Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dead at 80

August 24, 2021

by Carla Hay

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ drummer who was one of the band’s original members, died at the age of 80 in his native London on August 24, 2021. His cause of death has not yet been disclosed. However, the Associated Press has reported that Watts’ publicist Bernard Doherty released a statement saying that Watts “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family … Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of the Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”

The Rolling Stones formed in 1962. In 1963, Watts was the last member to join the band’s lineup that would go on to sign a record contract and become one of the most influential rock bands of all time. The Rolling Stones had some lineup changes over the decades, but only Watts, Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards remained constant members of the band during their phenomenal success.

Born in London on June 2, 1941, Watts was the son of a truck driver and a homemaker. He knew from an early age that he wanted to become a drummer. One of the first professional bands that he joined was Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. Korner was the person who recommended to Watts that he join the Rolling Stones.

Watts differed from the rest of the Rolling Stones because of his low-key lifestyle when he wasn’t on tour. When he wasn’t working with the Rolling Stones, he indulged in his passions for playing jazz and collecting cars. Unlike other members of the Stones who went through divorces and other tabloid headlines about their personal lives, Watts remained a stable family man who was only married once and kept his personal life very private. He and his wife Seraphina had been married since 1964.

Although he was not known as a flashy drummer, Watts was one of the most beloved drummers in music because of his no-nonsense and elegant yet down-to-earth style, on and off stage. While his band mates often wore “rock star” clothing during Rolling Stones concerts, Watts would often be dressed in a suit. He was known for his dry wit and distaste for living an attention-hungry and pretentious celebrity lifestyle.

On August 4, 2021, the Rolling Stones announced that Watts would not be going on the band’s rescheduled No Filter tour of the United States, due to an undisclosed health issue. Steve Jordan, a drummer who has been a musical collaborator for Richards’ solo music, was announced as the substitute drummer for the tour, which had been set to launch in St. Louis on September 26, 2021. The tour was postponed in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watts’ last public statement was about bowing out of the tour: “For once, my timing has been a little off. I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while.”

In 2004, it was announced that Watts had throat cancer, which at the time he was able to beat back into remission. In the mid-1980s he was addicted to heroin, but he was able to overcome the addiction by the end of the 1980s. He didn’t go public about his recovery from heroin addiction until several years later.

Jagger and RIchards have said in many interviews over the years that Watts is the backbone of the Rolling Stones. He is simply irreplaceable.

Watts is survived by his wife Shirley, sister Linda, daughter Seraphina and granddaughter Charlotte.

Review: ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ (2020), starring Ronnie Wood

September 18, 2020

by Carla Hay

Ronnie Wood in “Somebody Up There Likes Me” (Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment)

“Somebody Up There Likes Me” (2020)

Directed by Mike Figgis

Culture Representation: This documentary about Rolling Stones lead guitarist Ronnie Wood features Wood and an all-white group of people (mostly British) who talk about Wood, his artistic accomplishments and his personal life.

Culture Clash: Wood is candid about problems he’s had in his life, including his drug addiction and alcoholism.

Culture Audience: Besides the obvious target audience of Rolling Stones fans, “Somebody Up There Likes Me” will appeal to people who like survivor stories of people from the classic rock era.

Ronnie Wood in “Somebody Up There Likes Me” (Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment)

Considering the copious amount of books, news reports, feature articles and documentaries about the Rolling Stones, there really isn’t a whole lot that can be revealed about the band that hasn’t already been covered. The authorized documentary “Somebody Up There Likes Me” (directed by Mike Figgis) takes an engaging but not particularly insightful look into the life of Rolling Stones lead guitarist Ronnie Wood, who’s been in the band since the mid-1970s.

Wood has two memoirs (2008’s “Ronnie” and 2017’s “Ronnie Wood: Artist”) and an ex-wife (Jo Wood) who wrote her own 2013 memoir about their relationship, so the documentary is more of a snapshot of his life, rather than an in-depth portrait. Speaking of portraits, about half of the documentary is about Ronnie as a painter/illustrator. There’s a lot of screen time devoted to showing him doing hand-drawn portraits and talking about art and paintbrushes with fellow artist Damien Hirst, one of Ronnie’s closest friends. (Ronnie’s current and third wife Sally is one of his portrait subjects.)

This isn’t a biographical documentary that takes the conventional format of telling a life story in chronological order, from birth to when the documentary was filmed. Most of the footage involves just following Ronnie around and showing what he happened to be doing at the time. The “talking head” interviews are also selective: only a handful of people in Ronnie’s inner circle, including his wife Sally, friend Hirst, Rod Stewart (who used to be in the Jeff Beck Group and in the Faces with Ronnie), Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, Rolling Stones rhythm guitarist Keith Richards and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

There also isn’t a lot of digging into Ronnie’s pre-fame life. However, Ronnie (who was born in 1947 in London) does mention his dysfunctional upbringing in his family of musicians. He describes his father Arthur and two older brothers Art and Ted as alcoholics. (All of them were jazz and blues musicians.) Art and Ted were also painter artists, and Ronnie has said in many interviews how much his older brothers influenced him.

Ronnie remembers that when he was a child, his family wouldn’t know which garden his father Arthur would be passed out in if they couldn’t find him. This chronic alcoholic behavior worried his mother. Ronnie says that Arthur never abused the kids, but his frequent absences did have a negative effect on the family. “He would be damaging by not being there.” Ronnie comments.

Considering that addiction can be inherited, it’s little wonder that Ronnie became a hardcore drug addict and alcoholic too. He’s already been candid about it many interviews and in his memoirs. His decadent past has also been extensively covered in the media. Therefore, the documentary isn’t interested in having Ronnie tell all the wild and crazy stories about himself that he already told years ago.

Ronnie got clean and sober in 2010, after Hirst and Ronnie’s son Jesse (who are also recovering alcoholics/addicts) did an intervention on Ronnie. But one addiction that Ronnie had a hard time quitting after that was nicotine. Ronnie had no choice to quit smoking after he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017. Luckily, the cancer was caught early enough where he could have surgery to correct the problem.

Ronnie says in the documentary that he used to smoke about 25 to 30 cigarettes a day. Now, when he goes for a medical checkup, the doctor tells him that he has lungs that look so healthy, it looks like he never smoked. “How’s that for a ‘get out of jail free’ card?” Ronnie quips. “Somebody up there likes me.”

If people are looking for a lot of Rolling Stones concert footage in this documentary, they won’t find it, probably because of licensing issues. There’s a brief clip of the Rolling Stones performing “When the Whip Comes Down” in 2018. But most of the on-stage footage is of Ronnie as a solo artist or archival footage of Ronnie in bands that he was in before he joined the Rolling Stones.

Therefore, when watching this documentary, expect to see quite a bit of Ronnie Wood and Friends, a bluesy rock group consisting of Ronnie and rotating group of singers and musicians. There’s footage of the group performing “Wee Hours” with Irish singer Imelda May, who’s interviewed in the film.

