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.

 

Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
Pete Dolack
Fanaticism and Fantasy Drive Purported TPP ‘Benefits’
Murray Dobbin
Canada and the TPP
Steve Horn
Army of Lobbyists Push LNG Exports, Methane Hydrates, Coal in Senate Energy Bill
Colin Todhunter
“Lies, Lies and More Lies” – GMOs, Poisoned Agriculture and Toxic Rants
Franklin Lamb
ISIS Erasing Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
David Mihalyfy
#realacademicbios Deserve Real Reform
Graham Peebles
Unjust and Dysfunctional: Asylum in the UK
Yves Engler
On Unions and Class Struggle
Alfredo Lopez
The ‘Bern’ and the Internet
Missy Comley Beattie
Super Propaganda
Ed Rampell
Great Caesar’s Ghost!: A Specter Haunts Hollywood in the Coen’s Anti-Anti-Commie Goofball Comedy
Cesar Chelala
The Public Health Impact of Domestic Violence
Ron Jacobs
Cold Weather Comforts of a Certain Sort
Charles Komanoff
On the Passing of the Jefferson Airplane
Charles R. Larson
Can One Survive the Holocaust?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail