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Palais Royale. Toronto - August 16, 2002
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Topic: Some disturbing news from the inside Return to archive Page: 1 2 3 4
08-06-02 11:41 PM
Riffhard My friend and fellow employee of my radio station gives some disturbing news concerning the sessions in Toronto.My friend is Marty Martienez.For those of you in the NYC area you may know him as Mr. Marty from WNEW.Anywho,Marty did the simulcast for the Other Ones show this past weekend.It seems he has some strong ties with those in the Dead camp.

A couple of the enginiers and techs there are also involved with the Stones.Marty told me that two different guys that have been directly involved with the Toronto sessions said that the band is sounding "horrible" and that Woody "ain't got it together for shit" guitar wise.He said there was some real concern from Mick and Keith.He also stated that if things do not improve that they are considering hireing a studio player to play from the wings if need be!

Now,know this,Marty is a major Stones fan.He was pained to relay the news to me.He did say that these guys could be pulling his leg,but that they had no reason whatsoever to do so and that they sounded "straight up".So apparently there is some infighting happening.Not a good sign.

Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it's all rubbish.Anyone that has actully heard any of the sessions care to enlighten us?TTom?

08-06-02 11:49 PM
Sir Stonesalot Ahhh...Woody is just getting the rust out. He's still got time to get his shit together. It'll be ok.

I have faith.
08-07-02 12:15 AM
T&A he could be pulling your leg and/or this could be pure bullshit. However, it's not outside the realm of possibility. Yeah, I would like to hear someone knowledgable tell us what they are actually hearing in terms of the guitar work. We know Keith is okay - so how about first-hand folks? Are you hearing Woody play and if so, what's it sound like?

08-07-02 12:34 AM
Ken Riffhard,
I'm not questioning you or your source..............

I just don't believe a word of it.

I did actually talk to someone the other night that
has been inside at several if not all the rehearsal's
and he said they sound great. Bias opinion, yes. But
he could have said they need to keep working or
something along those lines. Not that they sound great!

For christ sake most of the stuff they've rehearsed
Keith and Ronnie could play half asleep.


08-07-02 12:46 AM
MidnightRambler hm...there's huge part of me that really doesn't want to believe this. I can't imagine HOW the Stones can sound "horrible". Even if they DID sound a little rusty--give them a break! They've been off for 3 years and so far all the songs they've been working on--- are new songs! Some of these songs are totally obscure and rare!

Woody's probably gonna kick ass this year! I don't know why only NOW he'd suck according to your report, if anything he KNOWS how much we want him to get his ass on the line, and he'll be great this year.

It's always easy to believe the worst...
[Edited by MidnightRambler]
08-07-02 02:17 AM
sammy davis jr. This wouldn't surprise me a bit......Mick's never cut Ronnie any slack anyway-hell he wouldn't even let him stay in the same hotel as the rest of the band on recent tours due to his coke problem. Ron better get his shit together in a hurry or schoolmaster Mick will expell him from the band. I'm telling you guys, you're dreaming if you honestly think the boys still have the goods....I'll be surprised if the tour makes it 1/4 of the way before something major interupts it. I mean these guys are 60 freaking years old!! This is not how I wanna remember my favorite band of all time.
08-07-02 02:49 AM
Happy Motherfucker!! What I would like to know is, how does someone that has been playing guitar most of his life, suddenly not be able to play as good anymore? Unless someone is totaly fucked up on drugs I doubt very seriously if they would just forget how to play good. Come on, this is what the man does, he plays fucking guitar for a living so it's very unlikly that he would be having that hard of a time doing what he does best.
08-07-02 03:47 AM
swapwoodfortaylor does anyone stop being a good player? I don't know...but you could ask Peter Green how. Well, if RW can't sort himself out and Mick T says no... perhaps they could mime to 'Brussels'! Session man in wings? No thank you. There was enough pre recorded crap beefing out their performances on last couple of tours. I only go to watch KR's guitar activity. If I am half a mile away and there is a hidden guitarist and I'm on the booze I'll be well confused!
08-07-02 03:48 AM
Ghostdog I posted ages ago that Woody was FUCKED and that it was all a matter of the right man at the right time.

What is so hard to understand about this? 25 years of chronic heavy alchohol abuse can and will fuck you in the head, let alone the body. Add to that coke etc and what do you expect?

Mick, Keith and Charlie will be fine. They have their roles clearly defined and have good health - especially Mick. Charlie is now pretty straight and while Keith still parties he seems to pace himself.

