This guy turns 70 on December 18th

AR-AE491_Keith_GS_20131211131019I always knew Keith Richards and I had something in common (besides our good looks). One of my all-time fave Stones cuts is “Street Fighting Man”. Turn out it’s one of Keith’s too. You need to check out this great Wall Street Journal article wherein Keith talks about the creation of this rock n roll classic. And make sure to take a listen to “”Did Everyone Pay Their Dues?” at the end of the  article. Never heard of it? You have, actually. Sort of.


Rolling Stones partner with Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka

22_page_view_CHV-RS Pack PicThis was so tailor made for Keith Richards. Crystal Head Vodka,  founded by Dan Aykroyd, and The Rolling Stones, have partnered to create an exclusive, limited edition Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Gift Set. According to the Crystal Head website, the gift set includes:

  • Stunning handcrafted display case featuring a real zipper—recalling the legendary Sticky Fingers album cover
  • Bottle of Crystal Head Vodka
  • 2-CD compilation of live Rolling Stones hits—not available for sale anywhere else
  • Crystal bottle decanter top—engraved with The Rolling Stones iconic lip-and-tongue logo
  • Bottle tattoo—featuring the 50th anniversary logo

The package retails in North America for about $100. 

For those who are interested, here’s the track listing for the two cd’s. I haven’t been able to find out where or when the tracks were recorded.

Disc 1:

1. Brown Sugar

2. Let’s Spend The Night Together

3. Shattered

4. Paint It Black

5. Gimme Shelter

6. Wild Horses

7. Shine A Light

8. Rocks Off

9. Miss You

Disc 2:

1.  Beast of Burden

2. Angie

3. Under My Thumb

4. Start Me Up

5. Jumpin’ Jack Flash

6. Honky Tonk Women

7. Satisfaction

8. You Can’t Always Get What You Want

9. Sympathy For The Devil

Anybody headed to see the Stones in Toronto or Montreal? I’ll be at the Toronto show on May 25th.  While they’re unlikely to make an appearance, I’d love to hear either of these live:

Johnny Depp to helm Keith Richards documentary

Keith Richards, whose autobiography will be out later this year, will be the subject of a documentary to be directed by his long-time friend Johnny Depp. Richards was of course the inspiration for Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. Depp is apparently going to begin working on the project as soon as next week. No word yet on the film will be released. This won’t be the first time Depp has been behind the camera. He directed and starred with Marlon Brando in the 1997 film “The Brave”.

The next installment of the Pirates films, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, is scheduled to hit theatres in May 2011. Depp’s latest film, Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, comes out March 5th.

Here’s a clip of Richards and Depp onscreen together in “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”, and a clip of Keith doing what he does best. My favourite Stones-Keith track, from Some Girls.

1989: The Steel Wheels Tour. 2011: The Steel Wheelchairs Tour?


When The Rolling Stones hit the road in 1989 in support of their album Steel Wheels, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were both in their mid-forties. At the time, critics dubbed the tour the Steel Wheelchairs tour. By today’s standards, rock stars launching world tours in their mid-forties doesn’t even raise an eyebrow, considering that so many mega-stars continue to tour worldwide well into their sixties and beyond. (Elton John, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney etc, etc.)

As for the Stones, Keith Richards recently told Rolling Stone magazine that he hopes to start working on a new album with the band early in 2010. If the last twenty years is any proof, with a new Stones project a tour usually follows. Keith has always said that he’d like to keep touring, so if there’s a new record next year, could the Stones be hitting the road yet again? If you’ve seen the Stones on any of their last few tours, you’ll no doubt know they always manage to put on one hell of a show, both musically and visually, so maybe they still have at least one more powerhouse tour in ’em. (For the record, as of January 1 2011, Mick and Keith will be 67, Charlie will be 69 and Ronnie will be 63.)

In the meantime, Keith has recorded a few new cuts with Jack White. Maybe a new Keith Richards disc is on the way? Personally, I would love to see a follow-up to 1992’s Main Offender. It’s not as strong as 1988’s Talk Is Cheap, but a good record nonetheless. Although Mick has released more solo work, his projects tend to be more pop/rock based while Keith’s are more bluesy and grittier. While I like both, I prefer the latter.

Until the next tour, here’s a great clip of the boys from the Shine A Light DVD. They still got it.

And because I’m also a Keith fan, here’s the music video for his 1988 single Take It So Hard:

The Best of Both Worlds

Homer Rocks

So it’s Sunday night, and the weekend’s winding down. I was relaxing, doing a little channel surfing on the ol’ Aquos when I landed on an episode of the Simpsons from 2002 called “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation”. It’s one of my favourites. It’s the episode when Homer goes to a rock and roll fantasy camp. For me, it was the best of both worlds: rock and roll, and tv. (And speaking of the best of both worlds, I have two songs by that title, one by the late, great Robert Palmer from his 1978 album “Double Fun” and the other by Van Halen, or “Van Hagar” if you prefer.  Each great songs in their own right. But I’m getting off topic…)

The Simpsons episode features cameos by Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz and Brian Setzer. One of my favourite lines is when Mick, sitting at an adding machine, turns to Keith and says they need to find a cheaper brand of oatmeal for the camp. Priceless.

So this episode got me thinking about music on tv, going back to the days when Muchmusic was just an idea on paper. These were the days of classics like American Bandstand, Soul Train, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, and The Midnight Special. Later there was NBC’s Friday Night Videos, Solid Gold and in Toronto there was Toronto Rocks, Citylimits, and the CBC had Good Rockin’ Tonight. I’m sure I’m leaving out some.


One memory that stands out was in 1975 when on an episode of American Bandstand, Dick Clark aired the video for Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I can still remember thinking how incredibly cool it was. Music videos had of course existed for years before that, but in my opinion I think it was this video in particular that launched the music video generation.

(BTW: I saw Queen live in 1982 and even got to meet drummer Roger Taylor when I was working at a radio station in Montreal. My brush with greatness!)

What are your memories of music on tv? Anything really special stand out?

Bonus Post!  “The Shuffle Report”

To continue on a theme from the last post, here just for fun are the last 10 songs I’ve listened to in shuffle mode on my iPod at the time I wrote today’s post (no editing):

1. I Had A Dream–Ray Charles (The Birth of Soul, Disc 3)

2. Reason To Believe–Bruce Springsteen (Nebraska)

3. Is She Really Going Out With Him?–Joe Jackson (Two Rainy Nights–Live)

4. Take Me To The Pilot–Elton John (Here and There–Live)

5. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)–The Beatles (Abbey Road)

6. No No Song–Ringo Starr (Photograph–The Very Best Of)

7. Strange Days–Matthew Good (In A Coma)

8. Mr. Soul–Buffalo Springfield (Retrospective)

9. Dark Angel–Blue Rodeo (Five Days In July)

10. Here To Stay–Pat Metheny Group (We Live Here)