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Headline: “Rolling Stone Wood Admits He’s Lucky to Be Alive”

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Ron Wood lucky to be alive? Maybe, but what about Keith Richards? He looked half-dead 25 years ago, he is still only occasionally coherent – the man has been actively poisoning himself for about 45 years.

Rumor has it he has no blood or organs, yet how many people have used Keith’s longevity to excuse their own self-indulgence? “It hasn’t killed Keith yet, so why should I stop?” The man is a menace to sobriety.

On a dead serious note, Woody has been seriously told to stop smoking:

    Doctors have told Wood if he does not quit his 30-a-day cigarette habit he is at risk of catching the respiratory disease emphysema.

    “The doctors said that if I give up smoking now I can nip it in the bud — I still have powerful lungs. But they say if I smoke for another year, I could get emphysema and — boom — my lungs could collapse,” Wood told the Sunday Mirror. [Reuters]

I think Wood’s finest moments are on Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story, the Faces’ A Nod Is As Good As a Wink (especially “Stay With Me”), and on the Stones’ Some Girls. Keith’s highlights are too numerous to mention, but the Stones between Beggars Banquet and Exile On Main Street is untopped in the rock canon.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    Wood’s “Gimme Some Neck” is worth a listen too.

  • S.A. Smith

    “but the Stones between Beggars Banquet and Exile On Main Street is untopped in the rock canon.”

    Due in no small part to the contributions of the great Mick Taylor (on Exile and Sticky). The apotheosis of rock IMO.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    IMHO, the only toppers were:

    Bringing it/Highway 61/Blonde on Blonde

    Rubber Soul/Revolver/Sgt. Pepper

    and Talking Book to Key of Life (if that counts as rock.)

    I’m not a Stones person, but I get the greatness of those records, esp. Beggar’s Banquet. I love the way the country and blues numbers go past parody to something new and real, ultimately matching and even surpassing some of the stuff they set out to poke fun at. And “Street Fighting Man” and “Stray Cat Blues” (and “Monkey Man” on LIB) just have awesome guitar playing.

    Oh, and the acoustic open-string strumming on “Salt of the Earth” is positively an iconic folk/rock sound.

    Still, I think my personal animus toward this stuff has to do with Mick. You know, he’s got no technique or technical ability, just a sort of nasal bray, so he sort of has to figure out an attack for each song anew. So when he comes up with something great, like the funny country parody of “Dear Doctor,” for instance, he tends to repeat it to diminishing returns, and we get flat performances like “Dead Flowers” and “Sweet Virginia” et al, which give Keef a good chance to stretch out, but fall short cuz of Micky, to these ears.

    At the very top of the heap, The Beatles and Dylan were genius rock singers, and the Stones had a genius rock star.

    So it’s no surprise to me that Mick has never been able to come up wth anything worthwhile outside of the Stones, while their only real competition, Dylan and the members of the Beatles, have succeeded to varying degrees in a variety of settings. Sometimes it’s about real, raw musical talent, which Mick (who tellingly still can’t really play the guitar after 40 years of trying) has less of that than those others.

    Thanks for bringing up these amazing records, Eric. Call me old, but there will never be enough said about this period of rock music for me.

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks CC, very interesting thoughts. I think She’s the Boss is pretty good, but you’re right about nothing solo being close to the Stones. I like “Dead Flowers” and “Sweet Virginia” because they’re good songs and funny. I agree that Jagger is up and down, but I like him a lot better than you do, it would appear, and better than Dylan as a singer.

    Did you read my Stones review in the top ten bands list? That’s my opus on them career-wise. Thanks again.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    I read it, and I think you and me are on the same page. I just don’t like the book quite as much.

    And I’m afraid I completely disagree with your assessment of their live work now, which I think is a ridiculous and awful rip-off, worse than self-parody.

  • Eric Olsen

    Well, I expected it to be that, but it sure didn’t sound like that, or even, once they got going, look like that.

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