.
The number of published books about the Rolling Stones can (and does)
fill up a separate document all its own: Part three of this FAQ list.
Still, it is probably of some use to have a 'shortlist', some starting
point, so here are the titles of five current books we recommend for
giving you a good start in learning about the history, influence, and
greatness of the Rolling Stones.
Please note that these five are not necessarily the best
books about the Stones, but they ARE the best of what's
'Dance With the Devil'
- Delayed for years due to litigation, this book combines
equal parts tedious personal confession and juicy Stones-tour
gossip. Particularly compelling is the detailed description
of a group rehearsal. An insider's account of the Stones'
entree into the big time.
'Symphony For the Devil'
- Stops in 1983, but the author delivers a respectful and
competent biography. Bookended by anecdotes about their
1981 tour, Norman's analysis of characters in the play
known as the Rolling Stones is deep and thoughtful. Revised
and reissued in 1992.
'Keith Richards - the Biography'
- Little more than a cut-and-paste job of other,
indiscriminately chosen biographies, this book still has the
advantage of recent vintage, and the fact that the author
can turn out seductive and flowing prose. Never a dull moment,
which is actually difficult to say about lesser Stones'-related
'The Rolling Stones Album'
- Biographically, nothing is very deep - only a thumbnail
sketch of the band's history is attempted. Sometimes, though,
this is more refreshing than failed attempts at deep analysis.
Intended as pornography for the Stones-memorabilia fetishist,
this book has great color photographs of records, books,
promotional items, and posters. If a picture paints a thousand
words, this is a million-word chronicle.
Bill Wyman (with Ray Coleman)
- The only book by any band member that was there in the early
years, and at the height of the madness, this can (surprisingly)
get awfully boring. If, as is said, the devil is in the details,
then opportunities abound here, as one of Wyman's techniques is to
provide the full text of letters for rather unseemly work-a-day
tasks. Yet, there is no discussion of the band's musical working
techniques, except as they pertain to, for example, how long they
would spend working on a new song of Wyman's versus one penned by
Jagger and Richards. Great opportunities missed, but others taken,
if you have the interest and patience. NB: only covers up to
Now these five *are* the best: good luck finding them all!
'Stone Alone' - Wyman/Coleman
'Symphony for the Devil' - Phillip Norman
'An Illustrated Record'
- A beautiful, thoroughly researched, large-format book which
presents the Rolling Stones' discography up to 1976. It includes
tour history, side-project information, interviews, unreleased
album covers, and beautiful reproductions of the original DECCA
LP covers. Essential.
'The Rolling Stones - The First Twenty Years'
- Dalton has edited several books on the topic, any and all of
them worthwhile. Another large format book, this collection of
essays, reviews, band history, interviews, photographs, and a
sessionography, remains overwhelming years after you acquire it.
Out of print, and highly recommended.
The abbreviation of "Stones Touring Party", and the name of a
drug, this out-of-print classic is about life on the road
with the World's greatest you-know-what on their most infamous
excursion to the United States, in 1972. (Rereleased in 1997
in paperback, without photographs.)
d. home videos
The Stones are the subject of several releases on home video.
Any title marked with an 'M' has a theatrical release in its
(Note: the designation ("import") means this is a title that
is not generally available in the States except in
'specialty' stores. Since the rest of the world
has a different video standard from the US, these
tapes may have been made through a format-conversion
process, and so may suffer in son et lumiere.)
'Bridges To Babylon Live'
An edit of their December 12, 1997 show in St. Louis. This
home video was initially distributed in the US under an
exclusivity deal with Public Broadcasting, begun in March
of 1998 and lasting for seven months.
M 'The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus' -
Originally conceived as a television show, this 1968 gala
(see question #15 for details) was screened for the world
finally in 1996 at the New York Film Festival before its
release on home video two days later.
'Live Voodoo Lounge'
In November of 1995, a 94-minute home video began appearing
on shelves in the UK. This single VHS tape, released 12/95
in the US, is a 17-song distillation of the November 1994
"pay-per-view" concert from Joe Robbie Stadium
in Miami, Florida. It features one-time collaborations with
guests Robert Cray and Bo Diddley.
'The Rolling Stones '95 Voodoo Lounge in Japan'
A double-disc (or double-VHS-tape) of a March
1995 performance in Tokyo which was originally shown on NHK-TV.
The set list includes "Sweet Virginia", "Slipping Away",
"Rock and a Hard Place", "Live With Me", "Angie", and
"Sympathy for the Devil".
