By Peter Richards
Former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor will perform at Myron's Cabaret in Charlottetown on Wednesday, August 13. Taylor's CV is a who's-who of rock royalty. John Mayall brought him in to replace Eric Clapton in 1967 [at the age of 17!], and over the years, Taylor has appeared on 16 records with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. It was in 1969 that Taylor was brought in once more as a replacement, this time taking over the guitar duties of Brian Jones, when he left the Rolling Stones. Taylor would play lead guitar for the Stones from 1969 through 1973, and appears on many classic Stones records, including Exile On Main Street, Sticky Fingers, Let it Bleed and Goat's Head Soup. His distinctive guitar work can be heard on Stones hits such as "Brown Sugar," "Tumbling Dice" and "Honkey Tonk Women."
After deciding to leave The Stones, Taylor embarked on a prolific and varied career, recording and performing with dozens of artists. He has recorded and toured extensively with Bob Dylan (appearing on Infidels and Real Live). He also toured with Jack Bruce (Clapton's Cream bandmate) for several years. Taylor's solo music is guitar driven blues, featuring his trade-mark slide, made so famous during his years with the Stones.
We reached Mick on his "mobile" in England at home in the back yard and had a chance to talk to him about his amazing career. He is modestly happy to talk about the early days with John Mayall, and how playing six nights a week as a Bluesbreakers developed his playing and opened his ears.
Mick Jagger's phone call inviting him to join the Rolling Stones-"my first rock and roll band"-is obviously the key carreer moment, but it is still apparent that what means most to Mick Taylor is the music. The best thing for him about being a Rolling Stone?-the opportunity to be spend so much time in the studio (six major Stones albums) and so much time performing. "It was a constant inspiration" says Mick. "They were very innovative albums, quite adventurous." He learned a lot about recording and began songwriting. "It was a very productive period, and a really good time."
Other perks included being able to meet and play with many of his blues heroes in Chicago, and travel the world.
Since leaving the Stones Mick has never stopped playing, and tours often these days as a solo artist. At the end of July he played a special UNICEF benefit concert in Liverpool with Eric Clapton and John Mayall. The show was also a celebration of Mayall's birthday. At 70 years old "he's just amazing", says Mick. "We played for two hours; it was so much fun…I enjoy playing even more than ever now."
A now he's coming to Myron's. We expect every electric guitar player on PEI (especially you Les Paul dudes) to be on hand to give Mick a warm, enthusastic and respectful welcome. You will hear one of the finest electric guitar artists that England has ever produced.
The Myron's show will be the only performance by Mick Taylor east of Montreal this summer.