Monday, August 24, 2015

ROLLING STONES at Vila Madalena 1965-1970

It took more than 2 years for The Rolling Stones to catch up with Brazilians at large since the advent of The Beatles. 

(I can get no) 'Satisfaction' was released by London-Odeon in late-1965 and entered the charts as of March 1966. Differently from, say, Italy where the band had a faithful following since 1965, Brazilians were indifferent to most Anglo-American rock groups except The Beatles

Looking back at the list of RS singles released in Brazil I could say 'Ruby Tuesday' was probably the only other Stones song (apart from 'Satisfaction') that had some air-play during those years - even though 'As tears go by' had some prominence and was covered by Brazilian heart-throb Ronnie Von as 'Meu pranto a deslizar' in his 1966 debut album.

The Stones would only chart again with 'Brown sugar' (1971) and 'Angie' (1974); but that is off-limits our 5-year-period: 1965-1970.

I must confess I was a Rolling Stone fan by association. When my family migrated to Sao Paulo in December 1960 we shared a house with another family on Rua Simpatia in Vila Madalena, a working-class suburb then. Two houses up from ours, was a mixed-business shop where my Mother used to buy goods. The owner's son was a young man called Walter Tsutsui who like myself was a pop-music buff. 

Sometime in 1965 Walter bought the Rolling Stones 1st album and invited me to listen to it at his house on upper Vila Madalena, near Sumarezinho. Even though at first I found it 'hard' to enjoy their rough sound I gradually noticed that 'Route 66' and 'Oh Carol' - the two tracks opening the album - were the best dancing tracks I had ever heard in my life. Turning the record over there were 'Walking the dog' plus 'I can get a witness' which bewitched me in such a fashion I soon had to admit I really liked the Rolling Stone too. Little did I know those songs were covers of Chuck Berry's, Rufus Thomas' and Marvin Gaye's... but that didn't matter then. 

Walter kept on buying Stones's albums as they were released by London-Odeon and playing them on Saturdays afternoon and Sundays. 

Those albums kept on growing on me even though I was still a 'by-stander'. That changed completely when I heard 'Between the buttons' in 1967. Suddenly I became a fan in my own right, went out and bought my first Rolling Stones album... and kept on buying them as they were released. 'Banquete dos mendigos' (Beggars' banquet) in 1969 turned out to be even better than 'Buttons'... 'Let it bleed' in 1970 was dynamite... and finally their live album 'Get yer ya-ya's out' in 1970. 

Why have I stopped in 1970? Maybe because there was a 16-month gap in their discography from 'Let it bleed' (released on 8 December 1969 in the UK and USA) and 'Sticky fingers' (released on April 1971 on their own label).

I had actually stopped buying albums in late-1970, for I was saving money for a planned trip to the USA that would turn my life topsy-turvy. I still remember listening to 'Brown sugar' on Ricardo Macedo's Hit Parade on Radio Bandeirantes in mid-1971. Then I flew to New York on 1st October 1971 and I would never be the same person again. 

 October 1971 in the U.S.A.

Isn't it funny that on my very first outing into New York City's Central Park in the fall of 1971 I happened to come across a young white guy sitting on a bench listening to 'Wild horses' on a portable-radio - later known as ghetto-blasters.

I felt elated by such a casual chance of sharing the same musical taste with someone so close at hand and tried to strike a conversation with him. I didn't know about segregation and racial hatred yet. I didn't even know I was not accepted as a white person in the USA. The young man was as ironic as he could when I tried to envolve him in a conversation about The Rolling Stones. He couldn't accept that I - being a 'spic' (ethnic slur - offensive term for persons of Latin American descent) - could possibly enjoy the same music he did. 

It took me a while to understand that he was acting in a disparaging way towards me... he actually wanted me to 'fuck off' in other words. Exactly at that moment an helicopter flew by. He pointed it up to me and asked me if I knew what that was. Then I realized he was really being rude and shut my trap forever. That was my 'baptism of fire' in the USA hardly one month after I'd arrived there. 

Somehow it happened so soon because of the Rolling Stones music. 