“Somebody Up There Likes Me” director Figgis appears in the film as an interviewer, which is a documentarian technique that mostly works for this film. During the times it doesn’t work, Figgis comes across as too chummy or star-struck, as if there was an off-camera agreement that he wasn’t going to ask questions that are too probing.

And, for the most part, the questions are fairly lightweight. But Ronnie has such a charismatic personality that he gives answers that tell more than the question asks. He comes across as someone who’s lived a pretty crazy life and has come to terms with a lot of his mistakes.

In one scene, when Ronnie gets a tarot card that reads “Fatal Impudence,” Figgis asks if those words could apply to Ronnie’s life. Ronnie replies, “I’m like Yogi Berra. You come to a fork in the road, take it.”

And when Figgis asks what’s the biggest “fork in the road” for Ronnie, Ronnie says, “It has been my love life. I’ve totally gone for risk.” Figgis asks, “Has that gotten you into a lot of trouble?” Ronnie quips, “It’s gotten me into a lot of pleasure.”

The tabloids have covered the numerous affairs and womanizing in his life before Ronnie married Sally, so the documentary doesn’t rehash all of that. However, it wasn’t all fun and games, since Ronnie admits a lot of people got emotionally hurt along the way. And he also opens up a little bit about the trauma he experienced when he says his “first love” (a girlfriend named Stephanie) tragically died in a car accident.

Ronnie also talks about the importance of apologizing to people he offended, which is a common requirement for people who’ve been in rehab. “You want the situation to resolve without any disastrous consequences,” he adds.

He also admits that he’s got issues with getting older. “I never got past 29 in my head. To be 70 is so weird. It’s so surreal. I didn’t get time would go so quickly. You almost feel cheated that time has gone by.”

In a very “Behind the Music” documentary formula of the rise, fall and redemption of rock stars, Ronnie’s marriage to his wife Sally (whom he married in 2012) is credited with helping him be an upstanding, clean and sober family man. Ronnie and Sally welcomed twin daughters Alice and Gracie in 2016. He has four other kids from his previous two marriages. Sally comments in the documentary: “Ronnie’s a happy person. He’s better sober.”

As for Ronnie’s former and current band mates, Stewart mostly remembers the first gig that the Jeff Beck Group played at the Fillmore East, the band was the opening act for the Grateful Dead. “We wiped the stage with them,” Stewart boasts. He has not-so-fond memories of Peter Grant, who was the Jeff Beck Group’s manager at the time. According to Stewart, Grant was a “bully” who preferred Beck over the other members of the band.

The archival performance footage in the documentary include the Birds (one of Ronnie’s early bands) performing “That’s All I Need You For” in 1964; the Jeff Beck Group performing “Plynth (Water Down the Drain)” in 1967; and the Faces performing “Stay With Me” in 1974. There’s also new documentary footage of Ronnie doing an acoustic performance of the Faces’ 1973 hit “Ooh La La.”

Ronnie shares his often-told story of seeing the Rolling Stones for the first time in 1963, and the band’s performance was inside a tent. Ronnie says that experience changed his life, and he knew from that moment he wanted to be in the Rolling Stones. It took 12 years for that to happen, when Ronnie was asked to be the lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones during their 1975 tour, after lead guitarist Mick Taylor abruptly quit the Rolling Stones.

Ronnie was described at the time as being “on loan from the Faces” during that 1975 tour, but the writing was on the wall, since the Faces were on the verge of breaking up that year anyway. Ronnie officially became a member of the Rolling Stones in 1976, but it wasn’t 1990 that he was became a full business partner in the band. The documentary doesn’t mention all of the behind-the-scenes legal wrangling that Ronnie went through to get to becoming a full band partner in the Rolling Stones. He talks about it in his memoir “Ronnie.”

Jagger says of Ronnie joining the Rolling Stones: “We really wanted Ronnie. He fit in very quickly.” The gig was so coveted that Rolling Stones drummer Watts says that Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page even auditioned to be in the Stones, even though Led Zeppelin was the biggest band rival to the Rolling Stones at that time.

Richards, who is the Rolling Stones band mate who’s closest to Ronnie, says in the documentary about Ronnie joining the band: “It was pre-destined, in a way.” And he describes their longtime friendship: “We’ve always had a friendly rivalry … The thing is with Ronnie, you’re such good mates, you can call each other any name under the sun, and it doesn’t matter.”

Jagger says the Rolling Stones benefited from Ronnie’s impish sense of humor on stage too: “These arena shows became slightly more humorous because of Ronnie’s personality. Ronnie brought a sense of fun to it.”

But there were dark periods for Ronnie too, particularly his longtime drug addiction (mostly to cocaine) and alcoholism. Through the ups and downs, rehab stints and relapses, “Mick never gave up on him,” says Watts. And when your best friend in the band is Richards (another notorious drug addict/alcoholic, who’s only admitted to quitting heroin), it’s no wonder that it took to so long for Ronnie to get clean and sober.

Avid fans of the Rolling Stones won’t learn anything new from watching this documentary. However, people who aren’t familiar with Ronnie might be surprised at how multifaceted he is outside of the Rolling Stones. “Somebody Up There Likes Me” goes out of its way to show the process of Ronnie creating some of his artwork, because it’s clear that he wants to be known as more than just a musician. This documentary doesn’t go deep into Ronnie’s psyche, but it scratches just enough beneath his public image for people to have a better understanding of who he is.

Eagle Rock Entertainment released “Somebody Up There Likes Me” in select U.S. virtual cinemas on September 18, 2020. The movie’s release on digital, Blu-ray and DVD is on October 9, 2020. “Somebody Up There Likes Me” was released in the United Kingdom in 2019.

Review: ‘Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont’

January 7, 2020

by Carla Hay

(Image courtesy of Vision Films)

“Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont”

Directed by Tom O’Dell

Culture Representation: A documentary about the disastrous and tragic Altamont concert headlined by the Rolling Stones in 1969, “Days of Rage” focuses on the era’s youthful counterculture movement and the business of rock music, as represented by white men who are British and American.

Culture Clash: In addition to showing a history of the 1960s counterculture and Generation Gap, the movie also examines how violence affected the factions of pop culture that were involved in the Altamont concert.

Culture Audience: “Days of Rage” will appeal primarily to Rolling Stones fans and people interested in learning more about how the Altamont concert became a notorious example of the dark side of the 1960s counterculture movement.

Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger (pictured at far left) on stage at the 1969 Altamont concert, in a photo still from “Days: of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont” (Photo courtesy of Vision Films)

The first thing you should know about the absorbing documentary “Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont” is that the Rolling Stones are not interviewed for this film. The second thing you should know is that the movie is not a rehash of “Gimme Shelter,” the 1970 documentary from director brothers Albert and David Maysles that chronicled the Rolling Stones’ ill-fated free Altamont concert in the San Francisco area on December 6, 1969. Even without the Rolling Stones’ participation, “Days of Rage” is a riveting historical account that explores much more than the Rolling Stones’ performance at Altamont concert. The movie takes an overall look at the circumstances and culture that led up to this tragic and violent event, during which an African American man named Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death in the audience by Hell’s Angels gang members while the Rolling Stones were performing “Sympathy for the Devil.” (The band didn’t perform the song for years after the tragedy happened.)