M 'At the Max'
85 minute distillation of the concert film they said couldn't
be brought to home video. Originally filmed in the eye-popping
IMAX format, and exhibited only in planetariums or learning
institutions where your peripheral vision could be properly
occupied, this feature was culled from three concerts in the
1990 European tour. PolyGram released this title on home video
in Europe in November '94 just as the Stones planned to
announce 1995 concert dates on the continent. The video was
released in the US shortly thereafter.
M 'Sympathy for the Devil' (ABKCO re-release)
Re-released for home video in 1994 under the auspicies of
ABKCO, this version of the 1970 Jean-Luc Godard film
'One Plus One/Sympathy for the Devil' opted for the more
'Live Voodoo Lounge'
Highlights of the band's four August 1994 appearances at Giants'
Stadium at the New Jersey Meadowlands. This 90-minute concert
tape is basically the 1994 set at that time less five songs or
so (no 'Love Is Strong', 'Beast of Burden', 'I Go Wild', 'Happy',
or 'Can't Get Next To You', which were getting played regularly
at that point in the tour). This tape was only available at
concerts from souvenir stands, or via mail order directly from
Brockum, the Stones' concert souvenir marketeers. Originally
planned to be out of circulation (along with other 1994
tour souvenir items) in the Spring of 1995.
'The Rolling Stones: Unauthorised Biography'
This program consists mostly of *still* *photographs* floating in
a small portion of the screen over a black background. There is
occasional motion picture footage (a couple uninteresting complete
shots of some airport arrival or departure which would be shown for
only two seconds in a judiciously edited documentary.), and the *only*
music one hears is about 30 seconds of "Around and Around" in front
of that froofy curtain (is this PD stuff YET?). There are a couple
TV news stories (Mick's 1967 bust and the 1976 UK tour), about one
minute of a Wyman interview, and two minutes of of an interview
with Mick Jagger done after his 1992 solo appearance on Saturday
Night Live. (He wouldn't reproduce his comedic imitation of
Keith Richards for the interviewer without the props he had
on the live TV show.)
'25 X 5 (The Continuing Adventures of the Rolling Stones)' -
This two-hour retrospective of the band's entire career, released in
1990, has some ultra-rare and exclusive footage and performances from
the band's own collection. It's narrated by interviews with the band,
so bring your own grain of salt. Highly recommended.
'Mick Jagger & the Rolling Stones'
A 30-minute episode of something called 'Celebrity Showcase'. At
least the outside box is honest: it warns potential customers
that there is no Rolling Stones music on the entire program. Not
'Video Rewind' -
A one-hour feature, this early attempt at making a unique offering
in the then-infantile home music video market is occasionally
successful and funny. It includes rarely seen "official" videos of
records released from 1978 to 1983, two television performances
from "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" in the mid-70's, and a
cut-and-paste version of "Brown Sugar", which uses spliced
footage from several tours. The thread/plot tying this
all together is a long hallucination by Bill Wyman.
M 'Let's Spend the Night Together' -
The home video version of the film of their 1981 US tour, directed
by Hal Ashby. Opinion on this film is widely varying. Some longtime
Stones' enthusiasts are disappointed by the performance, while others
find it an exciting document of a great tour (current author loves
it, but he was 18 when the tour took place!). A video rental costs
you maybe three bucks - so we're not going to sweat making a bad
recommendation. The original VHS release, if you can find it, may
not be in Hi-Fi.
'Rolling On' -
A 60-minute television documentary, assembled in 1982, but consisting
of an annoying 'cheese-rock' soundtrack (no Jagger-Richards tunes),
and some rarely seen footage from the 'Charlie is My Darling' era
(1965). Little to recommend it except when you mute the horrendous
audio tracks, and watch Jagger work a crowd in some rarely-seen
early live footage.
M 'Gimme Shelter' -
This home video of the documentary of the 1969 tour and the disastrous
free concert that closed it ("Altamont") stands as a classic film
separate from any other rock film due to its' too-true human drama
and its portrait of the end of an era. Last refurbished in 1992,
the newest editions of the VHS tape are in Hi-Fi. Aficianados claim
that the audio soundtrack on the last release of this film, in
fine ABKCO tradition, was made from less desirable mono masters.
There have been both R-rated (brief nudity, foul language) and
PG-rated (cleaned up) versions of this film in home-video
circulation. Other snippets of dialogue, such as some decidedly
non-obscene negotiation in the Stones' lawyer's office, have
been removed from some releases for no apparent reason.
