Keith Richards, ‘The Complete Honeymoon Tapes’ (Goldplate GP 1606 1/2)
CD ONE – Memphis, Tennessee (Chuck Berry) / Cathy’s Clown (Everly Brothers) / All Shook Up (Elvis Presley) / Wanna Hold You (Jagger/Richards) / So Sad (Everly Brothers) / Wild Horses (Jagger/Richards) / Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) / Born To Lose (Ted Daffan) / Time Is On My Side (Norman Meade) / It’s So Easy (Buddy Holly) / Oh Boy (Buddy Holly – Petty/Tilghman/West) / Crying, Waiting, Hoping (Charles Hardin Holley) / I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now – version 1 (Howard/Adams/Hough) / Sing Me Back Home (Merle Haggard) / Let’s Spend The Night Together (Jagger/Richards) / Learning The Game (Buddy Holly) / Think It Over (Buddy Holly) / All In My Mind (Maxine Brown) / Beast Of Burden (Jagger/Richards) / You Win Again (Hank Williams) / Well All Right (Buddy Holly) / Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran) / No Expectations (Jagger/Richards) / Love Is Strange (Mickey&Sylvia) / Tutti Frutti (Little Richard – La Bostrie/Penniman/Lubin) / That’ll Be The Day (Buddy Holly)
CD TWO – Donna (Richie Valens) / If You See Her, Say Hello (Bob Dylan) / Please Please Me (Lennon/McCartney) – Please Stay (Bacharach) / 32-20 Blues (Robert Johnson) / Devoted To You (Everly Brothers – Bryant) / Apartment Number Nine (Johnny Paycheck/Bobby Austin) / Brand New Heartache (Everly Brothers – Bryant) / Sweet Dreams – version 1 (Don Gibson) / Careless Ethiopians (Toots Hibbert) / She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye (Newbury/Gilmore) / I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now – version 2 (Howard/Adams/Hough) / Let It Be Me (Curtis/Becaud/Delanoe) / Since You Broke My Heart (Everly Brothers) / Try A Little Tenderness (Woods/Campbell/Conelly) / Heartbeat (Buddy Holly) / Wishing (Buddy Holly) / I Got Stripes (Johnny Cash/Charlie Williams) / Can’t Take A Joke – improvisation / Granada – instrumental (Lara/Dodd) / Sweet Dreams – version 2 (Don Gibson) / Problems (Everly Brothers – Bryant) / Brand New Heartache – complete (Everly Brothers – Bryant) / Never On Sunday – instrumental version 1 (Hadjidakis/Towne) / Flamenco – improvisation / Never On Sunday – instrumental version 2 (Hadjidakis/Towne)
Recorded in a Mexican hotel room at the Finisterra hotel, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in December 1983 (According to the ever helpful Netzengraf.de) This is a hotch-potch of half remembered, lo-fi rendition of tracks jammed acoustically with another guitarist known only by the pseudonym ‘Stoker’ and very probably Patti Hanson – who is here by audience only. There are some great renditions here of tracks that Keith loved. there are some laughable takes but if Keith wanted us to hear these tapes, he’d surely have brushed it all up a bit neater.
Ranging from ‘Memphis, Tennesee’, ‘Cathy’s Clown’, the Stone’s own, ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘Time Is On My Side’ (Played slow and bluesy) and ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’, the tape also includes his friends and his contemporaries also get a look in by way of Keith’s excellent imitation of Dylan as he sings, ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’, the Beatles, ‘Please, Please Me’ also gets a cursory line before morphing in to ‘Please Stay’. In fact, Buddy Holly takes up most of the rest of the slack as the duo flip flop through many of Holly’s back catalogue on true or blues styled takes on those 50’s classics.
The source for the CD seems to be Captain Acid’s “The Complete Honeymoon Tapes .. So Far” (ACID PROJECT 029) – Despite the best sources having been mined (“The source for this was OBR vinyl rip ( tracks on first disc ) and Hot Lips – The Complete Honeymoon tapes ( second disc, and few track that i have put on the first one )
The most important thing i have done was pitch correction. The closest pitch was on “Peaches Gone South” ( bootleg ), but even that one was not completely o.k. and i did not like the remastering job they did, it was too hot.
I have also done some EQ and levell correction, cleaned some clicks and pops too. OBR vinyl rip was a much better source but did not have all of the tracks. Hot Lips bootleg had a muddy sound which i fixed, but also there was tape hiss on that one, and i did not want to use noise reduction, because i just don`t like it. So there is still some hiss on second disc but generally it sound much better than on any other bootleg with these tracks.
I have also rearranged the order of tracks, to my own taste.”) – The sound, as suggested, is messing around in the bathroom bad / good. Loads of reverb from bare stone walls or tiles, you won’t be listening to this for real pleasure, more for the historical event of hearing Keef’s voice beginning to crackle and mature in to the hessian backed cackle that it has become and – apart from Vigotone’s ‘Voodoo ..’ series, there are not that many opportunities to hear him jam alone in or outside of the studio. The sound is warm enough, some of John Lennon’s home demos, at Tittenhurst for instance, sound British – February cold and miserable, these tracks at least have the benefit of being recorded somewhere warmer and by the very virtue of that (and being recorded on acoustic guitar) sound like they have a brighter detail.
The question begs itself “Why is Keith jamming away with one of his mates while he’s away on holiday after his nuptials and who’s taping this?” but surely the answer must be – this is what he does! Maybe the original tape for Keef composing ‘Satisfaction’ still does exist in an airless vault ready for outing on a Stones anthology when things wrap up – Maybe we WILL hear the sound of the riff-meister snoring as he buckles over due to spending 36 hours with his eyes wise open – is that a delicious thought or not, really? Maybe every ring, ting and strum that he’s recorded really does exist as recorded and he is as savvy as Bowie was for collecting odds and sods even in his most phased out – or maybe he’s passed it back to curate for future ‘Exhibitionisms’.
An interesting – even ‘nice’ listen (I can’t really call this fun for the state of it’s audio – Some of it is bloody horrific!) for the Keef ‘Have it alls’ and the biggest stones fans. If you’re looking for studio quality jams however and an easier Sunday listen, this is not for you.