Quotes :Quotes :
My playing relationship with Mick Taylor was always very good. There is no way I can compare it to playing with Brian, because it had been so long since Brian had been interested in the guitar at all, I had almost gotten used to doing it all myself - which I never really liked. I couldn't bear being the only guitarist in a band, because the real kick for me is getting those rhythms going, and playing off of another guitar. But I learned a lot from Mick Taylor, because he is such a beautiful musician. I mean, when he was with us, it was a time when there was probably more distinction, let's say, between rhythm guitar and lead guitar than at any other time in the Stones. More than now and more than when Brian was with us, because Mick Taylor is that kind of a player; you know he can do that...
We never really consciously worked (parts) out (between Keith and I); they just kind of happened. He played most of the riffs on the songs, and I played most of the solos.
Right now, I'm sticking pretty much to playing rhythm onstage. It depends on the number actually, but since Brian died, I've had to pay more attention to rhythm guitar anyway.
Taylor's scope was wider than the Stones. (He) was stifled by the band, as they wanted him to fill that necessary part of the Stones. He added a dimension that Keith wasn't comfortable with. Perhaps Mick (Taylor) was changing the sound, getting away from how Keith heard things. I think Keith had a different vision than Taylor and wanted to protect his songs.
I went along to do what I thought was some session work when the Stones were just finishing Let It Bleed at Olympic. When I was there I realised I was actually being auditioned. We did Live With Me from scratch and I overdubbed my part on Honky Tonk Women. Then Mick asked me to join. It was a pleasant shock. I think I said "Well, I'll think about it" very tongue-in-cheek. I was six or seven years younger than them. When they'd hit the big time I was still at school. My sister was a big Stones fan. She always reminds me of when she would put Little Red Rooster on and I'd say, "Turn that rubbish off and put Revolver on."
We rehearsed for the Hyde Park concert, my debut, at The Beatles' studio at Savile Row. We had these small Fender twins and a little PA system and we sounded like a garage band. I couldn't believe it because there was such a huge difference between the way the Stones sounded on record and the way we sounded in the rehearsal studio. Everything was out of tune, sloppy, but they had a kind of chemistry that really did come together on record. Apart from the magic Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had of coming up with these great rock 'n' roll songs, most of it was down to the people who were producing. We had Jimmy Miller and great musicians like Nicky Hopkins and Billy Preston. Otherwise they could have sounded like any old Camden Town blues band.
They didn't tell me what to play. I think me and Keith had a really good way of playing together, although our styles are very different. Hyde Park was a great occasion, but I didn't think we played very well. It was very out of tune. It was probably Keith and me -- but mostly Keith. I'm sure he wouldn't mind me saying that now - Mick Taylor
II had been thinking about leaving a lot that year. I saw the group as not going anywhere. We hadn't toured since 1972 and I suppose I was bored. I also had personal problems. My marriage was falling apart, maybe that coloured my judgement. I remember Bill Wyman saying to me he was thinking about leaving. I did have a falling out with Mick Jagger over some songs I should have been credited with co-writing on It's Only Rock'n'Roll. We were quite close friends and co-operated quite closely on getting that album made. By that time Mick and Keith weren't really working together as a team so I'd spend a lot of time in the studio.
One thing I disliked was that the Stones were invariably surrounded by hangers-on telling them how wonderful they were. I didn't get along with a lot of them. Drugs weren't really the problem. It's no secret that Keith was a heroin addict by then and I was becoming one, but my problems got worse a lot later. Mick wasn't into all of that, he was more of a control freak. I doubt he'd ever take anything that would get the better of him.
I told Mick at a birthday
party for Eric Clapton I was leaving. It took me a long time to settle down
afterwards. I'd lost all my friends from the John Mayall days. I'd
been living out of a suitcase. It was at least a year before I started playing
again. I've seen the members of the Stones on and off since -- I'm hoping Bill
Wyman will play on the album I'm making now. I remember the time with them
as fun -- we were a band of gypsies living and traveling together 24 hours a
day, but it wasn't always fun making the records. In fact it was so
painful I used to hate listening to them. But now I think the records we
made were great. The whole experience made me more cynical. One of the reasons I haven't
bothered to make records of my own is because I don't get paid for some of
the biggest selling records of all time. Frankly, I was ripped off. You get
cynical about the music business and it stops you playing. But three or four
years ago I decided that one way or another I should carry on making music.
So now I'm back in the studio and we've done five tracks. The album will
probably be called Secret Affair and it's going to be very good.
"Sister Morphine", the heart of guitarist Mick Taylor's first full studio album with the Stones, doesn't get brought up as often as "Brown Sugar" or "Wild Horses". But it's one of the most vivid, horrifying songs about drug abuse ever recorded--as Mick Jagger sings "from my hospital bed," the ringing guitars of Taylor and Keith Richards build to full catharsis behind him. On that and lighter songs like the countryish "Dead Flowers" and the rocker "Bitch", Charlie Watts establishes himself as rock's prototypical drummer. He's creative and propulsive and knows how to swing, but he never overwhelms the song or the other Stones. --Steve Knopper
"Is everyone familair with the lovely quotation from Charlie Watts in the most recent "Mojo" magazine (thanks to my friend Jim who emailed me this text): "The Mick Taylor period was a creative peak for us. A tremendous jump in musical credibility. Now Keith won't say that; Keith, I think, would prefer to play with Ronnie as a partner. But Mick Taylor was an incredible virtuoso. Brian wasn't, he was a good all-round player, and Ronnie's the same. He'll play wonderful bottleneck guitar and pedal steel -- any instrument, like Brian -- but Mick gave our music terrific lyricism. Ronnie is a very likeable person, a great sense of humor. Musically, he didn't bring anything, but he has this facility to add to things." Mojo Magazine 2003
Said Jagger of Taylor: "He added some very beautiful solos to our music and brought some really nice musical ideas to the group; On the last album, I think the best thing he did was 'Time Waits for No One.'"
What Taylor is good at, however, is playing guitar. His solos are models of economy, sophistication and tension. For sheer beauty, the two instrumental pieces which close the album represent the very best of the kind of fusion where rock incorporates jazz, rather than the other way around. I only wish he had continued in that direction rather than concentrate on blues exclusively, which seems to be what he has done since this release. Of all the classic guitarists that came out of the British pop scene, he remains the most underrated, the most subtle, and the most elusive. This album, even with its faults, wears better than any of, say, Jeff Beck's works, from the same period. And I like Beck a lot. Taylor, though, you can get lost in for years."