'The Stones in the Park' ("import") -
A one-hour Granada TV documentary of the Stones' July 1969 free concert
in London's Hyde Park. The stage debut of new guitarist Mick Taylor, this
show has snippets of some classic performances. Rarely seen, but is
available for rent in select, non-"chain store" shops.
M 'One plus one (Sympathy for the Devil)' -
A pretentious bore by Jean-Luc Goddard, this film has splices of the
Stones building and recording the classic track 'Sympathy For the Devil'
in the studio in 1968. Since seeing the Stones 'behind-the-scenes' at
work is so rare, this is a valuable document. No. No. Yes. No. No. No.
(A 1994 re-release by ABKCO uses the 'Sympathy' title exclusively.)
'Charlie is My Darling' ("import")
A one-hour documentary of their 1965 tour of Ireland. Some stunningly
funny documentary footage of Keith and Mick, drunk, at a piano and
singing. Also, a nice portrait of the frenzy and excitement that
accompanied their early road work, including a truly frightening mob
scene at a show that got out of hand while the band was playing.
Same narrow distribution as the Hyde Park documentary video above.
M 'That was Rock/The TAMI Show' -
The Stones perform five songs in twelve minutes on the "Teenage
Music International" show, filmed in Los Angeles in 1965. Other
guests on the show(s) were Chuck Berry, James Brown, Lesley Gore,
Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, and Ike and Tina Turner. Worth it to
see a young Mick and Diana Ross singing together at the finale.
* Basement News
Basement News Distribution
c/o Guenter Beetz
D-63110 Rodgau 6
Phone & FAX: ++49 (6101) 16210
Cost for 3 issues/year:
Germany: DM 20
Europe: DM 25 (Eurocheque or equivalent cash in national currency)
Overseas: US$ 23 (cash)
Published by Dieter Hoffman, the author of the Schwarzbuch (Black
Book) bootleg bible and Weissbuch (White Book) listing of legit
releases. Provides detailed information on current band activity,
bootleg reviews, and the scuttlebutt on new Stones or Stones related
record or CD releases.
* Beggars Banquet [NOW OUT OF BUSINESS]
P O Box 6152
New York, NY 10128
Monthly - 20 US Dollars/12 issues in the US, 25 US Dollars for overseas
Originally a 'pure' fanzine written by Bill German, this survived
being the semi-official Fan Club Magazine in the Mid-80's. Rather
tame and uncritical, and perhaps too much 'Bill German and the Stones'
(usually Ronnie). Wouldn't be without it.
[Ceased publishing early 1996. A website run by the publisher
at www.beggarsbanquetonline.com is still going, and offers back
issues for sale.]
* Front Row Fan Club
A German-language _monthly_ newsletter which has published
more than 50 issues. Includes live CD reviews.
English-language Home Page is at:
* It's Only Rock'n'Roll
Norway [Tel: (+47) 6679 4297]
English Language, A5-sized magazine, first appeared in 1980.
Published approx. quarterly, four issues are definitely scheduled
for the year 1995. Price: NOK 200 (or, roughly, $US 30.00, or
20 English pounds) for four issues. No personal checks, please.
Visa and MasterCard accepted, which greatly simplifies things.
* Le Club Des Stones
75666 Paris Cedex 14
Actually the name of the French fan club for the Rolling
Stones, they'll issue four A4 magazines per year to you
(in French, natch) for 100F.
PO Box 3723
London SE15 1HW
A5-sized 'zine. Four issues 12 UK Pounds/18 pounds overseas
* Sticky Fingers
Post Office Box 3474
Granada Hills, CA 91344
Published its first issue Jan/Feb 1996. Six issues are
scheduled a year. $3/ea. at newsstands. Features
extensive reviews of live CDs. Not reviewed.
Rates: USA: $US 30 for 1 year
Other: $US 40 for 1 year
* Stones People
c/o Yuji Ikeda
With a slower publishing schedule than most fan magazines,
each issue is nonetheless hefty (~100 pages) and produced
in high quality.
* Stones People Magazine (nee Stones People Europe)
1217 HT Hilversum
Prices (Eurocheque or cash only, please):
NLG 60 (60 Dutch Guilders),
NLG 80 outside of Holland
55 US Dollars for USA (incl. S/H)
15 US Dollars for sample issue (incl. S/H)
Launched in December 1995, the goal is to publish quarterly
issues of 64 pages each. Includes color photography, and all
text is in both Dutch and English. Praised even by the
competition. URL: http://www.stonespeople.com/
* Tumbling Dice
9 Collingwood Close
Kent CT8 8JD
9 UK Pounds in UK, 12 UK Pounds in Europe, 18 UK pounds in rest
Single issue for 1.5 Pounds plus a SASE (A5 sized).
