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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Precious Stones

A soft spoken British lady called to request a carpet cleaning. Hers was a good address in the city. It was a smallish job - 2 or 3 rooms with some pet issues. On the appointed day, Cesar and Troy headed out to do the job.

Chirp! went the BlackBerry. Cesar, teasing with his voice, said, "Limes, this is the job I wish you had come out to with us." "Why's that, Cesar, what's up?" "This big house is full of pictures of the Rolling Stones. Everywhere." Said I, "Oh, some big fans, huh?" "No, Limes. Personally acquainted." Silence on my end for only a moment while I gathered my wits . . . "Cesar, if they've shaken Mick Jagger's hand, I want to shake their hands!" "No, Limes, they're much closer than that."

I scratched my head for quite awhile wondering what they'd stepped into . . . . they finished the job and chirped in again. "Limes, we're done and headed back in. They've sent you a gift!" And then he refused to say more. I was on pins and needles. What could this be?

When they strolled into the office, grinning evilly, they had a stack of CDs in their hand, one of which is for me. Here's the story, it's mine and I'm sticking to it.

A very British man with the unlikely name of Marino De Silva, is a music producer who has done a lot of work with the Rolling Stones and their immediate circle. It is very apparent that he has free, easy access to them individually and as the Rolling Stones. You're looking at his wife, the soft-spoken British lady, on the cover of Precious Stones and Other Assorted Gems.

This CD is the most fun I have ever heard. It features all current and past Rolling Stones in some role (including Bill Wyman) except the expired Brian Jones. It features a number of (my conclusion only, don't take this to the bank) studio musicians who are very intimate with the Rolling Stones. The juxtaposition on this CD is that the studio musicians are singing lead and people like - oh, Mick Jagger - are singing back-up. It is fun, it is humorous, it is intoxicating.

Track #1 is Mick Taylor singing a great "Twisted Sister" tune. Where did they pull him from? I don't recall. Brian Jones had died and they pulled Mick from ??where?? I think he was barely 21. I wouldn't have known what he sounded like at the time. Now I do. He sounds good!

Track #2 - Keith Richards sounding very Tom Waits-like in a torchy, torchy ballad with a great female, unknown back-up singer, and all kinds of brass from the Memphis Horns. I don't know the Memphis Horns or the woman. Keith has blown out his throat almost as badly as his face. And it's a great song.

Track 3 - some people I don't know doing a really credible rendition of Tumbling Dice. Who doesn't like the tune?

Track #4 made me bob in my chair. A little reggae, nice-sounding thing. The lead singer does it well. It's when his back-up singer pipes in a little ways into the song . . . . well, I do know Mick Jagger when I hear him! He takes a lesser role quite nicely.

There is a track I was prepared to detest when I read about it on the liner notes: Bruce Willis (I do not like smirky Bruce Willis) on harmonica and vocals . . . I'd never like this song . . it's the hottest kind of rockabilly thing I've ever heard with screaming harmonica and actually, a really good singing voice.

My favorite tune on the whole thing is Seven Days, written by Bob Dylan who has apparently never recorded it. Singing lead is Ronnie Wood. My opinion: the Stones should occasionally put him up front, but then what would Mick do, as he can't seem to play any instrument?

There's an unfortunate selection, Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night". Charlie Watts selected it because that's what he loves, apparently. OK, so be it.

Another little oddity: a final track by Iggy Pop and Johnny Depp. I don't care for the tune, but I'm fascinated by the mix-up on this one CD.

Ironically, I do not care for the cut of Satisfaction. It features said Marino De Silva. He plays a smoking guitar while someone sings words we all know. "Satisfaction." Redone with permission from the Rolling Stones. If we didn't all know the song, I might like it. It smokes and screams and writhes . . . . but in the end, I guess I just don't think anyone should mess with Satisfsaction. It's been done. Leave it alone. Let it be, even.

Anyway, it's a fascinating CD that's played in all of my music makers for months. The home dudes said Marino De Silver was planning to e-mail them notices of events he puts on in town. I asked Cesar if he'd listened to the CD. "No, Limes, I don't really like that kind of music." Note to self: "What kind of music? This is unlike anything ever heard of." I asked Troy if that lady in the belly dancer costume was actually his customer. "Yes, Limes, but the picture wasn't taken yesterday."

In my ears right now: Ronnie Wood singing Bob Dylan's words. "Seven days that are connected . . . she'll be comin' home . . . seven more days, all I've gotta do is survive . .

Why I like it: all the musicians we know are in the mix here, but they're not doing what we expect. It's quirky. Bruce Willis?

Something that charmed me: We've officially hit triple digits and it's still June. I may not love roasting in my own juices, makeup rolling off of my face before my eyes. But this is what we expect. "Unseasonable" is more difficult to handle than "expected". I'm old and I'm crabby. Just dish up what I know and I'll deal with it as well as the next stranger on the bus.


  1. This is a really good review of an album, this one, in particular, but a good review, if you get the distinction. It's interesting, informative, opinionated, but with explanations. What I'm trying to say is that this is a good piece of writing.

  2. "Oh," she said. Thank you! Go to your darker car, pull it from the player, and listen to it. You'll love some part of it, I promise.

  3. Mick actually does occasionally play a bit of rhythm guitar. All I can say is he's better than I am.

  4. I think Mick (and probably most of them) also do all right at the keyboard, too. This album just makes my jaw drop because none of them are doing quite what we've come to expect. Maybe we should keep our minds open and just let them do what pleases them at any given moment, huh? I remember hearing that reggae track the first time. The singer soulded OK - he was good. I didn't recognize him. But when Mick pops in singing back-up, I nearly passed out. NOT where we expect Jagger to be placed on a tune.