Welcome to week five of the music of the Rolling Stones 1962 to 1974. This week, we're going to focus on the years 1969 into the first half of 1971 and the two big albums we're going to consid, going to consider are Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers. So coming out of Beggars Banquet from last week, and looking toward Exile on Main Street, which next week, we'll spend the entire week looking at the big double album. So, Let it Bleed and Sticky Fingers. This video will be an introduction to some of the big issues we'll talk about this week. And then kind of an overview of some of the things that happened in 1969. We'll talk about 1969 first and and the Let It Bleed album and the single around it. well, the first thing to say in terms of the, the overall structure of the, of this week is that 1969 and 1970. Even into 1971 bring some really important changes in the story of the Rolling Stones. Now, musically I'll make an argument that there's a lot of continuity from the stuff that we were talking about last week. But in terms of personnel and things, there's a real kind of changing of the guard in some in, in some dimensions. First of all inside the band itself Bryan Jones leaves the group in 1969 and is eventually replaced by Mick Taylor first as kind of a side man and then as a full fledged member. We'll talk liitle bit more about that story a little bit later. In 1970, Allen Klein is out as the guy sort of handling the financial end of what's going on with the Rolling Stones. And the deal with Decca, the one who Allen Klein negotiated for the Rolling Stones, that expires too. And so 1970's a really kind of of a business, in terms of the business of the band. A real kind of changing of the guard. And then, in 1971, the first half of 1971, we see the band actually leaving the country, leaving the UK as tax exiles because there's this big unpaid tax bill and there's no way, given the the tax bracket they were in, they could generate enough money to pay off their back taxes. So they had to, leave the country, in order to clear more money out of what they were making. So, 69, 70, 71 lots of changes going on. But musically the band continues, and the more blues-based style that we talked about them developing in, Beggars Banquet. And you can remember that that one of the things I said is that while we get a really strong sense of return to more of sort of blues bass, blueish rock kind of style in the Stones' music. We also can see the influence of so many of those other cover versions that they did earlier on. And we kind of tracked some of the influences of country and gospel and of course blues folk, people like Dylan, and maybe people like the Beach Boys and the Beetles in the Stones music. So, there's plenty of that going on, but also this idea that they turned there backs on and all of the kinds of artistic ambitions of and the very sort of musically ambitions kinds of things, doesn't really hold up either. We talked about that with regard to Beggars Banquet. And that will to be the story with Let it Bleed and Sticky Fingers. But whats new this with, with this period of the group, is that there's a new dimension of musical ambition that starts to make it's way into Rolling Stone music and that's the dimension of musical virtuosity. Now, the group had always had players a, around them who were good musicians and good players in different kinds of ways. I mean all the guys in the group were pretty good musicians but I mean sort of professional studio musician types, Jack Nitzshce for example playing piano. Nicky Hopkins we've already talked about him being a part of the group. But now, when Mick Taylor comes into the group for the first time they get a guitar player who really is kind of a guitar player's guitar player, a musician's musician. And when somebody like that comes in a group, you gotta give them a little bit of room to roam, musically speaking. Which means that are going to be, there are now going to come to the group, kind of musical passages and things that are a little bit lar, little bit, sort of, mu, inspired by muscianly kinds of concerns rather than strictly arranging songwriting concerns. So when you put together Mick Taylor with Nicky Hopkins who's been involved in the recordings now. Jim Price who comes in on the on the trumpet. Bobby Keys who comes in on the saxophone, and Jack Nitzsche who's around in some of these sessions especially Let Her Be. We really get a lot of really talented musicians working around The Rolling Stones and that does make their music more musically ambitious from a technical musical point of view, than anything we've seen after that point. We'll get to that this week as we talk about it. I, I, I do want to say, though, about, about the musical end of it. It's important to note that Brian Jones had been a gifted and versatile musician in the group. Brian had a real natural ability. And a certain amount of skill built up as a guitarist and as a harmonica player. But he's always one of the guys, as I've said many times over the last couple of weeks who could just kind of pick up any instrument and get a sound out of it right away, and so he was playing all kinds of different instruments. And that, that lead to kind of a mystical experimentation. But when you get a guy like Mick Taylor in the group who really, you know, he's a just a natural and you put him together with somebody like Nicky Hopkins and Bobby Keys. All of the sudden something else starts to happen that hadn't happened in the Rolling Stones music up to this point. Well, let's take a look now at the calendar for 1969 and see of the the events that unfolded for the group. There was recording going on for the group for most of the year in, you know, in chunks. They weren't recording continuously. There were a lot of other kinds of things going but, but for February through November the group is, is, is working on recording. In the summer of 1969, they bring out the single, Honky Tonk Women, backed with, You Can't Always Get What You Want, that single goes to number one on both sides of the Atlantic. Those are going to be part of a song close-up I'm going to do, so I'll save discussion of those songs for that point. Brian Jones is busted a second time for drugs. Remember, the story I told last week, is that Brian tended to be really paranoid about these drug busts. So, he's busted a second time. He crashes his motorcycle. It really just sort of looks like Brian Jones is in a real decline by May of 1969. And so, in June of 1969, Brian leaves the band. And Mick Taylor eventually joins under the idea that Mick Taylor is going to do a touring that they have coming up in 69. Brian kind of didn't want to do the touring, he kind of didn't like the direction the group was going in now. And in some ways he might have had visa problems because of the drugs busts. Although Keith and Mick, that might have been a problem for them, as well. Still, it, it seemed like an amicable parting o, of the ways. If you can imagine Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts going out to Brian's Country Home. A Country Home had once been owned by A.A. Milne, the guy who wrote all those Winnie the Pooh stories. And them having this discussion with Brian. Keith Richards has said that he, he thought that Brian kind of knew this was coming. And Charlie Watts has said that he felt really bad about it because he felt like they were taking the most important thing in Brian's life away from him by having him leave the group. The deal they made with is he was just leaving the group for current purposes because, you know, they were going to be finishing an album and touring, and he couldn't be part of it. But he could always come back to the group again. So, he wasn't out for good. He was just out for now, and they were going to get this side man, Mick Taylor to come in to the group. Well, as I said before, about Mick Taylor, a fantastic musician, had played with John Mayall and the Blues Breakers. So, he was from that same kind of lineage that had brought us people like Eric Clapton and Peter Green, who was in that the first version of Fleetwood Mac. And so Mick Taylor was one of those kinds of sort of virtuoso blues guitar guys, sort of in the, in the mold of Eric Clapton or Peter Green. unfortunately, tragically really Bryan Jones dies just weeks after the announcement that he was out of the band in July of 1969. Just about the times the Stones were going to play their first live gig in a while with Mick Taylor on guitar. Very awkward situation for the group. They decided to make it into a kind of a celebration of Bryan's life and Mick Jagger read some poetry at the concert, but no doubt a very, very difficult time for the group and a very, very awkward kind of concert. November, December 69 the group does it's sixth U.S tour, and now when their touring, remember they haven't, they havent' been touring for a little bit. Now, that when their touring, their touring environment has changed very much from what it use to be. It used to be, remember when the Stones would give a, a concert maybe the set would last, you know, 30 minutes, 35 minutes. If they ever got to the end of it, but a lot of times they never got to the end of it because some kind of a, a disturbance would break out and the police would shut it down. And we talked about all the context around all that. Well, now the concert business has changed by the time they get back into it again at end of 69. Now, people sit in their seats. Maybe they've done a little bit too much of substances, this kind of thing. But there's none of this kind of, you know, fighting and rushing the stage and rioting. Now, people expect a show. And not only they, do they expect a, a, a musical performance, but they can hear it now because sound systems have been built up and speakers and microphones and mixing and all of this kind of thing. And so, the Stones are now confronted with a situation where, when they used to play live gigs nobody could really hear how they sounded because there was all that screaming and all that pandemonium. Now, they were going to have to really deliver the goods live. They were going to have to get up there on stage, play the entire set which is going to have to last, you know, an hour, an hour and a half maybe longer, you know. Think about it we're talking about 1969, so this is that same time when groups like the Greatful Dead. And other groups like that were were touring so these these shows were bigger and an entirely new environment. So, they were a little bit threatened by that. That's why it was so important that when they came through