People who are interested in this documentary, which clocks in at a little over 100 minutes, should also know that the descriptions of the Altamont concert don’t come until the last third of the movie. The first two-thirds of the movie are a deep dive into how rock music and youth culture influenced each other in the 1960s, and led to the rise of the era’s counterculture movement. The 1960s counterculture was defined by rebellion against traditional establishment customs, and it included Vietnam War protests, liberal/left-wing politics, sexual liberation and rampant drug use, with marijuana and LSD being popular drugs of choice. Even though Altamont and the Rolling Stones are used as a hook in the title to sell this documentary, the movie is really about issues much larger than a rock band and a concert. The background information on how the 1960s counterculture happened might not be very revealing to aficionados who already know about the counterculture movement, but the documentary is a compelling visual journey into this part of history, regardless of how much knowledge people have about it.

Fortunately, director Tom O’Dell, who also wrote and edited “Days of Rage,” has constructed the story in such a fascinating way that viewers shouldn’t mind how long it takes for the film to get to the details of Altamont, since the preceding content provides much-needed context to explain how the Rolling Stones ended up in the most tragic moment of the band’s history. Unlike many unauthorized films about famous entertainers that are released direct to video, this isn’t a shoddy, “fly by night” money grab that interviews people with questionable credibility who have no connection to the artist. Two of the key people who were in the Rolling Stones’ inner circle in 1969 and who were at Altamont are interviewed for “Days of Rage”: former Rolling Stones tour manager Sam Cutler and Ronnie Schneider, who was a producer of the Rolling Stones’ 1969 tour.

The quality of “Days of Rage” is on par with a news documentary on CNN or BBC. Much of the Rolling Stones archival video footage in the documentary is from ABKCO, the company that owns the rights to most of the band’s 1960s recordings and official video archives. There are also clips from Rolling Stones documentaries, such as “Gimme Shelter,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Stones in the Park.” Given that “Days of Rage” is a low-budget independent film, the filmmakers wouldn’t have been able to afford the rights to license original recordings of Rolling Stones songs for use in the documentary, so generic facsimile music is used as the soundtrack instead, except for one snippet of the original recording of the Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man.”

The documentary also includes the expected representation of authors and journalists (a mix of Brits and Americans) who provide commentary. They include “The Rolling Stones Discover America” author Michael Lydon, who attended the Altamont concert as a journalist; Rolling Stone magazine contributor Anthony DeCurtis; journalist Nigel Williamson, who’s known for his work for Uncut and Billboard magazines; “Altamont” author Joel Selvin, who was the San  Francisco Chronicle’s pop-music critic from 1972 to 2009; Grateful Dead historian Peter Richardson; “Rolling Stones: Off the Record” author Mark Paytress; photographer Gered Mankowitz, who took some of the most iconic photos of the Rolling Stones in the 1960s; “1968 in America” author Joel Kaiser; and Keith Altham, who was a writer/editor at NME from 1964 to 1967, and who later became an entertainment publicist whose clients included the Rolling Stones. All of these talking heads provide articulate and insightful viewpoints. The documentary also benefits from the appealing British narration of Thomas Arnold.

The first third of the movie delves into the 1960s British Invasion (rock/pop acts from Great Britain taking over the American charts), the influential London youth culture, the Generation Gap and the Rolling Stones’ image as the rebellious antithesis to the more family-friendly Beatles. It was an image that was carefully crafted by Andrew Loog Oldham, a former publicist who was the Rolling Stones’ manager/producer from 1964 to 1967, when he was ousted in favor of American manager Allen Klein, whose background was in accounting. It was Klein who was a key player in the Rolling Stones getting lucrative record deals and becoming a top touring act, but he is described in most historical accounts of the Stones as a greedy bully who was involved in legal battles with the Stones for years after they fired him in 1969. (Klein, who died in 2009, founded the aforementioned ABKCO.)

The second third of the movie covers the rise of the counterculture in the mid-to-late 1960s, particularly in San Francisco, the home base of the Grateful Dead, which used Hell’s Angels gang members as peaceful security employees during the band’s concerts. (The Hell’s Angels were far from peaceful at Altamont.) All of these changes in society took place during the rise of LSD gurus Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary; California’s influential 1967 mass gatherings the Human Be-In (in San Francisco) and the Monterey Pop Festival; increasingly violent political protests; and the 1968 assassinations of civil-rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

During this era, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (who had almost parallel careers in the 1960s) were part of the soundtracks to millions of people’s lives. The documentary notes the contrast between the two bands in the pivotal year of 1967: While the Beatles triumphed with the universally praised, artful masterpiece album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and with anthems such as “All You Need Is Love,” the Rolling Stones stumbled with the critically panned album “Their Satanic Majesties Request” and the sardonic “We Love You” single, which failed to resonate with audiences on a wide level. The Rolling Stones were further sidelined in 1967 by legal problems for lead singer Mick Jagger, rhythm guitarist Keith Richards (the two chief songwriters of the Rolling Stones) and lead guitarist Brian Jones, who all got busted for drugs, resulting in jail time and scandalous trials.

But with civil unrest happening in many parts of the world, the Stones returned with a vengeance to the top of their game, marking the beginning of what many music historians and Stones fans consider to be the band’s best and most creative period in the late 1960s to early 1970s. The zenith of the Rolling Stones began in 1968 with the release of the single “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and the “Beggars Banquet” album, which included other Stones classics such as “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Street Fighting Man.” By 1969, the Stones were ready to tour again, this time with new guitarist Mick Taylor, the replacement for Rolling Stones co-founder Jones, who died by drowning on June 3, 1969, less than a month after he left the band. It was the first major lineup change to the Rolling Stones since the band began making records in 1963. The lineup was rounded out by drummer Charlie Watts and bass player Bill Wyman.

The Rolling Stones’ first concert with Taylor was a massive free show (with an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 people in attendance) at London’s Hyde Park on July 5, 1969, with the concert’s focus changing into a tribute to Jones because of his unexpected death. Even though the Hyde Park show was generally considered one of the worst concerts the Rolling Stones ever performed (their playing was out-of-tune and ragged), the show was a peaceful event with security provided by the British Hell’s Angels. The Hyde Park concert planted the seed for the idea of the Rolling Stones headlining a similar gigantic free concert in America, especially after the Woodstock Festival in August of 1969 became a cultural phenomenon. The Rolling Stones did not perform at Woodstock or the Monterey Pop Festival, and the documentary mentions that Jagger was particularly keen on performing at a huge counterculture event in America.

