On Mick Taylor…
According to the British tabloids, Mick Jagger is a stingy asshole. In other news, the sun still rises in the east.
I am referring to a news story from last year that has been making the rounds on the internet the past couple of days. The recent Exile On Main St. re- issue brought the story to the public eye once again. The article is basically an interview that Mick Taylor gave to that custodian of good taste and impartial journalism, The Daily Mail. Taylor was the lead guitar player of the Rolling Stones from 1969 to ‘74. As anyone who knows anything about rock will tell you, that’s their best period and spans albums such as Let It Bleed, Get Yer Ya- Yas Out, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main St. It’s an impressive series of consecutive masterpieces and can only be compared to The Beatles or Dylan.
And Mick Taylor is not making any money off it. Ever since 1982, The Stones’ management has cut off his performing royalties. Albums that still sell by the bucket load and are considered classic. He is understandably pissed- off about it.
In true tabloid style, The Daily Mail piece describes in detail his current predicament. Apparently he lives in an old decaying cottage in Suffolk. The article notes gleefully his dusty car, his unkempt garden and the fact that he has gotten fatter than Jagger (“the legacy of years of drug abuse”- sic), while supposedly mourning his present state of affairs. It’s like watching a pack of hyenas circling an injured lion.
For what is worth, Mick Taylor is a rock god. His beautiful, fluid playing for both The Stones and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers is hugely influential and- for me- his lead and Keith Richards’ rhythm was the greatest guitar pairing in the history of rock. I hope he gets a good lawyer. Below is an example of what he did for The Stones: