Broadway (Dog N Cat DAC-092)
It is remarkable how deeply the Rolling Stones’ 1969 tour has passed into modern mythology. In subsequent assessment it has been called “history’s first mythic rock and roll tour” and one of the “benchmarks of an era.” But this turn in modern myth making is not just a product of golden nostalgia but was in effect during the time the Stones toured.
Reading some of the articles in the New York times leading up to their visit and afterwards provides interesting commentary. A review of the Stones’ Hyde Park show in London that summer prompted Patrick London to opine, “There is intense frustration in many of his lyrics – real despair-blues frustration. He combines bitterness, much hate, frustration, and defiance, yet he is a sweet star and he revels in his sour soul. He adores his evil.” (NY Times, July 20th, 1969).
Albert Goldman wrote at this time that “the current generation seems like an army of doppelgangers, chanting love and peace as they march to the most militant strains ever blared from the horns of war,” and, using the Stones as an example, says that “rock is Fascism spelled Fashion.”
Looking past the philosophic and cultural meaning, this was the Stones’ first visit to New York in more than three years since they played in Queen in July 1966. Three shows were scheduled over two days just after the Thanksgiving holiday and were hyped to the point where Simon & Garfunkel, playing the same two nights at Carnegie Hall, were worried that nobody would attend their shows (which turned out to be unfounded since both of theirs were sold out too). All three were filmed by the Maysles brothers and professionally recorded by Glyn Johns utilizing the Wally Heider Mobile unit.
The only material to surface from these tapes are found in the film Gimme Shelter and the live album Get Yer Ya Yas Out. But audience tapes have been in circulation for two of the shows. Broadway on Dog N Cat presents complete audience recordings for two of the shows plus a clean transfer of the acetate for the official live album from these shows.
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – November 27th, 1969
Disc 1 (67:33): Jumping Jack Flash, Carol, Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Under My Thumb / I’m Free, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Little Queenie, Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man
The earliest incarnation of the first New York show was on the old vinyl Stoned-M.S.G. (Head Records 102 – A/B) with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Carol,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Under My Thumb-I’m Free,” “Midnight Rambler,” “Love In Vain,” “Satisfaction,” and “Honky Tonk Women.” Play With Fire (TMoQ 2815-A/B) and its clone Who Killed Brian (HHCER108-A/B) contain “Under My Thumb-I’m Free,” “Satisfaction,” and “Honky Tonk Women.”
Compact disc releases were able to present the entire concert and include M.S.G. 69 (Hot Lips Records HLR-RS 010), Madison Square Garden New York- November 27, 1969 (Penetration Records PEN 2002), the first disc of Live in New York 1969 (Idol Mind Productions IMP-CD 036-37), Stoned – M.S.G. 1969 (VGP-018) and It’s No Hangin’ Matter (VGP-096) (which also has the San Diego show on disc one).
Dog N Cat make the claim they use the master tape for Broadway. It is a good to very good audience recording. Given the absence of audience interference, it has been suggested that TMoQ are responsible for this tape just as they were the Oakland show, using the same shotgun microphone. What prevents this from being an excellent recording is the presence of slight distortion which isn’t enough to ruin it but is enough to notice. There are minor tape flips between some songs but nothing is lost.
Mike Jahn, reviewing the show in the Times the following day, observed “Sixteen thousand people stood, stomped and danced while the group played faithful versions of their hit songs like ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and ‘Under My Thumb.’… The group maintained its long-standing image of being the sexual balladeers of rock music. Many of their songs have an aggressive, masculine theme, and the lead Stone, Mick Jagger, snarls and howls in the finest man-woman blues tradition. Throughout the songs, Mr. Jagger pranced about the stage, flaunting his hips at the audience like a stoned flamenco dancer. Their set was very successful; and enthusiastic reading of some of the fine group’s finest material.”
The tape opens with Sam Cutler’s spoken introduction, “We’ll they’ve done the West Coast and they’ve done all sorts of other places in America and now they’re in New York. For the first time in three years. The Rolling Stones…The Rolling Stones” before “Jumping Jack Flash.” This performance seems a bit stiff and nervous compared to others, maybe because of Mick’s wardrobe malfunction. “I busted a button on my trousers, I hope they don’t fall down. You don’t want my trousers to fall down now do you?”
The Chuck Berry cover “Carol” is much more effective and fun and the band enter into a groove which lasts through the rest of the performance. “Sympathy For The Devil” reaches seven minutes long and gets the audience riled up. Audience noises increase as they become restless during “Love In Vain.” There is constant commotion with gets worse during the short acoustic set which follows.
Jagger loses his place in “Prodigal Son” and begins to sing another verse as it comes to an end. “You Gotta Move” is “a very old blues number, we never did discover who wrote it.” Although the Stones’ intention is to have a quite, intimate moment playing blues covers for 16,000, it seems to go over everyone’s heads since the people on the floor couldn’t see Mick and Keith and they want to hear the heavier numbers.
They follow with “Under My Thumb,” one of the few pre-Beggar’s Banquet songs in the set. “I’m Free” was played as a stand alone number on the first five shows of the tour but was dropped. It reappeared segued with “Under My Thumb” in the November 26th Baltimore show and the opening night in New York. These are the only two recorded instances of this particular paring.
