Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rare 1967 Brian Jones Interview

This is the July 15, 1967 issue of The Beat magazine that was dedicated entirely to the Monterey Pop Festival, which was held the month before. Brian attended the Festival to introduce Jimi Hendrix and while he was there one of the writers for The BEAT interviewed him.

BEAT: Can you comment about what’s happening this weekend in Monterey?
BRIAN: Very groovy scene. We’ve been very busy recording. I just came away for a few days and it’s so nice to get on someone else’s scene. It’s a very beautiful scene happening here.
BEAT: A lot of people have been sort of critical of this kind of happening in this country. The uptight people.
BRIAN: They’re frightened of trouble but I don’t expect any trouble, do you? It has been wonderful. I have been walking freely amongst everybody. Yesterday I was walking through and joining rings of kids and fans. You know I’ve never had a chance to do that much before. People are very nice here. I like it.
BEAT: Would you like to see this kind of thing happen all through the world?
BRIAN: We have had one in London and there are going to be more. But of course it should happen. I think it’s wonderful. The new generations expressing itself. This is one way of expressing itself.
BEAT: Do you like what’s happening with the new generation?
BRIAN: Yes, very much. There’s lots of hassles but things always have to get worse before they can get better. There are mistakes on both sides.
BEAT: What about the Stones – what’s happening with them?
BRIAN: We record practically all the time as the Beatles do. We just got about a week off so I came over here with Andrew (Andrew Oldham, Stones manager). The others have sort of split to various places, I think, I’m not quite sure. But nobody seemed to get it together to come over here. I wish they had ‘cause they have missed a very nice scene.
BEAT: What do you think about the Beatles new album?
BRIAN: It’s great. It’s too much. It’s really good. I did a Beatles’ session the other night, actually. On soprano saxophone, of all things. I’ve taken up playing reeds again. I used to play reed instruments. I bought a soprano saxophone the other day and ever since I have been doing sessions on it. There are soprano saxophones on the Stones’ records, future Beatle records. You know, it’s a funny thing – you get hold of something and put it on everyone’s records. It’s great. There’s a very nice recording scene going on right now in London.
BEAT: There have been rumors that the Stones and Beatles are going to record together. Could you comment on that?
BRIAN: It would be at a certain stage. It would be a very nice thing. We are getting very close as far as work is concerned. Whether actually we could – well we could work something out together. From one point of view it might not be a very good thing because our direction is slightly different from theirs. Lack of distinction because of the joining up of the two might be lost. That’s the only thing that could spoil it, I think. There will certainly be schemes. We spend an awful lot of time with each other now. We’ve got a lot of mutual ideas.
BEAT: It certainly would be wild from the standpoint of a combination of sounds. It would seem to me that you would come up with something really unique.
BRIAN: It’s happening already. As I said, I did this Beatle session – mixed on a Beatle session, various things. Paul’s done a couple of ours. You know, it’s already happening.
BEAT: It’s taking that direction, anyway.
BRIAN: Yeah, and that’s not a bad direction.
BEAT: We’re glad to have you in Monterey.
BRIAN: It’s nice to let people know we’re still functioning. Still around – still on the scene – still doing all we can.
BEAT: How long are you going to be over here, Brian?
BRIAN: I’m just going to be here for a very few days. Just a little break from recording and everything.
BEAT: Are there any immediate plans for coming back over after the court stuff is cleared up?
BRIAN: No, not at the moment but everything’s going to be all right. The big job at hand is to get the L.P. done and we’re spending an awful lot of time on it this time. It’s going to be more of a production. We’ve really put some thought into it because people are still liking our albums so we’re trying to really give them something that will take them on a stage further. And, so that they will take us on a stage further. We feel at the moment that our important work is to be done in the studio rather than in baseball halls and stadiums around the country. You see, once you’ve been around the country once or twice people have seen you and it’s a question of what’s to be gained by going around again. But, there’s a lot to be gained by letting them share our progressions because we are progressing musically very fast.
BEAT: You’re in a position to please yourselves more now, aren’t you?
BRIAN: Well to a certain extent that’s always been true. But we can’t really please ourselves. We have too large a public who depend on us to be able to please ourselves.
BEAT: That’s the best costume I’ve seen at the Festival. It’s beautiful – a work of art.
BRIAN: Well, it’s Old English and European stuff.
BEAT: Did you fly here?
BRIAN: Yes, I flew in the other night. I came by New York and Los Angeles. I spent about one hour in New York and five minutes in Los Angeles. Then I was flown straight out here on a jet. The Mamas and Papas, I think, own it or rent it or something.
BEAT: Any schedule after the Festival?
BRIAN: I’ve got a few things to take care of at home so I might be leaving as soon as the festival is over. On the other hand, I might just take in Los Angeles and New York on the way back and look up a few old friends. It’s nice to come over here. I’m glad I came.
BEAT: There’s a Love-in scheduled for Los Angeles soon. Have you heard about this?
BRIAN: It’s such a different scene over here from back home. You have more of a problem or at least it’s more acute over here then we do.
BEAT: Which problem is that?
BRIAN: The whole problem of social change which is going on around the Western world right now. It’s going on in the Eastern world too, but in a different way. We won’t talk about that.
BEAT: Do you think the Pop Festival would look like this or have an atmosphere like this if it had been held on London rather than in California?
BRIAN: Yeah. We’ve had a similar affair in London and there are going to be more. I would like to see these affairs become a regular part of young community life because I think these people here – from what I’ve seen so far – are acting as a community. They have the community spirit, the community feeling. I haven’t seen any signs of any trouble or enmity. It’s very nice. People are showing each other around and it’s very beautiful. I’m glad I came. I’ll have lots of nice things to say when I get back home.

Have a groovy day :)

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Brian Jones Tribute

Brian Jones Biography
(February 28, 1942 – July 3, 1969)

Musician. Born Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones on February 28, 1942 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. Born during World War II to Welsh parents, Brian Jones suffered from asthma as a child and throughout his life. His father and mother both played music, and by the time he was in high school, Brian had learned to play the piano, clarinet, saxophone and guitar. Though Jones was incredibly bright, he was a lazy student. He quit school and left home shortly after a scandal in which he fathered an illegitimate baby boy who was subsequently given up for adoption.

Jones moved to London to play blues guitar in local bars. In the spring of 1962, he formed The Rolling Stones with pianist Ian Stewart, singer Mick Jagger, and Jagger's childhood friend and guitarist Keith Richards. Bassist Bill Wyman and jazz-influenced drummer Charlie Watts soon joined the band.

During The Rolling Stones’ early days, Jones served as leader, entertainer and manager for the band. As the most photogenic band member, his antics and fashion sense were quickly adopted by the swingers of 1960s London. In 1963, the band hired manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who helped them cultivate a rough, somewhat menacing persona. Oldham’s arrival also marked the decline of Jones as ringleader. Jagger and Richard, who did much of the songwriting, soon moved into the spotlight.

Though he was chiefly known as a guitarist, especially for the guitar weaving he did with Richards, Jones played numerous instruments during his years with the Stones: sitar, tamboura, dulcimer, keyboards, recorder, harmonica, xylophone and marimba, among others. By the mid 1960s, Jones was feeling increasingly alienated by the band and became more and more dependent on drugs and alcohol. He was first arrested for drug use in May of 1967, and by May of 1968, he was recording his final substantial contributions with the Stones.

On June 8, 1969, following the recording of Let it Bleed, Jones was asked to leave the band. A month later, he was found at the bottom of his swimming pool at his home in Sussex, England. The death was ruled an accident. He was 27 years old.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

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