Dec 022014


Bobby Keys, best known for his sax work on The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street and Stones concert tours of that era, has died at 70 of cirrhosis. My favorite Keys memories involve countless rants from my close personal friend and founding Townsman E. Pluribus Gergely. Somewhere in the archives there’s probably an entire thread built around one of EPG’s Keys rants, but a taste of his thoughts on the man are available in this old thread. Track 5, specifically, cites Keys’ work. What’s your favorite Bobby Keys moment?


  11 Responses to “Bobby Keys Is Dead”

  1. 2000 Man

    Wow. I had no idea. My favorite musical moment is Rip This Joint. Boy, this is really bringing me down today.

  2. misterioso

    Bobby Keys, not exactly a clean liver (so to speak), but I am sorry to hear about this. I’m on the record (probably in the thread referenced by the Mod) as pro-Bobby Keys as far as his Stones work goes. I’ll throw out there his solo on “Live with Me” as pretty solid work.

  3. diskojoe

    I just watched him on the DVDs of the Hampton, VA gig & Let’s Spend The Night Together from the ’81 tour, which was the last tour for Ian Stewart (who should be played by Jay Leno in a Stones biopic).

    Also, Boston is “the worst rock ‘n roll town” according to Mr. Gergery? REALLY?

  4. misterioso

    Wait–are you saying that Jay Leno and Ian Stewart are different people?

  5. 2000 Man

    Man, now Ian MacLagan died. It’s a tough week for Stones sidemen.

  6. Yikes. I just remembered. I tried to interview him for the Hall, but he turned us down.

  7. Bobby Keys’ Stones stuff was just perfect. As amusing as I find EPG to be, he’s missing the point of the sax on those Stones sides. They weren’t meant to be over thought. They’re great in all their shoot-from-the-hip glory. They’re kind of a nod back to the earlier days of rock without sounding overly nostalgic. I’ll pick Sweet Virginia but could just as easily pick a number of others instead.

    The news about Ian MacLagan blows. He was a great Great man.

  8. Yeah, I would be nervous if I were Bill Wyman.

  9. cliff sovinsanity

    So it might be obvious but Can’t You Hear Me Knocking is the high point in my book. It shows just how much respect the Stones had for Keys to give him such a spotlight.
    As much as I like the first part of the song with the dirty riffs, I always stick around for the groove solos during the second part.

  10. Not trying to be a smartass, but I’ll always love the moment in 1973 that Keith burst into Bobby’s hotel to rouse him for a gig, found him in a bathtub full of Dom, babe in one hand, cigar in the other, and he told an imploring Keith Richards (and basically The Stones) to, “Fuck off.”

    As related by Keith, not the greatest of moves but, maaaan, what an image.


  11. And I also paid tribute to Bobby’s death with a live rendition of “Rip This Joint.”


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