Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

by Keith Richards & James Fox

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Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby Liz » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:05 pm

Pg. 159. The most bizarre part of the whole story is that having done what we intended to do in our narrow, purist teenage brains at the time, which was to turn people on to the blues, what actually happened was we turned American people back on to their own music. And that’s probably our greatest contribution to music. We turned white America’s brain and ears around. And I wouldn’t say we were the only ones—without the Beatles probably nobody would have broken the door down. And they certainly weren’t bluesmen.

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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:22 pm

Well I for one can't comment as I'm not American and don't have the knowledge about what was going on back then except from reading things about the Stones etc or tv programmes so will leave it to you ladies from over the pond. :ok:

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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby Dusi » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:28 pm

I'm not from America either Gilbert's girl, but I think I know what he means. They did it for me too. After listening to their music I wanted to know more about them, read a book about them and then started listening to Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf, Alexis Korner, Ma Rainey, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith etc. out of pure curiosity and love the music.

They widened my horizon. Another thing they have in common with Johnny. Some books I'd never known of if he wouldn't have read them and they'd been discussed on ONBC.
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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Another unfortunate result of the racism that was so rampant here at the time. I think some of them did break through into white America, women more than the men. Certainly Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Etta James, Billie Holliday, were all popular. Chuck Berry and some of the big band leaders such as Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong. I can tell you that back in the 60's very few of us American rock and rollers realized the original source of so much of our music. It wasn't racism but plain ingnorance for the most part. I'm so glad I somehow came to the realization though and was able to discover the original artists and music!
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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby Theresa » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:03 pm

Don't forget though, that Elvis sang a lot of blues-influenced music in the late 50's-early 60's era. I suppose it was reintroduced by the Stones after the first wave of the British invasion, and that might be when a lot of the original blues artists finally began to be recognized for their music. I don't remember that era very much since I was too young, so I don't really know for sure.

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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:11 pm

Theresa wrote:Don't forget though, that Elvis sang a lot of blues-influenced music in the late 50's-early 60's era. I suppose it was reintroduced by the Stones after the first wave of the British invasion, and that might be when a lot of the original blues artists finally began to be recognized for their music. I don't remember that era very much since I was too young, so I don't really know for sure.

From what I've heard it helped them to sell more of their records so I guess that someone was buying them. I know many of them also came over to the Uk to tour some with the Stones and of course some of them toured with the Stones when they went to the US so they got more recognition.

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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:41 pm

Theresa wrote:Don't forget though, that Elvis sang a lot of blues-influenced music in the late 50's-early 60's era. I suppose it was reintroduced by the Stones after the first wave of the British invasion, and that might be when a lot of the original blues artists finally began to be recognized for their music. I don't remember that era very much since I was too young, so I don't really know for sure.


I was a little young for Elvis but do remember him. I was never aware until much later where his music came from. I did see B.B. King back in the 70's. I think I was just unaware of all the interconnections.
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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby Liz » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:49 pm

I’m going to show my musical ignorance here…..I was unaware of the blues influence until I read this book. :dunce: It’s not that I was prejudiced or that I didn’t like black music because I was a fan of Motown music. I think it was that I was ignorant of ANY music prior to the Beatles (unless my parents listened to it). I loved blues-influenced music by rock bands such the Stones and Led Zeppelin, but I had no idea that what I was listening to was blues. All I knew was that I liked it. I didn’t take it any further than that. So reading this book has expanded my knowledge of music. And I've found it quite interesting.
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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby shadowydog » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:57 pm

Well growing up in the 50s, I was aware of the early roots of rock and roll and well as the big band music that influenced them. I didn't become aware of blues because of the Stones, I never really became a Stones fan. :lol:
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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby stroch » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:01 pm

Can't say the Stones opened my eyes. We were well aware of Delta blues, Alan Lomax's recordings, folk music, jazz, country, cajun, and r&b when I was in high school and before. Music of all sorts was just part of everyday life, what with street parades, and funerals, and clubs with bands every weekend (for teens as well as adults.)

There was a great r&b recording studio here, really good eclectic record stores, bluesmen played house parties, fraternities had black bands for dances, people played for tips on the streetcorners, etc. so no. The Stones were exciting to me because of the exotic clothes, long hair, counter-culture vibe, and because the music just pulsated, but it was a continuum, not a revelation.
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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby Buster » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:16 pm

I'm with you, stroch. I was aware of the blues long before I heard the Stones.
it was a continuum, not a revelation.
Exactly.

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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:17 pm

I have a vivid memory of talking with friends about Robert Johnson, one of the original bluesmen you talked about in that tidbit. This would be probably 1969 or 1970 when Let It Bleed came out and Love in Vain was one of the songs, which was originally a Robert Johnson song. I was in college in NYC at this point. I didn't know anything then about Mr. Johnson but I do remember feeling rather thrilled when it was explained to me who Johnson was, how much the progenitor of the blues sound we all loved so much, and how significant it was that the Stones knew the history. It wasn't just rock and roll, it was music with a spectacular pedigree. So when I think about the Stones reintroducing us to our "own" music, it's that original blues music, the stuff really lost in time at that point.

And stroch, you obviously knew a heck of a lot more than I did! Where you from again?

Buster, you too? Gee, I was definitely muscially virginal I guess. :-O
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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby stroch » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:01 pm

^^^See avatar. Blessed be.
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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby Buster » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:07 pm

There were a couple of ways I heard the blues - my mother was a big folk music fan, so of course knew all about Lomax and his recordings of original performers, and my dad was deeply into jazz, including the great female blues singers.

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Re: Life Question #14 - Did the Stones turn us on to our own music?

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:24 pm

Yeah, I knew Ella and Billie's stuff quite well, from my dad also. But not the likes of Robert Johnson who from what I understand really wasn't able to establish a reputation for himself outside the Delta region during his brief lifetime. And I think it's that bringing forward of musicians never fully recognized in any way that is what was truly special of groups like the Stones. They linked themselves to something older and in doing that, they linked us up to our past.

But then I am a NYC girl, not from the South and we learned things secondhand, off radio shows and people who had taken it upon themselves to learn all they could about the music of our times (gee stroch I probably don't strike you as particularly visual at this point...if it was a snake that avatar would have bit me :blush: )
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