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Genghis Kon

Favorite Rolling Stones Guitarist

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Forgive me if this thread already exists, I'd imagine it would, but a search shows otherwise.

Who is your favorite Stones guitarist, aside from Keef? We've got a great line up: Brian Jones, Mick Taylor, and Ronnie Wood. For me, Mick Taylor was their greatest guitarist, from a technical standpoint. While one can say that Jones was the greatest creative genius, I'd say Mick helped bring the band forward through what was arguably their peak (68-72). What are your thoughts?

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Aside from Keef? That's easy...Mick Taylor.

I give props to Brian Jones, obviously, for being there first and founding the band. But he was dead by the time I was old enough to really get into the band and go to shows. The Mick Taylor-era is the Stones era that spoke to me. Ronnie Wood was great with The Faces, but it's been mostly mop-up duty for him as a Stone as they slide into senility.

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I will say this in Ron's favor, he is currently the musical backbone of the band live. Keith goes off on his own way too often and plays little more than random accents. Ron seamlessly goes from style to style so it's not noticeable.And does it with a huge smile on his face.

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I will say this in Ron's favor, he is currently the musical backbone of the band live. Keith goes off on his own way too often and plays little more than random accents. Ron seamlessly goes from style to style so it's not noticeable.And does it with a huge smile on his face.

Yes, Keith is totally lazy now compared to 1969-1975 when he was a buzz-saw. 90% of the time he strikes poses and throws shapes. Yawn. They'll never get my concert money again.

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Mick Taylor. I didn't go see the Stones this last time around. I decided to use that money to buy the Amazon exclusive of The Brussels Affair.

As for Ron Wood, I don't think the guy can even play some of the simplest things that Taylor did. Two examples: 1. The main riff to "Bitch" (Wood just lets the horns do it), 2. The rhythm guitar riff on the Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! version of "Sympathy For The Devil".

Taylor kicks ass, Wood just tickles it!

Edited by Gospel Zone

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Mick Taylor by a country mile. I never liked Keith as a guitarist, as a writer he is one of the best but as a guitarist he was mediocre at best. Woodie is pretty good too, just not at Taylor's level.

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I will say this in Ron's favor, he is currently the musical backbone of the band live. Keith goes off on his own way too often and plays little more than random accents. Ron seamlessly goes from style to style so it's not noticeable.And does it with a huge smile on his face.

Yes, Keith is totally lazy now compared to 1969-1975 when he was a buzz-saw. 90% of the time he strikes poses and throws shapes. Yawn. They'll never get my concert money again.

Yeah, the wife and I watched a couple of recent Stones shows (just cam shot videos) on You Tube Saturday night...these days it seems like Keith is a shadow of a shadow of his former self...he looks, sounds and plays like a 71 year old man now, whereas Ron is still capable of playing his ass off. I've always been a Ronnie Wood fan, and the ongoing "Taylor VS Wood" debate the last fourty years makes me wanna fuckin' puke- it's an apples and oranges comparison. At their best IMO the Keith Richards/Ron Wood "ancient form of weaving" two guitar attack is some of the coolest guitar playing I've ever heard. No band does two guitars better than the Stones for my money.

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Ronnie Wood is a pretty damn great slide guitar player, tells some really cool stories on his radio show, and seems to have kept the band together this past decade, so for those reasons, I love Ronnie Wood.

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I'm surprised to see no mention of Brian Jones here. I find that he was essential in the synthesis of the Stones, and was a creative genius in all rights. What do you guys think of him, specifically? I knew this would boil down to Taylor v. Wood, so I should have been a bit clearer. Also, this isn't meant to be a "Who's better" sort of thread. Just "Who is your favorite, and why?"

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I'm surprised to see no mention of Brian Jones here. I find that he was essential in the synthesis of the Stones, and was a creative genius in all rights. What do you guys think of him, specifically? I knew this would boil down to Taylor v. Wood, so I should have been a bit clearer. Also, this isn't meant to be a "Who's better" sort of thread. Just "Who is your favorite, and why?"

In spite of what Keith and Mick may think Brian Jones' contributions cannot be discounted when it comes to the Stones' legacy. Arguably Brian's slide guitar/Eastern or exotic instruments/Mellotron etc parts are what makes those songs. As a musician the guy was incredibly talented- it's a goddamn shame he burned out too quickly. If Brian Jones had been better equipped to handle the fame and whatnot and kept leaving his mark on the Stones' music it could have been great. In a lot of ways musically the Taylor/Wood eras seem like an entirely different band from their earlier "Jones era" records. It's poignant that Ron Wood has said he almost feels obligated to replicate Brian Jones' parts on the old songs. He even plays a sitar-type guitar on "Paint It Black" and "Street Fighting Man" these days.

