All Meat Music (For Fans Only 007)
Benefit Concert For Nicaragua, Forum, Los Angeles, CA – January 18th, 1973
(79:59): Brown Sugar, Bitch, Rocks Off, Gimme Shelter, Route 66, It’s All Over Now, Happy, Tumbling Dice, No Expectations, Sweet Virginia, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Dead Flowers, Stray Cat Blues, Live With Me, All Down the Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
The earthquake that hit Nicaragua occurred on December 23rd, 1972 just outside of the capital city Managua. The 6.2 magnitude quake caused much damage to the city, 5,000 were killed, 20,000 were injured and over 250,000 were left homeless. Much aid was organized including mercy fights sponsored by baseball hall of famer Roberto Celemente, who was killed when the fourth flight with supplies crashed on December 31st.
The Rolling Stones became involved because Mick’s wife Bianca hailed from the country and had relatives in Managua. The benefit concert was planned a week in advance and the band had only two days of rehearsals. Tickets were priced at $100. Promoter Bill Graham was disappointed by the lack of support from the record industry, hoping record companies would buy the $100 tickets for their teenage daughters. He had to cut the price of the tickets to $25 right before the gig to sell them, cutting down on the expected gross.
Cheech & Chong and Santana opened the show before the Stones hit the stage. The high profile of the event drew comparisons to George Harrison’s Concert For Bangladesh in 1971. The Los Angeles Timespointed out that the Stones out-grossed Bangladesh, but it lacked the exclusivity since the Stones tour regularly and George Harrison and Bob Dylan do not. Ultimately $350,000 was raised and Jagger himself donated $150,000 the following May to bring the total up to $500,000.
Also given the high profile of the gig, it was bound to be recorded and released. Winter Tour 1973 (RS 530 & TMQ-72006) with one of the more famous William Stout inserts (where he even includes himself as the devil in the final frame). Surprisingly, there have been very few CD pressings of the show. Vinyl Gang released All Meat Music (VGP-283) in two editions.
All Meat Music on For Fans Only is the latest release and they utilize the same recording. The sound is very good and clear. Mick Taylor’s guitar tends to dominate the mix for the first three songs, but things even out after that. It presents the show except for the encore “Midnight Rambler” which was not recorded by the taper. This is a very good way to obtain this famous show on silver since there are few versions available.
The setlist is bears similarity to that used on the 1972 STP with “Brown Sugar,” “Bitch,” “Rocks Off” and “Gimme Shelter.” Two oldies follow, “Route 66″ and “It’s All Over Now,” both played in concert for the first time since June 1965 and both sounding ragged.
After the two Exile On Main Street songs “Happy” and “Tumbling Dice,” they attempt the first performance of “No Expectations” since the Rock And Roll Circus in 1968. Jose Areas joins the band on congas for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The Sticky Fingers track “Dead Flowers,” played infrequently in 1972, is added as are the two staples from the 1969 tour “Stray Cat Blues” and “Live With Me.”
The show ends with “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man.” They come out for a rare encore “Midnight Rambler.” It wasn’t taped by the taper, but several sources attest to it being played.
Overall it is a good but not great Stones performance. The rarities add a lot to the show, but they sound unrehearsed and overwhelmed by the meaning of the event. Los Angeles would also be the final time Mick Taylor played with the Stones in mainland US. For Fans Only utilize thick paper for the inserts in All Meat Music giving it a classy presentation along with the classic artwork. This is a title worth having for the historic import and for its scarcity.