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Topic: Hyde Park & Double Door Return to archive
03-07-02 08:20 AM
Mathijs This week I received two new VGP titles –finally VGP releases something again that I find interesting after all the sub-par releases of mediocre audience tapes or re-releases of titles we all already have. The first one is VGP 296: Stones in the Park 69, a recording of the Hyde Park Free Concert, June 5, 1969. The second one is VGP 300: Live At The Double Door, Chicago September 18, 1997.

To start with the first one: this is a true upgrade over anything I have heard! Finally VGP does it again… Until now the Swingin’ Pig release was the best available complete recording, but this VGP title blows it away. The VGP title is, contrary to the STP title, right in your face, loud and clear. Gone is the hiss and static and gone are the speed problems. It’s even better than the amongst tape traders circulating incomplete MONO BBC Radio Broadcast, awaited to be released by Dirty Work Productions but never heard off since. I am not sure whether VGP upgraded the existing tape or if they found a new one. Still missing are two strophes of Satisfaction and one strophe of I’m Yours and I’m Hers and Down Home Girl is still taken from a –now very good- audience tape, and the tape is bass is a bit on the heavy side– a problem when a tape is upgraded by cutting the highs and boosting the mids (a general problem with Sister Morphine titles). Great news is that we finally –a first time ever!- have the complete Midnight Rambler, without the speaker interruption and without missing music. In my opinion the absolute release –until ABKCO decides to release it officially (which will be very very unlikely for all the obvious reasons).

The second title is Live At The Double Door –and I have some mixed feelings about it. The quality is good video soundboard recording –it’s good but it suffers from what all video boards suffer from –it’s dry, little bass and highs, there’s some hiss here and there. But overall a very enjoyable sound. But now comes the bad part (in my very humble opinion…): I think the music is really really bad –up to a point that I get ashamed a bit. It makes me really start to wonder why the Stones even bother to keep on performing live. I compared the music to the legendary El Mocambo gig in March 1977 (I know it’s unfair, but hey, it’s both glub gigs!), and the first thing that struck me was the difference in energy level. The El Mocambo gig is fast paced, with fierce and aggressive guitars, hard-hitting drums and a fat bass. The Double Door is incredibly slow (Jumping Jack Flash is played as fast as Sway here, about 80 bpm!), the guitars sound soft and lacking in edge and fierceness. All tracks are played in a slow 80 to 90 bpm tempo, directed by Mr. Clean-face Chuck Leavell. Why? Are the Stones afraid Charlie will suffer from a hard attack when it goes any faster? Second thing that struck me was the general technical (dis)ability of Keith and Ron –especially when compared to El Mocambo. Ron is just out of it at the Double Door. He simple doesn’t seem to be capable anymore. He plays out of tune, off-beat and uninspired. When he does play a solo, it never goes beyond bending a few strings, stepping on a fuzz-face, and let the feedback do its work. Keith seems to be incapable of carrying the rhythm, to drive the band. The way he plays sounds bored –like he had enough of being a guitarist. The way he starts Jumping Jack Flash sounds so bored (“ do we really have to play this again?”), his licks sound like his fingers can’t play anymore what he’s thinking. It reminded me of the versions of Starfucker the Stones did in 1997 and 1998 (Bridges To Gothenburg for example). Keith seems to remember he used to do the lead-lines and Chuck Berry fills, but he seems to be incapable to reproduce them. He wants to play it, but it just doesn’t come out his fingers. And here too we have this dreadful slow paced rhythm. Starfucker was played at the same pace as the original It’s Only Rock and Roll –I understand why Mick mixed the tracks up once in a while! The Double door recording reminds me of a Rolling Stones coverband –they know the chords of the songs, but aren’t talented enough to let it sparkle. Last but certainly not least are the sidemen. In my opinion Darryl is the most boring bass player in the world and Ian McLagan should be back at the keyboard, but ok, I accept that. But what I never noticed was how really dreadful Bernard Fowler can be! He just isn’t a Rock and Roll singer (he did some beautiful things on Ron’s and Charlie’s albums). When he sings back-up to tracks like Out of Control and Jumping Jack Flash (do we need that by the way?) he bends his voice to sing a little rougher –but then he sings really out of tune! He sings like he can’t hear himself, and makes the same noise as when I sing with a set of headphones on…

Well, the Stones will start touring again from September 5, 2002 on, but I really wonder if we should be so happy about that. If I speak for myself: I really wouldn’t mind if the Stones would call it quits and start releasing material from the days they still had the energy flowing, from the days the guitars still sounded strong and fierce.