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I think Brian Jones out shines Ron Wood also, especially on slide. I once got into a conversation on this site as to who really played slide on all those slide parts on Let It Bleed. I always thought it was really Ry Cooder but this other guy insisted it was Keith. Well, if it was Keith then he is one hell of a great slide player and I would the find it hard to understand why the Stones don't use his slide playing more instead of Ron Wood.

As for the Stones in concert these days....I'm tired of the same old formula as to the song selection and the song order. They need to come up with some other songs for the openers and a tighter closer... I'm sick of hearing "Brown Sugar", "Jumpin'Jack Flash", "Satisfaction", or "Sympathy For The Devil" just go on and on. And yes, Keith isn't what he used to be, but there's nothing Ron Wood can do to help the situation. The more I get annoyed with the Stones present day situation the more I get annoyed with Woody. I hope there will be a Goats Head Soap Deluxe set. I see there is a Bootleg version out there. I've enjoyed the Stones a lot more in the last year, but that's just because of the stuff coming out of the vaults.

Edited by Gospel Zone

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^^^That is Ry Cooder doing bottleneck on the "Let It Bleed" song and mandolin on "Love in Vain". With the exception of Mick Taylor's help on "Live With Me" and "Country Honk", Keef handled the rest of the guitar parts himself. But that's definitely Ry Cooder on "Let It Be".

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^^^That is Ry Cooder doing bottleneck on the "Let It Bleed" song and mandolin on "Love in Vain". With the exception of Mick Taylor's help on "Live With Me" and "Country Honk", Keef handled the rest of the guitar parts himself. But that's definitely Ry Cooder on "Let It Be".

I thought it was George Harrison on "Let It Be" :lol: Seriously, though- Let It Bleed is Keith Richards' "This is how great I am" moment the same way Presence is Page's. During the Beggar's Banquet/Bleed period the Stones really were a one guitar band and Keith did the job nicely, throwing in some tasty bass parts alongside the guitars.

Even though I'd imagine there have been times in the last 45 years that that M.O. hasn't changed much. There's a few Stones tracks where it sounds like Keith put on his three or four guitar parts - and maybe a bass- and then Taylor or Wood just overdubbed any additional licks, solos, etc. I think that was the case on It's Only Rock And Roll for Mick Taylor and most of the 'modern day' Stones albums (Bang in particular) for Ron Wood. There may be times where everybody's all playing together, but not very often. Most likely if at least Keith and Charlie is there, it's a Stones session.

Edited by Nutrocker

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I thought it was George Harrison on "Let It Be" :lol: Seriously, though- Let It Bleed is Keith Richards' "This is how great I am" moment the same way Presence is Page's. During the Beggar's Banquet/Bleed period the Stones really were a one guitar band and Keith did the job nicely, throwing in some tasty bass parts alongside the guitars.

Even though I'd imagine there have been times in the last 45 years that that M.O. hasn't changed much. There's a few Stones tracks where it sounds like Keith put on his three or four guitar parts - and maybe a bass- and then Taylor or Wood just overdubbed any additional licks, solos, etc. I think that was the case on It's Only Rock And Roll for Mick Taylor and most of the 'modern day' Stones albums (Bang in particular) for Ron Wood. There may be times where everybody's all playing together, but not very often. Most likely if at least Keith and Charlie is there, it's a Stones session.

Ya nailed me good on that typo. How did I screw that up?!? :rolleyes:

But my assertion remains...Keith is all over the "Let It Bleed" ALBUM and he is playing the rhythm on the "Let It Bleed" song, BUT the bottleneck slide guitar on "Let It Bleed" is all Ry Cooder.

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Ya nailed me good on that typo. How did I screw that up?!? :rolleyes:

But my assertion remains...Keith is all over the "Let It Bleed" ALBUM and he is playing the rhythm on the "Let It Bleed" song, BUT the bottleneck slide guitar on "Let It Bleed" is all Ry Cooder.

Hmph...all these years I was convinced Keith played all the guitars -slide included- on the "Let It Bleed" track. The slide part sounds kinda shaky to me -not unlike the slide on "Jigsaw Puzzle", "You Got The Silver" and "Midnight Rambler"...and those are apparently Keith. Unlike Ry, Woody, Taylor or Brian Jones, Keith isn't a natural slide player, and it sort of shows in his playing. When's the last time Keith played slide guitar, anyway? The Exile period (he plays slide on "Happy" and "Ventilator Blues")?

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^ The couple of times that 'You Gotta Move' was played live on the most recent tour Keith played a 12 string acoustic with a slide.

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Hmph...all these years I was convinced Keith played all the guitars -slide included- on the "Let It Bleed" track. The slide part sounds kinda shaky to me -not unlike the slide on "Jigsaw Puzzle", "You Got The Silver" and "Midnight Rambler"...and those are apparently Keith. Unlike Ry, Woody, Taylor or Brian Jones, Keith isn't a natural slide player, and it sort of shows in his playing. When's the last time Keith played slide guitar, anyway? The Exile period (he plays slide on "Happy" and "Ventilator Blues")?

The Rolling Stones did not hand out credit willingly. They could be very stingy, which is a large reason Mick Taylor left in the first place. So when the album credits for "Let It Bleed" list Ry Cooder on "Love in Vain" and "Let It Bleed", I figure it's for a very good reason.

I'm not disparaging Keef's playing on the album by any means, but if Keef had played slide on the "Let It Bleed" track, it would have been credited to him for sure.

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Jimmy Page: "One Hit to the Body":

Great song, hilarious video shot at the height of "World War III".

The Rolling Stones did not hand out credit willingly. They could be very stingy, which is a large reason Mick Taylor left in the first place. So when the album credits for "Let It Bleed" list Ry Cooder on "Love in Vain" and "Let It Bleed", I figure it's for a very good reason.

I'm not disparaging Keef's playing on the album by any means, but if Keef had played slide on the "Let It Bleed" track, it would have been credited to him for sure.

Looking at my copy of Let It Bleed Ry Cooder is only credited for the mandolin on "Love In Vain"; Keith is credited as sole guitarist on "Let It Bleed", which would presumably include the slide guitar. Hell, all these years I've been straining to hear Brian Jones' inaudible autoharp on "You Got The Silver"...

So in other words it appears that Keith did every guitar track on the album except for Taylor's slide on "Country Honk" and Taylor's rhythm guitar on "Live With Me" (where Keith also plays one of the Stones' greatest bass lines as well!). I've always assumed that other than Brian's slide guitar on "No Expectations" Beggars Banquet is the same- all Keith. Keith was a busy boy in the studio in those days!

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Hmph...all these years I was convinced Keith played all the guitars -slide included- on the "Let It Bleed" track.

I was too.

Mick Taylor is my reply to the original poster's question.

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I'm not as knowledgeable about guitar playing as many other posters so many of the stuff you're comparing is over my head. IMO, the Rolling Stones were a more experimental band during Brian Jones' tenure. Once Mick Taylor joined the band, they settled on the musical formula they have followed ever since. They produced some of their greatest albums while this formula was still fresh to them. They stuck with this formula after Mick Taylor left. Their albums were selling well and their concerts were selling out so why change a formula that brought them success? Still, I wonder what would have happened if the Stones had encouraged Ronnie Wood to contribute more to the songwriting and gave him songwriting credit when he did so?

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How about the Stones' guitarists as bass players? Don't get me wrong, Bill Wyman was great, but Richards, Wood and Taylor put down some classic bass lines of their own on some of those songs.

What are some of your favourite non-Bill Wyman bass parts? I like Keith on the aforementioned "Live With Me", Ronnie on "Emotional Rescue" and Taylor on "Fingerprint File".

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How about the Stones' guitarists as bass players? Don't get me wrong, Bill Wyman was great, but Richards, Wood and Taylor put down some classic bass lines of their own on some of those songs.

 

What are some of your favourite non-Bill Wyman bass parts? I like Keith on the aforementioned "Live With Me", Ronnie on "Emotional Rescue" and Taylor on "Fingerprint File".

"Live With Me" is the first thing that comes to mind. It's a great rock 'n' roll riff. Didn't Keith Play bass on "Sympathy For The Devil"? I heard some bootlegs where he played bass on "Sympathy" on the '75 tour but it sounded a little over the top.

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"Live With Me" is the first thing that comes to mind. It's a great rock 'n' roll riff. Didn't Keith Play bass on "Sympathy For The Devil"? I heard some bootlegs where he played bass on "Sympathy" on the '75 tour but it sounded a little over the top.

Keith did indeed play bass on "Sympathy For The Devil"...I think it was two dates in New York in '75 when he played bass alongside Bill when Clapton and Santana did their guest appearances on "Sympathy", and, yeah, the two basses made it a bit of a trainwreck. Other than when he backed up John Lennon on the Rock And Roll Circus show I think those were the only times Keith has been known to play bass onstage.

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