Friday 15th March. Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, London. This fine example of the massive concrete forms, known in 1960’s Britain as ‘Brutalist Architecture’, hosts daily classical, jazz, folk, avant-garde and dance performances.
Tonight SHH took to the stage with the wonderful Gretchen Peters. After performing a half hour set of our own, then sitting back and enjoying Gretchen’s beautiful songs, we joined Gretchen, Barry and Christine on stage for the Stones’ ‘Wild Horses’.
Keef has said, "If there is a classic way of Mick and me working together this is it. I had the riff and chorus line, Mick got stuck into the verses. ‘Wild Horses’ was about the usual thing of not wanting to be on the road, being a million miles from where you want to be."
The song has been covered by many, including The Black Crowes, Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson, but tonight’s rendition brought to mind (to my mind, at least), that of the legendary Gram Parsons.
Before its release on ‘Sticky Fingers’, Parsons had convinced Jagger and Richards to allow him to record the song with his band, ‘The Flying Burrito Brothers’. While the Stones had already laid the track to tape, the Burrito Brothers' version was actually the first to be released, appearing on their second album, ‘Burrito Deluxe’, in April 1970, one year before ‘Sticky Fingers’.
Tonight, it was Gretchen and Sadie who shared verses while the whole ensemble pitched in on the chorus:
Wild horses, couldn’t drag me away …
Indeed. No-one wanted this night to end (apart from the QEH staff. Ha, ha!)