Album: Fully Finished Studio Outtakes
. . .
The idea that the Rolling Stones had died in a plane crash in 1978 — just after they recorded the Dallas show — was first mooted back in 1985, when we came in contact with the infamous Cat Burglars, whose “Song For Julie Newmar” had just showed up mysteriously in the KFSR studios and became a minor hit.
Eventually, The Cat Burglars themselves showed up a couple of times at KSFR, most infamously at an in studio show broadcast live on KSFR. They — Bob Feline, Jules Newmar and Anonymous — were like Chuck Berry and went from town to town playing with pick-up band, so Blake, Ross, Joseph and I backed them up, and more a foul assortment of scum and villany I’m not sure I’ve ever seen, especially that fucker Anonymous.
Sadly, the only picture that exists of that show is me playing the drums as part of the backing band. And as a condition of playing the show, the Cat Burglars forced Kirk read a history provided by the band, which claimed — among other things — that they’d backed up Bob Dylan at Newport, released solo albums disguised as members of Kiss, and refused to tour with the Rolling Stones in 1981 because the Stones had died in a plane crash and the Cat Burglars were still alive. Of course because the Cat Burglars had nine lives, since they had died several times over the years but kept getting resurrected, a grace that the Stones weren’t allowed.
In any event, in the mid-1980s, this seemed plausible, as the first two Stones albums after Some Girls were basically drawn from previous recordings, and the most recent one, Undercover, was a piece of dog shit. Anyways, I’ve come around to the belief that the Cat Burglars were lying like Trump, and the Stones never died in a plane crash, mostly because it’s obviously impossible to kill Keith Richards.
Fast-forward 153 years to 2021, and at about the time I was digging into the Stones classic period for Certain Songs, a massive Stones bootleg hits the internet. Called Fully Finished Studio Outtakes, it’s over three hours of music that I still haven’t worked my way completely through, and while the sound quality is high throughout, the name is a bit of a misnomer, as some of the songs were clearly not finished.
That said, there are quite a few amazing songs: a higher quality version of my beloved “Blood Red Wine”; the original with Bowie (maybe) take of “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a great psychedelic raver called “She’s Doing Her Thing” and — the biggest surprise of all — a bunch of good-to-great songs from the Undercover era, my favorite of which is called “Dog Shit,” because that’s what somebody thought of it I guess.
In any event, it’s really just a great Keith riff they ride for six minutes, with horns — maybe even real ones — and a bunch of Ronnie solos, and lyrics that are clearly stream-of-consciousness, screaming about “bad luck!” unless he’s screaming about “bad love!” until he gives up, leaving the song to the guitars, the piano (Stu?) and the horns to riff around each other over and over and over.
Which they do, until they’re finished. Like I said, it’s clearly not a finished song, but I’m pretty sure if they’d written an actual song with the central riff, the melody that Mick’s singing and this level of energy and basic Stonesy goodness, I might have revised my opinion of Undercover. Might have.
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