Re: Beggars Banquet & Brian

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Posted by Steve T. on December 03, 1999 at 20:38:27:

In Reply to: Beggars Banquet & Brian posted by Ben on December 02, 1999 at 13:43:46:

: Just a general follow-up question. What, if any, harmonica parts do you think Brian is responsible for on the lp? Many over at Gerry's message board think he plays on "Dear Doctor" and "Prodigal Son" but not "Parachute Woman." Your thoughts? BTW, the Rolling Stone magazine on Brian's death in '69 has photos of him doing harmonica overdubs. Thanks for your insights. And kudos for this excellent web-site.

From what I hear, Beggars Banquet marks a point where Brian's role in the band had been assimilated by the other members, namely Mick and Keith. At one time, Brian handled most of the harmonica, rhythm guitar, and slide guitar work. On BB, all the harmonica playing sounds like Mick, and most all the guitar work (including slide with the exception of "No Expectations") sounds stylistically like Keith. The BB-era cuts that were released later on "Let It Bleed" (complete with musician's credits) are a revelation. Mick's harmonica on "Midnight Rambler" and Keith's slide solo on "You Got the Silver" were both recorded while Brian was still officially in the band, and point to the fact that they'd pretty much coopted Brian's musical identity by then. And admittedly, their playing on those tunes wasn't all that bad, so there's evidence that they'd figured out how to expand their own musical abilities, by virtue of necessity or perhaps ego, or both. It almost seems that they'd written Brian off by that point,
and it's debatable as to whether it was Brian's own undoing or the continual shabby treatment he'd received from the group that was to blame. Keep in mind that his role and influence in the band wasn't all that was taken away -- he'd lost his woman to Keith as well, and that may well have been the last straw.

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