For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: The Rolling Stones' Long Day's Journey Into Night at Sumet-Burnet Studios in June 1972
Back in May I directed your attention to what remains my favorite Stones live comp, much of which comes from two Tarrant County Convention Center shows on June 24, 1972. Here's its exiled companion, which, till recently, I'd only heard in bits and pieces, and maybe with good reason -- it's six hours of fookin' around sqooshed into about 140 minutes' worth of music, most of which will appeal solely to fetishists, completists and the otherwise obsessed. Which means: you.
Not till recently did I discover the story behind these 25 tracks, recorded between 8 p.m. on June 23 and 2 a.m. June 24 at the legendary Sumet-Burnet Recording Studio. Seems the band had fallen apart in KC the night before and needed a pit stop to put its shit back together. And so they pulled into Sumet-Burnet to run through a new set list. But a 4 p.m. start time stretched to 8 p.m., at which point it became "a lot of musicians sitting in, standing up, switching off on instruments, dozing, humming breaks, going for beer, and playing maybe one song all the way through," per Rolling Stone's Robert Greenfield in his book S.T.P: A Journey Through America With the Rolling Stones.
(The tome, incidentally, is filled with lurid tales of the band's trip to town, during which they were accompanied by no less than Truman Capote, Peter Beard, Terry Southern, Robert Frank and Annie Liebowitz, among others, who flew into Love Field specifically for "a wild weekend in Big D with the Stones.")
This is prime Stones -- long, deep tokes off blues jams that go on and on and on (and some, not long enough). There are nods to Slim Harpo; Robert Johnson covers; a "Satisfaction" jam that's polishes the golden-oldie till it shines even now like some brand-new thing; a "Gimme Shelter" instrumental that sounds in spots infinitely more druggy and dangerous than The Official Recording; 20 minutes of Exile's "Let it Loose" and other untitled free-for-alls. For starters. So rip this joint. Or, better still, spark it.
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