17 October 1973 (Show Two): Place: RSM, National Forest Arena, Brussels, Belgium.
Rolling Stones with Billy Preston, Jim Price, Trevor Lawrence, Steve Madaio.
Producer: The Glimmer Twins
Engineer: Recorded by: Andy Johns
Mixed by: Bob Clearmountain.
USA e-Album BRUSSELS AFFAIR 1973:16 November 2011
UK e-Album BRUSSELS AFFAIR 1973:17 November 2011
The tour heralded a new-found camp, glittery image, where make-up was lavish and Mick Jagger wore an array of zipped jump-suits particularly revealing at crutch level. The sound had reached a new tour de force where the tempo was maintained virtually throughout the set, although the performances were somewhat sporadic. The only quiet number most nights was Angie. The other GOATS HEAD SOUP songs played extensively were Star Star, Heartbreaker and Dancing With Mr.D. Mick Taylor was a revelation, his lead guitar work propelling the band together on a high musical plain, as can be heard on Dancing. His last concert with the Stones was on 19 October 1973, at the final show in Berlin.
Over the years, the most popular bootleg recordings of the Stones came from this tour, especially the Belgium and London concerts, due to a USA King Biscuit Flower Hour Radio Show, which was mixed and over-dubbed by Mick Jagger himself. It was recorded by Andy Johns using the well-travelled Rolling Stones Mobile van. Decca and ABKCO had prevented release of any of their material until 1976, making an official release unlikely. Music journalist Nick Kent wrote some innersleeve notes, having accompanied the Stones on the tour, but no release was made at the time.
However, in 2011, without much self-acclaim, a business link was established in the USA with the new Internet music download service from Google and a Brussels recording was unveiled. It did not consist of the original broadcast, concentrating instead on the second show in the Forest Concert Arena and three songs from the afternoon event. The launch was made to the rest of the world with a potentially significant new web site, labelled Stones Archives.
An official statement claimed that, over the next year, five further live concerts would be made available. Bob Clearmountain had been asked to mix the tapes from the shows and his amazing work has at last done full justice to this much bootlegged and loved concert recording. His instrumental separation for the performers is supreme and Bill Wyman's bass has never been captured more perfectly. At last Mick Taylor had a live legacy which illustrated his lethal, potent force. The climax on Street Fighting Man with Jagger exhorting his primal urges, the guitars meshing and overflowing, the rhythm pounding and the swirling keyboard signalling a manic conclusion, is superb. Thank goodness the rusty vault doors had been truly oiled and greased and were at last open in such a nonassuming
The 1973 tour had not included France because of the warrant out for Keith's arrest. In October 1973, the French authorities fined Keith Richards, Anita Pallenberg and Bobby Keys and gave them a 12-month suspended sentence. Keith was also restricted from entering France for two years and he was back in court again on 24 October. Following the bust in June, Keith admitted, at Marlborough Street Magistrates Court, London, to having cannabis, a small amount of Chinese heroin, mandrax tablets, a revolver, a shotgun and 110 rounds of ammunition. The judge was incensed at the obvious sawn-off shotgun police “stitch-up” and only fined him a paltry total of £205. His solicitor fees were slightly more!
On a sad note, Gram Parsons died on 19 September 1973, apparently from a drug and alcohol overdose at the Joshua Tree Inn, near Palm Springs, Los Angeles. He had just completed his second solo album GRIEVOUS ANGEL and was enjoying a holiday in the Joshua Tree National Monument Park. Keith and Bobby sat in their hotel bar after a show in northern Austria and mulled over the loss but both continued on their own self-destructive course. Before the funeral, Phil Kaufman (a previous minder for Jagger), who was the road manager and a general friend of Gram, stole his body from the mortuary, took it to the Joshua Tree Park and cremated it as he had apparently agreed to do in a pact with Gram. This might seem bizarre and weird but Gram did not want his body returned to his estranged family. Keith was very saddened by the death but Gram was just another cat seemingly destined to die young.