Mathijs
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The Rolling Stones in Review

http://stonesinreview.tiscaliweb.nl/

Bootlegs for Sale
The Lowdown on the Guitars of Keith Richards
Bootleg Reviews
Brussels Affair 1973
Vinyl Gang Productions / The Swingin' Pig
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03-07-02 08:53 AM
Cardinal Ximinez Well dude, I know where you are coming from....BUT, to say that they should hang it up is ridiculous. I'll take whatever the Stones will give me, and I'll be glad for it. I'm not ready to give my band over to antiquity just yet!

If you don't like the way the Stones are headed (and honestly, I'd rather have the hard rockin' Stones back too!), then I guess you'll just be one less person fighting with me for tickets.

You gotta understand, the Rolling Stones are more than just a band...it's more than just music...The Rolling Stones are a way of life.
03-07-02 09:00 AM
Mathijs
er, I am living, breathing and eating Stones for 20 years, so I know about the way of life.

Second -the way of life will never end as the Stones from '63 until '83 will always be an inspiration to me. What I am saying is that when I listen the a gig like the Double Door it has nothing to do with The Greatest R&R band in the World. It sounds like some drunk cheapo cover band.

I'd rather have the memory of the legendary Rolling Stones than the feel of shame for this band dragging on too long.

Mathijs
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Rolling Stones in Review

http://stonesinreview.tiscaliweb.nl/

Bootlegs for Sale
The Lowdown on the Guitars of Keith Richards
Bootleg Reviews
Brussels Affair 1973
Vinyl Gang Productions / The Swingin' Pig
----------------------------------------------------------------
03-07-02 09:05 AM
Maxlugar The Double door video is awesome.

They do make mistakes on it but shit it's the first show.

Jumpin' Jack Flash is a high point. Maybe you need to SEE Keith
play those riffs because he is anything but bored on that one.

If anything, Hyde Park sucks like nothing else has ever sucked in the world.

I don't care if it's all polished up and clean. You can gold plate a pile of dog shit but its still dog shit.

Your overall point about the music not being as guitar driven as it should be is dead on though.

03-07-02 09:32 AM
nankerphelge I agree about the guitars. No question Ronnie was AWOL through most of the '97-'99 season. And Keith has taken on a very lazy attitude. I am hoping that they recognize this before embarking on this tour. The problem is, in my mind, that after 40 years, they are so used to tuning out the criticism, that they will never admit they need a tune-up and they will continue to lean heavily on the back-ups to fill in the missing sound. It is really unfortunate -- you'd think that if any band would refuse to compromise on quality, it would be the Stones.

Hopefully, before this whole thing gets underway, they are taking a little stock of what they have already done, what works, what doesn't, and have given themselves a good hard look to make this tour great.

03-07-02 11:59 AM
TomL Faith my friends. We will be in our glory no matter what. High, drunk and free.
03-07-02 12:16 PM
Cardinal Ximinez Nanky,

The Stones are not compromising on quality by having all the back ups....they are covering their collective ass.

We crazies are a bigtime minority. The "show band" Stones are well liked by the casual fan. They go away feeling entertained, and like their money was well spent....We hard core fans are looking for a little more...but it's not gonna happen. The Stones need to assure a good show every time out the gate. They just can't rely on themselves anymore to deliver the goods EVERY night. So they settle for entertaining the masses, and leaving the hard core fans frustrated. The unwashed masses are the bread and butter. That's where all the money is generated. Look at it this way, if all of us hard core fans stayed away from this next tour...every single one of us....they would still set records for gross ticket sales. Sadly, tours are just big business now. the days of using live shows as a form of artistic expression are gone. We all just better accept it and move on. We'll enjoy the Autum a lot more if we all do.
03-07-02 01:08 PM
nankerphelge I agree that they won't change because it entertains the masses. But it is clearly a compromise on the quality of the four band members. Mick doesn't have to hit the notes he cannot. Keith can coast a bit and just make sure that the trademark sounds are there - and Ronnie can concetrate on watered-down solos. And they know it. We are saying the same thing -- the shows are not (and probably cannot be) what they once were. I can accept that. But last time out some of them just gave up.
03-07-02 01:39 PM
Maxlugar Don't worry your sweaty little heads my Stoneslings.

That is why they will be doing small clubs through this tour.

As hardcore fans will get those shows.

It's at these shows where the true Stones show up to play.

Foot Tappers anyone? Connection! Still a Fool! Jump on Top of Me!

Sheppards Bush anyone? Melody! Moon is Up! Brand New Car! I Go the Blues!

This is the Stones that take chances and where Ronnie actually plays.

I'm saving all my money at sick days for THOSE shows.

Oh I'll be at the big barns too, but the clubs is where I'll get MY Rocks Off.

