The Rolling Stones session musicians were so drugged up they couldn’t remember playing on the band’s classic “Exile On Main St.” album, it was claimed.
Martin Fry, 64, of pop group ‘ABC’, said the historic double album – released 50 years ago this week – was “obviously” produced by people who used a lot of illegal substances.
He said: “It’s my favorite Stones album, such a weird and funky record with so much diversity, from ‘Tumbling Dice’ to the almost gospel of ‘I Just Want to See His Face’.
“There is a carefree magic released from their status as the biggest rock band in the world.
“It’s not particularly commercial, but it’s elegant and beautiful. Mick Jagger’s lyrics are fantastic.
“It’s not a good time. It’s questioning and paranoid. Looks like they walked through a kaleidoscope.
“At that time people were obviously doing a lot of drugs, and some would just show up and forget they had played on it. I’m still trying to untangle it.
Martin spoke to The Guardian newspaper with other musicians who paid tribute to the drug-fueled album, released on May 12, 1972.
Grammy-nominated singer Valerie June, 40, added in the piece that she thinks “Exile” is still relevant in the context of current drug addiction in America.
She said, “As someone raised in the African American South, the gospel and blues influences are so rich to me. I love the slow build of ‘Shine a Light’ and the bass.
“The song is about Brian Jones but also about drug addiction. For me, 50 years later, this speaks to the current opioid crisis in America and shines a light on it. »
Rolling Stones guitarist Brian died aged 27 in 1969 when he drowned in a swimming pool after years of drug addiction.
Recorded over a series of hedonistic months in a cavernous villa on France’s Cote d’Azur, “Exile on Main St.” has been hailed as the sprawling masterpiece of the Rolling Stones.
The 2010 documentary “Stones in Exile” about the making of the double disc highlighted how widespread drug use was during its making.
Saxophonist Bobby Keys, who died aged 70 in 2014 and played on ‘Exile’, said in the film: “Damn, yeah, there was pot around, there were bottles of whiskey around, there were scantily clad women. Shit, that was rock ‘n’ roll.”
The film also referenced guitarist Keith Richards’ rampant drug use during the making of the album, when he was steeped in heroin addiction.
Singer Jennifer Herrema, 55, told the Guardian of one of the album’s standout tracks: “‘Torn and Frayed’ is such a beautiful song, apparently about Keith Richards. ‘The doctor prescribes pharmacy supplies / Who’s gonna help him start it?’
“He’s a ripped and frayed guy.”