Dallas Rehearsals 1972 (Dog n Cat DAC-008)
Sumet-Burnet Recording Studio, Dallas, TX – June 23rd, 1972
Disc 1 (71:13): Jungle Disease, Jungle Disease, Tar And Feathered Blues, Hats Off To Slim Harpo, Let It Loose, Gimme Shelter, Jam, Ventilator Blues, Ventilator Blues, Delta Slide, Memphis Jam
Disc 2 (71:37): Sweet Black Angel-Don’t Lie To Me, Tabasco Jam, Shake Your Hips, Let It Loose, Texarkana Jam, Shave ’em Dry, Key To The Highway, 32-20 Blues, When You Got A Good Friend, Torn And Frayed, The Last Time, Satisfaction, Monkey Man, Whips Crack & Tiger’s Snarl
In the middle of the STP in 1972 the Stones filmed and professionally recorded the concerts in Fort Worth and Houston Texas for the concert film Ladies And Gentlemen. The day before filming began, on June 23rd in Dallas, they rehearsed in Sumet-Burnet Recording Studio.
According to Robert Greenfield: “The show in Kansas City [on June 22nd] was fairly rotten and with the recording truck around, there’s a need to get things back together. Called for 4:00 pm, the rehearsal begins at eight, and consists of a lot of musicians sitting in, standing up, switching off on instruments, dozing, humming breaks, going for beer, and playing maybe one song all the way through. It goes on until 2:00 am, and when it’s over everyone feels good at having worked hard to get the show in shape.” (A Journey Through America With The Rolling Stones, page 172). From what Greenfield describes as a six hour session, about two and a half hours of a professionally recorded tape has been in circulation.
The sound quality is very good to excellent. The only real flaw is that the vocal mix is very high in the right channel. The Dallas rehearsals were first released on Stones Touring Party 2CD on Scorpio (Scorpio 091-009/010) which was copied on Dallas Rehearsals Part 1 & 2 on Condor Records (RSTDR295/395) and as a digipack on Whips Crack & Tiger’s Snarl on The Swingin’ Pig (TSP-272/1/2). Dog N Cat don’t add anything new except the exact date and location.
Listening to the recording is sometimes fascinating and other times very boring. The tape corroborates Greenfield’s assessment. Over the course of the two and a half hours they band run through various riffs and jams with some recognizable melodies and others just completely off-the-wall.
Many of the titles are given for convenient sake such as “Tar And Feathered Blues” which is a five minute heavy blues jam where Richards and Taylor trade off leads over a heavy Hammond organ rhythm. “Hats Off To Slim Harpo” (aka “Slim Harpo Jam”) is an instrumental pastiche of Slim Harpo melodies (ironically with no harmonica). The next twenty minutes are interesting because the band get into the gospel tune “Let It Loose” from Exile On Main Street.
The tape clearly reveals Taylor working on the melody along with the organ. At one point it breaks down since Wyman doesn’t follow the breaks. “From the top…in the middle” Jagger giggles after the first break down at the halfway point. When they start again Mick joins in with the vocals. The song peters out before they pick it up again, this time with more enthusiastic vocals from Mick as he shouts the words and punctuates the verses with whoops and screams. They return again to “Let It Loose” later on in the tape and since so much time is devoted to the practice of that one song, it must have been considered for inclusion in the movie. It wasn’t played and is a song that still has yet to make its live debut. A one minute groovy blues jam is followed by a three minute instrumental run-through of “Gimme Shelter.”
A five minute slow jam with country picking by Richards is followed by fifteen minutes of “Ventilator Blues.” This excellent track was played the opening night of the tour in Vancouver and might have been considered for the movie, but it wasn’t played in Texas and hasn’t been played live since. Charlie Watts confessed in 2003 that they play it in rehearsal all the time but never play it live because it’s too tricky for them and they always make mistakes. That is borne out by the tape which sounds like a great, fun piece but there are various slip ups along the way. The final two tracks on the first disc, “Delta Slide” and “Memphis Jam” are nine minutes of blues rhythm exercises with nothing of note occurring.
The second disc begins with two minutes of “Sweet Black Angel.” This is another song from the new album that was played in the afternoon show in Fort Worth on June 24th for the only time on the tour. There is also a fragment of “Don’t Lie To Me” which they played in the June 24th evening show for the first time since May, 1964. Almost eight minutes of Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips” is a highlight of the sessions.
Another of the new tracks that was considered for the film, the jamming is very loose and free and would have made a tremendous live piece if they chose to use it. Since it’s not been played live this is the closest we’ll get to hearing a live version. Four minutes of “Let It Loose” follow and sound as if they belong on the first disc since there is a cut in the tape. “Texarkana Jam” is a made up name for almost six minutes of boring tuning by the musicians. “Shave ‘Em Dry” is a thirty second fragment of Mick lacing the lyrics with obscenities as Richards plays along.
“Key To The Highway” is about seven minutes of a jam session that mutates into the well known blues, but overall is quite amorphous. “32-20 Blues” and “When You Got A Good Friend” are two short Robert Johnson covers which are not developed further. They then spend seven minutes working on “Torn And Frayed,” another song from Exile that was played in the opening show and dropped.
The tape continues with instrumental rehearsals for “The Last Time,” “Satisfaction” and “Monkey Man” before ending with the ten minute “Whip’s Crack & Tiger’s Snarl” jam. There are no big revelations except for figuring out which songs they considered for the film but Dallas Rehearsals 1972 is an interesting document from the 1972 tour and is worth listening to when in the mood to hear the musicians jam away from the stage.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)