Friday, October 28, 2011

How Many More Years

Towards the end of their third US tour, on May 20, 1965, the Rolling Stones recorded a slot for the popular ABC TV show Shindig! Of course Ian Stewart didn't appear on stage, but because the band performed to backing tracks recorded earlier at Chess and RCA Studios, Stu was probably 'somewhere' in the sound during this rather historic broadcast.

Historic in the sense that the show, or at least a part of it, brought the Stones in very close contact with their blues roots. Bill Wyman: Sonny and Cher, Jackie DeShannon, Bobby Sherman and, at our insistence, Howlin' Wolf were also there. Today it is difficult to comprehend the enormity of seeing a black performer on what was very much a white TV show. The producer of Shindig! was Englishman Jack Good, who would constantly refer to Wolf, in his very proper accent, as 'Mr Howling'. Wolf Played "How Many More Years", a performance which must have been a revelation to many watching the show.

While we were reheasring, revered 1930s blues singer Son House and his manager Dick Waterman came by the studio. Brian Jones came up to Dick, and said "Excuse me, who is the old man that Wolf thinks is so special? Wolf is in awe of him. And so Dick said, "That's Son House". And then Brian turned to Dick and said, "Ah, the one that taught Robert Johnson".

But the show wasn't just a 'rootsy' affair, since Howlin' Wolf's backing band contained young pianist Billy Preston, who would lend the Rolling Stones a big hand on organ, piano and clavinet during their 1970's studio recordings and live performances, alongside Ian Stewart and Nicky Hopkins.

Adapted from the following source: Bill Wyman, Rolling With The Stones, Dorling Kindersley, 2002.

1 comment:

  1. May 20, 1965: studio, US TV (ABC), Los Angeles, USA (Still I’m Gonna Miss You).
    Interview with Mick and Brian (1:05)
    Howlin’ Wolf: How Many More Years (Burnett) (3:57) Mick Jagger: Meeting Howlin' Wolf and Son House
    I met Howlin' Wolf on that show we did, which is when he introduced me to Son House. He was in the audience at the Shindig show. Howlin' Wolf said to me, I want you to come meet somebody. And I said to him, who? He said, I'll tell you in a minute. We went up into the audience, walked up with all these children, and he said, This is Son House. And there was this guy sitting in the audience with all these kids, wearing denim overalls before it was fashionable to wear denim overalls. And he said, this is Son House, and Son House did the original Little Red Rooster. I don't know what he's talkin' about, because he was pretty recherché at the time. He became a bit more known after this. And he said, you shouldn't worry about doing The Little Red Rooster, because I wasn't the first person to do it anyway. He was very, very nice and gentlemanly about it.

    650520A 20th May: US TV (ABC) 'Shindig!', Los Angeles. Host: Jack Good. Incl.
    - How Many More Years (Burnett).
    Note: Telecast on the 26th May. The backing tracks to which the Stones were miming to (Little Red Rooster, The Last Time, Play With Fire, and Satisfaction) were recorded two days prior to the telerecording at RCA Studios, Los Angeles. For Satisfaction the band used a rejected studio track including harmonica. Mick Jagger sang live, exept on Satisfaction, for which he recorded a vocal track.
    Line-up Howlin’ Wolf (voc, harm): Billy Preston (p)/James Burton (gtr)/Joey Cooper (gtr)/Delaney Bramlett (bass)/Chuck Blackwell (dr)/The Rolling Stones (some handclaps).