How does someone spend five years playing with the world’s most famous rock band and still make it onto a list of guitar players “under the mainstream radar?”
Because Mick Taylor never got the credit he deserves.
(courtesy of Fred the B-slinger/jimsatten.com)
Taylor’s jazz/blues guitar playing revitalized the Rolling Stones after he was hired to replace Brian Jones in 1969.
He already had made a name for himself as a teenager, having been asked to join John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers after Peter Green departed to form Fleetwood Mac.
When the Stones began to look for a replacement for the troubled Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards asked Mayall for his advice. His advice was to hire the young Taylor.
During his years with the Stones, Taylor brought the band a level of finesse they had lacked — he appeared on some of the band’s most celebrated albums.
He first appeared on Let It Bleed, adding tracks to the album.
But Taylor eventually ran out of gas. Whether it was tension with Richards or simple exhaustion from the band’s high-paced lifestyles, Taylor walked away in 1974.
His departure opened the way for Ron Wood to join the band — something that seemed fated to happen given his close relationship with Jagger and Richards.
As for Taylor, he went off into a solo career and some pretty impressive session work. In 1983 he played on Bob Dylan’s Infidels album, and went on tour with Dylan’s band.
In more recent years he has played Bluesbreakers reunions, taken the stage with the Grateful Dead and, in 2007, went on the road with Jimi Hendrix’ band as part of a tribute tour. He’s also maintained a solo career, including his latest studio album, A Stone’s Throw, in 2000.
In 2002, his 1995 live album, Coastin’ Home, was re-issued.
Taylor also continues to tour, and is due to kick off a European tour next month. So this is one Stone who’s not gathering moss.
<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/he8OLo9HPJs&hl=en&fs=1&”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/he8OLo9HPJs&hl=en&fs=1&” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>
(NOTE: This is part of my ongoing series of reports on guitar players who fly under the mainstream radar. Keep checking The Listening Room for future installments of guitar players you should know – JF)
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jfitzgibbon