Maxlugar - Est. 1995
03-07-02 04:12 PM
Joey "Ron is just out of it at the Double Door. He simple doesn’t seem to be capable anymore. He plays out of tune, off-beat and uninspired. When he does play a solo, it never goes beyond bending a few strings, stepping on a fuzz-face, and let the feedback do its work. Keith seems to be incapable of carrying the rhythm, to drive the band. The way he plays sounds bored –like he had enough of being a guitarist. The way he starts Jumping Jack Flash sounds so bored "

Man , you said it !!!!!! Ronnie just plays air guitar on stage . Time to get Mick Taylor back into the band .

" Hit Me Out Ronnie "


Joey , C10
03-07-02 06:34 PM
Gazza Its a bloody warm up show..thats the whole point of them...getting the rust out of the way and trying out some new stuff before they get in front of a proper paying audience.

If youre suggesting they pack it in on the basis of what is essentially a live rehearsal then youre taking this way too seriously
03-08-02 06:53 AM
Mathijs Joey - wake up, it’s not 1975 anymore –Taylor is gone and will never return. I spoke with him 4 months ago, and he was barely able to communicate –it’s that bad the shape he’s in.

Gazza – please remember that the El Mocambo gigs on 3 and 4 March 1977 were the first time in 9 months ( Vienna, Austria, June 23, 1976) that the Stones performed life regularly (if we pass over the one-off Knebworth gig on August 21, 1976). The Stones hardly rehearsed for the El Mocambo gigs –they just decided on the songs they would play and that’s it. Secondly, in my opinion the Double Door gig isn’t any worse or better than the complete 1997/1998 B2B tour. In fact, the DD gig has some excitement that most larger gigs are missing. That’s why I took Starfucker on the B2B tour as an example of the abilities of the Stones. Since I received the DD boot, I listened to some more B2B shows, and it just struck me that even the shows I considered good shows –like the MSG shows- are actually quite bad when you compare it to any 1975 – 1982 gig. It’s the lack of energy, it’s the lack of tension and excitement. It’s Ronnie who clearly is too far-gone to be taken seriously as a guitar player, it’s the fact that Chuck Leavell has taken over Keith’s role as musical director.

Yesterday I have listened to the Shepherds Bush gig. I always considered this a great concert, but if you listen a bit more critical it actually isn’t really good. Most songs miss the drive (Shattered is played at half speed, and even Some Girls misses the vengeance it had on some NS gigs), and take for example Tumbling Dice. It starts of quite o.k., bit within a minute you hear that no-one really feels like playing it. The rhythm starts to drift, and after Ronnie’s terrible solo Keith seems to be lost. He can’t catch the rhythm anymore, so he starts to play lead lines. At that moment Charlie is lost, the horns are lost, and even Chuck Leavell is lost. The last two minutes of Tumbling Dice sums up to me why I wonder whether the Stones should tour again….

----------------------------------------------------------------
The Rolling Stones in Review

http://stonesinreview.tiscaliweb.nl/

Bootlegs for Sale
The Lowdown on the Guitars of Keith Richards
Bootleg Reviews
Brussels Affair 1973
Vinyl Gang Productions / The Swingin' Pig
----------------------------------------------------------------
03-08-02 08:41 AM
nankerphelge Makes one wonder just what condition the band was in during the B2B tour. Some of the shows were great -- Atlanta was awesome -- even Syracuse was very good. But I didn't think the DC show was all that spectacular.

I would love to believe that as the band sifts thru its past for this so-called box set we keep hearing about that maybe, just maybe, the band will hear what we all hear -- an intensity and magic that allows one to listen to the same music incessantly without ever getting tired of it, and a desire to do things right this time. Like slapping Ronnie about the head and neck to make sure he plays at the level he did in '94-'95. (I'd love '78 but I am realistic). And if Ronnie's bad play was caused by Keith or Mick or Chuck, hell someone ought to bonk all their heads together.

Not Charlie though -- he's the man.

03-08-02 02:42 PM
Joey "Joey - wake up, it’s not 1975 anymore –Taylor is gone and will never return. I spoke with him 4 months ago, and he was barely able to communicate –it’s that bad the shape he’s in. "

You make young Joey cry like a baby .

Joey , C10
03-08-02 09:53 PM
sly All comments written make excellent points. Unfortunately, one of the reasons the Stones don't seem into it as much is because they HAVE to play the same songs over and over to satisfy the casual fans. Think about if they replaced jjflash, htw, td, bs, and satisfaction with rip this joint, let it loose,sway,stray cat blues, and jigsaw puzzle. Every casual listenr that just knows the songs they play on the radio would leave saying, "The Stones suck, I can't believe they didn't do satisfaction and Bown Sugar." The hard core fans get screwed because the Stones are "pressured" in to playing thse tunes. Unfortunately, the club gigs are way too few and far between, and will cost an arm and a leg to get in.


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