By Steve Newton
Just hours after the Rolling Stones finished the first of two shows at Hyde Park last July YouTube started getting flooded with fan-shot videos that showed Keith Richards seriously fucking up the opening chords to the big show’s first song, “Start Me Up”.
It was not a pretty sound.
Ironically, in a voiceover from the Stones’ new concert film of that show, Sweet Summer Sun–Hyde Park Live, Richards had this to say: “If you have done it as long as we’ve done it, it’s only because you believe that you haven’t quite got it right yet.”
Amen, brother. And we’ll be with you when you die tryin’, Keef.
If you’re a diehard Stones fan, you don’t have to worry yourself none about those pesky YouTube clips showcasing Keef’s big botch. Just grab a beer, put on Sweet Summer Sun, and revel in the way director Paul Dugdale got 19 HD cameras to capture a two-hour gig that was brilliantly staged, shot, and edited.
Not to mention fixed up.
The Hyde Park shows took place at the same location where the Stones played a legendary free show on July 5, 1969, and the new Blu-ray includes lots of historic footage from that gig. On “Honky Tonk Women” Mick Jagger actually wore the same white shirtwaist he did back in ’69.
More impressive than Jagger’s outfit, though, was former Allman Brothers Band keyboardist Chuck Leavell’s boogie-woogie keyboards–which he played with his right foot for a brief moment.
Other highlights were Darryl Jones’ funky-as-hell bass solo on “Miss You”, Ronnie Wood’s searing lap-steel licks on “Happy”, Bobby Keyes’ wailing sax break on “Brown Sugar”, and backing singer Lisa Fischer’s show-stealing vocal on “Gimme Shelter”.
The original Hyde Park show was the first one guitarist Mick Taylor played with the band after coming in to replace Brian Jones, who’d drowned in a swimming pool under mysterious circumstances two days before. So it was very cool that they brought him out to play some piercing blues licks on “Midnight Rambler”.
When it was all over I felt a little sad that we can’t have big huge outdoor concerts by the Beatles any more. But I guess Paul McCartney has to carry that weight by himself from now on.