“Midnight Rambler” is good theater which is effective even though it was unfamiliar to the audience at this point (Let It Bleed would be released the following week). “I think you should forget about your seats at this point” Jagger says afterwards, conceding to the rowdy audience. “We’re gonna do one now that asks you a question. Would you like to live with me?” The follow with the “Little Queenie,” the second Chuck Berry cover of the set and the show closes with “Street Fighting Man.” It is a good show which contributed some material to the live album.
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – November 28th, 1969 (second show)
Disc 2 (63:58): Jumping Jack Flash, Carol, Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Under My Thumb, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Little Queenie, Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man
The November 28th early show is missing an audience tape. “Street Fighting Man,” “Carol” and “Little Queenie” from the soundboard circulate from this show and are available on several boots (and would have been a nice addition to this collection).
For the evening show, the audience recording is fair to good but a step down from the first New York show. There is more audience chatter audible throughout the concert and a near riot seems to break out in the middle of the show. There are some terrible speed problems start during “You Gotta Move” and pop up intermittantly throughout the rest of the show. Also, the taper hits the pause button after every song starting with “Live With Me” to conserve tape. The only previous release on silver is the second disc of Live in New York 1969 (Idol Mind Productions IMP-CD 036-37) which makes this release valuable.
Despite the problems with the tape and audience, the final New York show is simply outstanding. It is much more confident than the first night and comes close to living up to the legend of this entire tour. It opens with Jagger telling the audience “Sorry you had to wait” before “Jumping Jack Flash.” This and “Carol” both swing. “Sympathy For The Devil” is another masterpiece in construction, alternating between loud and soft sections to create dramatic tension.
“Stray Cat Blues” is a song “about a lady.” Jagger sounds a bit nervous after “Love In Vain” as he gets ready for the acoustic numbers. “You sure you gonna dig it? Can you dig it? We’re gonna do one for you now…you sure sound pretty with beautiful voices” he says before “Prodigal Son.” Although it would become almost standard for any rock band to include an acoustic set in the middle of the show, it wasn’t when the Stones attempted it in this tour. Its inclusion was motivated by the knowledge that they were not going to play for screaming girls but for a more sophisticated audience who would listen to the music.
The final numbers of the set stand out in a bid to celebrate their return to New York after three years. “Satisfaction” is pushed and stretched past six minutes long and “Street Fighting Man” sounds like a riot on stage as the show comes to an end.
Get Yer Yah Yah’s Out upgrade
Disc 3 (47:28): Jumping Jack Flash, Carol, Stray Cat Blues, Love In Vain, Midnight Rambler, Sympathy For The Devil, Live With Me, Little Queenie, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man
The Apple Acetate of Get Yer Yah Yah’s Out is an early test pressing of the live album. There is a different mix in the songs compared to the final product as well as differences in placement of various comments. “Love In Vain” and “Street Fighting Man” appear on the compilation A Shot of Salvation (Old Masters Vol. 2) (Scorpio OM-90-64-17) and the entire acetate is on Fuck Yer Ya Ya’s Out (VGP 160). DAC utilize Get Yer Alternate Ya-Ya’s Out: The Legendary Glyn Johns Demo Mix (IMP-N-020) which claims to be the Glyn Johns raw mix released in June 2009 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the concert. This is taken from a different acetate than the above Apple promo bootleg, much cleaner sounding with no hint of vinyl noise present.
The disc begins with crowd noise that would later be edited in on side two before “Sympathy For The Devil,” the woman in the crowd talking about “Paint It Black.” The Same Cutler opening collage is the same as it is on the commercial version. “Carol” is from the November 28th early show. The acetate moved Jagger’s comments about his trousers so that there is nothing between the opening two songs.
Jagger’s “thank you” between “Carol” and “Stray Cat Blues” is missing. “Love In Vain” dates from the November 26th show in Baltimore. The guitar channels are reversed like the outtake found on A Shot of Salvation. The source for “Midnight Rambler” is the November 28th late show and the main differences are the added introductory words from the 28th and an edit to line four of the spoken words.
The other acetate source has “Live With Me” staring side two but this one begins with “Sympathy For The Devil” as does the final product. Jagger’s trousers comment is used here before the song starts. The acetate and the final version use the early show on the 28th. The acetate is missing verses two and three but does have verse four, which is edited off of the final product.
“Live With Me” is from the late show on the 28th with the vocal overdubbed at a later date. “Honky Tonk Women” is from the 27th with overdubbed vocals and the “Paris verse” replaces the “New York” verse. Missing are the spoken words “You having a good time?” before “Street Fighting Man” but instead Jagger’s announcement that they’ll play one more song. The source of this is the early show on the 28th but the guitars are a bit higher in the mix.
Broadway is an interesting release by Dog N Cat offering together these three tapes in one package, something that has never been done before. It makes collecting the tapes easy and convenient and is a good title to listen to before the release of the 40th anniversary deluxe edition of Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out. It will be interesting comparing the five new Stones tracks against the audience. DAC package this in a fatboy jewel case with thick glossy inserts as artwork with a photograph from the tour on the front and back cover.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)