Rolling Stones albums in Brazil 1965 - 1970

LLN-7098 - The Rolling Stones - 1965
LLN-7109 - Out of our heads - 1966
LLN-7111 - As tears go by - 1966
LLN-7118 - Aftermath - 1966
LLN-7122 - Between the buttons - 1967
LLX-7140 - Banquete dos mendigos (Beggars' banquet) - 1969
LLX-7165 - Through the past, darkly - 1970
LLN-7178 - Let it bleed - 1970
LLN-7201 - Get yer ya-ya's out - 1970 

The Rolling Stones 1965

1. Route 66 (Bobby Troup)
2. Carol (Chuck Berry)
3. I just want to make love to you (Willie Dixon)
4. Now I've got a witness (Nanker Phelge) - instrumental
5. Little by little (Nanker Phelge-Phil Spector)
6. Not fade away (Norman Petty-Charles Hardin)

1. Walking the dog (Rufus Thomas)
2. Can I get a witness (Brian Holland-Lamont Dozier-Eddie Holland)
3. Tell me (You're coming back) (Jagger-Richards)
4. You can make it if you try (Ted Jarrett)
5. Mona (I need you baby) (Ellas McDaniels)
6. I'm a king bee (James Moore aka Slim Harpo)

Nanker Phelge was a pseudonym used by the Rolling Stones for group compositions

The Rolling Stones 1st album was not actually easy to listen to. I mean the sound of the band was not easy for Brazilian ears not used to listening to rhythm'n'blues. The Brazilian album actually starts really well with Bobby Troup's (Get your kicks on) 'Route 66' (first recorded by the King Cole Trio in 1946) followed up by Chuck Berry's 1958's 'Carol'. The 2 tracks followed on top of each other with only the shortest break feel almost like one - a 5 minute-dance-marathon. They are my favourite in the whole album. 

Then I would flip the record and play Rufus Thomas's 'Walking the dog' followed up by Holland & Dozier's 'I can't get a witness' which is my 2nd favourite set. Well, with 4 great tracks like those you could say one-third of the album is outstanding plus 'You can make it if you try' as a bonus. This was undoubtedly the best Stones's album until 'Between the buttons' in 1967. 

Out of our heads 1966

1. Mercy, mercy (Don Covay-Ronnie Miller)
2. Hitch hike (Marvin Gaye-Clarence Paul-Mickey Stevenson)
3. The last time (Jagger-Richard)
4. That's how strong my love is (Roosevelt Jamison)
5. Good times (Sam Cooke) 
6. I'm all right (Nanker Phelge) (live)

1. Satisfaction (Jagger-Richards)
2. The under-assistant West Coast promotion-man (Nanker Phelge)  
3. One more try (Jagger-Richards)
4. The spider and the fly (Jagger-Richards)
5. Play with fire (Phelge) 
6. Cry to me (Bert Russell)

the original liner-notes by Andrew Loog Oldham ; the Brazilian translator got his knickers in a knot ;

Liner notes to the Brazilian release of 'Out of our heads'

Regozijemo-nos com mais êste LP dos Rolling Stones idealizado por eles mesmos. E esses talentosos jovens nos apresentam com 12 números, gravados em Londres, Chicago e Hollywood. 

De Chicago, temos as canções de Otis Redding, 'That's how strong my love is', 'Mercy mercy', mais o tributo que prestam aos 'rapazes dos quartos dos fundos' ligados aos negócios da música 'The under-assistant West Coast promotion-man'. 

De Hollywood, procedem 'Hitch hike' de Marvin Gaye (mispelt as Harvin Gaye), 2 grandes sucessos bem recentes lançados em compacto, 'The last time' e 'Satisfaction'; 'Play with fire' e ainda 2 novos números de Mick e Keith: 'The spider and the fly' e 'One more try'. E, depois de 'Cry to me', grande melódico de Solomon Burke (mispelt as Solomon Burk), a magnifica seleção hollywoodiana se fecha com 'Good times' de Sam Cooke em arranjo especial de The Stones. 

Finalmente, de Londres, incluímos um número gravado durante a última excursão pela Grã-Bretanha: 'I'm all right' em apresentação realmente viva. 

