Friday, February 17, 2012

A funky piano

Autumn 1970 (August 30 - October 9) the Rolling Stones toured Europe, for the first time in more than three years. It happened to be the first Stones tour to include other stage personnel in order to enhance the sound. Brass instrumentation (Bobby Keys, Jim Price) now was a standard part of the set. Ian Stewart joined the band on five or six songs every night, although still not visible to the audience.

Here's how New Musical Express reviewed one of the shows: "But the biggest surprise was the appearance of the Rolling Stones Plus Three, which brings the performers on-stage up to eight. The Plus Three are unbilled and unadvertised. They are Jim Price, Bobby Keys, and the Stones' own Man Friday, Ian 'Stu' Stewart, who plays a funky piano".

Quite obviously Stu appeared on the show's three Chuck Berry tunes: the well-rehearsed 'Little Queenie', 'Let It Rock' and 'Roll Over Beethoven', which replaced 'Carol' in the setlist, but also on three original Stones compositions: 'Honky Tonk Women', 'Brown Sugar' and the country-tinged 'Dead Flowers'.

Adapted from the following sources:
Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones. Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2002, Cherry Red Books, 2002.
Christopher Hjort, Strange Brew. Eric Clapton & The British Blues Boom 1965-1970, Jawbone, 2007.

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