The Rolling Stones – Got Live If You Want It!

Got Live If You Want It! (1966)


1. Under My Thumb 2. Get Off My Cloud 3. Lady Jane 4. Not Fade Away 5. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long 6. Fortune Teller 7. The Last Time 8. 19th Nervous Breakdown 9. Time Is On My Side 10. I’m Alright 11. Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The Shadow? 12. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction


Whoever had the bright idea to release a live album from 1966 needs a smack upside the head. Do you have any idea what Beatles and Stones shows were like back then? The band rushed on stage and spent 20 minutes bashing through their hits at the quickest tempos they could physically manage while being completely drowned out by the psychotic shrieks of thousands of teenybopper girls passing out and pissing themselves, waiting their turn to have 5 minutes of special time with Bill Wyman in the dressing room after the show. So the boys can be forgiven for not exactly being brilliant on stage during this period. But they don’t have to be forgiven for releasing this hideously recorded live record.

Still, Got Live is an interesting historical document of its era, and ends up resembling something like DIY punk rock. You’d play that fast and sloppy too if you couldn’t hear yourself play and knew that a hundred zoinked out teenage girls could leap onstage and literally tear your hair out at any moment. The pure speed freak energy makes for a fun shot of adrenaline—or, more accurately, amphetamines—now and then (“Get Off My Cloud,” “Have You Seen Your Mother Baby,” which was already pretty messy and indecipherable), but occasionally throws the proceedings totally off the rails (they completely maul “The Last Time,” for instance). Miraculously, they muster nice performances of “Lady Jane” and “Time Is On My Side,” but Gob knows how they managed to hear themselves well enough to play the slow ones coherently. Plus, pick this one up and there’s the added bonus of a couple of cover tunes ya can’t get nowhere else. But hell, you might as well skip ‘em anyway, since they pulled the dirty trick of dubbing screaming girls over studio-recorded tracks. “Fortune Teller,” recorded all the way back in 1963, is good, though inferior to the Who’s Live At Leeds version and serves as persuasive evidence as to why Bill soon stopped singing backing vocals for the band.  The other fake live tune, a listless version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” shows that maybe the band attempted one Otis Redding cover too many. Still, they’re the only two songs on the album on which you can hear the guitars very clearly, or any instrumental nuance whatsoever – if ever there was an argument to be made against mono, Got Live is exhibit A. But hell, as part 1 of the 896 part series, “The Rolling Stones Release a Live Album,” it’s fun. Just remember that if the high-pitched shrieking sound persists after you’ve finished listening, it’s probably tinnitus and not just an echo of the screaming girls. You might want to get that checked out.

One Comment

  1. victoreador wrote:

    Two great moments on this bit of fluffy fun:

    Girl in audience shouting between songs “Paint it Black you devil”!

    Mick with some snappy chatter- “Charlie’s good tonight innee”

    I was lucky enough to see the Stones in ’66 at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City for the $1.95 admission price to the pier. It was a typical 60’s pop extravaganza, with a popular radio DJ as host. The Stones were preceded by a parade of local bands followed by acts with charted hits:

    The Standells-Dirty Water
    The McCoys, Rick Derringer’s teen band (the drummer was so short he had to stand up to play) launching pad to Rock stardom-Hang on Sloopy

    When the Stones finally took the stage, the hangover fog enveloping them was palpable. Brian immediately sat down (collapsed?) on the stage and remained there for most of the set. Mick mumbled something about it being good to be in Baltimore or some other non-sequitur. Keith began THE riff and Satisfaction woke the screaming hordes like a pack of wolves shredding a crippled deer.

    They played a nice up-tempo 40 minute set that sounded much like Got Live and headed out the side door to their waiting limo. Problem was that the hall was at the end of a 300 yard long pier over the Atlantic Ocean. Because the famous Diving Horse had his diving platform blocked half of the narrow roadway along the side of the pier, the limo was quickly covered with teenage girls who could not be budged by the few cops who were assigned security for the boys. So the car just rolled down the pier until it reached the boardwalk whereupon the cops brushed most of the chicks off the car so it could then proceed to the hotel, where the fans kept an all night vigil outside.

    All on all it was one of the best days of my life.

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