Smoking Stones (no label)
The Forum, Los Angeles, CA – July 9th, 1975
Disc 1 (44:27): Newscast from May 1st, 1975 (courtesy of KMET-FM, Los Angeles), Intro, It’s Only Rock’n Roll (But I Like It), band introduction, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker), Fingerprint File, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, You Gotta Move, If You Can’t Rock Me / Get Off Of My Cloud, Star Star, Newscast from July 10th, 1975 (Courtesy of KABC-TV, Los Angeles)
Disc 2 (43:51): Official 1975 Tour Radio AD (From 1st May 1975 Los Angeles), You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Angie, Wild Horses, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash, Newscast From 9th August 1975 (Courtesy of KFWB-FM, Los Angeles)
Every Rolling Stones tour of the US in the seventies was treated as a profound musical and cultural event. Such was the case with the Tour Of The Americas. Ostensibly a tour for It’s Only Rock And Roll, it was also the first with new guitarist Ronnie Wood and their first visit with an elaborate stage presentation and with a much longer setlist than on previous visits.
They played five shows at the Los Angeles Forum starting July 9th. The several releases on silver disc such as Live At LA Forum July 9, 1975 (Screamer-04008/9) utilize the excellent quality Mike Millard recording.
But the first tape to surface was a very good audience recording on Smoking Stones (1RS75/2RS75). It isn’t complete, nor does it have the clarity as the other, but it is a very good document capturing the atmosphere of the event perfectly. It was produced by the same people who did Live’r Than You’ll Ever Beand was issued soon after the event.
It’s listed in a November 1975 issue of Hotwacks along with First Night Stand, 1975 Tour of the Americas-part one, and Charlie Watts and His Fabulous Rolling Stones-1975 Tour Of The Americas-part two, other titles from this tour. (Thanks to Erik on IORR for all this information. An essential website for all-things-Stones).
Only about half of the show is present, and the emphasis is upon the newer songs from Goats Head Soup and It’s Only Rock And Roll, the two albums released since the Stones’ last tour in 1972. Omitted are the introduction “Fanfare For The Common Man” segueing into “Honky Tonk Woman,” “All Down The Line,” “Gimme Shelter,” the Billy Preston songs “That’s Life” and “Outta Space,” “Midnight Rambler,” “Rip This Joint,” “Street Fighting Man” and the rare encore “Sympathy For The Devil.”
Also of value on the recording are the various television and radio news reports surrounding the show, starting with the news announcement on KMET on “Rolling Stones Day.” The DJ speaks to Rolling Stones tour manager Peter Rudge about the announcement in New York of the Stones’ Tour Of The Americas. Rudge plays it a bit coy, avoiding the questions and even putting the whole tour up to speculation.
The first disc closes with a television newscast covering the first night of the tour, saying how much money the Stones will earn and how the tour will end in South America (which wouldn’t happen). The second disc opens with a radio advertisement for tickets for the LA shows. The final report, found at the end of disc two, comes after the final show in Orchard Park, New York giving a financial and box office summery.
No label duplicates the vinyl artwork for this release, further enhancing its status as a document from another age. Smoking Stones isn’t a replacement for the Millard recording. The Screamer release mentioned above is the definitive document of this show given its sound quality and completeness. But this is a good supplemental title of a forgotten tape and is worth having.