Personalities | The Rolling Stones (1975) | Key Events
Ron Wood Joins
Having been friendly with the Stones since May 1973, Ron Wood agreed to join the group – initially temporarily – to help out on their forthcoming American tour, though he might as well have been hired as a full-time member straightaway. While not the soloist that Mick Taylor was, he had the perfect temperament to smooth over any band disagreements, and got on with Keith like a house on fire. At once younger brother, jester and partyman, ‘Woody’ had the perfect personality to join the group that seemed to be cracking slightly at the seams.
The funk-tinged TOTA – Tour Of The Americas, initially scheduled to cover South American countries as well as North America – was a rolling cavalcade of stoned and drunk party animals resting on their laurels and playing 47 dates across 27 venues with a ‘loose-lips-cost-wives’ policy, and an overriding ambition to make money. Using props for the first time, and to self-parodying proportions, there were ‘Who the f*** is Mick Jagger?’ T-shirts; a stage designed as a lotus plant that opened up with the band inside; Mick riding a massive blow-up penis to ‘Starfucker’ and sometimes swinging out above the crowd, Tarzan-style; and even a row of elephants acting as security one night. Job done, the group dispersed for most of the remaining year.
Compiled without the band’s involvement – and by Allen Klein, who took over control of their Decca recordings in 1970 – Metamorphosis was a collection of outtakes, alternate recordings of well-known Stones songs and largely a cash-in on the Stones’ US tour. It managed to make No. 12 in the States, but limped to No. 45 in the UK.
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