Só me resta esperar que esse LP produza em você as mesmas emoções que me fizeram vibrar quando de sua gravação.   Andrew Loog Oldham, produtor.   

'As tears go by' 1966 

1. She said yeah (Sony Bono-Roddy Jackson)
2. Talkin' about you (Chuck Berry)
3. You better move on (Arthur Alexander)
4. Look what you've done (McKinley Morganfield)
5. The singer not the song (Jagger-Richards)
6. Route 66 (Bobby Troup) (live) 

1. Get off of my cloud (Jagger-Richards)  
2. I'm free 
3. As tears go by (Jagger-Richards-Andrew Loog Oldham) arranged by Mike Leander & K.Richards
4. Gotta get away 
5. Blue turns to grey 
6. I'm moving on (live)

this album corresponds to UK's and US's 'December's Children and Everybody's' - the title was changed in Brazil to cash in on 'As tears go by' that had good air-play. It's plain to see Andrew Loog Oldham was inspired by George Martin's string-quartet arrangement for Paul McCartney's 'Yesterday' released on 6 August 1965.

'Aftermath'  1966

1. Mother's little helper  (all songs written by Jagger & Richards)
2. Stupid girl 
3. Lady Jane 
4. Under my thumb
5. Doncha bother me 

1. Flight 505 
2. High and dry
3. It's not easy 
4. Take it or leave it 
5. Think 
6. What to do 

Brazilian 'Aftermath' back-cover and its British counter-part.

'Aftermath' liner-notes translated into Portuguese 

Em Julho de 1964, dirigia eu, como engenheiro de som, uma sessão de gravação para Jack Nitzsche, em Hollywood. Súbito, entraram no studio os Rolling Stones e Adrew Oldham, que de passagem por ali, iam cumprimentar o Jack que conheciam através de Phil Spector. Em dezembro do mesmo ano, já estávamos juntos numa primeira sessão nossa. Andrew telefonara-me de Londres, pois eu tinha em vista uma uma sessão para quando estivéssemos na rota da Australia. Naturalmente vibrei com a idéia. Desde então preparamos alguns LPs bem satisfatórios tanto artística como profissionalmente, uma vez que trabalhar com The Rolling Stones chega a ser uma diversão.

Eles nunca procuram o caminho mais fácil. Desde o momento em que Mick e Keith dirigem uma canção ao resto do grupo: a Brian, que se decide entre o violão e a guitarra elétrica, ou algo ainda mais bizarro; a Bill que tira uma amostra ao contra-baixo; a Charlie que estabelece a marcação; a seu amigo Jack Nitzsche (sempre presente às reuniões); ou ao ‘road manager’ Stu que tira acordes ao piano, ao órgão ou harpsicordio; ou a quem mais estiver por dentro. E durante algumas horas, até a execução final, tudo é grandioso!

Nesse ramo de dúbios padrões, muito me rejubilo de minha co-participação com os Stones, pois, em contraposição aos intérpretes medíocres e cheios de trejeitos, espalhados por todo o mundo, eles são legítimos profissionais, além de admiráveis de se lidar. Dave Hassinger, engenheiro de som.

N.B.: if you compere the text done by the Brazilian translator you'll notice he did a poor job. Unfortunately that's the kind of services we had in the 1960s.   

a very special person holds just-released 'Aftermath' in his hands... while his mate is busy with a Decca single by Peter Cook & Dudley Moore.  

'Between the buttons' 1967 

1. Let's spend the night together  (all songs written by Jagger & Richards)
2. Yesterday's papers
3. Ruby Tuesday
4. Connection
5. She smiled sweetly
6. Cool, calm and collected

1. All sold out 
2. My obsession 
3. Who's been sleeping here?
4. Complicated
5. Miss Amanda Jones
6. Something happened to me yesterday 

This is the RS album that made me become a real fan of the band. It was released in the USA on 11 February 1967. I'm not sure but it must have been released in Brazil in mid-1967. Since the first piano chords of 'Let's spend the night together' up to the fade out of 'Something happened to me yesterday' it is delight after delight... I used to be driven frantic by 'Cool, calm and collected' and danced to it until I dropped... 