It's only a few weeks since Entwhistle demonstrated that being famous and an idol of millions will not immune a persons body from the effects of too much of everything.
08-07-02 04:02 AM
Mathijs Well, what a surpise. I said a couple of months ago already, after listening to Ronnie's solo shows with Slash, that I could not imagine Ronnie to be worth shit if the Stones would start touring again. The guy's so fucked up due to 30 years of partying he's speaking without syllables, and guitar wise he could hardly grab a simple Aminor during Miss You and strum it. I sure hoped Ronnie would have been able to get hold of himself again, but this "warning" message is not the first one I've heard.

By the way, Mick Taylor is now living in Holland (Groningen) and in an interview last week he said he would enjoy playing with the Stones again, but that they just simply never asked him.

08-07-02 05:20 AM
Jumacfly tell him he has won a beautiful travel for Toronto and put it in the first plane!!!

08-07-02 05:59 AM
Lacride Please, stop the fuss about Ronnie! Just wait and see/hear what happens. He's just a man, not a machine and he knows how to play well, I'm sure.
08-07-02 06:31 AM
Mathijs wrote:
By the way, Mick Taylor is now living in Holland (Groningen) .

is that really true mathijs? i know he dated a dutch student that studies in groningen, but he now actually lives there?
08-07-02 06:43 AM
beer I agree. Quit pissing on Ronnie. We will all find out in September if Ronnie can cut it or not. I hope he can.But I also would love to see Taylor up there too. I guess I'm a dreamer, like Ponyboy, eh Gypsy? Haha....

08-07-02 07:27 AM
Maxlugar Wow!

Paging Dr. Taylor, paging Dr. Taylor!!! You're needed in Toronto....

This is not good if true but like Sir Stonesalot says they have plenty of time left. Even in their prime they could sound like shit on some nights (SNL anyone?)

And they HAVE been rehersing the lesser known tunes so...

But I tend to believe the rumors about Ronnie.

It's a fact he's not in good health so........

08-07-02 09:13 AM
nankerphelge I don't buy it. I'm sure he's damaged himself immeasurably from all the abuse. But I find it hard to believe that he is so far gone that he ca no longer play the guitar. He has to be better than last time out -- he was so completely MIA that he'd have to be drooling and shitting himslef to be any worse. We'll see, but with less than a month to go, I doubt Mick would tolerate it if red flags were popping up all over the place.
08-07-02 09:20 AM
corgi37 This sort of tale is nothing new or alarming. It is not unknown for the stones to sound shit during rehearsals, then all of a sudden - BANG - find their straps and away they go. It' not like they havent done this sort of thing a million times. They are probably trying out new arrangements and dusting off some obscure songs that have never been done live before. It is called rehearsals, ya know! I recall reading a Guitar magazine a couple of years ago that had a feature story on the making of Exile. Evidently, and this is quoting from Jim Keys, the band were dreadful for weeks. they couldnt get a thing together. Then one day, the old magic kicked in, and we all got the best record ever. I have some bootlegs of the 78 sessions, and if you want to hear terrible, out of time/tune playing, listen to them. But, guess what brilliant record came out in 78!
08-07-02 09:43 AM
sandrew This is nonsense - nonsense on stilts. Ronnie's playing could not possibly get any worse than it was in '99. And even if he were completely nonfunctional, they would never even CONSIDER hiring a studio musician (!) to play in the wings. Puh-leeze!
08-07-02 10:13 AM
T&A I am trying to remain optimistic. However, it is certainly not at all without precedent that a musician can just "lose it." It doesn't happen overnight. Someone mentioned in this thread the sad story of Peter Green - once considered one of the all-time greats. Another story is the one of Animals guitarist Hilton Valentine. In their prime, Hilton was a monster on guitar - basic stuff - Chuck Berry, a dash T-bone and Sumlin, etc. But, it was raw, nasty stuff circa 64/65. Fast-forward to the Animals great reunion tour of 1983 - he's barely 40 years old and he could barely play anything. The excesses of the '70's had clearly eroded his skills to the point where Burdon had to hire a guitarist to play all the basic parts of the songs that Hilton could have surely done in his sleep 18 years earlier.

So, whereas I can't say this is what has happened to Ronnie (God, I hope not), it certainly within the realm of possibility.

08-07-02 10:24 AM
Riffhard Ok here's the latest.I just got off the phone with Marty.This is not BS.Everything that I posted is in fact true according to his source.They are "very concerned" in the Stones camp.In fact one of the concerns is that there are many fans hanging outside the rehearsal hall and the band is afraid of the reports of the sessions.They have,cross my heart,even resorted to playing tapes of prior rehearsals to throw off the folks hanging outside!This sounded like pure BS to me,but beleive me they are worried.Word has it that Mick and Keith are fighting and that both are "at a loss"as to what to do about Ronnie.

I tend to beleive that they can get their shit together,but certainly there are people in-the-know that waving some very big red flags!Again,Marty is not BSing me at all.He is in fact a huge Stones fan and a friend of Keith's.I've seen a picture of him sharing a bottle of Absolute and a 2 liter bottle of Sunkist Orange with the man!LOL!With that in mind I should point out that this is not what Marty is reporting,but what his "very reliable" sources are stating.
He told me he hopes that they are over stating things,but he is as concerned as we are.


PS-Don't shit on the messenger.I hate posting this shit as much as we all hate reading it!
08-07-02 10:26 AM
torn&frayed This news doesn't surprise me in the least as Woody is the main reason the quality of the Stones' studio & live material has nosedived steadily since 1975 - although lots of folks on this board like to support Ronnie the man could never hold a candle to Mick Taylor as a musician (or to Keith for that matter) and his talents would have been best utilized as a stunt double for Keith during some of the band's more dangerous performances! While there were definitely personality conflicts w/MT the musical chemistry within the band during his tenure was undeniable and led to some of the greatest studio and live R&R ever recorded.

If Ronnie's gone from bad to worse (or from worse to the WORST) it's troubling news indeed for the Stones since it puts them squarely between a rock and a hard place -


1. Dump Ronnie and get a hired gun with great chops and no band chemistry. Financially attractive option but bound to disappoint a hell of alot of fans for whom Ronnie or MT are the only viable options for the Stones'lead guitar spot.

2. Dump Ronnie and replace w/ MT - best option for the music but this would mean mending fences and admitting that whatever stupidity led to Taylor's departure in the first place would have to be dredged up and smoothed over - financial negotiations w/ Taylor would be difficult given the bad blood from past royalty disputes/songwriting credits. From a musical perspective it would also make it very difficult for the band to perform their RW era material and run the risk of turning the tour into an oldies road show.

3. Let's go to the video tape - they could use tape effects (ala Pink Floyd) in the background to fill out the rough spots - while they're at it they could also invite Brittney Spears onstage for a guest spot to lip synch Shattered. Pray that this doesn't happen - I'd rather hear Ronnie fumble his way through every MT gem than listen to tape at a live show. NOT AN OPTION...

4. Invite MT to join the band for the tour and carry three guitarists - best option for the music but financially unattractive and potentially very embarrasing for Ronnie.

5. Go as is regardless of how badly Ronnie performs and make a mockery of the band's best studio material (if they're rehearsing rarities and gems like Sway, CYHMK, Torn & Frayed, Loving Cup, Casino Boogie - they've obviously set the musical bar very high this time out - Ronnie has trouble consistently nailing the leads on far less challenging material that he's performed hundreds of times!) The thought of shelling out thousands of dollars for the privelege of spending two hours listening tho Ronnie massacre these classics is almost too depressing to contemplate but unfortunately, the most likely scenario.

08-07-02 10:42 AM
jb That was a courageous post and it hits the mark. I think we all accept Ronnie as a Stone, and yes, he has had his moments(78-81), but to deny MT's greatness, which interestingly coincided with the bands greatest material, is clearly a form of denial. The thing is, Mick and Keith are so vicious and vain(justifiably so), there is no way ever MT could return in any capacity. I am willing to bet that we will not even get a "guest " appearence by MT. I think it is caused in large part by Mick and Keith realizing that this 19 yr old kid brought their music to new levels unprecedented in rock music, and that this somehow detracts from the talents of the Glimmer twins. I think Keith is particularly sensitive as MT's guitar playing was quite simply the best in Stones history.
08-07-02 10:46 AM
Joey Two Words ...............

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Mick Taylor !


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Snaggle Joe

08-07-02 10:58 AM
Maxlugar This is like a bad dream!!!!!!!!!

The way I see it, the best option would be #4. I've said it a couple of times that they should have Mick AND Ronnie on board. They are both great bass players. Dump Darryl.

I would have prefered Ronnie of the '75 tour vintage and had high hopes he would get back to that level for this tour by not drinking his ass off .

