An Afternoon In Munich (SODD-028)
Olympia Hall, Munich, Germany – September 28th, 1973 (afternoon)
Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Star Star, Dancing With Mr. D, Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
An Afternoon In Munich is a one disc release covering the Stones’ afternoon show on September 28th, 1973. There is some confusion about whether or not this tape has been released before. Some sources claim Olympia Hall 1973 (on Digger Productions DP 9303)) is a poor quality version of this tape, while others say Digger is the evening show. Another old release, issued in 1989, is Midnight Rambler (GDR CD8911) on Great Dane, also claims to be this show. Still another source claims this is the very first silver release of this show.
Among collectors this has circulated on cdr under An Afternoon In Munich (Rockin’ Rott) and In Munich. Regardless of past releases, this is the first time this tape has been issued in this century and is among the very best the new SODD label has produced. There is only one source for this show in circulation and this is an improvement over what is available. The recording is very good and clear, picking up the dynamics in the venue properly. The vocals and guitars are prominent in the mix. The European tour is one where Bill Wyman’s bass was mixed high and is audible on this tape, but the drums are a bit thin.
Between “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Midnight Rambler” there is a tape flip that loses no music, so it is as complete as possible. This show occurs almost right in the middle of their European tour which began on September 1st and ended on October 19th in West Berlin. Munich is one of thirteen unique concerts in West Germany. The band were joined by Billy Preston on organ and clavinet, Bobby Keys and Trevor Lawrence on saxophone, Jim Price on trumpet and trombone, and Steve Madio on trumpet and flugelhorn.
Keys was actually dismissed from the tour sometime after Munich for falling asleep onstage due to an addiction to heroin. Touring for Goat Head’s Soup, some of the early shows contain five songs from the new album with “100 Years Ago” and “Silver Train” making appearances. For many shows four songs are included. But by Munich, with “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” being dropped, the number is reduced to three all played consecutively.
Nothing before 1968 is found in any of the shows. The Munich afternoon show is a very brisk, tight performance before a relatively mellow audience. “Brown Sugar” begins with Jagger yelling “yeah, motherfucker” in the song’s build up and includes Keys playing the sax solo. Before one knows what is happening they are playing the inexorable opening notes of “Gimme Shelter.” The first four songs are played at a break neck pace and the band don’t’ take a breath until after “Tumbling Dice.” Jagger was pushing “Dancing With Mr. D,” the sequel to “Sympathy For The Devil,” to be their next hit and sounds sinister in this recording.
He tries to wake up the audience before “Angie” by shouting, “Sweet time…hello hello hello, all right!” This version of the song contains a nice organ solo by Preston giving the song a holy glow. “We’re gonna do one more slow song for you to make you cry. Whoo! It sure is echo-ey in here” Jagger says before “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Like all versions on this tour this is a nine-minute long track of epic proportions. Taylor plays a solo before giving way to Keys on the alto sax. He reiterates the main theme of the song before leading it through various jazz interpretations of the same melody.
“Midnight Rambler” is eleven minutes long and is a showcase for Taylor, for whom this tour would be both his showcase and swansong. The intensity of that song is broken with “Honky Tonk Women.” The following song “All Down The Line” brings the show back to the quick pace is lost during the slow songs and features the horn section punctuating the joyful melody in the middle of the track and “Rip This Joint” goes by in a blur. The band rush through the final two songs and Jagger even briefly loses his place in the first verse of “Jumping Jack Flash.”
The final song of the set is “Street Fighting Man” which gives the horn section another chance to make their presence known as the songs teams to its finale. The Stones didn’t give encores during this time and after a terse “good night” the band leave the stage. The entire performance clocks in at around seventy minutes. The Munich afternoon show is a good choice for release by SODD since it hasn’t been issued often and this is an intense and compact performance with a very good sounding recording. Many say that the Mick Taylor era of the Rolling Stones is the most interesting and exciting and this tour in particular contains some of the best documents of the band when they resembled most an arena rock band with a guitar hero vying for attention.
An Afternoon In Munich is available both along and with a limited edition CDR, limited to two hundred copies, which contains the audience recording of the afternoon show on September 19th at the Odeon in Birmingham, England. The label use era appropriate photographs for the graphic artwork and limit the title to five hundred copies.