PATTY PLAYS GOD, STONES PLAY THE DEVIL (Segue of the Day: 7/11/15)

I have a hobby of sorts that involves throwing Patty Loveless up against whatever. She tends to go especially well with the seventies-era Stones on long drives or errand weeks that involve a lot of sitting at stop-lights. I try not to speculate too deeply about why this might be but I suspect it has something to do with sharing a pitiless quality which takes very different roads to reach a similar place.

This week, though, I had a first, because I had previously never chanced to sequence my favorite Patty album (1991’s Up Against My Heart) next to my favorite Stones’ album (Sticky Fingers, released in 1971, but recorded in sessions reaching back to late 1969), which meant I never happened to run her greatest don’t-come-around-here-no-more vocal into their greatest let’s-see-what-the-revolution’s-really-worth stomp in the “counterculture’s” collective face.

In other words, the two black holes had never previously met.

They’ve met now. Last cut, first cut. God knows when I’ll be able to get the results out of my head. They keep playing in an endless loop:


NOT JUST A COUPLE OF YOBS (Bobby Keys, Ian McLagan, R.I.P.)

Bobby Keys started out backing Buddy Holly and became one of the revolution’s handful of “go-to” sax players in the sixties and beyond.

The act who went to him most memorably was the Rolling Stones (who have posted several heartfelt tributes to him on-line today). He drove their toughest, most uncompromising record, “Brown Sugar,” which made the impulses to rape and slavery inextricable from each other (and far more primitive than the “profit” motive now routinely assigned to the latter by intellectuals who really ought to know better), went #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K., and was the most notable omission (among several) when they finally played the Super Bowl and proved, once and for all, that heartfelt tributes to the dead were all they would ever be good for again.

Just in case you think there was ever a time when they (“they” always meaning Mick, the only one whose decisions count) weren’t willing to play the man’s game the man’s way, here’s a scorching version from the BBC in ’71, with Keys and any reference to what a “black girl” should do (as opposed to a young girl), notably missing.

…And here’s the real, full-blown, scary thing:

McLagan was an ace keyboardist for two great bands, the mod-ish Small Faces and the bloozier Faces. He was the source of one of my favorite anecdotes. After the Faces broke up, he was asked to join the Grateful Dead. He took several of their albums home and listened to them for several hours. He told NPR’s Terry Gross some years back that if he were forced to listen any longer he would have slit his own throat.

My kind of guy, basically.

His own greatest musical moment? Well, identifying that is a tall task. But I’m willing to bet he never had a better one than the intro here, which kicks off a fabulous duel of a duet between Steve Marriot and P.P. Arnold.

Keys passed yesterday at age 70. McLagan today at 69.

Consider this joint they left behind fully rocked.