I should point out that by 1968 I used to read Sao Paulo daily 'Jornal da Tarde' which carried Ezequiel Neves's articles about pop music. Ezequiel was a serious fan of the Rolling Stones and didn't make bones about it. He wrote profusely about the band and its music. Those articles were heaven-sent for those who didn't know the English language (like most of us) so we had a chance to know more about their music and what it meant. Ezequiel was instrumental in imparting to us - poor mortal teen-agers - about Mick Jagger's incognito visits to Sao Paulo and Rio in 1969.

It was through Ezequiel that we came to know that 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' (an album recorded after 'Between the buttons') had been released in December 1967 in the UK and USA but would never see the light of day in Brazil - well, at least not during the 1960s anyway. I remember I saw the rare US album sometime in 1969 at Vila Madalena (again) being held up proudly by Nelson Gomes, a friend of a friend who had been a Beatles fan. Nelsinho had been given 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' by a friend of his who had just visited the USA and brought him a copy.

'Their Satanic Majesties Request' sleeve bore a 3-dimentional picture of the Rolling Stones photographed by Michael Cooper. When viewed in a certain way, the lenticular image showed the band members' face turning towards each other with the exception of Jagger, whose hands appear crossed in front of him. Later editions replaced the glued-on 3-dimentional image with a simple photograph, due to high production costs. Brazilians never had a chance to see it though. 

'Their Satanic Majesties Request' had a magnificent sleeve but the music was no good apart from 'She's a rainbow' and 'In another land' sung suprisingly well by bass-player Bill Wyman. 'Their Satanic...' was a pretentious, poorly conceived attempt to outdo The Beatles masterpiece 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (released in June 1967) which made history and changed pop music forever.  

Ezequiel Neves was the 6th member of the Rolling Stones in poor Brazil... 

'O banquete dos mendigos' 1969

1. Sympathy for the devil
2. No expectations
3. Dear doctor
4. Parachute woman
5. Jig-saw puzzle

1. Street fighting man
2. Prodigal son aka 'That's no way to get along' (Robert Wilkins)
3. Stray cat blues
4. Factory girl
5. Salt of the earth

'Sympathy for the devil' is really the most oustanding track in the album. References to the Kennedy's assassinations, Anastasia Romanova's being murdered on the spot ('screamed in vain'), the German Army atrocities during WWII and other carnage and butchery throughout our recent history makes it compelling and gripping. Pop music could be something larger than life.

'Beggars' Banquet' is the best RS album by far. It is their 'Sgt. Peppers'. What they intended - but failed miserably - with 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' they achieved with 'Banquet' in a round-about way. Maybe that's the way life is supposed to be.

Here's a newcomer among Brunswick Race Records artists, folks, and we know you're going to like his offerings. In his first hit 'That's no way to get along,' Robert Wilkins tells us about the many things that make us unhappy, and you'll agree he's right. On the other side he rolls another natural with 'Falling down blues'.   

'Jornal da Tarde' pop-music columnist Ezequiel Neves reviews the album 'Through the past, darkly' on 22 January 1970.

Through the past, darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) - Rolling Stones - Um álbum admirável que supera a irritante catalogação de Big Hits para se transformar na mais consistente retrospectiva do 2o. melhor conjunto de musica pop da atualidade. (Os Beatles, evidentemente, ocupam o 1o. lugar). E de início é preciso assinalar seu significado elegíaco (significado: tristeza profunda; perda irreparável), magnífica homenagem póstuma a Brian Jones (* 28 Feb 1942 + 3 July 1969).

A capa dupla octagonal - só mesmo os Stones poderiam pensar em algo tão desconcertante - trás a foto do grupo pressionando mãos, lábios e narizes contra uma placa de vidro. Na contra-capa, este vidro já foi violentamente estilhaçado e o rosto de Brian é o único encoberto pelos estilhaços. Outra foto dos 5 Stones deitados numa calçada, pés unidos formando o eixo de uma roda, encontra-se na capa interior: Jagger, Richards, Wyman e Watts têm os olhos fechados enquanto os de Brian estão estranhamente abertos.

