L.A. 69 – Nov. 8, – 2nd Show (Dog N Cat DAC-120)
The Forum, Los Angeles, CA – November 8th, 1969 (late show)
(74:54): Sam Cutler introduction, Jumping Jack Flash, Carol, Sympathy For The Devil, Stray Cat Blues, Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Love In Vain, I’m Free, Under My Thumb, Midnight Rambler, Live With Me, Little Queenie, Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, Street Fighting Man. Sister Morphine (Olympic Sound Studio, London, England – February 10th – March 31st, 1969
On September 14th The Rolling Stones announced their plan to tour the US for the first time in three years. They finished recording “Let It Bleed” in Los Angeles and held a pre-tour press conference on October 27th in the Beverly Wilshire hotel.
At the time Keith Richards claimed the band “need” to play live, saying “You know a lot of people want to see us. But we really need to do a tour ’cause we haven’t played – a tour’s the ONLY thing that really knocks you into shape, you know.”
Mick Taylor said that Jagger has “always been a very ambitious person, and basically he wanted to get back out with a new guitarist, a new band and make lots of albums, you know, REACTIVE the whole thing. Because he felt they’d become sort of a bit out of touch with the times and a bit stagnant, you know.”
And Jagger defended the high ticket price of $7.50, saying: “We aren’t doing this tour for money, but because we want to play America and have a lot of fun. We’re really not into that sort of economic scene. I mean, either you’re gonna sing and all that crap or you’re gonna be a fucking economist. We’re sorry people can’t afford to come. We don’t know that this tour is more expensive. You’ll have to tell us.”
It was a tour that Charlie Watts called in retrospect the Led Zeppelin tour. He claimed, “People didn’t scream anymore. The music was taken seriously. In ’69 you had proper amplification. Suddenly you could hear everybody. Nobody had heard DRUMS before. We must have sounded a joke before. But in ’69 you really had to be on top of it to play. That’s how Hendrix and bands like Led Zeppelin came about. … I blame it on Jimmy Page. Led Zeppelin had come to the States, and they would do a twenty-minute drum solo and endless guitar solos.”
Opening night was eight hundred miles from Los Angeles in Fort Collins, Colorado. On November eighth they played two shows at the Forum in Los Angeles before playing two in Oakland the following night, famous for the Live’r Than You’ll Ever Be boot.
The tape first surfaced on the vinyl release L.A. 69 – Nov. 8, – 2nd Show (OBR 305 018). in the early nineties it was booted onto the compact disc titles Lost Satanic Tour ’69 (Picaresque Sound PS-002) and Street Hassle in L.A. (Stonehenge STO 001). It had good sound, but was missing “Jumping Jack Flash” and “Midnight Rambler.”
Around 1995 and 1996 two more titles with this show surfaced. Cocaine on a Dentist Chair (VGP-068) which has the same tape source but with the missing songs, and an alternate source on Born in The Crossfire Hurricane (Sonic Zoom SZ 1002).
This new release on Dog N Cat contains the complete OBR / VGP tape source. It’s very clear with an emphasis upon the guitars rather than the vocals or rhythm section.
It begins with Sam Culter soothing the patient audience. Judging from the comments, there was a long delay between the early and late shows and late began later than scheduled. “I’d like for you to welcome, in the biggest possible way, the Rolling Stones” is his modest introduction.
“Jumping Jack Flash” starts off the show and like most versions from this tour sounds very timid, uncertain, and tentative.
“We’re sorry to keep you waiting but we’ve been waiting too” Jagger says afterwards, apologizing for the delay. “We would’ve have brought our toothbrushes had we known.”
“Carol” is much better and, and the show is much better throughout. Keith in particular rocks in “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Stray Cat Blues.” Afterwards, Mick tell them “this sounds weird, but we’re gonna sit down” before they play a haunting version of “Prodigal Son.”
The first two shows stopped there, but Mick tell them they’re going to play another one and proceed with “You Gotta Move.” This is the first live performance of the song that would remain in the set for the rest of the tour and on the European tour in 1970, be recorded for Sticky Fingers, and would be played in an electric form in 1975 with Billy Preston taking a large role.
Mick Taylor plays a delicate and intricate solo in “I’m Free.” It’s a shame this song would be pretty much dropped after this, only to appear on rare occasions. “Are you really grooving or are you too tired?” Jagger has to ask the crowd afterwards.
After “Under My Thumb” Jagger tell them “we’re gonna do a few things … you haven’t heard them but we hope you dig them, this is one from our new album which we call ‘Midnight Rambler’.” Still a month away from release on Let It Bleed, it still sounds quite chilling when Taylor and Richards battle during the long improvisation in the middle.
“Satisfaction,” with a long Taylor solo in the middle, and “Street Fighting Man” close what is a very satisfying performance from so early in the tour. It’s not as polished as the Boston, Baltimore and New York shows, but still very energetic and fun to hear.
Dog N Cat include a take of “Sister Morphine” from the sessions in February 1969. It’s an early take with piano in excellent sound quality. It’s included for conceptual continuity with the original vinyl release. It is packaged in a standard jewel case with a photo from the gig on the front cover and a copy of the OBR cover on the inside. It would have been great if this were issued as a 2CD set with the early show on another disc, but this is a very good 1969 release by Dog N Cat worth having.