January 17: Mick Taylor was born in 1949 , here playing Blind Willie McTell by Bob Dylan

Happy 72nd birthday Mick Taylor!

Any fan of classic rock needs no introduction to Mick Taylor. The legendary  guitarist first made his mark in the 1960′s playing with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers as the successor to Eric Clapton. As if this wasn’t enough, Mick Taylor would eventually go on to replace the late Brian Jones in The Rolling Stones. He would  leave the Stones in 1974, but he was a big part on some of their most seminal albums, such as Let it BleedSticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street. Over the years, Taylor would carve out his own solo career, but would continue to maintain contact with the Stones, eventually being present for the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

In 1983, Taylor joined Mark Knopfler and played on Dylan’s Infidels album. He also appeared on Dylan’s live album Real Live, as well as the follow-up studio album Empire Burlesque. In 1984, Dylan asked Mick Taylor to assemble an experienced rock and roll band for a European tour he signed with Bill Graham. Ian McLagan was hired to play piano and hammond organ, Greg Sutton to play bass and Colin Allen, a long-time friend of Taylor, on drums. The tour lasted for four weeks at venues such as Munich’s Olympic Stadium Arena and Milan’s San Siro Stadium, sharing the bill with Carlos Santana and Joan Baez, who appeared on the same bill for a couple of shows.

He played with The Stones again as a special guest on their 50 & Counting Tour in 2013.

His take on Bob Dylan’s Blind Willie McTell is faithful but playful, for instance he incorporates snippets from All along the Watchtower in the middle of the song. But it is his fantastic guitar playing that is the reason I chose this as todays video. There are not many guitarists in his league. Fantastic!

Blind Willie McTell – Mick Taylor (2009):

The Rolling Stones: 5 Great Live versions of “Gimme Shelter” (Audio/video)

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

My Favourite Stones song. The original album version can hardly be surpassed, but there many great live versions, here are 5 wonderful examples & the album (Let It Bleed – 1969) version.

Album version:

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA, USA
July 20, 1972

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Listen: The Rolling Stones – Live At Leeds 1971 (Awesome Bootleg)

This hour long recording, originally made for the BBC at Leeds University on 13th March 1971, and bootlegged in the 1970s on vinyl as “Get Yer Leeds Lungs Out”, is easily the finest unissued live music by the Rolling Stones. In fact the last 45 minutes from Midnight Rambler on is arguably some of the best music they ever recorded.
~David Mainwood (Stranger Than Known)

This is a strong contender for “Best Stones Bootleg”.

Leeds University
March 13, 1971

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