FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Keith Richards Surprises LA

by PHYLLIS POLLACK

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and two of the band’s back-up vocalists, Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin, gave a surprise performance on Monday night, October 28 in Los Angeles, California at the Joint, a small club that only holds approximately a hundred people.

The core band was comprised of longtime Stevie Nicks guitarist Waddy Wachtel, former Tom Petty drummer Steve Jones, and bass player Rick Rosas, who played on Neil Young hits including “Rockin’ In The Free World.” Also lending support in the band were upstart vocalist Memphis, and veteran British singer Terry Reid, whose long list of performances includes having played at the wedding reception of Stones vocalist Mick Jagger to Bianca Perez Morena de Macias.

Some of those who were in the audience had arrived at the gig, anticipating that something special would happen this evening, due to the fact that prior to his joining the current Stones tour, Fowler had been a member of this band that played at the club every Monday night for over a year. It was not lost on many who were in the club that the Stones would be in town this week, gearing up for two Los Angeles shows. For many who were present, this was essentially Fowler’s greatly anticipated homecoming, and his return would have been enough for the stunned audience, let alone to also have the stage additionally graced by Richards. Fowler credited Wachtel with inviting Richards to join the band for the evening. Backstage, Wachtel quipped, “I didn’t start the rumors that Keith would be here. Really, I didn’t! I can’t help rumors that start out there.”

Fowler entered the club, coming through the back entrance, and upon seeing his fellow musicians, gave emotional long hugs and greetings. Fowler would tell the audience, “I missed you all. Damn, I missed you all,” as he introduced the band’s members to the audience.

Richards, donning his trademark handcuffs, skull ring and other assorted silver jewelry, was clearly the life of the party, along with Fowler. The Stones guitarist ascended the stage with a black Gibson, and then would later use Wachtel’s 1970 sunburst Gibson SG. Richards and company broke into a rendition of the song “Key To The Highway,” a blues number written by Charles Segar and Willie Broonzie, a standard that has been covered by countless blues artists. Richards and Fowler interacted on stage, and an animated Fowler grabbed Chaplin by his jacket and hugged him while the pair added vocal lines and harmonies interlaced between Richards’ vocals and guitar licks.

“You know I know some of the guys here,” quipped Richards. In addition to solo work and Stones projects that the Stones axe slinger has done with Fowler, Wachtel was Richards’ other guitarist in his side project, The X-pensive Winos, which embarked on tours in 1988 and 1992, and released two albums, yielding Richards’ solo hit “Take It So Hard.” In addition to his performances with the Stones, Chaplin appears with Richards on the Grammy-winning Hank Williams tribute album, Timeless, on the track “You Win Again.”

As the surprise ensemble broke into the Stones classic, “Jumping Jack Flash,” an energetic Richards looked as if he was performing it for the first time, as he showed endless energy on stage. The intimately situated audience caught a close-up view of Richards, who donned various silver charms that were weaved into his hair. Fowler pranced about the stage in his black leather jacket, singing lead on one of the song’s verses. In addition to his work with the Stones, Fowler’s extensive discography includes recording with Yoko Ono, as well as co-writing and co-producing Stones guitarist Ron Wood’s Slide On This.

When Richards left the stage, he joked, “Thank you very much. I’ve got work to do now. Bye, ladies and gentlemen,” and with that, the guitarist of the greatest rock and roll band in the world departed the stage.

Fowler stayed on to sing AC/DC’s metal anthem, “Sin City,” as Wachtel shredded power chords. Fowler’s mastery for captivating an audience had long been well known to members of the audience who had previously witnessed Fowler’s diverse vocal range, which allows him to seemingly effortlessly rock hard or to otherwise mesmerize an audience with his uniquely soulful introspective style.

Richards, Fowler and Chaplin will perform with the Rolling Stones at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Halloween night and and at the Wiltern Theatre on November 4.

PHYLLIS POLLACK lives in LA. She is a music producer, publicist for rock and rap bands and an anti-censorship activist.

 

More articles by:
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Game: Notes on the Democratic Convention
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail