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Licks World Tour 2002 - 2003

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Topic: Stones Unearth Lost Gems for Tour Return to archive
08-17-02 08:10 AM
CS Jagger and Richards dig into Rolling Stones' library

The sound is familiar, but the song is not. Keith Richards hits the guitar riff with stabbing force against the unhurried funk of Charlie Watts' drums and Ron Wood's wiry lead breaks while Mick Jagger belts the chorus in a high, torrid drawl, flanked by horns, keyboards and heated-gospel background vocals: "Don't wanna be your slaaave." At the end, Richards pumps his fists in the air. "Victory is ours!" he crows to a round of agreeing laughter from the other Rolling Stones.
At their rehearsal space in downtown Toronto, the Stones are preparing for their upcoming tour by resurrecting "Slave," an obscure shot of slow-burn soul from the 1981 album Tattoo You that the Stones have never performed in concert. Later tonight, they'll go even deeper into their library, kicking feral life back into "Monkey Man," from 1969's Let It Bleed, and digging out two hidden diamonds from 1972's Exile on Main Street: the slithering "Casino Boogie" and the country lament "Torn and Frayed," a song the Stones have not played in concert since their '72 Exile tour.

Talking during a dinner break, Richards marvels at the Stones' depth of excavation in rehearsal: "Loving Cup," also from Exile; the Goats Head Soup ballad "Winter"; "She Smiled Sweetly," from 1967's Between the Buttons; and a wide menu of blues and R&B covers from Slim Harpo's "I'm a King Bee" to "Love Train" by the O'Jays. "A lot of this has come out because of the way the tour is structured," Richards says, referring to the different stadium, arena and theater shows the band will play in many cities. "If we're going to do this, we need to put more ammo in the magazine.

"It also brings a lot of threads back," he goes on, "to things you've done but thought, 'Oh, that was then.' Here I am, playing 'Heart of Stone,' and suddenly a bit of you goes back to when you were writing it: 'I didn't realize it was this good.'"

"We've been this loose in rehearsal before, but there is something magical about these rehearsals which I've never seen," Wood notes excitedly. "We just about nailed every song on Exile. We're doing "I Got the Blues" [from Sticky Fingers] with four horns. It's such a buzz. And you can see the honesty that's coming out. Mick is singing full tilt all the time. A lot of vocalists would go, 'It's no the show yet, I'll just brush over that bit' He's in there, man."

A month before the opening night of the Rolling Stones Licks World Tour 2002-03 -- September 3rd at the Fleet Center in Boston -- Jagger still isn't sure how the Stones will convert all of this research, along with the hits, into coherent set lists. "What I want to do in the arenas," he says, "is a thematic middle section, which could be five songs from Some Girls. Another night, we could do an Exile theme. When we get into theaters, we'll be able to do more unknown numbers. You can get away with it there." Yet he cautions, "until we've done it, it's all guessing." Jagger won't divulge any details about the production for the stadium shows but guarantees it will be "fucking enormous."

This will be the first time since 1975 that the Stones have done a major tour without a new studio album to promote. But there is product: ABKCO has reissued the Stones' 1960s catalog, including the British version of classic LPs such as Out of Our Heads and Aftermath, in digitally remastered form. And on October 1st, Virgin will release Forty Licks, a two-CD retrospective covering the group's entire career. The set also includes four new songs - "Don't Stop," "Stealing My Heart," "Key to Your Love" and "Losing My Touch" - taped during a month-long session in Paris in May.

"If we came straight to Toronto and hadn't played together since the last show of the last tour," Richards says, "then it would have been straight into the trench, without feeling like we'd done anything in between. So we went to Paris to cut three or four tracks. We ended up with twenty-eight."

He cackles proudly. "I'm not saying they're finished or anything. But they are basic tracks. They just started piling out. And we've kept going ever since. I daren't hardly say it, but it's probably the best Stones yet -- at least for a long time."

Richards isn't done mining his past, either. Asked if there's anything from the ancient days that he's still dying to play in rehearsal he lights up: "Actually, 'Flight 505' [from Aftermath]. A friend called up and said, 'Tell Keith that I had a terrible airplane flight and it was Flight 505.' I said, 'Hey, thanks for the tip.'"

Richards laughs as he gets up to go back to the practice room: "I may lay that one on the others in a minute."

(August 16, 2002
08-17-02 08:58 AM
Gazza This is getting more exciting by the minute? "Slave"?? christ,I never thought theyd even dare attempt that one!

Five-song performances from selected albums in the arenas? Woo-hoo....roll on MSG (betcha its "Some Girls" for THAT one!)
08-17-02 10:49 AM
Jaxx here's another:

Royale event
With stars in the crowd, Rolling Stones rock the Palais
By JANE STEVENSON -- Toronto Sun

Call them rock music's Royale family.

Sir Mick and The Rolling Stones last night played their third Toronto club gig in nine years, hitting the stage at Palais Royale on Sunnyside Beach at 10:42 p.m.

They dazzled a star-studded crowd of about 1,000 -- which included actresses Sharon Stone, Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler -- literally until "just around midnight" with their encore song, Brown Sugar.

"It was great fun. We had a laugh. Thanks, everybody," singer Mick Jagger said at the end.

The Stones opened their set with a searing version of their 1974 classic It's Only Rock And Roll, amid deafening cheers.

After the opening number, Jagger took off his jacket to reveal a sparkling turquoise tank-top with silver sequins that spelled out 'LICK' - and asked the crowd, "Are you okay?" They responded in the affirmative, despite the suffocating heat that drove many to seek cooler temperatures outside -- on the dance hall's wooden deck and below on the pavement.

Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood, and drummer Charlie Watts -- with help from bassist Daryl Jones, a keyboardist, three backup singers and a four-man horn section -- then launched into Sad, Sad, Sad, a song from their 1989 Steel Wheels album.

Among the 700 invited guests in the 80-year-old lakefront dancehall was a slew of star actors, also including Dennis Quaid and James Spader. An additional 300 people bought tickets early yesterday morning.

The Stones' third song was If You Can't Rock Me, a staple of their '70s shows, and it was followed by such crowd-pleasers as Honky Tonk Woman, Wild Horses, Heart Of Stone, Can't You Hear Me Knocking and Jumpin' Jack Flash.

Whenever the band did attempt a more obscure tune -- such as Torn & Frayed -- Jagger joked sarcastically: "I'm sure it's going to sound perfect."

Not to be outdone in the vocal department was Richards, dressed in his trademark bandana with matching purple shirt and tank top, who took over the microphone for Happy much to the pleasure of everyone assembled.

"We are rehearsing," he emphasized with a chuckle before doing the song proud.

The Stones have been in Toronto since late July, rehearsing for their fall North American "Licks" tour, which coincides with the release of their 40-year retrospective, double-CD Forty Licks.

"It's great to get out here and play, I tell you that," said Jagger early in the hour-and-20-minute set.

"We've been here four weeks, but it sounds like four days," he added self-deprecating.

Doors at Palais Royale opened last night at 8:30 p.m., later than expected as concert-goers milled about on the dance hall's back deck that opened onto the lake.

Opening act Danko Jones didn't go on until 9:10 p.m., playing 12 songs in 35 minutes.

It was the gig of a lifetime for the Toronto hard-rockers and they were fearless in their approach, playing a confident, cocky and generally intense set.

The oozing-with-personality lead singer -- after whom the band is named -- obviously takes his on-stage cues from Gene Simmons of KISS, for he was wagging his tongue as much as he was singing.

One of their songs, Papa, fittingly included the lyric, "Papa, I'm a Rolling Stone."

Drummer Damon Richardson was almost as frenetic as Stewart Copeland of The Police, while bassist John (JC) Calabrese was the quietest of the loud-sounding trio.

In the end, it was Calabrese who was approached by lovely Liv Tyler, who complimented him on the group's set.

"Tonight, a boy from Thornhill, a boy from Scarborough, and a boy Cosenza, Italy, are going to open up for the Rolling Stones in their hometown," Jones said early on, grinning from ear to ear to huge applause.

Both bands were filmed for a future Stones documentary.

The Stones are expected to leave Toronto next week prior to their Sept. 3 tour launch in Boston. They'll return for two shows -- Oct. 16 at the ACC, and Oct. 18 at the SkyDome.

Forty Licks contains four new songs and hits stores Oct. 1
08-17-02 11:29 AM
thunders Nice article!!
08-17-02 11:59 AM
Mr T "We've been here four weeks, but it sounds like four days"

I don't like hearing that - then again if Mick actually draws attention to the fact that they sound sloppy - he's probably confident that it'll work out. Amazing how fast they pull these things together...
08-17-02 05:30 PM
Staffan Mr T, probably it was just a joke. You should hear my band onstage. Anyway, I just think it's good they don't sound to slick and tight. It's the Rolling Stones, you know! ;>)
08-18-02 04:16 AM
marko When stones are a bit sloppy,like everythings falling apart,
that the moment when they´re tight.
08-18-02 07:20 AM
nankerphelge marko you crazy bastard! We was worried 'bout chu boy!

Great articles -- I like the arena theme idea!! And stadium shows that are "fucking enormous" -- I like that too -- I'm ready for some fucking enormous!!

08-18-02 02:17 PM
Sir Stonesalot Damn nank, you going to the other side on us?
08-18-02 03:05 PM
nankerphelge What are you worried about all packed up in the suit of armor?

08-18-02 03:38 PM
Mr T yeah - it probably was a joke - but that clip of Brown Sugar that was online from Firday night could've been a lot better (amybe it was just the audio quality) - but it sounds like he was trying to make light of the situation that they were abit off - and at least try to get a laugh out of people. But I'm not worried - they'll pull it together. Like I said, if Mick's comfortable joking about it - that means any problems are being corrected

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