Does anyone really think they are playing rehersal tapes from past rehersals? My God!

But I'm sorry to say that if Ronnie is not able to go, they will probably delay the whole thing. No way Keith is gonna get used to another guitarist this late in the game. Bring Mick Taylor back is a must.

Also, I think Jeff Beck is available. He's not touring.

Jesus Christ! Why do we have to have our own version of Syd Barrett to deal with so close to the tour!!

"Wish You Were here, Ronnie"

08-07-02 11:02 AM
sandrew People, people - brothers, sisters - let's just cool out, just relax, let's get into a groove ... If we are one, let's show we're all one!

No, seriously, let's stop torturing ourselves. The likelihood that they're playing tapes of past rehearsals to fool the gaggle listening outside - come on, that's fantastical! (Riffhard, I know you're just the messenger, so this is not directed at you.)

This sounds like fourth- or fifth-hand invention. It gets passed along to people who are otherwise reliable, giving it a patina of legitimacy. It confirms what many people - rightly or wrongly - assumed going in: that Ronnie wasn't going to cut it. This kind of rumor-grinding feeds off one of the most psychologically pleasurable human emotions: "I told you so!"

People, we've heard FIRST-HAND accounts of the rehearsals! And it does not take a musician to notice that a band sounds like crap. Yet we bother ourselves with these rumors...
08-07-02 11:03 AM
Honky Tonk Man I would rsather have a pissed up Ronnie then Mick Taylor anyday. The reason, RONNIE IS A ROLLING STONE! Mick Taylor isnt. Simple as that. jb is right to applaud Taylor. He wasa brilliant guitarist. He added so much to the Stones with his unique technice and style. He had flair and style. But Goddmit, he isnt COOL like Ronnie. I WOULD love to see Taylor make a guest appearance, but fuck it, no ones going to replace Ronnie.

08-07-02 11:10 AM
Mr T do we really need this bullshit posted? He's probably just fucking around with you - its amazing how rumors get started sometimes. Didn't we hear just the other night their were doing pretty great? The Stones at this point are smart enough to take this tour seriously - the fact that Ronnie isn't at his best is believable enough - but I doubt it's gonna impact the tour. They didn't start rehearsals all that long ago - you gotta take into account how fast they pull this thing together - but it'll all work out. There's a new rumor like this every week. Also, I'd be surprised to hear if they are having these problems arrive within a month of the tour - with such an ambitious tour ahead especially, and with how long its been, I'm sure they would've done some preliminary jamming before rehearsals began (especially the new songs - they hadn't recorded them at when they announced the tour - but they must have played them several times during the writing process - or maybe even recorded a demo). I find it really hard to believe they would even announce a tour without giving themselves a good evaluation of where they stand.

riffhard - I appreciate that you are only the messanger -but please - don't report this as a fact just yet. It's only a rumor until something actually comes from it & we won't see that until September. And the worst possible thing that could happen is they find a way to work things out. Woodie is a really easy target for rumors right now - I expect to see more of this kind of talk ahead...
08-07-02 11:14 AM
Maxlugar Ronnie is a stone?

So what?

Brian Jones is a Stone too and Ronnie plays guitar just a fraction of the time more than Brian does these days.

Lets get someone in there that will play! And I include Ronnie on that list. But if he's too fucked up, roll him off the field and bring in Mick Taylor.

08-07-02 11:19 AM
Mr T well - maybe if Ronnie is doing badly - that will just up the chances of MT doing more guest appearances - that's always a good way to cover up weaknesses
08-07-02 11:24 AM
torn&frayed Absolutely agreed JB - egos undoubtedly have a lot to do with it and it's highly unlikely that MT will get an invitation to perform with the band even in a guest spot capacity. It's just SAD SAD SAD - This 40th anniverary tour would have represented the perfect (and perhaps final) opportunity to mend fences w/MT and give the band's following a reminder of how powerful and transcendant their music was in its prime.

Taylor still plays much of this vintage material regularly and to my ear his chops haven't diminished one iota - you'd think that they'd all be able to set aside their differences for one last hurrah if for no other reason than out of respect for their musical legacy. If they were able to collectively bite whatever bullets were necessary to get Taylor back into the fold this time out this tour could be a legendary experience.

Trust me - if Taylor were wtih them in Toronto the issue regarding what songs they were capable of performing would be dictated strictly by the time constraints of the given performance and not the musical constraints of Ron Wood!

People - Why are we fighting???

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