Sax great Bobby Keys was much more than a sideman for the Stones

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Bobby Keys passed away this morning at the age of 70 after battling cirrhosis. He was best known as the saxophonist for the Rolling Stones, having blasted out that unforgettable solo on “Brown Sugar”. He also blew like crazy on such Stones gems as “Happy” (from Exile on Main Street) and “Live With Me” (from Let It Bleed), to mention a couple.

But anyone familiar with rock music in the seventies knows that Keys was much more than a sideman for the Stones. You might recognize his exuberant style from the solo on John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Through the Night”.

That’s him helping to raise a ruckus on two of the best tunes from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s breakthrough Second Helping album, “Call Me the Breeze” and “Don’t Ask Me No Questions”.

He also played on great ’70s albums by Faces (Long Player) and Humble Pie (Rock On), as well as self-titled discs by Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, and Warren Zevon, to mention a few more.

Keys was so awesome that he was even chosen to join Chuck Berry’s band for the historic Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll album and concert film.

Heaven just scored one helluva horn man.

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