Only been going since early 1991 and still finding its feet. Each
issue much improved on the previous, and distribution problems
slowly disappearing. No band access.
@Q15. What is/who are
a. "Nanker Phelge"?
The credited author of several early compositions ("Stoned", "The
Underassistant West Coast Promotion Man"), "Nanker Phelge" is actually a
pseudonym used for group compositions. "Nanker" was the nick name for
a rather unpleasant facial expression band members used to make,
and "Phelge" the surname of an early roommate of Keith, Mick, and
Brian's whose personal hygiene left something to be desired.
b. "The Glimmer Twins"?
The production team known to the world as "The Glimmer Twins" consists
of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, so dubbed because of a chance encounter
with an elderly woman on vacation, who thought she recognized one of the
Stones, but only had a "glimmer" of the real identity of her find.
c. "Rock and Roll Circus"?
Mere days after the release of 'Beggar's Banquet' in 1968, the band
pulled together a 'circus': a television spectacle consisting of real
circus performers, and some progressive rock acts of the day.
Jethro Tull, The Who and Eric Clapton were in attendance, as were
lions, trapeze artists, and Yoko Ono.
The idea was to produce a unique showcase, but the footage was
eventually shelved, due to what the Stones felt was a sub-standard
performance. It was not shown publicly for 27 years, except for brief
excerpts in home videos (specifically, the Stones' own title
'25 x 5', and the Who's performance of 'A Quick One', which was used
in their own film/career documentary, 'The Kids Are Alright'.).
It was also Brian Jones' last performance with the band.
The two main musical highlights were a 'supergroup' consisting of
Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell (of the
Jimi Hendrix Experience), and a performance of several songs
by the Stones themselves, including 'Route 66' (not filmed),
'Confessin' the Blues' (not filmed), 'Parachute Woman', 'Jumpin'
Jack Flash', 'Sympathy for the Devil', 'No Expectations', 'You
Can't Always Get What You Want', and 'Salt of the Earth'.
The surviving footage (65 minutes' worth), including six of
the Stones' selections, was finally premiered in October 1996
at the New York Film Festival thanks to an agreement between
ABKCO and the Rolling Stones. A CD and home video were released
that month, also.
To cap off their highly successful Fall 1969 tour of the United States,
the band planned a large, free concert in San Francisco similar to a
successful event they had done in London's Hyde Park in July of that
year. Between permit denials, greed, and a last-minute change of
venue, the event devolved from a potentially powerful West Coast
Woodstock to a poorly-planned mess. A bad choice of security
(American biker gang the "Hell's Angels") contributed to a day-long
sideshow of violence and "bad vibes".
By the time the Stones came on in the evening, tempers were short.
The dramatic stabbing of a spectator by one of the Hell's Angels
during the Stones' set was captured on film in the documentary
"Gimme Shelter", available now on home video.
e. "Cocksucker Blues"?
It is the title of both a notorious slow blues song performed by
Jagger which has been frequently bootlegged, and an unrelated film
project by Robert Frank which was a documentary of the Stones' 1972
The song tells the woeful tale of a "lonesome schoolboy" who has come
to the big city (London) but does not know where to find all the
amenities a young man needs. Presented as a single by Jagger to
fulfill a contractual obligation to the then-despised
DECCA records, the label declined to release it. It did appear
very briefly as an 'official' release: as a bonus single
to a German boxed set in 1984. The box was quickly pulled,
and re-released without the offending tune.
The film is rarely seen, as a unique legal settlement has required
that its' director, Robert Frank, accompany each and every showing of
the film. More bark than bite. Drug-fueled orgies and all kinds of
human degradations were rumoured to be captured on film. This was
more a reflection of what people thought went on on a Stones'
tour than what actually happened. Rather tame, it has some tit, some
drunken revelry, some drug use by band members, and some footage of
the greatest rock and roll band in the world in action.
a. How many times have they been arrested?
