Better lit than 1972’s Ladies & Gentlemen The Rolling Stones, that DVD filmed over four nights in Texas during 1972’s “Exile on Main Street” tour, this “Some Girls Live” is from a Fort Worth, Texas from July 18, 1978. The two projects – with 6 years between them – provide a Texas-twosome of Stones performances that make for good analysis…as well as the general good old time we expect from Mick & the boys.
“All Down the Line” is a nice enough kick-off, a slowed-down “Honky Tonk Women” exquisite for the musicianship and nice mix in the headphones, though one wonders if Mick Jagger’s pantomimes will survive the centuries as future historians look back into these time capsules. Perhaps I spoke too soon here as the nasty and vindictive side of Mick has him beaming with malevolence on the very next track. Hearing Mick and Ronny singing “starfucker, starfucker, starfucker, starfucker star” is pretty amusing, the record label (Atlantic) causing a ruckus back in the day and changing the title to “Star Star” – but here the libelous venom is just great rock & roll. The aforementioned Stones purists can skip “When The Whip Comes Down”, a lesser copyright that gets way too much airplay…as well as “Shattered”, which has Mick merely going through the motions.
Why these run-throughs when masterpieces like “She’s A Rainbow”, “Dandelion”, “We Love You”, “Child Of The Moon” and other amazing melodies get left in the closet with the moth balls is truly the question. We can, of course, forgive when Mick, looking like a clean-cut younger brother of a modern-day Iggy Pop, does “Tumblin’ Dice” (don’t get mad, Iggy…this is, of course, a 1978 tape). Jagger takes off his shirt during “Brown Sugar” and whips Ronnie like they are at some S & M club…perhaps the Ramrod Room of Texas, who knows of such things?? as Mick blurts out “just like a young girl should” prior to amending the line to – “just like a young boy should.”. Guess he can’t make up his mind. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” keeps morphing into an extension of the original riff as the years go by…the guitars glittering in high octane treble, but the complement that Mick Taylor provided is still the ingredient this fan from way back when would like to hear again.
In the post-Mick Taylor haze Rolling Stones purists found accepting Ron Wood’s transplant from Rod Stewart sideman to Keith Richards collaborator about as palatable as viewing Kenny Jones a true member of The Who. These Faces exiles were perfect accomplices for Steve Marriot and Stewart, but just a different flavor for the respective elixirs that The Stones and the Who were creating. Think New Coke for a solid comparison…it just didn’t have the bite of Coca Cola Classic and…for those of us who were there and saw the Stones’ (and The Who) back in that time period, well, all due respect to all these great performers, there’s a reason why we call certain periods in time “the golden era.”
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.