A dedicatória impressa logo a seguir explica tudo: Brian Jones (1943-1969) "Lembre-se de mim, vendo isso aqui / me leve na memória / Que todo mundo diga o que quiser, / fale só que o comovi". (When this you see, remember me, and bear me in your mind. Let all the world say what they may, speak of me as you find.) Depois disso, a faixa de abertura do album, 'Paint it black', soa como um pungente epitáfio.

O LP cobre um período de 3 anos (1967 a 1969) e ilustra de forma admirável a dimensão dos Stones no universo da música pop e o papel importante exercido pelos produtores de grupos jovens como eles. Apesar das 11 faixas não se acharem em ordem cronológica, 3 significativos períodos surgem da coleção: o 1o. produzido por Andrew Loog Oldham, o 2o. pelos próprios Stones e o último por Jimmy Miller, produtor também de super-grupos como Blind Faith e Traffic.

Das 6 faixas produzidas por Oldham, 'Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadows?', 'Let's spend the night together' e 'Mother's little helper' possuem maior importância graças ao ritmo forte, ao som agressivo e a instintiva exibição dos instrumentistas. Nos arranjos para 'Paint it black', 'Dandelion' e Ruby Tuesday' ele conseguiu, com muita inteligência, cobrir as deficiências instrumentais do grupo fazendo-os valorizar, principalmente, a parte harmônica das composições. Além disso as 2 primeiras se salientam na obra do quinteto por possuírem nítida influência oriental.

'2000 years from home' e 'She's like a rainbow' do LP 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' - produzidas pelos Stones representam um mergulho original de encontro à musica psicodélica. Mixagem de sons e ruídos, cordas e a presença espetacular do pianista Nicky Hopkins, foram mais que salutares ao grupo - isto, apesar de abrandar sua agressividade e irreverência.

Jimmy Miller,  que produziu ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, ‘Street fighting man’ e ‘Honk tonk women’ , viria, com sua influência, fundir as características de Oldham (vitalidade) e dos Stones (criatividade) para após ‘Honk tonk women’, criar o LP ‘Let it bleed’ lançado recentemente na Inglaterra e EUA (released in the UK & USA on 5 December 1969).  Adiantamos que esse disco é o mais sério e amadurecido trabalho dos ‘marginais do rock inglês’, onde eles levam às últimas conseqüências suas pesquisas feitas no terreno do blues tradicional e do hard rock, retomando,  também, as letras de conteúdo político do gênero de ‘Street fighting man’.

Mas enquanto esperamos seu lançamento no Brasil, este ‘Through the past, darkly’ preenche toda essa expectativa e, mesmo que você já tenha conhecido suas faixas em outros LPs, aqui elas se interligam para formar uma obra total e explendidamente completa. Um sensacional tributo a Brian Jones e ao ouvinte também. (London-Odeon LLX-7165). Ezequiel Neves.

'Let it bleed' 1970

1. Gimme shelter
2. Love in vain (W. Payne)
3. Country honk
4. Live with me
5. Let it bleed

1. Midnight rambler
2. You got the silver
3. Monkey man
4. You can't always get what you want

'Let it bleed' had 2 great songs: 'Gimme shelter' (with the piercing voice of guest vocalist Merry Clayton) and 'Let it bleed' itself with its great melody. I used to love the 5 songs on A side but never turned the record over except for the last track 'You can't always get what you want' which I thought it was a litte too long. 

'Get yer ya-ya's out!' 1970

1. Jumpin' Jack Flash
2. Carol (Chuck Berry)
3. Stray cat blues 
4. Love in vain 
5. Midnight rambler 

1. Sympathy for the devil 
2. Live with me 
3. Litlle Queenie (Chuck Berry)
4. Honk tonk women 
5. Street fighting man 

recorded at the Madison Square Garden, New York City on 27th & 28th November 1969.

I can't say I'm a fan of 'live recordings'. Real 'live' is a drag... unless it is 'fake live' like Johnny River's 'A go-go' albums or Trini Lopez at the PJ's... Brazilian live-albums are usually good because Brazilians make a really excitable audience. Listen to Elis Regina & Jair Rodrigues's 'Dois na Bossa'... that's a real good real-live album. 