in 69, they were going to be as good as they can be. While they were on that tour in the United States they recorded at Muscle Shoals recording studio, Muscle Shoals Alabama, which is a place that had, had really sort of had a rich history of recording R and B. People like Wilson Pickett, for example, had recorded in Muscle Shoals. Percy Sledge, When a Man Loves a Woman was recorded down in Muscle Shoals. The first Aretha track, Aretha Franklin tracks were recorded down in Muscle Shoals. Real, usually associated with the southern soul style. And we know that the Stones were very enamored at that. So, they got a chance to go Muscle Shoals much as they'd gotten a chance to record at Chess Studios in Chicago earlier and the RCA Studios where Elvis had recorded in Los Angeles. Those tracks from tha, from the end of 1969 will appear on the Sticky Fingers LP. And then the album, Let it Bleed is finally released in November of 1969 in the US, goes to number three, in December of 69 goes to number one in the UK, when it's released there in December. So these tragedies, let's spend a little bit more time talking about the tragedies that happened in 1969. The first one, I think, can be dispensed with fairly fairly quickly. It certainly wasn't the tragedy of Brian Jones' death. He was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool, he'd been partying with a couple of friends. They went back into the house for a minute, he said he'd be there in a second. They went back in, they didn't see anything from him, wonder what happened to Brian, come out, there is he at the bot, bottom of the pool, pretty much already gone. And so, you know, the, the ideas that maybe he'd done a little bit too much partying, maybe too many substances maybe he hit his head, who knows? But it was probably an accidental death, either by overdose or something but it was surely by drowning. well, then some stories started to come up that perhaps it was a murder. Somebody had done Brian in. And there was even a death bed confession by somebody some years ago. I'm not even going to mention that person's name because it's not even credible, and I don't want to give the person any more notoriety than that deserves. You can look it up and, and find out about it. But anyway, the theories of Brian's murder are generally thought not to be credible. It was just a, a tragic accident that, that caused him to lose his life. Maybe it was suicide, probably not. It was just the kind of thing that can happen sometimes when there's just too much, too much drugs, too much alcohol that kind of thing. The bigger tragedy for, or bigger but the, the, the, the tragedy that loomed larger in the Stones' history during 1969 was the terrible incident that happened at the concert at the Altamont Speedway in the San Francisco area December the 6th 1969. The Stones, during their tour, had announced that they were going to be doing a concert when they were in New York, I think it was at the beginning of the tour. Oh, we're going to do a free concert in Golden Gate Park with the Grateful Dead, having never like really consulted with anybody about it. Mick, Mick Jagger kind of improvised it, figuring other people would work out the details. But when the people in San Francisco found out about it, the city fathers and that kind of thing now there's not going to be any of that kind of thing. So, they looked around for a location. Finally settled on this this race track, the Altamont Speedway to do the concert. And the concert was kind of during the same time that a lot of these big concerts where going to happen that Summer Woodstock rememberm had had happened, which included Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Satanic, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Jimi Hendrix had, had played at at, at Woodstock. And so a lot of those groups were back again for this Altamont concert. And not Hendrix and the security was provided by the Hell's Angels. Well, in the U.K., the, the Stones had done a show where the, the security was provided by Hell's Angels and U.K., and it seemed okay, you know, that, they, they, they, it was all right. But these guys in San Francisco, this was a different lot. They got drunk and they got angry and they started beating people up. They were beating people up, members of the audience in front of the stage. And one of the members of the Jefferson Airplane Marty Ballon was, was attacked by one of these Hells Angels it was really bad news. And during one of the Rolling Stone's numbers a young fan by the name of Meredith Hunter was stabbed by a Hell's Angel after brandishing a gun in front of the stage. Was stabbed in front of the stud, in, in front of the Stones as they were in the middle of a performance, and it was all caught on film because they were filming a documentary at the time. And so when you take the Brian Jones death in the summer of 69, and this terrible incident in December of 69, put them together it just seems like a real year of, of, of, of tragedies, for the Stones, from that point of view. But amidst, all of this tragedy and all of this this, this, this bad stuff that was going on, and these changes, they produced a fantastic album. Released it in in, at the end of 1969, and that album was Let it Bleed. And that's what we'll turn to in the next video.