And when the Grateful Dead’s co-manager Rock Scully suggested that the Rolling Stones headline a free, one-day, Woodstock-inspired festival in San Francisco, with security provided by the Hell’s Angels, plans were set in motion for the concert that would become Altamont. In addition to the Rolling Stones, other bands on the bill were the Grateful Dead, Santana, Jefferson Airplane and the quartet Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. All four of these California-based acts except for CSN&Y member Neil Young had performed at Woodstock. The Rolling Stones’ “Let It Bleed” album (which included the classic single “Gimme Shelter”) was scheduled to be released just one day before the Altamont concert, which was essentially supposed to be a high-profile launching pad for the album.

The documentary points out that the British Hell’s Angels who provided security at the Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park concert were pussycats compared to their violent counterparts in America. Selvin further notes that the San Francisco chapter of the Hell’s Angels that the Grateful Dead worked with were much more benevolent than the “thugs” of the San Jose chapter of the Hell’s Angels who ended up committing the majority of the mayhem at the Altamont concert. The festival was so mismanaged that it never would have happened by today’s standards, due to all the present-day safety/insurance requirements and liability prevention policies that most U.S. cities, concert venues and promoters have. Plans to have the concert at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco were scrapped after the city refused a permit because the park wasn’t large enough for the expected audience size. The concert location was then changed to Sears Point Raceway in suburban Sonoma, but two days before the show, that concert site was cancelled after the Sears Point Raceway owners demanded exorbitant fees that the concert promoters weren’t willing to pay.

Out of sheer desperation, the concert was moved to the Altamont Speedway in suburban Livermore. The site, which was in a state of disrepair, was woefully ill-equipped to handle the crowd of an estimated 300,000 people who showed up. There were major problems with inadequate space, sanitation, food and medical facilities. Making matters worse, the stage was dangerously close to the crowd. At the Sears Point Raceway, the stage had been safely located at the top of a steep incline, so it was inaccessible to the audience. At the Altamont Speedway, the opposite was true—the stage had to be built at the bottom of an incline—so it was very easy for audience members to slide down the incline and reach the bottom of the landfill pit where the stage was located. Attempts to put barricades around the incline proved to be ineffective.

Even with these production problems and the large quantities of illegal drugs taken by the audience, people interviewed in the documentary say that the concert would have been relatively peaceful if there hadn’t been a bad group of Hell’s Angels inflicting an excessive and disturbing amount of violence on innocent people. The documentary has a harrowing account of the inescapable sounds of people being beaten with pipes and other weapons by the gang members. And a few band members weren’t spared from the violence either. Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin was beaten when he tried to stop a Hell’s Angels assault. Jagger, upon arriving at the concert site, was punched in the face by a drugged-out audience member. Band members pleaded several times on stage for the violence to stop, but those pleas were essentially ignored, and it wasn’t unusual for a Hell’s Angel member to get up on stage and threaten the performers.

The Grateful Dead got so freaked out by the violence that they refused to perform and immediately left the area. Schneider, a nephew of former Rolling Stones manager Klein, was one of the chief people responsible for promoting the concert, and he partially blames the Grateful Dead for the escalating Altamont violence, because the band abandoned the show. Schneider believes that if the Grateful Dead had played, the band’s laid-back jamming would have mellowed out the audience. Instead, there was nothing to fill the long time gap left by the abrupt departure of the Grateful Dead, and the audience had to wait for hours before the Stones arrived, further ramping up the tensions and violence.

There are graphic descriptions of what happened during and after the murder of audience member Hunter. According to eyewitnesses, his bloodied body was shockingly placed on stage and then backstage during the Rolling Stones’ performance, in order for his body not to be further violated by the angry and out-of-control Hell’s Angels. These descriptions are not in the “Gimme Shelter” documentary, which rightfully edited out the most disturbing footage of the murder. (Hell’s Angel member Alan Passaro, who was arrested for the stabbing, claimed self-defense because Hunter had pulled out a gun. Passaro was later tried and acquitted of the murder in 1971.) Some of the commentators, especially Selvin, want it to be known that the Rolling Stones perpetuated a myth that the band didn’t know about the murder until after their performance. Selvin said that the lights were so bright on stage (since the concert was being filmed) and the audience was so close to the stage that it was impossible for people on stage not to see all the violence being committed just a few feet in front of them.

The documentary also includes a photo of Jagger looking at a group of people standing around what is said to be Hunter’s dead body on stage. According to Selvin, it was Jagger’s decision for the Rolling Stones to continue performing, even after Jagger knew that someone had been murdered during the band’s set. Since Jagger has not publicly discussed the murder in detail, and he’s not interviewed for this documentary, his side of the story isn’t presented. However, the implication from the Rolling Stones insiders (Cutler and Schneider) who were at the Altamont concert and who were interviewed for this film is that Jagger probably thought that the violence would get worse if the Stones didn’t finish their performance.

Richards briefly told his memories of Altamont in his 2010 memoir, “Life,” but he did not go into any of the gruesome details. Wyman (who quit the band in 1993) ended his 1990 memoir, “Stone Alone,” with the death of Jones, who died six months before Altamont happened. Wyman barely mentioned Altamont in his 2019 biographical documentary “The Quiet One.” Taylor (who quit the Rolling Stones in 1974) and Watts have also not opened up publicly about how much of the murder and body disposal they saw.

Even if you’re a die-hard Rolling Stones fan who’s read numerous accounts of the Altamont concert or if you’ve seen “Gimme Shelter,” watching “Days of Rage” will still make an impact in showing how the peace and love dream of the ’60s counterculture turned into a sickening and brutal nightmare that’s also a cautionary and very tragic tale.

Vision Films released “Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont” on VOD and digital on January 7, 2020.

2019 Tribeca Film Festival movie review: ‘The Quiet One’

May 2, 2019

by Carla Hay

Bill Wyman in "The Quiet One"
Bill Wyman in “The Quiet One” (Photo by Bent Rej)

“The Quiet One”

Directed by Oliver Murray

World premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on May 2, 2019.

Bill Wyman, who was the bass player for the Rolling Stones from 1962 until he quit the band in 1993, has been a Rolling Stones archivist for decades. He has shared his mementos and memories in various ways, including in his 1990 memoir “Stone Alone” and his 2001 photo book “Rolling With the Stones.” The documentary “The Quiet One” is essentially an updated, movie version of Wyman’s books—there’s plenty of great stuff pulled from the archives, but if you’re looking for a truly revealing tell-all, then you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The movie’s title comes from the image that Wyman had of being “the quiet one” in the band. During his time in the Rolling Stones, Wyman was also known for being the most aloof in the band, and he says he was the only member of the Rolling Stones who didn’t abuse drugs. That’s not news to die-hard Rolling Stones fans or anyone who’s read “Stone Alone,” but it might come as a surprise to those who know very little about Wyman. Sex is the only addiction that Wyman confesses that he had during his heyday with the Rolling Stones, but “The Quiet One” doesn’t have the braggadocio that Wyman had in “Stone Alone,” where he claimed that he bedded many more women on tour than all of his bandmates. Not surprisingly, Wyman’s 10-year marriage to first wife Diane ended in divorce in 1969.

