Rolling Stones – Sucking Don On Saturday Night Live (Good Times Music GTM-102)

Sucking Don On Saturday Night Live (Good Times Music GTM-102)

(72:37):  Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, recorded 7-17-73, broadcast 9-27-73:  Angie (take 1), Silver Train, Dancing With Mr. D, Angie (take 2).  Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, recorded July 1974, broadcast 10-19-74:  ‘Til The Next Goodbye, It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.  Saturday Night Live, recorded and broadcast 10-7-78:  Beast Of Burden, Respectable, Shattered.  Rehearsals for Saturday Night Live, recorded 10-7-78:  Respectable, Beast Of Burden, Summer Romance, Respectable, Shattered, Respectable, Shattered

Sucking Don On Saturday Night Live collects together three Rolling Stones appearances on American television in the mid to late seventies in promoting Goat’s Head Soup, It’s Only Rock And Roll and Some Girls.  The sound quality of all the segments is excellent, taped right off of the respective broadcasts with just a bit of tape hiss present.

The first segment comes from Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.  Kirshner was well known as a song writer in the fifties and sixties, penning numerous number one hits for The Monkees and The Archies in particular.  He was executive producer for ABC’s “In Concert” series when he decided to create his own syndicated program “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.”  The format featured the top artists of the day in both the studio and in promotional films.  The premier program was on September 27th, 1973 featuring The Rolling Stones making their first appearance on American television since playing on Ed Sullivan in November 1969.  Live performance was filmed on July 17th, 1973 in London and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.  The actual broadcast includes one version of the slow ballad “Angie” (without strings), “Silver Train” and “Dancing With Mr. D,” both with live vocals over a prepared backing track.

The second appearance on Don Kirstner’s Rock Concert occurred almost a year later with the release of It’s Only Rock And Roll.  The performance, which includes “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “It’s Only Rock And Roll” and “Till The Next Goodbye” was filmed in London on June 1st, 1974 again with Michael Lindsay-Hogg director.  All are recorded with live vocals over a prepared vocal track. 

The last half of the disc with The Rolling Stones’ appearance on Saturday Night Live is much more interesting than the first half.  They appeared on the popular NBC comedy skit show on October 7th, 1978 and were the first to serve as both host and musical act.  New York mayor Ed Koch handled the opening monologue and closing.  Mick Jagger appears as himself in “The Tomorrow Show” skit with Dan Aykroyd as Tom Snyder and Watts and Ron Wood appear on the “Olympia Diner” skit.  Rather than staggering the performances, they play their three songs in one set in the middle of the broadcast and air three songs from their latest album Some Girls “Beast Of Burden,” “Respectable” and “Shattered” (and surprisingly not “Miss You”).  Watching them perform on television is a lot of fun but Jagger’s vocals are almost completely shot.

The balance of this disc has the soundtrack from a private rehearsal video from the previous night in Westchester.  The entire tape is not in circulation unfortunately and the rehearsal where they work on “Jin Go La Ba” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” with John Belushi joining in isn’t included.  What is present are the band working on the the three songs they would play in the telecast plus “Summer Romance.”  They seem to be drinking and having a fun time with one another and joking with Lorne Michaels, the producer for SNL.  “Wonderful” Mick quips at one point.  “Isn’t it great we’re gonna do the whole thing again though and it gets less great as it goes on.  Okay Lorne?”  “Don’t waste any more film”  someone shouts.  Sucking Don On A Saturday Night is one of the classic Stones silver releases.  This 2007 repress is much welcomed in making it generally available again. 

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  1. I agree with Lrodbud, I can’t see that this cheap compilation is a welcome release – especially not when all tracks are available on bootleg DVDs…..the visual part of these recordings are more important than the audio…it’s basically just the vocals that comes “live” anyway.
    But….”Sucking Don On Saturday Night Live” is very very cheap….don’t pay more than 12 dollars for it.

  2. “This 2007 repress is much welcomed in making it generally available again.”

    Hmmm, well to my ears the only track on this making it worthwhile is the almost completely different mix/take taken from the video of It’s Only Rock n’ Roll. Keith solos throughout the entire song; there’s no extraneous “thousand guitars” overdubs here, just a strummed rhythm and Keef’s non-stops leads. An excellent quality audio/video clip of the It’s Only Rock n’ Roll promo film (audio portion on this CD) can be seen on youtube at rollingstonestv’s channel.


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