By mid-1970 I was really enfatuated with the Stones. Maybe I was influenced by 'Jornal da Tarde' columnist Ezequiel Neves reviews. He rejoiced in everything the Rolling Stones did and I went along for the ride. Anyway, I bought 'Get yer ya-ya's out' and played it a lot. My favourite track was 'Stray cat blues' originally from 'Beggar's banquet'. I liked the atmosphere at the Madison Square Garden and reared to be there too. I would be there in less than a year.

Rolling Stones extended-plays 

7LD 7026 - Satisfaction / Route 66 / Can I get a witness? - 1966 
7LD 7028 - Get off my cloud / As tears go by / Stupid girl - 1966
7LD 7033 - Let's spend the night together / Lady Jane / Mother's little helper - 1967 
7LD 7037 - Jumpin' Jack Flash / She's a rainbow / Child of the moon / 2,000 light years from home - 1968 

Rolling Stones singles in Brazil 

7L 6009 - Route 66 / Carol - 1965
7L 6016 - Satisfaction / Mercy, mercy - 1965
7L 6019 - Get off my cloud / As tears go by - 1965
7L 6020 - 19th Nervous breakdown / Paint it black - 1966
7L 6026 - Ruby Tuesday / Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadows? - 1967
7L 6036 - Dandelion / We love you - The Rolling Stones - 1967
7L 6041 - Jumpin Jack Flash / Child of the moon - The Rolling Stones - 1968
7L 6045 - Street fighting man / No expectations - The Rolling Stones - 1968
7L 6055 - Honky tonky women / You can't always get what you want it - 1969
7L 6087 - Little Queenie / Love in vain - 1971

Stones' very first Brazilian single; it didn't have any air-play at all. 
(6016) Rolling Stones finally make it into Brazilian charts with (I can get no) 'Satisfaction' in 1965.
6020 - '19th Nervous breakdown' / 'Paint it black'  1966.
(6026) 'Ruby Tuesday' / 'Have you seen your mother, baby, standing in the shadow?'  1967.
(6041) 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' b/w 'Child of the moon'  1968.
(6045) 'Street fighting man' / 'No expectations' - 1968.
(6055) 'Honky tonky women' b/w 'You can't always get what you want' 1969.
London-Odeon release a last Rolling Stones single in 1971 - two years after they had left Decca.

Rolling Stones singles at their own Rolling Stone Records released in Brazil by Continental

RS 2165-001 - Brown sugar / Bitch - 1971
RS 19.103     - Tumbling dice / Sweet Black Angel - 1972
RS 19.104     - Happy / All down the line - 1972
RS 19.105     - Angie / Silver train - 1973
RS 19.109     - Doo doo doo doo doo (Hearbreaker) / Dancing with Mr D - 1974
RS 19.301     - It's only rock'n'roll ( But I like it) / Through the lonely nights - 1974
3-05-101-004 - Ain't too proud to beg / Dance little sister - 1974
3-05-101-005 - Fool to cry / Crazy mama - 1976

My private Rolling Stones record-collection

It must have been circa 1969, I often visited a 2nd hand record shop on Rua Bento Freitas, downtown Sao Paulo. Mind you, these sort of business flourished in the 1990s but they were almost non-existent in the 1960s. I remember buying a 2nd-hand copy of The Beatles' 'Rubber Soul' album as I hadn't bought it when it came out in 1965 due to the high prices of albums in Brazil.

I came across a Rolling Stone French EP with 'Paint it black', but what really made my day was the beautiful ballad 'Long long while' which had not been released in Brazil.

Ezequiel Neves (* 29 November 1935, in Belo Horizonte  + 7 June 2010, in Rio de Janeiro) fotographed in his flat in Rio already into his 70s proudly display his most cherished possession: the original US release of 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' that was not released in Brazil for many decades.
Looking at this ad published on Italian magazine 'Sorrizi & Canzoni' Christmas 1964, one can see that the Rolling Stones were already known as a band in Italy at the end of 1964. It would take more than a year for 'Satisfaction' to finally chart in Brazil in early 1966. 

No comments:

Post a Comment