Although “The Quiet One” barely mentions Wyman’s first marriage, the documentary offers a little more insight into how Wyman was as a divorced dad who had full custody of his son Stephen, who was born in 1962. Being a divorced father with full custody was rare in the 1970s, and being a rock star in that family situation was even more unusual. As he did in “Stone Alone,” Wyman hints that he got full custody because Stephen showed signs of neglect when the child had been living with Diane. Through home movies and photos, Stephen is seen as a constant companion to Wyman and his then-partner Astrid Lundstrom, who was in a relationship with Wyman from 1967 to 1983. Unfortunately, Stephen was not interviewed for this documentary. However, it’s clear that when the Rolling Stones temporarily moved to France in the early 1970s for tax reasons, the reason why Wyman said he hated it was because he was separated from Stephen, who lived with Wyman’s parents in England during this time.

Some of the movie’s content has been seen before in Wyman’s books and in Rolling Stones documentaries such as “Charlie Is My Darling,” “The Stones in the Park” and “Gimme Shelter.” Most of the material from Wyman’s archives are photos, audio recordings and brief snippets of home movies and off-stage band footage, such as the Stones frolicking at a hotel pool in the mid-1960s or flying on a private jet in the early 1970s. New interviews with fellow music stars Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Mary Wilson (formerly of the Supremes), Bob Geldof and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts are not seen but are only heard in voiceovers. The other members of the Rolling Stones—lead singer Mick Jagger and guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood—did not give new interviews for this documentary. There are also many stylized closeups of someone pushing play or stop on an old audio cassette recorder, to add to the ambience of the retrospective footage.

During the first three-quarters of the movie, Wyman is shown mostly from behind, sitting in front of a computer in the Stones archive room of his home, with his voice heard in voiceovers. It isn’t until the last quarter of the movie that the present-day Wyman is fully shown on camera in new footage, whether it’s of him taking photos (one of his hobbies), puttering in his garden, or being interviewed with his third and current wife, Suzanne Acosta Wyman. (They’ve been married since 1992, and they have three daughters together.) The full reveal of Wyman in the latter part of the movie is a metaphor for how Wyman wasn’t able to fully open up until later in his life, when he was away from the Rolling Stones spotlight, and after he settled down with Acosta and started a new family with her. She’s the only romantic partner of Wyman’s who’s interviewed for this movie.

The best thing about “The Quiet One” is that it offers a thrilling journey through music history. Rolling Stones songs that are in the movie include “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Paint It Black,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Brown Sugar,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Miss You” and “Start Me Up.” There is also early footage of the Stones when they were primarily a blues covers band. Wyman’s solo career is briefly mentioned, as is his post-Stones work with the Rhythm Kings, a rotating group of musicians that play retro rock and blues. The documentary has a great selection of songs for its soundtrack, but the sound mixing is sometimes uneven. The movie also has some dramatic recreations with actors, as well as animated footage, which are production choices that sometimes annoy documentary purists.

“The Quiet One” offers a psychological explanation for Wyman’s ability to remain stoic in a mercurial, superstar band whose highs and lows have been well-documented. Wyman’s emotionally distant parents, especially his father, didn’t expect him to go beyond his financially disadvantaged working-class background. Wyman (who was born William Perks but changed his last name to Wyman after he decided to become a professional musician) says only his maternal grandmother had faith that he would become world-famous, and she was ridiculed in the family for believing in him. The combination of growing up poor and having most of his family members discouraging his dreams of being a musician led to Wyman often feeling emotionally “empty” and having lifelong insecurities over whether or not he deserved the success that came his way.

One of the most poignant moments in the movie is near the end when Wyman chokes up and tearfully remembers meeting his biggest musical hero, Ray Charles, who asked Wyman to play on his next album, but Wyman turned down the offer because he didn’t think we was “good enough” to work with Charles. Through the tears, you can feel how Wyman is reliving the experience and how he must have felt humbled, star-struck and inferior in the presence of his legendary idol. You can also sense that even though Wyman might have regretted turning down the offer, he probably would’ve had the same response if Charles were still alive and made the same offer today.

Authorized documentaries about celebrities have their pros and cons. The obvious advantage is the documentary will have exclusive access to interviews and other footage that an unauthorized documentary might be prevented from getting. The downside is that authorized documentaries often gloss over unflattering details.

The way “The Quiet One” describes Wyman’s ill-fated marriage to second wife Mandy Smith is one such example of how the documentary doesn’t adequately address the biggest controversy of Wyman’s life. Wyman says in “The Quiet One” that he fell in love with Smith at first sight, but she wasn’t old enough to date at the time. What he doesn’t mention in the documentary is that Smith was only 13 and he was almost 47 when they met. In past interviews, Smith admitted that she and Wyman secretly dated while she was underage, and they began having sex when she was 14. They got married in 1989, when Smith was 18, and they officially divorced in 1991. In the documentary, Wyman says of the marriage: “I was stupid to think it would actually work.”

Wyman’s pre-marital relationship with Smith was not only scandalous, it was also illegal for several years. In “The Quiet One” documentary, Wyman does not explain why he was sexually attracted to a barely pubescent girl, nor does director Oliver Murray acknowledge the disturbing and inappropriate aspects of that relationship, except for a brief flash of a newspaper article that mentions Wyman’s romantic interest in Smith began when she was 13. Even though Wyman appears to be an upstanding family man now, the way he pursued Smith when she was an underage child is the very definition of what a sexual predator does. Wyman’s excuse (which he’s given in his memoir “Stone Alone” and past interviews) was that Smith looked like an adult when she was 13.

Needless to say, Wyman and Smith’s illegal relationship would have absolutely had more serious consequences for him if it had been going on today. In this #MeToo era, society has been far less likely to overlook people’s misdeeds when it comes to the abuse of power and sex. Sheffield Doc/Fest in England dropped “The Quiet One” from its 2019 lineup, and canceled a post-screening Q&A with Wyman and Murray that would have taken place on June 7, after receiving numerous complaints that the movie irresponsibly covers up the serious issue of statutory rape. In its attempt to erase or minimize unsettling aspects of Wyman’s personal life, “The Quiet One” completely ignores another bizarre twist to Wyman’s relationship with Smith: In 1993, Wyman’s son Stephen got married to Mandy Smith’s mother, Patsy Smith, but the marriage ended two years later.

Wyman’s refusal to acknowledge the scandalous mess resulting from his relationship with Mandy Smith is not the only example of how Wyman may not be the most reliable narrator of his life story that he tells in this movie. The Rolling Stones famously headlined a free concert at London’s Hyde Park on July 5, 1969. The concert, which had an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 people in attendance, took place just two days after former Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones had died in a mysterious drowning, which happened one month after Jones had left the band. It was also the first concert that the Rolling Stones performed with guitarist Mick Taylor, who had replaced Jones.