The band's longtime acquaintance with law enforcement started with an
infamous 'pissing' incident in March of 1965 in which Bill Wyman, who
needed to use the rest facilities at a car fuel stop, was not only
refused admittance to the chamber, but told to promptly vacate the
premises. Mick Jagger and Brian Jones joined Bill in pissing against
a wall, and the Stones' image as 'bad boys' was firmly established. In
a remarkable show of solidarity and opportunism, which was not to
be repeated, all five band members showed up at court, several
Unfortunately, being pop-stars in the "swingin' sixties", they were
easy targets for aggressive narcotics enforcement officers. Human
nature and law enforcement being what they are, these officers
descended on the weakest and most vulnerable of the lot, Brian Jones,
with some regularity and viciousness, although by the end of the
Seventies, Mick and Keith also found themselves "busted" several
times, culminating in the most serious case, Keith's 1977 arrest for
heroin possession in Canada, which threatened the continued existence
of the band.
The Eighties, the decade of the "War on Drugs", produced its own
comical efforts at putting Stones Behind Bars, but these were so
poorly executed, they failed almost upon impact. Ron Wood, several
years younger than everyone else in the band, got his own taste in
1980. Although charges were dropped, Mr. Wood was said to have problems
with unspecified drugs in the early eighties, and also to have taken
care of them with a "Betty Ford"-type cure while the Stones were
languishing unused mid-decade. In 1994, Charlie Watts admitted
to a mid-80s episodic problem with abuse of speed and alcohol, and a
flirtation with heroin. He claims to have cleaned himself up
towards the end of 1986.
1965 - "Pissing" incident at a gas/petrol station. Five-pound fines
for Mick, Brian, and Bill are appealed.
1967 - The "Redlands" bust - allegations of carpeted girls and Mars bars.
Keith's conviction on "allowing his premises" overturned on
appeal; Mick's pep-pill possession successfully appealed - Court
found that he had been more severely sentenced than an "anonymous
1967 - Brian busted same day as the "Redlands" case court appearance.
1968 - Brian busted for cannabis. Found guilty and fined.
1969 - Hashish possession: Mick and Marianne Faithfull; Marianne
acquitted, Mick is fined.
1972 - Jagger and Richards held on assault of a photographer; delay means
the evening's show in Boston starts after midnight.
1972 - Keith's French pied-a-terre is raided; Coke, Hashish, heroin found.
1973 - Keith present when his British residence is raided. Drugs and guns.
1975 - Keith gets in trouble for carrying a knife in Fordyce, Arkansas
1977 - Keith fined 750 pounds + costs for coke possession.
1977 - Keith arrested for heroin possession in Canada. Eventually
"sentenced" to play a free concert and take his cure in New Jersey.
1980 - Ron and Jo Howard hang out with the wrong crowd in St. Maarten,
and spend several days in jail for possession of cocaine.
1987 - Jerry Hall gets into some trouble in Barbados when the local
customs people decide a 20-lb. package of marijuana is hers.
The "Kangaroo Customs" officers screw their own case, and Jerry
is found 'not guilty'.
b. How many times have they been married?
Both Charlie Watts and Keith Richards are on their first marriages.
Charlie married in 1964, Keith 19 years later. Brian Jones was never
married. Mick Jagger had his 9-year marriage (to model Jerry Hall),
which he never admitted existed, annulled in 1999. Ron Wood is on his
second marriage. Ex-Stone Bill Wyman was the only member
already married when he joined the group, and he entered his third
legal marriage shortly after leaving the group in 1993.
c. Will the band break up?
At some point, we believe.
d. Are they going to tour again?
As of this revision of the FAQ, the Stones' concert
concern has just wound down what amounts to a two-year
tour - on the road from September 1997 through June
1999 with some brief layoffs. Rumours always swirl,
but it's a safe bet that any new tour, if it happens,
is not going to happen for a while.
e. Is this the last time, really?
They were first asked this in 1966.
f. How old ARE they?
Birthdays are as follows:
Jagger July 26, 1943
Brian Jones Feb. 28, 1942 (dismissed June 8, 1969; died July 3, 1969)
Richards Dec. 18, 1943
Stewart July 18, 1938 (died December 12, 1985)
Taylor Jan. 17, 1949 (quit 12/1974; usual 1948 b.date wrong)
Watts Jun. 02, 1941
Wood Jun. 01, 1947
Wyman Oct. 24, 1936 (quit 1993)
@Q17. What gives with:
a. that tongue logo all over the place
When the band formed "Rolling Stones Records" in 1971, their label
design was basic yellow, with a small red, white, and black
"tongue-and-lip design", as the copyright notices now say, on the
left side. The "tongue-and-lip", and countless variations, have
since appeared on all kinds of official (and unofficial) Stones
memorabilia and products. In a 1971 interview in _Rolling Stone_
magazine, Keith Richards claimed that the inspiration was the
Indian goddess Khali, and he went on to say that we could expect
many variations on the theme.
