The Rolling Stones – L.A. Friday (Live 1975)

L.A. Friday (Live 1975) (2012)


1. Honky Tonk Women 2. All Down The Line 3. If You Can’t Rock Me 4. Get Off My Cloud 5. Starfucker 6. Gimme Shelter 7. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg 8. You Gotta Move 9. You Can’t Always Get What You Want 10. Happy 11. Tumbling Dice 12. Band Intros 13. It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll 14. Heartbreaker 15. Fingerprint File 16. Angie 17. Wild Horses 18. That’s Life 19. Outta Space 20. Brown Sugar 21. Midnight Rambler 22. Rip This Joint 23. Street Fighting Man 24. Jumpin’ Jack Flash 25. Sympathy For The Devil


Jesus Christ, exactly how much frigging coke did Mr. Michael Jagger snort on this tour? Keith always gets singled out as the one who was zonked out around this time, but Mick is clearly on some other planet for the entirety of this thing, the latest entry into the Stones’ utterly unpublicized bootleg series extravaganza. He clearly doesn’t give even half a shit about what he’s doing, most of the time just slurring and growling out indeterminate vowel sounds that are barely recognizable as English, much less the correct lyrics to whatever song he’s supposed to be singing. It’s a thoroughly and almost uniformly irritating and embarassing performance, and I’m frankly surprised that Old Man Mick—the guy who has apparently become so sensitive about the way his voice sounds that he had to go back and redo all those vocals for the Exile and Some Girls reissues—allowed this show to be released.

Then there’s Billy Preston, whose showboating backup vocals and synth embellishments just really stick in my craw. In a bad way. Billy’s great and all in the right context, but a lot of the stuff he’s playing here is unnecessary and just do not fit with the Stones guitar rock style at all (that laser beam noise he makes in the middle of “Brown Sugar” especially makes me want to strangle the motherfucker). Billy even gets to play two of his own songs! I mean, nobody gets to do that with the Stones. Keith still holds a grudge against Elton John for coming out to play piano on “Honky Tonk Women” on this same tour and then remaining on stage for the rest of the show… unless you’re Buddy Guy, you’re just not allowed to upstage the Stones, or even try. And yet, every night during the ’75-’76 tour, the crowd got a double dose of Billy… “That’s Life” is sorta OK, I guess, and the instrumental “Outta Space” is cool for about 30 seconds before it descends into aimlessness, but gimme Stones instead, please.

Outside of these admittedly pretty major irritants, L.A. Friday, a July mid-tour show at the L.A. Forum, demonstrates that the Stones most decadent tour was more fun when not neutered as on Love You Live.  I mean, yeah, it’s still sloppier than Tim Tebow’s eventual first sexcapade (“Happy” is such a train wreck that it rivals “The Last Time” from Got Live as the worst officially released Stones live performance ever), but it’s fun, goddammit! It’s a party! I mean, would I rather listen to a show from… well, pretty much any other tour? Yeah, probably. But dude! An awesome version of “Gimme Shelter!” I mean, is Ronnie’s 8 hour solo on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” completely laughable? Yes. But dude! Fifteen minutes of “Midnight Rambler!” Other songs! Wooo!

Actually, is this thing any good at all? I don’t even know anymore. It’s the Stones. A-. Deal with it.

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