Unfortunately, it’s widely considered one of the worst high-profile concerts that the Rolling Stones ever performed. The Stones were ragged and out-of-tune, the band’s tribute to Jones was awkward (white butterflies were carted in to be released on stage, but most of the butterflies died in the boxes), and the death of Jones brought an air of sadness to the event. The way that Wyman describes the concert is certainly questionable. He says that it was a “wonderful concert” that went so smoothly that “it was like a dream” and there were “no drugs”—but it’s a description which simply isn’t true when it’s been well-documented that Richards and several members of the band’s entourage were strung out on drugs at the time. Fortunately, there was no real violence at the Hyde Park concert.

The same can’t be said for the Altamont festival that was held in the San Francisco area on December 6, 1969, when four people died, including a man who was stabbed to death by Hell’s Angels gang members while the Rolling Stones were performing. So much has already been written, said, and revealed about the Altamont tragedy (including in the documentary “Gimme Shelter”), that “The Quiet One” offers no new insight. Wyman, who is more comfortable dealing with facts than emotions when discussing his life and the Rolling Stones, expresses the expected remorse over the concert, but he doesn’t talk about what it was really like to go through that trauma. As with many aspects of his life, Wyman will only admit that he pushed his feelings aside to get through the situation at hand.

And that’s probably why the documentary doesn’t mention two more recent things that are probably touchy subjects with Wyman: He’s been diagnosed with prostate cancer, which he announced in 2016. Wyman also reunited with the Rolling Stones as a guest performer for the band’s 50th anniversary concerts in London in 2012, but the reunion ended on a sour note when Wyman gave post-concert interviews complaining the experience was “disappointing” for him because the band didn’t give him enough time on stage. Wyman was subsequently not invited to be a guest performer on the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary tour, but former Stones guitarist Taylor (who was also at the 2012 London shows) was included on the tour as a guest performer.

Wyman admitted in “Stone Alone,” as he does “The Quiet One,” that because he was so different from the other members of the Rolling Stones, he often distanced himself from their behind-the-scenes antics and drama. He was in the band, but he remained somewhat of an outsider within the group. His desire to have a more “normal” life was the main reason why he retired from the band, and it allowed him to lead a more content lifestyle with his current wife and family. “The Quiet One” shows that Wyman is indeed different from the rest of the Rolling Stones, who continue to tour the world for the millions in revenue and for the huge crowds. It’s the kind of money and adulation that Wyman says he doesn’t need to be happy, so he can live life and make music on his own terms.

IFC Films/Sundance Selects will release “The Quiet One” in select U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

Rolling Stones postpone ‘No Filter’ 2019 tour in North America due to Mick Jagger medical problem

March 30, 2019

by Carla Hay

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones backstage at Deportiva in Havana, Cuba on March 25, 2016. Pictured from left to right: Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards. (Photo by Dave J. Hogan)

The Rolling Stones have postponed all of their North American stadium concerts that were scheduled from April to July 2019, because lead singer Mick Jagger is being treated for an undisclosed medical problem. Tickets for the band’s postponed stadium concerts on the “No Filter” tour will be valid for the rescheduled dates. However, the Rolling Stones have canceled their headlining performance on May 5 at the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

A spokesperson for the band issued this statement: “Mick Jagger has been advised by doctors that he cannot go on tour at this time as he needs medical treatment. The doctors have advised Mick that he is expected to make a complete recovery so that he can get back on stage as soon as possible.”

Jagger added in a statement, “I hate letting our fans down and I’m hugely disappointed to have to postpone the tour but am looking forward to getting back on stage as soon as I can.”

In an Instagram post, Jagger made a similar statement: “I’m sorry to our fans in America & Canada with tickets. I really hate letting you down like this. I’m devastated for having to postpone the tour but I will be working very hard to be back on stage as soon as I can. Once again, huge apologies to everyone.”

The Rolling Stones perform onstage during Desert Trip at The Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, on October 7, 2016. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Desert Trip)

Rolling Stones rhythm guitarist Keith Richards tweeted: “A big disappointment for everyone but things need to be taken care of and we will see you soon. Mick, we are always there for you!”

Rolling Stones lead guitarist Ronnie Wood tweeted: “We’ll miss you over the next few weeks, but we’re looking forward to seeing you all again very soon. Here’s to Mick ~ thanks for your supportive messages it means so much to us.”

The Rolling Stones ended their seven-year hiatus from touring in 2012, the year of the band’s 50th anniversary. Since 2012, the Stones have done multiple tours, with performances in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Most of the Rolling Stones’ North American concerts in the 21st century have been at arenas, which hold an average of 15,000 to 20,000 people. Stadiums hold an average of 40,000 to 60,000 people. The “No Filter” 2019 shows in North America would have been the Rolling Stones’ first stadium tour of North America since the 1997 “Bridges to Babylon” tour.

In other Rolling Stones news, a 4K Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos restoration of the band’s 1968 TV special “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” will have rare screenings in select Dolby cinemas on April 1, 3, 4 and 5, 2019. (Dates and showtimes vary per theater.) The special, which remained unreleased until 1996, was hosted by the Rolling Stones, and featured performances from the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, the Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull and a one-time-only “supergroup” called the Dirty Mac, consisting of Lennon, Richards, Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell (drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience) and Yoko Ono. Tickets and more information can be found at www.rockandrollcircusthefilm.com.

April 1, 2019 UPDATE: Jagger’s medical issue is that he has to undergo surgery to repair a heart valve, according to the Drudge Report. He is scheduled to have the surgery in New York City during the first week of April 2019.

2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, Dave Matthews Band among headliners

January 15, 2019

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones (Photo by Dave J Hogan)

The Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band, Chris Stapleton and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band are among the headliners at the 50th New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which will take place at the New Orleans Fairgrounds from April 25 to April 28 and from May 2 to May 5, 2019. It will be the first time that the Rolling Stones will perform at the event, which is also known as Jazz Fest,

Other artists announced for Jazz Fest 2019 include Santana, Van Morrison, Al Green, Earth, Wind & Fire, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Nevilles, Gladys Knight, The Revivalists, Leon Bridges, John Fogerty, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Tank and The Bangas, Bonnie Raitt, Irma Thomas, Gary Clark Jr., The Head and The Heart, The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley, Aaron Neville, Boz Scaggs, Galactic, Jerry Lee Lewis, Indigo Girls, Rebirth Brass Band, Mavis Staples, Los Lobos, Big Freedia, Kamasi Washington, Rita Coolidge, Buddy Guy, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Taj Mahal & the Phantom Blues Band, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk,Ani DiFranco, the Radiators, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Little Feat, Anders Osborne, North Mississippi Allstars, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Foundation of Funk, George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, Steve Earle & the Dukes and The Soul Rebels.

March 30, 2019 UPDATE: The Rolling Stones have canceled their Jazz Fest 2019 performance on May 2 because lead singer Mick Jagger is being treated for an undisclosed medical problem. Click here for more information.

April 4, 2019 UPDATE: Fleetwood Mac has replaced the Rolling Stones at Jazz Fest 2019.