The credit for the original design has been mistakenly given to
several people over the years. The most frequent misattribution
is the claim that it is a creation of Andy Warhol's. Even a
researcher as thorogh as Philip Norman has mistakenly
repeated this legend. Warhol designed two Stones' album covers,
including the first LP released on "Rolling Stones Records", but
he did not supply the tongue. Mr. Norman claims elsewhere
that the earliest inspiration was a set designed by
Kenneth MacMillan for the Royal Ballet's 'Paradise Lost'.
As recently as March 1995, Billboard magazine printed a blurb
which incorrectly hinted that the 1971 design which would go on to
remain imprinted on thousands' of Stones' fans' minds came
from one Ruby Mazur. Billboard finally saw their mistake
and identified Mazur as the designer of the first officially
used variation on the tongue: the Rolling Stones Records
open-hole 7" single sleeve. First used in 1972 and last used
9 years later, the sleeve design has one eye, and uses the
middle record-label open hole as "the mouth" of an ill-defined face.
The design for the sleeve is memorable because the record-label
hole is not perfectly round, as is standard industry practice,
but a contour of the Mazur-designed open mouth.
On April 8, 1995, Billboard definitely attributed the original
classic design to John Pasch. In a 1997 interview done for a
television infomercial pitch selling authorized Stones-related
merchandise, Mick Jagger cited John Pasch.
Very simple really...........
Woody says Keith is afraid of cheese in Rolling Stone
magazine, October 1994...
Undercover readers analyze the meaning of this for approximately six
weeks, digressing into the interelationship between cheese and heroin
addiction and constipation. A syndrome of tight pants wearers dubbed
(by a doctor) as "Mick Jagger's Revenge" joins the story. Exact
relevance, if any , unclear......
A newswire story about 18 people being injured in a Cheltenham, England
cheese-rolling festival and the fact that Brian Jones grew up there leads
to speculation that Brian Jones rolled cheese down a hill every year as a
child in Cheltenham and then grew up to be a Rolling Stone. Speculation of
cheese involvement in Brian's death in 1969 discussed now and then.........
A Toronto caterer to the Stones commented that Keith lingers round the
cheese tray and eats a lot for a skinny guy......
Keith tells Q magazine that he isn't allergic to cheese, but he might
as well be.....
Cheese influence on Stones lyrics analyzed (i.e. "don't wanna walk or
talk about cheeses, just want to see Keith's face)......
Steve Portigal gives cheese names to unsubscribers who send their
unsubscribe request to the readers, rather than to the admin address
as instructed at the end of each digest.
Mick Jagger, suspected of being an incognito reader of Undercover,
begins talking about cheese during concert song interludes,
introducing keyboard player Chuck Leavell at the Halloween show
in Oakland, 1994 with the phrase "I talk to the cheese". (editors'
note: current scholarship claims that what is said here
is "I talk to the trees.")
And why does this interest us?
To each his own answer...or as Bob Dylan used to say.."the ants
are my friends, they're blowin in the wind, the ants are just
blowin in the wind"
[special thanks to Dan Ream with his help on question 17.]
@Q18. Myths & legends:
a. Did Keith really get his blood changed?
It was a widely circulated rumour that to cure himself of an addiction
to heroin, Keith Richards flew to the Swiss chalet of an exclusive
physician who had a method for replacing all of a patient's nasty
addicted blood with good clean blood.
Great gossip. Bad science.
While it has been claimed in print by at least one biographer, this
author was also Keith's dealer for several years. It is widely
considered to be little more than another colorful urban legend.
b. Do they worship satan?
Among the phenomena that have become known to us since the formation
of the Rolling Stones are: CDs, wireless amps, home video, and
Serious Rock Criticism. Early Serious Rock Critics, trying in vain
to capture in prose the mystique, wonder, beauty, arrogance, and power
of the Rolling Stones, would often resort to demonic imagery. It did
not help matters that the band released songs like "Sympathy for the
Devil", or that Jagger performed in a swirling cape bathed in red
light. Blame this one on the old "four blind men describing an
Professional demonist and man-about-town Kenneth Anger once asserted
that Anita Pallenberg (Keith's paramour in the Stones' supposed
'demonic' period) was a 'witch'. But that's Kenneth Anger.
c. Is Paul dead?
He is rumoured to have shown up at a Rolling Stones concert in
New York City in 1978 to catch the festivities. Other than that,
no one seems to care.