Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Shine A Light

When I heard Martin Scorsese (one of my favorite directors) was making a documentary about The Rolling Stones (my favorite band) naturally I was interested. Neither of these artists have been particularly exciting to me for quite some time, but the signifigance of the work they made in their prime make them matter more than most nonetheless. When I found out Shine A Light is a documentary about a 2006 Rolling Stones concert, I pretty much lost interest.

Scorsese and The Stones are the director and subject of the two best concert films ever, The Last Waltz and Gimme Shelter. No competition there. This is, well, just another Stones concert movie, and there are lots of them: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones; Gimme Shelter; Let's Spend The Night Together; Robert Frank's excellent documentary of their '72 tour Cocksucker Blues (which will finally get a legitimate release this year from Steidl); and let's not forget The Tami Show.

The most interesting thing about this film is the title. "Shine A Light" is one of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite records. It's about Brian Jones, the first of many casualties of people close to the Stones. Gram Parsons died trying to emulate his pal Keith Richards; Danny Seymour, photographer and filmmaker who made Cocksucker Blues with Robert Frank disappeared shortly after making the film; Someone actually gets murdered in Gimme Shelter; and ironically, Ahmet Ertegun, while at the Beacon Theatre to attend the concert from which this film is made, fell and hit his head, eventually going into a coma and dying.

Here's an outtake version of "Shine A Light." Looser and funkier than the released version. I guarantee you this is better than the film. Also, a weird Brian Jones era Rolling Stones version of a Beach Boys classic.


"Get A Line On You (Shine A Light)" mp3
by The Rolling Stones, 1968(?)
with Leon Russell on piano

"I Get Around" mp3
by The Rolling Stones, 1965.


"Shine A Light" mp3
by The Rolling Stones, 1972.
available on Exile on Main St.


brendn said...

I agree w/ you that the title is very appealing + would probably over-represent the film. You never know. I can think of a concert film that could offer competition to Gimme Shelter and Last Waltz (about the Band, not Stones, right?) though: Stop Making Sense. I would have trouble picking one for the top spot.

Anonymous said...

Leon Russell on piano.

What bootleg is this from?

C. said...

thanks for these, Ted. in terms of casualties, didn't the Stones pretty much destroy Jimmy Miller as well? I think I remember reading somewhere Miller was carving swastikas into the studio walls by the time of "Goats Head Soup"...


Ted Barron said...


i don't know where this track is from, it was a stray on my hard drive.however, further research tells me that it is probably an early version outtake from let it bleed.


i'm sure there's plenty of more casualties dead and alive (mick taylor)


richard said...

It's not a Stones track at all.It was a MJ jam with Leon Russell and was released as a bonus track on the CD re-issue of Russell's self-titled 1970 LP under the title 'Get A Line On You'.The Stones version came three years after this jam and was re-titled 'Shine A Light' on "Exile On Main Street".

Ted Barron said...

i found this info on the web, don't know what's what? It's pretty good though whatever and whenever it was.
Is there any info on that Leon Russell reissue?

Vocals : Mick Jagger Electric Guitar: Keith Richards Slide Guitar: Keith Richards -or- Brian Jones Bass: Bill Wyman Druns: Charlie Watts -or- Jimmy Miller Keyboards: Leon Russell

frankenslade said...

I prefer this Leon Russell version to the Exile one. Leon Russell and Joe Cocker were among the first musicians my uncle turned me onto when I was a little boy. Very cool.

parqbench said...

Whoa, that's how Ahmet Ertegun died? never knew that. As for concert films, gimmie Waldleigh's "Woodstock".

Kimberly said...

That's Leon Russell's "Get a Line on You". I think The Stones re-did it a couple of years later though.

And Ahmet didn't die until just a few years ago leaving his wife Mikah behind.

But I dig your site though. That's a great photo of Brian Jones.

steve scariano said...

Big thanks for sharing such an outstanding version, Ted. I like how the lyrics are so much easier to make out on this one.

And oh by the way, Shine A Light is great---really, it is.