April 8, 2019 UPDATE: Fleetwood Mac has canceled its Jazz Fest 2019 performance due to singer Stevie Nicks having the flu. The band has postponed four of its tour dates because of the illness. Jazz Fest issued this statement that said in part: “Stay tuned for updates about May 2 talent and tickets.”

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Jazz Fest

 

Rolling Stones renew Universal Music Group deal; more Eagle Rock home videos announced

July 9, 2018

by Carla Hay

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones backstage at Deportiva in Havana, Cuba on March 25, 2016. Pictured from left to right: Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards (Photo by Dave J Hogan)

The Rolling Stones and Universal Music Group (UMG) have renewed their partnership that covers the band’s recorded music, audio-visual catalogues, archival support, global merchandising and brand management, according to an announcement made by UMG. The Rolling Stones have been signed to UMG since 2008. The company has been consistent about releasing reissued or archival Stones content every year. For example, in June 2018, UMG released the Rolling Stones reissue box set “The Studio Albums Vinyl Collection 1971-2016.”

UMG-owned Bravado will continue to  handle the Rolling Stones’ global merchandising rights, retail licensing, brand management and e-commerce on behalf of the band. Bravado will also continue working closely with the band and management to “identify new and innovative opportunities for creative collaboration within the worlds of art, fashion, retail, sport, lifestyle and touring merchandise. Recent examples of those collaborations are the Rolling Stones’ merchandising deals with Paris Saint Germain FC,  Colette, Selfridges and Zara.

In addition, UMG will “provide the Rolling Stones with archival support and dedicated space for the band’s physical media assets, musical instruments and equipment across the company’s ecosystem of vaults positioned around the world,” according to the announcement.

UMG-owned Eagle Rock Entertainment will also re-issue several concert films from the Rolling Stones’ archives including: “Atlanta” (1989); “Steel Wheels” (1989-90); “Voodoo Lounge” (1994); “Bridges to Babylon” (1997-1998); “Four Flicks” (2002) and “Bigger Bang” (2005-2006).

On July 13, 2018, Eagle Rock releases the Rolling Stones home video “From the Vault: No Security—San Jose 1999.” The concert was filmed in April 1999 at the San Jose Arena (now known as the SAP Center) in California, as part of the the band’s “No Security” tour.  Over the course of the 20 songs performed in the home video, fans will get to see extended jams of songs such as “Out of Control,” “Midnight Rambler” and “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It).”

During the Rolling Stones’ 1997-1998 “Bridges to Babylon” tour, they walked on a bridge in the middle of the crowd, midway through the concerts, to perform on a smaller stage in the round at the center of the venue. The “No Security” tour continued that concept, and it’s clear the band enjoyed giving high-fives and and reaching out to fans in the audience as they made their way to and from the more intimate stage to perform a trio of songs: “Route 66,” “Get Off of My Cloud,” and “Midnight Rambler,” one of the highlights of the Rolling Stones’ blues-loving musical roots.

By the 1990s, the Rolling Stones—lead singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts—had become a well-oiled corporate touring machine, but it’s clear that, then and now, they love performing and haven’t lost their high level of energy and ability to massively entertain an audience. Their are moments of spontaneity in this concert, such as when guitarist Richards impishly took over from Chuck Leavell to play keyboards during the last part of “Honky Tonk Women.” Jagger played guitar on “Some Girls” (which featured reworked lyrics that are less controversial than the original song lyrics), “Saint of Me” and “Respectable.”

The show also includes crowd-pleasing hits that have become staples at Stones concerts, such as “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Honky Tonk Women, “Paint It Black,” “Start Me Up,” “Brown Sugar” and “Sympathy for the Devil.” Other songs included in the concert are “Bitch,” “You Got Me Rocking,” “I Got the Blues,” and Richards singing lead on “You Got the Silver” and “Before They Make Me Run.”

Nearly 20 years after this concert was filmed, the Rolling Stones are still one of the world’s biggest touring acts. (The band wrapped up the “No Filter” tour of Europe on July 8, 2018.) And although the Rolling Stones have not released a studio album of new songs since 2005’s “A Bigger Bang” (and it’s unknown when they will release an album of new songs), this renewed deal with UMG is a clear sign that there will be a steady stream of other Rolling Stones content and merchandise for years to come.

Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’ 2015 Los Angeles concert gets home-video release

August 3, 2017

"The Rolling Stones' From The Vault: Sticky Fingers: Live At The Fonda Theatre 2015" (Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment)
“The Rolling Stones’ From The Vault: Sticky Fingers: Live At The Fonda Theatre 2015” (Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment)

The following is a press release from Eagle Rock Entertainment:

On September 29, 2017, Eagle Rock Entertainment will unveil The Rolling Stones’ From The Vault: Sticky Fingers: Live At The Fonda Theatre 2015 on DVD+CD, Blu-ray+CD, DVD+3LP, and digital formats [MSRP $21.98 DVD+CD, $26.98 Blu-ray+CD, $49.98 DVD+3LP] This is the fifth release “From The Vault”, a series of live concerts from The Rolling Stones archive which are being officially released for the first time.

This latest addition to the acclaimed “From The Vault” series captures a truly unique event in the storied history of The Rolling Stones. On May 20, 2015 at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California, the band performed the entire Sticky Fingers album live in concert for the first (and so far only time) in their career. The show celebrated the reissue of the Sticky Fingers album and was the opening night of The Rolling Stones’ North American Zip Code Tour that would run over the next two months. The intimate setting of the Fonda Theatre was in contrast to the huge stadiums in which the band would perform for the rest of the tour and made this an incredibly special occasion for those fans lucky enough to get a ticket. This incredible release includes Stones classics like “Brown Sugar”, “Wild Horses”, “Start Me Up”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Bitch”, “Dead Flowers”, “When The Whip Comes Down”, and more.

The DVD & Blu-ray include interviews with the band members intercut with full-length performances. The CD and 3LP feature the full show as performed on the night. As Bonus Features, the DVD & Blu-ray include tracks cut from the concert film: “All Down The Line”, “When The Whip Comes Down”, and “I Can’t Turn You Loose”.

From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live At The Fonda Theatre 2015 is a full-blooded interpretation of one of The Rolling Stones’ most loved works. Combined with the bonus interviews, it proves an incredible experience for any Stones fan.

