Some people will travel any distance to see Mick Taylor !

 
Having missed Mick's first appearance August 5th as I was out of country and having missed our band's (Goats Head Soup) meeting with him that night for photos I was chomping at the bit to get back home from out of country.
 
And that's just what I did on August 9th, 2003 coming all the way from Sao Paulo Brazil in great anticipation of seeing Mick at Tuscon's in Ottawa. But as the hand of fate would have it that was the day of the massive power black out.
 
Shortly after touching down in Ottawa, I called Cozz McTaylorwood my guitar partner in crime on his cell phone to find out if the show was still on and next thing I know Mick Taylor is talking to me on the phone ! "David, get the power back on man." Cozz was sitting with Mick at Tuscons and several hangers-on having a beer !
 
I got there in a flash and sat in for a beer chatting with Mick and the group. After an hour or so we all realized the show would be cancelled and re-scheduled for the 14th.......
 
We arrived on the 14th with great anticipation as Mick was using my and Cozz's Fender amplifiers and custom cabinets on stage (see photos).
 
I had seen Mick in 1987 at Barrymore's in Ottawa and had been somewhat disappointed with the set list and overall show - what a surprise we were in store for that night !
 
As I had hoped for Mick's set list combined some of the best elements of his solo work, standard blues tunes with great solo improvisations and some "stones" related moments. Mick's stage presence was totally different than the late 80's show  I saw at Barrymores. He engaged the audience, smiled on staged, inter-acted with the local support musicians and seemed to genuinely enjoy the experience of playing in front a small audience in one of Ottawa's best blues clubs.
 
Here are some of the highlights - As the set list is similar to the other Canadian shows I haven't given a song by song run-down. My top 5 were:
 
Leather Jacket was a wonderful surprise - the song dating back to his first rehearsals with the Stones in 1969 and finally showing up on his debut solo LP in 1979......the song's lyrics ring hauntingly true even today "all you have left are your rock and roll dreams". Mick's voice was very solid and like Keith, in 1988 when he finally went solo with the Expensive Winos, .......has managed to become a convincing lead singer despite serious limitations in vocal range.
 
Alabama - another great choice from Mick's 79 solo LP - wonderful fluid solo work and slide guitar playing. Mick kept losing track of the slide all night but never failed to find it just as it was time to kick into a killer slide solo ! Mick tinkered with the settings on the amp for the first few numbers till he got just the sound he was after (I was amazed at how he walked out on stage with no sound check with a new amp set up he had not used before and within seconds had a fabulous sound - boy were we nervous that he wouldn't like the double amp set up or that something would go wrong - HE LOVED THEM!
 
Secret Affair - he really enjoyed this number, sang confidently and engaged the audience - the support band were all smiles and the bass and piano players stood out all night supporting beautifully Mick's playing.
 
No Expectations - A slightly faster than the original version........but it brought me right back to Mick's Hyde Park debut show June 5, 1969 ! More great slide work. This is one of a handful of Stones songs that Mick Taylor, Brian Jones and Ron Wood have all played on so it always has a special significance to me.
 
Slow Blues - Listening the record and then hearing it live - WOW. The soloing on this one just kicks ass so melodic. If only it had found its way into a Richards-Jagger and Taylor composition - it would have been destined to become a Stones classic..........and as Taylor points out in the Outro of the song......Time waits for noone .
 
After the show, Mick returned into the bar after a 3o minute break, joined in for a few beers, chatted, signed autographs and appeared to be in great spirits. We've included many photos taken that night by our drummer Motley Watts. Mick signed my amplifier to match Cozz's amps so we are in 7th heaven every Wednesday night at our regular band practice!
 
Now all we have to do is to convince Mick to return to Ottawa next year and have Goats Head Soup as his opening act !
 
Cheers
Pops Richards - Guitarist and founding member of GHS