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Friday, March 23, 2007

IT'S GOOD TO BE KEITH





I remember the exact moment that I became a Stones fan. I was riding shotgun in Tony Alva's tiny white Colt (another post about Tony squeezing his XXL frame into tiny cars is way past due) driving through Rockland county listening to Sticky Fingers, and I think it was 'Dead Flowers' that pushed me over the edge. This was 1984, Metal was busy dying, and I was primed for something new, or old as it were.

Both of my brothers were Stones fans, but I had always kept myself at arms length from Mick and Keith. I even remember once saying that Keith Richards was a shitty guitar player - he didn't shred like my Metal heroes. I believe I said the same thing about Neil Young.

All that changed in 1984. Two years after that car ride I owned the entire Rolling Stones back catalog.

In the late mid-eighties I spent a lot of time driving up and down 95 from D.C. to New York and back. I made six mix tapes, five 90 minute, and one 60 minute cassette tapes, all Stones, no repeated songs.

It was during that time that I realized that you could fill up one side of a 90 minute tape with Keith Tunes.

Starting with 'Let It Bleed' (69), on almost every record Keith sang one.

I connected strongly with this material.

Keith has a true voice. He sounds like Keith. His delivery is flawed, honest, and often breathtaking.

The CD has replaced the Audio Cassette in my life. Vinyl is still the Master, but the mix tape, or CD, is still a big factor in my life of listening.

Recently, I tried to recreate the 'Best Of Keith' mix.

The advent of two LPs with the X-Pensive Winos, and newer Stones tunes like 'Thru and Thru' have changed the dynamic of the Keith Mix. I no longer qualify songs like 'Memory Motel' and 'Salt of the Earth' where Keith splits the lead vocal with Mick - great as they are - to make room for the solo stuff.

The track list looks something like this:

Make No Mistake - Talk Is Cheap (Winos)
You Got the Silver - Let It Bleed
Eileen - Main Offender (Winos)
How I Wish - Talk Is Cheap
Coming Down Again - Goats Head Soup
Locked Away - Talk Is Cheap
Time Is On My Side - Live at the Hollywood Palladium (Winos)
Too Rude - Dirty Work
Thru and Thru - Voo Doo Lounge
Whip It Up - Talk Is Cheap
Little T&A - Tattoo You
Wicked As It Seems - Main Offender
I Wanna Hold You - Undercover
Big Enough - Talk Is Cheap
Before They Make Me Run - Some Girls
Connection - Live at the Hollywood Palladium
Sleep Tonight - Dirty Work

That's seventeen tunes, mayhap they won't all fit on a CDR, and it's likely that Tony knows a tune or two that I've left off - most likely from the latter LPs (Steel Wheels, Voo Doo Lounge, Bridges to Babylon, and Bigger Bang).

It's a work in progress, though I can't think of a tune on the list that I could leave off in good conscience.

Comments:
Well I never kept a dollar past sunset,
It always burned a hole in my pants.
Never made a school mama happy,
Never blew a second chance, oh no

I need a love to keep me happy,
I need a love to keep me happy.
Baby, baby keep me happy.
Baby, baby keep me happy.

Always took candy from strangers,
Didnt wanna get me no trade.
Never want to be like papa,
Working for the boss evry night and day.

I need a love to keep me happy,
I need a love, baby wont ya keep me happy.
Baby, wont ya keep me happy.
Baby, please keep me

I need a love to keep me happy,
I need a love to keep me happy.
Baby, baby keep me happy.
Baby, baby keep me happy.

Never got a flash out of cocktails,
When I got some flesh off the bone.
Never got a lift out of lear jets,
When I can fly way back home.

I need a love to keep me happy,
I need a love to keep me happy.
Baby, baby keep me happy.
Baby, baby keep me happy
 
Oh Shit - I meant that one to be the last track, blogging late night again I'm afraid.

Happy - Exile

18 Tunes.....
 
ahhhhhhh... Your mixed tapes were by far the best mixed tapes EVER. I remember listening to the Keith tape hauling ass up I95 when you drove me back to NY after my year at University of Maryland. I think you listed all thoses that I can remember.

I've posted on how great I think Thru and Thru is, but my all time favorite Keith vocal song is 'You Got The Silver'. Just a perfect song from dobro beginning to dobro end.

Great post Jackson.
 
'You Got the silver' is hands down the best Keith tune.

I feel bad leaving off 'Memory Motel' his hook ("she got a mind of her own...." is awesome.
 
Ohhh... so YOU'RE the other person that bought Talk Is Cheap.
 
Sorry to break it to you Clarkie, but 'Talk Is Cheap' outsold every Replacements record. I'd bet it has sold more copies than all the Westerberg solo efforts combined. It was also critically acclaimed, being called the best Stones album since Some Girls.

I know many people who have that record.
 
Of course I too have all the Keith albums, he was the reason I got into the Stones. I think I was with Rod at the moment when I realized how awesome Keith is. We may have been over the influenz...

cheers
mark in portland, aspiring to be an expensive wino...
 
Good to hear from you Mark - as I recall you a bit of a mix tape master yourself. I remember driving with you somewhere and you had an awesome mix tape playing. The only song on it that i can remember was Thorogood's 'One Burbon, One Scotch, One Beer'. I think there was some ZZ-Top on there too.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV5OyJmtnaM
 
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