I Got Nasty Habits

Later on on Friday evening I flicked through the channels and chanced upon the final forty minutes of Shine A Light, Martin Scorsese’s recent Rolling Stones film. I say recent, I’ve just checked and it came out in 2008. Is that recent? It was grimly compelling. Most of the film is a live performance in a smallish New York theatre. Keith has that pirate thing going on, still stick thin, eyeliner and bangles and by the looks/sound of it, his guitar playing is still a good thing- raucous and raw. Ronnie Wood is Ronnie Wood, take him or leave him. There are three backing singers who do quite a lot of the work. What to make of Mick Jagger? Energetic, yes. He performs like the CEO of a multi-national company- which is what he is. They played/massacred Live With Me, originally from 1969’s Let It Bleed, arguably their best, most dangerous album. Christine Aguilera turned up for an ill-advised duet.

On the record Live With Me blasts into life with a ferocious bassline, played by Keith (which explains it) and slashing guitar chords. It is Mick Taylor’s first recorded appearance with the band- maybe he was showing them exactly what he could do. Bobby Keys contributes a sax solo, a sax solo I can actually live with, and then there’s Mick’s libidinous lyrics. The legend of the wild, libertine, English Stones is all over these lyrics. ‘I got nasty habits’ Mick opens with, ‘I take tea at three’. His best friend shoots water rats and feeds them to his geese. In verse two Mick tells of his ‘hairbrained children’, with ‘earphone heads and dirty necks, so Twentieth century’. These verses are all there to build up to his attempts in the chorus to woo someone, someone who has a place between Mick’s sheets. The third verse goes into 18th century overdrive, with a butler, the French maid, a cook, chauffeur and some slap and tickle in aplace behind the pantry door. Louche, lairy, Carry On but with hard drugs. The band are so hot the tape must have been overheating.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Live With Me

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