Breathe On Me
Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, OH – May 3rd, 1979
Disc 1 (43:16): Sweet Little Rock’n Roller, Buried Alive, F.U.C. Her, Mystifies Me, Infekshun, Rock Me Baby, Sure The One You Need, Lost And Lonely
Disc 2 (49:54): Breathe On Me, Love In Vain, Let’s Go Steady Again, Apartment Number Nine, Honky Tonk Women, Worried Life Blues, I Can Feel The Fire, Come To Realize
The New Barbarians are the most interesting and fun of all the Rolling Stones side projects. Although centered on Ron Wood and his third solo album Gimme Some Neck, it was more than an exercise of ego or obligation. It was a chance for Wood to flex his creativity and to have fun doing it. The album was critically praised and the short tour well received.
The May 3rd Cincinnati date is one of the soundboards to have surfaced. A fragment running from “Mystifies Me” to “I Can Feel The Fire” first appeared on the one disc Live at L.A. Forum (The Swingin Pig TSP-CD-204) labeled from the May 19th show in Los Angeles.
In 1993 Breathe On Me was released with the more of the show. It runs from the beginning through “Come To Realize” and is missing “Am I Grooving You,” “Seven Days,” “Before They Make Me Run” and “Jumping Jack Flash.” The sound quality is excellent. The instruments are perfectly balanced and it has nice depth and presence The audience sounds very far away, however, and there is a cut in “Breath On Me.” The label unfortunately labels the fragment of the song after the cut as a new track throwing off all the others.
Despite the minor imperfections this is a nice recording to have. The band are much tighter than in other shows and were not trying to be the sloppy drunk party band they’re usually labeled.
The set list is the same as all the other concerts. There weren’t any variations. Starting off with “Sweet Little Rock N Roller,” a cover of Chuck Berry their strongest influence.
They follow with three songs from the new album and one, “Mystified Me,” from his first solo album I’ve Got My Own Album To Do. “Infekshun” is followed by a massive cover of the blues standard “Rock Me Baby.”
Before “Breathe On Me” Wood emphatically states there will be no special guests. “Aren’t we special enough?” He definitely has in mind Milwaukee a few nights before. The audience rioted after the show because they thought they were promised special guests (i.e. Mick Jagger and the rest of the Stones) and caused damage when they didn’t appear.
After “Love In Vain” they become more adventurous with the set. “Let’s Go Steady Again” features Richards on vocals and Wood joining Bobby Keyes on saxophone and the Johnny Paycheck cover “Apartment Number 9” has Richards on piano and vocals with Wood on pedal steel.
The tape comes to an end with “Come To Realize.” It’s a shame the rest is missing because this is one of the strongest nights of the tour and it would have been great to hear the epic “I Am Grooving You” and “Seven Days” with this kind of enthusiasm.
Breathe On Me is a twenty year old title and comes packaged in a double fatboy jewel case with very basic artwork on the inserts. It is probably going to be the only time this show will ever be available on silver disc since New Barbarian shows aren’t too marketable. It’s definitely a title to pick up if ever available.