Mick Taylor, Leaving Stones Unturned

 

Mick Taylor's past ranks pretty darn high on any roster of the Worst Career Moves in Rock History. In 1974, for reasons that have never been made clear but surely weren't amicable, Taylor quit a small band from England known as the Rolling Stones. A modest but eager crop of fans--"a select few," Taylor called them--showed up at Jaxx on Thursday to catch up with the guitar legend.

The audience was drawn more by what Taylor was than what he is.

Taylor ignored the occasional shout for "Dead Flowers" and didn't put any Jagger-Richards compositions into his Jaxx set. He concentrated on cuts from his most recent CD, the self-released "A Stone's Throw," cranking classic-sounding riffs on "Twisted Sister" and quick-picking the blues on "Secret Affair."

Near the end of his show, Taylor threw in an incredibly heavy version of Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster," a song the Stones covered several times without him. While Taylor coaxed shrill clucking noises out of his Les Paul and swept his bottleneck up and down the fret board, one could rightly feel that Ronnie Wood, his Stones replacement, might well be the luckiest rocker of all time.