Pre-order on Amazon:
DVD+CD: http://amzn.to/2vwjCEe
Blu-ray+CD: http://amzn.to/2u45yNH
DVD+3LP: http://amzn.to/2v1XQ85

TRACK LISTING:
DVD:
1) Start Me Up
2) Sway
3) Dead Flowers
4) Wild Horses
5) Sister Morphine
6) You Gotta Move
7) Bitch
8) Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
9) I Got The Blues
10) Moonlight Mile
11) Brown Sugar
12) Rock Me Baby
13) Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Bonus tracks:
1) All Down The Line
2) When The Whip Comes Down
3) I Can’t Turn You Loose

CD:
1) Start Me Up
2) When The Whip Comes Down
3) All Down The Line
4) Sway
5) Dead Flowers
6) Wild Horses
7) Sister Morphine
8) You Gotta Move
9) Bitch
10) Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
11) I Got The BlueS
12) Moonlight Mile
13) Brown Sugar
14) Rock Me Baby
15) Jumpin’ Jack Flash
16) I Can’t Turn You Loose

3LP
Side A:
1) Start Me Up
2) When The Whip Comes Down
3) All Down The Line

Side B:
1) Sway
2) Dead Flowers
3) Wild Horses

Side C:
1) Sister Morphine
2) You Gotta Move
3) Bitch

Side D:
1) Can’t You Hear Me Knocking
2) I Got The Blues

Side E:
1) Moonlight Mile
2) Brown Sugar

Side F:
1) Rock Me Baby
2) Jumpin’ Jack Flash
3) I Can’t Turn You Loose

Mick Jagger releases ‘Gotta Get a Grip’ and ‘England Lost,’ his first solo singles in six years

July 27, 2017

by Carla Hay

Mick Jagger (Photo courtesy of CBS)

Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger has released two new solo singles: “Get a Grip” and “England Lost.” The videos for the songs premiered on July 27, 2017. They are Jagger’s first solo singles since 2011’s “T.H.E (The Hardest Ever)” featuring Will.i.am and Jennifer Lopez.  T.H.E (The  Hardest Ever)” was a No. 3 hit in the United Kingdom but reached only No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.

“Get a Grip” and “England Lost” were released with very little fanfare.  Jagger does not appear in the videos for the songs. Instead, the videos feature actors and models. (Luke Evans is the star of the black-and-white “England Lost” video.) There is no word yet if Jagger will release another solo album.  Jagger has released four solo albums; his most recent solo album of new material was 2001’s “Goddess in the Doorway.”

The Rolling Stones launch their “No Filter” 2017 European Tour on September 9 in Hamburg, Germany. The tour concludes October 25 in Nanterre, France.

Rolling Stones announce 2017 ‘Stones – No Filter’ tour of Europe

May 9, 2017
 
by Carla Hay

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones backstage at Ciudad Deportiva in Havana, Cuba, on March 25, 2016. Pictured from left to right: Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards (Photo by Dave J Hogan)

The Rolling Stones have announced the Stones – No Filter stadium tour, which will go to several cities in Europe in September and October 2017. Concerts West is producing the tour, which is sponsored by Jeep. (See the tour dates at the end of this article.) Lead singer Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards, drummer Charlie Watts and guitarist Ronnie Wood will once again head out on the road in what is expected to be one of the highest-grossing concert tours of the year. Ticket information for the tour is to be announced.

According to a Rolling Stones press release, the Stones’ set list for the No Filter tour will include classic hits such as  “Gimme Shelter,” “Paint It Black,” Jumpin Jack Flash,” “Tumbling Dice” and “Brown Sugar,” but “they will also include a couple of unexpected tracks each night and randomly selected surprises from their formidable arsenal of songs. For all of the European ‘No Filter’ shows listed below the Stones will be unveiling a spectacular new production and state of the art stage design.”

The Paris shows on the tour will be the first two concerts at the brand-new U Arena.

In a statement, Jagger commented on the Stones – No Filter tour, “I’m so excited to be touring Europe this Autumn and returning to some familiar places and some we’ve never done before.”

Richards added, “Hey Guys, here we come. See you there!”

The year 2016 was a busy one for the Rolling Stones.  They began the year by doing a tour of Latin America that culminated in March with a historical concert in Havana, Cuba. The tour is the subject of the 2016 documentary film “Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip across South America” (directed by Paul Dugdale), which had a limited release in cinemas and was televised in the U.S. on Starz. Eagle Rock Entertainment will release the movie on DVD/Blu-ray on May 26, 2017.  The Havana concert was the subject of the documentary “Havana Moon” (also directed by Dugdale), which had a limited release in cinemas and became available on home video in 2016.

At the end of 2016, the Rolling Stones also released an album of blues cover songs called “Blue & Lonesome,” which was recorded in only three days. In addition, Wood and Jagger became fathers again: Wood and his wife, Sally, welcomed twin daughters Gracie and Alice on May 30, 2016. Jagger and his girlfriend Melanie Hamrick welcomed son Deveraux Octavian Basil on December 8, 2016.

The band also launched a traveling Rolling Stones museum called “Exhibitionism,” which was in London from April to September 2016 and then moved to New York from November 2016 to March 2017. “Exhibitionism” went to Chicago in April 2017 and is expected to go to Sydney sometime in 2018.

Here are the announced dates for the Stones – No Filter tour:

September 8, 2017: Hamburg, Germany — Stadtpark
September 12, 2017: Munich, Germany — Olympic Stadium
September 16, 2017: Spielberg, Austria — Spielberg at Red Bull Ring
September 20, 2017: Zurich, Switzerland — Letzigrund Stadium
September 23, 2017: Lucca, Italy — Lucca Summer Festival-City Walls
September 27, 2017: Barcelona, Spain — Olympic Stadium
September 30, 2017: Amsterdam, Holland — Amsterdam Arena
October 2, 2017: Copenhagen, Denmark — Parken Stadium*
October 9, 2017: Dusseldorf, Germany — Esprit Arena*
October 12, 2017: Stockholm, Sweden — Friends Arena*
October 15, 2017: Arnhem, Holland — GelreDome*
October 19, 2017: Paris, France — U Arena*
October 22, 2017: Paris, France — U Arena*

*The Rolling Stones concerts in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Stockholm, Arnhem and Paris will be under cover with a roof facility at each stadium.

February 26, 2018 UPDATE: 

The Rolling Stones have announced more European dates for their Stones – No Filter tour: 

May 17, 2018: Dublin, Ireland — Croke Park
May 22, 2018: London, England — London Stadium
June 5, 2018: Manchester, England — Old Trafford Football Stadium
June 9, 2018: Edinburgh, Scotland — BT Murrayfield Stadium
June 15, 2018: Cardiff, Wales — Principality Stadium
June 19, 2018: London, England— Twickenham Stadium
June 22, 2018: Berlin, Germany — Olympic Stadium
June 26, 2018: Marseille, France — Orange Velodrome
June 30, 2018: Stuttgart, Germany — Mercedes-Benz Arena
July 4, 2018: Prague, Czech Republic— Letnany Airport
July 8, 2018: Warsaw, Poland — National Stadium

U.K., Berlin, Stuttgart and Warsaw shows go on sale on March 2, 2018.

Prague show goes on sale on March 9, 2018.

Marseille show goes on sale on March 16, 2018.

Dublin show goes on sale on March 23, 2018.

A limited number of VIP packages will be available for purchase. Package offerings can include an amazing selection of tickets – including tickets in the ultra-exclusive No Filter Pit – limited-edition lithographs, custom VIP merchandise, and much more. Fans can also enjoy a variety of travel packages that will be available in all cities.